Friday, 2 December 2016

Body recovered from Duddingston Loch

Sadly, the body recovered from Duddingston Loch earlier today is that of Antoine Maury(21), a French national who has been missing since 24th October.

More information here and here.   Antoine's mother is in Edinburgh and she will be joined by other family members soon.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Register to vote

Here is a public service announcement!

If you are resident in Scotland you can vote in the Scottish Parliament and Local Government Elections if you are 16 years old or over.

You can register at this link.  You will need your National Insurance Number and date of birth.

If you would like to vote by post (you might be on away or otherwise indisposed), or get a proxy to vote for you,  you need the form from here.

Do it now!  The local government elections are on May 4th next year.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Southside online consultation

Edinburgh Council is assessing the quality of surroundings and the general environment in the Southside area.

There have been a couple of drop in sessions and now anyone can fill in the online survey and give their views.

Click here to get the link.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Parking consultation

Some 800 letters have been delivered in the Dumbiedykes and Oakfield Pkace (and a small part of the Pleasance) about a proposed scheme to bring controlled parking to the area.  I wrote about this proposal a couple of weeks ago.  It is a bit of a gap in the parking zones as it used to be policed by a company separately from the the neighbouring parking zones.

I am told replies are coming in.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

War memorial: More information but where are the wreaths?

I now have a picture of the items left at the war memorial in Prestonfield after the wreaths were removed. 

And here is another of the scene:

Clearly there is a story behind the circumstances and now there are some names. It appears to be another act of remembrance.  But it would be good to have the wreaths back in place.  Anyone know where they are?

Monday, 21 November 2016

What has happened at the Prestonfield War Memorial?

Over the weekend the remembrance wreaths were removed from the Prestonfield War Memorial in Prestonfield Avenue.

In their place were left a few photos of unknown (to me) persons and other items.

Anyone with information please contact me or the police.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Lutton Court student accommodation

I know the noise from the nearby construction has affected householders nearby and my colleague Cllr Jim Orr has recently checked with Ogilvie Construction.

The situation is that from an early stage discussions with them pulled their starting time back from 7am to 8am - and Saturday working is up to 1pm.

They seem to be up to schedule with the intention of completing the frame by Christmas.  There is due to be a showflat completed by the early New Year at the Bernard Terrace side.  The current schedule is for internal fitting from February with the crane being removed in March.

So site hours are 8am to 6pm with Saturday working from 8am to 1pm.  There is normally no working on Sundays.

A contact email address for any feedback direct to the company has been provided:

luttoncourt at  [replace spaceatspace with @]

I also have contact details for the site manager if anyone needs them.

In summary the project is on schedule for completion by the beginning of the academic year 2017/18.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Reasons for Jawbone delay

Below is the explanation I have received for the delay in replacing the Jawbone Arch in the Meadows.  It has been a long wait as you will see from the date in my previous post.  I know there has been much interest in this project so I have included the release in full.  Many thanks to the local Community Councils, local and other organisations, Edinburgh World Heritage and Edinburgh Council staff for their support for this project.

"The City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage are working together to conserve and repair the much-loved local landmark, the Jawbone Arch. This statement is to update you on the progress to date.
The conservation of 125-year old natural whale bone makes for an interesting challenge. As it is a very unusual material there is no existing body of knowledge and so accredited conservators were commissioned to work out how to stabilise and protect them and what materials to use.
In a delicate operation, the four whale jawbones were carefully liberated from their concrete bases, then taken away to dry out slowly under controlled conditions. Once the jawbones were dry, they were moved to the conservation workshop where specialists removed all the soiling and biological growth and assessed their condition. They found that the main causes of the problems were previous attempts to repair the bones which had been carried out using inappropriate materials such as car body filler and cement. On top of this, the concrete foundations had been trapping water in the bones and causing them to decay.  
The poor quality historical repairs were carefully removed and the recesses filled with natural lime mortar where necessary. The jawbones were also given a temporary shelter coating of lime to help protect the bones from weather, dirt, and deposits from the trees above. Whilst this conservation work was going on, new stainless steel fixings were designed and handmade by an artist to replace the corroded iron fixings that joined the bones at the top of the arch.
However, just as the conservation treatment was completed, the specialist conservator went into liquidation. This had a number of serious implications especially as there are very few suitably experienced specialists who have the expertise for such a unique conservation project and for this reason, the procurement process to organise another consultant to take over took many months. In addition, the conserved jawbones had to be immediately removed but we were very lucky to find a cost-free location in which to store them.
Meanwhile, some of the paths in the Meadows were being resurfaced and so in order to get best value for our limited project funds the contractors were asked to simultaneously prepare the end section of Jawbone walk for the return of the arch in the expectation that they would be reinstalled in Autumn of 2016.  This includes provision for new uplighting of the arch which has been made possible by private donors.
CEC and EWH are conscious that the delay in re-opening the section of path has caused some inconvenience to the public and that local residents and users of the Meadows are anxious to know about the progress of the project. We are currently working with the new contractor to explore options for the new foundations and supports for the base of the arch. We want to ensure that the methodology for the re-installation of the bones is to the highest conservation standard. The bones must be returned without any damage and we must make sure that the arch is structurally safe. The proposed method under consideration involves the use of a permeable lime concrete which is required to cure slowly under certain conditions. To avoid potential damage from frost, we will have to wait until warmer weather to complete this part of the work which will mean keeping the path closed longer than expected.
We recognise that people are naturally taking a shortcut around the site area, and that this has caused some damage to the grass. We are looking at how we can ensure that the underfoot conditions remain usable during the winter months.

