This blog is where you will find community council information, including meeting times, minutes and agenda. Do please comment on postings.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Don't forget the Marchmont & Sciennes Christmas Tree Lighting on Sa 3rd at 4pm!

Don't forget the Marchmont & Sciennes Christmas Tree Lighting on Sa 3rd at 4pm! See the previous post for more details.

Volunteers to put out chairs, pass round mince pies and collect for charity are still required. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Update on Jawbones on the Meadows (Nov 2016)

Jawbones update November 2016 (from Edinburgh World Heritage):

"The City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage are working together to conserve and repair the much-loved local landmark, the Jawbone Arch. This statement is to update you on the progress to date.

The conservation of 125-year old natural whale bone makes for an interesting challenge. As it is a very unusual material there is no existing body of knowledge and so accredited conservators were commissioned to work out how to stabilise and protect them and what materials to use.

In a delicate operation, the four whale jawbones were carefully liberated from their concrete
 bases, then taken away to dry out slowly under controlled conditions. Once the jawbones were dry, they were moved to the conservation workshop where specialists removed all the soiling and biological growth and assessed their condition. They found that the main causes of the problems were previous attempts to repair the bones which had been carried out using inappropriate materials such as car body filler and cement. On top of this, the concrete foundations had been trapping water in the bones and causing them to decay.

The poor quality historical repairs were carefully removed and the recesses filled with natural lime mortar where necessary. The jawbones were also given a temporary shelter coating of lime to help protect the bones from weather, dirt, and deposits from the trees above. Whilst this conservation work was going on, new stainless steel fixings were designed and handmade by an artist to replace the corroded iron fixings that joined the bones at the top of the arch.

However, just as the conservation treatment was completed, the specialist conservator went into liquidation. This had a number of serious implications especially as there are very few suitably experienced specialists who have the expertise for such a unique conservation project and for this reason, the procurement process to organise another consultant to take over took many months. In addition, the conserved jawbones had to be immediately removed but we were very lucky to find a cost-free location in which to store them.

Meanwhile, some of the paths in the Meadows were being resurfaced and so in order to get best value for our limited project funds the contractors were asked to simultaneously prepare the end section of Jawbone walk for the return of the arch in the expectation that they would be reinstalled in Autumn of 2016. This includes provision for new uplighting of the arch which has been made possible by private donors.

CEC and EWH are conscious that the delay in re-opening the section of path has caused some inconvenience to the public and that local residents and users of the Meadows are anxious to know about the progress of the project. We are currently working with the new contractor to explore options for the new foundations and supports for the base of the arch. We want to ensure that the methodology for the reinstallation of the bones is to the highest conservation standard. The bones must be returned without any damage and we must make sure that the arch is structurally safe. The proposed method under consideration involves the use of a permeable lime concrete which is required to cure slowly under certain conditions. To avoid potential damage from frost, we will have to wait until warmer weather to complete this part of the work which will mean keeping the path closed longer than expected.

We recognise that people are naturally taking a shortcut around the site area, and that this has caused some damage to the grass. We are looking at how we can ensure that the underfoot conditions remain useable during the winter months.

We understand that there is a lot of interest in what’s happening to the Jawbone Arch, and we are committed to keeping people better informed as the project moves forward. We thank you for your patience as we get this local Edinburgh landmark ready to stand on the Meadows for another 100 years."

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Greening our Street Annual Meeting is on 10 Dec at 1:30pm

Greening our Street are "a [Lauriston] community group dedicated to Greening Our Street and creatinan environment where birds and bees, and local residents, can thrive."

They are holding their Annual Meeting on 10 Dec at 1:30pm at Lauriston Hall, EH3 9DJ.  This will be followed by an optional craft workshop.

Call 0759 331 6284 for more details.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Our next meeting is on 25 January 2017. An agenda will be posted at this blog one week before the meeting.

Materials from Home Energy Scotland 'Restore warmth to your historical home' events

Home Energy Scotland recently organised two 'Restore warmth to your historical home' events

As promised at the events they have made the slides from all the speakers available for reference.

The questions and answers from both of the events are also available. If there are any questions you didn't have a chance to ask, then please get in touch via email 

Partner information 
During the event their partners referred to further sources of information. Here are links to partner sites:

You will also find further information on the Cockburn Association and Edinburgh World Heritage websites.
Next steps... 
If you are feeling inspired to take action to improve the warmth of your home following the event, why not book a home visit from their technical team? They can offer tailored help and advice on homes which are hard to heat as well as renewable technologies. 

