Sunday, September 21, 2014

Discovery Walk proposal - an update

Further to my recent article about the excellent Discovery Walk proposal, it was good to see the article in Friday's Evening Telegraph - you can read this here.

And ... the project now has a logo :

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Heroes & Villains - the Tenth Annual University Culture Day

Organised by the Culture & Arts Forum in collaboration with the Centre for Scottish Culture, as part of Scottish Heroes & Villains Month

Wednesday 1st October 2014
Baxter Room 1.36, Tower Building

1.30        Welcome

1.35        Graeme Stevenson (Music) – The Sounds of Victory

Graeme will be performing music composed to commemorate Admiral Duncan's victory at the Battle of Camperdown, including Dussek’s The Naval Battle and Total Defeat of the Grand Dutch Fleet by Admiral Duncan

1.55        Eddie Small (Creative Writing) – The Villainous Hero: McGonagall the Spoilsport

Debate rages over McGonagall's ‘poetry’ : was it intentionally, and therefore Villainously, bad, or did our Hero simply strive to do his best, stoically oblivious to criticism, abuse and derision? By examining contemporaneous sources, we will now definitively solve this age-old conundrum once and for all.

2.10        Jan Merchant (Archive Services) – My Hero, the Archivist

Archives are the repositories of our personal and community histories and identities. The mission for archivists is to care, manage and provide access to records that tell stories, provide evidence, and offer insights into our history. This talk illustrates the heroic range of projects, enquiries and activities that archivists do to engage, inform, educate and testify.

2.25        Billy Kenefick & Derek Patrick (History) – Architect of Victory?: Douglas Haig and the Great War

Douglas Haig remains a divisive figure. For many Haig is largely responsible for tens of thousands of Great War dead, an obstinate and detached commander-in-chief, whose refusal to engage with new technology cost the lives of many of his men. Criticised by later politicians and pilloried by historians, Haig’s reputation has suffered, conditioning public perceptions of the man who arguably led the British army to its greatest victory. However, in the wake of the Great War, the Field Marshal enjoyed unprecedented popularity, working tirelessly for veterans’ charities. This paper will explore the man and the myth in an attempt to establish whether he was a hero or villain.

2.40        Break for Refreshments

3.00        Matthew Jarron (Museum Services) – The Celtic Revival in Dundee – heroes in art at the turn of the century

Led by the painter John Duncan, Dundee became one of the major centres for the Celtic Revival movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. This talk will explore this fascinating period of art and culture, and show that many of the paintings and murals created during this period depicted great heroes of Scottish history and legend.

3.15        Neil Paterson (Botanic Garden) – Sweden 0 England 1: Carl Linnaeus, John Ray and the Naming of Names

The Swedish botanist Linnaeus enjoys a largely undeserved reputation as the father of scientific plant classification; in this talk Neil will argue that that honour should belong to the almost unknown Englishman John Ray.

3.30        Dominic Smith (Philosophy) – Committed to the Flames: David Hume, Hero or Villain?

David Hume was a man of many real or apparent contradictions – a proud Scot who ardently supported Union with England; one of the most celebrated British philosophers, who, to this day, is still listed as an ‘historian’ in his official citation at the British Library; and a librarian who famously claimed that certain types of book should be ‘commit[ted]… to the flames’. This talk will attempt to lay out some of the contradictions surrounding Hume, and to see through some of their ‘villainous’ and ‘heroic’ implications. Above all, Hume was a great debunker of myth and mysticism, and this, Dominic will argue, is where his true ‘heroism’ (or is it ‘villainy’?) resides for us.  

3.45        Rebecca Brown (Continuing Education) – Shakespeare’s Heroes and Villains

In this presentation, Rebecca will offer a (very) brief exploration of the divided self of Shakespeare's tragic figures.

