Thursday, May 05, 2016

203, 204 and 204a bus service diversions during Perth Road roadworks

Earlier today, I advised of the changes to bus routes for Xplore Dundee services when the roadworks on part of Perth Road start next Monday.     However, the poster did not include details of the services tendered by the City Council (the 203, 204 and 204a).     Xplore Dundee now advises the following with the 204/204a services :

Service 204 (to the City Centre)
Normal route to Corso Street, then left into Blackness Avenue, Sinderins junction, left into Perth Road and then normal route from Nethergate.

Service 204a (to the City Centre)
Normal route to Newhall Gardens and Perth Road, then left into Glamis Road, right into Blackness Road, right into Blackness Avenue Sinderins junction, left into Perth Road and then normal route from Nethergate. 

Service 204 (from the City Centre)
Normal route to Nethergate, then carry on to Perth Road, Sinderins junction, right into Blackness Avenue and then normal route from Corso Street.

Service 204a (from the City Centre)
Normal route to Nethergate, then carry on to Perth Road, Sinderins junction, right into Blackness Avenue, left into Blackness Road, left into Glamis Road, and then normal route from Perth Road. 

Phase 2 (the Sinderins junction closure – third week only – not until 23rd May) will affect service 203 - but Dundee City Council is still considering which option to go with, once a route viability test has been carried out on some of the streets in the Blackness/West End area.

Perth Road - temporary bus diversions from Monday

Further to my recent update about the temporary closure of Perth Road between the Sinderins junction and West Park Road from Monday (9th May) for road resurfacing work, Xplore Dundee has kindly given me the following information about temporary bus diversions.    

The poster below covers Xplore Dundee services, but similar diversions apply to Stagecoach 16 and 77 services too :

Vote Coleman, Scottish Liberal Democrat, for Dundee City West today!

Willie Rennie and I are supporting Daniel Coleman for Dundee City West - for a hard-working MP for the West End and right across the constituency :

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Temporary Traffic Order : Tait's Lane

From Dundee City Council.   (This has been arranged at short notice due to roof water ingress to a block of tenements.   The work is expected to take no more than 3 hours, and will commence early Saturday morning) :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of mobile access platform (roofing) works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Tait's Lane (from its junction with Hawkhill for a distance of approximately 20 metres in a northerly direction), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Saturday 7th May 2016 for  one  day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Hawkhill/Peddie Street/Blackness Road.

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Community Spirit Action Group AGM

Earlier this evening, I attended the Annual General Meeting of 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 Mitchell Street Centre.

Tribute was paid to Len Jamieson, the group’s long-standing secretary, who sadly passed away last week.    Len will be sadly missed, having been the group’s hard-working secretary since the group originally formed back in 2008.

At tonight’s meeting, there was an interesting presentation on the consultation about introducing 20mph speed limits where residents want this.    You can still take part in the consultation – more information about this is available here.   There was also a useful update from community safety wardens.   I updated the group about a number of local matters including street lighting and bus services.

A new committee was elected with George Chalmers re-elected as Chair and Ewan Stirling (a former Chair of the group) as the new Secretary.

New street lighting in Pentland

I recently participated in a site visit with the Street Lighting Partnership Manager and also with the Chair of Community Spirit Action Group, the local residents' group, to look at the new street lighting in Pentland.

The new lighting has been met with mixed reviews and, at the site visit, I asked that the lighting levels be measured to ensure they meet acceptable standards.     The Street Lighting Partnership Manager has now updated me as follows :

"I can confirm that we have now verified our lighting levels within the Pentland/Saggar Street area.

Measurements were carried out very late at night in order to minimise spill light from properties. 

Lighting levels were measured at a number of various locations throughout Saggar Street, Pentland Crescent and Colinton Place and I can confirm that all achieved the required designed levels with only one exception.

The single location which failed was at the rear of the footpath outside block number 8 on Saggar Street. This is due to the presence of a large tree at this location which overhangs not only the footpath but extends over the carriageway as well. However some extensive tree pruning will rectify this issue."

The Street Lighting Partnership has supplied me with a map of the estate with details of trees needing trimmed that will improve the effectiveness of the new lighting.     I have given this to environment managers asking that necessary tree trimming work be carried out.

