Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Temporary Traffic Order : West Marketgait

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 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 4 October 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 (01382) 433082.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Monday, September 29, 2014

Riverside Drive works

I asked Tayside Contracts for an update with progress on the Riverside Drive works and was advised today as follows:
It will be approximately two weeks before all traffic management is removed and there is complete unrestricted access - ie no traffic management in place. 
By the end of this week Riverside Approach should be open again to traffic providing access from Magdalen Green to and from Riverside Drive.
The north footway will remain under construction until the 12th October, with all traffic management removed by 13/10/14.
All the above is based on weather permitting and nothing unforeseen arising.  

Conservation Area Appraisals

Last week, I highlighted the astonishing situation that at a council committee, the hapless SNP administration bulldozed through approval to consult communities on the detail of Conservation Area Appraisal documents without showing the content of the documents with the councillors who sit on that committee.   

One of the more bizarre things I have seen on the council over the years and rather highlighting that – how can I put this politely? – the SNP administration isn’t exactly ministry of all the talents …

I made a complaint to the Chief Executive about this ridiculous state of affairs and earlier today he advised me that:

“I have now discussed this matter with (the Director of City Development) and I can confirm that in future, Conservation Area Appraisals (and other similar consultation documents) will be available to all elected members at the same time as the Committee papers are issued.    This may be by way of a web link when these documents are lengthy in order to avoid unnecessarily overloading the paper agendas.”

A sensible decision – although I am still waiting to be given sight of the Conservation Area Appraisal documents the council approval consultation upon last Monday night!

Free public wi-fi for Dundee - an update

Back in March of this year, I highlighted the need for Dundee to have a free public wi-fi offering as soon as possible and gave feedback from Dundee City Council on the matter.

As I said at the time - as town and city wireless internet access becomes more common, more and more across the world are setting up free town/city centre wi-fi hotspots for their citizens and visitors and its something I am very keen to see implemented in Dundee.    Many cities are discovering it's a good way to attract more visitors.   Already local businesses from coffee shops, hotels and restaurants, churches and bars are among the locations discovering the value of offering free wireless but a city centre wide wi-fi facility would be a boon for our city.

I recently sought an update from Dundee City Council on this important issue.   

The City Council’s Head of Information Technology has now advised me :
I have been continuing to work with colleagues in City Development on this issue. 
There continues to be significant challenges around making a city of our size attractive to service providers.    The current business models for city wifi are based on a return for a provider - based on them being able to use our street furniture for extending the penetration of 3g/4g services.
However, work continues on this and we are exploring ways of potentially collaborating with cities of a similar size to increase our chances of attracting providers.
It is vital that the city does not lag behind other cities in the provision of free public wi-fi.   With the progress of the Waterfront and the V&A at Dundee on the horizon, many new visitors will be coming to Dundee and it is important that Dundee offers public wi-fi as part of the city centre’s attractions.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blether Tay-Gither September meeting

Our September storytelling theme is "Where No Tae Go" - so please feel free to share a story, poem, or song!    Or just come along and listen.

Tuesday 30th September - 7pm-9pm, 
Burgh Coffee House,
70 Commercial Street


Friday, September 26, 2014

Getting things done - Tait's Lane

Residents have complained to me that :
  • The pathway from Tait's Lane to Peddie Street is in need of tidying - some weeds require removal and the foliage requires trimming (see photo right) - I have reported this to both Home Scotland and the City Council who have shared responsibility here.
  • There is overgrown foliage at the Tait's Lane car park - the Environment Department of the City Council has confirmed it will tackle this.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Benvie Road - an update

Earlier this month, I pointed out residents' complaints that, in Benvie Road (opposite the Pitfour Street junction), the two street signs indicating flat numbers have totally worn away - see right.

The council's Roads Maintenance Partnership has now responded to me as follows :

"New street name plates will be ordered within the next few days and erected as resources allow thereafter."


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

City Council Scrutiny Committee

This afternoon, I participated in the council's Scrutiny Committee meeting at which I :

+ Praised Blackness Primary School for its excellent recent inspection report.   I also similarly praised Woodlea Children's Centre on a very positive inspection report and asked a question in relation to the report on Kingspark School about ways the school supports children and young people with challenging behaviour.

+ Queried the detail of an internal audit report on Houses in Multiple Occupation and the process of determining HMO licences.   I also queried the implementation of recommendations from internal audit on the council's mobile phone telecommunications.

+ Expressed concern about the reduced opening summer hours at the Mills Observatory and its effect on overall visitor numbers and also asked a question about recycling rates.

+ Queried the speed with which complaints to the council are dealt with and expressed concern at the drop in the success rate in getting people in the city looking for work a successful job outcome - I will be following progress on turning this situation around with close interest in the coming months.


West End Christmas Fortnight meeting

At lunchtime today, I had the pleasure of chairing the latest West End Christmas Fortnight meeting, which took place in Blackness Library.

We had a really productive and positive meeting and Christmas Fortnight (22nd November to 6th December) is taking great shape.

If you would like to get involved please let us know - christmas2014@frasermacpherson.org.uk - many thanks!

