Monday, 27 April 2015

Grange Fair next Saturday

From 1-4:30pm at the Newington Library in Fountainhall Road:
A community fair being held from 1-4.30pm on Saturday 9 May at Newington Library and Fountainhall Road, Edinburgh. Come and join in the fun!
Here is the Facebook page is here and the website here. From the latter:
Everyone is welcome to come along to an afternoon of fun and entertainment.
Stalls, bouncy castle, music, dancing displays, cycling fun – under 12s bring your bike – and more.
Any profit will go to Newington Library for children’s craft materials and the Eric Liddell Centre.
To make the event a success we need your help:
  • Could you volunteer to be a steward on the day?
  • Do you have anything you could donate for these stalls?
    • Collectables
    • Books and DVDs
    • Tombola
Please put any items you can donate in the box in the library vestibule when it reopens at Easter, or if you would like them collected that’s no problem.
We’re also having a plant stall and will be asking you for donations nearer the time. Could you start potting up spare plants now?
Contact Lucy Richardson, 0131 662 4992, with offers of help, or a request to collect donated items.

Not just the election on 7th May

Kate Atkinson's new book is released on that date as well.

Kate is a Whitbread prize winner (now Costa) and has a string of previous best sellers.  You can see them here.

Kate Atkinson lives in the Grange near Blackford Hill.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Council travails over Cameron House Community Centre design build and maintenance

'Dirty Tricks at the Heart of City Council' is a headline in today's Edinburgh Evening News. 

Effectively the article is a report of the discussion at the Council's audit committee, (it is actually called the Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee, GRBV for short), some six weeks ago.  I had earlier requested the GRBV to commission a report into what went wrong in the design, build and maintenance of the Cameron House Community Centre in Prestonfield Avenue.

That report came to the GRBV six weeks ago and the debate there led to the initiation of further enquiry (currently ongoing)  to get to the bottom of the issues - issues which are largely the subject of today's Evening News article.

You can see the webcast of the GRBV here. The discussion on Cameron House runs from six minutes in for an hour and a half or so.

I see there is also a Leader comment in the paper - to which I can't source the online link at the moment.  I'll add it when I get it.

24.4.15:  Link to related Evening News Leader comment 'Residents and staff deserve some answers'.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

NPS ban currently looking good in the Southside

Supt Matt Richards
After more almost two years of ineffective action we have some progress on combating mayhem being caused in lives and for residents and businesses in the Southside area.

Following evidence to the Public Health Advisory Committee from local officers based at Southside Police Station, an Order was made by the UK Home Office Department to ban five substances used in the legal highs which have been the source of considerable disruption and fear in the Nicolson Street corridor.  The order was brought into effect just under two weeks ago and you can see the details here.

The shops in Edinburgh (including Apothecary and Puff and Stuff in Clerk Street) were visited and advised of the new regulation which prohibits the supply of the now banned drugs.

The feedback to date is that there has been a very significant fall off in incidents of disturbance in the commons stairs and streets locally and there has been a similar fall in the recovery of discarded needles in public places.

Now, a word of caution.  It is early days yet and it remains to be seen whether the manufacturers and suppliers of these death drugs can bypass the order by changing the compounds.  But for now, there has been a very positive impact.

Thank you to those of you who have contacted me (and other local councillors).  It has enabled us to keep pressure on the local police (and others) to seek out the progress which has been made so far.

But especially, kudos to two key police officers who have provided the expertise (Sgt Neil Wilson), and drive (Supt Matt Richards) to get some national action - which is giving at least some respite to the longsuffering local residents and businesses of the Southside area.  I hope the repercussions throughout the affected areas of the city and, indeed the UK, are showing similar promising signs.

Additional note 22.4.15:  The banning order came into effect on 10th April.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Prestonfield Park sold

Not the grassy one with play park just off Prestonfield Avenue beside Cameron House Community Centre.  No, it is the Prestonfield Park Industrial Estate opposite Nairn's the oatcake manufacturer in Peffermill Road. 

Nairn's and Howden Joinery are amongst range of firms currently based in the industrial estate - which has been bought by Aviva Insurance for £9.6m. (The link is to Property Week which requires registration.)

Perhaps the new owners could rename it to prevent further confusion.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Last minute registering to vote

There are 16 days to the general election and today (20th April) is the last day for registering to vote.

You can do it here.  You will need your National Insurance number. You can also do it by phone - see here for details.

And tomorrow is the final date to request a postal vote.  You must do it by 5pm (Tuesday 21st April).