4.00        Break for Refreshments

4.15        Susan Mains (Geography) – Pirates of the Caribbean: Resistance, Security and Nostalgia in Jamaican Seascapes

In recent years we have come to associate images of Caribbean pirates with big budget Hollywood depictions of witty scoundrels and subversive heroes. Exploring the context of Jamaica, this presentation digs a little deeper to explore some of the hidden stories surrounding a range of historical and contemporary pirates, and the implications these have for our understandings of local, national and transnational geographies.

4.30        Karen Petrie (Computing) – The Women of Station X

Bletchley Park was the central location for the UK's code breaking efforts during World War Two. It is not well-known that women made up the majority of the personnel and made a significant contribution to the code breaking. This talk (organised by the University’s Revealing Research) will try to tell some of these women's stories. 

4.45        Brian Hoyle (Film Studies) – Henry Fonda Shot Me in the Face While James Cagney Tap-Danced and Other Unusual Tales of Hollywood Heroes and Villains

The Hollywood studio system carefully cultivated the images of its stars and were often reluctant to allow them to display the full range of their acting talents in order to preserve that image. However, many of the most memorable performances by Hollywood stars came in works where they were cast against type, with the heroes exploring their darker side or screen heavies displaying disarming charm and kindness. This paper will look at the roles of several great actors including Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Fred MacMurray, Kirk Douglas and Lee Marvin.  

5.00        JOOT Theatre Company – Herod the Great

The company will end our event with a dramatised reading of the mediaeval Mystery pageant Herod the Great from the Wakefield Cycle

5.30        End

As always, admission is free and you are welcome to attend as much or as little of the programme as you like.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friends of Wighton : Patsy Reid fiddle workshop and concert

From Sheena Wellington :

Internationally renowned fiddler and local girl, Patsy Reid will be teaching and performing in Dundee tomorrow, Saturday 20th September.

Patsy will give a fiddle workshop and concert in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library.

The workshop will start at 9.30am as soon as the Library opens. The workshop will be followed by a Cappuccino Concert;  coffee and newspapers will be served from 10.30am and the concert will run from 11 till 12.   Admission to the workshop is £5, and admission to the concert is also £5.

Both sessions are open to all; participation in the workshop is for people who already play fiddle, but non-players are also welcome to come and listen!    The cappuccino concert as usual is open to all.

On any given day in the last couple of years you could’ve seen Patsy performing as part of The Cecil Sharp Project or Kathryn Tickell’s Northumbrian Voices, or at the London 2012 celebrations with Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World.    She played with The Unusual Suspects and The True North Orchestra, accompanied Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman on tour, as well as forming a new string trio called VAMM.  

There were numerous Celtic Connections commissions and a residency in Kolkata, India. And in the studio Patsy is a one woman string quartet, contributing cello, viola and violin to albums by Duncan Chisholm, Bella Hardy, Treacherous Orchestra, Tim Edey and…   There are almost certainly more we’ve missed out.

Willie Rennie - Today Scotland is stronger #LibDemNo #nothanks

Speaking after the result of the referendum became clear, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP said,

"Today Scotland is stronger.

"Scotland has made. Proud and conscientious choice.

"The people of Scotland have examined our relationship with the people of the rest of the United Kingdom and have decided no to walk away.

"Scotland will never be the same again.

"And as a result of Scottish votes, Britain will never be the same again.

"These are exciting times. This No vote means we can get on with delivering more powers inside the UK this morning."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Working for Scotland - in the United Kingdom #LibDemNo #nothanks

Just in from a final day's campaigning before polling day - the momentum is with #nothanks, of that I have no doubt :

Former Lawrie's Nursery site

Residents in Millhall Crescent and Newhall Gardens whose gardens are bounded by the former Lawrie's Nursery site, have complained to me about the extent of the overgrown foliage from the site now encroaching on their gardens - see below :
Overgrown foliage encroaching a garden in Millhall Crescent
I have contacted both the City Council and the developer/site owners direct about this requesting that the owner have their site tidied.   The owner has now responded, promising some attention to the matter.

