Friday, 18 July 2014

Jawbone update

Here is an update on progress on the restoration of the Jawbone Arch (from an Edinburgh World Hertage press release):
The City of Edinburgh Council has appointed contractors to carefully remove the Jawbone Arch in the Meadows so that the bones can be stored ahead of conservation work.

In an effort to secure the future of the Jawbone Arch, which has stood in the park through all weathers for over 100 years, the bones will be removed in late July. They will be taken into storage for up to six months to allow them to dry out. Once dry, experts will be appointed to preserve and repair the monument.

 The area surrounding the Jawbone Arch will be cleared of fencing for easy pedestrian and cycle access through the Meadows in time for the Festival season. 
The total estimated repair work for the bones is £49,000, with just over half of the funding being provided by Edinburgh World Heritage and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Additional support from the Marchmont and Sciennes Community Council, the Grange Association, the Samuel Storey Charitable Trust, the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, and a range of individuals has also been pledged, but a further £20,000 fundraising is needed to complete the project.
The footpath running under the Jawbone Arch will, therefore, be accessible soon.

Whalebone arches can be found in many places around Scotland, particularly in areas associated with the whaling industry. Edinburgh’s Arch is one of last relics of the International Exhibition of Science and Art which took place in the Meadows in 1886. The jaw bones of a whale formed part of the stand of the Shetland and Fair Isle Knitters, and after the exhibition they were gifted to the city.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cameron Toll on the market

The shopping centre at Cameron Toll is up for sale.  You will need £44m - and some.

Details at this link.

"Graham Birse, director of the Edinburgh Institute Business School at Napier University, said he anticipated a bright future for the centre if its ­owners could get the right balance of entertainment and retail."

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Technology for fun: Hacklab

Can I draw attention to the open meetings of Hacklab meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm.

"Edinburgh Hacklab is part of the worldwide movement of Hackerspaces – shared spaces for people who mess around with technology for fun."
Free, just drop in. For further information see website. It is at Summerhall.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Saving Money: Thursday 10am - 2pm

Southside Community Centre has a range of advisors available to give advice on money matters ranging from dealing with debt to dealing with smoking.  Anyone can go along between 2pm and 4pm this Thursday.  Some details are listed below.
  • Ask the Money Adviser from Citizens Advice Edinburgh how you can budget effectively and deal with debt.
  • Ask an Energy Adviser if you could be spending less on gas and electricity or if you qualify for £140 off your energy costs.
  • Ask a Housing Officer if you need advice on housing matters.
  • Ask the NHS No Smoking Officer on how to quit for good.
  • Ask Benefits Advisers if you have a question about benefits or need to maximise your income.
  • Ask Age UK if they can help you make the most of later life through inspiring, supporting and enabling.
  • Ask the Cyrenians about tenancy support and homeless prevention.
  • Ask Making It Work on how they can help you plan your future if you are a lone parent with a child under 5.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Potterrow property

I note the Council have put up for sale a plot in Potterrow next to the new rehearsal extension at the rear of the Festival Theatre.  Details here.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Meadows and city centre wifi collapse

The prospect of public wifi in Edinburgh's city centre, the Meadows and many of the other 'town centres' which make up the city, has now receded with the bankruptcy of Gowex, the Spanish company awarded the contract.

Much of the work on the ground was due to start this week with significant parts completed by the end of July.

The spectacular collapse of Gowex makes for interesting reading.  The chief executive, responding to reports that the company had been blamed for false accounting over the last four years, admitted responsibility.   He is quoted as tweeting.
"I made a voluntary confession in court. I want to collaborate with justice. I will face the consequences,” Mr García Martín said on Twitter. The posting followed a message saying: “I ask everyone for forgiveness. I am deeply sorry.”
More details
Apparently this bankruptcy does not affect the £10m allocated by the UK government for their Connected Cities programme.  Money from that fund is allocated towards the ongoing kitting out of trams and buses in Edinburgh with wifi.  And, I understand, there is still the opportunity for local businesses to upgrade to superfast or ultrafast broadband with a grant from the Connected Cities fund

