Friday, February 24, 2017

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee


Our February Blether will be on Tuesday 28th February - at 7pm in Madigan's Food Emporium and Bookshop, Castle Street.

The theme this month is "Tales Frae Ower the Water."

Hope to see some of you there – all welcome!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Further Temporary Traffic Order - Nethergate

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 3 weeks from 27 February 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Nethergate from West Marketgait to 20 metres or thereby west of South Tay Street.

Limited access will be maintained to properties for deliveries etc.

An alternative route will be available via West Marketgait, Hawkhill, Perth Road and Nethergate.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS and if you have any queries please contact 433082.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ninewells Community Garden event

On Thursday 23rd February, Ninewells Community Garden is running a workshop to help develop a vision for the garden. 

How do we see the garden and charity develop? 
What are the opportunities and challenges? 

Starting at 1pm, the workshop will take approximately 2 hours, after which there will be refreshments and a presentation to volunteers.

All are welcome - no booking required - please bring food or drink to share if you are able.

More information is available here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Concern over closure of university adult learning classes

Following concerns from constituents, I have written to University of Dundee Principal Professor Sir Pete Downes expressing dismay at the closure of the School of Humanities’ educational and creative adult education classes as of April 2017.

Residents are concerned that the replacement which is a suite of credit-bearing modules will be more costly and deviates away from the principles of the adult education classes that have been so successful over the years.

These adult learning courses have run for many years and have been really successful.    Many, but not all of the students, are at or beyond retirement age and many are already well- qualified, so replacing the courses with award bearing courses sadly will end a long tradition of offering general interest courses to members of the public.  

At present there are 13 courses on offer at Dundee University, with over 200 registered enrolments.   It seems such a shame to end the courses and I have asked the university for a re-think.

Professor Downes has now advised me :    
We are replacing the current `Courses for Adults’ programme with a new suite of modules for students of all ages, which will give an introduction to studying at higher education level and will be credit bearing.
This aligns with our commitment to widening access to higher education. Modules will be available at the start of the next academic year in English, History, Creative Writing and Philosophy. There will be an option for students to opt-out of studying for credit.
These courses are replacing our previous provision, which was no longer sustainable and did not align with the priorities of the School of the Humanities and of the University.
The University’s contributions to the local community are very important to me and to many of our staff and students. The breadth of these depends on building sustainable models of delivery wherever possible. I expect adult education will remain an important part of our work with the local community but we need to consider adult education in a broader context and across a wider range of subjects and disciplines. The approach being taken by the School of Humanities to ensure sustainable provision of Continuing Education is as follows:
•         The School of Humanities initiative to change its continuing education offering to a suite of four 10 credit bearing modules will widen access to higher education and be in line with the Universities commitment to public engagement and outreach.
•         This offering will extend the opportunity to reach people who may wish to engage with HE later in their lives, or who wish to study whilst having other commitments which prohibits them from a full time programme.
•         A matriculated student undertaking study for credit may be able to apply for help with course fees from the following:
o   Individual Learning Account (ILA) 
o   Part-time Fee Grant 
There are wider implications for the University as a whole and for our commitments to, and responsibility for, public engagement.  Much work is currently being done to prepare the University’s strategic plan for the period from 2017 to 2022 and I have asked our Vice Principal (Learning & Teaching) to review Continuing Education and its part in our widening access and public engagement work as part of the refreshed University strategy, which will be in place from the start of the next academic year.
I hope that the Vice Principal (Learning & Teaching) when reviewing Continuing Education will bear in mind that many constituents and the Dundee University Courses for Adults Association committee do not want the present provision to end.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nethergate roadworks today - temporary traffic order

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 water service works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Nethergate (from its junction with West Marketgait to its junction with South Tay Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Sunday 19 February 2017 for one day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Access to premises will be maintained where possible.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via West Marketgait/ Hawkhill/Hunter Street/Old Hawkhill/South Tay Street and reverse.

For further information contact 433168.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD FOR SATURDAY 18 AND SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2017

Blackness Road (at Wilkie's Lane) – temporary traffic lights on Sunday 19 February for mobile platform operations.

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Sunday 19 February for water supply connection works.

REPORT FOR WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2017

Perth Road (at Arnhall Drive) – temporary traffic lights for 3 weeks for gas main renewal.

Blackness Road (at Glenagnes Road) – temporary traffic lights for 2 weeks for Scottish Water mains renewal.

