Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thomson Street to finally re-open to through traffic

Residents of Thomson Street will be pleased to learn that the street is finally to be re-opened to through traffic after many months of a closure of its southern end due to construction of a care home extension.

I have been given an assurance that, by Friday of this week, the street will be fully reopened, although there will need to be some traffic management – a ‘give and take’ system with just one lane operating.   This should not present problems due to relatively low vehicle numbers.

I have been asking the City Council for some time to liaise with the company constructing the care home extension to get the road re-opened as it has been closed for months, with only some through access at weekends.    Given the narrowness of the street, manoeuvring vehicles at the dead end has been an added difficulty.   I am therefore pleased the road will finally be open to through traffic.

Path tidied - Tait's Lane to Peddie Street

Having requested - on behalf of residents - tidying of the overgrown foliage in the pathway from Tait's Lane to Peddie Street, I am pleased to see work to do this has now been undertaken - see below :

Monday, November 23, 2015

Consultation on 20's Plenty progressed by the City Council

In June 2014 and again in February of this year, I proposed that Dundee City Council consult residents and communities across Dundee on the subject of having more 20mph zones in residential areas where there is support from residents.   On the second attempt – in February – the council agreed to do so.

Tonight, at City Development Committee, a report came forward on the detail of the consultation now being proposed.    I have some concerns about the content of the report in relation to contentions it makes in relation to the ‘principal road network’ and where the initial mean speed in a street is higher than 24mph.   It is important that residents’ views are sought without preconditions by officers and the guidance by Transport Scotland should be fully adhered to.  

Crucially, however, the report talked about a “web based” consultation, whereas I believe it to be vital that the council consults widely with communities across Dundee to get their views - in other words going out and speaking with Dundee people about the issue.   I moved an amendment as follows :

“Add the following additional recommendation :

2.2       The Executive Director of City Development will consult widely in consultation meetings with community councils, tenants and residents associations, other representative community organisations and the public across all eight Local Community Planning Partnership areas to discuss their views on where 20 mph limits would be appropriate and would be of benefit to residential amenity and road safety in each community.”

I am pleased to say that the committee unanimously agreed to my amendment.   It may take a bit longer to undertake the consultation than originally proposed but, as I said at committee tonight, it is better than it is done properly than it is done quickly.

Also, at the same committee tonight, a report was agreed on the City Centre Parking Scheme that will, subject to consultation, correct an anomaly affecting residents in West Port, whereby some residents are currently eligible to apply for a permit and some are not.  It is right that all West Port residents should be allowed to qualify for a permit, given the parking difficulties in the area, being so close to the City Centre.

Book Week Scotland event at Blackness Library

Sunday, November 22, 2015

West End Christmas Fortnight launches this week!

As a prelude to this year's West End Christmas Fortnight which launches this week, yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Dundee West Church's Christmas Coffee Morning.    There was a great turnout and an enjoyable time was had by all :
Lights On for the West End!   …  and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

On Wednesday 25th November, West End Christmas Fortnight launches at 6.15pm!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm.   Everyone is very welcome to attend.   

There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves.    We are delighted that the great Scots singer Sheena Wellington and the Wighton Singers will also perform.  Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On!

At 7pm, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Sheena Wellington, ably assisted by Santa and his sleigh.  

There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on – and we would like to thank the West End businesses whose financial support has made the fireworks display possible and thanks to Robin Carstairs and Dragonfire for their help in organising the fireworks. 
In addition, it will be possible to purchase hot drinks, mulled wine (for the adults!) and mince pies at Seabraes, with our thanks to Peter Menzies and IMPC for organising.   There will be free “glow specs” and sparklers for all children attending the lights switch on and fireworks!

Many thanks to Police Scotland for their assistance and also to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who will have a fire engine on-site for children to see round!

It is a great, free event for all the family – don’t miss it!

You can download the full West End Christmas Fortnight 2015 brochure here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Central Waterfront site visit - and Starter Packs Official Opening

Yesterday, I had a highly informative tour of the Central Waterfront kindly provided by the City Engineer and one of his Senior Engineers.    

