Friday, July 29, 2016

Temporary Traffic Order - Edward Street/Brook Street/Polepark Road/Brewery Lane

From the City Council (arising out of the recent road damage at the above junction - this temporary traffic order is to allow for road reinstatement next week, following investigation by Scottish Water as to the cause of the damage) :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of emergency manhole and carriageway repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Polepark Road (at its junction with Brook Street, Brewery Lane and Edward Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 1 August 2016 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

No access or egress to/from Edward Street or Brewery Lane will be available during these works.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Brook Street / Urquhart Street / Blackness Road / Forest Park Road / Milnbank Road.

For further information contact 433168.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Community Companions

From the Community Companion Scheme - you can also read more here :

In Dundee, as in many other parts of the UK, the responses to tackling social isolation and loneliness vary.    Dundee has services that match older persons with companions, community centres that have age related groups and activities, one to one social support to handyman schemes, volunteering and home visitors.

Befriending is an area of activity that users have stated makes a difference to their quality of life and it’s the area of work that the Reshaping Care Team has focused on through the social isolation collaborative.   This has also been identified and prioritised by older people and local organisations through a series of engagement and feedback events.   The team has promoted a shift from a traditional befriending service to a Community Companion Scheme. This provides a flexible service for adults, building on and complimenting the work of existing services.

The Community Companion project is aimed at adults in Dundee who are either experiencing or have the potential to experience social isolation. Each person is matched up to a Community Companion based on personality, hobbies and interest and general living experiences. Community Companions befriend people in many ways for example, visiting them in their own home, accompanying them to social activities or shopping trips, or even a visit to a local café.

The person receiving the companionship can choose how often they require support and what type of support they require.

For more information about the Community Companion Scheme contact or telephone 305736.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Getting things done - Elliot Road

Back in April, residents contacted me about the state of the fencing round the Elliot Road playing fields - this needed some repairs and a repaint (given the rather ghastly and faded pink paint) - see below :
I contacted the City Council asking for this and an officer in the City Development Department responded positively as follows :

"I am looking to carry out some maintenance works to the Pavilion and I asked the Property Officer to obtain costs to repair and repaint the boundary fence."

Repairs and a repaint have now been carried out and the finished result is a significant improvement - see below :

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee

Our July Blether will be tonight - Tuesday 26th July - at 7pm in Madigan's Food Emporium and Bookshop, Castle Street.

The theme this month is TIME.

Hope to see some of you there – all welcome!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Friends of Wighton : Lunchtime Recital - Tuesday 26th July

** UPDATE !   Please note that the start time for this event below has been altered to 2pm **
The Friends of Wighton lunchtime recital tomorrow features the excellent Fèis Rois Ceildh Trail - it takes place at 1.15pm tomorrow (Tuesday 26th) in the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library and admission is free.

The 2016 Ceilidh Trail takes place from 11th July to 13th August.     The project provides summer employment for 15 outstanding young musicians.     They perform at almost 100 gigs during this busy summer period in July and August so its great to see Dundee as part of the trail.

Fèis Rois launched its acclaimed Ceilidh Trail project in 2000.   The Ceilidh Trail is a paid summer job and a professional development opportunity for young people aged 16 – 25 who are considering a performance career in traditional Scottish music. It is also a cultural tourism project bringing high quality traditional music performances to communities across Scotland throughout the peak tourist period in July and August.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Magdalen Green Bandstand - photos and video from yesterday's opening event

Here's a few photos and a short video from yesterday's official opening of the Magdalen Green Bandstand, following its successful and lovely restoration :

Everyone on the bandstand!   (With thanks to Ann Prescott for this photo)
Pat Orr, a founding member of the Friends of Magdalen Green, cut the ribbon to re-open the bandstand, with Sandra McDowall (Secretary) and Catherine Fairweather (Chair) of the Friends (who both gave excellent speeches) looking on, as is Peter Menzies, Chair of West End Community Council, who compared the event

With Mary Devlin of the Friends of Magdalen Green's Committee
Piper on the bandstand!
It was a lovely afternoon and the Friends of Magdalen Green and all others - council officers, the contractor's team and the local community whose support was vital in achieving such a great result - are all owed a great deal of thanks for all they did to achieve such a superb result.

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward



Scottish Water Clatto East mains renewal – Perth Road (Hawkhill to Nethergate) - closed eastbound for 5 weeks.

