Thursday, 4 July 2019

Last minute delay for Sick Kids move from Sciennes

I'v lost count of the number of times the opening has been delayed - I think originally it was to open in 2013.  The new hospital at Little France was due to be officially opened next week.

Here are the details of this delay.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Blackford Avenue closure 3rd-7th July

Just a quick post to notify that the section of Blackford Avenue between St Alban's Road and Grange Terrace is expected to be closed between Wed 3rd and Sunday 7th July.

This is for Scottish Power cabling works.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sciennes School holidays to be extended

Yes, that's the plan - subject to confirmation.

The Sciennes playground will be closed over the summer because of building works and the conversion of a couple of spaces into classrooms.  It looks like it won't be finished in time for the new term - due to begin for pupils on Wednesday 14th August. 

The new start date is moved to Friday 16th August (subject to appropriate permissions).  A letter is on its way to parents.

Rubbing noses and toes

One of my colleagues asked for a briefing on the effect of the custom of rubbing the nose of Greyfriars Bobby or Wojtek the Bear - or the toe of David Hume.  I just thought you might be interested in the answer from the Council's Museums Manager:
Over a number of years statues within the city have had parts rubbed by passers-by in a misguided belief that this brings good luck. In particular, Greyfriars Bobby on George IV Bridge, David Hume on the High Street and Wojtek the Bear in Princes Street Gardens have suffered from this treatment. This has caused the statues to lose their patina in the areas where they have been rubbed.
"In the short term, loss of patina is unsightly, but once the top surface is lost the statue is exposed to the elements and can result in copper corrosion if not treated, resulting in pitting, raised pustules and powdering. This has proved to be particularly problematic with Greyfriars Bobby and David Hume.
All monuments are subject to an annual health and safety check (push and pull test), and previous efforts to protect Greyfriars Bobby and David Hume have not been successful – for example Greyfriars Bobby’s nose has been repaired in the past by having microcrystalline wax applied at a cost of £400 only for the statue to be vandalised overnight.
Official guidance suggests that bronze statues are re-patinated every few years. Sadly, the experience of what happened to Greyfriars Bobby and the damage it caused has deterred further attempts recently. Nevertheless, a number of large bronze sculptures have been re-patinated within the last five years, most notably Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘Monument to Monte Cassino’, and The Royal Scots Grey’s Memorial on Princes Street, which was cleaned at the same time as a repair was undertaken earlier this year. In 2010 three prominent bronze statues within Princes Street Gardens – David Livingstone, Adam Black and Professor John Wilson – were fully cleaned, re-patinated and waxed.
Council staff have contacted tour guide operators and guidebook companies to ask them to discourage touching the statues."
There.  I knew you would be interested. And I will leave you to your own views on whether or not rubbing noses and toes bringing good luck is a 'misguided' belief!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Ambulance response system has changed

Instead of having three categories of response, the Scottish Ambulance service now has five and they reckon it saves lives.

I've been asked to draw it to your attention and you can find the details here and here.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Garden waste charging under review but Council requires renewal of permits

Here is the main part of a briefing to councillors about the process of renewing permits for garden waste collection:
What’s happening?

Garden waste charging under review

Yesterday the SNP/Labour administration group was defeated when all the opposition groups united to pass the following motion:
1) Notes that a majority of this Council opposed the introduction of a charge for garden waste collection during the budget setting process and provided fully costed alternatives.
2) Recognises that this committee subsequently agreed in principle to cease charging for garden waste and that it is important to uphold democratic decision making.
3) Acknowledges that this report states there would be an approximate £2.15 million financial pressure created by re-introduction of a free-service and that this matter would therefore most effectively be considered as part of annual council budget setting in February.
4) Agrees that officers include a variety of options for re-introduction of a universal free garden waste collection within Autumn draft budget proposals for 2020/21.

Effectively that means the Council must review the garden waste charging regime with a view to removing the charges next February.  In the meantime, the Council is pushing on with renewing payments and permits for garden waste collection regardless.

I will include details of how to renew your garden waste collection permit in a post later today.

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Garden waste figures

I have obtained the following figures about the new chargeable garden waste service (which starts on 8th October). The current service is...