This week consisted of a lot of walking streets door-knocking and lo-ong Committee meetings, so a relatively short Update here.
We are still waiting for the opening of Brighton Place to vehicular traffic. Yes, later than expected but it’s very nearly there. I spoke to the project manager Richard Cobb, who was hoping to be on annual leave from today. Those workmen are longing for the end of the project too! The sett-laying should be finished by the specialist team today, then it needs grouting and time for the sett bedding and grout to set properly. That depends very much on the weather temperature. The fiddly bits around the manhole covers were being finished yesterday and the yellow lines are done. They will also fix the ponding at the junction with Portobello High Street before they go. There will be an island in the centre of the road for cyclists, the safe position of which is determined by the driveways opposite so it isn’t directly opposite the send of Christian Crescent. Richard reckoned the road would be open by Tuesday next week; worst case scenario, Wednesday. And they will be reopening Brunstane Road on the same day.
Once again, the Brighton Place contractor Mackenzies have sponsored a Christmas tree which Portobello was not due to get. There have been a few people saying they are prepared to chip in and make sure we are certain to have a Christmas tree next year. The offer is much appreciated but does need to come earlier in the year. The total cost of putting up and taking down the tree is £2,000- £2,500 including tree, base, lighting, labour, plant, transportation and installation. The plan for the Christmas tree installation programme is put together August- September each year and the key contact is John McNeil: John.firstname.lastname@example.org This is an item on Portobello Community Council’s Agenda too.
I spent a wonderful uplifting hour on Thursday at Castleview Primary School’s Christmas nativity ‘Dancing to Bethlehem’. The show was just as fabulous as ever. The children are all so confident and such polished performers. It was also a real pleasure to sit beside a man called Robin Scott who volunteers at the school and at Niddrie Mill Primary. We exchanged our thoughts about learning and teaching – and the world in general.
Details about arrangements for the Christmas season refuse collections and disposing of the Christmas trees is here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20001/bins_and_recycling/1527/christmas_and_new_year_bin_collection_dates
Starting early this year (fro me!) but probably all my Christmas presents will be bought locally on Portobello High Street. I almost managed it last year. Shopping local all year round is a great boost for the local economy and helps builds our Great Community. That Academy fo Urbanism Award is now in Portobello Library and I put some copies of the poem and the page in the ‘Here and Now’ publication in the corner devoted to Portobello Community Council.
For a few years, I served as a Board Member of Turn2Us who administer the Edinburgh Trust who distribute grants to Edinburgh individuals having problems making ends meet. The Turn2Us Chief Executive and new Programmes and Partnerships Manger and I have been discussing what we could do in supporting the work of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission, particularly in Portobello/Craigmillar Ward. My colleague, Councillor Cammy Day is replacing me on the Committee which met this week. More about the Edinburgh Trust here: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/grant/the-edinburgh-trust-16915 to which I occasionally refer people and more about the Edinburgh Poverty Commission here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20218/council_wide_plans_and_strategies/828/reducing_poverty_and_inequality
We are making further progress with our new charity ‘Craigmillar Now’ hoping to collect together and house a growing Craigmillar Archive in the church building at 58 Newcraighall Road and we are building partnerships throughout the greater Craigmillar area. Rachael Cloughton and I have arranged to meet the manager of Fort Kinnaird in the New Year to discuss what we can do together. I throughly enjoyed the launch of Craigmillar Tapestry and celebrating the progress with artist and fellow Board Member Andrew Crummy, story-teller and Craigmillar Community Councillor Heather Henderson and some Craigmillar Tapestry stitchers last week. Pictures on my Facebook Page – link below.
I am looking forward to the AGM of Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust next week. E&LGT do a lot of great work throughout Portobello/Craigmillar tree planting, designing spaces and connecting people to the outdoor environment. More here: http://www.elgt.org.uk/about-us/. If you are really totally stumped for a Christmas present for someone, you could buy them a tree? Click here: http://www.tree-time.com/christmas/
Do let me know if you want ‘updated’ on anything else or have further questions or comments.
Best wishes for a good weekend.
Councillor Maureen Child
Labour Councillor Portobello/Craigmillar Ward
Office: 0131 529 3268
Mobile: 07718 666 481
Facebook Page: Maureen Child Standing Up for Portobello/Craigmillar