Friday, 19 December 2014

St Patrick Square upgrade

There is an upgrade to the garden area of this square agreed for around March this year.  It will see a path laid through the Square.  There will be shrub beds, planters, Caithness Stone paving and returfing. 

Should look good.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Planned closure of Newington Library

Here are the details I received today:
I am writing to inform you of the planned temporary closure for Newington Library in order to carry out essential building and repair work . The works will allow the heating, lighting, and electrical systems to be updated, asbestos to be safely removed from the building and will also give the library comfort cooling and control over the heating levels. In addition, we are also looking to use this opportunity to make improvements to the presentation and layout of services in the Library, with the aim of reopening with an improved customer experience.  
I am pleased to let you know that the programme for the upgrade work, as detailed above, will commence in January. The Library will close on Tuesday 7 January 2015 with a planned eight week programme of works, with the aim of reopening the building to customers at the end of March. Due to the amount of work involved we will advise our customers that we will reopen before Easter to allow for any unforeseen programme slippage. Whilst the Library is closed, we have arranged for the following alternative service provision:
A mobile library will be available outside Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church on West Mayfield at the following times:
Monday 10:30-6:30, Thursday 10:30-3:30, Saturday 10:30-4:30
The staff team will continue to run all of the regular activities at the following times and locations:
Children’s activities – all at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church:
Baby Rhymetime Mondays         11am
Rhymetime           Wednesdays   11am & 2pm
Craft Sessions       Fridays               2:30pm
The following adult activities will take place at Morningside Library:
Italian Group fortnightly from Tuesday 6 January 6:45pm
Book Group monthly from Tuesday 6 January 6:45pm
Get Stitched Group weekly from Wednesday 7 January 6:30pm
Book Group monthly from Wednesday 21 January 6:30pm
The library link and housebound services will also be delivered from Morningside Library.
We will be advertising the closure in Newington Library and surrounding libraries in the neighbourhood and city, as well as through our online channels including Facebook and Twitter. We will also be asking for customer comments on any other services we could provide from an alternative location during the closure.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Extension of Glastone Terr works

The period for the reworking of the footwaysin Gladstone Terrace is being extended by a week to the 19th December - that is a week longer than the 10 week project duration planned.

So there is an additional Traffic Regulation Order in place for the continued diversion and parking restrictions.

The previous post is here.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Sciennes dining area to expand

There are plans in place to expand the dining area at Sciennes to prepare for the introduction of the free lunches programme imposed by the Scottish Government.

Here are details.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Fascinating Dumbiedykes project

The Twenty More project has one key aim - to increase the wealth of every household in Dumbiedykes by £20 per week - permanently.   Comas, the charity is about to undertake this very innovative project.

Details can be found in this article in the Herald (alas it is pay walled). 
In summary, using a range of different techniques the approach is to employ a small team of workers to knock on doors in Dumbiedykes and help people.  This could be by ensuring they receive benefits they need, or helping people to cut their bills. But it could also include helping people help themselves - setting up microbusinesses, for example, with migrants from Eastern Europe, who make up part of the local population. Community-buying schemes for shared products such as broadband could also form part of the mix.

Comas has been funded (to the tune of £50,000) by the Clore Duffield Foundation and will be led by the Chief Executive of Comas, Ruth Campbell.

Watch this space.  I like the innovative approach and wish the project well.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Local policing news

From time to time I get a briefing from local police.  The recent one is particularly helpful and, with permission I enclose extracts for you.  This briefing is from Ch Insp Richard Horan, Area Commander for the Southside.  It covers:
  • Meadows attack
  • Halloween & Bonfire night
  • Festive patrols
  • Housebreaking
  • Smartwater crime prevention
  • Cycle theft (including 'decoy bike')
  • Legal Psychoactive Substances (legal highs)

"(We) have been keeping you updated regarding the two serious sexual assaults which took place earlier in the monthAgain, I can confirm we are not linking the attack in the Meadows to the one in Gilmerton. A male has been arrested, charged and reported for the Gilmerton incident.

The Meadows incident is still under active investigation with a team of detectives working on the case. Over the last couple of weeks we have placed extra resources in and around the Meadows area.

Like Halloween, Bonfire night passed off peacefully, with nothing notable within the south area. We were exceedingly well supported by both staff from the City of Edinburgh Council South Office and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service during the week long initiative put in place to address anti-social behaviour. It appears to have worked.

Our festive initiative, which again sees our focus on the various corridors into the City Centre through the South, to prevent and deter anti-social and violent behaviour, launches today. Other national campaigns, such as road safety and domestic abuse, tie in nicely with our own local priorities and will keep us busy. On our local priorities, we have recently refreshed our local community plans with our six month updates - I hope they'll be published very soon.