Shaftesbury Road (at Seymour Street) – closed on Tuesday 21 February for 3 days for Scottish Water repair work.

Hunter Street – temporary traffic lights from Tuesday 21 February for one week for Scottish Water repair.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) - closed for 3 weeks from Monday 27 February for carriageway resurfacing works.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Temporary Traffic Order - Shaftesbury Road

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 Scottish Water repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Shaftesbury Road (from Seymour Street to approx. 35 metres in a westerly direction), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 21 February 2017 for three working days.

No pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Diversion routes for vehicles and pedestrians are available via Seymour Street / Speed Street / Hyndford Street.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Balgay Road/Scott Street pavement improvements

Having, on behalf of residents, raised the poor condition of pavements along Balgay Road and in the short west part of Scott Street west of Balgay Road (towards the Balgay Park entrance) in the past, I am pleased to see the long-awaited resurfacing now being completed.

Here's a plan of the works kindly supplied to me by Tayside Contracts and a couple of photos of the works :



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Blackness Road area - roadworks clarification

Residents will have noted that the temporary traffic lights on Blackness Road at the Glamis Road/Glamis Drive roundabout (see right) have disappeared.     However, this is unfortunately not because the works by Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) are completed.

I have been updated by Scotland Gas Networks' Team Manager as follows :

"Unfortunately our work at the Glamis Road roundabout is well behind schedule due to the ground conditions we are encountering.   However, as Scottish Water (SW) is programmed to start in Blackness Road shortly which would conflict with our work, we are lifting the traffic management at the roundabout before they start and will return to complete our work here after SW have finished.  

In the meantime we will be continuing on Glamis Road itself as this won’t disrupt traffic, and will also be returning to Perth Road to complete the service works and mains abandonment which we had to abort previously.

Scottish Water is starting Blackness Road 20th February for approximately 2 weeks so we’ll be back at the roundabout probably mid March for about 2 weeks."

The Scottish Water work is further east on Blackness Road.   The City Council has further updated me as follows : 

"The SW work will start 20 February at Glenagnes Road junction.    The second week they will move south to Rosefield Street for the second week.

Once SW is complete on their section of Blackness Road, SGN will return to Blackness Road Glamis with their original set up to complete works there. 

As SGN intimated, it will utilise the two weeks of 20/27 February, when SW are in Blackness Road, to complete the remaining services connections left behind in Perth Road at Arnhall Drive area."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

West End Community Council Update

I have today launched my February 2017 Update to West End Community Council.

Subjects covered are :

Seabraes Lift
Riverside Drive improvements  
West End Road Safety Improvements

You can download a copy of the Community Council Update here.

The Community Council meeting takes place at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall in Shaftesbury Terrace at 7pm tonight - all residents welcome!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2017

Blackness Road (at Wilkie's Lane) – temporary traffic lights on Sunday 19 February for mobile platform operations.

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Sunday 19 February for water supply connection works.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Police Community Surgeries in the West End

I am pleased that Police Scotland is now running community surgeries in the West End.

The surgeries at Blackness Library start tomorrow - see below :
There are also surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre (first Tuesday of each month) - further details available here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Getting things done - Saggar Street

I recently received complaints from residents about potholes in the roadway of Saggar Street - see below :

I raised this with the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have now been advised by the department that "there is a CAT 3 line in to fill three potholes in this area."

Friday, February 10, 2017

Getting things done - Douglas Street

At the request of residents, I have asked the City Council's Rapid Response Team to remove graffiti at the south end of Douglas Street - see below :

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Getting things done - Glamis Road

I am pictured below towards the top of the south section of Glamis Road :
At the request of residents, I asked the City Council for a safety traffic island at this location to complement the one north of the roundabout I previously successfully campaigned for and I am pleased to say this second island has been agreed to and will be installed in the spring.      

Residents have also requested a similar island at the south end of Glamis Road and I have been advised by the City Development Department this will be considered along with other similar requests during 2017/18.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Relaunch of the West End Community and Sports Hub - survey

I recently participated in a very well-attended meeting at Harris Academy aimed at relaunching the West End Community and Sports Hub.   There was a great mix of local sports clubs there and much enthusiasm. 

To help the West End Community and Sports Hub relaunch to assist with and build community sport in the West End, there is now an on-line survey.   This takes just a couple of minutes to complete and you can access it here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Seabraes Bridge - lift

Residents pointed out to me that there is still no signage at the Seabraes Bridge to let people know who to call if the bridge is out of order.

