Sunday, December 31, 2006

A guid Hogmanay!

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

Words adapated from a traditional song
by Rabbie Burns (1759-96)


with thanks to a member of City Centre & Harbour Community Council ... and click on the headline above to view more ...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Temporary Traffic Order - the tunnel works

Latest from Dundee City Council's Planning & Transportation Department:-

Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating rail tunnel strengthening works. The Order is expected to be in force for ten months from 8 January 2007. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order prohibit temporarily all vehicular and pedestrian traffic in (a) Dock Street between Crichton Street and Commercial Street for eastbound traffic only, (b) Dock Street between Gellatly Street and Commercial Street for westbound traffic only, (c) Dock Street South footway between Gellatly Street and Riverside Roundabout, (d) Dock Street North footway from Castle Street to Crighton Street and from Gellatly Street to Commercial Street,
(e) Gellatly Street between Seagate and Dock Street for southbound traffic only and (f) Castle Street western footway from Dock Street to Shore Terrace.

A 20mph speed limit will be imposed for (1) westbound traffic in Dock Street between Gellatly Street and Riverside Roundabout and (2) northbound traffic in Gellatly Street between Seagate and Dock Street for the duration of the works.

All on-street car parking in Dock Street between Commercial Street and Riverside Roundabout, and Gellatly Street and Riverside Roundabout will be suspended for the duration of the works. There will also be restrictions to loading and servicing in Dock Street during these works, however provision will be provided outside number 16, and numbers 37 to 40 Dock Street only. All bus stops in Dock Street will be closed for reasons of pedestrian safety, and signage will be erected to advise of the nearest alternative.

An alternative route will be available for (a) vehicular traffic via South Marketgait and Commercial Street or via Seagate and Commercial Street, and (b) pedestrian traffic via Dock Street northern footway, Shore Terrace footway at the rear of Caird Hall, Dock Street eastern footway and Commercial Street/Seagate/Gellatly Street. The terms of the Tayside Regional Council (City of Dundee) (Traffic Management Scheme) (Review) Order 1994 will require to be suspended where it relates to Dock Street for the duration of the works.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to Andy Scrimgeour, Network Management Team, Planning and Transportation Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.
If you have any queries please contact Mr Scrimgeour on 01382 433168.

Latest on Hogmanay Celebrations in Dundee City Centre

The Weather Won't Halt Dundee's Hogmanay

Dundee's Hogmanay celebrations will still go ahead whatever the weather, said a spokesperson for City Centre & Harbour Community Council today.

Three years ago when bad weather knocked out many events, the North Carr Lightship was almost the only place in the country where the planned celebrations actually happened! Fireworks may not be possible but the music from Skelpaig and Sheena Wellington and the famous midnight foghorn will go ahead

The Family Ceilidh, featuring the Cameron Kellow Group, at Meadowside St Pauls Church Hall and the Church Service are, of course, cosily under cover. Tickets for the Ceilidh, price £6.50 (£4 concessions) are available from Cornerstone Cafe, Nethergate, phone bookings on 01382 202121 between 10am and noon & 2pm and 4pm.

A decision will be taken on Sunday as to whether the Lantern Parade will go ahead and the local radio stations will be informed.

" We have battery operated lanterns so rain won't put them out" said the spokesperson. " and we did choose a route that was as sheltered as possible but obviously if there is heavy rain and high winds it would neither safe or comfortable to parade."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Joy and all that ...

OK, we'll start with the Christmas photos!
Firstly, here's Janet and me with Betty, my mother in law, during Christmas Dinner. I can assure you that no party is quite complete without Betty!
And, talking of the life and soul of the party, we got this rather good game which relies on a bit of skill and here's Betty proving she has absolutely none (err, sorry, lots!)

Anyway, Christmas was great - I have had loads of fun downloading lots of my CDs onto an MP3 player and my younger son and I have just spent a fruitless afternoon trying to set up a wireless internet connection in the house. Getting there now though!

Here's a rather less festive picture from the back area of a West End tenement. I raised the condition of this with the City Council just prior to Christmas and am pleased to advise that the Environmental Warden has advised me that the major landlord here has promised action.

Other updates :

  • Rob, our ace pyrotechnician from the West End Christmas Week, advises that you can now see video clips of the fireworks at http://www.myspace.com/westendpyro
    Click on VIDEO under the logo and you can access all clips from there.
  • BT has now advised me that they will attempt to fit a door to the phone box in Milnbank Road during January although they do warn that given the angle of the phone box, it may prove difficult to fit one.
  • The Tait's Lane light and small area of road resurfacing I referred to earlier was done just before Christmas.
  • My LibDem colleague from Perth & Kinross Council Cllr Peter Barrett undertook a sponsored fast on Christmas Eve to raise funds for Christian Aid, so helped sponsor Peter. As Peter reports - "The fast was Ok - the last three hours were a bit hard and the worst moment was when I took the Christmas ham out the oven and lifted it onto the plate and a we bit got snagged on the roasting dish. I never knew I had such willpower."

And lastly, Hogmanay - thanks to Sheena Wellington for the following information!

Bright young bands top Hogmanay bill!

Two of the best young bands on the traditional scene are providing Hogmanay music in Dundee!

The Cameron Kellow Group will play for the dancing at the Family Ceilidh in Meadowside St Paul's Church Hall on Sunday evening, 7.30 to 10.30pm. Accordionist and drummer Cameron is a student of the brilliant Allan Small who regards him as one of the brightest prospects in Scottish Country Dance music. Cameron's outstanding talent was recognised when he was invited to join Highland Council's Ceilidh Trail last summer, a rare honour for a non Highland musician.

A spicy young group with a funky edge, Skelpaig's reputation for musical skills, excitement and innovation has garnered them invitations to play at venues from Skye to Brittany. Between them Kat Liley, David Adam and David Sutherland play fiddle, viola, border pipes, small pipes, highland pipes, whistles and guitar - but not all at the same time! Skelpaig will do a couple of sets at the Family Ceilidh before piper David Adam leads the Lantern Parade (weather permitting!) down to the North Carr Lightship where Skelpaig will be main act at the Maritime Volunteer Service's Foghorn Fiesta.

Singer Sheena Wellington, a City Centre & Harbour Community Council member, will compere the Family Ceilidh and Ceilidh tickets, price £6.50 (£4 concessions) inclusive of supper, are available from the Cornerstone Cafe, Nethergate, Dundee. Phone bookings can be made between10am-noon and 2pm - 4pm on 01382 202121.

