Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas is starting in Gorgie Dalry - it's official!

People may remember that last years Christmas celebrations including the Lights Switch on Ceremony were cancelled due to bad weather. Fingers crossed for this year then as the arrangements have all been made. Full details at the GD website. A lot of work has once again gone into this weekend and special thanks must go to the Gorgie Dalry Community Council, the City of Edinburgh Council (especially Natalie Russell the Neighbourhood Coordinator), The Gorgie War Memorial Hall, the Gorgie City Farm, Pol Steele and 'the GD' website and  the Gorgie Parish Church for pitching in. Financial contributions from the City of Edinburgh Council, the Gorgie Dalry Community Council, Sainsbury's and Scotmid. A true all round local community event. All that remains is for the community to come along. If you are there on the Saturday you might not see me but I will definitely see you - I will be in disguise ;-) .

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas is Coming!

Due partly to the lack of the community newspapers I think it is vital to the health of an area to use all possible means of getting what is happening locally out there!  I say this in case anyone thinks it is trivial to put these things on my blog.  I make no apology for it however.

At Broomhouse I would recommend you try the Christmas lunch...

Christmas lunches at the Crescent Kitchen in the Broomhouse Centre.
Christmas Lunches are available on Monday 5th, Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th and Tuesday 13th or Friday 17th December. Pre-booked Lunches only. Cost £7.00 or Children’s Christmas Lunch £4.00.

The Christmas lunch menu is aimed at local people, groups and business and is very reasonably priced. All lunches are pre-booked only and there is a menu option for groups and organisations who would like to organise their own event in a venue of their choice.

For more information contact 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gorgeous Gorgie initiative .

I know this may sound cynical but it has to be said. I have just read the article in STV Local about the Gorgeous Gorgie clean up. It is difficult to sit still for this. It is a thinly veiled attempt by the SNP/ Lib Dem Administration in the Council to make up for the damage they have done to Gorgie Dalry over the last four and a half years! Having pulled the funding on the much loved Gorgie Dalry Gazette, the Gorgie Dalry Partnership and the Gorgie Dalry Business Association they then have the cheek to turn around and appoint a 'Town Centre Coordinator' who recommends that we create, guess what (!), a community newspaper, a shop front (the Partnership) and a business directory (the Business Association). All good ideas and all of which we had till the present administration scrapped them because they thought they were a waste of money! I will contribute positively to anything that helps the area but I will not forget that it was the likes of the local SNP Councillor as Deputy Head of Finance who seconded the demise of these organisations that the area so desperately needed.  Labour Councillors were derided at the time for campaigning to save these organisations, claiming we were 'scaremongering'. SNP leader Steve Cardownie repeatedly does a comedy act in the Full Council imitating the animals in the Gorgie City Farm, worried about having their funding cut. Just for the record - the petition we gathered names on was for the organisations in Gorgie including the Gorgie Dalry Partnership (not the Farm) and these were actually shut so far from scaremongering the petition was accurate. Also just for the record the SNP local Councillor was a Director of the Gorgie Dalry Partnership and actually helped write the application for funding which he then seconded refusing (?) causing the local charity to go into receivership.
The biggest irony of all is that the new SNP MSP Marco Biaggi is now calling for a community newspaper for Gorgie Dalry. He is right of course and we had a really good one - the Gazette. It was his SNP colleagues especially the Sighthill Gorgie Deputy Head a of Finance that got rid of it.

Don't get me wrong the new 'Town Centre Coordinator' is very energetic and I agree with all of her ideas but there is no money behind it and although I will help in any way I can, I do believe we are trying to recreate things we already had back in the days when Gorgie Dalry had money spent on it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calders Community Garden

Voting is now open (see previous post ) for the Wester Hailes Health Agency to get a grant from RBS for the Calders Community Garden project. It is a little bit complicated as you have to register but it is free and this is a marvelous project that really needs you votes so please stick with it!

'Below are instructions to register and vote for the Wester Hailes Health Agency to receive vital funds for the continuation of our brilliant community garden. We really, really need your vote so please do not be put off by the long list of instructions below!!

You'll first need to register with the RBS community force website before you can vote for us so please be patient.