There is a closing date for application for a proxy - if you want someone else to vote on your behalf.  It is Tuesday 28th April and applications must be submitted by 5pm.  (Though there is a process for emergency proxy voting after that date).

See here for absent voting information and you can download the appropriate forms from this page.

Amended 200415 to correct date.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Closing date set for Engine Shed sale

Noon on 22nd May has been set for the closing date for offers for the Engine Shed.

Details here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Changes to waste and recycling

June is the month for the revised waste and recycling arrangements for household collections in parts of the Southside and Newington ward.  The changes (in this phase) will be in parts of the Southside, in Sciennes, northern parts of the Grange and the Blackford area and a few other streets.

All houses will be notified in the period up to the beginning of June and a new grey bin will be delivered after 18th May.

Briefly, all dry recyclable waste (not food or glass) will go into the current green bin (stickers will be provided) and the remainder will go into the new grey bin.  Grey bin contents largely go to land-fill.  The aim is to have as little as possible in the smaller grey bin as landfill charges imposed by the Scottish Government have now reached a standard rate of £82.60.  So you (the Council on your behalf) has to pay that on top of the collection charges you pay for in your taxes.  Hence the smaller landfiull grey bin.

You can get more details here.

I understand the recycling amount per household is now between 3.5-4.0 kg per week.  Please note glass will still collected separately. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Reminder for student housing open meeting tomorrow

The University of Edinburgh and the Southside Association

                                                       present an    

about student housing

on Thursday 16 April 2015
from 7-9pm
at the Nelson Hall Community Centre
5 Spittalfield Crescent, EH8 9QZ.

A Planning Officer from the City of Edinburgh Council
will make a presentation on the Council’s official
Consultation on Student Housing followed by an open discussion.
Come along to find out about the consultation and have your say.  

Refreshments will be available.

All welcome


Monday, 13 April 2015

Middle Meadow Walk toilets to close?

Edinburgh's administration is proposing to close the public toilets at the top of Middle Meadow Walk.  That leaves the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links with two sets of public toilets - at the east end beside the Magnet play park and just off Bruntsfield Place.  Toilet facilities are also available at the Pavilion Cafe at the foot of Marchont Road when open.

Of the 69 publicly accessible toilets in Edinburgh, here are those proposed for closure.

·         London Road

·         Tollcross

·         St John’s Road

·         Canaan Lane

·         Middle Meadow Walk

·         Joppa

·         Hawes Pier, South Queensferry

·         Granton Square

·         Ardmillan

·         Currie

·         Canonmills

·         Juniper Green

There is a consultation about the closures and you can respond here.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Grange Fair

Fountainhall Road on Saturday 9th May is the place and date for this year's Grange Fair.  I see the road closure order (between South Lauder Road and Findhorn Place) is between 10am and 4:30pm.

For your diary.

The candidates

Nominations closed yesterday and here are the candidates for the two constituencies which cover Southside & Newington ward.

Edinburgh South:

  • BRIGGS, Miles - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • FOX, Colin  - Scottish Socialist Party
  • HAY, Neil  - Scottish National Party (SNP)
  • MARSHALL, Paul - United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
  • MEYER, Phyl - Scottish Green Party
  • MURRAY, Ian - Scottish Labour Party
  • SUBBARAMAN, Pramod - Scottish Liberal Democrats

Edinburgh East:

  • CORBISHLEY, John - UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • GILMORE, Sheila - Scottish Labour Party
  • MCCOLL, Peter  - Scottish Green Party
  • MCMORDIE, James Frederick John - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • SALEEM, Ayesha - Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
  • SHEPPARD, Tommy - Scottish National Party (SNP)
  • UTTING, Karen - Scottish Liberal Democrats

Friday, 10 April 2015

Not to be mssed

The video in yesterday's post of the ram-raid in the Grange at 3:20am on Tuesday morning is not to be missed.  It is less than three minutes long.

If you have information leading to the identification of any of the culprits  you can contact police on 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers or 0800 555 111.

Mayfield Salisbury Church Crime Prevention meeting

Police Scotland are  hosting a crime prevention and home security event at the above location in West Mayfield on Wednesday 29th April. It takes place between 7:00pm and 9:00pm.

The event aims to offer personal advice regarding personal safety and the protection of property.  There will be a Neighbourhood Watch presentation, along with local police officers and representatives from the Community Safety Team of the Council.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Here is the video of the Blackford ram-raid

This is from YouTube and the Daily Record has a few more details here.  Original post here.