Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Lots Happening in Gorgie Dalry

There's a lot going on in Gorgie Dalry just now. Firstly the reopening of Dalry Pool after a six month refurbishment. Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with the Council have spent a million on the centre (Scotland's ninth oldest). One of the reasons I am so pleased about this is it is only a few years ago I was out on the streets campaigning against the baths being shut (and not for the first time). This investment in the future is therefore all the more welcome . Special offers on membership till the 28th Feb. If we want to keep it then we have to use it. I may be one of the few people now who remembers the baths when they were actual baths. It was very popular and at that time some of the stairs still did not have baths or showers . The old action areas were a big step forward in that respect. It is easy to forget how far we have come. I remember flats in the Wardlaws that had no hot water other than a boiler fixed to the wall. The action areas fixed a lot of that with its 60-90% grants including my own stair in Caledonian Rd. (although I already had a shower so it was mostly communal stair, roof and exterior).

Another big one is St Brides. For the last couple of years the centre was deteriorating (not so much as a community centre but as a venue). It had gotten so bad that the centre lay empty through August when every other venue in the city was packed. I posted it on my Facebook and also mentioned it to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival of which I am on the board. Cllr Fullerton (also on the board) immediately supported the idea and it all took off from there. The other Councillors for the area Dixon and Graczyk lent their support and the result is incredible. Things on every day ! a real asset for the community Now the year round base for the Jazz and Blues Festival , the Carnival and still a dynamic community centre. Everything from the Gorgie Dalry Music Group to the Carnival Academy. Check out the program.... The hard work of a few people has to be recognised and in particular Rona Brown Chair of the Management Committee. In recognition of this and other work in Gorgie Dalry Rona was recently awarded the William Y Darling Award for Good Citizenship (I was her proposer) . Once again use it or lose it. The Blues and Jazz Festival's involvement was made possible by PLACE (Platforms for Creative Excellence which was launched in St Brides) funded buy the Council , the Scottish Government and the Festivals themselves.
Image may contain: 9 people, including Donald Wilson, people smiling, people standing and outdoor
Finally on St Brides I was pleased to present my defibrillator (the one I ran the London Marathon for) to the Centre.  It is outside the centre so it can be accessed publicly. This was organised through St John and the City which is a charity I helped to launch which has now installed well over a 100 defibs across the city including two in Waverley Station and one on every Tram (one of them another one of mine).  I have run five Marathons now in four years , all jointly for the One City Trust and St John in the City . That might be my last but I am waiting to hear! By the way these defibs are so easy use that should you need to you should not be put off because you have not had the training . You can't do any harm as it assesses the patient and if a shock is not needed it won't give one . It even talks you through it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Festival City - Volunteer Opportunities August 2018

I received the following from Volunteer Edinburgh ....

Dear Councillors,

As members of the Culture and Communities Committee, I thought you would be the best people to contact regarding the promotion of the Festival City Volunteers. We are in the midst of recruiting 120 volunteers for the August festivals and would be very grateful if you could share the news amongst your contacts and constituents.

More information can be found on the website here.

The message below is what we have been circulating on our social networks.

Festival City – Volunteer Opportunity August 2018
Would you like to be part of a team that greets and assists visitors to the Edinburgh Festivals in August 2018?
We are looking for fun and enthusiastic people to join our team – no previous experience necessary!
Applications are now open!
For more information please visit:

To apply please contact Volunteer Edinburgh:
Telephone: 0131 225 0630
Drop in: 222 Leith Walk, EH6 5EQ 
If you are interested in helping us to promote this opportunity, then we would be happy to post you out some flyers. We don’t have pdf. versions of the posters or flyers as of yet, but as soon as we do, we can email this over to you.
If you want to find out more just click on the link.

Monday, April 02, 2018

I am running the Virgin Money London Marathon (again - 4th time)!

I am running for the …
One City Trust
This charity works solely within Edinburgh fighting inequality and exclusion in the City.
St John and the City’ Defibrillator Appeal.

You can read my whole story and contribute at :-

or send a donation to …

Cllr Donald Wilson, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ
Image result for St John and the City

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Gorgie City Farm Cafe is Reopened!

After a long spell closed for refurbishment I was delighted to cut the ribbon on the new Gorgie City Farm Cafe ( @GorgieCityFarm ).

The new interior is great and with the help of Garvald the so is the menu.A much loved local asset is back with us. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Week is a Long Time in Politics

Friends and colleagues may have noticed that there is another Lord Provost sporting the chain of office! Yes I have stood down as LP. After much soul searching I decided not to seek another term. To say it has been a busy five years would be an understatement..When it came to it however I was surprised to find I wanted to move on to new challenges and develop a closer relationship with my constituents. Being the only Labour Councillor for Sighthill Gorgie (where before there was two) I made a promise to those who selected me that if this was the case I would do the work of two in the area. Being LP again would have made this more difficult.
The other reason is that there is very little that I set out to achieve that I have not done in the five years. It has been a great privilege and honour to represent the City at home and abroad for five years and I have poured every ounce of energy I could muster into it. With a rough estimate of over 3630 official engagements and events it has at times been seven days with never more than a few days till your next major speech. Add to this my determination to do things in addition to what is required and it has been a full and demanding five years. I have enjoyed every minute of it however and look back with some satisfaction. Indeed there is very little of what I wanted to do that I have not done.
From Looney Dooks to London Marathons (3); from raising over £300,00 for the One City Trust to over forty defibrillators through St John and the City; from Community Garden Parties for unsung heroes of the City to taking the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to New Zealand and Australia.  The Queen became the longest reigning Monarch and I was the first person to speak to her that morning. We had referendums on the UK and Europe. It has been a busy time in Scotland's Capital City but throughout I have tried to promote and develop our sense of belonging and community, one city, our city and we are all in it together.

Monday, February 06, 2017

I am sharing this memory of last year but of course I am running it again this year. This will be my third London Marathon so this year I am upping the challenge by also running the Edinburgh Marathon as part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (only five weeks later)! 
This represents an enormous personal challenge for me as up till less than three years ago I took no regular exercise and was extremely unfit! Now I run a minimum of 50 kilometers a week (two 25k runs) with all the health and fitness benefits that brings. This is all a bonus however as the real reason for this transformation was to raise funds for the One City Trust.

Edinburgh is an affluent and prosperous city but not everyone benefits in this success. With widening gaps between rich and poor and other types of inequality persisting it is my mission to ensure that all our citizens benefit from the success of Scotland’s great capital.
In addition I am supporting the St John and the City appeal which aims to install defibrillators across Edinburgh. My target for this would be two defibrillators (£2000).
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to the charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this.
Alternatively get in touch on 0131 529 4000 or send a cheque made out to ‘The One City Trust’ to The Lord Provost, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ
Thank you for taking the time to read this and hope you can see your way to supporting me in my efforts on behalf of the city.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Central Labour Party Burns Supper
Tickets are now on sale for our annual Burns Supper which will take place on Saturday 4 February at LifeCare, 2 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1JB. Time is 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start. Tickets cost £25 for a delicious three course meal. A vegetarian option is available. We are delighted to announce the speakers for this event are as follows:
Councillor Donald Wilson - Lord Provost (me) 
Anas Sarwar MSP (Immortal Memory)
...See more