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Welcome to the latest edition of my monthly eNewsletter. 

It’s been another busy month, with Scottish Parliament elections to mull over and a huge European Referendum looming. As usual the newsletter has been broken down into sections so you can see exactly what’s been going on here in Edinburgh, and down in Parliament. You can also see the different types of cases we have been receiving in the constituency office, and study the planning section for developments on new and existing applications. 

Please enjoy this month’s edition. If you have any questions, or think I can help you in any way please do not hesitate to get in touch. I’m always happy to help.


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Daniel Johnson elected as MSP for Edinburgh Southern!

The Scottish Parliament elections saw the election of Daniel Johnson here in Edinburgh South (or Southern for Scottish Parliamentary boundaries). Huge congratulations to him and all the dedicated volunteers who helped get him elected! I look forward to working closely with Daniel in the coming years for the benefit of our constituents and I know he will be a fantastic local MSP.  We promised to be a strong team and we will certainly work closely together on the issues that matter to you.

I would also like to pay tribute to Daniel’s predecessor Jim Eadie. I wish him, and, of course, his staff the best for the future. 




A flavour of my recent votes:

  • Against the Housing and Planning Bill – Reduction of payment by agreement and housing standards.
  • Against the Immigration Bill – Detention and Bail of pregnant women and their children.
  • Against the Energy Bill – Onshore Wind Generating Stations in England and Wales.
  • Against the Trade Union Bill.
  • I also voted in favour of the “Dubs” amendment to help unaccompanied children seek refuge in the UK.

These are just some of the issues I have voted on. For a complete breakdown visit the public whip website. You can also contact me at any time on the above details to share your views of a piece of legislation, or Government policy more generally. 














Craighouse Campus (16/02163/FUL) – Residents will be well aware of the long running saga involving the Craighouse Campus a couple of years ago where planning permission was eventually granted despite huge opposition from the local community and myself. The developers have now submitted a new application which would temporarily remove the gate posts at the entrance near Morningside Drive in order to create a new site access point- despite an alternative access point being readily available. The proposals also lay out plans to reduce the size of a chimney on one of the listed buildings. I have already made my objections on the planning portal and will be following this application closely. Keep up to date at

Greenend Gardens (16/01121/PPP)- Great news- the planning application which proposed residential development on Greenend Gardens green has been refused. Massive congratulations to all residents who campaigned against this development, which would have seen the loss of the only piece of green space on the estate. 

Comiston Farm House (16/02397/FUL)- A planning application has been lodged which will see the demolition of this historic building and the construction of 37, 4-story flats. Dedicated local residents have already placed an application to have the farmhouse listed, however this has been rejected. You can keep fully up to date with proceedings on their website:

You can also read local resident, Liz Sim’s blog on the history of the farmhouse and sign my petition here:








I am delighted to announce that 3 groups in Edinburgh South have recently been successful in applying to Awards for All Scotland, securing a total of £15,394 worth of funding. 

Edinburgh South Cricket Club has recently received a £4,461 Awards for All Scotland grant from SportScotland. 

This group will use the funding for a bowling machine with the relevant equipment.

Edinburgh Outlaws Flag American Football Club has recently received a £932 Awards for All Scotland grant from SportScotland. 

This group will use the funding for new equipment, jerseys, transport for away games, pitch hire and facilities for home games.

Christ Church Morningside has recently received a £10,000 Awards for All Scotland grant from Big Lottery Fund. 

This group will use the funding to renovate their church hall. 

Awards For All Scotland is a joint programme between Big Lottery Fund Scotland and sportscotland which gives groups a chance to apply for a grant of between £500 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. We will fund a range of projects which involve bringing local people together, helping people learn, improving local spaces and getting people more active. 


Explorer Scouts Launch Crowdfunder Appeal to Build School in Cambodia

This July, 44 Explorer Scouts and 11 adult volunteers from SMESU will be travelling to rural Cambodia to build a new 2-classroom school building for a community in real need. The Explorer Scout Unit is based in Fairmilehead and works with boys and girls aged 14 to 18 years old. They have been working for the past 18 months to train, prepare and fundraise for the expedition.

The Explorer Scouts have recently launched a Crowdfunder appeal to help raise money towards the £10,000 cost of materials for the school building. The appeal is smesucambodia. Meanwhile, the Explorer Scouts have been training in bricklaying and wordwork to ensure they have the skills required to work alongside local craftsmen to build the school.