Another aspect of the new lighting is that, because it is focussed on the road and pavements, it does not light paths and steps to housing as well as the old lighting.    I contacted housing officers about this indicating that 'security' type static lights should be considered for dark paths and stepped areas and the Head of Housing and Communities has advised :

"While this raises a number of issues including available resources we are happy to have initial discussions with colleagues in the Street Lighting Partnership.

Once we have done so we will have a better idea of all the relevant issues and will come back to you to update on our position."
Me pictured at the Saggar Street/Loganlee Terrace junction with the new street lights in Loganlee Terrace

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Friends of Wighton - latest update

From Sheena Wellington, Honorary Librarian at the Wighton Heritage Centre :

Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library - Wednesday 4th May at 1.15pm.

Lunchtime Recital with The Ferryport Ensemble - Music for Recorder and Strings from the Ferryport Ensemble under the leadership of Morag Anne Elder.

Admission free, donations welcome.

Temporary Traffic Order - Perth Road

From Dundee 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 three weeks from 9 May 2016.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Perth Road from West Park Road to Blackness Avenue (Phase 1) and at the junction of Perth Road, Hawkhill and Blackness Avenue (Phase 2).

During Phase 2 temporary traffic lights will be set up to allow traffic to flow between Perth Road and Hawkhill.  All other manoeuvres at this junction will not be possible.

An alternative route will be available via Blackness Avenue, Blackness Road and Glamis Road (Phase 1) and Perth Road, Nethergate, West Marketgait, Hawkhill, Blackness Avenue, Blackness Road and Glamis Road (Phase 2).

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.  If you have any queries please contact 433082.

With regard to the above, the council's City Development Department has further informed me as follows :

Carriageway resurfacing work will begin on 9th May commencing at the west side of Blackness Avenue and heading towards West Park Road. This phase of the works are programmed to last for 2 weeks. During this phase of the works we will also be resurfacing the footway opposite Harris Academy (Grosvenor Road to West Park Road). During this 2 week period Perth Rd will be closed with vehicular traffic diverted via Glamis Road / Blackness Road / Blackness Avenue and reverse.

During this phase of the works we will maintain access/egress to/from Perth Road from the West Park Road end of the works although it should be noted that the road is closed for reasons of public safety and the safety of the workforce, use of the road should be kept to a minimum.

Parking is likely to be available overnight on most sections of the road but any vehicles parked within the site during the day will obviously have a detrimental effect on progress of the works and will cause delays to the resurfacing works.

The 2nd phase of the works is programmed to commence on 23rd May and last for 1 week, this will involve resurfacing of the Perth Road / Blackness Avenue / Hawkhill junction, during this phase of the works an east / west traffic flow will be maintained controlled by temporary traffic lights. Vehicular traffic will not be permitted to access or egress the junction from Blackness Avenue or Perth Road (south). 

I understand that all of the above will cause a degree of inconvenience to road users but am sure you will understand that this work will improve the road network in this area.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Gate Church International, Perth Road @gatechurch

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Sunday worship at Gate Church International in Perth Road and participate in the church's 40th Anniversary celebrations.     

The church has a growing and hugely vibrant congregation and part of yesterday's celebrations highlighted the church's success in obtaining a new £150 000 Climate Challenge Fund grant that will enable it to keep helping people across the city - see below :
Since October 2013, Gate Church International has been leading a major carbon-saving project in the West End.   It has already invested more than £270 000 to help local residents identify how to make their homes more energy efficient and trained drivers on how to cut their carbon footprints.   The scheme has also given cooking lessons on how to reduce food waste and provided community placements for job seekers.

The new funding will enable the project to continue and develop - for example, it will be used to launch a series of weekly events for the local community this summer.   These will include a community lunch serving soup made with locally grown ingredients, a play group for parents with young children and cooking classes.

All the events will be held in the new community cafĂ© on Greenfield Place and there will be the chance at each to make use of a free “swap shop”, designed to facilitate the reuse of used items such as toys, household goods and clothing.

The project’s overall aim is to promote behaviour changes that lead to low- carbon lifestyles within the West End community.

