Coronavirus update 9 & other news from Councillor Neil Ross

Please find attached update news letter from Liberal Democrat Councillor Neil Ross – The latest advice on Council services is available here.

Council Recycling Centres to re-open on Monday 1 June:

  • The Council’s recycling centres will re-open on an appointment only basis on Monday 1 June.  Residents need to book a time slot using a new online booking system on the Council website, which is available now.  You can make a booking here.  Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to book an appointment over the phone.
  • Sites are expected to be very busy and the booking system will help to minimise crowding and help staff and customers to maintain physical distancing.  Traffic management systems will be put in place at each location to help manage queues.
  • Only cars are permitted – no vans or trailers.  Staff won’t be able to help unload cars at the site, so people should plan to only bring what they can carry.
  • Anyone who turns up without a booking will be turned away.  Time slots are available on a first come first served basis.  Appointments are limited to one per household for the first two weeks of re-opening.

Collections of bulky waste items will also resume on 1 June.  You can book a collection here.

Council plans for Adaptation and Renewal:

  • The Council has today approved a plan setting out five interlinked programmes to help the Council and the city to recover from the pandemic – a Public Health Advisory Board, Service Operations, Change People and Finance, Sustainable Economic Recovery and Life Chances.  You can read about the plan at item 6.1 here.  An engagement plan to collect feedback from residents will follow.

The Lib Dem group of councillors supported the plan and amended the section on Service Operations to include consideration of:

  1. More localised control over service delivery.
  2. An improved partnership approach working with the voluntary sector, private sector and other civic partners
  3. Options for strengthening employee involvement in the governance of relevant ALEOs, i.e. Lothian Buses, Trams, Edinburgh Leisure & EICC.
  4. As more people are likely to be working from home in future, it would be appropriate to have more localised control over service delivery. 
  5. Given the successful ways in which the Council has partnered with the voluntary sector and others during the health crisis, for example to properly tackle homelessness and to provide for self-isolating vulnerable people, there may be opportunities to partner with others in service delivery.
  6. Encouraging greater employee participation in the Council’s ALEO businesses can lead to better services and higher job satisfaction.

Schools update

  • Parents are understandably concerned about the likely arrangements for the re-opening of schools on Tuesday 11 August.  Lots of questions were raised at recent online meetings I attended of Bruntsfield and Boroughmuir Parent Councils.  The Council’s Chief Education Officer told me they are modelling different scenarios on advice from the Scottish Government’s Education Recovery Group and will shortly be developing plans in conjunction with the Council’s Parent Consultative Committee on Education.  A letter is to be issued to all parents outlining the Council’s approach and confirming the revised Autumn term start date.

Support our local shops and businesses

  • Many local shops and businesses in Bruntsfield, Marchmont, Merchiston, and Morningside have been having a tough time during lockdown but it is not all doom and gloom.  When speaking to some shop owners I have heard about new click and collect services, while others, although their doors are shut, are still taking calls from customers.  If we want to retain the unique character of our local town centres, we need to support our local shops and businesses. 
  • One initiative, prompted by a local resident who missed her visits to local cafes, restaurants and hairdressers, has led to an appeal to support struggling local businesses in Morningside.  Administered by the Morningside Traders Association, all donations will go to help independent businesses as assessed by MTA and members of the local community.  You can read more about this and donate here.

Braid Road Closure/Braidburn Terrace one way 

  • The temporary traffic regulation orders for the closure of Braid Road and the one-way system in Braidburn Terrace have been issued.  Both orders run for the maximum 18-month time period till November 2021.  However, the Council has agreed to review these TTRO’s every two months, or in the event of a significant change in national movement restrictions or social distancing measures, with a decision to continue them or not.  I am continuing to press for new signage.

Lothian Buses new timetable

Lothian Buses recently published a new timetable for services.  You can access this here.

Headstart Nursery

The applications for the Headstart Nursery site were approved by the Council’s Development Management Sub Committee on Wednesday 20 May. 

The latest advice on Council services is available here.

Cllr Ross can be contacted at:


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