The school is located in the rural Cambodian village of Banteay Kabalchin, about an hour’s drivevfrom the country’s second city, Siem Reap. Currently there are over 200 pupils sharing just three small classrooms in the village. The school rooms also become incredibly hot in the midday sun, making the afternoon lessons very uncomfortable in the overcrowded rooms. In addition to building the new classrooms, the Explorer Scouts will be renovating the existing classrooms,
including the hanging of material below the metal roofs to help reduce the temperature in each room.

This expedition is a real opportunity for the Explorer Scouts to live out their promise of ‘helping others’, whilst learning from the local people about the life and culture in Cambodia. During the project the Explorer Scouts will be camping in the grounds of the school, working with the local
school children, teaching about life in Scotland, meeting local families and visiting the monks at the adjacent Buddhist Pagoda. They are also hopeful that they will meet local Cambodian Scouts.

Explorer Scout Joanna Gordon (16) said, “We been preparing and working towards our expedition for about 18 months. It’s been a lot of hard work and commitment from everyone, but it has been great fun and the team works brilliantly together! We have launched our #LetsBuildASchool Crowdfunder appeal to ensure we raise enough money to make sure the project is a success.”

Fellow Explorer Scout Callum Campbell (17) added, “Before we started the expedition preparation I knew very little about constructing building, but over the last 18 months we’ve worked with bricklayers and practised our woodwork skills. Now I feel more confident that working together with the other Explorers and with the local craftsman, we’ll definitely be able to achieve our goal of building a school. We just need people’s help to make sure we can raise the money that is needed for the materials.”

Volunteer Leader Ross Donald-Hewitt said, “Our Explorer Scouts are raring to go and up for what will be a brilliant adventure. As many of the Explorer Scouts prepare for final exams at school, they are also working hard in their spare time to raise the money required for the school building in Cambodia. It shows a great level of commitment and team spirit.”

The team depart on 1st July, for their month-long adventure. They’ll be tweeting from Cambodia from @SMESU and using the hashtag #SMESUCambodia. You can find out more about the Unit and its expedition at


Community Police Updates (by ward):

Southside/Newington and Meadows/Morningside



Edinburgh South Unemployment Figures

Key facts:

The total number of unemployed claimants in Edinburgh South constituency in April 2016 was 662. This represents a rate of 1.6% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 432nd highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%. 

This includes 443 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and 219 people who were claiming Universal Credit but were not in employment. Some of these Universal Credit claimants may no longer be seeking work.

The total number of claimants (both Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit) is 57 lower than in April 2015 and 26 lower than in March 2016.

There were 135 claimants aged 18-24 in Edinburgh South constituency in April 2016, 10 lower than in April 2015. (Figures for 18-24 year olds are rounded to the nearest 5.)

These data are not seasonally adjusted.


Tesco Carrier Bag Scheme

As you will be aware, large retailers must give the proceeds from the carrier bag charge to good causes.  I wanted to update you on our exciting Bags of Help scheme which uses this money to fund local community projects across England, Scotland and Wales.  The first round of our scheme, delivered with the support of environmental improvement charity Groundwork, has just completed and has been a great success.  Millions of Tesco shoppers have voted to allocate over £11.7 million to 1,170 local projects, including new parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens. You can use the interactive map on our website ( to find out which projects have been successful in your local area and we would be delighted to put you in touch with any of the community groups.

I also wanted to make you aware that the second round of the scheme has just launched.  As well as local community groups and charities applying directly, projects can also be nominated by people living locally. Applications will be whittled down to three good causes in 442 Tesco areas. Customers can then vote for their favourite local project with the amount of funding available ranging from £8,000 to £12,000. The deadline for applications is 3 June and it would be fantastic if you can promote the opportunity in your constituency. More information on the scheme is available at and you may also want to help spread the word via Twitter by sharing this message.



Craigmillar Park Bowling Club

34 Gilmour Road Edinburgh EH16 5NT

Annual Charity Summer Fair -; Saturday 11th June 2016

Craigmillar Park Bowling Club will hold its annual charity summer fair between 10 AM and 12 Noon on Saturday 11th June 2016. Admission for adults is £2 per head. Children are admitted free. There will be stalls and games for all ages. Tea, cakes, scones and burgers will be available. All are welcome. Please come and support us.  


Ian Murray MP

Ian Murray MP · United Kingdom 

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