Friday, August 29, 2014

Edinburgh Printmakers’ Future Home at Castle Mill Works, Fountainbridge

Local Ward 9 readers may well be aware that Edinburgh Printmakers has recently received a Heritage Lottery Enterprise Fund 'round 1 pass' for an award of close to £5 million for the redevelopment of Castle Mill Works. The site is the former HQ of the North British Rubber Company in Fountainbridge, a 2000m2 ‘at risk’ building of significant industrial heritage value.

The ambition to save Castle Mill Works, a building of huge industrial heritage significance in Edinburgh stemmed from Edinburgh Printmakers’ search for the ideal home in which to build a world class contemporary arts centre specialising in printmaking, a vision that is now well on the way to becoming a reality.

Over the next 3 years of capital development, Edinburgh Printmakers’ artistic programme will deliver ambitious projects featuring art work by accomplished international artists, who will each in their own unique way respond to the distinctive and exceptional cultural heritage and legacy of Castle Mill Works whilst also reflecting on the proposed contemporary use as centre for artistic productivity.

Through ambitious and responsive commissioning of temporary artist interventions, permanent site-specific installations, and integrated community projects, Edinburgh Printmakers hopes to draw attention to the features of this historic building, addressing perceptions around the value of the building to the built environment and develop widespread support for retaining and preserving the industrial heritage of the city for re-use as a centre for cultural production.

Edinburgh Printmakers want local people to be at the heart of the project, sharing their knowledge and memories of the history of the area as a rubber manufacturing plant and getting familiar with the new role the building will have as a home for contemporary art practice.

During the programme the temporary installations on and around the building will have a thematic link to works on show at Edinburgh Printmakers gallery in Union Street.

To launch the temporary installations programme, Scottish artist Calum Colvin has created a stunning and unique intervention using the boarded up window recesses of Castle Mill Works. This installation comprises 120 posters consisting of 60 different images ... see photo above :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Corporate, Policy and Strategy Committee

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that there was no Corporate, Policy and Strategy Committee during July - and I personally missed August's meeting, due to Annual Leave ...

... what do you mean, you never noticed :-((

Anyhow - to make up for this death of scintillating Local Government Reports ... wait for it ... there are TWO Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee Committee meetings taking place in September ;-)

... all the papers for the first one - on 2nd September - are now in the public domain: the main Agenda can be found here ---

--- and the individual reports are all up on Committee Papers on-Line (CPOL) linked from here.

Reports that may well attract some attention and debate:

Just click on any of the above links for access (as a PDF) to the specific report.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Register to vote - by Tuesday 2nd September!

High levels of excitement during the week just past, as my own and my partner's Referendum Poll Cards arrived ... but, my excitement wasn't so much about those, as the third card that dropped through our letter-box --- the one for our 16-year old son ;-)

I've long been a supporter of Votes at 16, and I'm absolutely delighted that the franchise has been lowered for this vote --- it must surely now come down for other elections?

As things stand at the moment, Junior will get a vote in a few weeks time on the constitutional future of Scotland (quite rightly so, as far as I'm concerned), yet on the first Thursday in May next year he won't be able to cast a vote in the UK General Election, and won't get to do so until May 2020 by which time he'll be 22-years of age :-(

But - all that aside - and whichever way you intend to vote on the 18th September ... I really hope you will vote!

There most likely will not be such a significant electoral event again in our lifetimes - and if you haven't yet got a Poll Card and/or you're not sure if you are on the Electoral Register; then you have until Tuesday 2nd September to register ... just go here: ;-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Leader's Report

August 2014

Games set gold standard


Andrew Burns
Having personally sampled the fantastic atmosphere and organisation of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, I can only echo the praise heaped upon the organisers - and with a record haul of 53 medals, TeamScotland did the country equally proud.
Edinburgh, of course, also played its part. Thousands took to the streets to welcome the Queen's Baton Relay back in June, setting the tone for an unforgettable three days of diving competitions in the 'Commie Pool', including career best performances from local divers Grace Reid and James Heatly.

