Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ben Nevis weekend

Weekend spent up near Fort William, for one of our Annual get-togethers ... managed to get 22 folk to the top, and the views on the way down were just marvellous :-)
Great weekend had by all.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June Leader's Report

Leader's Report

June 2014

   Cllr. Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh

Last month I welcomed the proposal to establish a multi-agency working group, including parents' groups and other relevant agencies, to consider Dame Elish Angiolini's recommendations into practices at Mortonhall Crematorium.
The group, chaired by the Chief Executive, has now produced a detailed action plan for consideration at next week's special council meeting.

The willingness of all the participants, especially the parent representatives, to work together has been to their immense credit and the publication of the plan is testament to their hard work over the last month.

It also marks a significant step forward to ensuring that the highest possible standards are adhered to at Mortonhall and that nothing like this can be allowed to happen again.


Trams are go
It's hard to believe that Edinburgh's new trams have only been taking passengers for close to three weeks; they already feel like an integral part of our public transport system.

The launch day on 31 May got things off to a very encouraging start, with crowds of passengers thronging the route to try the trams out firsthand and taking 'selfies' on board to capture their experiences. It's been great to see how quickly residents and visitors have embraced tram travel and we expect the trams to really come into their own as the busy tourist and festivals season gets under way this summer.

However, we mustn't miss the opportunity to learn essential lessons from what has gone wrong during the project. The Council welcomes the announcement of the inquiry by Lord Hardie and we are prepared to provide whatever information and assistance we can to support it.

Jimmy McIntosh MBE
It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Jimmy McIntosh earlier this month.

Jimmy spent his life fighting tirelessly for the rights of disabled people, not just in Edinburgh, but nationally and abroad. He was instrumental in fighting for accessible transport and was an active campaigner against bullying and hate crime, joining councillors and police officers in 2009 to set up the 'Take control against hate crime' forum.

Jimmy landed many accolades and awards over the years, including the MBE in 2006, while he was also named Scotland's charity champion in 2010 by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Typhoon Haiyan
When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November, leaving a terrible trail of devastation in its wake, a major international aid effort was required and, as chair of the Edinburgh Disaster Response Committee, I called on residents to donate via local relief agency, Mercy Corps.

I'm pleased to report that, thanks to your generosity, they were able to rush immediate assistance - food, shelter, water and clothing - to families in the hardest-hit areas. In the seven months since, the team have delivered funds to 140,000 people, helping them to purchase the goods they need to recover and rebuild.

You can find out more about their continuing response from the Mercy Corps website.

Countdown to Glasgow
Excitement in the city is building ahead of the Commonwealth Games following the visit of the Queen's Baton last weekend.

I was delighted the people of Edinburgh got right behind the relay, with thousands taking to the streets to cheer on the arrival of the baton and to take part in a series of Council organised events along the length of the route. It really was a tremendous advert for Edinburgh - and for the Games.

The baton also visited the Royal Commonwealth Pool, which closes its doors to the public today in order to prepare for the Glasgow 2014 diving competitions, when Edinburgh will become the only city in the world to host Commonwealth Games events for a third time.

And finally...
I promise this will be the last time I mention the marathon! But I wanted to thank everyone who took the opportunity to sponsor me and to remind those that haven't that my justgiving page stays open for another couple of months.

I'm over 70% of the way towards my £5,000 fundraising target for Venture Scotland, who run an outdoor-based personal development programme for young people who face complex and difficult problems.

I managed to complete the course in one piece, beating my personal target time of 4 hours 50 minutes (just!), making good on my 30-year wager with my Dad. Never has a pint tasted so sweet!

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

June Full Council Meeting

The June Full Council Meeting is this coming Thursday (26th) ...

... all the reports are now up on Committee Papers On-Line (CPOL) and you can access the main agenda/s directly here; and each of the individual reports separately via these two links:

- 10am meeting
- 1pm meeting

Of course - as ever, if you're so minded, you can watch all the proceedings live here ... or the meeting will be archived a few hours after it finishes for viewing at your leisure!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tynecastle High School Fair + BAKE OFF !!

--- is this SATURDAY 14th JUNE 2014, 12-3 PM
There will be lots going on to appeal to the whole family including:
  • cafe area with hotdogs
  • smoothies
  • scones
  • bands/busking 
  • fencing taster sessions
  • sponge the teacher/pupil 
  • hook the duck
  • coconut shy 
  • plants 
  • bicycle servicing for £5
  • green team
  • bric a brac 
  • beat the goalie 
  • face painting 
  • nail bar
  •  and raffle etc.