Housebreaking remains a key focus. Whilst there have been significantly less domestic housebreakings this year, with more solved, we are still seeing the same areas targeted - specifically Morningside, The Grange and Liberton. We have refreshed our own local action plan around housebreaking and are relaunching "Smartwarter" as a crime prevention opportunity this week, alongside increasing our targeted patrols up to Christmas. On the enforcement front we have also made several recent arrests of individuals whom we believe have been carrying out many of these crimes.

We also had a great success with our decoy bike, which led us to charge an individual with theft. This helps to increase our understanding of who is stealing pedal cycles, and might just perhaps place that seed of doubt in someone's mind - "this bike I'm about to steal might actually be getting tracked."

I recognise a number of residents in the south area, particularly but not exclusively our large students population, make wide use of bicycles and the theft of these remains an on-going issue and of community interest. We will continue with deployments of both the decoy bike and other tactics to address this.

Other emerging issues remain the use/abuse of New Psychoactive Substances (more widely known as "legal" highs). Understanding and dealing with NPS and how they affect not just the users, but the public and public services, is a priority for officers in the South. It remains firmly an area we are focusing on."

Friday, 28 November 2014

People's Millions winner

The STV competition for charity funds on Wednesday was won by Canongate Youth.  That is £38k for the Old School Cafe training project to help young people into work.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Meadows search for clues continues

Police searching earlier this week

Police are continuing to search for clues in the hunt for the culprit of the serious assault on Middle Meadow Walk on 15th November.  Note the suspect was last seen in the Sylvan Place and Sciennes Road areas.  And here is the E-fit.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Sciennes Christmas Fair

The Sciennes Primary Christmas Fair takes place on Saturday (29th November) between 1pm and 3pm

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Another local charity for the People's Millions

The Pakistani Society Advice and Informations Services (based in Buccleuch Street) are also in the running for the East of Scotland award from the People's Millions.   Details are copied below:

BME Elderly Outreach Project (Pakistan Society Advice & Information Services).   They need your vote.  TODAY only

 This project will increase the capacity of the organisation's advice and information service and enable them to plan a series of outreach visits with elderly and vulnerable members of the ethnic minority communities in South Central Edinburgh.

 Phone Landline 09015 228206  or mobile on 6228206.   Calls cost 15p – and you can vote 10 times from each device.

Vote today for Canongate Youth

The People's Millions have short listed Canongate Youth (CY) for a £38,000 award - subject to them winning the public vote today.  You can vote up to 10 times (15p a time) for this local charity.  STV will announce the number to call today and it will be shown here on the CY website here.  Do support them.

The project is to develop The Old School Cafe, a social enterprise run by unemployed young people for the community.  It is to provide a welcoming cafe and help young people find and keep jobs. 


Or the cafe project's slogan:  Putting the Tea in CommuniTy.

Lines are open now! (9am-midnight). Number to call- Landline: 09015 228206 and Mobile: 6228206 and select OPTION 2 ‘Old School Cafe’. Calls cost 15p and you can vote 10 times from each device.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Careers fair coverage

Here is the (advance) coverage in today's Evening News of the Prestonfieeld Primary Careers fair this morning - which I attended.  I was very glad to see there was a reasonably broad range of businesses and services represented at this World at Work week..

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Queen's Hall and banners

The Planning Department have instructed the Queen's Hall management to take down their 'temporary' banners. You can read about it here.

As I understand it the current situation is that permanent posters/adverts need permission.  Temporary banners do not.  But how long does it take for a banner to be in place to become 'permanent'?  Now that is a matter of judgement,

If you read the comments on the article you will see the commenting people of Edinburgh (so far) feel the Queen's Hall  should be left alone.  I have some sympathy with them.


A couple of days ago I drew attention to media speculation that the recently convicted culprit for the World's End murders might have been responsible for another death in the Dumbiedykes.  Apparently Angus Sinclair had lived in the area around the time of the murder of Helen Kane, a crime which remains unsolved.

On the stairs in the City Chambers the other day I happened across the City Archivist carrying a very large book.  Curious, I asked him about it and he reported it was the Edinburgh voters roll for 1970.

I later visited his office (the archives are open to the public) and a quick search revealed the information shown below.

Yes, there is Angus Sinclair at no 10 Hill Place on the 1970 voters roll along with 17 other people on the register.

It will be interesting to hear from anyone who resided in the stair and who remembers him.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Find him

Police have this evening released this e-fit of the suspect for the serious sexual assault in the Middle Meadow Walk area last Saturday.  More details in the Police press release here.

Previous post here.