There’s not much we can add to government advice and rulings, but we want to reiterate;
Stay at home. Protect the NHS.
Wash your hands.
Ensure your news is from a trusted source.
Leith, Bonnington, Broughton and Hillside are very densely built up areas which means we need to take particular care and heed the advice. If you’re confused about the fast moving rules, please check out either of these definitive websites (and only them!);
We applaud the dozens of community groups popping up in the area in response to COVID-19, from street-wide WhatsApps to larger community networks. Several of our members have been active in facilitating these groups, but to ensure the safety of everyone, as well as the magnitude of them now springing up (mostly on “street by street level”, we’re no longer catalouging them.
Volunteer Edinburgh are now starting a larger directory of them. Here are some national organisations that may be of help;
Nationwide support (phone and online)
0800 111 4000 is a national helpline to provide essential assistance to those who don’t have a network of support but who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Those with health problems are re-directed to phone NHS 111 (dial 111) or the NHS Inform website. More information is on the Scottish Government Website.
0800 028 2816 was the original helpline. It remains live for general advice and guidance on COVID-19. It is non-clinical.
GP practices remain available during usual hours (primarily for non-Covid-19 health matters).
Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service & the City of Edinburgh Council Trading Standards will be holding public drop in events focussing on providing the public with information on how to stay safe over the festive period.
Bogus callers, Dangerous Christmas presents/CE markings, Fire Safety, Home Security, Cycle Safety etc. are all impacted by the change in season so come along to learn how to stay safe.
On Monday the 9th of December 2019 at the following locations.
Bield Sheltered Housing Complex, Gordon Court (Lounge area) – 10:30 am to 12:00 noon
Out of the Blue, Dalmeny Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Please come along and speak to them about how to stay safe over the forthcoming festive period. Free bike marking and cycling safety equipment available (limited availability, so come early).
The email announcing that the contractor for the current phase of the Leith Walk repair works (Iona Street to Brunswick Street) has gone into administration came yesterday late afternoon.
There have been indications for a while that work had slowed down, but this latest development has come as a complete shock. We are seeking urgent clarification on how this will impact on the current work sites in various states of completion south of Pilrig Street and the Iona Street compound, and – most importantly – on the overall progress of getting the Leith Walk works completed all the way to Picardy Place roundabout.
We understand that prior to the contract being awarded comprehensive assessments of the contractor’s financial stability were obtained by the Council. This being so, this would be the first time in the 10 year saga of Leith Walk on/off repairs that the Council does not have to shoulder the blame for the delays and costs that no doubt will come in the wake of this latest development.
Whether there will be further reputational damage will depend entirely on how quickly this situation is recovered, and the relevant clauses in the contract:
Is there a sufficiently sized performance bond in place, shielding the project from any financial fallout?
Is the works documentation up to date, to allow work to be picked up smoothly by replacement contractors?
If the works do not continue in the immediate future with a new contractor and complete before the summer break as planned, will residents and businesses be compensated?
Will the various work sites be supervised and protected adequately in the meantime?
Will the snagging of the completed works around Pilrig Street be addressed promptly to restore confidence?
It has been said that one should ‘never let a crisis go to waste’. Is this the wake up call that was needed to make the reinstatement of one of Edinburgh’s top three streets a top Council priority?