    And - a BAKE OFF !!

Enter your cakes

12-12:15 Saturday 14th June

at Tynecastle High School

Our home baking stall would welcome any contributions and we also have a BAKE OFF competition with 2 categories and prizes for which you can enter:

  • a single cake of any size to be judged on DESIGN;
  • cake/tray bake/cup cakes to be judged on TASTE (needs to be sufficient quantity to provide lots of small tastes for multiple judges)
Bring your Bake Off entries along on the day between 12 and 12:15pm; please see our entry form on the parent council page of the Tynecastle school website:


2014 Tynecastle Bake Off Competition

General Rules
1.     Entry is open to everyone: adults, students and primary pupils.
2.     Drop off your cake(s) at the Bake Off Stall at Tynecastle High School on Saturday 14th June between 12:00 and 12:15 pm.
3.     You may enter as many cakes as you like but please fill out a separate form for each entry specifying whether you are entering the design or taste competition.
4.     Cakes should be home-made, please use fresh ingredients and remember they will all be eaten so make them in hygienic conditions! Decorations should also be edible but can be shop bought.
5.     Cakes will be judged and winners announced on the day.  In the event of a tie, the headmaster (or deputy) has the casting vote.
6.     Please label any containers (e.g. cake tin) you wish to collect later.  Containers without labels may be used for transporting cakes bought at the fair.
7.     Any questions on the rules of the competition, please contact Sue (, 07824449265).

There are a few additional rules specific to the Design and Taste categories:

Design Competition
1.     Enter a single cake of any size, in any shape or size (i.e. from cupcake to gateau).
2.     Cakes will be judged on design and will not be cut for tasting but will be handed over to the home baking stall or auctioned after the competition.

Taste Competition
1.     Enter a batch of identical cupcakes or slices of tray bake, or a large cake (eg. Fruit loaf or Victoria sandwich).
2.     There needs to be sufficient quantity for approximately 32 judges to try a small taste of the entry (e.g. we suggest a cake based on 8 oz/250 g of margarine, sugar and flour and 4 eggs).
3.     Surplus cake will be sold at the home baking stall!

Happy baking!


Sadly, I'll miss all this as I'll be stuck at a Councillor-conference in Stirling ...
... oh joy :-(

Friday, June 06, 2014

Corporate, Policy and Strategy Committee next Tuesday

June's Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee takes place next Tuesday 10th ...

... all the papers are now in the public domain: the main Agenda can be found here - and the B Agenda here ---

--- and the individual reports are all up on Committee Papers on-Line (CPOL) linked from here.

Reports that may well attract some attention and debate:

Just click on any of the above links for access (as a PDF) to the specific report.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

That was the week, that was ;-)

I don't usually do this ... but it's been quite a week, so here's a quick pictorial record ;-)


I blogged about this on the evening of 25th - you can see the post here ...

... I'm still somewhat over-the-moon at having completed 26.2miles, in 4hrs.49mins., in my 50th-year!

Life in the old-dog yet :-)


Again, I couldn't resist blogging this picture on Monday night ...

... the pint-and-a-fiver that I'd waited 30-years for - and had to run a Marathon to receive!

Best pint ever :-))



Full Council week, this week - as mentioned in an earlier post - and that always means a Group Meeting on the Tuesday evening.

Just couldn't stop myself from taking my Marathon medal, and Garmin watch, into work so that I could show a few colleagues!


What can I say - glad this didn't happen last Wednesday before I had to run that Edinburgh Marathon ...

... but cycling home this evening - in the pouring rain - had a bit of a nasty tumble, with the road-surface coming off better than my nose :-(

Here's the gory-outcome, prior to the application of copious make-up :-((


Full Council today - not a day I can relax; with lots of interest in the Leader's Report as usual ... with plenty of questions from all sides of the Chamber.

Face still pretty sore from yesterday :-(


Even with the sore face, it's Friday now and I just had to smile ;-)

Significant day for Edinburgh - after years of disruption, and acknowledged hardship for many - the Edinburgh Tram was given a soft Press-launch ...

... this is my first ever selfie (honest!) on my inaugural tram trip - just passing St. John's Church at the West End of Princes Street.


First fare-paying passengers on the tram - from 5am this morning ...

... I didn't attempt that, but here I am at the Saughton Halt, on my way home from a friend's 50th Birthday celebration ;-)

Platinum ticket in-hand!


It's Sunday - so it must be the annual "Kirking of the City of Edinburgh Council" ...

... as friends and colleagues know, I'm not that religious - but do try and attend this Service, and the Remembrance Sunday Service, each year!

What a week.