I contacted the engineer responsible for the bridge maintenance and he has updated me as follows :

"At present there is no signage on the bridge to advise users of the phone number to call in order to report a fault with the lift.  

I have been advised that the call out telephone number is likely to change at the end of February, therefore I will arrange for a temporary sign with the current number to be displayed at the bridge by the end of this week.

Once the new number is confirmed late February, I will arrange for a more permanent sign to be installed."

Monday, February 06, 2017

West End electricity cable replacement project - assurances given

I have obtained assurances from Scottish and Southern Energy about a high-voltage electric cable replacement project for part of the West End, following the failure of the first attempt to replace the cable last year after some five weeks into roads disruption on Lochee Road, Fleuchar Street, Scott Street, Blinshall Street, Glenagnes Road and other roads in-between.

Last year, after this disruption, the company abandoned the work as the new underground cabling failed a final quality test.

Last year, whilst it was understood that the company would not implement a cabling system that failed a safety test, I questioned why the testing took place some five weeks into roads disruption.   At the time, I wrote to Scottish and Southern Energy seeking an explanation as to why was testing of the new cabling not undertaken before the roads were dug up and made it clear this disruption for no purpose should never happen again.

I have now been advised that the company is coming back next month to re-do the project, as follows :

“The highly technical and challenging project will commence on 6 March 2017 and is programmed to take six months to be completed. 

Traffic management systems and diversion of footpaths will be required to protect the public and also our workforce. A brief summary of the requirements as follows: 

A923 Lochee Road, Joint Bay 1/2 – An excavation will be located mostly in the public footpath. A traffic management system will see the A923 road slimmed down in two locations to accommodate a diverted footpath. The road will remain open to traffic which will be able to pass with care. The works are programmed to be undertaken between 6 March 2017 – 24 August 2017. 

A923 Lochee Road, Joint Bay 2/3 – The excavation is located in the road and will impact traffic turning left into Polepark Road from the City Centre, a traffic management system will see the sequencing of traffic lights staggered to accommodate single direction traffic. The works are programmed to be undertaken between 13 March 2017 - 24 August 2017.

Fleuchar Street, Joint Bay 3/4 – A road closure will be required as the excavation will take up a large section of the narrow public road. The diversion around the excavation is 0.3 miles and would take approximately 1 minute by car. Local access for residents, pedestrians, cyclists etc. will be maintained whilst the excavation is open. The road closure and associated works will be in operation from 20 March 2017 – 24 August 2017. 

Scott Street, Joint Bay 4/5 – There a requirement to divert an existing gas pipe ahead of the cable installation works. This will require a full road closure and will be in place for approximately 4 weeks, between 27 March - 24 April 2017. When the gas pipe has been relocated, the road will be opened to a single lane. A traffic management system will be used to protect the public and workforce during the works. All works are programmed to be undertaken between 27 March 2017 – 24 August 2017. 

Glenagnes Road , Joint Bay 5/6 – The final excavation will be mainly located on the main road across form the Junction at Logie Avenue. The road is wide enough that traffic will be able to pass the works with care. A traffic management system will be used to protect the public and workforce during the works. The works are programmed to be undertaken between 3 April 2017 – 24 August 2017 

SHE Transmission will be engaging the specialist services of Balfour Beatty and Nexans to undertake the project. Balfour Beatty and Nexans are regarded as industry leaders in this field of work and have completed two similar projects in Aberdeen, on behalf of SHE Transmission, to a high standard. 

The works are being undertaken through our permitted development rights for underground electricity cables and are programmed to be undertaken between 0730 – 1900, Monday to Friday and 0730 – 1700 on Saturdays. We do not anticipate the need to operate on Sundays unless an emergency situation arises. 

Where works are in a residential zone, Fleuchar Street as an example, we will aim to begin the working day from 0800.”

I therefore wrote to Scottish & Southern Energy as follows :

“Can I have an assurance that the new cable has been fully tested in advance of the work taking place to give a guarantee that, unlike in 2016, the area will not be disrupted then the work abandoned due to failure of the safety test on the new high voltage cable?”

I have now received the following reassurance from the company’s Community Liaison Manager :

“In relation to the high voltage cables, you have our assurance that no works will commence on site until the cables have passed their final factory assurance test (FAT).  The cables have been through numerous quality and assurance tests and they have passed.  The final assurance test will take place on 14 and 15 February.  I can certainly let you know the outcome of this.”

