Read the November edition of my monthly eNewsletter.
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Welcome to the latest edition of my monthly eMagazine.
As ever, it’s been a busy month with my annual Christmas Card Competition, an update on the Sick Kids site as well as plenty of debates in Parliament. There is also a section on the Boundary Commission proposals for Westminster Constituencies. I have drafted an amendment which better corresponds to existing Council, Westminster and Scottish Parliament boundaries. See Boundary Commission section below for further information.
Please get in touch if you have any feedback or would like some advice on a particular issue. Enjoy!
A selection of my recent votes in Parliament:
Voted for Parliamentary Constituencies Bill
Voted for amendments to Digital Economy Bill
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.
You may remember from last month’s update that the Boundary Commission have proposed to split the Edinburgh South constituency down the middle- with the Liberton/Gilmerton ward and part of Southside/Newington moving into Edinburgh East, and the rest moving into a newly created South West and Central constituency. I have put forward a counter proposal which meets the Boundary Commission’s stated objectives as well as making the new seats contiguous with full Council wards and bringing them closer to the current Westminster and Scottish Parliamentary boundaries. You can download my proposal here.
Boundary Commission proposal
You can make representations to the Boundary Commission by submitting an online response through this consultation portal, by letter (Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD) or by email (email@example.com). You can also express your views in person at public hearings.
The Commission are taking submissions until 11th January 2017 and you are of course welcome to support my proposals. You can do this by downloading the file via the above link or by simply making reference to my submission.
If you have any questions about my proposals or about the process in general please contact me.
Land to the East of Winton Gardens- constituents may recall that in August 2015 Miller Homes held a local exhibition regarding proposals for housing on the land to the east of Winton Gardens which is in their ownership. This followed on from a previous application which was refused on appeal for a small number of houses on the same land.
Millers did not submit a planning application as a result of the 2015 exhibition but it appears they are coming back with another application to build 87 new homes on this designated Greenbelt land. They are also intending to put in a Full Planning Application in due course.
I know this appears like Groundhog Day but I can assure residents I will again be supporting their efforts to resist this application.
Guthrie Court (16/05248/FUL) – I have been contacted by several constituents in the adjacent Kirkland Court building. They have a number of concerns regarding privacy and increased traffic. Comments have now closed but I will be keeping a close eye on this one.
Sick Kids Site- there was a vibrant meeting to discuss the future of the Sick Kids site with over 70 people attending. An excellent write up by Alistair can be found on the Marchmont and Sciennes blogspot, where the community council will be posting the follow-up when they receive it.
Sheriffhall Roundabout Junction Improvement Scheme- Transport Scotland are holding a public exhibition on 6 December at Sherrihall Park and Ride Terminal Building (EH22 1FF) to discuss options for junction improvement.
Update from Community Policing Inspector Graeme Nisbet
Firstly on the 17th of October 2016 there was a change and re-organisation of police resources within Edinburgh. This has resulted in more officers to attend calls far quicker and a smaller but dedicated community policing team.
I am encouraged by this change and having worked under a similar model in the past I think it will offer great opportunities and deliver excellent results for community policing.
Along with the dedicated ward officers we also have the benefit of a dedicated sergeant for each of the ward areas.
PS David Cuthbert, based at St. Leonards is now in charge of the Southside/ Newington & Meadows/ Morningside wards PS Mark Innes, based at Howdenhall is in charge of the Liberton/ Gilmerton ward
Our ward officers are now supported with additional community policing officers and we have already seen some real benefits of them patrolling the known “hot spot” areas and dealing with the issues being experienced by communities.
The sergeants and community officers also work a bespoke shift pattern to match the community demands and this will better enable them to carry out that function.
I remain in place covering the 3 ward areas.
There is and will be some changes to the ward officers,
PC Ross Stewart (Southside/ Newington Ward) has left us and has been replaced by PC Chris Harris, PC Neil Mackay (Southside/ Newington) remains in place PC Sasha Ponniah is moving at the end of November and we will be identifying an officer to replace him, PC Alan Jenkins (Meadows/ Morningside) moved to become the School Link Officer at Bouroughmuir/ James Gillespie’s, so we still have him n our area, and he was replaced by PC Stuart Fraser.
PC Rebecca Wilson & PC Craig Cairns remain in the Liberton/ Gilmerton Ward.
The community teams and sergeants can be contacted through the dedicated email addresses of
A few things to make you aware of:
You may be aware of the attack in Salisbury Place, a few weeks ago. I am in touch regularly with the department overseeing the investigation and we are following positive lines of enquiry and hope to release an update soon. Please be assured we are doing all we can to resolve this quickly, however we believe the person responsible is no longer in the area.
A recent attack on an elderly man has also gained media attention, I spoke to the officer who is investigating this terrible crime this morning and I am informed it is going well with a likelihood of the individual identified soon. Increased patrols and engagement with the residents is ongoing.
We have had several reports of anti social behaviour and officers have been tasked to these areas, they include areas in the Gilmerton, Inch/ Moredun, Morningside and Nicolson Street areas.
We are in the middle of our Halloween and Bonfire operation and officers were deployed over the weekend in case of any unwanted trick or treaters visiting the area, the weekend went well with our officers kept busy. Our bonfire/ Guy Fawkes part of the operation is about to be implemented and this is a joint operation with our partners/ colleagues from the local South department of the City of Edinburgh Council and of course my colleagues/ partners from the local Scottish Fire Service.
Road Safety is high on our agenda particularly with the early darker nights, officers have been involved in the monitoring of the 20mph limits but we have also conducted speed checks in the Prestonfield, Braids and Sciennes areas.
We are also going out with our partners from the Road Safety department of the City of Edinburgh Council this week and next to provide support and advice to those cycling in the town and will be issuing free lights and high visibility items for them to wear.
At this time of year houses and sheds can become targets, again due to the early nights, please look to secure your property and simple things like, timers on your lights, keeping tools and objects used for climbing locked away all help.
If you need any advice please do not hesitate to contact the local community team for assistance, we also have a lot of useful information on our website at:
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of the ward officers and or the new community sergeants should you require any help or have specific complaints and or feel free to let get in touch with myself.
We are already planning our Christmas/ New Year policing plan, after all it is only 7 weeks away!
Regards and best wishes
Meal Makers Scheme
Roll out of 20mph speed limits
You can also see details of other Christmas switch-on’s here
Unfortunately Royal Bank of Scotland Branches in Gilmerton and Comiston Road will be closing on the 1st and 6th June next year. This is first and foremost terrible news for some staff who may lose their jobs but also for regular customers.
I have contacted residents to let them know of the changes and will be publishing the full RBS public consultation when I receive it.