This edition should give you an idea of things going on locally and in Westminster. There are updates on several planning applications as well as news on the well used Southside Surgery. As usual Brexit and Trump are dominating at Westminster but I have written blogs on the Dubs amendment and Personal Independence Payments.
This edition also includes an important guest blog from Tap into IT and the latest news on the Sick Kids Site.
My friend and MND campaigner Gordon Aikman sadly passed away on February the 2nd. I was kindly granted an Adjournment Debate by the Speaker where I talked of the need to carry on Gordon’s inspiring legacy. You can watch my speech by clicking below:
Lastly, as part of my on-going consultation with constituents on Brexit and our future relationship with the EU, I have organised a public meeting on Friday 17th February at 6:30pm. I will be joined by my colleague Daniel Johnson MSP as well as representatives from Edinburgh University and the CBI. The meeting will be held at the Eric Liddell Centre and will be an opportunity to learn more about the process and the implications for the constitution, business, and EU nationals.
Please note: spaces are limited so please email me with your details to confirm attendance.
As always, if you have any concerns over any local or national issues, please get in touch using the below contact details.
This month I voted on the following:
- For several Labour amendments to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
- Against a 40% strike ballot threshold for pubic sector workers
- For the Criminal Finances Bill
- Against the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
- For Labour amendments to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill including: the rights of EU nationals, a meaningful vote in parliament on the final deal, regular reports back to parliament, as close a relationship with the single market as possible and protections for Social Chapter Rights and regulatory harmonisation.
You can watch my speech in the debate here:
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.
17/00184/FUL- 7 Canaan Lane – There is an application to replace the old public toilet on Canaan Lane with a new six storey building. Following contact from several worried constituents I have made representations to the Council regarding the design of the building and lack of parking available on an already congested road.
The comments period has closed and a decision will be made in due course. You can read an Evening News article about the application here.
16/04158/FUL – 200 Mayfield Road – An application to demolish the existing public house/restaurant and to erect purpose built managed student accommodation comprising 89 self contained studio flats over 5 levels has been accepted.
There has been some controversy with this application as neighbours claimed the neighbour notifications were not sent. This is supported by the fact there were no comments on the application and, as such, the application did not go to committee. This also breaks a convention whereby every new build student accommodation plan has to go through committee.
An investigation is going on but the build will more than likely go ahead.
17/00588/FUL – Former Royal High School – There is an application to convert the former Royal High School site on Calton Hill into a new hotel. Despite the fact this site is outwith Edinburgh South I have been contacted by many constituents who are worried by the design.
You can view the application here using the aforementioned reference number. Comments can be made until 24th March.
16/05445/FUL and 16/05444/FUL – 32 and 34 Midmar Drive – Both applications to demolish the existing cottages and build (x2) five 2 bed flats have been withdrawn. Local residents had been worried that these sizeable developments would set a precedent.
Some photos from conference…
Update from NHS Scotland on Southside Sugery
The Southside Surgery team came under direct NHS management in January, through the HSCP. As you are aware, the practice had been facing a number of challenges regarding recruitment and retention, similar to the pressures being faced by general practice across the country. The GP partners took the difficult decision to withdraw from their contract and this resulted in the need for the current premises to be sold and to look at alternatives for the future.
NHS Lothian and the HSCP have been working closely with the team at the Surgery to ensure patients continue to receive safe, effective and timely care. The GPs and staff have transferred to NHS Lothian providing job security and opportunities to explore new service delivery approaches.
At the same time, a great deal of work has been undertaken to identify options for new premises for the Surgery. A number of options have been explored and agreement has been reached with the GP team at the Conan Doyle Medical Centre at Cameron Toll and the Southside Surgery will move into the Conan Doyle Medical Centre in May or June this year.
The purpose built Conan Doyle Medical Centre was opened in 2007 and will provide suitable consulting and waiting space for Southside Surgery staff and patients as well as improved car parking and better disabled access. The Medical Centre is around one and a half miles from the Southside Surgery’s current location on Bernard Terrace and there are excellent bus links.
A lot of hard work has gone into finding a solution that will secure the future of this important Edinburgh practice. The HSCP and practice team would like to thank patients and staff for their patience during this period and to reassure them that the facilities being provided within the Conan Doyle Medical Centre will be a significant improvement on the current premises.
Information on the new arrangements will be sent to all patients, around 5000 currently registered, directly once all the details have been finalised.