Back to Basics - Time to Fix our Roads and Pavements

One of the key issues in every conversation I have with other local residents is the state of our roads and pavements. It is clearly a priority for people, but - with 30% of the city roads needing repairs - the SNP/Labour administration is ignoring local priorities and neglecting the basic services we all expect.

I help people report potholes and road defects all year round and continue to push for "first time right repair" systems to be used to end the cycle of patch repairs which only cause greater expense (and frustration). You can report issues you come across at

Tell Us Your Views - Complete Our Residents Survey for Colinton/Fairmilehead

Your Local Lib Dems Listen

Louise Spence and the local Lib Dem team have been talking to hundreds of residents across Colinton/Fairmilehead Ward over the summer, asking for their views on local issues via a residents’ survey.

Louise said "speaking to residents is so important to find out what actually is important to them. I just wish the Council did the same and made a difference to people's day to day lives."

If we haven't spoken to you yet, you can print it off here (see below) and send it to the freepost address, or email Louise at [email protected] and she'll send a survey out to you. Or else just send an email and let her know what you want her and the team to focus on!


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Time to Hold Firm on the Greenbelt - Why Are The Conservatives Giving Up on It?

City Plan 2030 - How Does it Impact Colinton/Fairmilehead?

Edinburgh Council published it's draft City Plan 2030 today. This is designed to set out how to develop the city sustainably over the next ten years. Key issues are how to provide housing stock, deal with climate change and tackling social inequality.

You can find the whole document here. The City Plan beings on slide 20 and is - as you'd expect - fairly lengthy!


As a quick first view, the issues I was pleased to see were:-

Redford Barracks


The document goes into a lot of detail about this and lists the development principles as:-

• A housing-led mixed –use development which draws the surrounding communities together, through the provision of new connections, open spaces and other community infrastructure.

• A development which respects the heritage of the site. New uses for all listed buildings -and their settings- within and adjacent to the site must be an integral part of future development proposals. Any new buildings should have a positive relationship with existing listed buildings in terms of height.

• Active travel routes provided through the site to connect with and contribute towards the provision of the following active travel infrastructure: a. New Active Travel Route: Redford Barracks to City Centre b. New Active Travel Route: Colinton Road to Colinton Village c. New Active Travel connections: Water of Leith (NCR75 Colinton Dell) to Colinton Mains Drive d. New active travel connection: Union canal ramp access. e. Active travel link: connection to supermarket and Colinton Primary School and Oxgangs Road North/Colinton Mains Drive.

• Contributions towards Public Transport Improvement: South Orbital Bus Route connections (Redford Barracks to Gilmerton and Sighthill to Redford Road/ Oxgangs)

• Provision of a mobility hub.

• Retention of existing streets which are lined by the stables blocks plus other key routes through the site. The frontages to many of these streets needs to be improved to make them more attractive.

• Provision of appropriate frontages to Colinton Road, Oxgangs Road North and the rear of surrounding uses. The existing parade grounds should be kept free from development. Any new development around the parade grounds must provide active frontages onto these spaces.

• Retention and enhancement of Redford recreation park to the southeast of the site and provision of a new community park (See proposal BGN 27) and play space in line with criterion (m) below.

• Maximisation of the views of the Pentland Hills, Craiglockhart Hill, and landmark buildings. • Retention of the war memorial although relocation to an alternative location could be agreed.

• Interpretation of the site’s military history within the new development.

• Removal of the security fence around the site.

• New outdoor play facilities to be integrated into the site layout in a well overlooked and accessible location with a welcoming setting. These new facilities shall provide for a range of users, including those with disabilities. See proposal BGN 27

• Provide or contribute towards education, and healthcare infrastructure and community facilities, and,

• A Flood Risk Assessment is required and should inform the development and design/layout of the site, including taking opportunities to address surface water flooding and historic interactions between the Braid Burn and Water of Leith

The developer will also invest in Colinton PS and Firhill HS. The report suggests that Colinton PS will need an extra 6 classes and dining / assembly hall extension and that Firhill will need a site with an area of 2.3 ha. A safe walking route between the school and the annexe, and any improvements to existing transport infrastructure, will also have to be secured.


As per my Facebook post and email earlier this month, the plan also confirms that there will be further consultation with local residents.

No Greenbelt Development for This Ward

None of the greenbelt in Colinton/Fairmilehead has been given up for development.  The Council now accepts that it can meet its housing supply targets without allocating any further greenspace for development. This has been a long argument from lots of angles, but it's good to see the Council taking this approach and utilising brownfield sites already within existing communities.

I'll look at this further and do a more detailed update but - for now - this looks pretty good for the place we all call home!



(If you would regular updates from me then you can sign up for my monthly emails here.)

September Email News

My September email newsletter went out last week. This month I have news about:-

In the Ward:

  • Residents’ surveys
  • Lothian Road & Earl Grey Street resurfacing
  • Redford Barracks
  • Road Safety
  • Local Groups across the Ward
  • Gully Clearing

City Wide:-

  • City Car Club
  • Short Term Lets
  • City Cycle Hire Scheme
  • Free Bus Travel for Under 22's
  • City Plan 2030

In The Ward

Residents' Surveys - feedback your views

Throughout June, July and August I have been making my way round Colinton with my residents’ survey on local issues and reporting back on the issues being raised.  Top of the list are broken and potholed pavements and roads, followed by inadequate basic council services, such as removing street weeds and cleaning blocked gullies.  The Spaces for People measures have attracted lots of comments, both positive and negative, and concerns about road safety and speeding traffic also feature highly.  I am raising these issues with the Council and will continue to do so. 