South Union Street (West Earl Grey Place to Riverside Esplanade) – closed southbound until Tuesday 26 July for SGN valve repair.

Riverside Drive (Bridgeview Cafe to Riverside West roundabout) - off-peak (9.30am - 3.30pm) temporary traffic lights for 5 days from Monday 18 July for replacement of road markings.

South Union Street (Whitehall Crescent to Dock Street) and Dock Street (South Union Street to Crichton Street) – closed from Monday 25 July for one week for sewer investigation works.

Polepark Road (at Edward Street) – temporary traffic lights for one week for carriageway investigation.

Riverside Avenue (at Apollo Way) – off-peak nearside eastbound lane closure on Thursday 28 July for VMS sign installation.

Forthcoming Closures

Arnhall Gardens – closed on Saturday 6 August for community event.

Riverside Drive – closed overnight (8.00pm – 6.00am) from Sunday 7 August for 5 nights for road resurfacing works.

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tay Road Bridge 50th Anniversary - Free Family Fun Day! #trb50

Yesterday, along with a number of other members of the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board and senior council officers, I took part in a meeting updating us on the bridge's 50th Anniversary events next month.

The bridge is 50 years old on the 18th August and, by way of way of celebration, the bridge manager, staff and board members are organising a free family day of events and activities on Sunday 21st August.    It’ll be a fabulous day out for all the family – more details here – don’t miss it!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Iain Flett, City Archivist

Today marks the retirement, after over 40 years of service, of Iain Flett, the City Archivist.

Many constituents will know Iain, who has provided a superb archives service for the city, along with his former assistant Richard Cullen and his current assistant Martin Allan.   Martin will now take on the role of City Archivist on Iain's retirement.

Iain has been extremely helpful to me over the years in providing feedback to the many constituent enquiries received about the city's history and he is hugely knowledgeable as well as an accomplished, informative and entertaining public speaker.   

Earlier this week, Iain and Martin undertook a really interesting presentation to councillors and senior council officers on the archives - see photo below, with thanks to Councillor Jimmy Black for the photo.

I wish Iain a very long and happy retirement.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dundee Community Transport - new wheelchair dedicated service

As many residents will already be aware, Dundee Community Transport is a local charity that provides an affordable and accessible transport service for Dundee’s over 65 community.

It has secured funding to trial a wheelchair dedicated service as part of its very popular Community Cars project and yesterday, I was delighted to attend the launch event and official ribbon cutting ceremony at the City Chambers.

Amongst the speakers was Jan Goodall (pictured right at the event) - Jan was Dundee Community Transport's first chair when it was formed back in 2005 and she has been a tireless and effective campaigner for community transport in Dundee.

You can read more about Dundee Community Transport here.

Later yesterday, 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 had an excellent discussion about a number of matters including Jericho House participating in "Drink the Musical!" now taking part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the house obtaining a new minibus and the successful improvements to the house's back garden/seating area.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Getting things done : Glenagnes Road

Last year, following my request, at a site in Glenagnes Road (east side south of the West End Campus), the council erected a chespale fence to avoid any fly-tipping.

However, the area has become overgrown and untidy over time, and I contacted the council again about this, following requests from residents.

The Neighbourhood Services Department has responded as follows :

“We carried out a litter pick last year when the fence was erected.   I am happy to litter pick again and spread woodchip over the site ... at least this will make it more pleasant to look at.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Getting things done - Harrow Street

Residents have contacted me about some minor repairs required to the roadway of Harrow Street.   

I contacted the Roads Maintenance Partnership about this and have been advised as follows :

"The Roads Maintenance Partnership inspector for the area has advised that he has raised an order for a small thermal patch repair at the junction with Blackness Road and also at number 3 Harrow Street.

There is no timescale available for these works at present but they will be done as soon as resources are available and earlier priorities have been dealt with."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Back from holiday ...

A very warm Barcelona!
Janet and I are just back from our holiday covering Portugal, France and Spain.   

We had a brilliant time and thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to keep up with constituents' messages via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter!    

Many thanks as always to the council's excellent members' services staff for covering constituents' phone calls and helping them whilst I was away.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward



Scottish Water Clatto East mains renewal – Perth Road (Hawkhill to Nethergate) - closed eastbound for 6 weeks.

South Union Street (West Earl Grey Place to Riverside Esplanade) – closed for one week for SGN valve repair.

Park Place (Old Hawkhill to Smalls Lane) – closed for one week for SGN main repair.