It is only when you walk round the main civic space (to be known as Slessor Gardens) that the sheer size of the new civic area becomes apparent, as does the high quality of the work undertaken and finished result - something the city will be really proud of.

Here's a couple of photographs :

I also had the pleasure yesterday of attending the Official Opening of the new Starter Packs premises in Forest Park Road, and saying a few words at the opening about the great work the charity undertakes in providing vital home ‘starter packs’ for resettling homeless and needy individuals and families in the Dundee area.

You can read more about Starter Packs here and here's a photo from yesterday's opening :

Friday, November 20, 2015

Temporary Traffic Order - Tay Square

From the City Council :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water investigation works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Tay Square (from no.2 to approx. 20 metres south), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 23 November 2015 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes are available via Tay Square / South Tay Street / Tay Square.

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Pedestrian Crossing welcomed - Riverside Avenue

Following the reduction of the speed limit on Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue some time ago, the possibility of having pedestrian crossings on these busy roads became possible and the City Council has provided three new crossings on Riverside Drive.

I have long argued that one on Riverside Avenue to cover access to Riverside Nature Park would be a boon so it is great to see work on delivering this now taking place - see below :

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Temporary Traffic Order : Easson's Angle

From the City Council :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water investigation works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Easson’s Angle, Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 23 November 2015 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes are available via Fleuchar Street / Blyth Street / City Road / Milnbank Road.

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flooding - Riverside Drive

Residents have contacted me about the extent to which flooding has recently affected the east side of the bridge over the rail line on Riverside Drive (just south of the Botanic Garden) - see below :
I took up the matter with the City Engineer whose office has responded as follows :

"This particular gully is ... at the low point of Riverside Drive and this is where leaves are prone to accumulate, blocking the gully.   Roads Maintenance will attend and clear."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bus shelter - Perth Road - a further update

Back in July, I updated residents about my request of the City Council to provide a bus shelter on Perth Road at either the Rockfield Street or Windsor Street stops, given how exposed it is there.   At that time, the council hoped to provide one later in the year.

As this has not yet happened, I asked the council for an update and was advised as follows:

“We have recently relocated seven of our existing bus shelters to new sites.  Unfortunately, Perth Road at Rockfield Street was not one of the selected sites for the shelters to be relocated to.   It's still on our list, and currently there is no site ahead of it on our scoring system.  I had not been minded to acquire new shelters when we still had redundant shelters dotted around the city - but these are beginning to reduce in number.  

At the Perth Road site, footway width is a limitation, which means only the narrower style of shelter can be accommodated.    While I would not completely rule out a move or a new shelter this winter, I think it is now unlikely.  I will however review our approach to shelter requests in light of the issue this e-mail exchange has highlighted (i.e. lack of 'redundant' narrow shelters).”

I have responded asking that all effort is made to attempt to get this resolved before the bad winter weather and I will keep residents updated.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Food Train's 20th Anniversary

A superb short documenting Food Train's inspiring story from it is humble beginnings in Dumfries & Galloway to an ever expanding charity dedicated to help support older people live independently at home across Scotland - including Dundee :

Food Train Dundee has recently expanded to include our befriending service, Food Train Friends. Customers enjoyed their first outing to The Rep Theatre Dundee to watch The Beautiful People.  The show was thoroughly enjoyed by all and customers had a blether afterwards in the cafe.  

There will soon be a Christmas lunch and shopping trip to Dobbies Garden Centre.  

It is great that Food Train can now add this service and continue making a difference to the older people of Dundee.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Temporary Traffic Order : Abbotsford Street

From the City Council :


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 Abbotsford Street (from its junction with Seymour Street to approx. 100 metres east), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 16 November 2015 for 2 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.   Parking will be restricted for the duration of the work.

Alternative routes are available via Seymour Street / Blackness Road / Abbotsford Street.

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Home Energy Scotland

Make your home warmer this winter by calling Home Energy Scotland

Free impartial advice and support available to all. 

People across the country are being urged to act now to cut their bills and make their homes warmer as part of a Scottish Government campaign to encourage people to call the Home Energy Scotland hotline (0808 808 2282). 