Participants heard from some Green Home Network members at the event; you can visit them at home and speak to the householder directly about their experience of making their home more energy efficient. 

Get in touch
Home Energy Scotland is the free, impartial advice service, funded by Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust. You can call them free on 0808 808 2282 or email them.

Tollcross Winter Festival Events

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Tearfund Christmas Tour is coming to St Catherine’s Argyle on the 3rd of Dec at 7:30pm

The Tearfund Christmas Tour is coming to St Catherine’s Argyle on the 3rd of Dec at 7:30pm (after the community tree lighting).

Tearfund has teamed up with some of Scotland’s finest Christian musicians to celebrate Christmas 2016 with you in style. Singer-songwriters Yvonne Lyon, David Lyon and Allan McKinlay are joined by singer and musician Ellyn Oliver.

Each performance will help to raise money for Tearfund's partners, bringing hope to poor communities throughout the world. It’s a great way to get Christmas 2016 started.

Tickets normally cost £6.  However, the church would love to make members of our community particularly welcome so they have set aside a quota of free and half price tickets. Please get in touch with the Church office (0131 667 7220) to book some of these.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Reminder: MSCC meeting in public this wed night from 7:30pm at St Catherine Argyle Church Hall

The Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council will meet in public this wednesday from 19:30.

See previous post for details of what we will discuss.

All who live or work in the area are most welcome to attend 
There will be an opportunity from 7:00pm to meet the City of Edinburgh South Team to discuss with them our ideas for City Vision/ Locality Improvement Plan.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Excellent turn-out to provide views on future development of current Royal Hospital for Sick Children Site.

About 75 local people braved the lashing rain to join a three hour Public Engagement Event to explore options for the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children site on Wed 16 November. 

This was the latest in a series of events co-hosted by Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council (MSCC) to allow local residents to contribute.  Daniel Johnson MSP and a couple of local City Councillors also attended. So did Sciennes Parent Council and a representative of James Gillespie's High School Pupil Voice.  The event was facilitated and managed by Grant Myles of People Assets, an experienced event facilitator who has worked with NHS Lothian before, on masterplanning.

The meeting opened with a quick update on the proposed timescales for the sale of the site by NHS Lothian, as they prepare to move children's healthcare facilities in 2018 to the Royal Infirmary site at Little France. The site will be advertised for sale within the next week and offers will be invited from prospective developers by February 2017.  These offers will be considered from a financial perspective, and proposals will also be independently assessed against a 'pre-application position statement' being prepared by NHS Lothian's planning advisors (GVA) for NHS Lothian.

The aim of the event was to generate community views and ideas for inclusion by GVA in that 'position statement'. Alongside components in the 'position statement' about i] formal planning constraints and ii] heritage considerations (listed buildings, conservation area etc) the collected community views will support NHS Lothian's identification of the scheme that represents 'best value' and lead to an agreement to sell by Easter 2017.

The event continued with an opportunity for each individual attendee to write down ideas and views on post-it notes.  These ideas were then arranged under five headings: Uses; Buildings; Movement; Spaces, and Next Steps.  Participants then moved around the room reviewing each others' ideas and adding to them.  The emerging commonalities under each theme were then summarised by groups of participants onto flipcharts and reported back in turn to everyone present. 

The meeting closed with a discussion of how all the information gathered will be used (by NHS Lothian in selecting a developer, and potentially by developers), and how participants at the workshop can continue to contribute to the consultation process and stay informed (about the sale, and proposed site designs).  All the flipcharts and post-its will be retained and all the contributions will be included in a full report of the meeting.  The report will be available by mid December and will be publicly available for review and comment, including at the MSCC Infoblog.  This is the report that will contribute to the community views section of the GVA 'position statement' for NHS Lothian.

Once a developer is selected there will be further community engagement, including through the statutory 'pre-application notice' process that must precede submission of a major planning application. MSCC will be working to promote as much on-going additional community involvement as possible.

Thanks to Grant Myles who facilitated and to GVA (planning advisors) and NHS Lothian who partnered with MSCC to organise the event.  

If you'd like to stay informed please join our dedicated mailing list by e-mailing or keep an eye on the MSCC Infoblog or on the MSCC Facebook page, or follow @marchsciennesCC on Twitter.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Reminder: Public engagement event for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children site is this coming Wednesday (16th) at 6pm!

