Castle Credit Union

Many people will have seen recent news coverage which has seen the Chancellor, George Osborne, take action on ‘payday loan’ firms who often charge extremely high interest rates on short term loans – often to hardworking but financially pressed people.

An alternative, more sustainable way to spend and save comes in the form over local Credit Unions. I was recently passed information at the Liberton and District Community Council regarding the Castle Credit Union which operates locally.

The Castle Credit Union visits Gilmerton Community Centre, Room 8, every Monday between 1.30-3.30pm.

Loans, crucially offered at far more at reasonable rates than those of payday loan firms, are available after three months of savings.

For those looking at their spending and saving, a visit to the Castle Credit Union, or indeed another local credit union, may be of help and provide a more affordable alternative to the highly advertised payday loan firms.

Be a Santa to a Senior

I have been contacted by Home Instead who will,  in the run up to Christmas, be distributing presents to local older people for whom this isn’t necessarily the happiest time of year.  They started doing this two years ago and the response they received was fantastic.

So how can you help?

  • Forward this article to friends and others who may be interested in getting involved.
  • Mention what Home Instead are up to in a newsletter or on Social Media.
  • Let Home Instead know if you have specific older people in mind who would really benefit from receiving a present.  Home Instead don’t need to know who they are.  Just let them know who you are and how many presents you would like.  Please don’t make any promises though because they can’t make any guarantees.

There are a number of drop-off points around the City which people can use:

  • Home Instead’s office on Portobello High Street
  • City of Edinburgh Council Libraries in Blackhall, Portobello and Stockbridge
  • Wardie Parish Church on Primrose Bank Road
  • Blackhall Saint Columba’s Parish Church on Columba Road
  • Fleming Pharmacy on Liberton Brae

Santa can explain the rest …

“Support our Senior Santa initiative this Christmas and help bring happiness to local lonely and less well-off older people.  Home Instead Senior Care is partnering with non-profit and community organisations to identify local older people who otherwise might not receive gifts this Christmas.  Some gift ideas follow.  Simply gather up your gifts.  We’ll collect them from you, wrap and deliver them.  Gift ideas include: blankets or throws; slippers & socks; toiletries such as lotions, bath soaps or toothpaste; pyjamas, nightgowns or robes; food hampers or sugar-free sweets; kitchen & bath towels; clothes such as cardigans and sweaters.”

More information can be found over at:

Gilmerton & Inch Community Council

A reminder that the first meeting of the new Gilmerton and Inch Community Council will take place tonight, 6.30pm at Gilmerton Library.

Party formed as a response to the huge development proposals sweeping the area, the new Community Council will, I’m sure, be an asset to the Gilmerton/Inch area, with the only other Community Council in Liberton/Gilmerton being, until now, the Liberton and District Community Council.

Details on the Liberton & District Community Council can be found here:

I will post contact details for residents interested in the new Gilmerton and Inch Community Council in due course. In the meantime, if you would like to contact me about local planning issues, please feel free to do so using my contact details opposite.

Liberton Primary School

Representatives of the Liberton Primary School Association met with Council Officers today to hand over the petition they put together regarding the pressing need for more hall space as the school expands. The petition received an impressive 400+ signatures, highlighting how important this issue is to parents and pupils at the school.

Budgetary issues also exist around present arrangements which require to school to rent the nearby Scout Hall for P.E.

I have been in contact with Council Officials urging them to strongly consider provision of addition funding to the school from the Education Department to help pay for this facility until additional building space is available on the school campus.

Full Council Meeting

A reminder that the next full meeting of the Council will be held next Thursday, from 10.00am. The public are welcome to attend the City Chambers in person, but remember you can now watch the proceedings online, live and on repeat!

Full meeting papers here: 

Webcast here: 

Public Exhibition – Proposed development of land at Gilmerton Station Road

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes and Colliers International are holding a public exhibition to discuss the proposed development of land at Gilmerton Road/Station Road, Edinburgh.

The events will take place on:

Saturday 9 November, 10.30am – 2pm

Wednesday 13 November, 2.30pm – 7.30pm

Both are at Gilmerton Library, 13 Newtoft Street, EH17 8RG

The views of the local community are being sought on this proposal and in particular the potential for the development to address local needs in the area. Initial indicative draft proposals have been prepared for the area following an assessment of the site’s character and surroundings.

At the exhibition the developers will give the opportunity to discuss these proposals with members of the consultant team. Comment cards will be available to complete, which will be reviewed prior to submitting our planning application.

You can find out more about the proposal by visiting



I have previously raised residents concerns regarding the issue of paths leading to the recently constructed ‘kick-pitch’ at Middlefield.

Some residents were dismayed that the first path constructed led in from the far-end of the park, rather than being constructed at the park entrance closest to the pitch.

I am please to say that Council Officers have been in touch to tell me that work will begin on creating a second path from the nearby entranced on 11th November. This will greatly improve access to the pitch from both sides of the park and make access a lot easier for mums (and dads) pushing buggies and prams!

Development – Balmwell Terrace

I have recieved the following correspondence from Cruden Homes, regarding a consultation event coming up regarding the above development. I have highlighted the consultation date in bold below.


“Dear Cllr Cook,


 As you may be aware, Cruden Homes have contracted with the City of Edinburgh Council for the proposed development site at Balmwell Terrace. In association with Link Housing Group, following the demolition of the existing 6 storey derelict building our intention is to construct 43 new homes.


 The development proposes 2 storey housing and 3 storey flats with the on-site integration of a mixture of tenures such as Mid-Market Rent, Social Rent and For Sale, all being delivered through the Link Group.


 Following numerous pre application meetings with the planning department, we shall shortly submit a planning application based on the attached site plan.  In line with planning policy, as this development proposes less than 50 units our submission is not deemed a ‘major application’ however we understand the importance of positively engaging with our neighbours and as such we have booked the Gracemount High School Drama studio to hold the appropriate Community Event.


 The event is scheduled for the 4th of December between 4pm and 7pm and on behalf of Link Housing Association we would be pleased to welcome you along. “