Thank you for your support and please pass this email onto anyone you think would be interested.

best wishes from all the volunteers and staff at the Wester Hailes Health Agency.


2. Register to vote by clicking on 'Register' in top right hand corner of page

3. Enter your details including email address and password. you will then be sent an email to your own account.

4. Go into your personal email account and confirm your registeration by clicking the link

5. You will be redirected to the RBS website. log in by entering your email address and password

6. Click on find a project

7. Search for 'Wester Hailes Health Agency' under project name

8. Click on symbol on map

9. Click on read more under blurb

10. Accept terms and conditions

11. Click vote now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

North Sighthill Demolition

Mixed feelings is the best way to describe the demolition of the North Sighthill high flats today. There were tears from residents recalling fond memories but also hopes for the future and excitement from the crowds who had gathered for the spectacle. For my part I said that this should be seen as the beginning of the process and not the end.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Calders Community Garden Open Day

Just back from The Calders Community Garden Open Day/Fun Day. The weather was OK but the event was tremendous! Dedicated enthusiastic people making a difference to the area, the environment and their own fitness!

Constructing boxes for bees to lay their eggs in for next year ( I have to say I didn't make this box even though I'm holding it!).

As I was being shown round by Joyce from the Wester Hailes Health Agency I was struck with how worthwhile all this activity was however in spite of real partnership working with, for example BCTV, the LPT, the Woodland Trust and the Waterways Trust, funding remains a problem.
The main activity is the 'Green Gym' who walk along from the Health Agency (as a warm up ) and then spend three hours working on the garden. To join in or find out more go to - and click on 'Garden Project & Green Gyms'. Aternatively phone David or Joyce 0131 458 3080

After the 26th September you can show your support for the Green Gym by voting for them to get funding from the RBS Community Force initiative. You can either click on the link below -

or phone 0800 2100 246

NB The vote doesn't start till the 26th Sept. and ends on 23rd Oct. @ 12 noon.

Obviously this would be a fantastic and welcome boost for the project.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

End of the School Hols.

As previous years the end of the school holiday seems to be one of the busiest times of the year for me. A by election tomorrow and things on every day!
Speaking of the by election it would be great if we could get Karen elected and displace the SNP Lib Dem ‘Administration’ who have been pretending to run the City for the last 4 and a half years. I say pretending as the lack of Leadership has been almost tangible. Most if not all of the innovations they would claim credit for were ours such as new schools like Tynecastle whilst projects like the trams have been allowed to drift into chaos. By the way don’t let the SNP kid you into thinking they have never wanted a tram project – they have been running the Council for the last four and a half years and if they had not wanted it it wouldn’t be being done – full stop! If this was the price of power then they traded away their opposition to trams in order to form an administration in the first place.
Vote Labour tomorrow and lets start putting Edinburgh back together!

Monday, August 01, 2011

An online survey for the new Local Community Plan

As part of creating the new Local Community Plan for the South West Area the Neighbourhood Partnership has introduced an online survey. This is a very important document as it informs the decisions of the South West Neighbourhood Partnership. This an advisory committee which includes Councillors , the Police, Community Councillors, Health and Voluntary Organisations. It has a big influence on decisions made in the area so it is important to get the plan right (I Chair the Partnership at the moment).   See statement and link below...

The Partnership Team have put together an online survey as another tool by which people can input into the priorities of the new Local Community Plan. This online survey is based on the data from the Community Conferences and focus groups which have already been held.

I am contacting yourselves because we want to get this survey to be completed by as many people as possible. Please promote this survey through the link attached on any websites or email lists you have:

Please feel free to contact me with any queries and thank you in advance for your assistance with this.

Graham Budd
Partnership Development Officer
South West Neighbourhood Office
10 Westside Plaza
EH14 2ST
Tel. ~ 0131 527 3884'

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wheatfield Community Backgreen Open Day

'Wheatfield Community Backgreen
Sunday 7 August 10 am – 5 pm
Visitors will have the opportunity to take tour of the garden which won the Beautiful Scotland Silver Gilt award and the Jim Murphie Trophy for Sustainability in 2010.