Monday, September 15, 2014

City Council committee meetings

Following my Monday weekly ward surgeries at the West Park Centre and the Mitchell Street Centre, tonight I attended City Council meetings.

At the Policy and Resources Committee, in a debate about the Dundee Community Safety Partnership's Annual Report, I highlighted constituents' continuing concerns about places where wheelie bins permanently sit on pavements - an issue I have highlighted with the Environment Department over a very long time.   

I raised this in the context of concerns about bin fires, but the issue also causes problems for residents using mobility scooters, wheelchairs and with prams and also is a very significant problem for people who are blind or partially sighted.    

The lack of a fixed penalty system in Scotland where bins are left out despite repeated requests from the local authority to take them in after the bin collection is a real issue - this exists in England - and I received an assurance that council officers will take all steps necessary to attempt to properly tackle the problem.

In a report on policing performance results, I raised the issue of housebreaking detection rates concerns and sought assurances about the police keeping householders updated with the progress of investigations.

Getting things done - Hawkhill

A couple of years ago, following my raising residents' complaints with the City Council, the untidy gap site in Hawkhill just east of the Casino/Tesco Express at the West Marketgait junction was cleaned up by the owners.

Unfortunately, it has deteriorated again over time - see below :
I asked the City Council to request that the owners take steps to tidy it and I am pleased to say this has now been carried out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Campaigning to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom #LibDemNo #nothanks

Just in from a great day campaigning to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom :

Road condition - Nethergate and Perth Road

Having recently received complaints about the state of the roadway of Nethergate east of the Queen's Hotel and Perth Road west of Roseangle, I contacted the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership regarding this.

I was advised :
The carriageway in Perth Road between South Tay St and Roseangle was resurfaced last year, ie past Queen's Hotel.
This year between South Tay St and the Marketgait is proposed for resurfacing in September but may be delayed as Scottish Water have advised they are currently investigating the condition of their mains in this area and dependant on outcome may be carrying out some excavation works. 
Currently it is proposed to resurface Perth Road between Roseangle and Hawkhill in 2015/16 although the programme will be subject to review in advance of issue in Spring 2015 as all carriageways throughout the city are currently being condition assessed which will affect priorities.  
In addition it is proposed to resurface Perth Road, between Blackness Ave and Seymour St later this year.  The next section between Seymour St and West Park Road is proposed for 2016/17 just before the new Harris school is opened.
The City Council has now published the following Public Notice with regard to Nethergate :

THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984    SECTION 14(1)

THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of carriageway resurfacing works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Nethergate (from West Marketgait to South Tay Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 22 September 2014 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.   Limited access will be maintained for deliveries etc.

Alternative routes for vehicles will be available via West Marketgait / Hawkhill / Perth Road / Nethergate and reverse.

For further information contact 433082.

Director of City Development

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dundee Doors Open Days

Today was the first of the two Dundee Doors Open Days of 2014 and, if you did not manage along today, the programme is running again tomorrow.   You can read more here - including links to the venues.

Amongst the West End participants is Jericho House - pictured earlier today (below) complete with banner!

Corso Street Sheltered Lounge Coffee Morning

I took an enjoyable half hour off from referendum campaigning this morning to visit the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge Coffee Morning.    

It was good to speak to many of the tenants of Abbotsford Street, Abbotsford Place and Corso Street and there was a great selection of stalls - see below :

Campaigning for "No Thanks!" today #LibDemNo #nothanks

Along with colleagues, I was campaigning for a "No Thanks!" vote in Broughty Ferry today - great response!   Photo below :

Blackness Writing Group


Friday, September 12, 2014

West End Christmas Fortnight meeting

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing the latest West End Christmas Fortnight committee meeting, which took place in Blackness Library. 

West End Christmas Fortnight 2014 is taking really good shape - and we discussed the detail of various events taking place during this year's fortnight - 22nd November to 6th December - and these include :

Saturday 22nd November :    Grand Christmas Fortnight Launch including Shoppers' Saturday, vintage car cavalcade, children's lantern making workshop and Dundee West Church Christmas Coffee Morning.

