I picked just a few topics for this week, although there is a lot more I could cover. Do let me know if there is more you want me to chase up or report back on. I know I am slipping behind, badly!
Firstly, just a reminder of how all our voluntary activity, as much as statutory services doing their bit, is getting us through this crisis: https://www.volunteeredinburgh.org.uk/volunteer/covid-19/. Neighbours helping neighbours informally, or through more official channels, is very much the right thing to do in these times and I have head some really heartwarming stories over the last couple of months, from Magdalene to MIlton and all around.
The Council has to, by law, provide schools and domestic refuse collection, but there is no law that says public toilets have to be provided. I think here should be and that – consequently – the considerable cash needed should be provided by national Governments too. This is a public health issue. More here: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2020/07/covid-19-has-exposed-uk-s-public-toilet-crisis. Our already struggling Council is going to have to step up instead to provide safe toilet facilities at least in Pipe Lane form its own resources. Other services will suffer cuts as a result: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/12907/edinburgh-councillors-to-consider-reopening-public-toilets
Two local places where emergency measures, to sustain safe cycling and walking, have been flagged up by local people and are being implemented as part of a citywide series of measures. Portobello Community Council put the details together for Kings Place:
– and Portobello High Street:
You still have to book to go to the recycling centre, but their system seems to be is working well. Details here: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/recycling-3/household-waste-recycling-centres. Thanks to one of my constituents raising it, they clocked that those of us who use City Car Club need to be accommodated too.
And how about this, if you hadn’t heard? https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/people/incredible-video-shows-swordfish-swimming-portobello-coast-2903231. Not seen since, but it was around for a couple of days.
I had a few people in touch about weeds in their street, either wanting them largely kept because they like them or wanting them removed because they hate them. People are concerned about the use of glyphosate as a weedkiller. This is what the advice is: “Despite it still being licensed for use we recognise the health and environmental concerns and the public attitude to our continued use of glyphosate and as a result have greatly reduced the amount we use over the years and do not use any glyphosate within our parks or greenspaces. The approach we take to control the growth of weeds on streets is by first removing the detritus to prevent seed germination and resultant growth. Only then and if required do we apply the herbicide, using an application system mounted on quad bikes treating the weeds directly or in some locations utilising a controlled droplet applicator. Both systems are designed to use the minimum quantity of chemical and all our staff are certificated operators. We have trialled a number of alternatives to glyphosate but as yet none have proved to be as effective in controlling weed growth.”
For further queries you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly. You can also use this address to request that the lovely pavement plants be left alone in your street. I know that residents in at least three streets wanting to remove any invasive species themselves.
Every day I ask ask myself, why on Earth did I stand for another term of office, then I think of the new Castlebrae Community High School, currently under construction – a new building for a great community only made possible, and delivered, because all four of us Portobello/Craigmillar Councillors worked together as a cross- Party team. Latest newsletter from this fabulous local school of which we are all proud:
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