In the past few weeks, we've been out in Fairmilehead and will be continuing there for September and October. If I haven’t reached your street yet, you can send me your views by email. I hope to see you soon though!

Lothian Road & Earl Grey Street Resurfacing

These streets aren't in this Ward but many people use the bus routes which run along them. Given the reported issues along Comiston Road, this could make a big difference to the daily commute!

Road works are planned to start on Lothian Road and Earl Grey Street on 6 September for around ten weeks. The works comprise;- carriageway resurfacing, footway reconstruction, drainage improvements and traffic signal infrastructure upgrades.  The footway and traffic signal works will happen during the day Monday to Friday and the carriageway resurfacing will happen overnight.

Redford Barracks - Update

Many of you brought this up while I was on your doorsteps and so I spoke to the Council team for an update. The latest response said:-

"CEC's Planning Service have started the process of preparing a Place Brief for the Redford Barracks site. A place brief is a statement of high level principles to help guide development on a site. We have been unable to take the Place Brief forward as we are awaiting a Heritage/Landscape Assessment of the site from the landowners. Once this is received we will progress with the draft brief and this will be published for community consultation. I'm afraid there is no timescale for this."

The current date for closure is 2025. I want to make sure that locals are kept in the loop and involved in the process. I'll keep chasing about this.

Road Safety in Colinton

Some good news today as I was told the Council will finally act on years of requests to install street furniture at the entrance of Old Farm Avenue off Redford Road.

Unfortunately, we are no further forward in getting answers after speed reviews (where the 2 rubber lines are placed across the street) at Westgarth Avenue and Redford Road. I've been chasing this weekly and hope that one day the team will - at the very least - get sick of me chasing and let us know the results and next steps!

Friends of Campbell Park

Last month, The Friends of Campbell Park Group, received a key for the Pavilion from Edinburgh Leisure. This pavilion is used by many local sports clubs and so this is a great development for this new local group. 

Fundraising with the Alpacas

This weekend I took my children to the open day at BobCat Alpacas in aid of the Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh. These are both in our local area and it was a great day which raised over £3000 for the hospice, as well as giving us lots of fun in the process!

Make 2nds Count

You may know about this local charity which raises money and awareness about research needed into Secondary Breast Cancer. So far, M2C have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. You can find out more here and do contact them if you think you could distribute their new information leaflets.

If you know anyone else who might be interested to read this, please feel free to forward it.  If you have received this via a friend, and would like to receive it direct, please contact me on the address below and ask to be added to my circulation list.

Park Run

I've been helping a group who are trying to start a Park Run in the ward. Unfortunately this was delayed by the pandemic but the group are back up and running again and trying to identify the best site. If you're interested in helping at all, just let me know.

You can find out more about Park Run here.

Gully Clearing

This continues to be a big issue in our area, which blocked gullies causing flooding when the rain comes. 

I read this month that Colinton/Fairmilehead has the 4th highest number of "sensitive" gullies in Edinburgh. This means they are most prone to flooding and are on the priority list of clearing. 

However, when this was queried, I discovered this means they are cleaned twice a year, rather than once. No wonder our flooding issues are not getting better! I report blocked gullies when I see them and you can do this here.


City Wide

City Car Club new locations

Last week,  the Council agreed to facilitate requests from residents for new car club locations.  Enterprise run the shared-use car club scheme at over 130 locations across the city.

If it was available in more locations, e.g. throughout areas with high parking pressures, then more residents might choose to give up a car and use a shared car instead. This is about expanding travel options for residents by making shared vehicles more convenient and, in doing so, reducing congestion, air pollution and emissions. You can find out more here.


Short Term Lets Consultation - Have Your Say!

Edinburgh Council are running a consultation to get our views on Edinburgh becoming a short term let control area.

If a short-term let control area is approved by the Council and by Scottish Government, a property owner who is letting out a residential property (which is not their principal home) on a short-term let basis would have to apply for ‘change of use’ approval through the planning application process.

You can give your views here until 5th November.

City Cycle Hire Scheme

I was disappointed to hear that the Council was unable to reach an agreement to continue the city cycle hire scheme. An alternative arrangement is being looked at but I'm told it's unlikely to be in place before the current contract ends this month.

It's such a blow for sustainable transport provision in the city at a time we need it most!

Free Bus Travel for Under 22s

From 31 January 2022, all residents in Scotland under the age of 22 will be eligible for free bus travel. You can find out more here.

Council Consultations

The following consultations are ongoing:

2030 Climate Strategy

Proposed Low Emission Zone

Lanark Road - Local Engagement

Local engagement is so important so I'd encourage you to look at these and make your voice heard if you have a view.

Enjoy the rest of the light-ish evenings and get in touch via (details at the top of this email) if you have anything you'd like to discuss. I live locally so happy to meet in person too! Or - just grab me if you see me out and about!

Any questions at all then just email or call!

Many thanks!


Published and promoted by Fraser Graham, (Scottish Liberal Democrats) at 4 Grange Road, Edinburgh EH9 1UH.

Roadwork disruption in Colinton and Oxgangs

No one living in the Colinton or Oxgangs can fail to have noticed fairly significant disruption due to road works in recent weeks. So, what is planned for the near future?

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Fixing our roads above the snow line

Many people in Colinton, Oxgangs and Fairmilehead are concerned about the state of our roads and pavements. Especially as the higher up parts of the city are more susceptible to frost and snow damage.

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