The Church Service, 10.30pm at Meadowside St Paul's, the Lantern Parade, starting 11pm from the Church and the Foghorn Fiesta. 11.30pm - 12.15am are free. Wrap up warmly
!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Have a Happy Christmas!

Since the last blog postings on Wednesday, have been busy delivering the last of my newsletters and Christmas Cards to constituents. Had a useful meeting on Wednesday with a member of Leisure & Communities staff about progressing the administrative aspects of the Friends of Magdalen Green project, together with meetings with the Council Leader and with Finance staff.


On Thursday, the City Centre and Harbour Community Council meeting was rudely interrupted by an emergency evacuation of the Central Library! We continued the discussion over a nice Christmas meal at Braes in the Perth Road. I am genuinely very sad that the new council boundaries will mean that this Community Council area falls outwith my ward area from the 2007 elections.


Yesterday saw us present young Mitchell (aged 7) with his prize for winning the West End Christmas Week Snowflake spotting competition - he won a £30 voucher for CDs or DVDs, a large soft toy and a visit to the Wave 102 studios after Christmas. (See photo at http://www.wecc.org.uk/west_end_week.htm). The runners-up soft toys are now all delivered too and my dining room no longer looks like the Disney Store!


Over the festive period, my colleague Cllr Helen Dick and I don't hold our regular weekly surgeries as the schools are obviously shut but if you follow the link below, you can get our home contact details:




If you click on the headline above, you can see the Dundee City Council festive information and emergency numbers.


No blog entries now for a few days! Apart from Christmas, its our wedding anniversary tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and followed by Janet's birthday a few days after Christmas. Can we wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and prosperous 2007!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Update on rail tunnel works & partial closure of Dock Street

The City Council has advised me that the above works will start on 8th January 2007 to reinforce the rail tunnel that runs under the Dock Street Area.

Buses will only be using Dock Street in a northernly direction, the buses which would normally travel east on Dock Street will, for the duration of the east bound closure, require to use the route onto the large roundabout which handles all traffic from Riverside Drive and West Marketgait.

As a result, at peak periods, this is likely to cause congestion in Crichton Street and surrounding areas.

The Planning and Transportation Department will be monitoring this traffic congestion and may alter the timing of the traffic lights at the large roundabout to allow a better flow of traffic during this period.
If you are leaving the City Centre via Crichton Street, it will make sense to travel along Dock Street and up Union Street onto the High Street taking a westerly route out of the City Centre.

Waste Tidied and Hogmanay News!

Following a resident’s complaint about the mess of a bin area in the West End, I have to congratulate the Waste Management Department who arranged its cleaning within hours of my contacting them.

And … here’s the details of Hogmanay in Dundee City Centre (with thanks to Sheena Wellington for the information!) :

Hogmanay celebrations in Dundee's City Centre will include a Lantern Parade and music, fun, foghorn and fireworks at the North Carr Lightship as well as a Family Ceilidh and a church service,!

The Family Ceilidh will be held at Meadowside St Paul's Church Hall, Nethergate and starts at 7.30pm. Dance music will be provided by the Cameron Kellow Group and guest artists will include Skelpaig and Sheena Wellington. Tickets, price £6.50/£4 concessions to include supper, are available from the Cornerstone Cafe, Nethergate. Telephone bookings can be made on 01382 202121, 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm.

Following the Ceilidh, at 10.30pm, there will be a short service in Meadowside St Paul's Church and all who wish to attend are welcome.

At 11pm, piper David Adam will lead a Lantern Parade from Meadowside St Paul's by way of Nethergate, Crichton Street, Dock Street and West Victoria Dock Road to the North Carr Lightship where the Maritime Volunteer Service will be waiting to welcome everyone to their harbourside party.

The Lightship will be floodlit, from 11.30pm the Angus based folk band Skelpaig plays, Sheena Wellington sings and at midnight the now traditional Foghorn - and perhaps a firework or two - will welcome 2007!

The event will finish at around 12.15am.

The Hogmanay celebrations have been organised by members of City Centre & Harbour Community Council, the Maritime Volunteer Service and Meadowside St Pauls Church who are grateful to Awards for All and Dundee City Council officers and elected members for their funding and help.


Timetable:

7.30- 10.30 Family Ceilidh, Meadowside St Pauls Church with Cameron Kellow, Skelpaig & Sheena Wellington

10.30pm Church Service, Meadowside St Pauls Church with Rev. Maudeen McDougall

11pm Lantern Parade starts from Meadowside St Pauls going to Victoria Dock

11.30pm Skelpaig play on North Carr Lightship

Midnight: Foghorn, fun, fireworks to welcome 2007!!!!!

12.15pm app. First footing begins!

Further details:
www.northcarr.org.uk
http://www.dcchcc.org.uk/contactus.php
or click the headline above for tonight’s story about this in the Tele.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And then Saturday to Tuesday!

So, Leona won! But who on earth decided to use that dreadful "Sandals advert" song for the debut single?
Sunday was spent starting delivery of my Christmas edition of FOCUS to my own constituents together with my traditional Christmas Card. You can see the Christmas Card by clicking on the headline above and the story about the FOCUS newsletter (together with download links) is available at : http://www.dundee.prai.co.uk/news/000393.html
Yesterday, apart from Council meetings, we had the West End Christmas Week debrief meeting which was very positive and productive - good ideas flowing for Christmas Week 2007 already! The shoppers' prize draw winners' list is now on the Community Council website (see http://www.wecc.org.uk/west_end_week.htm). The Christmas Week website (see http://www.westendpyro.com/) has now had over 21 000 hits! Some of the 2006 photos are now on it too.
I also launched my December 2006 update to the City Centre & Harbour Community Council yesterday - see http://www.dundee.prai.co.uk/news/000394.html.
Today, attended the Christmas Lunch for retired employees of Dovetail Enterprises (I'm on the Board by virtue of being the City Council's Finance Convener) - a most enjoyable afternoon was had by all. Attended a Neighbourhood Partnership Network meeting for the West End area in the morning where many local issues were discussed including refuse collections, recycling, housing, parking and pavements, amongst others. Also had a useful meeting about Magdalen Green (mainly the parking aspects) with Leisure & Communities and Planning & Transportation staff, in advance of the next residents' meeting about Magdalen Green in the early New Year.
Lastly, had complaints about the lack of gritting on Taylor's Lane today - have taken up with the Planning & Transportation Department.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tuesday Evening to Saturday!

