Friday, 28 August 2015

When will the Meadows to Innocent Path Cycle Route Open?

Some have been asking me.  Although I don't know the precise answer the following has been ascertained.

The contractor expects to have the traffic signals work completed by Monday 31st August - it may be sooner. That is the crossings at St Leonard's Street, Clerk Street and Hope Park Crescent at the Meadows.

But there is also a bit of carriageway resurfacing work to be done at Clerk Street and Hope Park Crescent.  This was to be done earlier but was held back after the embargo on road works during the Festival period came into operation.

There has been some concern from cyclists about the bumpiness of the new cycleway surfaces in St Leonard's Street and Buccleuch Street.  Not good. 

I am told the surfaces have been checked and they conform to footway standards - which I can believe, but many cyclists will just switch to the carriageway which is smoother.  However, I know there are further discussions going on within the Council and with Sustrans (who part funded the route) on whether another skim surface should be put on it or not.

More drugs arrests in Southside

Local police are reporting more arrests for drugs offences including the arrest to a 35 year old man and 32 year old woman in the Southside on Wednesday. Officers also recovered £7000 of heroin from a property.

I note three street dealers have been arrested since July and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) have been seized from 30 offenders stopped in the area.

I don't see a media release on the Police Scotland website but you can find details here at the Edinburgh Reporter.

As many local people know, there is plenty more work to be done by Police Scotland to combat illegal drug use which is a corrosive problem in parts of the Southside.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Engine Shed decision taken

Last week I drew attention to a report on the tendering for use of the the now empty Engine Shed.

The Council's Finance and Resources Committee met this morning and took the decision to accept the bid from Newmake Limited for a single malt whisky production and tourist facility (see report above).

It was not straightforward.  Since the conclusion of the tender process the second and third bidders had come together and prepared what was effectively a joint bid.  This they presented very impressively at the Committee but in the event that was not part of the tender process. The SNP/Labour members of the Committee decided to proceed with the results of the tender process.

There were indications the joint bid had access to more resources, and, it seemed from information given, that Newmake Limited would have been prepared to offer a higher rent as well.  It would have been wholly unfair to award the contract on the basis of information informally presented to the committee on the day. 

I suggested the tender should be re-run.  But it was not to be.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Progress on examining guardrails

Further to my post earlier this month highlighting the views of a local resident (supported by many), about the excessive number of unnecessary railings in the Southside, Transport officials are now looking again at the area to see if any can be removed.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Schools are back - now discuss future places

James Gillespie's Primary School is included in the debate

The pressure on primary school places is subject of a consultation currently underway.

If you have comments you can access the information here - including a survey to lodge your views.

University trumpets business success

Pufferfish display using globe shaped rather than flat screens
Here is a BBC report which notes the success of business spin-offs from academic success.

Some local companies - which readers of this blog have already heard about, are included in the article. See Pufferfish, based in Causewayside,  here and pureLifi here.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Engine Shed Tender results in

Following a tender process a bid to resurrect the tradition of distilling malt whisky looks to have won a 25 year lease on The Engine Shed.  The final decision will be taken at the Finance Committee next Thursday.

The bid is from Newmake Limited aims to establish a new tourist attraction with £1.5m capital investment at the St Leonard's Lane site.  The aim is to create a boutique distillery providing a visitor experience including tasting, retail and a cafe.   The rent is £65,000 pa.

Other bids included one from a community based proposal to create a mainly food based social enterprise hub with bakery, cafe and shared kitchen space.  Another was from Carr Gomm, a support Charity, proposing to relocate the Rivers Centre to St Leonard's.

The report recommending the single malt visitor centre comes before Edinburgh Council's Finance Committee next Thursday (27th August).

Just behind St Leonard's Police Station

Thursday, 20 August 2015

St Patrick Square thief pleads guilty

A cleaning woman who robbed her elderly employer at her Priestfield home is to be sentenced next month.

Details here.

Local 100-year-old Polish war hero

Boleslaw Kazub fled Poland as the Second World war broke out and joined the fight against the Nazis.  He was involved in some of the key battles of the war and later settled in his current home in the Dalkeith Road area.

This is a story well worth reading:

Friday, 14 August 2015

Annual Festival open day at the synagogue

The annual Festival open day of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation takes place this Sunday between 12 noon and 3:30pm.   At the Salisbury Road synagogue there will be bagels, coffee, cakes and a taste of other Jewish cultural events and shows at the Edinburgh Festival.

There is also an exhibition of the history of the Edinburgh Jewish community.

Details here.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Comments on Underbelly in the Meadows

This year Underbelly has replaced The Lady Boys in the Meadows for the duration of the Festival.

Because there are new arrangements I will be meeting Charlie Wood next Monday just to see how things are working and to iron out any issues local people have.

Do drop me a email or otherwise contact me if you have anything you wish raised.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A discussion on street guardrails

There is a question as to whether all the railings on the edge of pavements - or guardrails - are really necessary.  Sometimes they are unsightly, they usually restrict pavements space and, certainly in my view, are at times wholly unnecessary.  On other occasions they provide appropriate separation of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

A local resident has raised some of the issues in a post on his blog and I recommend it as interesting reading.  View it here and see a range of locations on the south side of Edinburgh where the author recommends the guardrails should be removed.

Uncle Kempez's Edinburgh Blog suggest these railings for removal
Actually, Edinburgh Council has a policy on this - which, I think, moves us in the right direction.  You can see it here.

Views will be welcome.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

That mural

Alas, the Gifford Park mural has been vandalised.  See here.

Previous posts can be found here.

Southside Community Council may be resurrected

A sufficient number of people have signed a petition to form Southside Community Council again.  The 20 signatories mean the following timetable (if necessary):
  • 17th August - Nomination period
  • 14th September - Notice of Poll
  • 28th September - Election (if required)
There needs to be a minimum of six people nominated to serve on the Community Council.  If less than six people come forward there will be no further proceedings.

If more than six and less than 12 come forward, each of those nominated will be elected.  However, if more than 12 come forward there will be election on September 28th.

The recent history of Southside Comunity Council can be found in my post from 2 years ago.

Nomination information will be found on these Council web pages from 17th August.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Community Payback Orders

As an alternative to prison, the courts sometimes impose Community Payback Orders.  These often involve unpaid work done by the offender.

If you have suggestions for work needing done, do contact the Criminal Justice Team.  You can find details here.

Here are examples:
Projects include
  • removals
  • repairing and reinstating headstones in local cemeteries
  • developing and maintaining children’s play areas
  • snow clearing
  • recycling projects including books, bicycles and furniture.
Suggestions welcome via the link above.