A one-stop shop for advice and support, Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government is there to help Scots keep warm. Around a third of Scottish households have been offered advice by the hotline since it started. Home Energy Scotland is a source of free clear and impartial advice on how to make your home cheaper to heat. Plus, a warm energy efficient home is good for your physical and mental health as well as your finances.

This new campaign to raise awareness of the hotline comes as the Scottish Government has extended the range of support available with schemes such as Warmer Homes Scotland.

Everyone can get help from the hotline. As well as receiving money-saving energy advice and an assessment of their property by phone, households may be eligible to receive help to replace their old, inefficient boiler with a new model, which could also cut hundreds of pounds off their annual fuel bills. Many are also in line for free loft and cavity wall insulation, and some will even receive a full central heating system at no cost.

Interest free, unsecured loans of up to ten thousand pound are also available to owner occupiers and private sector landlords for installing a variety of measures such as solid wall insulation, double glazing or a new boiler. Successful loans will be subject to administrative fee.

There are also a wide number of schemes available across Scotland that are based upon where people live. Just one call to Home Energy Scotland is all it takes for people to find out what they are eligible for.

To find out exactly what you are eligible for - whatever your circumstances - call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland hotline now on 0808 808 2282 or go to www.homeenergyscotland.org

Act now to make your home warmer and help Scotland go greener together.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The University of Dundee Culture Day

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

The Eleventh Annual University of Dundee Culture Day takes place on Wednesday 18th November in Baxter Room 1.36, first floor, Tower Building. This year the theme is People & Place and as always we have a fascinating interdisciplinary programme of talks and drama.


1.30pm - Introduction 

1.35pm - Caroline Brown (Archive Services)
A Sense of Place: Strathmartine Hospital
Capturing different memories of an institution, a workplace and a home. This talk will provide an overview of an oral history project with staff and former residents of Strathmartine Hospital. 

1.50pm - Susan Mains (Geography)
Ties to the Tay: Place, People and Storytelling
The River Tay has featured in a range of artistic mediums and is a key component of Tayside geographies. The Tay is also interwoven with connections to special places and memories - stories about this material and social landscape help us make sense of our own journeys and can also offer a new sense of belonging.

2.05pm - Neil Paterson (Botanic Garden)
Painting the Back Yard: Andrew Wyeth and Claude Monet
Two painters with such a strong sense of place that they restricted much of their work to, respectively, two and a single location(s).

2.20pm - Mark Robson (English & Theatre Studies) 
The Politics of Dramaturgy
Dramaturgy is concerned with the structures within which events take place. In theatrical terms, it can be taken to indicate the ways in which different elements of a performance relate to each other, and the processes by which the performance comes into being. But in creating the world of the play, dramaturgy also creates a vision of the world beyond the play. So what are the politics of these acts of world-creation?

2.35pm – break for refreshments 

2.55pm - Annie Tindley (History)
Landscape and the Clearances: the shadow of history?
As Scottish politicians grapple with a new Land Reform bill, this talk will explore the historical background of this contentious issue, from the Highland clearances, and how perceptions of these events have, and continue to, shape legislation and public opinion. We will examine the nature of power and conflict in rural Scotland, and how its history and traditions have permeated Scottish culture and continue to set the political agenda today. 

3.10pm - Andy Milligan (DJCAD)
Domestechtopias – Domestic Technologies Utopias
Rediscovering the domestic interior as a site for dwelling, interacting, distracting eg living together yet apart. Looking at some of the myths, fantasies and utopian visions around the home  eg Homes for the future…..dystopian domesticity and heterotopian hell-holes

3.25pm - Derek Robertson (Education) & Deepak Gopinath (Town & Regional Planning)
Minecraft on the Waterfront: Where learners are contenders! 
Minecraft has become a global phenomenon but can this digital construction kit be used to support learning? In this presentation Derek & Deepak will discuss their recent work with primary and secondary schools that explored the use of Minecraft in the context of the developing waterfront of their city. The learners involved were given a brief that challenged them to reimagine, redesign and rebuild what they thought Dundee waterfront should like were they the designers! 

