Monday, 26 September 2016

Community Council elections: A record?

Nominations for community councils closed at 4pm today.

Grange/Prestonfield requires a minimum of 8 nominations. More than 16 nominations puts us in election territory.  For a community council that is a rare event.

As I counted the valid nominations at the end of the afternoon the number rose to sixteen!  There have been elections before but only rarely.

So thanks to all of you who have stepped forward.  In due course the names will be published.

I don't yet know the numbers for Marchmont Sciennes Community Council - one of the other councillors is returning officer there.  And Southside did not require an election as they have been formed relatively recently.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Doors Open this week end

This is the annual opportunity to visit premises - many of which would not otherwise be open to the public, for free.

You can find all the buildings and locations here.

Here are a few local to the Southside/Newington ward (Number refers to number in Doors Open catalogue).

  • Blackford; Royal College of Nursing, South Oswald Road (2)  
  • Blackford: Royal Observatory Edinburgh (3)
  • Blackford: King's Buildings (4)
  • Newington: Newington Cemetery (47)
  • Newington: Priestfield Tennis and Sports Association  (48)
  • Southside:  University Library (77)
  • Southside:  John Sinclair House  (78)
  • Southside: Teviot Row House  (80)
  • Southside:  Anatomical Museum (81)

24 hour opening for MacDonald's rejected

Today there was a lengthy Licensing Sub-Committee meeting and it considered the application for late hours catering permission (24 hours) for the newly erected MacDonald’s at Cameron Toll.  Let me summarise. 
1.      A local resident and I made the case not to grant the hours requested.
2.      The applicant requested the application be deferred for one month to enable MacDonald's to host a residents meeting (I think on 18th October) with a view to allaying concerns.
3.      This was rejected by the Committee which resolved to take a decision today.  It was noted that MacDonald’s is already operating and there had been enough time for MacDonald’s to carry out such consultation.
4.      Council officers drew attention to the zoning policy.  Whilst I don’t know it in precise detail it works like this.  There are three zones – broadly Zone 1 is very busy areas with late night activity (opening allowed up to 3am); Zone 2 is for main roads (1am opening Sun-Thurs and 2am Fri-Sat);  Zone 3 is for streets with low traffic/residential proximity (midnight opening Sunday-Thursday and 1am Friday and Saturday).
5.      After hearing from the objectors and the applicant the Committee were clearly not going to grant the full hours. There were then two proposals: one for Zone 2 hours and the other for Zone 3.
6.      The Committee voted 4:3 to grant the application but restricted to Zone 3 hours – midnight closing Sun-Thurs and 1am Fri-Sat.
7.      I should add that it was made clear to the applicants that it was not considered appropriate for them to be advertising 24 hour opening before the application had been heard.  The Committee also noted that the applicant has been advertising for all night staff. 

I should add that there were assurances from MacDonald’s about litter pickup in the area, community events, staff training, signage about late night noise, and CCTV.  

Water supply problems today

Scottish Water are battling a number of problems today which may affect residents and businesses.

First there has been a burst on a trunk water main in Orchard head Loan in Liberton which could affect normal supplies to some parts of the city - including  the city centre, Old Town, Canongate, Liberton, Prestonfield, Little France and the Inch.  This may result in loss of supply in these areas or a reduction in pressure.

I understand the Nurseries at Hope Cottage in East Crosscauseway, and St Leonard's in West Adam Street are closed for the day because of the lack of water.

There is also a water burst in Dalkeith Road just north of the junction with East Mayfield.

You can find updates here on the Scottish Water service updates web page.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rankin Drive closure for Scottish Water work

The section of Rankin Drive between Langton Road eastwards to number 51 is due to be closed between Monday 26th and Friday 30th.  Scottish Water are doing renewal works.

Community Council elections

Next Monday is the deadline for submitting your nomination  form to be part of your local Community Council.

All the information you need to know, including nomination forms, can be accessed from this page.

The returning officers, to whom nomination forms should be sent for the Community Councils in the Southside/Newington ward, are

  • Grange/Prestonfield - myself - contact me here
  • Marchmont/Sciennes - Jim Orr
  • Southside - No election as it was recently formed
So forms need to be submitted by 4pm 26th September.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

More on Central Mosque incident

The incident in Potterrow where, what may have been a petrol bomb was thrown, around 2:10am on Sunday morning was reported by me in a post earlier.  The police have since released updated details of a person they wish to trace:

Male, believed to be early thirties, very short hair, Wearing a short-sleeved black top with a white emblem on the front, dark trousers.
It is believed the male spoke to a group of females in George Square near its junction with  the Meadows.  Police would like to speak to these witnesses.

Monday, 19 September 2016

TARMAC take a bow

East Preston Street has long been a sore.  The road surface, I mean.  But in the last few weeks it has been resurfaced.  Initially there were concerns from local residents about maintaining access and an overrunning project.  Today, however, I received this from a local resident:
"A letter of congratulations to TARMAC for a great job well done and in record time.  The road was to be closed for 4 weeks and they have completed in two.  A very pleasant work squad and respectful to all residents.  Now we need a cleaning up squad to remove all the litter. . . "

Sunday, 18 September 2016

An incident at the Central Mosque

A police presence with a taped off area indicates there was an incident at the mosque overnight.  It seems to be a form of vandalism but more will be apparent later in the day

The Evening News has some details.

Update:  Here is a description of a person the police want to trace.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

More filming of Clique

I see there are some road restrictions in the coming week to facilitate the filming of Clique, a BBC production.  Details here of what Clique is and previous filming.

  • Monday 19th Sept - George Square (and Lane) and S College St - 6am - 8pm
  • Thursday 22nd Sept - George Square and Simpson Loan - 6am to 8pm

Friday, 16 September 2016

Sick Kids moving - report of local meeting

Earlier this week a local group, along with Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council, hosted a public meeting about the redevelopment of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) site in Sciennes.

There is a detailed report of the meeting on the Community Council website.

Whitehouse Loan pipe laying and resurfacing

Sensibly, the resurfacing of Whitehouse Loan from Bruntsfield Terrace southwards has been delayed to enable Scottish Gas Networks to lay pipes before the resurfacing.  When they get as far as Strathearn Road and Hope Terrace there is a complicated section which stretches back along Strathearn Road.  Not only is it three pipes into one but there has been a small seepage of gas, the source of which has proved difficult to trace.

I had a meeting with the site managers (from SGN) this morning

There will be other intrusions into side streets and the 20 week project is planned to extend to Whitehouse Loan/Newbattle Terrace.  Residents should have received a leaflet.

Meanwhile, I believe there is further pipe work to be done in Kilgraston Road area.

One again the Scottish Gas Networks website has details

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Early hours incident in Dumbiedykes Road

Reporting what they describe as a fight, the BBC have an article on their website about an incident in Dumbiedykes around 2:40 this morning.

The BBC article is here.

Whitehouse Loan Gas pipe replacement

From this week Scottish Gas Network will be doing replacement work in the Whitehouse Loan area.

The work is due to last 20 weeks and, although there will be parking restrictions and temporary traffic signals access should be open between 5pm and 7am.  There may be no access during working hours at various points.

Get more details on the SGN website here.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Preston Street Primary closed today

Closed today because of a burst water main - there is work ongoing to resurface East Preston Street - Preston Street Primary is expected to reopen tomorrow.