The social networking feeds on www.facebook.com/queensferry and @qdcc on Twitter feature regular updates posted by QDCC members on issues of importance to the local community, such as bus service changes, roadworks, planning applications, the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Replacement Crossing, as well as news of local events.
The pages also provide a forum for residents to provide and exchange information, something which proved invaluable during the severe weather at the end of last year which saw widespread disruption to services and transportation.
QDCC was the first community council in Edinburgh to embrace social networking and the pages now have a combined following of over 500 people.
Martin Gallagher, Vice-Chairman of QDCC, who led the setting up of the pages said: “Our consultations on the Forth Replacement Crossing in 2009 brought home the realisation that we needed to branch out beyond the traditional methods of engagement to ensure we could reach as much of the community as possible. With today’s busy lifestyles, attending meetings or open evenings isn’t always a viable option, especially for those who work and have young families. Online social networking is quick, convenient and available 24/7, without the need to attend a meeting at a fixed place and time.”
“The uptake of the Facebook and Twitter sites has been very encouraging. They have quickly become an invaluable tool for QDCC in ascertaining and coordinating the views of the community.”
It is not just Queensferry residents who subscribe to the pages, with QDCC attracting a global following from as far afield as New York, California, Florida, Ohio, India, Australia and Puerto Rico.
Mr Gallagher added: I am pleased the social networking sites also allow past residents and visitors to keep in touch with what’s happening in Queensferry, and we’ve had several comments and photos left by past visitors from the United States.”
QDCC’s online social networking sites are maintained by five QDCC members.
CEO of Edinburgh based charity, Cyrenians, Des Ryan, has written to the leaders of all main political parties represented in The Scottish Parliamentary Election 2011 to ask them for help. This is the text of his letter
I am writing to the leaders of all the main political parties to ask about your continued commitment to maintaining and indeed improving the excellent progress we have seen over the lifetime of the Scottish parliaments since 1999 in tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness.
Scotland can be very proud of achievements to date. I have been visited by groups from Europe, Japan and North America due to the high reputation of our national strategies, our progress and ambitious targets to end homelessness. We can rightly claim to be a world leader in this. But the job is still far from done and there are strong signs of an upsurge in homelessness ahead and a deepening of the poverty that makes people vulnerable.
Establishing the Homelessness Task Force was one of the first actions of the newly established Parliament in 1999. Major improvements have been made through progressive legislation – with cross-party support – in 2001 and 2003, together with financial investment and strategic leadership from the Executive.
Of course there are many social problems to deal with, but how well a country protects its most vulnerable citizens from homelessness and supports them back into mainstream life is a significant measure of our effectiveness as a humane and successful society.
I acknowledge that homelessness is not a priority concern for the mass of the electorate, but I would ask you as leader to signal your support for tackling homelessness during your election campaign and carry that commitment into the life of the next Parliament.
The Scottish Conservatives have announced that they want a £200 Council Tax discount for all pensioner households in Scotland.
Speaking on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, where she was joined by top ranked Glasgow candidate Ruth Davidson, Annabel Goldie, Scottish Conservative Leader, said:
“The Council Tax freeze has been a great help to families with their household bills, which is why it was only delivered with Scottish Conservative support. Our fully costed plans include an extension of the freeze until at least 2013.
“However, there is one section of society for whom we can do more. Our senior citizens. These are people who have worked hard all their lives, paid their taxes and raised their families.
“So we will introduce a £200 Council Tax cut for all pensioner households in Scotland. Not just for one year, but for every year.
“These plans have been fully costed as part of our comprehensive four year spending plans and therefore won’t require pensioners to go through yet another means test.
“It is common sense to help our pensioners with their Council Tax bills and Scottish Conservatives will do just that. Every voter in every seat in every region of Scotland can use the peach ballot paper to vote for these common sense policies on May 5th.”
The SNP today published its mini manifesto on the environment, outlining the green policies a re-elected SNP Government will take forward. The document, “A Greener Scotland”, explains how the SNP will take forward plans for better energy efficiency in homes to combat fuel poverty, with a further £50 million for a new Warm Homes fund.
It also outlines proposals to electrify more of Scotland’s rail network and implement a new £50 million Future Transport fund to ensure a shift to low carbon means of transport. The introduction of zero waste legislation, a review of land reform laws and plans to plant 100 million trees by 2015 are also included in the mini-manifesto.
“The SNP has already made huge strides towards securing a greener future, not just through the renewable energy revolution, but also by getting world-leading climate change legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament.
