Tuesday 28 August 2007

Autumn Workshops at the Wighton

Latest news from Friends of Wighton with thanks to Sheena Wellington (click on headline above for more information) :

The autumn season at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library starts with a free Come’nTry day on Saturday 1st September, 11am – 3pm.

Members of the public will get a chance to try out whistle, fiddle and medieval harp under the expert guidance of Helen Forbes, Karen Hannah read and Simon Chadwick.

Regular classes start on Saturday 8th September, fees for each session being £4/£2.50 concessions.

For those interested in traditional song there is a regular Tuesday afternoon workshop, tutored by Maureen Jelks, from 2-3.30pm in the Wighton Heritage Centre.

The first of the Autumn Lunchtime Recitals with Graeme Stevenson on harpsichord takes place on Wednesday 5th September from 1.15 -1.45pm. Admission is free, donations in support of the programme are welcome.

Monday 27 August 2007

Bus Timetables

Following the update I did in July regarding the Stagecoach Strathtay bus services that run through the West End (click on headline above to view), the bus company has kindly sent me updated timetables for the various services it runs through the West End.
If you’d like me to send you copies, please e-mail me at buses@frasermacpherson.org.uk or come along to the September West End Community Council meeting (Logie St John’s Cross Church Hall, 7pm, Tuesday 11th September) where copies will be available.

Timetables include :

Tayway Service 13 : Monifieth to Ninewells Hospital via Hawkhill and Perth Road

Tayway Service 39 : Montrose to Invergowrie via the Perth Road shopping area

Service 5 : City Centre to Tullideph Road via Brook Street and Pentland Avenue (the infamous timetable with Tullideph spelt wrongly as featured in the local press)

Service 72 : Tayport to Ninewells Hospital, including Roseangle, Magdalen Yard Road, Windsor Street, Speed Street, Newhall Gardens, Invergowrie Drive and Victoria Hospital

Service 74 : Barnhill to Hawkhill & return via Perth Road shopping area

Fife Stagecoach Service 42/96 : Cupar/St Andrews to Ninewells via Perth Road

Sunday 26 August 2007

Dog Bin

Residents have brought to my attention that there used to be a dog waste bin at the end of the tunnel going underneath Riverside Avenue from the Perth Road, near to the boundary with Invergowrie.
It has disappeared and I have therefore asked the City Council's Environmental Health and Trading Standards Department to replace it.

Friday 24 August 2007

Recycling and refuse again

Last Friday I mentioned West End recycling and refuse issues (click on headline above to view) and here's a couple of updates:
Firstly, with regard to the possibility of siting one of the mini-recycling units for the Abbotsford/Corso area adjacent to the commercial units in Peddie Street, I am pleased to have been informed by the City Council that the private landowner has agreed to this. The City Council will now progress with consultation letters regarding the other two proposed sites to get residents' feedback.
Secondly, last Friday, I mentioned the "second phase" of the wheeled bin refuse extension in the West End. I have now been advised that two more streets are proposed to be added :

Palais Court (No's 29 - 43)

Pleasance Court - No's 48 - 78 (Off Brook St)

Thursday 23 August 2007

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

It is amazing just how much has been crammed into the past few days! Leaving aside that I am burning the midnight oil with my day job (currently exceptionally busy), I chaired the TACTRAN (Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership) Board meeting on Tuesday, plus participated in two other internal TACTRAN meetings (Tuesday/today) and a TACTRAN induction session on Tuesday too, so I am all TACTRANed out! That said, find it very interesting and worthwhile working with colleagues across the Tayside and Stirling Council areas on transport and related matters.

On Wednesday morning, the Lord Provost and I visited the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland on the 'Alba Explorer' (see picture above right) during its visit to the Victoria Dock in Dundee. 'Alba Explorer' is a 72’ ocean going yacht formerly operated by Chay Blythe’s Global Challenge business now owned by the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. The Trust does really super work encouraging young people to learn about the challenges of sailing - you can read more about this by clicking the headline above.
A busy set of surgeries tonight at Mitchell Street Centre, Harris Academy and Blackness Primary School with various issues including licensing and cleansing matters for me to follow up.
Delighted to see the request for barbecue stands on Magdalen Green I had made to the City Council following requests from Friends of Magdalen Green has resulted in two very sturdy ones being installed - a great result and many thanks to the Leisure & Communities Department.
Lastly, talking of cramming things into a few days, hats off to SNP councillor Nigel Don (err, or should that not be ex-councillor Nigel Don) who in Monday's Evening Telegraph "vowed to continue with his roles as North East Scotland MSP and Lochee councillor" but by today had dumped the councillor role. Nigel's a thoroughly nice man, who I first met when he was my SNP opponent when I won the Tay Bridges Ward by-election back in 2001, but I must say the volte face between the position on Monday and the resignation today is quite incredible. One can only speculate at the internal manoeverings within the Dundee SNP, but what we are left with is that a councillor elected in May for four years has resigned before four months are out and the public purse is saddled with the significant cost of an unnecessary by-election.

