Friday, July 25, 2014

Currently Off Air

The family summer-holiday is here :-)

Absolutely no blogging for a few weeks; and I also intend to completely (and I do mean completely!) lay-off twitter, facebook and blipfoto as well ...

... e-mails won't be read directly by me, but Staff will pick them up and respond accordingly.

My mobile will be on, in case anyone needs to get me by phone/text urgently - but, in the nicest possible way, I hope not to hear from too many folk ;-)

Normal service will resume by Monday 11th August latest.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

East Coast Main Line Authorities Consortium

Was pleased to take part, earlier today, in the Scottish-launch of the "East Coast Main Line (ECML) Authorities Consortium" recent research, on the potential for economic growth along the ECML-route.

I'll repeat the main points from the relevant News Release below ... but important to note that I've certainly not witnessed such a 'whole line approach' to the potential for rail development on this side of the UK before.

Very refreshing to witness, and I'm confident it will help press the case successfully with both UK, and Scottish, Governments.


Invest in East Coast Main Line to see huge economic growth says Consortium

Published Tuesday, 15th July 2014

For the first time, the huge growth potential of economies linked by the East Coast Main Line (ECML) will be presented to Government Ministers, business leaders and Members of the UK and Scottish Parliaments at events in Edinburgh on 15 July and London on 17July.

The research, commissioned by the Consortium of East Coast Main Line Authorities (ECMA), was undertaken over the past eight months and is part of the ECMAs bid for investment for upgrades to the ECML.  It shows that the economies linked by the ECML are worth well over £300bn each year to the UK with significant potential for growth worth £5bn if rail connections were improved along the whole route.

Furthermore, the predicted economic benefits increase to £9bn if the ECML is improved in addition to the eastern arm of High Speed 2 being built, allowing high speed trains to connect Leeds, York, the North East and Scotland to Birmingham and London.

The Consortium will be setting out the action all partners need to take to deliver this economic growth across the ECML at the Events.  It will ask the rail industry to suggest and deliver the schemes that best achieve the potential for economic growth identified in the research.
City of York Council is a member of ECMA and is committed to securing economic growth by improving passenger and freight services across the ECML.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Somehow the ball went in ...

What can you add about that Mario Gotze goal last night - think the look on his face here says it all really ...

... 22-years old, and he's just scored the winning goal in the Football World Cup, ensuring the first ever European-nation victory on South American World Cup soil - no wonder he's smiling :-))

FIFA website has a wonderful interview-piece with him, which you can read here.

And the BBC website now even has a short video up of all 171 World Cup goals - you can see it here ...

... I'm biased, but really do think that Gotze's goal would have won 'goal of the tournament' if he hadn't left it until so late-in-the-day ;-)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Allotment produce galore :-)

Allotment produce galore, from our visit to our Saughton plot late this afternoon:

- broad beans
- strawberries
- raspberries
- gooseberries
- blackcurrants

... the intermittent heat, and heavy rain, over recent weeks has most certainly led to the best fruit-crop we've had since getting the plot in 2008.

Lots more to pick in forthcoming weeks as well :-)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Developing Community Assets ...

Part of the Council's "Cooperative Capital" programme is to try and encourage/facilitate Community Engagement and the use of potential Asset Transfer, where there is significant Community interest in such ...

"The Council wants Edinburgh to become a Cooperative Capital where communities are much more involved in planning, managing and delivering services.

The idea of this approach is to give local people a greater sense of choice and control over the public services they use.

The aim is to provide quality services that meet the needs of our citizens and businesses in the face of bigger service demands and less funding."

I was thus particualry interested in some recent information sent through to me by an Edinburgh-based organisation, COMAS, who were asked (in 2008/09) to develop a training pack for community groups that were acquiring and developing community assets for their communities ...

... relevant case studies, and all the significant sections of the training pack, are still freely available on-line - via this link.

It may well be of interest - and still of some use - to many Edinburgh communities?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Saughton Park Project

Saughton Park isn't actually in my Ward - but very close to the boundary with Ward 7 ;-)

I've always had a bit of a soft-spot for it though ... spent days (literally!) there when Junior was little; and just love the place.

So - I was absolutely delighted last year when a project to restore the Park to its former glory (this snap is of the Park in the 1930's!), received significant Heritage Lottery Funding; you can read about the funding award here.
And I'm equally delighted to be able to report that the first stages of the project are now moving on apace - you can read a lot more about what's going on via the pages here ...
... and specifically, you can catch up on imminent news and events via here.
Indeed --- during ‘Love Parks Week’ (25th July – 4th August)  there are two fun events:
  • On Tuesday 29th of July (10am) there will be a launch of the Saughton Park Geocaching Trail -- Geocaching is a sort of hi-tech treasure hunt, see or for details. This trail is being supported by the Geocaching Association of Great Britain.
  • And on Wednesday 30th of July (10am-4pm) there will be the first ‘Great Saughton Bear Hunt’ where children and their families are invited to hunt for the 30 bears which have taken up residence in the Park.

Go on; all the details are here - you know you want to :-)

Monday, July 07, 2014

Allotment Update - at last!

I've just realised that my last "Allotment-Update" was back on Good Friday :-(

So - just for my legions of followers, who must be in desperate need of some news ...

... here's a late evening shot, from earlier tonight, when we caught the last of the suns-rays --- in the midst of an emergency watering session!

More seriously; everything is growing with incredible speed, and we've already had the most fantastic fruit-crops.

And I sense that some serious tattie-digging may be imminently required ;-)

The 'grandest' of Grand Departs

I've got it bad this morning ... Tour de France fever, that is ;-)

Just spent two days in, and around, Harrogate - watching the Tour de France live (for the first time - for me - since Paris in 1986!) and I just cannot speak highly enough of how good the event was ...

... here's the BBC coverage of the Race Director's views: sums it all up for me.

Well done Yorkshire - they even carved their trees especially for the occasion ;-)

A truly terrific spectacle, all round.