“That legislation, with its target of a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 has been widely acknowledged as setting an international example for others to follow.
“A re-elected SNP Government will take that green agenda forward with policies which will help secure cleaner transport, a healthier outdoor environment and warmer homes.”
Alison, who is top of the regional list for the Greens in Lothian, is seeking to replace retiring Green MSP Robin Harper.
She will go live online for the #AskAlison session tonight as the Greens look to widen their reach, with just 5 days to go until the election.
Alison said: “I’ve been out on the streets for weeks now, urging people to 2nd Vote Green on 5 May and getting a great response.
“But I also want to reach people in different ways. By giving them the chance to #askalison, I’m confident that even more people will give their second votes to the Greens.”
Alison will be online from 19:00 until 20:00 on Saturday 30 April.
The party is urging people to “2nd Vote Green” and use their regional vote to elect Green candidates up and down the country to fight to keep tuition free, invest in public services through fairer taxation, and insulate every home in Scotland.
There is an old political tradition of burying bad news on a busy day. And yesterday was wall-to-wall coverage of The Royal Wedding so it was a good day for it. The Edinburgh Evening News claimed yesterday that the project cash has run out and the route will now stop at Haymarket. This has, needless to say, been rejected by tie. Maybe we will get to know some proper news about the trams after the election this week? Certainly EEN say that there is to be a meeting on May 16 when the results of the mediation process will be made known.
STV Local report that hundreds of ‘Republicans’ marched down The Royal Mile yesterday to’express their discontent’ with the Royal Wedding, requiring a police presence to maintain the peace. There are Photos on STV Local.
The cyclist who died in the Broughton Road on Thursday morning has been named as 32 year-old Craig Newton from Musselburgh, according to Broughton Spurtle.
Greener Leith have an April round-up of some of the best stories about nature this month.
Today you can go along to the Farmers’ Market on Castle Terrace for some of your shopping. The Reporter’s favourite thing to do is to get a wee bowl of porridge and a coffee while browsing the rest of the stalls. It starts at around 9 this morning and most stalls close by about 2pm.
Three men, one with no buoyancy aids were plucked from the freezing waters of the Forth after a watersports trip went horribly wrong.
The RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat was called out by the Coastguard at 1.41pm today to go to the aid of two people in the water from a broken down speedboat off Dalgety Bay. The crew of helmsman Derek Sutton, Chris Still and Martin Crawford sped to the scene and located an 18 ft. speedboat “Absolute Zero” which had suffered engine failure with seven people aboard.
The RNLI Lifeboat crew located the two men reported to be in the water, skipper Matt Nightingale (36) from Shotts and 42 year old Lee Green From Glasgow, Green was struggling in the metre and a half swell and winds gusting to force five in the freezing waters of the Forth over half a mile from shore.
The crew got the two men aboard the Lifeboat and a very relieved Lee Green, suffering from hypothermia said :-”I thought I had had it”. It was then that the crew were told of another man in the water and realised that he had no buoyancy aid. Initially he could not be seen.
The Lifeboat located Richard Yanitsaro (21) about a half a mile from the boat. He was going under when he was dragged from the water by rescuers in the nick of time suffering badly from hypothermia. The crew rushed them to the shore at Dalgety Bay Boat Club. Lifeboatman Chris Still stayed with them until the ambulance arrived to take the two men suffering from hypothermia to St.Margaret’s Hospital, Dunfermline for treatment. The RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat crew then returned to the broken down speedboat which had drifted a mile and was in danger of running aground at St. David’s Bay.
The seven people aboard had witnessed the Lifeboat rescuing the two men near the boat, but could not see the rescue of Richard, so when the Lifeboat arrived back to pick them up they were relieved that the lifeboat crew had managed to locate and rescue their colleague.
The Lifeboat lashed the speedboat alongside and safely towed her to Dalgety Bay.
29th April 2011
Today at The Filmhouse from 1300 they are showing L’Affaire Farewell directed by Christian Carion (France 2009) Certificate 12A Cast: Guillaume Canet, Emir Kusturica, Willem Dafoe, Diane Kruger, Alexandra Maria Lara. French, English and Russian with English subtitles
In Cold War Moscow, two years after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a French businessman, Pierre Froment (Canet) forms a bond with Grigoriev (Kusturica), a disenchanted KGB officer, who soon starts passing him information about Soviet spies in the US. As, via Froment, the information is passed higher and higher up the chain all the way to the White House, the KGB start to look in deadly earnest for their leak, and the life of an ordinary man in an extraordinary position starts to unravel around him.