We understand that there is a lot of interest in what’s happening to the Jawbone Arch, and we are committed to keeping people better informed as the project moves forward. We thank you for your patience as we get this local Edinburgh landmark ready to stand on the Meadows for another 100 years."

Christmas parking holidays

Edinburgh only has four parking holidays:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year's Day and Easter Monday
That means that this year, with Christmas Day and New Year's Day on Sundays the only additional parking holiday is Monday 26th December.  

Bus lanes do not have parking holidays

Further details here.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Mealmakers - Can you help and can they help you?

This project is to link older people with neighbors who could provide the benefits of a home cooked meal from people in the neighborhood.  The project has lots off volunteers signed up in the Southside and Newington area but are looking to identify people who might benefit from the service.

Here are the details as sent to me by the coordinator.

"The way Meal Makers works is this. We use an online platform to connect volunteers of any age who have a passion for cooking and want to be active in their communities (“cooks”), with older neighbours over the age of 55 (“diners”) who would appreciate a home cooked meal. Once a cook and diner have been matched, the cook will prepare an extra meal in their own home and deliver it to their diner at a time agreed by both parties. Meal shares can occur as often as the cook and diner would like, so it might be weekly, fortnightly or just now and again. It helps improve nutrition, reduce isolation and build community links that so often have been lost. There is no cost attached to the meals, as they are a voluntary donation of food between members. The only cost is a £5 fee for the diner to join Meal Makers for the year. The project went live in Dundee in August 2014, followed by Glasgow Jan 2015, Perth & Kinross Nov 2015, Renfrewshire Jan 2016 and Edinburgh Mar 2016.

As I am sure you will see, it is a very simple idea, with great benefits. Anything you could do to help get the word out would be a great help."

Search for Mealmakers online to get involved.

Over to you, good people.

Parking in the Dumbiedykes and part of the Pleasance

There are plans for new parking controls and arrangements for the following streets in the Dumbiedykes, Oakfield Place and Briery Bauks (the latter two are between the Pleasance and Dumbiedykes).

The problem has been that this niche area has effectively had no parking controls since the company responsible for policing the streets pulled out several years ago.

So the current plan is to make Briery Bauks part of Zone 7 with the Dumbiedykes becoming part of Central Zone 3.   This would provide protected parking spaces for residents at a charge.

There is a leaflet being delivered in the near future and a consultation inviting views will go online shortly (it will be at  But don't hold your breath.  It is unlikely to come into effect until Spring 2018.

I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Cameron Toll McDonalds under way

After a few difficulties getting up and running, I see here some details about the new McDonalds at Cameron Toll, including jobs and speeding up their service.

Zone 7 parking overcrowding - partial solution

I have been asked recently about the pressures on parking spaces in the Sciennes area for permit holders.

In short Zone 7 permit holders (see the map here) can park in the neighbouring S1 zone to the south.  (Zone 7 includes Sciennes).  For some it may mean a bit of a walk - but at least it means there are parking spaces not too far away.

I listed the streets in the S1 area in which Zone 7 permit holders can park in a post a couple of years ago.   You can find it here.

Monday, 14 November 2016


As if the police didn't have enough to do there have been demonstrations to patrol concerning the US election result.   There was one on Saturday in the centre of the city and there has been a proliferation of fly posting in the area.

Which is all cause to celebrate that we treasure free speech in this country.   Though it doesn't prevent me from wising that the doomsters would just get on with making the best of the democratic decisions which have been taken.

Whatever our view on the vote to leave the European Community the focus should be on getting the best deal and making the most of the opportunities.  For some, though, it seems to be an opportunity to exercise a predilection to wallow in the possibility future doom and gloom.   Not good.

Salisbury Place attack - development

Police have recently advised me that they have now identified a suspect for the attack on a lone female in the early hours of 2nd October this year.  Details of the assault can be found in an earlier post here.

The suspect identified is a male believed to be residing outside the UK and moves are afoot to bring him to justice.