Historic Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police have joined forces to raise drivers’ awareness and reinforce measures to protect and preserve the natural beauty of Holyrood Park.
Historic Scotland has been working closely with Edinburgh City Council to provide more visible traffic signage on all routes into and through the Park to make drivers aware that these roads are for the sole use of non-commercial traffic and taxis.
During February, drivers travelling into and through the Park will be stopped and made aware of its traffic regulations.
Following the period of educational stops there will also be random spot checks by Lothian and Borders Police throughout the Park.
Drivers breaching the commercial vehicle restrictions or speed limit will be subject to a fixed £30 non-endorsable penalty notice under Section 75/76 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Martin Gray, Historic Scotland’s Royal Parks Visitor Services Manager said:
“Holyrood Park is a unique green space in the heart of the city. The Park’s location makes it very accessible and popular to visitors, but developments around the park have resulted in increasing levels of through-traffic, commercial vehicle misuse and speeding. Large and heavy vehicles cause accelerated wearing of roads surfaces and damage kerbs and traffic islands. They also pose a risk to park users and wildlife who enjoy the use of the Park.
“We are very grateful to the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police for their assistance in helping us address these issues, which will help protect and preserve Holyrood Park for the enjoyment of present and future generations of
Inspector Nadine Aliane from Lothian and Borders Police added: ”Lothian and Borders Police is committed to working with local communities and partner agencies to improve quality of life throughout Edinburgh.
“We know that by enforcing these traffic regulations, we are helping preserve an area of natural beauty that can be enjoyed by people across the city, as well as easing traffic congestion for people who live in the vicinity of the park.
“We understand that this enforcement can’t come in isolation, so we will undertake a series of educational events to make sure people are fully aware of the law and aren’t unnecessarily penalised.”
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, Edinburgh’s Transport Convener, said: “I welcome this joint initiative and the benefits that it will bring not only Holyrood Park but also to the residents in the surrounding areas.”
David Waugh’s red onion marmalade, goat’s cheese and basil pizza ‘Gusto del Papa’ (meaning Pappa’s Taste) topped suggestions from the other two finalists Jayne Leigh and Simon Larner, and will be featured on the Mamma’s menu this summer.
David, from Eothwell, South Lanarkshire, will enjoy free pizza for a year and a table for four at the Mamma’s 25th anniversary party tomorrow night (Tuesday 1 February).
The three entrants cooked their pizzas at Mamma’s kitchen in an exciting pizza cook-off, before a panel of expert judges, on Saturday. David was inspired by how the flavours of goat’s cheese and onion complement each other, and the judges felt that his combination of flavours worked best together.
Jayne-Leigh’s pizza was the All American – featuring cactus, artichoke, fried egg, prosciutto and garlic – and Simon’s BER pizza was topped with black pudding, poached egg and rocket.
Mamma’s Pizza and Panzerotti invited diners past and present to create the most innovative pizza topping in celebration of the popular restaurant’s 25 successful years in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.
Mamma’s owners Paul and Caitriona Duncan were delighted with the number and quality of entries received.
Paul Duncan says: “We were so impressed with some of the suggestions that it was very difficult for us to narrow it down to just one winner but we are happy with our final choice and really excited about having the three winning entrants with us to celebrate our 25th anniversary tomorrow night.”
Originally opened in 1985 by two Canadian born actors Angus MacInnes and Phil Craig, Mamma’s was taken over by the current owners Paul and Caitriona Duncan in 2003.
Angus MacInnes is best known for playing the Gold Leader in the fourth Star Wars movie, as well as starring in BBC Scotland’s weekly drama River City, and was one of the pizza competition judges, alongside Roben Hera from Foodies magazine.
Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP (Lothians) (SNP) is encouraging residents in Leith and North Edinburgh to have their say on Forth Energy’s proposals to build a large biomass plant at Imperial Dock. The energy company finally lodged their consent application with The Scottish Government today – 31st January, and the proposal has already stirred up controversy in the area.
The company is obliged to advertise the application in the press, and a Government consultation will remain open until March.
Ms Somerville said:
“Over the last twelve months, I’ve received more correspondence from constituents on this issue than any other. The overwhelming majority of residents are strongly opposed to these plans.
I share their opposition. The power plant proposed by Forth Energy is far too big and would be built in completely the wrong place. The claimed environmental benefits are – to put it mildly – highly dubious.
I remain optimistic that the application will be refused. However, it’s important that as many residents as possible make their views known to the Scottish Government before the consultation closes in March”.
by Margaret Smith, MSP for Edinburgh West
As the constituency MSP for Edinburgh West I am in no doubt that it is a great part of the city to represent. Most people might think of it as an urban area but I’m also lucky enough to represent more rural parts of Edinburgh in the Parliament as well. One of the best known is South Queensferry; with its cobbled high street, harbour, interesting restaurants and shops and views across to Fife, it is one of the most picturesque areas in the capital.