The Wheatfield Backgreen Association will be providing coals for the BBQ and visitors are welcome to bring a picnic.
Access to the community garden will be available through the black metal gate at the top of WheatfieldGorgie Road.
Lothian buses: 1, 2, 3, 25, 33, 38

Local people cannot fail to be impressed by this fantastic local initiative.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Bad Start to the Hols.

Typical! Start of the school summer holidays and in comes the 'man flu'! After an enormous bout of Bailie Duties and lengthy Council Meetings I end up bed ridden. The last few weeks have been my busiest ever with things on every evening and most weekends. Finishing up at the school, most important Council decisions for a generation (trams) , the always enjoyable Bailie Duties and local events and meetings. By the time you get to the Summer Recess you certainly need it.
Bailie Duties have a diversity that will never cease to amaze me. One example is the Friday before last when I rushed out of a meeting at the City Chambers and jumped into a taxi to get me to HMS Portland only to become mired in the congestion the city is rapidly becoming renowned for. The driver displayed some confusion as we approached the docks about where HMS Portland might be moored. Looking straight ahead I laughed and said I expected it would be the enormous naval ship just over to the left. Sure enough it was! After being piped on board and meeting the Admiral we were treated to the Royal Marines Band who finished up by playing the hymn 'For Those in Peril on the Sea' which merged softly into the last post. On the last note, seemingly from nowhere , the Red Arrows flew over our heads and spread out in front of us with the red white and blue trails streaming. I have to say at this point that at events like this I always think of my father who died ten years ago. He was a cook in the Mediterranean fleet during WW2 serving on the Abercrombie, the Kent and the Aurora. His stories include being head chef at a dinner on board ship at the Yalta Conference. Guests included Eisenhower, Stalin and Churchill - at least it may have done. There were two other dinners on two other ships to confuse any would be assassins. Dad's was the flagship and he was the Admiral's cook so it seems likely his was the real one but there you are, that is the story. The Admiral wanted my father to go with him after the War as his personal chef but he was under orders to get back to Selkirk to marry my mother ( and a good job too or I would not be here). We sang the same hymn at my fathers funeral so suffice it to say that the event was particularly moving and impressive to me. It could  not have been a better start to Armed Forces Week.
Something important happened later on that Friday however that is worthy of a mention. All my duties done I headed for a bar in town to meet some friends. While I was there a young man mistook my City badge for a regimental one. I explained what it was and they introduced themselves. It turns out they were up for Armed Forces Week representing a group called 'talking 2 minds' who deal with the psychological effects of tours of action like Afganistan. They have achieved an over 80% success rate with just one course of treatment with others requiring more. They are very loyal to each other and emphasise they help each other as a group. I immediately took my badge off and gave it to the one who had spoken to me first and promised I would go down on the Sunday to Holyrood Park and visit their stall. The one I gave the badge to was so pleased and said he would wear it on his uniform the next day (which he did).  These badges have little or no financial value but have the City crest and motto. They are sometimes handed out by the Lord Provost or Bailies.  Was there ever a more worthy recipient? I handed out another three when I went down on the Sunday to their stall. One was to their fundraiser who had done two tours in Afganistan and something about an Afgan Warlord (I didn't want to press him on the subject). At any rate the experience had left him such that he was admitted to an institution down south from which he was 'rescued' by 'talking 2 minds'. As far as I am concerned the sacrifice these boys have made is every bit as great as those with physical injuries and can take just as long to heal - if they ever do. Visit the web site and support this charity.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sighthill Bowling Club does it again !

This morning I launched the Home International Bowling Championships at Sighthill Bowling Club. This is the second time this event , which is the most important in the UK Bowling calendar has come to Sighthill. The last time was four years ago (it only takes place every four years ) and I was told it was the quality of the greens and the tremendous way the Club had organised it the last time that had attracted the event back.
For me to go along and open it as a Bailie but also as a local Councillor was a source of great pride. The opening ceremony was tremendous. A feast of colour with all the teams in national strips. The teams of Scotland, England Ireland and Wales all processed onto one of the greens , followed by the umpires and lastly ourselves who stood in the middle to deliver our speeches. It brought tears to the eyes of seasoned bowling veterans. It was quite a spectacle and no one could fail to be impressed. When the games started the pace was fast and exciting with many going on simultaneously as two countries battled it out on each of the two greens.  It is on again tomorrow (3rd July) and whether bowling is your sport or not I would recommend it as a fun filled day in the beautiful sunshine. What a tremendous thing for the Club and the area! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bon Jovi