Riverside Drive (Bridgeview Cafe to Riverside West roundabout) - off-peak (9.30am - 3.30pm) temporary traffic lights for 5 days from Monday 18 July for replacement of road markings.

Forthcoming Closures

Arnhall Gardens – closed on Saturday 6 August for community event.

Riverside Drive – closed overnight (8.00pm – 6.00am) from Sunday 7 August for 5 nights for road resurfacing works.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Blackness Road - pedestrian safety

Residents have contacted me about pedestrian safety crossing Blackness Road near to the roundabout with Glamis Road and Glamis Drive.

I contacted the City Council about this and the Traffic and Transport Team Leader has advised :

" ... we will have to undertake a survey to check what Pedestrian / Vehicle conflict that is going on.    I will arrange one to be undertaken  at this location."

Friday, July 15, 2016

Botanic Garden - garden advice clinic

The Botanic Garden is holding a garden advice clinic on Thursday 28th July - all welcome.

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

Normal Botanic Garden entrance charges apply.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Temporary Traffic Order - Park Place

From the City Council :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of SGN mains repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Park Place (between Old Hawkhill and Smalls Lane), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 18 July 2016 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Smalls Lane / Smalls Wynd / Old Hawkhill.

For further information contact 433168.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hawkhill Court, Mid Wynd

Residents have expressed concern to me about the state of the area around the privately-owned empty industrial units at Hawkhill Court at the north end of Mid Wynd - see photos below :

I have contacted the site agents to request a clean-up of the site.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tackling litter and graffiti in the West End

There's a West End Community Clean Up on Saturday 23rd July at 10am - all welcome!

Join the local community in a clean up to help tackle litter and graffiti in the West End.

Meet at the Verdant Works car park on the corner of Blinshall Street and Miln Street.

The plan is to have the Verdant Works as a starting point and then radiate out and work in the area around it.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Local Flood Risk Management Plan

The City Council has recently updated me regarding Local Flood Risk Management Plan as follows :

"As you will be aware the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 required the relevant responsible authorities to work together to produce a Flood Risk Management Plan for their respective Local Plan Districts with the aim of reducing overall risk of flooding from whatever source.

Dundee is contained within the Tay Estuary and Montrose Basin Local Plan District and, as the appointed lead local authority, Angus Council was responsible for publishing our Plan.

The finalised Local Flood Risk Management Plan has now been published and is available here."

The work planned includes flood prevention improvements from City Quay along Riverside Drive to east of the airport, being undertaken this financial year.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Polepark Road flats - back area

On a recent walkabout with the Community Spirit Action Group, we were concerned about the state of the flower bed areas at the back of the Polepark Road council flats situated in Lower Pleasance.      See photo below :
I took up the matter with the council's Neighbourhood Services Department and have since been advised as follows :

"   ... (we are) making arrangement to ensure the area is cleaned up as a matter of urgency and in addition is reviewing the maintenance schedule.

There is a tiredness with some of the planted area/fencing etc and we will include some of these restoration works within our capital proposal for later in the year."

Saturday, July 09, 2016

New style National Entitlement Cards

Since July, 2014 Local Authorities across Scotland have been issuing a new style National Entitlement Card (for example, for the over 60s entitled to free bus travel) for any first time applications, replacement requests or automatic renewals.     

The visual differences between the old and new style cards are shown below :
Meanwhile, over 800 000 cards in circulation need replacing across Scotland before December 2016.    This is to ensure customers will continue to have access to the national travel concession after 31st December 2016 when the current OneScotland National Entitlement Cards cease to function.

If you are over 60 years old and your card has the OneScotland logo, a new style card will automatically be sent to your registered address before your current one expires.    You don’t need to do anything.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Playpark at Bankmill Road/Milnbank Road

I recently was asked by residents if the playpark at Bankmill Road/Milnbank Road could be improved - see below :
The playpark has not had any capital funding spent on it in a very long time and I asked the council if it can be considered for future improvements.

The Head of Environment in the City Council's Neighbourhood Services who initially advised me :

"I will get one of our staff to have a look at this.    In terms of priorities for 2016/2017 we are looking at Dawson and Victoria Park with other sites having minor improvement with Health and Safety being an important factor. The budget is going to be the limiting factor."

I have already updated residents about the welcome improvements planned to Victoria Park's playpark planned for this year but I am hoping that ewe can see improvements for the playpark at Bankmill Road/Milnbank Road in the future as well.