For generations, South Queensferry has been characterised by the sight of two bridges spanning the Forth. With the Forth Crossing Bill gaining Royal Assent this year, it will soon be the sight of three very distinctive bridges spanning this famous stretch of water. Each bridge built in a different century – each unique in their own way.
For the past six years, if not longer, I have been working alongside the residents of South Queensferry and neighbouring areas, like Kirkliston, to try to secure the best possible deal for the individuals and communities who will be most affected by the new crossing and its construction. Sometimes it has been a real struggle to try to understand the technicalities and complexities of the various plans and options. On a recent primary school visit a young boy asked me what he should study if he wanted to be an MSP. I suggested engineering.
Like many people in the constituency, I was disappointed that The Scottish Government chose to build a bridge rather than a tunnel. A tunnel would, I believe, have had less of an adverse impact on my constituents and the local environment. That is, however, a debate that has been and gone, along with attempts to have a direct link to the M9 and a multi-modal crossing.
As the local MSP, I worked closely with the community to try to make sure that as well as bearing the brunt of many of the construction drawbacks, the scheme also brought some benefits. These ranged from better cyclist and pedestrian access to more information for local businesses and tourist attractions, like Dundas Castle and Hopetoun House. The work to ensure that local businesses and services actually benefit will continue through the six year construction phase. The additional economic benefit of the crossing project has been estimated by the British Chambers of Commerce to be worth around £6 billion to Scotland’s economy and last week local businesses in the Lothians and Fife had the chance to hear about how they could take advantage of potential opportunities during its construction.
Over 150 representatives from local businesses, ranging from engineering firms to bed and breakfast owners, attended a briefing event organised by Transport Scotland in partnership with Public Contracts Scotland. Its aim was to ensure local businesses had up to date information on the project, and to ensure they stayed in touch with potential sub-contract opportunities once the main contractors are appointed to deliver the Forth replacement crossing project.
Anyone who was involved in the Parliamentary process as an objector, as I was, knows that it was not an easy time. The work required of local residents, the community council, the business association and others, was detailed and hugely time consuming. All those who took part contributed an enormous amount to try to improve the scheme , and although not all of our efforts were rewarded with changes to the project’s design, it was heartening to witness so many people getting involved in the issue for themselves, their neighbours and their community.
There are, of course, lessons for the Parliament to learn – I think that those objecting to Bills and giving evidence need more time and resources to assist them; more account needs to be taken of their views in the final decisions and further information needs to be made available to them as the project unfolds. A passing of a Bill certainly cannot be seen as the end of the line for the communities living under the shadow of the bridges.
The whole debate about the new crossing is something which I have grown very close to over the years and it’s one which will continue to demand a great deal of my time (if I’m re-elected for a fourth term). Construction work for the project is due to start this year and it will shape South Queensferry for the foreseeable future.
Let’s hope that the cable stay bridge will in time become as iconic as its well known neighbours.
Being held in March, the event is being hosted by law firm, Biggart Baillie, with principal in-house solicitor at BBC Scotland, Rosalind McInnes, and intellectual property specialist, Colin Miller, taking part.
Also up for discussion is freedom of information, defamation, copyright, intellectual property, the internet and data protection. Both McInnes and Miller are contributors to the recently-published eighth edition of ‘Scots Law for Journalists’.
The exact seminar date is still to be announced and will take place at Biggart Baillie’s offices in Glasgow. Depending on demand, there may be a similar seminar in Edinburgh. So come on all you Edinburgh journalists – email the firm and demand a free seminar here…..No matter how well qualified any of us might be we can still do with a brush-up on our knowledge!
Presentations will last for about one hour and will be followed by a Q&A session, and a drinks and canapé reception.
The event is being partly organised by the National Union of Journalists.
For more information, contact Fiona Davidson or Alice McCarney at 0141 248 6648 or email email@example.com
The Hard Rock Cafe is a real institution. They have fans who travel the world in search of T-shirts and pins just to say that they have been to a Hard Rock in a certain place. One of the great things in the George Street Hard Rock is that you can track the whereabouts of all the pieces of memorabilia which decorate all of the restaurants world-wide. So you can search where Elton John’s piano is at the moment just by clicking on the photo on the interactive screen. Ringo Starr’s leather jacket is on show in Edinburgh along with a load of other notable rock items.
In celebration of its ‘Legendary Burger’ range, a firm favourite with all visitors to Hard Rock Cafes around the world, Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh have announced details of their ‘Another Legendary Performance’ competition. Their local legendary burger is a 10 oz burger topped with a fresh local haggis finished with 2 slices of mulled cheddar. And let us just say that it is delicious when accompanied by mushrooms….as our server, David, recommended to us.