Wednesday 26th November :   The West End Christmas Lights Switch On at Seabraes, Christmas Concert at Dundee West Church, Fireworks Display, Christmas Carnival - a great night out for all the family!

Saturday 29th November :     Friends of Blackness Primary School Christmas Fayre.

Wednesday 3rd December :   West End Community Evening at The Vine.

Saturday 6th December :    P6 school five-a-side football competition featuring our local primary schools, "Walk in the Dark" children's event at the Botanic Garden and a Christmas Coffee Morning at Pennycook Court.

There will also be other children's activities at Blackness Library, a children's window spotting competition, a Best Dressed Shop Window competition and a play produced by the Time2Give Creative Writing Group.

If you wish to help the Christmas Fortnight team, please e-mail us at christmas2014@frasermacpherson.org.uk - many thanks.

Progress with the 'Discovery Walk' proposal

Last year, I highlighted the excellent proposal by local resident Kelly Marr for "Discovery Walk" in the new Waterfront area, a series of manhole covers that would depict some of the great Dundonians who have made a real contribution to the city in the field of discovery.    The concept is based around the Sydney Writers' Walk – here’s me (below) at the Writers' Walk in Sydney :
There has been progress with regard to the project with aims and objectives having been produced (to quote) :

To publicly acknowledge the numerous contributions that the city of Dundee has made in a range areas (not simply literary figures like the “Writer’s Walk” in Circular Quay Sydney).
To educate the public on perhaps the lesser known but extremely valuable discoveries that can be traced to Dundee.   This is a concerted effort to step away from the “Jute, Jam and Journalism” that Dundee is already famous for and celebrate the more recent developments in the areas of medicine and academia that are often overlooked. 
To have the facility to download an app that can provide a greater context on the individual being acknowledge in each manhole cover, that in the longer term can be linked with other projects and attractions in other parts of Dundee, (for instance, Admiral Duncan could be linked with Camperdown House).

There are several advantages to the installation of personalised manhole covers as opposed to other forms public tributes :

As demonstrated by the examples in this proposal, the ground plaques can tastefully work with a variety of pavement designs and therefore successfully link the new developments on Dundee’s waterfront with pavements that have already been established.
From a future planning point of view it simply requires the installation of the plaques in place of manhole covers which from an historical point of view acknowledge the history of the waterfront. 
When there is an addition made to Discovery Walk it can be an excellent PR opportunity and help sustain a greater awareness of contributions and developments that are taking place in the city. 

Do please contact me if you wish further details of this excellent initiative.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A further update - Riverside Drive

As I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter earlier this week, there was a discussion about the roadworks on Riverside Drive at the West End Community Council meeting on Tuesday.    I promised to take up two issues - directional signage and the pedestrian crossing arrangements - with the City Engineer and he has now updated as follows :
- Poor Signage - the signage is maintained by CTM the specialist traffic management contractor.   CTM will check the position and advise but to date there have been no concerns. 
- Pedestrian Crossing - when the button is pressed a light round the button illuminates, he will check that these are working and if not will get them fixed.
On the concerns that have been expressed about the road surface that were raised in the Courier this week, hew also advises :
... when asked why it was not all being dug up, (the complainant) was properly advised that it was not required as the condition of the carriageway was sufficient for an inlay (ie plane out the top surfacing and overlay with new). 
In relation to the issue of a ‘bumpy’ new surface, there was an issue during a nightshift when a piece of plant broke down, disrupting the laying process however, this was not significant and the supervisory team have no great concerns with the running surface. This is however to be investigated further when the carriageway is subject to a full road closure at the weekend and if remedial work is considered necessary it will be addressed at this time.
I would stress that the work is not yet finished, as can be seen from the photograph in the article, and we would ask for the travelling public's patience until the work is completed.