Friday, 27 June 2014

Festival Carnival Workshop

Summerhall is holding a workshop in preparation for the Festival Carnival.  Here are the details:

The fun starts with a very special EDINBURGH FESTIVAL CARNIVAL WEEKEND WORKSHOP on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July from 10am-5pm at Summerhall (ages 16 and over). Participants can join carnival supremos Junkanoo Commandos from the Bahamas for this activity-packed weekend open to all, no experience necessary.
Pick up an instrument of choice, from the drums to the cowbells, and learn authentic carnival music, or bounce around to the beat with Bahamian dance moves. Learn to make your very own Junkanoo costume, which participants are then welcome to wear in the Carnival parade on the 20th July!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Are you registered to vote?

With the referendum on 18th September, I am receiving more queries about whether or not a person can vote.

Here is the website which answers questions such as these ones:
You can get an application form here.

And for your information as soon as the referendum is out of the way there will be a move to individual voter registration (rather than the present household registration).  More details can be found here.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Buccleuch Place proposals

Edinburgh University have a proposal to return the tenements in Buccleuch Place (south side) to living accommodation.  Currently they are largely offices and teaching/research space.

In addition it is proposed to replace the building at the rear of Buccleuch Place - on the North side of Meadow Lane - with new build accommodation for students.  The refurbished tenements in Buccleuch Place would, I understand, also be for student accommodation.

More details can be found here using the reference number 14/00884/PAN .

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Southside Community Centre snubbed

Proposals to enliven the entrance to the  Southside Community Centre have been turned down by the Planning Committee today.

The Management Committee wanted to open up the frontage (as has been done in many old churches) by installing glass doors at the main entrance to the building to make the use of the building more accessible and attractive for users.  The committee divided on the issue  (as did the 2 local councillors, Cllr Perry and your host at this site) and voted by 8-5 to refuse the application.  Actually, I thought the proposals were sensible and pragmatic and in keeping with the successful opening up of many older church buildings.

Influential was a late statement from Historic Scotland that the current church doors might be from the original 1820s period.

Link to the Community Centre here.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Queen's Baton Relay passes through on Saturday

With the Commonwealth Games due to start on 23rd July for 11 days the Queen's Baton Relay is approaching.

It is due at the Commonwealth Pool in Dalkeith Road on Saturday (14th June) at 5:45pm, departing 30 minutes later.  From the schedule:
Sir Peter Heatly, a veteran diver and former Games gold medallist, along with his grandson, James Heatly who will be diving in his first Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in July will be present, along with Grace Reid, who trains with James in the RCP.  Following the photocall, there will be a display of synchronised diving to music by Edinburgh Diving Club.  This will last approx 10-15mins.  The 50m pool will remain open for public swimming during this time, and will be used mainly by club swimmers.  The event will be free and open to the public.
More details here.

Amended 09:45 110614 to show updated timings.

Monday, 9 June 2014

St Leonard's Street development update

Unite plan to demolish the Homebase site on St Leonard's Street, and replace it with student accommodation, retail and associated facilities. As mentioned in a previous post, public consultations will be held at St Margaret's and St Leonard's Catholic Church. This is an update on the times of these consultations. There will be one on Wednesday 25th June from 3pm to 7pm, and there will be another on Thursday 26th June from 3pm to 7pm.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Police activity in St Leonard's area

Arrests and activities in the last few days in the Nicolson Street/St Leonard's area are noted here.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Festivals calendar

As we move towards a busy summer I thought it might be helpful to provide the dates for the various festivals (Fringe, Tattoo, Edinburgh International Festival, Film Festival etc.)

This link is to the Edinburgh Festivals calendar website where the listing can be found.

You can find the festival listings for the arts hub at Summerhall here.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

New Pyjamas now at court

Lord McConnell has now appeared as a witness in the Court case playing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this week in relation to the alleged fraud at the New Pyjamas charity at the Sick Kids.

BBC details here.

Previous posts.