Thursday, 17 August 2017

Lussielaw Road closing for play

Playing out is a project where a road is closed temporarily to allow play events to take place on a residential street.  You can find details here.

The next one I am aware of in the area is in Lussielaw Road between 1pm and 6pm on 20th of this month.

Missed bin collections

We councillors are now supplied with a daily list of collections which have not happened.  It is mouth wateringly lengthy and monotonously repetitive.

Yesterday in the Sciennes area was a bumper day for collections

  • recycled waste (green bins)
  • food waste (grey caddy)
  • glass (blue box)
  • garden waste (brown bin)
In some streets it was a full house.  However, 13 streets were missed in the Sciennes area for garden waste 'because they were not on the list' . We'll see if they get collected today - recent experience suggests not.  I will get onto them. 

There is a daily list published on the Council website - and you can check there to see if your collection is on the list of failed collections.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Catering for the over 60s in Southside/Newington

Monday marks the opening of a new cafe aimed at over 60's based in Balfour House at Cameron Toll.

Named Ferns Kitchen there are plenty of opportunities for a meal or snack at modest cost:

  • Cafe opening times are
    • Mon 9am - 4pm
    • Tue  12noon - 4pm
    • Wed 9am - 4pm
    • Thu  9am - 4pm
    • Fri   9am - 4pm
  • There is a tea dance (£4.50) with music from Liz McEwan between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday 22nd August
  • Lunch Club every Wednesday between 12noon and 1:30 (£3.50)
  • Fortnightly Fish Tea of Fridays 2-4pm
This is a social enterprise and the formal opening is on Monday 14th between 2pm and 4pm.  The cafe is aimed at over 60s!

The full address is:

Ferns Kitchen, Balfour House, 10 Cameron Crescent, Cameron Toll, EH16 5LB.  See you there?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Summer Events in the Meadows

Local people have been asking me about the duration and times of events in the Meadows this year. so here goes with some details.
  1. Evans Fun Fair: 10-20th August with 2 days either side for set up and derigging. Operation 13:00 - 23:00
  2. Underbelly Circus Hub: Through to 27th August with derigging thereafter.  Last show ends midnight.
  3. Woodland Tribe (near the Pavilion): 11-16th August.  Derig 17th.
  4. Learning Disability Week: 18th August only
  5. Edinburgh Festival of Chariots:  21st August only
  6. RBS Screen Machine Cinema for Sick Kids Hospital: 1-4th September
  7. Annual Freshers Fair: 13th September
  8. Annual Army Reserves: 28-29th September
Note:  Amended 090817 to correct opening hours of No 1. (Fun Fair).

Friday, 4 August 2017

New Council contact numbers

Telephoning the Council can be a trial.  Lengthy waiting times, confusing keypad choices, faulty equipment and the difficulty of finding a real person - are all trials many have experienced when contacting Edinburgh Council by phone.

I am being assured things are improving.   I will await your verdict on that.  In the meantime part of the changes involve new contact numbers.

  • WASTE: missed collection, special uplift, environmental and other waste enquiries             0131 608 1100
  • COUNCIL TAX & BENEFITS: 0131 608 1111
  • BUSINESS RATES:  0131 608 1133

The old numbers should still work for a period.

There is also a trial under way which will text council tax payers when a bill is due.

Don't hesitate to be in touch with me if the Council doesn't work for you.

Monday, 24 July 2017

East Crosscauseway death - catalogue of police call centre failures

Andrew Bow, who was 37, was found dead in his East Crosscauseway flat on 24th March last year.   Andrew, who suffered from Asperger's, and who had been taken to hospital by police in a confused state on 12th March is thought to have been alive until at least 15th March.

Between 13th and 24th March there were  three separate calls to police reporting circumstances which which needed investigation at his flat - such as broken windows.

The report by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), published last week, makes damning reading about police procedures and actions at the Bilston Area Control Room (ACR).  You can read about it on the PIRC website here.

Of particular concern is the account of systematic failures in the response processes - especially the time periods allowed for different types of calls.

"Police officers and civilian staff working in the ACR stated when interviewed that it was not uncommon for Grade 3 calls, which require police officers to be sent within 40 minutes, to remain un-actioned for days before being referred to the relevant police division for action. Some ACR Sergeants stated that a significant percentage of Grade 3 incidents are not dispatched within required timescales.
ACR staff stated to PIRC investigators that there were no resources to send to the calls at the time they were received. This was found to be inaccurate. PIRC enquiries and an internal Police Scotland review showed that Community Police officers were available to attend the calls. These officers were not sent by ACR staff and it appeared that there was a significant reluctance by ACR staff to send Community Officers to calls.. . . .
Apart from the failings in the circumstances of the unexplained and tragic death of Andrew, these are damning findings about the overall processes and proceedings. This is particularly so in the light of the previous failings and police claims of improvements in procedures at Bilston.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Fitness in the Meadows

Here is a recent report of a charity, Street Fit, offering fitness sessions in the Meadows - adding to the huge range of activities taking place -  and the superb service this piece of land provides for Edinburgh.

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Local resident Jim Sillars in the news

Former deputy leader of the SNP Jim Sillars lives locally.  He has been speaking out on a couple of issues recently. First, here is today...