Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cameron Toll bridge hit - again

The Evening News has a revealing picture of a heavy goods vehicle which collided with the Cameron Toll bridge overnight.

See it here.

Fire in Dumbiedykes

There was a fire around 4am this morning at 22 Dumbiedykes Road resulting in an evacuation of flats.

No one was injured.  There are reports of other fires in drying areas recently.

More details here.

Update:  And the BBC has picked this up as well.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Supporting The Engine Shed

The end of the old Innocent Railway Line was the engine shed.

Tucked away off St Leonard's Lane The Engine Shed is now the home of a social enterprise which provides and trains people with learning difficulties for employment. 

Here is an extract from the recent newsletter advertising a benefit concert in St Peter's, Lutton Place on Sunday 11th May at 7pm.  Admission is free but there is a collection for Waverley Care and the Engine Shed.  Well known local, amateur choir and a Californian Vocal Art Ensemble will be providing the music.
"We have received many donations over the years, and this year is no exception.  We have recently received a cheque for £1700 , donated by Fettes College from their fundraising Christmas 'teen ball'.  Also good news from a local Southside based Church, St Peter's, which has nominated us as one of the charities that will benefit us from their fundraising activities in 2014.
Fulltime job for Caitlin:  Fantastic news for another of our hardworking trainees, Caitlin, who has successfully gained a paid, fulltime job at Selex ES UK.  Caitlin started her training with the Engine Shed in July 2011.  Throughout her training she has been a dedicated and popular team member.  She really enjoys cooking, making the best macoroni cheese in town!  Caitlin moves on to her new job having successfully completed hertraining and will leave with a REHIS Food Elementary Certificate, an industry requirement for her new fulltime post as catering assistant.  Well done and we wish you luck!" 




Monday, 14 April 2014

Hill Square Gardens: a new fringe venue

I have been very supportive of negotiations to improve Hill Square Gardens and to explore its possibility as a venue for events. 

It is tucked away between Nicolson Street and Richmond Place and is surrounded by the premises associated with the Royal College of Surgeons, including the hotel, Ten Hill Place.  Envisaged is a partnership between the Council and the College where the latter will maintain and improve the gardens area and the council will be more proactive in cleaning and removing litter in the area.

Negotiations have progressed to the stage where there is an application for the Garden in the middle of the Squeare to become an August Fringe venue.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

An interview with Caroline Barr

Caroline had her mobility trike stolen a couple of weeks ago as I reported here

Kaye Nicolson  of the Evening News interviews her here.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Science Festival at Summerhall

A reminder there are tickets left for Science Festival events at Summerhall and elsewhere.

The Summerhall programme is here.

The full programme for the Science Festival - which is runng until 20th April - can be seen here.

Joining the cycle dots

Money is being released by the Government via Sustrans for better links of the National Cycle Network 1.  In this case the money is for improving the route from the Innocent Railway to North Meadow Walk - and then on to Tollcross and Fountainbridge.

More details here and readers may have noted previous preliminary work being done on the St Leonard's to N Meadow Walk link.  Some details can be found                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Did you know Elizabeth Graham?

Her home was East Crosscauseway and she died in her flat earlier this month at the age of 84.

Police wish to speak with anyone who can help trace any relatives.

More details here.

Causey project to get money

The Causey Project is to get an allocation from the latest distribution of public cash from Sustrans.

See here for more details.

Project Description The Causey project centres on West Crosscauseway at the edge of the World Heritage Site on the south side of Edinburgh's city centre. Historically the junction was significant in the area as a meeting place. It has an important role linking the University and city centre through to Holyrood Park and University Halls of residence. It has, however, become dominated by traffic and street design arrangements that are no longer pedestrian friendly and do nothing to respect the quality of architecture, townscape or use of the area.
There is another award for the Southside from this tranch of  £14.5m which has been distributed to 136 projects.  More tomorrow.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Talking poverty

Some constituents recently raised with me their concern at the Children and Families Department holding a staff meeting on poverty and inequality in the Carlton Hotel at the cost of around £4,000.

Those constituents might like to know that my colleague Cllr Jason Rust has raised the matter - as illustrated in this article.

I certainly believe there are times to take staff away for thinking time.  But I also consider that we spend too much time and resources focusing and fussing on these two subjects. It is not that they don't matter. It is just that we assume that the Council is the solution to these issues.   Rather our emphasis needs to be to encourage people out of dependency and poverty, and to be resilient to circumstances. Often the solution is outwith the Council's gift.  Two examples come to mind.

First the improving economy and employment rates will do more to alleviate the circumstances of people in poverty than the council pouring in resources. Our focus needs to be on enabling conditions which encourage the creation of employment.  The second example is welfare reform.  There is hardly anyone who makes an argument against the escalating costs and perverse incentives which welfare payments have generated in recent years, though some will argue (sometimes correctly) that this or that measure or implementation of reform is not working correctly.  Welfare reform will do more to encourage and reward an increasing number of people to take on more responsibility and reap the rewards available, whilst providing a safety net for those who need it.

Organising a meeting on poverty in the Carlton Hotel does suggest a lack of self awareness.

Public event to remember Margo

There will be a celebration of the life of Margo MacDonald on Friday 25th February in the Assembly Hall on the Mound.

Speakers will include Jim Sillars, the former Deputy Leader of the SNP, and all are invited - and encouraged to wear bright colours.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Whither the Filmhouse?

There is talk of the Filmhouse in Lothian Road moving from its home for 34 years.

There are two options in the frame.  One is the old brewery site in Fountainbridge.  The other is on ground behind the Festival Theatre in Nicolson Street.

There is a poll for public comment on the options (and your film going habits) where you can give your views - click here.

More information on the CMI (Centre for Moving Images) website.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Gladstone Terrace: Support for the trees

The tree roots in Gladstone Terrace have been identified as causing a problem to the footways (see my post in November last year for much more detail). 

The proposal to create a new pavement on each side of this wide road has been put to local residents and the results are in.  There is very strong support for retaining the trees and for the proposed solution. 

Details are being worked up and a letter will be sent to local residents in the next couple of weeks with details.

It looks very sensible to me and retains the character of the street.

Note:  Occasionally there is a bit of pressure in the street for parking and the road is so wide that there is sometimes some double parking.  That will not be possible under the new arrangement as the street will be narrowed.  However there are options in nearby  S1 streets for Zone 7 permit holders as this post from last month explains.

Friday, 4 April 2014

St Leonard's Street trike theft. Have you seen it

Caroline's mobility trike has been stolen from near to the St Leonard's Street Police Station.

Have you seen it?

Here are more details with a picture.

Margo MacDonald dies

The death has been announced this afternoon of Margo MacDonald.

More details here.

Margo was a longtime local resident in the Grange area and my thoughts are with Jim Sillars, her husband. . . and her children and grandchildren.

She was her own person - a quality all too rare in politics. Her high profile enabled her to survive and, indeed, remain an influence in Scottish politics after leaving her party.

Updated and extended 1630hrs 4.4.14