Concern over disabled access arrangements at the Royal Mail Edward Street Collection Office

I have today expressed concern about the poor arrangements for people with mobility difficulties at the Royal Mail Edward Street Collection Office what serves Dundee people with DD1 postcodes and covers the east part of the West End.

A constituent recently wrote to me to advise :

“I had occasion to collect an envelope from here this afternoon.  I was somewhat surprised to see that not only have they removed the disabled parking space that was adjacent to the office door. They have positioned it at the entrance gate and put railings around the perimeter fence meaning that disabled people (and everyone else) now have to walk a distance to get to the office door.  They have blocked all access to the door other than via this walkway which caused me a deal of inconvenience and pain.

Apparently this was done because someone crossing the car park was hit by a van.”

I contacted Royal Mail about this and the reply is below :


A 44 metre walk from the access point is not acceptable in my view.   It seems Royal Mail is expecting people with mobility difficulties are having to walk far longer than is expected to receive a Blue Badge, which is simply not acceptable.   They should review their parking arrangements to make it far easier for people with mobility difficulties to get easy access to the collection depot entrance.

Scottish Government planning guidelines state that "car parking should be allocated convenient to the entrance of the premises".     The Royal Mail arrangements breach that condition.

My constituent added :

“I understand the point they make regarding  need to ensure the safety of the public, but that is true of all commercial properties.    I am mobile but walking impaired and I struggled to walk from the front gate to the door of the office, never mind back again.    
It is also a very long way for someone in a wheelchair to have to push themselves, plus it involves negotiating 3 corners that have been created by the barriers and for people who use walking aids. The problem will also get worse when we come into the winter with ice or snow on the ground.  

The disabled spaces used to be at the front door and I did think it would still be perfectly feasible to maintain at least one space and leave the access ramp with no barrier around it at that point.  

It's all very well to say that parcels can be redelivered but it's not always possible to get someone to answer the telephone in the office and things may be required sooner than they can be sent out again.”

There is a clear need for Royal Mail to look again at this.   They have got the arrangements for people with mobility difficulties wrong and they really must review this urgently.     I have requested a site visit with senior Royal Mail representatives to meet to discuss possible solutions.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On local radio news - Recognition of the Royal Arch

Yesterday, I was interviewed by both Wave 102 News and Radio Tay News about the proposed recognition of the Royal Arch.

You can hear the Radio Tay interview by clicking 'play' below :

Last night's City Council Committees

Last night's City Council committees had a fairly light agenda, but a rather astonishing thing happened!

At City Development Committee, there was an agenda item seeking approval to consult the public on new Conservation Area Appraisal documents.    I have a particular interest in this as there are a number of Conservation Areas in the West End and in one in particular - Logie - many residents tell me they feel the Conservation Area brings some disadvantages and I am very keen to see changes to the scheme actually benefit local residents.

The astonishing bit was that committee was being asked to agree to consult on the documents without the documents having been shared with councillors.   Secret squirrel at its worst - hardly open and transparent decision making.   

How can anyone agree to consult on these documents (and associated boundary changes no-one was advised of the detail of) without seeing the documents first?   Ridiculous!

So I moved that the matter be deferred to the next meeting to allow the documents to be shared with councillors before a decision is made.   True to form, the SNP administration bulldozed the matter through, defeating my deferral suggestion 16-11.   Unsurprising, I suppose, coming from an SNP group who created the secretive so-called Changing for the Future Board, but not exactly local government at its transparent best.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recognition of the Royal Arch planned

The Royal Arch in 1935
I have welcomed an assurance that Dundee’s former Royal Arch will gain proper recognition as part of the Dundee Waterfront project.

Constituents have asked me if there would be proper recognition of the historic arch, that was erected in Dundee between 1849 and 1853 to commemorate a visit to the city by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, in 1844.  It was demolished on 16 March 1964, as part of the land reclamation scheme, and to make way for the construction of the Tay Road Bridge.

Many constituents regret the demolition of the Royal Arch.   It seems inconceivable that nowadays such a demolition would take place of a historic structure that was an iconic part of the City of Dundee and it is important that the new waterfront recognises its place in Dundee’s history.

In response, Dundee Waterfront Project Co-ordinator has advised me,
I can confirm that we propose to mark the location of the Royal Arch by planting four substantial trees on its site.
By sheer coincidence the line of the proposed trees along the southern section of the Northern Boulevard, opposite the Caird Hall, line up with the location of the Royal Arch foundations that were recently uncovered. The tree spacing will also fall remarkably close to the footings of the arch. 
The present concept we are working on is to plant four very distinctive trees on the actual placements of the four footings. The trees suggested are to have a reddish leaf and different form to the standard trees being placed around them.
At the foot of each of the trees, the thought is to place a large granite slab with an image engraved into its surface. These slabs will be joined by a line of slabs with the name 'Royal Arch' probably in the middle with some historical notes. The four images will show the stages of the life of the arch from the wooden arch to the demolition of the stone arch,
The drawings for the above concept are presently being prepared. However the detailed images needed for the slabs still require to be properly researched.
I am pleased that the Royal Arch’s important role in the city’s history will be recognised in the new waterfront and feedback from constituents to what is being proposed is positive.

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!