Dundee City Council (Riverside Drive, Dundee) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 2014

From the City Council :

Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway resurfacing works.   The Order is expected to be in force for two weeks from 14 September 2014.    Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic between 7pm and 6am in Riverside Drive, Dundee from the roundabout at Riverside Drive Retail Park to approximately 50 metres west of the point where the Tay Rail Bridge crosses Riverside Drive, Dundee.

Pedestrian thoroughfare is maintained and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible. 

An alternative route will be available via Perth Road/ Hawkhill/ West Marketgait/ Riverside Drive.

If you have any queries please contact 433168.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Harris Academy Project Board

This morning, I participated in the latest Harris Academy Project Board meeting.  The Project Board oversees the rebuilding project and it was good to hear of the excellent progress of the project thus far.

I raised a few issues including :

* Need for an additional School Crossing Patroller in Lawton Road at the decant site (and also for Blackness Primary School pupils at Blackness Road/Kelso Steps).

* Parking issues near the Perth Road site during the construction phase.

* Need to invite community representatives to see round the new build site.

West Marketgait - Public Notice

From Dundee City Council :

THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 : SECTION 14(1)

THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of crane lifting works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in West Marketgait (southbound from Westport roundabout to Nethergate), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Saturday 20th September 2014 for one night (8pm to 8am) .

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles will be available via West Marketgait / North Marketgait / East Marketgait / South Marketgait.

For further information contact 433082.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Riverside Approach - temporary closure - Public Notice

From the City Council :

THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 : SECTION 14(1)

THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of carriageway resurfacing works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Approach (from Riverside Drive to Magdalen Yard Road), Dundee

This notice comes into effect on Wednesday 10 September 2014 for two days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles will be available via Riverside Drive / Perth Road / Windsor Street / Magdalen Yard Road.

For further information contact 433082.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

New West End Knitting Group

Organised through Time2Give, the West End timebank, the new West End Knitting Group started last Friday - more details below :

Monday, September 08, 2014

City Council meetings

Following my Monday afternoon surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre, I participated in tonight's City Council committees.

At Environment Committee, I welcomed public open space proposed improvements including at Greenbank Place, Riverside Drive and Victoria Park.   In the case of Greenbank Place, the proposal is to replace the existing conifer hedge.  I asked that the overgrown trees in the area be also attended to (particular the one that partially obstructs the south pavement) and was given a commitment that this would happen.

At Policy and Resources Committee, I was pleased that the first regeneration fund monies to be committed to West End projects was approved.   This includes help for the elderly in the West End through the Food Train, a gardening project assisting people recovering from substance misuse issues and a project helping families in need.

At the same committee, I voted with the Labour Group regarding the V&A preferred contractor recommendation, given concerns about blacklisting.    I also moved approval of a report from the Chief Executive on the Dundee Fairness Action Plan and child poverty strategy, omitting an SNP amendment which was unfortunately and unhelpfully more about scoring independence referendum points than trying to reach a cross-party consensus on tackling poverty in Dundee.

Riverside Nature Park event next Sunday


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Logie and St John's (Cross) Parish Church celebration weekend

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the exhibition and afternoon tea at Logie and St John's (Cross) Parish Church, as part of the church's celebration weekend to mark the centenary of the church building.

The exhibition was really interesting as was the talk on the church's history and the tour of the building.

Logie and St John's (Cross) plays an integral part in our local community and my best wishes to the church and its parishioners at this important time.

Some photographs from yesterday :
Part of the church exhibition
The 26th Discovery Scouts' stand at yesterday's event

Update from Friends of Magdalen Green #COMMFUND GNF

From Friends of Magdalen Green :

The Roseangle playpark project has been short-listed for a Bank of Scotland Community Fund.  

This could be worth up to £3,000 for the project if we get a lot of votes in.  

The voting process has started and goes until the 10th October.  It’s free to vote and we need as many as we can possibly get.  If you would please share as widely as you can.  