Just back from the Bon Jovi Concert in Murrayfield - fantastic! Also there was something about it being a short walk to the house that put the icing on the cake! Having something so immense on your doorstep just sums up the joys of living in Edinburgh. The rain held off for the duration of the concert but I think even Bon Jovi was genuinely surprised at the ability of the crowd to turn bad weather into a momentous occasion. Definitely one to remember.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Gorgie Dalry Gala Day!

Yes - last week it was 'Altogether in the Park' and this weekend it's the Gorgie Dalry Gala Day! Plenty going on in the area. The trouble is due to the shortness of volunteers the advertising can often be a problem so not enough local people know it's on.
The Gala Day starts at 12 on Saturday (11th June) and runs till 4:30pm at Murieston Park off Dalry Rd.. For details of the program see STV Local. Something for the whole family from the Tricky Ricky Magic Show to Zumba Fitness. Come along an support your local area or just come and meet new people. Lots of stalls, Groups and organisations (I'll be there of course!).

Friday, June 03, 2011

All Together in the Park

A big weekend for Broomhouse, Sighthill, Parkhead, Wester Hailes and beyond - the annual 'All Together in the Park'. It is in Sighthill Park on Saturday (4th June) from 11am till 4pm. Alistair Darling is opening it at 11. I'm going along - should be good! Something for everybody. Local groups, organisations, stalls, entertainment etc. If you are new to the area or just want something fun for all the family to do why not come along.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gorgie City Farm REAL Farmer's Market

Latest news from the Gorgie City Farm  -
'This Saturday  sees the 3rd Gorgie City Farm REAL Farmer's Market.  The Market will run from 9.30-2pm.  The  following stall holders will be attending :

Blackmount Beef
Perthshire Preserves
Caurnie Soap
House of Isham chocolates
GA Thomson fishmongers
Simple Simons Pies
Apple Pie Bakery
Crème de la Cupcake'

All this and the Farm as well! Sounds good to me!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Personalities and Elections

I always get disappointed when elections seem to come down to personalities. The media encourages this as it enhances the viewing figures. Surely people can see through the hollow but emotive words of Alex Salmond, waxing lyrical on impossible promises having failed miserably to fulfil most of the old ones. Police numbers, class sizes, local income tax, school building and of course, independence (well - a referendum), all promised but none delivered. No doubt some people would criticise other parties including Labour for the same thing but the fact is the SNP chose to go it alone in the Scottish Parliament, compromise with no one and failed to deliver! What answer have the SNP come up with - forget about all the old promises and come up with some new ones, more ludicrous than the last. If it sounds good just say it, never mind whether it can actually be done. Ian Gray by contrast is more thoughtful. I have always seen this as a quality. I would urge people to look at the policies and then get out there and get this Country moving in the right direction.
Take a look at Sarah Boyack's excellent local website to see the truth about SNP promises.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all ! Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me in 2010 (and there have been many ) . Lets get the bad stuff out of the way first then we can end on a high note. Another year another family bereavement. I am beginning to look forward to a year that doesn't start off with someone close to me dieing.
Last year ended well with the birth of a new grandson and also winning the Edinburgh East Labour Party Christmas hamper in the raffle! Don't normally win things in raffles so I was astonished. It was enormous - I could hardly lift it.

From My Pics

From My Pics

Memories of the cold weather are, of course mixed. Normally I love the snow but on this occasion the excitement quickly went sour as rubbish piled up, accidents occurred and people became trapped in their houses.

From My Pics

A bit late bringing the garden furniture in this year?

There was a Herculean effort by the South West team at the Council. Council staff and I would also single out bus drivers went above and beyond and I would personally say a huge thank you to them. Of course there were lessons to be learned, particularly the length of time it took to get round to the residential streets due to concentrating on the main roads. Everything I referred to Council staff was dealt with promptly however and the communications were excellent!