Friday, 29 August 2014

Curriemuirend Park - and beyond....

Rather impressive public meeting at Juniper Green last night. A packed audience (about100) were in the village hall to hear updates on the Local Development Plan and the proposal to allocate Curriemuirend Park for housing development. The recent history and current situation were expertly outlined by the Community Council top table including reference to the motion carried at the Planning Committee in June which asked Planners to re-assess the site just southwest of the Gogarburn roundabout, referred to as "East of Millburn Tower" but more familiarly recognised as the northern finger of Murray Estates Garden District mega plans for 3,500 houses, businesses, sports facilities etc etc... Up until now there has been very little local support for any element of their proposals however, the world has changed and with the published LDP including 4 significant sites along the Lanark Road corridor, among the other land allocation which is meant to provide the supply of an additional 32,000 homes by 2024, there is a realisation that perhaps it makes more sense for a new site with associated infrastructure to be established rather than increasing pressure on existing communities and particularly roads. After some thought, that's certainly my view. If you have the time and inclination to read through the LDP and supporting reports they can be accessed on this link.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Woody Guthrie - Hard Travelin'

"This Machine Kills Facists"
The Edinburgh Festivals are in full flow and the city is bursting at the seams. Great atmosphere though and as usual I'm trying to squeeze in some shows between work commitments. Not ideal, but at least I'm lucky to have the opportunity. Best highlight so far was "Hard Travelin' with Woody", a one man show describing the life and times of Woody Guthrie and featuring a number of his songs. Woody walks us through the hard times of the depression and the harsh reality for working men travelling the country looking for jobs and not always being welcomed by local communities or the Police. He also describes his realisation that workers need to be organised to have any chance of justice or decent conditions. That message is as valid today as it ever was. The show is on at CC Blooms every day at 1.45pm for an hour. It's part of the Free Festival but a fiver in the bucket at the end is the least that this show deserves with a fantastic performance by Randy Noojin as Woody. More details on the Fringe website on this link.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Integration Edges Closer

The Integration of Health and Social Care took a significant step forward this week. The Council's Policy and Strategy Committee and the board of NHS Lothian both agreed, after a brief review, to continue to develop the joint board partnership model that we've been developing in shadow form for the past 18 months or so. The P&S report can be accessed on this link. I was pleased that both organisations reached the same conclusion and while it was right to take a look at what other options were available in light of the Scottish Government draft regulations, it did create a bit of uncertainty and concern that the lead agency model could have been selected. I don't think that would have been right for Edinburgh and wouldn't have been effective in helping to deliver on the wider Health and Social Care agenda. So, we move on, in partnership, the Council and NHS Lothian working jointly with the trade unions, the voluntary sector, service users and carers and health and social care professionals, all of whom are represented on the shadow Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership. Incidentally, after a development session a few weeks ago we agreed to move away from the more formal business meetings that we had scheduled and concentrate on further development work to ensure the partnership gains a better understanding of the issues that we will be responsible for and the skills that will be required once the partnership goes "live" sometime next year.