Here’s how to vote :

On-line - http://bos-cf.co.uk/GNF
Tweet #COMMFUND GNF
Text 'VOTE GNF' to 82332
Bank of Scotland branches

Many thanks!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Time2Give update

I have previously mentioned the timebanking initiative for the West End - Time2Give.    

Timebanking is a means of exchange used to organise people and organisations around a purpose, where time is the principal currency.  

For every hour participants ‘deposit’ in a timebank, perhaps by giving practical help and support to others, they are able to ‘withdraw’ equivalent support in time when they themselves are in need. In each case the participant decides what they can offer. 

It is a great, community-based, concept and Time2Give is making great progress.    

You can now download its latest newsletter here.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Getting things done - Roxburgh Terrace

Residents have contacted me regarding the poor-conditioned south pavement of Roxburgh Terrace.

This pavement does not appear to be on the Unadopted Footways List for future adoption, so I contacted the City Engineer about it.

He has replied as follows:
I can confirm that Roxburgh Terrace south footway is not currently included in the unadopted footways list.   This street will be assessed against the published criteria and added to the list at the annual review in February 2015.

Dundee Wearable Art award show

Tickets for the Dundee Wearable Art award show are now on sale. 

They can be purchased at the Dundee Rep box office.   They are £10 each.   The show is on Saturday 11th October and starts at 7.30pm.

More details are available here.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Getting things done - Benvie Road

I am pictured (below) in Benvie Road (opposite the Pitfour Street junction) where the two street signs indicating flat numbers have totally worn away.
At the request of residents, I have asked the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership to replace them.

Parrot Café Exhibition - running until 20th September


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pennycook Lane

Residents have complained to me about an overgrown area in Pennycook Lane, opposite Blackness Primary School.

I have asked the City Council to undertake a search to ascertain ownership to see if agreement can be reached to have it tidied.

But elsewhere in Pennycook Lane, Home Scotland and the sheltered tenants deserve congratulations for the lovely flower displays at Pennycook Court :

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

West End Curling Group

The West End "ice free indoor curling group" resumes its meetings at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall on Thursday 11th September from 2pm to 4pm.      

It takes place every Thursday thereafter (except the 18th as the room is being used as a polling station that day).

The curling group is run by are Reshaping Care for Older People and open to all aged over 50.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Street Lighting - Lower Pleasance/Douglas Street/Brewery Lane

Residents have complained to me that some of the street lighting at Lower Pleasance, Douglas Street and Brewery Lane is obscured by foliage from overgrown trees.   I took this up with the Street Lighting Partnership and have been advised :
We have looked at the various streets mentioned. There are some areas where the trees are obscuring the light.   We will get them cut back in the next couple of days.

Friends of Blackness AGM

Friends of Blackness undertakes both the Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association roles at Blackness Primary School.    

The Friends' AGM is at the school on Tuesday 9th September - details are available here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Getting things done - River Crescent

I have had several complaints from residents about the state of parts of the roadway of River Crescent.    See photos left and right.

I asked the Roads Maintenance Partnership for pothole repairs but also, given the deteriorating state of the road, if resurfacing could be considered for a future programme.

I have now received the following helpful response:

"An order will be raised by the Roads Maintenance Partnership inspector for pothole repairs to be carried out at this location with a timescale for repair of 28 days or sooner.  This area will be considered for thin resurfacing in a future year."

Getting things done - Pentland Avenue and Scott Street

Residents have mentioned to me the overgrown trees that sit at the far west end of Scott Street are now so high that they protrude across the south pavement of Pentland Avenue.

I took at this concern with the City Council and the Assistant Forestry Officer has updated me as follows :

"I have inspected the trees along the south side of Pentland Ave as per your constituents' enquiry.  

There are a number of trees and other vegetation that is beginning to obstruct headroom and encroach the footway for pedestrians, (Scott street junction to City Road junction). 

My intention will be to crown lift and prune/trim back these trees to make an improvement for pedestrians using the south side footway. 