The Community Council meeting on Tuesday night included an excellent presentation by Network Rail on their Tay Rail Bridge improvement works. We also did the prize draws from the Christmas Week which you will be able to read (in a day or so) at www.wecc.org.uk.
It was very concerning to learn about Monday's road traffic accident at Sinderins involving a local pedestrian who very unfortunately sustained a broken leg. I have asked the City Council to advise me of the details of the accident after these are received from Tayside Police, in order that we can ensure that the lights operation is working to proper effect.
Wednesday - between running a Conference in Falkirk (see right!) - have complained about the state of the muddy path at the south side of Magdalen Green (near the footbridge over the railway) - also advised that the Lord Provost's Clock in the High Street requires repair that will mean the mechanism being sent back to the manufacturers - long story short, it will be early new year before it is back working properly.



I have had complaints that about eight of the lights along the cycle path at Seabraes are out; have reported this to Scottish Enterprise Tayside.

Thursday - organised my employer's annual Christmas Reception in Edinburgh - see below!

Lastly loads of us having been helping my sister in law deliver her Christmas newsletter to residents in Strathmartine yesterday & today - seriously sore feet! Anyway - away to watch X-Factor - Vote Leona!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Week thus far ...

Was pleased to see Bharatiya Ashram, who provided their Arts Group as part of the Christmas Week events last week, getting a mention in the Courier yesterday. We are drawing the winners from the various West End Christmas Week competitions at the Community Council meeting tonight. Meantime, you can read about my latest West End Community Council Update by clicking the headline above (and if you follow the further link, you can then download the Update).
Useful series of meetings about a number of issues yesterday with the Director of Social Work, Council Leader and Depute Chief Executive (Finance) before last night's committee meetings.
Lastly, was most displeased to note last night on my way to my surgery at Blackness Primary School that Scottish & Southern Electricity had still not properly sorted the pavement in Perth Road at the corner of Ritchie's Lane. Having e-mailed the City Council late last night, I have spoken to an officer earlier today who says SSE have committed to completing the work today/tomorrow morning. I will be keeping a close eye!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hogmanay in the City Centre 2006

If you click the headline above, you can download details of the events in the City Centre this Hogmanay!

Day in Perth & Greenmarket issue

Janet & I along with Helen, Claire & Murray from Dundee Liberal Democrats spent today in Perth at a LibDem pre-election meeting. Very enjoyable day and the Scottish LibDems are in great spirits ... I have no doubt that the party will perform well next May.

Here's a couple of photos from today :

Claire, Helen, Murray & me at lunchtime!

And Janet's in this one because I took the photo!
There's an issue about how unswept the Greenmarket area is and the extent of litter in the area - I have raised the issue with the City Council's Waste Management Department.

Friday, December 08, 2006

West End Christmas Tree appreciated!

Just received this very positive e-mail from one of the West End business owners :

"Just had to email you to say that I saw the Christmas tree last night (11pm) as I was leaving the office and it looks fantastic. Well done you guys."
Don't think my photo here exactly does it justice (see right!) but the feedback generally about this year's Christmas Tree at Seabraes has been really positive.

Perth Road and more on phone boxes ...

Yesterday, got word from the shops on the north side of Perth Road just east of the Sinderins junction that Scottish & Southern Electric (the Hydro) had dug up the pavement near Ritchie's Lane to put in services for the new business and has abandoned the job half done - hole in pavement and fallen barricades.
Anyway, contacted Planning & Transportation in the City Council who have chased up SSE who say they'll try to finish the job off this afternoon.
Further update on the BT phone boxes. In response to my latest e-mail, the following has arrived, proving their system is absolutely hopeless - I think this is my fourth reference number!
"Your e-mail has been received successfully and has been allocated the following unique reference number **. Please quote this reference number if there is a further need to contact us.
With kind regards,
BT eCustomer Services"

AGM, phone boxes, bus services

It was my local party AGM last night and having got the real business out of the way promptly, we had an enjoyable social evening thereafter. A number of people commented how good the West End Christmas Lights Switch-On was and how nice the tree looks this year.


Some time ago (long before this blog started!) a number of West End residents asked me about why there is no bus service to the Gallacher Retail Park - for someone on foot its a fair trek from the City Centre. At that time, City Council officers opened discussions with the retail park owners about this. I've now asked for an update. With the success of this retail park and new stores opening (most recently Borders bookstore) it would be good to see buses running there.

Lastly, you'll recall from earlier blogs that I have raised with BT several complaints recently about the state of some local phone boxes - Logie Aveue, Magdalen Place - and in Milnbank Road where the box has its door missing - see right.


The method of reporting to BT (a form on their website) is less than satisfactory and all you get back is an automated response.

Having received complaints that BT has done nothing to fix the door at Milnbank Road, I e-mailed them and he's the latest exchange - makes your heart sink rather :


ME TO BT:


Dear Sirs
Can you update me on position re this?
Also, the phone box in Milnbank Road Dundee I reported to you weeks ago is STILL missing its door - can you advise ASAP.
Best regards
Fraser


BT BACK TO ME:

Subject: Re: URGENT : From Cllr Macpherson, Dundee City Council
Dear Mr Macpherson,
Thank you for your e-mail dated the 6th of December, 2006 regarding your recent contact with BT.
Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you and for any inconvenience this may have caused.
In response to your e-mail, I would request you to kindly elaborate your query and if it pertains to your BT account, please forward your account number as well. This information is needed for security reasons.
In the meantime, I would like to thank you for you patience and cooperation.
If you should have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us again via e-mail.
Thank you for contacting BT.
Yours sincerely,
BT Customer Services


ME BACK TO BT:


Dear Sirs,
Your e-mail appears to have been sent without checking the nature of my complaint. These were in my capacity as a City Councillor and pertain to vandalism/condition of several local phone boxes. They have nothing whatsoever to do with my personal phone account.
I am particularly concerned that months after raising complaints about a door missing off the phone box in Milnbank Road, Dundee, it remains unrepaired.
I'd be most grateful if you would advise of the position ASAP - many thanks.
Best regards
Fraser
Cllr Fraser Macpherson
Liberal Democrat Group Leader
Convener of the Finance Committee
Dundee City Council

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Great night in the West End!

Well, the weather held, the crowds appeared (over 300 local residents), the children's concert was superb, the tree lights at Seabraes are lovely and the fireworks spectacular - a great night for the West End - here's some of the photos!






City Centre & Harbour Community Council Presentation and Christmas Week again ...