I am pleased that Scottish & Southern Energy has given assurances that the new cabling will have completed its testing before any road is dug up to fit it.    We cannot have a re-occurrence of what happened last year.     There’s been a lot of utilities’ work in the area in the past year and I am anxious this electricity work is undertaken with the minimum of disruption to residents and businesses in the area. 

Image of area affected (thin red line shows route of the cable) :

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2017

Blackness Road/Glamis Road – temporary traffic lights for one week for gas main renewal.

City Road (at Pitfour Street) - temporary traffic lights for one week from Wednesday 1 February for Hydro Electric cable fault.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Getting things done - Annfield Street

Residents have expressed concern to me that the temporary barriers round Scottish Water's contractor's works in Annfield Street have fallen over, partially blocking the road - see below :
I have drawn this to the attention of Scottish Water and requested these be reinstated and properly secured as soon as possible.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Getting things done - Guthrie Street

I have received residents' complaints about the dumped mess in Guthrie Street opposite the junction with Session Street - see photo below.

I have asked the City Council's Neighbourhood Services if this can be cleaned up :

Thursday, February 02, 2017

City Road Allotments - fencing improvement

I recently welcomed the council's commitment to a proposed improvement to the security fencing at the City Road allotments.

I am pleased to note that the work to upgrade the security fencing is now well-underway - see below :

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Food recycling - Perth Road Lanes - further update

I recently updated residents about the impending food recycling extension to cover the Perth Road lanes and surrounding area.

There was a drop-in session yesterday for residents that I previously advertised and I thought it would now be useful to give a list of the streets wholly or partly included in the new food recycling extension :

     AIRLIE PLACE
     BALTIC GARDENS
     BELLEFIELD AVENUE
     FORDS LANE
     GREENFIELD PLACE
     HIGH MILL COURT
     MAGDALEN MEWS
     MAGDALEN PLACE
     MAGDALEN YARD ROAD
     MCGONAGALL SQUARE
     MCVICARS LANE
     MID WYND
     MILLERS WYND
     OSBORNE PLACE
     PATONS LANE
     PATRICK PLACE
     PENNYCOOK LANE
     PERTH ROAD
     RITCHIES LANE
     ROSEANGLE
     RYEHILL LANE
     SEABRAES COURT
     SEABRAES LANE
     SEAFIELD CLOSE
     SEAFIELD LANE
     SEAFIELD ROAD
     SHEPHERDS LOAN
     SPINNERS WYND
     SPRINGFIELD
     ST PETER STREET
     STEP ROW
     STRAWBERRYBANK
     TAYFIELD PLACE
     TAYLORS LANE
     THOMSON STREET
     UNION PLACE
     WESTFIELD AVENUE
     WESTFIELD LANE
     WESTFIELD PLACE
     WINDSOR PLACE

I have details of the locations of communal on-street recycling units in the area so do please contact me if you wish further information on this (recycling@frasermacpherson.org.uk).

Last week, I attended a briefing for councillors about the proposed final extensions of all other household recycling across the city (paper, cardboard, metals, plastics, etc) and this will take place in two phases - commencing April and June.    The above area is the only part of the West End left to have this extension (the rest of the West End being covered from 2015) and I will update with further details on this soon.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Friends of Wighton Lunchtime Recital

From Sheena Wellington :

Wednesday 1st February, 1.15pm (admission free) - Lunchtime Recital at the Wighton Heritage Centre.    

For their first Lunchtime Recital of 2017 Friends of Wighton are delighted to welcome Just3Folk!

Just 3Folk (J3F) got together when they helped to start up a folk club called Sunday Sessions in Monifieth.  The group:  Liz Crawford, Maggie Douglas and Anne Hamilton share a common love of folk music and have been on an exciting musical journey over the past two years.

The group has taken part in many Folk sessions in Tayside, Angus, and Fife, and are regular performers at Sunday Sessions in Monifieth.   They are bowled over by the friendliness of all the singers and musicians they have met in the different venues and love learning new songs and music from these talented performers.

The highlight of 2016 was when they went on tour in Donegal, enjoying 5 gigs in 5 nights.   On one memorable occasion J3F found themselves performing to a bus load of American and Swedish tourists in Leo’s Tavern, the home of Enya and Clannad .  