3.40pm - Daniel Cook (English)
Mary Shelley's Dundee: The Gothic City
Did you know that the inventor of modern science fiction, Mary Shelley, lived with the Baxters on Dundee’s South Baffin Street as a teenager? This talk outlines what we know about Shelley's experiences here, and re-examines the Gothic descriptions of the area in her ground-breaking novel Frankenstein (1818) and other works.

3.55pm - break for refreshments 

4.15pm - Reinhard Behrens (DJCAD) 
40 Years of Expeditions into Naboland
An artist's exploration of a parallel world

4.30pm - Hope Roberts (Museum Services)
Everything in its Place 
A place for everything and everything in its place, this could be a museum mantra. But how does giving objects a place in a museum benefit people? In this talk, Hope will reveal some of the great things we can do with museum collections when you are involved! 

4.45pm - Nick Hopkins (Psychology)
Living with the Gods at the Sangam: Place and pilgrimage in north India
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims gather at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers where they live on the rivers’ sandy floodplains for one month. During this time conditions are demanding, yet pilgrims report a great sense of calm and fulfilment. What is it about their experience of this environment that contributes to such a sense of spiritual fulfilment?

5pm – JOOT Theatre Company
'Ic pis giedd wrece': Old English Elegies as Dramatic Monologues
The Old English elegies as a whole are largely about exile. The Wife's Lament, for example, is about a woman who is abandoned by her lord n a Gothic landscape and there mourns the loss of her friends and home.  In The Wanderer, we find a thane whose lord has died and, as a result, he must roam the earth looking for a new home.

5.25pm – End

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy - an update

Further to my recent update about a possible new group to run evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy after the school returns to its Perth Road campus next August, tonight I attended an informal meeting at Blackness Library to discuss the way forward.

It was a very positive meeting and we are looking to meet again early in the New Year after we have the results of a residents' survey now being undertaken across the West End to get views on adult learning at Harris.   

Please participate by completing the short survey here - many thanks.

Home Start's Charity Night

Home Start's Charity Night
14th November 2015 at 7.30pm
Starlight Showroom,
Guthrie Street, Dundee

Tickets- £10/ £6 - for tickets contact the office on 202040 or email admin@homestart-dundee.org.uk 

Come along for a fantastic evening of entertainment from Arbroath RBLS Pipe Band, Christine Low Dancers, Downfield Musical Society, Gleadhraich and lots more.  

There is also a grand raffle with some fantastic prizes, including Tickets for TV Psychic Sally Morgan, The Proclaimers and more, with a special raffle for your chance to win 2 x T in The Park 2016 Tickets.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

No ward surgery tomorrow night ...

As tomorrow (Thursday 12th November) is an in-service day at local schools, my usual ward surgery at Blackness Primary School does not take place but I can be contacted at any time at home on 459378 or by e-mail at surgery@frasermacpherson.org.uk

My surgeries resume again next week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Getting things done - St Peter Street

Following complaints from residents and St Peter's Free Church that the shrubbery at the north end of St Peter Street beside Hawkhill is overgrown and unsightly, I took the matter up with the Environment Department of Dundee City Council who responded positively as follows :

"(We agree) that the shrub bed is overgrown and dated.   We will look to carry out the removal of the shrubs over the next month or so and take it from there.   The likelihood is we will replant but will low level shrubs."

Monday, November 09, 2015

Dundee's Citizen of the Year 2016

Do you know someone who could be Dundee's Citizen of the Year?

The City Council welcomes nominations for the award and you can use the form to put forward the name of someone you think deserves the title.

The Citizen of the Year award is likely to go to someone who has provided outstanding service to the community, normally on a voluntary basis.    The judges will be looking in particular for selfless service to a voluntary body or the community or someone whose service brings distinction and quality to everyday life in Dundee.

There is no age barrier, but if you nominate someone they must live within Dundee City Council's area.   The closing date for applications is 31st December 2015.

If you click here you can download the form to suggest who you think deserves the Citizen of the Year title.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Life Sciences Open Day today

A great way to spend today - starts at 11am!