On Monday, apart from a useful City Centre meeting and one at the Corso Street sheltered lounge about planned activities for 2007, it was good to attend the presentation by the Lord Provost to Sheena Wellington of the City Centre & Harbour Community Council regarding their £5000 lottery funding success for Hogmanay activities (see below!)


Was on Wave 102 news today about tonight's West End Christmas lights switch on, concert and fireworks. We seem very organised - let's hope the weather holds!

Monday, December 04, 2006

More on forthcoming events from Friends of Wighton

Latest update from Sheena Wellington about Friends of Wighton:
The Wighton Heritage Centre's beautiful harpsichord can be heard as well as seen at the Friends of Wighton free lunchtime recital on Wednesday 6th December at 1.15pm. The well known Angus musician Isobel Luke will play a rarely heard keyboard sonata by the 18th Century composer John Christian Luther.
Scottish tunes from the James Oswald and George Thomson collections will be played on the recorder by Ethel Allan. The recital runs from 1.15-1.45pm and takes place in the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee.
Forthcoming events in the Wighton include an illustrated talk on the Scottish Fiddle by maestro Paul Anderson on Saturday 16th December at 2pm, admission £5/£3(FoW members), while Wighton Harpist Simon Chadwick presents "An antidote to Xmas Muzak" on Wednesday 20th at 1.15pm. The regular Saturday morning song workshop continues this Saturday (9th December) at 11pm with Maureen Jelks and Sheena Wellington will present the last workshop of the current series on Saturday 16th December. First Saturday talk of the New Year will be given at 2pm on the 20th January by the renowned Gaelic singer and scholar Anne Lorne Gillies.
Anne will be singing songs from her recent book "Songs of Gaelic Scotland" and it is hoped a book signing can be arranged. Admission £5/£3 (FoW members).
Further details at www.friendsofwighton.com

Festive Buses

With thanks to Suzy Scott of Scotbus, you can download the timetables for Dundee bus services over Christmas and New Year by following this link - www.scotbus.com/christmas2006.htm.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

High Street Clock

Last week, had a complaint that the High Street clock was running fast ... and - now wading through the e-mail backlog on return - here's an update from yesterday from the Engineer (via City Centre Manager) so hopefully all fixed now!
"I have had to renew the underground cable I am hopefully that the clock will be up and running by the end of the day."

Friends of Wighton update

Friends of Wighton are pleased to announce that fiddle maestro Paul Anderson will be giving an illustrated talk at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Dundee on Saturday 16th December at 2pm. Tickets, price £5/£3 members.

Further details can be obtained by clicking on the headline above.

Thanks to Sheena Wellington for passing on this update!

Christmas Week launch!

Well, the West End Christmas Week launch this morning went brilliantly - and with grateful thanks to Ann for being today's official photographer, here's a few of the photographs!

Below : The football arranged by the Leisure & Communities and Education Departments in the grounds of Blackness Primary School!
Below : The Lord and Lady Provost arrive and are welcomed by Santa!
Below : The three schools' Christmas Trees!
And here's the winning entries from the schools' "Wish for the World at Christmas" competition:


1. Give all the poor people a better and brighter future

2. I’d like wars to be over and done, guns no more for today. I wish for famine and thirst to end and let’s have fun

3. My Christmas wish is to give food to the men, women and children – food in Africa

We gave a prize too to one pupil of St Joseph’s Primary School who won the annual Christmas Card competition run by Cllr Jill Shimi and the Education Department.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rather busy week

Janet and I have just returned to Chez Macpherson after two days away at my Institute's Scottish Benefits Conference at Crieff Hydro Hotel. Superb couple of days but we are both officially dead beat, really, really tired! And its the launch of the West End Christmas Week tomorrow morning, so this blog entry will be as much pictures as words, so I can get it finished before second Coronation Street of the evening, then zzzzzz ...... !



Below : Photo One - Western Cemetery - Chaired a very productive meeting of the steering group towards a "Friends of .." society on Tuesday - the plan is to have two further 'planning' meetings in the New Year - one looking at the "draft masterplan" of works that could be undertaken at the cemetery to improve the infrastructure; the other to look at the practicalities of settting up a formal society. Thereafter, there will be a public meeting to set up the group formally.



And ... below : Just before setting off to Crieff, I attended the 'official opening' of Blackness Area Residents' Association's new film projection system on Wednesday at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge!



Below : Fraser at the Conference (sorting out exhibition set-up on Wednesday!)
Below : And the Conference Party Night!

And lastly (7 minutes to Coro Edition 2!!) - here's the news release sent to local media regarding tomorrow's West End Christmas Week launch :

News Release : Launch of West End Christmas Week!

On Saturday, the 2006 Dundee West End Christmas Week will be launched at 10.30am in the grounds of Blackness Primary School by Lord Provost John Letford and the children of Park Place Primary, St Joseph’s Primary and Blackness Primary Schools.

The children will be displaying their Schools’ Christmas Trees in the Blackness Primary playground and the winners of the schools’ “Wish for the World” Christmas competition will be announced.

The children will also be able to meet Santa and other characters and there will also be a street football competition in the Blackness Primary School Grounds. Dundee Instrumental Band will be playing Christmas Carols!

The West End Christmas Week committee would be really grateful if you would give this advance publicity. West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said, “This is the sixth year we have run the West End Christmas Week and this year’s week will be the biggest and best yet with a spectacular fireworks display next Wednesday.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

West End Christmas Week, No 72 bus service

Useful meetings this morning with the Head of Finance and the Council Leader. This afternoon we had an excellent final meeting of the West End Christmas Week Committee before next week's activities. At the end of this blog entry, I'll list some of the activities - but do please look at www.westendpyro.com for full details!
Just before my surgery tonight, I met with two Richmond Terrace residents who made the point that the Number 72 service could be extended to Richmond Terrace - a helpful addition for elderly residents in the area - have taken up with the City Council Planning & Transportation Department.
So Christmas Week main events:
It’s the West End Christmas Week 2006!

This year’s West End Christmas week takes place soon! The following events are taking place
– please come along – fun for all the family!

Saturday 2nd December at 10.30am - Christmas Week starts!

The sixth West End Christmas Week will be launched at 10.30am in the grounds of Blackness Primary School by Lord Provost John Letford and the children of Park Place Primary, St Joseph’s Primary and Blackness Primary Schools. The children will be displaying their Schools’ Christmas Trees in the Blackness Primary playground and the winner of the schools’ “Wish for the World” Christmas competition will be announced. Also meet Santa and other characters (many thanks to Utopia Costumes and Party Wizard!) There will also be a street football competition in the Blackness Primary School Grounds and Dundee Instrumental Band will be playing Christmas Carols!