Gate Church International also has hopes of becoming Scotland’s “greenest” church and the Climate Challenge Fund money will enable it to add to the extensive programme of energy efficiency measures at the Grade A-listed St Marks Church on Perth Road and at the community centre.
With Pastor Gordon Stewart and James Anthony of Gate Church International, who has been leading the church's energy efficiency measures

West End Ward surgeries

As today is the May Day holiday, my usual weekly ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre do not take place, but I can still be contacted on any local issues or concerns through my e-surgery - just e-mail   

My Thursday night surgery this week at Blackness Primary School (6.15pm in the staff room) will take place later this week as usual.

I can also be contacted at home at any time on 459378 and also during office hours at my Dundee City Council office on 434985.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Forthcoming events in May

Len Jamieson

It was with great sadness that I learned last Thursday of the passing of Len Jamieson, Secretary of the Community Spirit Action Group in the West End Ward.

Len was a genuinely lovely man who cared deeply for the local community and for whom action spoke louder than words.   In addition to his work with Community Spirit, Len was very involved with many other activities including his love of allotments.

He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.   My thoughts are with Hettie and the family at this sad time.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward



Fleuchar Street (Eassons Angle to Blyth Street), Blinshall Street (Lochee Road to Douglas Street) and Scott Street (City Road to Glenagnes Road) – closed for 16 weeks for SSE cable renewal works.

Thomson Street (Magdalen Yard Road for 100m north) – closed from Monday 2 May for 2 weeks for service connections.

Perth Road (at Glamis Road and Windsor Street) – off peak temporary traffic lights on Friday 6 May for Scottish Water manhole repair.

Forthcoming Closures

Perth Road (West Park Road to Blackness Avenue) – closed from Monday 9 May for 3 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

You can read the weekly road report for the whole of Dundee here.

Event at the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

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

Tuesday 3 May at 6pm - Just a Mammal!

Join us in the museum for a special animal-themed version of the popular quiz Just a Minute. Kim Dale, Liz Lakin, Barry Caudwell and Mike Sedakat will be the panellists trying to speak on zoological topics without hesitation, repetition or deviation, with Matthew “Nicholas Parsons” Jarron as your genial host! 

Refreshments served after the event.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Temporary Traffic Order - Thomson Street

From the City Council :

Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating service connection works.  The Order is expected to be in force for two weeks from 2 May 2016.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Thomson Street from Magdalen Yard Road for a distance of 100 metres or thereby north.

Vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.  Pedestrian provision will be maintained at all times.

An alternative route will be available via Roseangle and Perth Road.

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.    If you have any queries, please contact 433082.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Botanic Garden - garden advice clinic

The Botanic Garden is holding a garden advice clinic later today - all welcome.

It takes place in the Botanic Garden's Education Centre between 2pm and 4pm.

Normal Botanic Garden entrance charges apply.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Busy Wednesday!

Earlier today I had the pleasure of visiting Heart Space Yoga and Bodyworks in Scott Street to see round the impressive facilities and meet Ian Alexander and Finlay Wilson who have, over the past five years, built up services aiming to improve quality of life by increasing physical activity levels and offering numerous services for well-being.

Here's a couple of photographs from my visit :

Later, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   

We concentrated our discussion of final arrangements for the impending Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the alcohol and addiction fields, to showcase the work of Jericho House.  

This evening, I attended the latest Harris Academy Parent Council, which commenced with another joint meeting with Menzieshill High School Parent Council.    The working together of the two school communities in coming together is impressive and there was very positive discussion over a number of subjects - visits to the new school building for pupil year groups, parents and the wider community and school uniform being just two.

Friends of Riverside Nature Park AGM tomorrow

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Friends of Blackness meeting

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

It was an extremely positive meeting and Gordon Ferrier, Head Teacher, reported a likely very healthy P1 intake for the forthcoming 2016/17 year.     There was also a useful discussion about parking issues near to the school and promoting safe drop off and collection of pupils from the school.

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee

Our April meeting will be tonight - 26th April - in Madigan's Tea Emporium, Castle Street, at the usual time of 7.30pm.

The Theme this month is "Earth, Wind and Fire."

We will be joined this month by three apprentice storytellers as part of their Storytelling Centre accreditation process.