The Assistant Operations Manager for Neighbourhood Services in the west of the city further updated me regarding this playpark that :

" .. there were improvements in 2015 to the park, mainly the south fence and there was a new Timber Climb / slide installed. The remainder of the units are probably 10 years old. 

(It is a) bit run down due to the amount of hard surfacing - mainly slabs, tar paths, etc.   I am currently looking to see if this can be softened up by grassing some of this.  Also, the benches and bins could do with re-positioning which I will have carried out."

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Tullideph Road - unused bus stops and bays

There are two bus stops and bays at the Lochee Road end of Tullideph Road that unfortunately have been unused for some time because the 17 bus service was re-routed.   See one of them below :
I have asked Xplore Dundee about bringing back the old 17 route as I think that would have the support of people in the Tullideph/Ancrum area, but the bus company is not willing to at this time.

I have highlighted to the City Development Department that there have been complaints about parking fixed penalties being imposed where vehicles have parked in the bays, which is not reasonable now that the bus stops are not used.    Clearly, allowing local people and people attending Balgay Parish Church and City Church - both nearby - to park there would make sense.

The City Council has advised me that :

"Our previous approach has been to leave poles in place (decommissioned) for around a year before physically removing them from the street.   I agree that some drivers may be deterred from parking but local residents will hopefully be aware of the situation.  There should be yellow posters on the bus stops explaining the bus stop is no longer served by buses."  

It has been agreed to remove the clearway plates at the bays which will mean it is no longer an offence to park in these, now unused, bays.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Parking meters at Ninewells Hospital - an update

Photo from the Courier when it
featured this story in January
Back in January, I contacted the Chief Executive of NHS Tayside that :

"I have received a complaint about the parking meters at Ninewells Hospital A&E.     A constituent had to visit A&E late at night and found on arrival he had no small change on him to use in the parking meter – only notes and his credit card but Indigo’s meters at A&E only take coins.

Could I ask if NHS Tayside can request of Indigo, its parking operator, that parking meters are upgraded so that they take credit card payments and payment by mobile phone as City Council and other local authority meters nowadays have been upgraded to take?"

I was promised this would be discussed at a liaison meeting between Indigo and NHS Tayside and this took place on 5th April.    

The Chief Executive's office has since advised :

"I have also been advised that the Regional Commercial Manager from Indigo advised that it should be possible to upgrade these meters to pay by mobile phone and will confirm this that the next meeting due to take place on 20 July 2016."

I am therefore hoping that there will be an upgrade to parking meters at Ninewells Hospital might take place in the near future.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Perth Road/Nethergate Scottish Water Work starts tomorrow

Further to my previous updates on the Scottish Water work planned for Perth Road (east of Sinderins) and Nethergate (west of Marketgait) - including the notice I published on 30th June about the bus arrangements - the notices below are a reminder from Scottish Water that the work starts tomorrow :

Saturday, July 02, 2016

West End Ward surgeries

Now that the school summer holidays are underway, my usual weekly ward surgeries do not take place, but I can still be contacted on any local issues or concerns through my e-surgery - just e-mail

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.

Surgeries commence again in August with the start of the new school year.   Please note one of my surgeries on a Monday that has been at West Park over the past three years, will move back to Harris Academy in August with the return of the school to Perth Road – full details to follow.

Grateful thanks to the West Park Conference Centre for the hospitality in hosting my Monday surgery there over three years – the staff have been very hospitable and kind – much appreciated!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Harris Academy pupils - bus options from August

The map below indicates the bus options available to Harris Academy pupils from the start of the new academic year in August - this includes new school bus routes as well as service bus options :
You can download a full leaflet about transport options for pupils here - it includes a high-definition copy of this map.    In addition to this, I am anxious to see additional Stagecoach Service 16 buses to ensure the far west of Perth Road and Perth & Kinross domiciled pupils have adequate transport options.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Perth Road - bus arrangements from 4th July

Here are details of the Perth Road (east of Sinderins) bus arrangements from 4th July for the period the road is one way only (westbound) during Scottish Water's infrastructure improvement works :
You can read further details provided by Xplore Dundee here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ombudsman Customer Service Clinic

A customer service clinic is being held at the Overgate Shopping Centre on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July from 9am – 5pm to assist people unhappy with service they have received from a company or service.

Advisors from Ombudsman Services, the largest multi-sector ombudsman in the UK, will be on hand to hear complaints about products or services which are felt not to have been adequately handled by the company.  