J3F have developed a varied repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk music, arranging the songs in three part harmony, and performing them accompanied by guitar, banjo and occasionally ukulele. 

Liz, Maggie and Anne have been incredibly busy in musical pursuits since retiring from full time employment.   Anne, as well as teaching classical guitar in Broughty Ferry, runs a very popular folk singing group and co-runs a unique string group for Dundee U3A.   Liz leads the very successful Dee Ukes, a Ukulele band who play in many different locations throughout Dundee and further afield.   And Maggie is busy developing her ukulele and guitar skills. 

J3F are keen to perform wherever and whenever possible and thoroughly enjoy every minute of their musical experience. They plan to do another tour this summer on the West Coast of Scotland.   They are delighted to be playing at the Wighton Centre lunchtime concert.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 30 JANUARY 2017

Blackness Road/Glamis Road – temporary traffic lights for 2 weeks for gas main renewal.

Greenmarket – prohibition of right turn into South Marketgait on Thursday 2 February from 9.00pm   6.00am for BT cabling works.

Nethergate (eastbound from South Tay Street to West Marketgait) – closed on Thursday 2 February from 9.00pm   6.00am for BT cabling works.

Hyndford Street – temporary traffic lights from Thursday 2 February for 3 days for water main repair.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Saving our Bumblebees

Lecture on Tuesday 31st January at the Dalhousie Building Lecture Theatre 1, University of Dundee  :

Bumblebees are amongst the most important of wild pollinators; many wildflowers would not set seed without them, and they are the main pollinators of crops such as tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries. Concerningly, many bumblebees are in decline, with 3 species now extinct in the UK and the first global extinction recently occurring in USA.

Dave Goulson, Professor Of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex, will discuss the drivers of these declines, and the many things we can all do to halt and reverse them, at the Biochemical Society sponsored lecture.

Dave has published over 200 scientific articles on the ecology of bees and other insects, and is author of 'Bumblebees; their behaviour, ecology and conservation' (2010, Oxford University Press) and 'A Sting in the Tale' (2013, Jonathan Cape), a popular science book about bumblebees.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  

In 2010 he was BBSRC "Social Innovator of the Year" and in 2013 he won the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology from the Zoological Society of London.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception from 5-6pm, giving the opportunity to meet with Dave in a more informal setting.

Tickets are free but should be booked in advance here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Progress for the campaign for free public wi-fi

As reported in the press earlier this week, I have welcomed progress towards the provision of free public wi-fi for the Waterfront and City Centre, something that has been a long time coming.

The City Council’s Head of Customer Services & IT has now confirmed to me that a working group involving the council’s IT and City Development Departments along with representation from the Scottish Futures Trust has now been established to drive the initiative forward.      The Head of Customer Services & IT advised :

“A Public Wireless project is still being investigated by Dundee city council for the waterfront development and city centre and we are actively  working with the Scottish Futures Trusts Public Wireless program to get best value for the city given the financial implications.    The discussions are on-going and I attended a meeting with them … and have established a short working group to take this forward.”

Going back as far as 2014, I highlighted the need for Dundee to progress free public wifi for the City Centre.   Many cities are discovering free wi-fi is 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.

Other cities in Scotland are already providing free public wifi such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and I am anxious that Dundee does not fall behind.

I am pleased that the council now has a working group with the Scottish Futures Trust whose remit is to deliver a free-wifi offering for Dundee City Centre and the Waterfront area.    I wanted to see momentum behind this and delivery of free public wi-fi for Dundee.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Temporary Traffic Order - Nethergate

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 water service works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Nethergate (from its junction with West Marketgait  to its junction with South Tay Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on  Sunday 29th January 2017 for one day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Access to premises will be maintained where possible

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via West Marketgait/Hawkhill/Hunter Street/Old Hawkhill/South Tay Street and reverse

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development          
Dundee City Council

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Friends of Riverside Nature Park meeting

Last night, I attended the latest Friends of Riverside Nature Park committee meeting, held at the Mitchell Street Centre.

There was a useful update from environment officers from the council's Neighbourhood Services about proposed landscape improvements on Riverside Drive and Avenue running from the nature park, eastwards along to the Riverside Pavilion east of the airport.     At the east end of this area, there will also be parking improvements I highlighted yesterday.