40 people have told us (via that they will come to the community engagement event on Wednesday the 16th and more will probably turn up at Summerhall on the night. 

The broader the range of views the better so please pass this on to any of your friends or neighbours that might have an opinion on any of the workshop topics below.
  • Movement – where will people access the area and how will this affect the area?
  • Spaces – how should the site be arranged and what spaces should be left?
  • Buildings – which buildings should be preserved and what restrictions for new build?
  • Uses – what facilities would be valuable to the community ?
If you are  coming, please try and be at the Summerhall TechHub by 6pm for a prompt start. 

Agenda for MSCC meeting on We 23 November 2016 at 7:30pm

Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council will hold its monthly regular meeting on We 23 November 2016.  

The meeting will take place in our usual venue of St Catherine's Argyle Church Halls on Beaufort Road/ Grange Road. 

The meeting will start at 7:30pm. 

This will be our third meeting of 16/17.  

The next meeting after this one will be We 25 January 2017.  There will be no meeting in December 2016.

All who live or work in the area are most welcome to attend 

There will be an opportunity from 7:00pm to meet the City of Edinburgh South Team to discuss with them our ideas for City Vision/ Locality Improvement Plan.

 1                  Sederunt and apologies
 2                  Draft Minutes of last meeting, 26 October 2016, and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)
·     Pedestrian route on Beaufort Road
·     Public toilets
·     Pothole patching
·     Seagull nesting: options to dissuade
·     South Central Contacts
·      Home Energy Scotland: materials from meeting
·      Informal get together with other community councils

 3                  Police Report

 4                  Meadows & Bruntsfield Links:  Update from Mike Shields

 5                  City Councillor report on topical local issues

Items for discussion
 6                  City Vision/ Locality Improvement Plan (15 mins; also chance to chat from 7pm)
 7                  Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: preparing to co-design engagement process
 8                  Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment: report from workshop on 16 Nov and next steps
 9                  Road closure outside Sciennes School
10                  Christmas Tree lighting
11                  Boundary Commission proposals
12                  Planning (Applications & consultations)
·       3F1 88 Thirlestane Road
·       3F2 131 Warrender Park Road
·       SESplan consultation

Items for information
13                  Treasurer's report
14                  Cheque account signatories
15                  Rising rolls at local schools
16                  Meetings attended
           ·       JGPS Parent Council

17                  AOCB
18                  Date of next meeting: 25 January 2017

updated 20 Nov with links to report of RHSC meeting and to Treasurer's report

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Marchmont & Sciennes Christmas Tree lights will be turned on this year on Sa 3 Dec at 4pm

Each year we have a lighting ceremony for our community Christmas Tree in Marchmont & Sciennes.

The tree will be outside ScotMid at the middle of Marchmont Crescent and the lights will be turned on for the first time on Sa 3 Dec at 4pm

Please let your friends, family & neighbours know about this! 

If you'd like to volunteer to help please let us know by replying to

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Review of Polling Districts & Polling Places 2016: maps now available showing recommendations

Maps are now available showing proposed polling places. Click on the links below to access larger maps

Morningside Ward (includes Marchmont)

Southside/Newington Ward (includes Sciennes)

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Plans for redevelopment of the Astley Ainslie Hospital site
A group of local Community Councils (Morningside, Southside, Grange Prestonfield, Marchmont & Sciennes) met with representatives of NHS Lothian on Mo 31 October. Daniel Johnson MSP also attended.

With the redevelopment of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside, NHS Lothian plan to move clinical services from the Astley Ainslie site over the next five years. The Astley Ainslie hospital (AAH) site will then be sold for redevelopment.

NHS Lothian will be submitting a master-planning application for AAH to City of Edinburgh Council within the next year and a half.  Having a masterplan before sale of the site will help NHS Lothian make a 'best value' sale. This does not necessarily mean sale to the highest bidder. 

It has not yet been decided whether the site will be sold in one parcel or several. Following sale of the site, a full formal Pre-Application Notice (PAN) process will be followed by whichever developer is successful in purchasing the site.

Commercial discussions have begun to appoint planning consultants. NHS Lothian will also be taking advice from lawyers and other consultants.

Historic Environment Scotland reviewed the listed buildings status of structures on the site two years ago. NHS Lothian have no plans to ask for re-listing.

AAH is recognised as a significant site.  There are rights of way, tree preservation orders and archaeology to consider. Given all this, and the considerable current local community use of the site, NHS Lothian plan a three year programme of community engagement, starting in Spring 2017.