All in all, around 80 Edinburgh born, based or trained athletes took part in the Games, bringing home 15 medals, and the Council is planning to recognise their achievements with a public celebration later this month.
Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh

Exams success


And speaking of success, congratulations to Edinburgh's school pupils on gaining excellent exam results yet again this year. The number of S6 and S5 pupils (61% and 54% respectively) who achieved one or more Highers improved on last year and over 23,000 awards were given out for the new National exams.

It's been a challenge for pupils and our teaching staff to prepare for these new exams but I think the results speak for themselves. Last week's figures also reinforce recently published statistics from Audit Scotland that Edinburgh is outperforming similar city and neighbouring authorities when it comes to S4 results.

In addition to exams, another key aim of the Capital Coalition is to make sure all school leavers enter a positive destination of employment, training or further education through initiatives such as the Edinburgh Guarantee - and this year a record 91% of young people achieved this.


Greener Edinburgh


Another priority for the Council is to make Edinburgh a greener city, and next month we'll be making it easier for residents who use our wheelie bin service to recycle. This new service will help us meet our target of recycling 70% of our waste.

The range of things residents can recycle will increase, resulting in less waste being sent to landfill - allowing us to reduce both our carbon footprint and the amount of landfill tax we pay.

The service will be rolled out in phases to 140,000 households over the next year with the first 20,000 starting in September. If you're in Phase 1, you will shortly receive information in the post, including a new collection calendar. You can find out more by visiting the Council website.


Tram latest


This month, Edinburgh welcomes the world, with hundreds of thousands of people thronging the City to enjoy the festivals. And for the first time since 1956, Festival-goers can again travel in the Capital by tram.

Trams continue to attract an average of over 90,000 passengers per week. We're very pleased with this consistent performance, which is in line with the business model, but we will continue to work closely with Transport for Edinburgh to ensure that any issues are picked up on and resolved swiftly.

Two Celtic European Games at the BT Murrayfield Stadium went well, with thousands using the trams to get to and from the games. These events certainly put the Edinburgh Trams team to the test but I'm pleased to say they coped admirably with the large crowds.




Next month, EdinburghApps will once again challenge residents to come up with high-tech solutions to help improve the lives of people visiting, living and working in Edinburgh.

The first of its kind in the UK, the competition lets teams and individuals use Council data to create ideas and concepts for the benefit of the city. In its first year, it attracted a range of innovative entries, including an app to help Council lorries operate more efficiently and another helping residents locate their nearest recycling point.

This year's event has two themes: Culture & Sport and Health. If you are interested in taking part, please visit the EdinburghApps website or email


Don't lose your vote


This week, more than 350,000 registered voters in Edinburgh (over 4m across Scotland) will begin to receive poll cards for the Scottish Independence Referendum, providing them with details on how and where they can vote on 18 September.

This is set to be the biggest poll in Scotland's history with a turnout of more than 80% predicted. But only people who are registered to vote, and are aged 16 or over on the 18 September, are able to take part. That's why it's essential that you register by 2 September.

I would urge all those who want to take part in this historic vote to check their details are on the register by visiting Lothian Valuation Joint Board's website or calling 0131 344 2500.


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Friday, August 15, 2014

August Full Council Meeting

The August Council Meeting is this coming Thursday (21st) ...

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

Of course - as ever, if you're so minded, you can watch all the proceedings live here ... or the meeting will be archived a few hours after it finishes for viewing at your leisure!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back in Edinburgh ...

Back in Edinburgh now, after a couple of weeks break with the family ...

... no Surgeries on Monday/Tuesday, due to ongoing School-holidays, but I will be at Fountainbridge Library at 6pm this Wednesday evening, and then back to the normal surgery-timetable from next week!

Please bear with me for a couple of days whilst I catch up on e-mails ... I've got an awful lot in the inbox to deal with ... but I will get through them by mid-week.

Hope everyone has had a restful Summer ;-)