Monday, 2 May 2016

Scottish Charity Awards - Local group short listed

The Southside Association has been shortlisted for the 2016 competition for organising the mural which, over the last year, has brightened up Gifford Park.

You can find details of the awards on the SCVO website here and the 'Celebrating Communities' section is here.

You can vote and find more information about the Southside Association nomination here.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Royal Blind project wins community grant vote

Forward Vision is a programme for young people between 17 and 25 who have severe visual impairment or other serious disabilities.  The winning proposal for a community grant is to provide a speciality Bird's Nest Swing for young people at the Royal Blind Centre in Canaan Lane under this programme.  See full details of the very worthy project here.

All of the other projects bidding can be seen on this page.  The results, after votes had been cast are in the order shown below (the ones mentioned are likely to benefit from a grant - click on each for more details):

  1. Royal Blind
  2. Access to Industry - helping young people recover from substance abuse
  3. Home Link family support - providing support for struggling families
  4. Tap Into It - an organisation helping people, especially older people get online for the first time.
  5. Crags Community Sports Centre - project to take basketball and football into community settings
  6. CY - Canongate Youth provides support to children and their families.  This project is to develop their Cafe run as a training experience for young people.
  7. Bamboobelly Bandstand - a project to improve the grassy area behind the police box at the top of Middle Meadow Walk and provide a performance area.
There were other votes too.  The following roads and pavement repairs were prioritised:
  1. Nicolson Street pavement repairs - click link to see where
  2. More Nicolson Street pavement repairs
  3. Braid Road - resurface the north end
  4. Granville Terrace - resurface part of footway
  1. Viewcraig Gardens steps to community garden at Brown Street
  2. Prestonfield Park
I didn't manage to note the order of the remaining bids.

Additional note 2200hrs 300416:  I understand there were around 230 people voting.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Millers win appeal for 10 homes at East Suffolk Road

On 18th December last year the Development Management Sub-Committee refused the application by Miller Homes to build 10 houses on the former St Margaret's playing fields.  The refusal was by 8 votes to six.  Permission was given for the moving of the Pavilion on an even closer vote - a 7-7 tied vote was approved by the Convenor's casting vote.

Miller Homes appealed to the Scottish Government Reporter and their appeal has been granted.  Here is a summary of the Reporter's views.
"The Reporter has issued an intentions letter stating she intends to grant planning permission subject to a legal agreement at the East Suffolk Road site for 10 dwellings.
Summary:  The Reporter considered the determining issues to be the impact on the conservation areaand listed buildings, whether the loss of open space accorded with the development plan and whether material considerations justify approval or refusal.
Conservation Area and listed buildings: The Reporter found that areas of open space and domestic gardens, irrespective of whether they are private or publically accessible, contributed to the character and appearance of the area.  The Reporter found the appeal site was discretely located in terms of its relationship with the wider conservation area and is largely hidden from view from all but the immediately surrounding properties. She noted Arthur's Seat was a prominent landmark from views within the site and at other parts of the conservation area. The Reporter found the site was not a particularly visible feature and did not contribute significantly in visual terms to the character or appearance of the wider conservation area.  She found views of Arthur's Seat would not be obscured by the development and the proposal would not be harmful to the views within and out of the conservation area.  The Reporter was also satisfied the proposed dwellings were in keeping with the conservation area's architectural character. The setting of nearby listed buildings would also be preserved. The Reporter raised no concerns about relocating the pavilion and found passive surveillance would be improved and assist in protecting the building.
 Open Space:  The Reporter found the site's contribution to quality and character was from its use of passive open space and had aesthetic value to the conservation area.  The Reporter noted the appeal proposal would leave 42% of the site as accessible open space, including generous gardens and improved public accessibility.  The Reporter found there would be no significant adverse impact on the quality or character of the environment as a result of the development.
Other consideration: The Reporter considered other material policy considerations and was satisfied the appeal proposal met them.
The  Reporter concluded the proposal accorded with the development plan and there were no material considerations to justify refusal."
Full details of the Reporter's decision should soon be available on this website.  The appeal reference is PPA-230-2172 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Helping you decide how to cast your vote

Yesterday I posted information about a vote to allocate a small proportion of Council funds locally in which any ward resident vote.

Today this link came across my desk.  Ideal for election geeks, it may be useful in finding out a bit more about candidates, the electoral system and the possible effects of your vote for the Holyrood election one week tomorrow.  Well worth a look.

The local Holyrood constituencies (to this ward) are Edinburgh Southern and Edinburgh Central. The latter takes in from Minto Street and the Pollock Halls of Residence northwards.