The local Community Councils therefore intend to meet with NHS Lothian in early 2017 to co-design a community engagement process. Daniel Johnson MSP wishes to be involved.   Successful methods from the currently-underway discussions on options for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children's site will be re-used.

NHS Lothian agreed to alert Community Councils when they put updates on the redevelopment on to the NHS Lothian corporate website.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Volunteers sought for Marchmont & Sciennes Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sa 3 Dec

Each year there is a community Christmas Tree outside Scotmid on the corner of Warrender Park Road and Marchmont Crescent. The lights on the tree will be turned on this year on Sat 3rd December at about 4pm during an outdoor concert. We then go on to the German Speaking Church on Chalmers Crescent for refreshments and musical e on the day itself is from 3:30pm to 6pm including:

  • Two volunteers needed for collecting and setting up the staging at the tree
  • One volunteer needed to be in charge of the PA system - ie. will be delivered to the VOL but will need to be set up - all will be explained.
  • Two volunteers needed for preparing the mulled wine in flasks  and taking them to the hall by 3.30pm on the day and setting up the table for soft drinks and warmed mulled wine in flasks to be distributed to everyone - plastic cups provided
  • One volunteer needed for making up boxes/trays with festive paper (boxes can be got from the fruiterers in Argyle Place) to fill with mince pies and shortbread for handing out at the tree) - the goodies will be at the church hall ready for the boxes to be filled on the day.
  • Several volunteers needed for handing around mince pies at tree from local traders, soft drinks and drinks at church)
  • OnVolunteer needed to be at the church hall to liaise with every the schools about the music/singing - where to put their instrument boxes, coats, etc.
  • One volunteer to be in charge of the rest of the food at the church hall, ie. packets of crisps etc to be in big bowls ready for when everyone arrives (plus anything else that we get donated).
  • Two volunteers needed for other general tasks ie. at the door of the church hall to direct everyone to the main hall, coat places, toilets, buggy parks, etc.

Please, Please Please - do help with this community event - We cannot do it without you!

Contact us via or Tel: 07515 376 173

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Vote at Tesco for the James Gillespie’s Primary Plant to Plate project

The James Gillespie’s Primary Plant to Plate project initiative is to develop gardening opportunities in the playground and a programme of learning around growing and food. They will also be developing biodiversity/wildlife areas in the school grounds and depending on how much is raised,  may be able to purchase some more play materials for the playground. This project will benefit JGPS children and many children for generations to come. 
Tesco are running a community funding initiative where shoppers vote for projects.  Plant to Plate is one of them.  
Next time you are in any of  the Tesco Stores (below), please could you pop the token given to you at the check-out into the James Gillespie’s Primary Plant to Plate project box. The top prize is £12k and JGPS need all the votes they can get! Many thanks.
Bruntsfield Metro (EH10 5DN)
Fountain Bridge Express (EH3 9QG)
Earl Gray St Express (EH3 9BN)
Causewayside Express ( EH9 1PR)
Nicolson Street Metro (EH8 9EW)
Princess Street Express (EH2 4BL)
Southbridge Express ( EH1 1LS)
Haymarket Express ( EH1 1LS)
Holyrood Express (EH8 8AU)
Roseburn Express (EH12 5NG)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Have your say: Royal Hospital for Sick Children Site Public Engagement Event on We 16 Nov at 6-9pm

There will be a Public Engagement Workshop Event to explore ideas for the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children Site on We 16 Nov at 6-9pm.  

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to contribute our ideas before the site is sold. Our opinions will be given to all potential purchasers through a position statement as part of the site marketing. There will be other opportunities to build on the ideas generated, at a later stage of the process.

The event is being run by Grant Myles of People Assets - a professional facilitator, with Matt Ansell of META Architecture providing urban design support, and GVA providing town planning advice. All our contributions will be recorded by GVA and META and the results will be summarised at the end and shared with us, and the Edinburgh planning department, after the event.

There will be an introduction to the site and area, followed by an opportunity for any thoughts to be shared before breaking up into small workshop groups of about 8 people. These groups will discuss the key issues of movement, spaces, buildings and uses. Each group will have a map showing the existing site layout and support will be available from the many professionals that will be attending.

Please come early as we will start promptly at 6:00pm. The TechCube will be open from 5:30pm and there will be signs to it at Summerhall main entrance. There will be tea, coffee and other refreshments available.

All are welcome but if you intend to come please let us know in advance by contacting