Friday, November 06, 2015

The City is a Thinking Machine

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

This new exhibition marks the centenary of the publication of Patrick Geddes’ Cities in Evolution (1915) and the associated Cities Exhibitions.   This exhibition features original archival material, much of it never displayed or published before, plus current work by affiliates of the Geddes Institute for Urban Research at the University of Dundee. 

The exhibition is a research project whose aim is to evaluate Geddes’ thinking at a time when city regions are under increasing pressure to accommodate new populations without losing sight of their natural heritage and sustainability. 

Sir Patrick Geddes, the polymathic Scottish planner and botanist, published Cities in Evolution in 1915. This seminal text on civics promoted his Cities Exhibitions which he organised from 1910 onwards. He also proposed local Civic Exhibitions as permanent institutions in each city centre which he argued were a necessary condition for democracy. 

This important exhibition on Geddes’ thought and work has three parts: city plans from Geddes’ touring Cities Exhibitions; his thinking and lecturing diagrams, drawn from the archives at the Universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Dundee; and recent architecture and planning projects by affiliates of the Geddes Institute for Urban Research. 

Geddes’ diagrams have not to our knowledge been exhibited or published before, nor have these plans been brought to the public view since the Outlook Tower closed in 1949. 

The exhibition runs until 12th December and will be open Monday-Friday 9.30am to 7pm and Saturday 1pm to 5pm (please note these new opening hours for the Tower Building). 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Wednesday evening meetings

A busy evening yesterday, starting with a very well-attended meeting of the Community Spirit Action group, the community group for the "north" part of West End Ward, covering Pentland, Tullideph, Ancrum and the Cleghorn area.

The meeting took place at the Morven Terrace sheltered housing lounge and the guest speakers were from the council's Environment Department, who discussed the changes to bin and recycling collections for the area that commence next Monday, 9th November.

A number of concerns were raised by residents, mainly around areas where there will be communal bin/recycling collections, and reassurances were given in particular to residents who require an assisted collection that these will continue.   

I was given an assurance that where there are any problems with the new arrangements once they start next week, the department is willing to review and improve them, so I would ask residents to let the Environment Department (434300) know of any problems or contact me on 459378.

I also updated residents about the issues around the recent Xplore Dundee bus service changes and the new Stagecoach Strathtay 26 bus service serving the area - this new service starts on Monday (9th November).

Later yesterday evening, I attended the latest Friends of Magdalen Green committee meeting.   There was positive news that the solar lighting project to improve lighting on the Green is making good progress, with a target to have the lanterns in place by December/January.

The Friends' Soup and Pudding Lunch takes place during West End Christmas Fortnight on Saturday 28th November at Dundee West Church (11.30am to 1.30pm) - more details to follow!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy from August 2016

Prior to the Harris Academy decant to Lawton Road to enable the school rebuilding in Perth Road, there was an active Harris Education and Recreation Association that successfully provided a programme of evening classes over many years.

At the time of the decant, the previous committee retired after many years' service to the community.

The City Council has now planned an informal meeting to discuss the creation of a new committee to take forward adult learning/evening classes from when Harris returns to Perth Road next August.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 12th November at 6.30pm in Blackness Library.    All interested residents are very welcome to attend - we need community support for this venture and to ensure the whole West End community really benefits from the excellent facilities that will be available in the new Harris building.

The main library will be closed at the time of the meeting, so please access the meeting via the library's disabled entrance on Blackness Avenue.
Artist's impression of part of the new Harris Academy facilities

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

New Tay Road Bridge Twitter service

As a member of the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board, I am delighted to see today's launch of the new bridge Twitter account which will give bridge users useful travel information, including regular and accurate information about the bridge status such as weather restrictions to bridge access, etc.

Earlier this year, the Board discussed having a social media presence as a useful service to the public and I am pleased that the Bridge Manager and his staff have moved this forward.

The new Twitter account - @tay_road_bridge - is live as of today and the bridge website has also been updated with a fresh new look and is accessible at www.tayroadbridge.co.uk.

I recently visited the bridge offices to see the new services in prototype and during the visit was given a very interesting tour of the bridge - here's a photo of me (below) under the southbound roadway of the bridge!