The landscape proposals will be discussed a the council's Neighbourhood Services Committee in the coming weeks to obtain necessary approval.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Improvements at the Riverside area

I am pleased to report a number of proposed improvements in the Riverside area to the road surface and parking situation as follows :

+ Parking improvement :  On Monday evening, the council's City Development Committee agreed to a waiting restrictions at the parking area near the Bridgeview Station Restaurant.    This will restrict parking to 2 hours meaning the car park will be used for people using the playing fields and visiting the restaurant and stop all-day parking.    I have long campaigned for this at the request of the football pitch users and residents who are patrons of the restaurant.

An additional disabled bay will be provided and the long unmade parking area to the west will remain without parking restriction.

It will not be possible to undertake the change until after the new flooding defence works take place in the summer.

+ Surface improvement 1 :  A positive by-product of the flooding defence works in the summer is that my request to have the long unmade parking area to the west of the above area will be properly surfaced for the first time, greatly increasing the amount of parking with a quality surface.

+ Surface improvement 2 :   The surface in front of the nearby Riverside Pavilion on the north side of Riverside Drive has become very uneven again, with numerous potholes, including a large one at the entrance.       I raised this with the council's Neighbourhood Services and the Projects and Development Manager has responded positively as follows :

"I have ... arranged the entrance of the car park to addressed and we will look to fill in more of the larger pot holes.  ... We are looking to do more works down at Riverside and are looking to put an item to Committee in the Spring." 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Improving parking for the West End - some progress

Residents will recall that, last March, I attempted to get Dundee City Council to undertake a new consultation with residents and local businesses on ways to improve West End parking.    My motion then attracted 12 votes but I was outvoted by 15 SNP and Conservative councillors so nothing has been done since to tackle this vital issue. 

Last night, at the City Development Committee, I revisited the issue and proposed the following new motion :

"Committee notes with concern that, following the consultation exercise in 2012 in part of the West End Ward relative to a possible residents’ parking scheme, the parking situation for residents and local businesses in the area concerned has worsened.

Committee therefore instructs the Executive Director of City Development to undertake a further informal consultation with community groups including West End Community Council, local residents, the business community and other stakeholders such as the University of Dundee, to ascertain views as to measures that may have public support for possible future introduction.    

The outcomes of this informal consultation should thereafter be reported back to this committee to determine which measures have public support and are viable;  and the potential scope of any residents’ parking scheme or schemes.  

Committee also instructs the Executive Director of City Development to undertake this exercise and report back on his findings and recommendations to this committee as soon as staff resources allow."

I am pleased to say that, after an excellent deputation by two community representatives - Peter Menzies and Elaine Kuwahara - speaking in a personal capacity - and debate at committee, it was agreed that the possibility of progressing this through the Economic Development working group that is working on supporting new initiatives to support the Perth Road district shopping centre.    This will be discussed at its next meeting and, if there is no swift progress, I have reserved by right to take the motion above back to City Development Committee.

This is the first positive move by the council to sort the parking situation since the failed 2012 consultation exercise and I am pleased that at last some progress has at least started.   We now need momentum to really tackle and improve the parking situation.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 23 JANUARY 2017

Blackness Road/Glamis Road – temporary traffic lights for 2 weeks for gas main renewal.

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Sunday 29 January for water main installation works.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Greenmarket – prohibition of right turn into South Marketgait on Thursday 2 February from 9.00pm   6.00am for BT cabling works.

Nethergate (eastbound from South Tay Street to West Marketgait) – closed on Thursday 2 February from 9.00pm   6.00am for BT cabling works.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Getting things done - Morven Terrace and Ancrum Place sheltered housing

I had a meeting with residents of the Morven Terrace and Ancrum Place sheltered housing just before Christmas at which residents asked when the external stairwells would be repainted as part of external cyclical maintenance (ECM) works.    Tenants also asked about possible insulation improvements.

The council's Housing Investment Manager has since updated me as follows :
We are planning to commence ECM works at Ancrum / Morven at the tail end of the 17/18 Financial year and I would confirm this will include a repaint to the stairwells and landings. Unfortunately this development is of a traditional build so is not a priority for External Insulation as it will have received cavity insulation in the past.
I have since been in correspondence with him regarding the properties' Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing ratings to ensure all properties meet current standards.    

All properties meet minimum standards apart from two properties where old electric heating has since been improved with the provision of new gas central heating.  I am particularly concerned to ensure end terraced properties have efficient insulation as a number of tenants here have highlighted end terraced properties appear to be less warm.