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Finally, it’s summer recess and I get to spend some time in the constituency. I’m sure you all know about my love affair with the Fringe. I was delighted to be able to help the Fringe celebrate its 70th year with a reception in Speaker’s House at the start of July after their original event had to be cancelled due to the election! I’m looking forward to it all starting.
Thanks to everyone who has donated to the Edinburgh Back to School Bank at my Portobello Office – there’s been a fantastic response. If you can help we'd be delighted to receive school clothing for pupils aged 4-18. They regularly list items they are short of their Facebook page but are always short of girls black leggings - all sizes but especially ages 9-10 10-11 11-12 and ladies small black jumpers, cardigans and sweatshirts of all sizes from age 5 to 15.
It was a pleasure to attend the 20th birthday of Richmond Fellowship’s superb St Clair service in Leith. It was good to be able to chat to Richard and Maria about their service, the Fellowship and social care in general as well as chatting to Caroline, Tom, Ted & Alan who live there.
Earlier in the month I took my grandson along to take part in “Have a Field Day” at Leith Links. Have a Field Day is a national celebration organised by the charity Fields in Trust in partnership with 38 Degrees, Parkrun and the National Federation of Parks and Greenspaces. It was great to join other local residents and celebrate our local parks.
I had a very interesting visit to meet Dave Cooper and John Kinsley of Bath Street Collective Custom Build and to see around their amazing passivhaus take on a traditional Edinburgh tenement which was almost ready to move in to. What a great demonstration of small group of local families coming together to regenerate a derelict site and build a home.
Finally, congratulations to everyone involved in completing the Edinburgh City regional deal. There was a great deal of hard work done behind the scenes by the Scottish Government and all the local councils. The UK and Scottish Governments are match funding of £300 million each with additional funds from universities and other sources. It won’t cure all our ills but it’s a very positive investment all the same.
Time is running out for many of Edinburgh's small businesses. Today I've written to the Chancellor asking for additional emergency assistance for our hospitality sector through the COVID-19 epidemic.