Also on 2nd December :
  • Blackness Primary School - Christmas Fair – including raffle, cake and candy, games, face painting & teas and coffees. All welcome!

Wednesday 6th December - West End Christmas Concert, Christmas Lights Switch On and spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm. All local residents are very welcome to attend. There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools and we are also delighted to welcome the Dundee Hindu community’s contribution.

At 7pm, following everyone taking part in a lantern procession, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Window Twankie from the Downfield Musical Society Panto. The children can see round a fire engine at the switch-on and members of the Tayside Police Band will play too! This year’s fireworks display after the lights switch-on will be much more spectacular than before. We would like to thank the West End shops whose financial support has made the larger fireworks display possible and to Robin Carstairs for his help in organising the fireworks. This is a super family Christmas night – don’t miss it!

Also on 6th December :

  • After the fireworks, why not go onto Verdant Works where a Victorian Christmas evening is taking place with carol signing, roast chestnuts, Mulled wine and children’s activities?
  • Dundee City Council is running a West End youth Christmas event at Blackness Library from 7.30pm to 9pm, including a Christmas arts workshop, DJ workshop, digital music and guitar tuition.

    Other Christmas Week Events!
  • Children’s Window Spotting Competition – spot the Christmas snowflakes in shop windows and win a radio station tour – thanks to Wave 102 – and a gift voucher! Runners-up prizes of huge soft toys – thanks to Horne’s Carnivals!
  • Adults’ Christmas Card making competition – see the details in West End craft shops!
    Battle of the Bands! - taking place in the Shore on Friday 8th December, Harris Academy pupils are taking part and Tay FM is sponsoring the West End entries as part of the Christmas Week!
    Christmas Recipe Booklet – Dundee West Church is distributing this Christmas booklet to many local elderly citizens during Christmas Week. Copies of the recipe booklet will be available at the Christmas Concert on 6th December.
  • Christmas Crackers! – taking place at Logie St John’s Church Hall on Thursday 7th December between 9.30am and 11.30am, this is a fun learning activity run bu Dundee City Council’s Leisure & Communities Department - for parents and pre-school children – including songs, stories and Christmas crafts.
  • Corso Street sheltered lounge – At 1.30pm on Thursday 7th December, Christmas items made by local children will be handed out to local elderly residents.
  • Seasonal creations for children and families – On Sunday 3rd December between 1pm and 5pm, Dundee Contemporary Arts is running this festive event. At £3 per person, you can make your own cards, wrapping paper, posters and tags, using a whole host of printing techniques.
  • Dundee University Students’ Association – is running a campaign against “drinks spiking” during Christmas Week.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tait's Lane Update

Following on from yesterday's story about Tait's Lane, a resident advised me earlier today that Scottish & Southern Electric must have been in Tait's Lane yesterday (they definitely hadn't been by Friday night) - and the hole residents are rightly complaining about is now filled in.
The only problem is that the light is still not working! Am following this up with the City Council.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dumfries, Tait's Lane, Thomson Street, Gas Main Works ...

No sooner back from Belfast, caught up with e-mails etc, then off Thursday/Friday to Dumfries - again the day job and the infamous annual Chinese Karaoke Night! Err, the photo is blurred (I wonder why?) but it was a great night! Janet's on the far left of the photo but let's just say its not the best photograph I have ever taken!
On return, not pleased to learn from two constituents that the work by the electricity supplier necessary to allow Tayside Contracts to finish off the last part of the Tait's Lane resurfacing (and promised for last week) hasn't happened - have e-mailed the City Council asking that the supplier concerned is contacted on Monday to get this sorted.
Was out delivering the West End Christmas Week Flyer (more details available by following the headline above) this morning & concerned to learn from local resident about difficulties an ambulance had getting down Thomson Street yesterday. Reinforces the necessity to improve the parking situation - but good the City Council is seeking a solution.
And lastly tonight (I have 150 e-mails to get through after being away two days - oh, and the X Factor is on ...) - received this from the City Centre Manager on the impending works to replace the gas main in Nethergate and Union Street :

"I attended a meeting yesterday with Planning & Transportation and Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) regarding the main replacement scheme in Nethergate and Union Street.

Phase 1 Nethergate: Excavations in the taxi rank (end of previous Marketgait scheme), two excavations in the Nethergate (at top of Union Street) and an excavation in Union Street (at top,east side) - timeline 08 January '07 - 04 February '07 (4 weeks)

Phase 2 Union Street: excavations the whole length down the east side - timeline 05 February '07 - 30 March '07 (8 weeks)

Temporary Traffic Management

i) Diversion Routes
Phase 1 Nethergate: Full closure between Union Street and Whitehall Street
East-bound closure between West Marketgait and Union Street
South-bound closure of whole length of Union Street Diversion route - West Marketgait/South Marketgait/Yeamans Shore/Whitehall Crescent/Whitehall Street.
Dates 08/01/2008 - 04/02/2007
Phase 2 Union Street: Full closure whole length Diversion Route Whitehall Crescent/Whitehall Street/High Street Dates 05/02/2007 - 30/03/2007

ii) Advance Signing
Information boards will be set out two weeks prior to the start of Phase 1 (approx. 27 December 2006)
Access to Union Street/Signing
SGN/Turriff will liaise with affected traders regards deliveries and access prior to work starting and agree suitable arrangements and to avoid any illegal through traffic for Phase 2.
Bus-Stop Changes
Phase 1 Nethergate: 2no. Bus-stop in High Street will relocate to Whitehall Crescent Phase 2 Union Street: All bus stops will be taken out and the public directed to bus stops in Nethergate.

These are the preliminary details, however note that SGN will be doing letter drops and visits to businesses from 4th December."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Commercial Street Car Park

Further to previous mentions about the impending car park closure due to the rail tunnel works, received this from the Director of Planning & Transportation this morning :

"We do now seem to have a compromise which means that although the car park will be closed next week, it will then partially re-open with 40 to 50 spaces until Christmas and then it will be completely open between Christmas and New Year. It will then close completely after New Year."