Meanwhile at The Dominion they are showing Oranges and Sunshine this weekend. The film tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the forced migration of children from the United Kingdom. Almost singlehandedly,… Oranges and Sunshine tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the forced migration of children from the United Kingdom. Almost singlehandedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, Margaret reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. She discovered a secret that the British government had kept hidden for years: one hundred and thirty thousand children in care had been sent abroad to commonwealth countries, mainly Australia. Children as young as four had been told that their parents were dead, and been sent to children’s homes on the other side of the world. Many were subjected to appalling abuse. They were promised oranges and sunshine, they got hard labour and life in institutions.
For those of a more sporting nature Boroughmuir rugby club host their annual sevens tournament at Meggatland tonight. Some of Scotlands top club sides including Glasgow Hawks, Watsonians and Stirling County will be battling to win the trophy. The first game kicks off at 6pm and the final is due to take place at 9pm. Admission is £5.
Grassmarket Edinburgh has created a free live music festival to be held from Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May.
The Grassmarket Festival will showcase work from many of Scotland’s leading and most innovative artists and makers. Vintage clothing, furniture and ceramics will sit alongside secondhand vinyl, artist books, quilts and other cool collectables.
Opening hours: Friday 29th April 12pm – 8pm; Saturday 30th April 12pm – 8pm; Sunday 1st May 12pm – 6pm.
The Irish show blends Irish Dance with Flamenco and Salsa and has been seen by more than 25 million people worldwide.
Shows start at 7.30pm tonight and Friday, culminating in Saturday’s 2.30pm matinee.
Tickets are between £19 and £23 – book online at https://booking.fctt.co.uk/ShowDatesCombo.aspx or call the Box Office on 0131 529 6000.
30th April 2011
The first ever Balfour Street Bazaar is for one day only and will showcase local artists, as well as offer a treasure trove of retro goodies and nick-nacks…
More specifically, there will be jewellery, second hand clothes, bric a brac, home baking, preserves, wee plants and ‘I heart Leith’ prints all for sale.
Pop in for a cup of herbal tea and you can even have a go at hula hooping!
At The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston The Scottish Home Improvement and Self Build Show (30 April & 1 May) – Now in its sixth year this is one of the most inspiring home improvement events in Scotland. For more information go to their website.
The Beltane Fire Festival takes place tonight, from 9pm til 1am on Calton Hill.
Celebrate the start of summer at this legendary festival which has a unique and wild procession of fire, drumming and revelry.
Tickets are £6 and can be bought from:
1 May 2011
The Musselburgh Hotpot is calling all Musicians, Story-tellers, Poets and Artists to come on down to the sea-side to try out their fledgling tricks and more seasoned talents in a friendly monthly acoustic open-floor platform. This all takes place at Stagg (Volunteer Arms) 81 North High Street, Musselburgh at 8pm on the first Sunday of every month. Please get there at 7.30 pm in order to register to perform or otherwise just turn up to watch. Entry is by donation. For more details contact Stephen 0131 653 6577 or Angie 0131 653 2423.
The Cameo is showing Jamie Cullum live from Cheltenham Jazz Festival at 8.30pm.
Sun 1 May
10:00 – 16:00
Adult £10.50/£8.50, Child £5 (under 5 free), family ticket £27.50
Book on 0300 123 6789
“Meet our re-enactors and their military vehicles from the First and Second World Wars, see them in battle and watch the skies for an aerobatic flying display. Join in our street party, learn to ‘make do and mend’ in our craft workshops, find out how your grandparents used to play as children and dance to the music of the time. Age restrictions may apply for some activities.”
The care home got into the spirit by hosting Royal tea dances, dinners and regal quizzes. There was also a cinema trip organised to see the Oscar winning Kings Speech.
And as part of the special festivities, staff also laid on a ‘hen and stag’ party at a local casino.
Residents were treated to 25p bets and a special lunch at the red, white and blue bash.
To toast the forthcoming nuptials, non-alcoholic cocktails were on offer as well as a great British menu of fish and chips.
A very special exhibition was also staged at the care home with photos of the residents their own wedding days. There was also a vintage 70-year-old wedding dress on display.
Other leaflets, books, pamphlets and commemorative pins from the Queens Jubilee and other Royal events were brought in from the Council’s museum collections.
Veronica Currie, Assistant Manager at The Tower Care Home, said: “It is really important for residents to celebrate the Royal Wedding, it’s not about being old, it’s about enjoying yourself. The residents have had a great time; everybody should have the chance to celebrate the wedding.”
Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Leader, said: “We regularly run exciting and fun initiatives for our residents from Wii competitions to X Factor competitions. This special month-long Royal Wedding activity is particularly useful for older people who have dementia as it encourages them to think about times gone past and their own weddings. And these types of projects are a great way of keeping older people active. As a Council we like to change and develop the services we provide in care homes to benefit residents and their families.”
It has finally dawned. The Royal wedding takes place in London today between second in line to the throne, Prince William, and his fiancée, Miss Catherine Middleton. From Bucklebury to Buckingham Palace, the marriage will make her Princess Catherine, and possibly Queen one day in the future. What we are mainly thinking about here in Edinburgh is that we have a day off, and for the second weekend in a row, it is a four day weekend.
What are you doing to celebrate that? Do tell us! (We might be watching the TV for a wee while this morning….)
Lord Provost George Grubb is making the final preparations for his journey to London today where he will be a guest at the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton.
The Lord Provost, who is also Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, is taking an early morning flight to attend the event at Westminster Abbey.
He said: “I am delighted to be representing the City of Edinburgh at the Royal Wedding. It promises to be a lovely occasion celebrating the happiness of two young people and I will no doubt remember the event for a long time to come.”
The Lord Provost also revealed that he had received two thank you letters – one from St James Palace, one from The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) – in gratitude for the wedding gift of £250.
This sum was presented to the bridal couple from the Lord Provost’s Benevolent Fund, with the request that it should go towards the RAFBF. The Lord Provost served as an RAF padre for eight years, and Prince William is an RAF helicopter pilot.
The letter from the RAFBF passes on the organisation’s gratitude to the City of Edinburgh Council, stating: “We are all honoured that Prince William and Miss Middleton have chosen the RAFBF to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund. Any donations that we receive will directly support our work with serving and former RAF personnel and their families, providing them with financial, practical and emotional support whenever they need it.”
Royal is a lion who lives at Edinburgh Zoo.
Join Royal the lion as he and his two mates, lionesses Kamlesh and Gita, make a meal out of their ‘wedding cake enrichment.’ Lovingly decorated by his keepers with Union Jacks, icing made from paper and the initials C and W, Royal will have the chance to explore and play with the meat packed treat.
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland carnivore keeper, Sharon Hatton, explains: “Providing Royal with his own version of a wedding cake is perfect enrichment for him and the lionesses, stimulating them physically and mentally. The lions will have to use their sense of smell to find the meat hidden inside and will need to work out how to get the goodies within. The wedding cake is made out of three tiers of cardboard boxes, painted and decorated by his keepers, and filled full of meaty treats!
“With a name like Royal, and as the Prince of Wales’ coat of arms features golden lions, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a new form of enrichment into our lion enclosure – something we do regularly. Royal is also a handsome lion and very photogenic, just like the Prince William!”
Visitors to Edinburgh Zoo will also be able to see Royal the lion and the lionesses enjoy another wedding cake enrichment on the actual day of the wedding itself – Friday 29th April at 11.00am.
At the Council meeting yesterday the council voted through a motion proposed by Councillor Alison Johnstone on examining the possibility of providing free wifi for those in the public gallery at meetings. This would enable The Reporter to bring you live reports rather than just the odd tweet as we were able to do during yesterday’s proceedings.
The text of the motion was this:-“That this Council:
Acknowledges that access to Council debates, particularly for residents who would otherwise be unable to attend, would be greatly enhanced if these meetings were webcast or podcast and calls for a report outlining costs and potential benefits, including free public access Wifi.”
Meanwhile in parts of Edinburgh it seems that there are some bins overflowing with rubbish which have not been collected. The Council has issued a statement as follows:-
“We apologise that a small number of people are being affected by the temporary backlog in rubbish collection, particularly in the West of the city.
Measures have been put in place to clear the backlog and we ask residents leave their bins out for collection.
We are confident that it will be cleared by the end of the weekend (1 May 2011) and we apologise once again.” The matter was raised at the council meeting and it appears that part of the problem is a dispute between the council and refuse workers.
Oh and if you don’t know what to do today then Informed Edinburgh have a great list of what you can get up to – sort of linked to the nuptials in London. And that will have to do until the Queen’s other grandchild gets married in Edinburgh in July. And if you are very hungry you can get along to Illegal Jack’s tell them that your first name is Kate or William and they will give you a free burrito…..