Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee next Tuesday

December's Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee is next Tuesday 3rd  ...

... all the papers are now in the public domain: main Agenda can be found here; and the individual reports are all up on Committee Papers on-Line (CPOL) linked from here.

Several substantive reports up for decision this month - including a full update on the impacts of Welfare Reform, which you can access directly here ...

... and pleased to see a further update on the Edinburgh Community Solar Cooperative Proposals, which you can access here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Allotment, running (and general) update

Pretty busy weekend of work-related commitments and deadlines ...

... but we did manage to catch some (brief) time at the Allotment, very late yesterday afternoon.

Pleased to report that all was in reasonably good order, and thought this Allotment-tree (from the edge of the Saughton Mains site) was looking rather splendid in the last of the day's sunshine :-)

Winter is most definitely on the way.

Regular readers will have noticed that the blog is slightly less-frequently updated these days - purely down to pressure of work ...

... but please don't forget there are several other ways to keep up-to-date (if you're so interested?!) with what I'm actually up to:

  • I keep my twitter-account regularly updated, and anyone can access that here
  • by all means tweet me, if you want to publicly flag-up an issue with me - but it would help me enormously if you followed up any specific request for information with an e-mail to
  • I'm extremely lucky to have several (excellent) staff, who help me out with e-mails; and you will get a response with 10-working days, absolute maximum
  • I'm on facebook as well - you can access that account here - but it is really just a feed for the blog/twitter/blipfoto accounts ... that said, I will respond to comments, as appropriate
  • and my running-exploits, which are most definitely going to be time limited from last May through to next May's Edinburgh Marathon, can all be accessed via my blipfoto account here ... and I'm pleased to report that I'm currently up to 14-miles (and still surviving - just!); so only another 12-miles to add-on now :-(
  • if you're so-minded; you can sponsor me for the 2014 Edinburgh Marathon via my JustGiving page here ... and all the monies go to the wonderful Venture Scotland :-)

And, a general reminder, that all of the accounts: twitter/facebook/blipfoto, also have permanent links in the right-hand side bar!

Of course - if you want to speak to me face-to-face ... and live in Ward 9 Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart ... then just come and visit me at one of my three, weekly surgeries: all details here.

Hope this all helps :-))

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Leader's Report

November 2013


Festive Capital

Andrew Burns
Once again the eyes of the world will be upon us. From the illumination of Edinburgh's Christmas Lights, courtesy of Sir Chris Hoy on 24 November, to the much-envied 'Midnight Moment' during our 21st Hogmanay Street Party celebrations. From the packed programme of free events planned for the Grassmarket on St Andrew's Day, to the quite extraordinary Limbo Circus act running until 4 January. And from the sublime Torchlight Procession on 30 December to the quite ridiculous Loony Dook on New Year's Day, there really is something for all the family to enjoy in the fun-filled weeks ahead.

Then, from February, St Andrew Square, which will be at the heart of our Christmas celebrations this year, will be lit up by the spectacular Field of Light exhibition, ensuring the city centre remains a major draw for residents and visitors well into 2014.
Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh


Prof Peter Higgs

As announced this morning, it is the Council's intention to award the Freedom of the City to Peter Higgs in recognition of his immense contribution to theoretical physics.

It was here in Edinburgh in 1964 that the professor had his big idea - an explanation of why the matter in the Universe has substance, or mass. His work theorised the existence of a new particle that has come to be known as the Higgs boson.

His achievements with the University of Edinburgh are of global significance and this latest honour is further evidence of the high esteem in which he is quite deservedly held, not just by his peers but by the people of the city he now calls home.


Tram project latest

With the end of a big year for the project fast approaching, testing continues to progress well and, from next month, this will extend along the route into the city centre. As with the off-road section, the frequency and pace of testing will be built up gradually over time but please do take heed of the safety messages and other information.

Prior to that, on 19 November, we'll switch on the electrical systems, which means the overhead wires will be live along the full route for the very first time.

Remember you can keep up-to-date with the latest tram news by following @edinburghtrams on Twitter.

PRide in our work

The issue of where to build the new Portobello High School has been, and continues to be, a divisive issue, but I am pleased to report that there was no such division amongst the panel at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards 2013.

Our communications service scored a major success in the Community Relations category, winning Gold for their work on the Portobello Park Private Bill Consultation, beating off stiff competition from the Scottish Government's League Cup football event promoting tolerance, responsibility and respect, and four other shortlisted categories from around Scotland. Well done to all involved.


Pass the baton

The Queen's Baton Relay is a much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games and Scotland needs 4,000 people to carry the baton on its 40 day trip across the country. This is where you come in.

Games organisers are looking for friendly people that help out in your local community. They might lend a helping hand at a sports club, do voluntary work or just be good role models - it doesn't matter, as long as they've made a difference.

If you know someone who you think should be a baton-bearer, visit the Glasgow 2014 website and say, in no more than 100 words, why they deserve the honour. Nominations are open to anybody aged 12 years or above and the closing date is 22 November.


Stay in the picture

Keep yourself in the picture with our news section online. Watch live full Council and some committee meetings on our webcast. Join the debate on Twitter #edinwebcast

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Friday, November 15, 2013

November's Full Council Meeting

November's Full Council Meeting is coming up - 10am on Thursday 21st November ...

... all the reports are now up on Committee Papers On-Line (CPOL) and you can access the main agenda directly here; and the individual reports via this link.

Couple of reports to highlight:
  1. A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 - Year One Report ... I mentioned this report was due last month.
  2. Capital Coalition Pledges Performance Monitoring – May to October 2013 ... this is a six-monthly update, following the earlier full Report last May.
The Council's main website should be updated, at the end of the week ... assuming number 2 above is approved! ... to reflect the wealth of material available on each of the individual 53-pledges.