Lesley Ross the Sales and Marketing Manager met us to take us through the Hard Rock experience, and we should say that we have rarely met anyone who is so genuinely enthused with their job. Did you know that all the sauces used in the restaurant are actually made daily in the restaurant? Not the cheapest burger we have had, but certainly ranks up there as one of the very juiciest and best!
From 10 January to 27 February, guests at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh who order a Legendary Burger along with a cool Budweiser will get the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Hard Rock Calling!
This three-day event, which takes place in London’s Hyde Park 24-26 June, has already confirmed Bon Jovi as one of the headliners and will be adding more exciting acts over the coming months. Hard Rock Calling is the UK leg of Hard Rock’s annual Ambassadors of Rock global series of shows.
Hard Rock Cafe serves up the world’s favorite burger in its 134 locations worldwide, from London to Las Vegas to Lisbon and it guarantees delicious American fare. These burgers, hearty enough to satisfy anyone’s hunger, come with a variety of outrageous, mouth-watering additions, including…
· Classic Patty Melt – Served on butter-toasted Panini bread with sautéed caramelized onions and three slices of your choice of cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, sweet red onion and pickles.
· California Burger – Toasted bun brushed with Ranch dressing, fresh cucumber slices, lettuce, tomato, fresh-made Hard Rock Guacamole and topped with Monterey Jack cheese.
· Mediterranean Burger – Tzatziki sauce, lettuce and ripe tomato slice, topped with feta cheese, diced red onion, capers, black olives and pepperoncini peppers.
· Grilled Granny Smith Apple & Provolone Burger – Topped with sweet Maple mustard, lettuce, grilled Granny Smith apple slices, caramelized onions, seasoned crisp thick bacon and melted Provolone cheese.
· Local Legendary – Savor your Legendary Burger with some authentically mouth-watering local flavor – whether it’s an Asian spin in Tokyo, a South American zing in Buenos Aires or a European twist in Paris.
The College welcomes to its Board:
Eddie Frizzell, MA (Hons), Visiting Professor of Public Service Management at Queen Margaret University. Eddie is the former Head of the Scottish Executive’s Enterprise Transport and Lifelong Learning Department, 1999–2006, and the former Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, 1991-1999.
Lesley Watt, LLB, Dip LP, CA, Finance Director for the National Trust for Scotland. A qualified solicitor and a chartered accountant, Lesley’s experience in finance spreads across 20 years and all three sectors. Before joining the National Trust for Scotland, Lesley was finance director at Waverley, the Wine and Spirits division of Scottish Newcastle Plc.
Tessa Jackson, OBE, BA (Hons), MA, international cultural development consultant; former Chair of the Edinburgh Art Festival; Artistic Director, Artes Mundi Prize (since 2002); and Interim Chief Executive, Institute of International Visual Arts (since 2008). Tessa’s long career in the visual arts includes her roles as Curator of the University of Strathclyde’s Collins Gallery from 1982 to 1988, Visual Arts Officer for Glasgow 1990 European City of Culture, Director of Bristol’s Arnolfini from 1991 to 1999, and Director of the Scottish Arts Council from 1999 to 2001.
Jocelyn Cunliffe, MA (Hons), RIBA, ARIAS. Jocelyn joined TM Gray & Associates in 1976, becoming an associate in 1979 and a partner in 1987. Practice renamed Gray, Marshall and Associates in 1986. Jocelyn has a particular interest in architectural history and has been responsible for many significant conservation projects in the city of Edinburgh. Since 1999 she has been a RIBA Part III examiner and Chair since 2009 of the RIAS Conservation Committee.
Welcoming the new members, Donald Workman, Chair of the Board of Governors, says: ‘We’re delighted to have these four distinguished individuals join the Board of Governors at Edinburgh College of Art. They each bring considerable experience and a valuable skillset from their own areas of expertise, and consequently will be great assets to the Board.’
The Reporter went along to 24 Hill Street one Wednesday afternoon in January, for the first time in a long long time! In the old days it used to be a bit of a lunchtime haunt, offering lovely salads and healthy foods, but only open during the week and closed at weekends. Now it is revitalised under the ownership of Tracey Laycock.
We were invited to afternoon tea with the founder of Mama Tea, Anna Louise Simpson,
It was however an afternoon of firsts.
It is the owner Tracey’s first month in business running 24 Hill Street as a place to hang out, eat breakfast, drink coffee or do lunch, depending on the time of day. Soon there will be wifi too, meaning that it could fast become The Reporter’s new haunt.
It was the first afternoon tea Party thrown by Mama Tea, and for marketing manager, Karen Dunne, it was her first day at work with Mama Tea!
Founder of Mama Tea, Anna Louise Simpson. was about to go off on her first trip to San Francisco, as she has customers even as far away as the west coast of America.
On her very first day of business she received a telephone call from Oman asking for a shipment of her tea. She thought it was a friend playing a practical joke……but actually it was for real!