Monday, November 02, 2015

New Bus Service 26

From Monday 9th November 2015, Stagecoach Strathtay will be introducing a new, regular, daily bus service, linking their depot in Wester Gourdie, then Asda Dundee West, Charleston, South Road, Lochee By-Pass, City Road, Pentland Avenue, Balgay Road, Blackness Road, Hawkhill, West Port, Dundee City Centre, and the Bus Station.

This is a new helpful service which will benefit parts of the West End Ward and given the concerns I have received about changes to the Xplore Dundee 17 and 9/10 service changes in the Tullideph and Pentland areas. an additional service from Stagecoach is welcome.

Many thanks to to Suzy Scott at dundeebuses.info for her helpful information about the new service and you can download the timetable for the new service here.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Friends of Balgay AGM

Ken Neil
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Friends of Balgay AGM and Autumn Meeting at the Mills Observatory.

The guest speaker was Ken Neil, Red Squirrel Officer for Tayside and Ken gave an informative and interesting talk about red squirrel conservation and his work in the Tayside area in that regard.   You can read more about the project here.

At the AGM, the committee was re-elected although Hamish Mackay stood down as Secretary, after years of dedicated service to Friends of Balgay.    Hamish was presented with a gift in recognition of his great contribution to the work of the Friends.

Dundee Fairtrade Forum AGM

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Discovery Walk - latest update

I have previously mentioned that I am taking part in the informal committee to progress the excellent Discovery Walk proposal.

The Discovery Walk will comprise of plaques set into the paved area of the Green Space at the heart of the city's huge new waterfront development - to celebrate the contributions of Dundee people who have contributed to science and society in a highly visible and permanent way.  Bronze plaques in the pavement will tell the fascinating stories behind these individuals and their discoveries and inventions.

The committee met yesterday to review progress and finalise the plaques.   The plaques look superb and the walk is on course to be officially opened in April 2016.    

I have no doubt that Discovery Walk will enhance the new Waterfront and be another asset for our city.

Sacro showcase event

Yesterday, I was pleased to attend the Sacro showcase event at the Dundee Voluntary Action offices in Constitution Road.

Sacro is a national community justice voluntary organisation working across Scotland to make communities safer by reducing conflict and offending.

It was very interesting to hear about the good work Sacro is undertaking in Dundee and across Tayside, particularly its youth restorative justice service.

You can find out more about the work of Sacro here.

Riverside Nature Park event tomorrow

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friends of Balgay Autumn Meeting and AGM

Tomorrow - Saturday 31st October at 2pm - sees the Friends of Balgay Autumn Meeting and AGM take place in the Mills Observatory.

The guest speaker is Ken Neil, Red Squirrel Officer for Tayside.

All welcome!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A History of Nearly Everything

Visitors to the University of Dundee this autumn are being invited to enter the fantastical world of the scientific imagination.

The University of Dundee Museum Collections contain many hundreds of scientific instruments and related equipment, as well as charts, models and other teaching aids. These are normally shown in a conventional fashion in exhibitions and other displays around campus.

However, a rummage through the collections by guest curator and author Reif Larsen has uncovered an alternative history and, in particular, the astonishing tale of explorer, inventor, cosmologist, professor, tenor, liar and rogue scholar Sir Gavin Hawkly-Longfarthing.

This fantastical history can be explored at the exhibition `A History of Nearly Everything: The Rise & Fall of Sir Gavin Hawkly-Longfarthing (1925-1966)’, which opens in the University’s Tower Foyer Gallery last Monday  and runs through to 27th November.

From his humble origins as the son of a peat farmer on the island of Taransay to his mysterious death in the Congo 41 years later, Sir Gavin’s astonishing career in botany, cosmology, geology, entomology, trichology, spermology, kymatology, thermology and mixology (among others) is laid bare in this astonishing and frankly ridiculous exhibition, curated by author Reif Larsen.

“Reif Larsen has done an amazing job in uncovering this hidden, and possibly mythical, history from our collections,” said Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University.

The exhibition is open in the Tower Foyer Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee Monday to Friday, until 27th November – from 9.30am to 6.30pm.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bonnie Dundee group

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 

Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee's parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.

