In normal times, I updated you on Fridays, leading with all those good and fun things you could do together at the weekend. But, of course, these are very much not normal times. I hope you and yours are all safe and well.
Lots of information on the coronavirus response is constantly updated in the Council’s website: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus. This will include information on recycling. The blue box glass collection has ceased for now and next week (April 7) there will be no more brown bin garden waste collections until further notice and recycling centres remain closed too.
Although the deadline for responses was this week you can still help shape the future of our city by clicking and responding on http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/futureedinburgh. We need to get planning policies into place on student housing, short term lets, how we move around our city, protecting and enhancing the natural environment and – more. Do we go for brownfield sites only or include some green field or Green Belt sites to accommodate the growth of our city? What would those choices mean for us locally? There are possible sites in the ‘Choices’ document and Portobello Community Council are compiling our views on possible sites here: http://www.portobellocc.org/pccpn/2020/03/04/consultation-on-choices-for-city-plan-2030/
If you are a reader like me, this might be a good time to join your local library remotely and get books and other reading material on line: https://yourlibrary.edinburgh.gov.uk/web/arena/join-the-library.
Of course, there have been big changes to the bus service as the lock down me at 90% fewer passengers. https://www.lothianbuses.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19/
Part of the changes to Lothian Buses removes the No 4 altogether during this crisis. I have had several Bingham constituents getting in touch and there is a petition re got together. I have also written to Lothian Buses asking them to reconsider. See here for the petition asking Lothian Buses to reinstate the No 4 to serve Bingham:
The voluntary sector has really stepped up to meet the crisis, both individuals and organisations. There is a directory complied by EVOC: http://directory.evoc.org.uk/ which is adding local organisations all the time.
The Thistle Foundation have added an on-line support service this week. See more here: https://www.thistle.org.uk/support-during-covid-19-outbreak. I still intend to do the Edinburgh Kiltwalk for them in September 2020 and my fundraising page is here: https://edinburghkiltwalk2020.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-3.
To remain almost sane, I’ve been keeping up walking at least 10,000 steps a day and enjoying the sights and sounds of Spring. I’ve found this website an inspiration: https://levparikian.com/index.php/twitter-birdsong-project/
There are ways to get involved with volunteering, which is even possible when locked down safely at home and on the end of a phone: https://www.readyscotland.orghttp//www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/volunteering/ and here: https://www.nhslothian.scot/GetInvolved/Volunteering/Pages/COVID–19-Application-Process.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2CgbjfSDkpL8pd1HNhDZ8BtDvZvZ5oSgUKbJNPA1k7kC6dRbg9eM5_iBE
While the vast majority of people are genuine and trustworthy, there are those who would target us for their own gain. Be well aware of possible scams at this time and report anything that looks dodgy: https://mailchi.mp/b3d2ca964e92/scam-share-focus-on-coronavirus
To the extent that organisations across Edinburgh are working so well together is down to the networks and partnerships that the Council have been built up over the years, unsung and behind the scenes. More about the Edinburgh Partnership here: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/12794/the-edinburgh-partnership-encourages-communities-to-think-local-act-local-
There are also very local offers on streets and neighbourhoods. one here https://craigentinnymeadowbankcc.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/volunteering-from-home/. Our own street has a WhatsApp group that helps keep people safe and well supplied.
It’s vitally Important to keep our local small businesses going. Many of them are going off line. Some are providing deliveries and others would welcome you paying ahead for the treats you will enjoy when this is all over.
Meanwhile, for me it’s a daily walk from home. One I love, although it’s a long stretch form Porty is Little France Park, the city’s newest park reclaiming unmanaged grassland for the local community and carving out a green corridor from the city centre to Midlothian. It’s a new corridor for wildlife and a network of paths, cycleways spread across its 45 hectares. Little France Management Plan will explain the value of the site as parkland and provide direction over its future management. The Council and Edinburgh Living Landscape partners would like views and comments to help shape the final document click here: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/little-france-park-plan
Hot off the press: you may be aware there is a FB group – Porty Coronavirus Action (PCA). Their new website (below) has information for those who need support as well as for Porty residents who want to volunteer as shoppers. Please do take a look at the site and send them an email at email@example.com – if you’re able to help. Please include your name, phone number and confirm that you’re ok with PCA holding/storing these details on their system for the purposes of the group. PCA also ask that you share the website and group details with as many local groups as possible. PCA already helped a couple from Bellfield Street and had another order today – and that’s even before they launched! So the demand is out there. The website is https://portycoronavirusaction.wordpress.com . The phone number is now live and Porty Coronavirus Action is open for business!
I do hope you and yours are keeping safe and well during these hugely difficult times. If you think I might be able to help with anything, do just let me know.