All welcome!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward



Fleuchar Street (Eassons Angle to Blyth Street), Blinshall Street (Lochee Road to Douglas Street) and Scott Street (City Road to Glenagnes Road) – closed for 17 weeks for SSE cable renewal works.

Forthcoming Closures

Thomson Street (Magdalen Yard Road for 100m north) – closed from Monday 2 May for 2 weeks for service connections.

Perth Road (West Park Road to Blackness Avenue) – closed from Monday 9 May for 3 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

You can read the weekly road report for the whole of Dundee here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Friends of Balgay meeting

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Spring Meeting of the Friends of Balgay, which took place at the Mills Observatory.

The guest speaker was Kate Treharne, Dundee's community allotments officer, who spoke eloquently about community gardens in the city.    Kate has done great work across the city and her passion and enthusiasm shines through!

There was a display on “Balgay - then and now” at the meeting which was very interesting :

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Botanic Garden event tomorrow

Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden

The next talk arranged by the Friends committee is tomorrow, Sunday 24th April, as usual in the Botanic Garden's Education Centre at 2pm.

Les Hatton will talk about "The decidedly odd world of bats. A quirky introduction to a little known group of amazing animals".

Free to members; donations welcome from others.

Friends of Riverside Nature Park - Bird Walk tomorrow

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friends of Balgay Spring Meeting

The Friends of Balgay Spring Meeting takes place tomorrow, Saturday 23rd April 2016 - at 2pm in the Mills Observatory.

The guest speaker is Kate Treharne, Dundee's community allotments officer, who will speak about community gardens in the city.

Refreshments provided and all welcome!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Harris Academy - Development of Evening Classes : an update

Earlier tonight, I also attended the fourth informal meeting to discuss the creation of a new committee to take forward evening classes from when Harris Academy returns to Perth Road.   

Prior to the school 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.

We had a really positive meeting tonight.   It was agreed that the “Harris Evening Classes Team” will be at WestFest’s Big Sunday on 5th June to speak with local people about evening class opportunities.    Also, the inaugural meeting of the new Harris Education and Recreation Association will take place on Thursday 9th June at 7pm in the new Harris building – more details to follow!

Improving banking areas - Pentland Avenue and Millhall Crescent

Yesterday, I met with local residents and an environment manager from Neighbourhood Services at Dundee City Council on-site in Millhall Crescent and in Pentland Avenue, to discuss options to improve the look of the steep banking in each street - see below (Pentland Avenue) and above (Millhall Crescent).

These are challenging areas to maintain given the very steep banks but we discussed options including ways of retaining soil and hopefully planting wildflower towards the bottom of banks to improve the look of them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Friends of Blackness Library

Leisure and Culture Dundee is hoping to establish a Friends of Blackness Library group, similar to the successful initiative at Broughty Ferry Library.

If you are interested, please print off and complete the short questionnaire below and hand into the library (hard copy of this is also available in the library) - many thanks :

Energy saving street lighting

There has recently been news that Stirling Council is set to save £31m over the next 30 years by installing energy saving street lights. 

That local authority is borrowing almost £10m from the Green Investment Bank to install LEDs in 12 000 street lights over the next four years.

I think that's a great initiative and asked the City Council its position on doing so.     I have been advised by the Street Lighting Partnership Manager :

"We are currently putting together a business case for LED lighting in the city and the source of funding for this will be given due consideration by our finance colleagues I am sure. 

Green Investment Bank is only one of a number of financial sources available to local authorities."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

V&A Museum of Design - Dundee : site visit

This morning, I participated in the latest V&A Museum of Design, Dundee Project Board meeting.

After the meeting, board members had the opportunity of a site visit round the V&A construction site at the waterfront.

You can see all the photos I took here.    

The external walling work and cladding is making real progress in what is a very complex design.   At the site visit, I was left in no doubt that the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee will have its home in a truly iconic building.

The STEP Programme

The ‘STEP programme’ is a new adult learning programme to be delivering throughout Dundee.

The ‘STEP programme’ aims to tackle social isolation, build confidence and inform adults of the different services available to them throughout Dundee.    The groups are informal and light-hearted and adaptable to meet the needs of the group. 