The recent Dundee success in the Britain in Bloom Awards was tremendous and owes much to the volunteers from Bonnie Dundee and other community groups across the city.

I was pleased to learn that, in addition to the Sensation Science Centre planters and the Union Street planters, the maintenance of which the group already undertakes, Bonnie Dundee has now also taken on the planters in the West Port, and I have no doubt that the fruits of their labours will become apparent next spring.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Great Dundee Charity Bake Off

The Great Dundee Charity Bake Off, in aid of the Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust takes place later this week - here's the details!

-           Dundee’s own Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsay compete live against each in a live Bake off
-           Venue: Hosted courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton, Dundee
-           Thursday 29th October 2015 from 7.00pm to 9.00pm
-         Host for the evening is World Award winning author and Chef James McIntosh who is a graduate from the University of Dundee
-           Special guest appearance from the Beano – Dennis the Menace
-           Various craft stands on the night
-        Ticketed events – tickets £15 each can be secured by contacting Gordon Ramsay on telephone 381136 or by email g.w.ramsay@dundee.ac.uk 
-         Fundraising and awareness event for the Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust – donations can be made online https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gordonramsay1 
-          The celebrity Mary Berry has donated a signed book for the evening that will be used in a silent auction

Further details are available here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee

As part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Blether Tay-Gither are welcoming Marion Kenny.

Marion is a charismatic live performer, one of Scotland’s leading storytellers and a highly regarded multi instrumentalist who has spent time in Morocco and will share some Moroccan tales with us.

All are welcome!

For booking contact: sheila@blethertaygither.org.uk or 01334 474836.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

West End surgeries

With the start of the new school term tomorrow, my weekly Monday surgeries for the West End recommence at :

Mitchell Street Centre, (The Base) at 4.20pm
West Park Centre (Old Mansion House) at 4.50pm

You can read full surgery details here.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Logie railings - site visit

Yesterday, along with two senior representatives from the City Council's Neighbourhood Services Department (Housing) and the Community Payback Manager, I participated in a useful site visit to look at progress the Community Payback Team has made in repainting the garden railings on the non-sheltered side of the Logie estate.

Back in April at a residents' meeting I chaired, we discussed with residents the idea of asking Community Payback to (with owners' consent) paint the railings of owned properties on the south side of the estate.   As many of the railings were badly needing painted, this was welcomed by residents and I have to say that Community Payback has done an excellent job thus far with the painting - a couple of photos below :

Thus far, the railings right down Logie Avenue have been painted and the team are now in Elm Street working down the side streets eastwards.   It is hoped to make some more progress up to when winter weather sets in, then complete the job in the spring.

Community Payback can repaint the railings with owners' permission but is not in a position to repair them.   However, I have had discussions with the Dundee Historic Environmental Trust who can consider applications for grant funding for repairs from owners on an individual basis.   E-mail me at logie@frasermacpherson.org.uk or call me on 459378 for more information.

Colouring in ... for adults!

An event from the Time2Give West End timebank :
Time2Give advises :    “We'll bring tea/coffee, biscuits, pens/pencils and beautiful pictures to colour in!

You bring your secret desire to spend an hour just colouring in and creating something lovely on a cold dark afternoon!

Feel free to bring your own pictures and/or pens/pencils if you want to and relax for an hour or two.”

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dundee roads improvements - details now on-line

The City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership (RMP) has advised :

“We have now published a copy of our current financial year capital maintenance programme on-line.

The following link is accessible from the main ‘road maintenance’ page of the DCC website.

In summary, this webpage extension provides the following information :

•         Annual Capital Maintenance Works Programme

•         Information leaflet detailing the RMP remit and extent of activities (revised following receipt of comments from the May LCPP meetings)

•         Information on the alternate treatment techniques deployed by the RMP

•         Further enquiry contact details

We intend to continue the on-line publishing of our annual programme and the next programme release will be uploaded for the start of the 2016/17 financial year. 

We aim to continue development and improvement of our communication channels and would welcome any comments you may have on this latest revision to the website or further areas of improvement we should consider.”

You can read this information by clicking here.