The works will be included in our work programme or added to the local area ground maintenance programme and carried out as soon as reasonably possible."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

An update - Thomson Street

I recently highlighted that residents have complained to me that the entrance to the Home Scotland car park at the south end of Thomson Street was unsightly with weeds.   

With grateful thanks to Home Scotland for auctioning my request to have the area tidied, this was promptly attended to – see below :
Before
After

Friday, August 29, 2014

UPBEET Project

Dundee Carers' Centre's Young Carers' Project has highlighted that young adult carers often have limited access to opportunities that others take for granted.    Caring responsibilities can have a negative effect on their lives, including poor school attendance and attainment at school, in future education or in the work place.    Poor social contact and negative health effects are also common and at times young adult carers can feel down or on their own.

Therefore, their UPBEET project can help young adult carers aged 15-30 years access confidential information and support in areas including personal development, raising confidence and self esteem, entitlement to benefits and CV/interview skills, as well as accessing flexible opportunities to combine education, training, or employment with their caring role.

For further information :

Young Carers' Project, Dundee Carers' Centre, First Floor, Argyll House, West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 1QP

Telephone :  200422

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In Memoriam : Jim Petrie

I was really saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Petrie earlier this week.

Jim was best known for his work on The Beano‘s “Minnie the Minx”, a strip he took over from original artist Leo Baxendale in 1961 and drew for 2000 issues before his retirement in 2001.

However, it was through his involvement, in retirement, with the Magdalen Artists that I knew Jim.   He was also a leading member of the 'silver surfer' computer group that meets at the Mitchell Street Centre each Monday, immediately before my ward surgery there.

Jim was a lovely, warm and engaging man and he will be sadly missed.   The Beano has published a fitting tribute to Jim - "Farewell to a Comics Legend!" that you can read here.

Here's a photo (below) I took in 2011 of Jim (centre) with the other Magdalen Artists :

Meal Makers

Meal Makers is a new project launched by the Food Train and is a free, local neighbourhood, food-sharing project that connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a delicious home cooked meal, with older neighbours living close by who could really benefit from a hot cooked meal.    

The project is trying to get a lot of Meal Makers members on board to cook tasty, home-cooked food for their neighbours in order to get more people eating and cooking fresh meals.

It is hoped that by running this project, it will help combat some issues experienced by older people in the community such as social isolation and the growing problem of malnutrition many elderly people experience as a result of having difficulty cooking nutritious food for themselves.   It is also hoped the project will help to strengthen connections within communities and provide a flexible way for people to volunteer their time and skills locally in a way which suits them.

Meal Makers is being rolled out in Dundee as a pilot, and its planned to take the project nationwide if all things go well.    

Please see poster below :

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday meetings

At teatime tonight, I attended a drop-in session at Blackness Library I had helped arrange for local businesses at which Royal Bank of Scotland officials were on hand to offer advice on banking products and issues.

Thereafter, along with representatives of the Friends of Balgay, one of my ward colleagues and a City Council Environment Department officer, I attended the latest Balgay Stakeholders' Group meeting that took place in the pavilion at Lochee Park.

The group discusses projects and issues at Balgay Park, the Hill, Cemetery and Victoria Park and we had a really good meeting covering a number of positive developments covering various matters around the park from gates to signs, trees, benches and other matters.

Friends of Blackness meeting

Last night, I attended the first Friends of Blackness meeting of the new term.   Friends of Blackness undertakes both the Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association roles at Blackness Primary School.

It was an extremely positive meeting, not least because of the excellent news about the recent Education Scotland inspection report on the school.   This report can be downloaded here.   The report is extremely positive and a real credit to Gordon Ferrier, Head Teacher, his excellent team of staff and the pupils and parents of the school.

Other topics discussed tonight included the welcome extension to the school dining hall and some repainting in the school and in the playground that took place over the summer break, the forthcoming beetle drive for pupils and parents and the Christmas Card Art Project.