I should point out that the link gives access to information about elections all across the country.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vote for local improvements and projects

This Saturday there is an opportunity for local residents to vote and allocate priorities for small projects within the Southside & Newington and Meadows and Morningside wards.

The event is in Nicolson Square at the Methodist Church from 11am.  The results will be announced between 3 and 4pm.

There are three tranches of money available for projects:

  1. Road Improvement proposals.  You can see the 8 proposals here.  They are estimated to be worth around £134,000 but it is unlikely all can be completed.  Hence the prioritisation required.
  2. Community Grants. There are 21 proposals but insufficient money to go round them all.  Hence the selection of which projects are to be adopted.  See the proposals here.
  3. Housing Revenue Account proposals.  There are 14 and you can see them here.  The amount available is 
You must be a resident in one of the two wards to be allowed to vote.  All residents are welcome.  I'll see you there.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Fill in a survey about the police

Police Scotland are asking for your views.  The survey will take around 15 minutes and includes a free text section for any comments you have which are not covered by the survey questions.

The survey is here.

Friday, 22 April 2016

No clarity on when schools revert to normal

Here is the latest briefing from Edinburgh Council's Chief Executive:
Edinburgh Schools Partnership has advised the Council that it should not expect to receive details of when the PP1 schools will be available for pupils until the end of next week.  We had expected to have a clearer picture by the end of this week and I am disappointed that this information has been delayed.
We have been in constant dialogue with Edinburgh Schools Partnership and they are aware of our concerns. It is important that we have clear information regarding the condition of these schools and when they will be safe to reopen.  I know that parents, teachers and pupils will share my frustration at this delay.  The safety of our children is our number one priority and we all want our schools to reopen safely, as soon as possible.
 We are doing everything we can so that ESP can provide the Council with the information which will allow us to make a decision regarding the next steps.  As soon as I have further information I shall update you.    Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Free swim for children today

As this is a school holiday, Edinburgh Leisure are offering a free swim for all children accompanied by an adult today at 9 of their pools.  It has been a challenging time for many families with some schools closed and children attending other locations.

The Edinburgh Leisure details are here where you can check the times free swimming is available.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

New Residents Association

Newly formed Dumbiedykes Residents Association meets on Monday night at 6pm in the Braidwood Centre.

Local residents will be welcome.  There is a Facebook page being constructed.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Edinburgh

Arguably the world's first modern novel, published in 1605, Don Quixote is probably the best known Spanish novel.  What with the large number of Spanish tourists coming to Edinburgh and the fast growing number of Spanish residents in Scotland, it seems a good time to note an event coming to Summerhall to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of the author Miguel de Cervantes.

And so there is a 4 hour public participation reading from the novel on Saturday 23rd April between 6 and 10pm at Summerhall.  The reading is in English.  Vamos Scotland has the details.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

St Leonards student housing

The construction of housing on the Homebase site in St Leonard's Street is well under way.   It is a 579 bedroom student accommodation with some retail, financial, professional and service accommodation.

Following the demolition, foundation work is well under way and the scheme completion date is August 2017 - in time for the new academic year.

The site manager is Stephen King from McAleer and Rushe who are the contractors.

Meanwhile, the Lutton Court site is also well under way.  It is also for student accommodation.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Improved timetable for 24 bus begins this week

I recently reported that after pressure from Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council, Lothian Buses have agreed to improve the No 24 bus service through Cameron Toll, King's Buildings, Blackford and Grange from today.

See my previous post or the Lothian Buses website.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Election Hustings this week end

With the election on Thursday 5th May, there is an election hustings in Community Church, South Clerk Street on Sunday 10th April.  It is between 4pm and 5:30pm.  Those speaking are as follows:

  • Miles Briggs - Conservative
  • Andy Wightman - Green
  • Daniel Johnson - Labour
  • Pramod Subbaraman - Lib Dem
  • Colin Fox - Scotland's Left Alliance
  • Jim Eadie - SNP
  • TBC - Ukip

Thursday, 31 March 2016

More gas mains renewals in the Grange

The work in the streets below is scheduled to last from Monday 4th April to the end of May:


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Stolen Salisbury Road vehicle recovered - culprits

In a significant police operation resulting in the recovery of several stolen vehicles, further stolen property and 2.5kilos of cannabis to the value of £8,700 police arrested two men.  Much of the property was recovered in Peacocktail Close and the Wisp, in the Craigmillar area and the two men have been charged and appeared in court.

One of the Ford Transits recovered was stolen from Salisbury Road earlier this year.

You will get a fuller account of last Wednesday's police successes in the press release here.