Very pleased about this as it will be helpful to traders and residents alike during the festive period.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Belfast

Currently sitting in Belfast City Airport waiting for flight back to Edinburgh. Really useful day (day job) with meeting in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Belfast Golf Club at Craigavad.
Apart from a useful meeting, interesting tales over lunch about the various exploits of our Northern Ireland Association Executive members (a) swimming from Carrickfergus to Bangor - no mean feat! and (b) windsurfing from the Northern Ireland coast to Scotland - absolutely no mean feat!
Having checked my e-mails, note e-mail from the City Council's Director of Planning & Transportation about the Dock Street rail tunnel works - this follows concerns raised by various shops locally.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas Week latest; Western Cemetery

Last night's City Council meetings saw the creation of a "Friends of Western Cemetery" approved by the Leisure & Arts Services Committee. Full marks to the Convener (Bailie Chic Farquhar) for his warm words to the Community Council for its initiative. I spoke at committee, praising the co-operation of the City Council officers in helping progress this good initiative. We meet again as a group next Tuesday.
Met the airport manager yesterday with a local resident concerned about her concerns about noise by aircraft. Also spoken with the Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards about this.
And lastly tonight! Met last Friday with Robin Carstairs, our West End Christmas Week pyrotechnician - fireworks expert to you and me! Rob has done a brilliant job arranging the fireworks display this year and it'll be much bigger than in 2005. There's a new website at http://www.westendpyro.com about the fireworks display (thanks to Rob for progressing this) - its still in production but the Community Council page will be content provided by West End Community Council, I wrote the home page content about the events on 6th December and there's details of the businesses who kindly contributed to the fireworks display and also details about Rob's fireworks experience.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dundee Christmas Lights Switch On!

Saturday morning spent with colleagues in the West End delivering leaflets and then to Edinburgh for a great night at a Scottish Ceilidh.
Back to Bonnie Dundee today for the best Dundee Christmas Lights Switch On ever! Our friend Allan and his younger children Kimberley and Shain came with us - the City Square looks brilliant with the new Christmas Tree, decorations and superb Caird Hall lighting.
OK, a few photos!
Photo One : Janet, Allan, Kimberley & Shain in the City Square - waiting for the lights to go on!
Photo Two : Janet took this one!



Photo Three : Kimberley & light sabre!




Photo Four: Shain "enjoying" the face painting ..




Photo Five : The Lights are on!

Photo Six : Ace fireworks from the top of the City Chambers!


Friday, November 17, 2006

Planning inquiry, Scottish Parliament, Car Parking

Spent Thursday morning at the Invercase Hotel as the Council's witness in relation to a planning inquiry (about a West End planning application) and thereafter to Edinburgh for a reception at the Scottish Parliament - day job - European valuers visiting Edinburgh. A few photos below!

Spoke with the City Engineers today about their proposed closure of the car park at the bottom of Commercial Street (at Tay Road Bridge) from 27th November, following one of the local businesses contacting me late yesterday. The closure is as a result of the rail tunnel strengthening works, which will take a year to complete. Unfortunately because of the Scottish Parliament event, I couldn't attend Thursday's City Centre & Harbour Community Council meeting, but I've updated the committee by e-mail about the car park issue.
Below : Andrew Arbuckle MSP welcomes the visitors -

Below : Welcome to the Scottish Parliament!



Below : Fraser, MSP for 60 seconds! NB : Absolutely never going to happen for real!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Loans Scheme, Superannuation Matters, 72 bus again and Community Council

Productive West End Community Council meeting last night - was able to update everyone on the progress regarding Magdalen Green and also the West End Christmas Week (the minutes of the latter group can be read on the Community Council website at http://www.wecc.org.uk/Traders.htm).
I've had many requests from residents for copies of the new 72 bus service timetable (following mentioning this in my West End FOCUS newsletter) - but a couple of issues raised too. Firstly, on a few occasions the bus has missed Newhall Gardens out the route in error (or, rather, the driver has) since the 6th November changes to the route. Had assurances from Planning & Transportation at the City Council that this has been raised with Stagecoach who have mentioned to drivers. Other issue is there's now a longer gap between buses (due to school run bus) in the afternoons which the Council officer concerns says he'll attempt to progress a solution in the New Year.
This morning, I chaired the City Council's Superannuation Investment Sub-Committee and on leaving the committee rooms, popped in to wish the new housing associations' savings & loans scheme well. The launch took place at the City Chambers - click on the link to read the story in yesterday's Tele. This is a super initiative from our local housing associations to encourage savings and offer loans at reasonable rates to tenants.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Magdalen Green, Monthly West End Community Council Update, Tait's Lane

Really excellent further meeting with residents yesterday on Magdalen Green issues and an excellent overview by the City Council's landscape architect. We are now looking to progress to a "Friends of Magdalen Green" steering group at our next meeting in January. But yesterday's was really positive with plenty of good ideas to progress.
On my way to my surgery last night, had a check of the new road surface in Tait's Lane and to check that the "nib" in the road towards the south end that used to jut out causing problems for drivers had been fixed as I was promised - it has! - see photo!
Two matters of significance at Council committees last night for our local area - firstly, the Tay Hotel Finalised Development Brief was approved - and the long-awaited HMO planning report was also approved. For planning purposes this restricts the growth of HMOs in particular streets amongst other sensible reforms.
Lastly, have launched this month's West End Community Council Update (meeting is tonight) - you can read article about this and download update itself by following the link above.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

High Mill Update

Many residents will recall that, last year, at my request and following residents’ complaints, the area of ground to the north of High Mill was cleared of the remains of the Half Time School and debris left by a developer - the work to tidy being carried out by the City Council under its planning enforcement powers. The half time school remains are in storage.

Many residents have complained to me that the area is now getting untidy again – overgrown grass & litter (see right). Therefore, following my request to the Planning Enforcement Officer, she has written to the Belgium-based owner in the following terms:-

“Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997
Re: Area of ground to the south of Stevens Yard, Dundee

"I am writing to you as the Council has recently received some complaints with regards to the condition of the above piece of land.

"I would advise that the Council is continuing to monitor the above site and would request that you consider implementing a maintenance plan to ensure the condition of the land does not deteriorate thus leading to it having a detrimental effect on the visual amenity of the surrounding area. Failure to maintain this piece of land in a satisfactory condition may result in the Council taking further enforcement action."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Team Macpherson West End! ... and Saggar Street Trees

I start today with thanks to all the residents of the West End who helped today deliver my latest FOCUS newsletter for the West End. The superb team delivered thousands of leaflets in just a few hours! A slightly wet start, but a beautiful afternoon. A few of us are finishing the deliveries over next couple of days but certainly a mission well done!
One of the issues covered in this edition is the effect of overgrown trees blocking light into residents' homes - see above - an example in the Pentland area where I recently had a site visit with a concerned resident and the Housing Officer.
The issue will be less of a problem over the winter months (with leaves off trees) but I met the Director of Housing last Monday (on a number of issues) and made the point that there must be action to trim affected trees next Spring.
Tired legs after our West End deliveries today, but a curry and the X Factor (fav TV prog after Coronation Street and Malcolm in the Middle...) makes all seem right with the world! Janet likes the MacDonald Brothers (err, sorry, not the greatest fan!) - Leona is totally ace, absolutely brilliant, a new Mariah Carey. The winner! Well, let's hope so. We'll find out if she's survived this week - at 8.55!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Parking and City Centre success!