Tea entrepreneur, Anna Louise won the prestigious “Best Start-Up Award” awarded by the UK Mumpreneur Conference,in September last year.
One of 6 finalists, Anna Louise was delighted to win her first business award and said at the time:- “I am completely over the moon to win this award! It means a lot to me to receive this recognition. A big thanks is due to everyone who has supported me but most of all to all the loyal Mama Tea customers!”
Mama Tea was founded in April 2009 and is a range of caffeine-free herbal tea that not only tastes good but is also good for pregnant and nursing women. Simpson secured a contract with Waitrose 4 weeks after she started trading and a contract with Tesco by the end of year one.
The company also supplies one of the world’s largest maternity retailers, Destination Maternity, based in the U.S.
Simpson has plans to expand the e-commerce side of the business, so that international fans of Mama Tea can buy the tea direct from the website, which will be in lots of different languages. She also intends using social media to attract more customers from all over the world.
A wide range of free online IT courses are now available from local libraries across Midlothian.
Midlothian Libraries have signed up to ‘Study IT Online’ – a service which provides easy-to-use online training and assessment to help develop your computer and internet skills, improve your chances of promotion or finding a job, and help you work smarter.
All the courses are free and are learner-focused. There’s no time pressure involved – because the courses are online, each learner can study at the pace which suits them best.
Cllr Peter Boyes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries, said: “Our free online IT courses are a great way to improve your computer skills and gain confidence in using the internet. There’s something on offer for everyone, even if you’ve never used a computer before. Our library staff members are always available to lend a helping hand and answer any questions you may have.”
A wide variety of free courses are available for library members, including:
• Computing for the Terrified: a fun and uncomplicated introduction to computers and the internet. This course has been designed as a flexible learning programme to provide an informal introduction to basic computer skills.
• European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) – ECDL is a widely-recognised certificate and a valuable addition to any CV. The ECDL course comprises seven modules which you can work through in your own time and at your own pace. If you have worked through all seven modules and wish to gain the ECDL certificate, just ask a library staff member for information about MiTech’s assessment centre in Dalkeith.
• Leadership Skills – to help develop your leadership skills
• Time Management – tips to help you make the most productive use of your time.
• Courses are also available in team building, business writing skills, information handling, customer care, telephone techniques and CV writing.
To sign up for any of these courses, just pop down to your local library and ask a staff member. They will register you and provide you with your username or password. You can then access the courses from your computer at home or at work – or you can use the free PCs available in your library.
For further information about any of these courses contact your local library, or Midlothian Libraries HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 271 3980.
Edinburgh is to introduce battery and plastic bottle recycling as part of the city’s wider waste and recycling strategy.
City residents have been recycling a range of materials for several years, with plastic bottles and batteries now being added to the kerbside recycling box collection.
From today, plastic bottles will be picked up from the red kerbside boxes while batteries will be picked up from the blue kerbside boxes for recycling.
Currently, in Edinburgh plastic bottles are one of the most asked about recyclable items and residents can recycle plastic bottles by using on-street packaging points and bring sites.
A recent UK Government survey (YouGov) revealed that 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, which is around 15 million bottles per day. And plastic bottles can take up to 500 years to decompose.
The introduction of battery recycling at the kerbside is an exciting new initiative not seen in the city before.
Householders can currently recycle their household batteries at various shops as well as the Council Community Recycling Centres, but the additions to the kerbside recycling box collection means the public will be able to place batteries in their blue boxes for recycling.
A 2010 survey by the European Recycling Platform found that nearly half of the UK population had never recycled a battery, with 29 per cent of those saying that the did not even know that batteries could be recycled.
The study also revealed that there is a lack of knowledge of where batteries could be taken to be recycled.
In the UK, only about three to five per cent of all household batteries are recycled. Most old batteries end up in landfill, where they can leak harmful chemicals into the soil. The introduction of the new recycling initiative in Edinburgh will help with reducing the harmful affects on the environment.
The recycling scheme makes it easier for residents to recycle more materials and can help reduce the amount of batteries and plastic bottles ending up in landfill.
The new waste and recycling strategy will work towards the target of increasing recycling in Edinburgh to 75% by 2020.
The Council currently spends over £7m per year on landfill tax. This is set to increase to £12m by 2014, if action isn’t taken to get more people to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environmental Leader, said: “We are really stepping up our recycling activity in Edinburgh; with the introduction of a food waste pilot due to start soon and now householders will also be able to recycle batteries and plastic bottles at the kerbside. It is important as a city that we lower the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and the introduction of these new services will make it easier for residents to recycle even more materials.
“Everyone has a responsibility to reduce waste, especially with materials such as plastics and batteries. Recycling at the kerbside protects natural resources and I would urge the public to get behind these new services and reduce, reuse and recycle where they can.”