The programme meets for 2 hours a week over a  9 week period and tackle different topics each session.    The sessions are as follows:

Effective Communication
Healthy Living
Coping With Change
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Sexual Health
Financial Planning
Managing Addictions
Graduation/Next Steps

The programme is suitable for anyone over the age of 18 that would be considered a ‘vulnerable adult’.    This could be anything from homelessness to substance misuse to mental health problems etc.    The programme will accept anyone that’s looking to make positive changes in their life and more details are below :

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mutual repairs - council housing and sold properties

Dundee City Council has an obligation to undertake mutual repairs (things like stairwell paintwork, guttering repairs and roof repairs) to maintain its own stock – and owners in blocks where there are a mix of tenants and owners are obliged to pay a share of the mutual element of this work.

There are often queries from both owners and tenants when this sort of work (known as External Cyclical Maintenance) is undertaken – last year, for example, I had a number of queries from residents in the Corso Street/Abbotsford area and also Fyffe Street/Benvie Road/Mitchell Street area.

The council has now published useful guides that you can download below :

Sunday, April 17, 2016

New Sky TV Family Documentary Series

I was recently contacted by a TV production company called Little Gem who are currently working on a brand new documentary series for Sky that will tell the story of six families over 5 years of their life.

They are looking for families who’d like to be a part of this project and hope to capture their dreams, ambitions and the journeys that they go on but also the changes that will happen to the world and surroundings that we live in.

They want to embrace the uplifting, challenging and universal experiences of family life that we can all relate to, from young people not flying the nest to weddings on the horizon.

They indicate :

“Perhaps there are some families doing amazing things within your local area e.g. in local business, community work, events or sporting families?

With this in mind, I wondered whether you might be able to help me share this information, to let people know of the chance to be a part of this ground-breaking documentary series.

This is a fantastic opportunity for families across the UK to have a unique once in a lifetime film about their family – a home movie that they can pass on to generations to come - made by some of Britain’s best documentary filmmakers.”

More details below :

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sculptural - new exhibition in the Lamb Gallery

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


Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee
Now open and running until 7th May 2016
(Monday to Friday 9.30am to 7pm;  Saturday 1pm to 5pm)

Now open in the University of Dundee's Lamb Gallery on the first floor of the Tower Building, this exhibition features highlights from the University’s extensive sculpture collections. 

It includes free-standing and wall-based constructions as well as preparatory drawings, sketch-books and photographic documentation of sculptures that no longer exist.   Many are by former students at Duncan of Jordanstone College (including notable graduates such as David Mach) but there are also works here by acclaimed professional sculptors - from Victorian masters such as Sir John Steell to modern artists like Bill Scott, Fred Bushe and Sarah Lucas.    The exhibition also includes Enzo Plazzotta’s magnificent bronze portrayal of former rector Peter Ustinov, normally displayed in Bonar Hall.

This is the first exhibition in the gallery since the installation of new lights thanks to a grant from Museums Galleries Scotland – we hope you’ll notice the improvement! A full list of artists represented in the exhibition can be found here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The new Harris Academy building - site visit

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of visiting the new Harris Academy building on Perth Road.   Robertson Construction has recently handed the building across to the City Council and the fitting out of the completed building is underway, in advance of the school opening.

There will be opportunities for pupils, parents and the wider community to see round the building in the coming weeks (many staff have already been in to see it).    It is simply superb and will be an excellent teaching environment for our community for many years to come.

Some photos below - I have a photo album on Facebook that you can see here :

Perth Road pavement resurfacing

I have long campaigned for the poor conditioned pavement on the north side of Perth Road, east of the junction with Glamis Road, to be upgraded.

Its therefore good to report that work is now well advanced with the resurfacing - see below :

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rose Lodge - Charter for Involvement celebration

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of again visiting Rose Lodge, in Seafield Road, which provides high-quality housing and support for adults with learning difficulties.   

We were there to celebrate Rose Lodge’s involvement in the Charter for Involvement, an initiative by the National Involvement Network that is a series of 12 new statements that show how people who use support services want to be involved in the services they get, in the organisations that provide their services and in the wider community.

Alison Hogg and her team at Rose Lodge do a great job for all in their care and it was a lovely afternoon – here’s a couple of photos!