A very productive meeting of the Central Dundee parking strategy "focus group" this afternoon, looking at improving parking for residents in both the City Centre and also the areas immediately adjacent including the West End.
The Director of Planning & Transportation is now considering some draft proposals for consideration by the group in the weeks ahead. I have emphasised the need for consultation with residents on any proposals.
Whilst at the meeting, delighted to hear that the City Centre & Harbour Community Council has successfully obtained £5000 of lottery funding to help its Hogmanay celebrations activities. With Blackness Area Residents' Association's success reported yesterday, what a great week for our local community organisations!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

BARA presentation and Beacon Management meeting with Tayside Police

Back on 2nd November, I reported (click on headline to view) the success of Blackness Area Residents' Association in obtaining nearly £6000 lottery funding to provide an entertainment system for the Corso Street sheltered lounge. The presentation by Lord Provost John Letford took place this afternoon in the City Chambers (see right and I'm third from left!) - it was a jolly event and the LP was on top form!
Later in the afternoon the City Centre Beacon Management meeting with Tayside Police took place. Issues covered included graffiti, traffic concerns in Commercial Street (a very useful update from Planning & Transportation on the current works to improve matters at the junction with Murraygate/High Street) & I raised an issue about traffic concerns in North Lindsay Street, which the Police promised to progress.

Christmas approaches, dumped rubbish issue resolved and recycling progresses


On Tuesday, it was good to see the West End Christmas Tree getting hoisted into place at Seabraes (see right) - ironically I was going into Dundee West Church at the time to discuss aspects of the West End Christmas Week - the Children's Concert kindly hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves in the Church and also a Christmas Recipe booklet the Church is producing for elderly folk in the West End, which I'm helping to get distributed in the sheltered housing areas.


Earlier on Tuesday, we had the City Council's Best Value Sub-Committee, where recycling was on the agenda and it was good to see the very many initiatives the City Council's Waste Management Department is taking in this area, ensuring that Dundee continues to lead the field in recycling. My contribution to that item mentioned that I was delighted at the Roseangle recycling point proposal. I have now had good feedback to the idea with the vast majority of respondants being in favour. Given some of the issues raised, however, the department has agreed to operate it only on a trial basis to see how well it works and ensure there are no problems. I have written to nearby householders again about this (delivered Tuesday/Wednesday).


I received a very concerning report about the state of the back area of one West End tenement on Tuesday - many thanks to the constituent who sent my mobile a picture message of the mass of burst black bags and refuse lying around. With thanks to the Housing Association who own some of the flats there and to the responsiveness of our ever efficient Environmental Warden, the huge amount of rotting refuse is now cleared away.


Good to see the West End featured on German TV! If you click the headline above, there's last Saturday's story in the P&J about German TV visiting Dundee to discuss with local people the success of the smoking ban in public places. Unfortunately the on-line article doesn't include the photo from the newspaper of the film crew in the Speedwell Bar in Perth Road (Mennie's to you and me!)


And lastly, yesterday evening spent putting together the West End Christmas Week residents' flyer; with proofing kindly done this morning by a member of West End Community Council, that's the flyer away to the printer! I have little doubt West End Christmas Week 2006 will be the biggest and best yet!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Meeting with Divisional Commander and then River Crescent Residents' Association

My colleague Cllr Helen Dick & I met with the new Tayside Police Chief Superintendent today and it was good to both meet him and discuss issues of concern and interest. For Helen, the issue she most wished to raise is a pedestrian safety & speeding cars issue in the Strathmartine area. For me, I dearly wish to see CCTV further extended in the West End. A helpful and positive exchange of views.
Earlier on, a meeting with the Director of Housing about a number of matters, including overshadowing of houses by overgrown trees in the West End - Pentland & Peddie Street.
Following a busy weekly surgery tonight at Blackness Primary School, I had been invited to attend a meeting of the River Crescent Residents' Association. Good to meet the residents there and we discussed various local issues, including pathways and the infamous "West End Smell."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Digital Terrestrial TV again

Back in May I raised the issue of the lack of digital terrestrial TV coverage in much of the West End due to the fact that the Tay Bridge relay transmitter does not transmit digital signals.


I have since had various discussions with Digital UK (http://www.digitaluk.co.uk) about the issue. It appears that there's no intention to roll-out further digital TV coverage to relay transmitters like Tay Bridge this side of the analogue switch off (in our area - what we used to call Grampian, now I suppose "STV North") its 2010 (see http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/en/when.html).


Err, but residents who are in areas of the West End covered by the Angus transmitter (which does transmit digital signals) tell me their digital boxes simply do pick up digital signals - two examples:


Pitfour Street : DD2 2NU


Scott Street : DD2 2AJ


I have contacted the Head of Public Affairs at Digital UK, seeking an explanation. Its bad & bad enough that large parts of Dundee can't yet get digital TV (does not everyone pay the same TV licence fee?) but to be advised that a digital TV box will work at your address, buy one and then find it doesn't, is somewhat concerning.

Will advise of feedback on the blog - once received.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Roseangle Recycling, leaflets galore and Google Bombing!

Getting lots of feedback from residents (following my recent consultation letter to adjacent householders) about the Roseangle Recycling Centre proposal; vast majority favourable but I am feeding into Waste Management any concerns & issues.

I've agreed with the department to touch base with them early on next week to review the feedback and take a view as to how to proceed taking into account everyone's views. Will keep everyone advised on this – meantime the department has indicated to me:

“The primary concern would appear to be with the lack of parking spaces for local residents. The proposed Recycling Point should not have an impact on parking space provision as the area utilised for the facility will not be greater than the area previously utilised by the metal container that was on the site. I will investigate the possibility of using metal barriers to prevent inappropriate parking too close to the Recycling bins.