Ombudsman Services are a not-for-profit organisation who operate at no cost to the public purse or to consumers, the companies who have agreed to work with us pay for our services.  We act as a mediator between consumers and companies and work with both sides to come to an amicable agreement where a problem has arisen. The decisions we make are legally binding on the company but the consumer maintains their right to take further legal action if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

People complain about a wide variety of things but, primarily, what we see is complaints about billing, people paying for a service they do not then actually receive.  The retail sector is where people experience the most problems, with 31% of all complaints being about that sector.  Energy providers and telecommunications companies, providing broadband, mobile phones contracts etc, also attract a significant number of complaints. 

We want to raise awareness of the services we provide and are holding a number of roadshows across Scotland to promote this.  By having a stand in busy shopping centres we hope to inform people about what we do as they go about their daily lives. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward



Scottish Water Clatto East mains renewal – Mid Wynd closed.  South Tay Street closed northbound.  Perth Road (Hawkhill to Nethergate) and Nethergate (Perth Road to Union Street) - closed eastbound from Monday 4 July.

West Marketgait – nearside northbound lane closure at Ward Road for one week for BT cabling work.

A90 Kingsway (at Swallow roundabout) – overnight (7.30pm – 6.30am) offside northbound lane closure on Thursday 30 June for barrier repair.

Thomson Street – closed for one week for water service connection.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dundee West Church Strawberry Fayre

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Dundee West Church Strawberry Fayre.

It was extremely well-attended, as the photo (below) indicates and a really enjoyable way to spend Saturday morning!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Garden, Allotment and Best Kept Close Competition

From Dundee City Council :
Whether you have a garden, window box, community space or a landing, there’s a category for you to enter in the Garden, Allotment and Best Kept Close Competitions.  They are a great way to get involved in your community and to encourage others, including schools, citizens and businesses, to take pride and interest in the city.

The annual Garden and Allotment competitions helped contribute towards Dundee being invited to represent Scotland in the RHS Britain in Bloom 2015 final. We were delighted that Dundee achieved a Silver Gilt Award and was overall winner in the City category. This was a fantastic achievement and opportunity for Dundee with extremely positive feedback from the Britain in Bloom judges.

The Best Kept Close Competition is new for 2016.  Why not ‘Take Pride’ in your local neighbourhood and work together with your neighbours to make your close the best kept in Dundee.

Competitions are free to enter and open to all within the Dundee City boundary.  For more details on how to enter please see the 2016 competition entry form here or contact Stephen O’Neill on 433104.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another chance to see 'Drink! The Musical' : from Jericho House

Another chance to see the excellent production by producer Claire Bee with the cast from the service users and staff at Jericho House :

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Foraging - food for free!

The Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden are running a "Foraging - food for free" event at 2pm this coming Sunday at the Botanic Garden.

Highlighting traditional uses for Scottish plants, the event costs only £2 for members of the Botanic Garden and others pay normal Garden charges.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Friends of Riverside Nature Park and Starter Packs AGM

Earlier tonight, I attended the latest meeting of the Friends of Riverside Nature Park committee that took place at the Mitchell Street Centre.   

There were useful discussions on a whole host of issues affecting the park.   There’s a useful Friends of Riverside Nature Park Facebook page you can access here.

Later this evening, I had the pleasure attending the Annual General Meeting of Starter Packs Dundee, which took place at the Salvation Army Gatehouse in Ward Road.

It was a well-attended meeting and there was an interesting talk by Lorna Tunstall. Session Clerk at Inchture & Kinnaird Parish Church, who spoke about the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council projects tackling homelessness – particularly in relation to the Nepal earthquake aftermath and helping refugees from the Syrian conflict.

Supported by local churches, Starter Packs seeks donations of good unwanted basic household goods, bed linen and curtains that are recycled and made up into ‘starter packs’ by a team of 20 volunteers working on a rota basis.   The  packs are of huge need to many families,couples and single people who obtain a tenancy but lack basic items.

You can read more about Starter Packs here.

Another temporary traffic order - Thomson Street

Earlier this month, I advised of a temporary traffic order in respect of Thomson Street.   However, this temporary road closure from 13th June did not go ahead due to issues around the completion of the water supply to the care home extension at the south end of the street.

The temporary traffic order has now been rescheduled.    The City Council advises:


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water service connection works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Thomson Street (from Magdalen Yard Road to approx. 100metres north), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 27 June 2016 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Perth Road / Roseangle.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council