“I understand any concerns regarding dumping and vandalism. As you are aware this is a problem that may be encountered. As previously mentioned I will ensure that the facility is closely monitored and regularly visited when it is first installed and once established continued to be monitored similar to all our other Recycling Points. Any instance of dumping will be cleared and referred to our Enforcement team who will investigate the incident. As regards noise from the use of recycling bins late at night - this is not a problem that we have previously encountered. I do not anticipate the facility being a noise nuisance, but we will monitor the situation.

“Finally, I would emphasise that if following a suitable trial period the facility is deemed as being not suitable for the area (for whatever reason), the bins are not permanent fixtures and could be removed (however I do hope that this will not be the case).”

Anyway, more on this to follow next week …

The Dundee LibDems have been in "Action Weekend" mode today and thousands of newsletters delivered in various parts of Dundee. A great team effort - I hadn't realised just what an organisational expert my wife Janet is ! Sore feet but mission accomplished!

The Steve Bargeton column in the Courier today again features the Google story from earlier in the week (click on headline above to view earlier story) - I don't think I've ever had so much free publicity without even trying! And hits on the website at an all time high... Anyway, many thanks to Marlyn Glen MSP who has kindly e-mailed me to advise it happened because of "Google Bombing" - a practice of saying derogatory things about political opponents via Google.

Steve also mentions a website set up simply to criticise the Liberal Democrats. Actually, there’s a load of websites attacking other parties too – here’s a couple of other examples:


http://www.natwatch.org/blog/

http://labour-watch.blogspot.com/

Personally I think all this negativity puts people right off and explains why I stick to the positive and informative on this blog. I’ve been doing a fair bit of (day job) work in Northern Ireland recently where there’s been Single Transferable Vote elections for years (the system Scotland has adopted for next May's local elections).

Everyone in NI says that a positive aspect of STV elections is that where politician X criticises politician Y, X can write off getting Y’s second preference votes. Net outcome = less negative politics. Can only be a good thing!

Litter Bin Soapwork Lane

Visited the Cyrenians in Soapwork Lane near Bell Street/Meadowside recently about a couple of issues including the lack of a litter bin near their entrance. Took this up with the City Council and Waste Management has now responded positively:
"Hi Fraser, we are arranging for a pole mounted bin to be erected in this area."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Seabraes - good news.

Following on from the earlier blog entries about concerns regarding glass and litter at Seabraes, I had asked the Head of Waste Management if the department could meet with Scottish Enterprise Tayside (who own the site) to see if a maintenance agreement could be reached.
Just received this feedback and this will hopefully go a long way to resolving the concerns about litter and glass on the site :
"Fraser, we met with SET and have agreed a weekly cleanup which we will charge them for. We will have a litter pick done twice weekly and a mechanical sweep once per week. During this period we will monitor the area to ensure satisfactory standards are beng achieved. We have also asked them to look at the installation of litter bins throughout the area but particularly at the steps where there are seating arrangements and they have agreed to look at this aspect. I'm reasonably confident that these measures will assist with glass problems etc."

BARA success and City Centre roadway restrictions.

Good news reported at the Blackness Area Residents' Association meeting last night was its success in getting nearly £6000 in lottery funding for a community project. This will allow the group to buy a high-tech cinema-style projection TV/DVD system to allow them to, for example, run film shows for the local residents at the Corso Street sheltered lounge. The Lord Provost will be presenting them with their award at the City Chambers next Thursday.
Been advised by the City Engineer's Department that, due to patching of the roadway in Commercial Street, it will result in two days' road closure of Exchange Street between Castle Street and Commercial Street; also the nearby part of Dock Street will be closed westbound (paart from buses and taxis). Local access and pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained throughout.
And also ... to quote the traffic order :-
"Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating the Continental Market and the Christmas Lights switch on event. The Order is expected to be in force for eleven days from 16 November 2006. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

"The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (a) High Street between Castle Street and Crichton Street, (b) Commercial Street between Seagate and Murraygate and (c) Castle Street between High Street and Exchange Street.

"Commercial Street and Castle Street will be closed on Sunday 19 November 2006 only. Access to Exchange Street will be maintained via Commercial Street, Dock Street and Castle Street. Alternative routes for vehicles will be available via Seagate and the inner ring road."
As always, queries about road closures etc can be made to the City Council Planning & Transportation Department on 433168.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Good news at Pinegrove and Tay Square

Remember the mis-spelt name plate at Pinegrove in Shepherd's Loan (from October 6th blog entry - click on headline above to read) - pleased to say received following news from Planning & Transportation today :

"We have been notified by the contractor that the mis-spelt name plate for Shepherd's Loan at Pinegrove should be replaced during week commencing 6th November."


And good news also at Tay Square regarding the mosaic repair outside the Rep (see http://frasermacpherson.blogspot.com/2006/10/tay-sqaure-mosaic-not-finished-but.html for earlier story) - as you can see above right, its now restored to its former condition. I noticed this earlier today when delivering letters to Tay Square residents advising them that next Sunday (and the following one - ie 5th & 12th November) the Tay Square roadway will be closed for cabling works to take place - pedestrian access is unaffected.
Off soon to this evening's Blackness Area Residents' Association meeting ...

72 bus service and normal internet searching resumed!

With thanks to Suzy Scott of Scotbus fame (http://www.scotbus.com/) and also the City Council Planning and Transportation Department, here's news of changes to the 72 bus service running through the West End.
From Monday 6th November, in addition to the Travel Dundee changes, Stagecoach Strathtay 72 wiill be merged with Stagecoach Fife 90 (Dundee - Tayport), to form a new Service 72, which will now run through from Tayport via Tesco Riverside, Dundee City Centre, Perth Road, Roseangle, Magdalen Green, Windsor Street, Blackness Library, Speed Street, Perth Road, Newhall Gardens, Invergowrie Drive, then now additionally serving Royal Victoria Hospital & Roxburghe House, then returning via Menzieshill, then now additionally serving Gowrie Park, before terminating at Ninewells Hospital.
The service continues to operate an hourly Monday to Saturday service. There will still be one early morning Monday to Saturday journey departing from St Andrews Bus Station, and the last Saturday only journey continuing onto St Andrews Bus Station. This service will now be jointly operated by Stagecoach Fife (St Andrews depot) and Stagecoach Strathtay (Dundee depot).
As the City Council advises there has been a long standing request from Gowrie Park for an off peak bus service as well as continual pressure from Royal Victoria Hospital for bus service and this helps meet these.
If you click on the headline above you can see the new timetable (then go to the left, click on the drop-down menu, select 72, then choose the timetable valid from 6th November 2006 i.e. starting this coming Monday.)
Pleased to say Google searches back to normal :
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