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Development Quality Committee

At Development Quality Committee last night, councillors discussed around 20 planning applications. I moved refusal of a couple in the West End, including an application for a proposed advertising unit in Riverside Drive. Being immediately north of the waterfront, I felt the siting of this was inappropriate, partly because of the adverse effect on the amenity of the locality but also because of public safety on such a heavily trafficked road.

In a tight vote, my motion was successful by two votes.

Monday 20 August 2007

Phone box update

Further to the blog entry on Saturday about the telephone box on Magdalen Yard Road opposite Step Row being vandalised (click on headline above to read), pleased to advise that BT e-mailed me this morning to advise that they have programmed in repairs following my request.

Sunday 19 August 2007

Blyth Street and Fleuchar Street - white lines

Having had complaints about the worn junction lines here, I have taken up the matter with the City Council and am pleased to note the feedback :
'I agree that the give way markings at the junction of Blyth Street and Fleuchar Street require to be refreshed. As such I have arranged for this junction and others locally to be repainted. A work order has been issued to Tayside Contracts and the work should be carried out within the next few weeks.'

Saturday 18 August 2007

Phone Box vandalism reported ...

Residents have complained to me that the telephone box on Magdalen Yard Road opposite Step Row has graffiti on it and one of the glass panels has been broken. I have reported this to British Telecom, asking for repairs.
Delighted to see Friends of Magdalen Green getting a mention in the Criagie column in today's "Courier."

Friday 17 August 2007

Recycling and wheelie bin refuse collections ...

On Wednesday, I attended the August meeting of Blackness Area Residents' Association and the issue of the proposed mini recycling units in Corso Street, Abbotsford Street and Abbotsford Place was again raised. Back at the start of July, I attended a public meeting BARA held on the matter (click on headline above to view the details) and since the latest BARA meeting I have received an update from the Waste Management Department as follows:
"I have received confirmation from the P&T department that they agree to the new proposed locations for the recycling facilities. However I have been informed that the piece of land on Peddie Street where we propose to site one of the facilities belongs to a private landowner. We therefore are required to ask permission from the landowner to use the piece of land. Obviously if the landowner refuses we will be unable to use the site.
"... It was agreed ... that once we have received confirmation from the P&T department we would letter the nearby households for consultation and depending on response then decide whether to proceed with the installation of the sites. It was my intention to letter the nearby households for all three sites at once. However if there is going to be a delay with the Peddie Street site, we can proceed and letter the other two sites first."
Hopefully progress towards getting recycling facilities into Abbotsford and Corso on sites acceptable to residents.
I have also been advised that, following the recent refuse wheelie bins extension into parts of the West End (replacing the "traditional" collection), a second phase is about to commence. I list below the streets in the second phase. There were a number of issues residents raised with me when the first phase was introduced and there was much liaison with Waste Management at that time to get concerns addressed. If any resident has any issues or concerns about the latest extension, do please contact me at blogcomments@frasermacpherson.org.uk or call me on 459378. Anyway, here's the list of "second phase" streets :

Airlie Place (No's 6,7,8,10,12,14,16,18)
Bellfield Street (St Joseph's Schoolhouse)
Brook Street (No 82.Above Veterinary)
Cross Lane
Ford's Lane
Fort Street
Greenfield Place
Mid Wynd (4 flats from 79 Perth Rd, Ryehill. (1E,1F,2E,2F) & Purdom Hse
Minto Place
Nethergate - West Of Marketgait (No 125)
Old Hawkhill
Pennycook Lane
Richmond Terrace
Roseangle (Except No 50 - 60)
Ryehill Lane
St. Peter Street
Tay Square (except No 10 - already has w/b)
Tay Street - South (Nos.43-79 & 56)
Temple Lane
West Port
Windsor Court (140's)
Windsor Street

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Busy couple of days ...

A busy couple of days with City Council meetings resuming yesterday, after the summer recess.
At the Planning & Transport Committee, which I chair, we had news of useful progress towards getting the final section of that ugly old overhead walkway at the railway station end of South Marketgait finally removed. Earlier yesterday, in the comfortable surroundings of the Tartan Coffee House in Perth Road, we held the first meeting of the 2007 West End Christmas Week committee, with lots of useful new ideas to make the 2007 event special and different. Having been involved in organising the West End Christmas Week since it started in 2001, it is difficult to believe that we are already at Year 7!
Also yesterday, the Evening Telegraph again featured the graffiti problem in part of the West End (click on headline above to view) - I am pleased to note that the City Council advised me that they would tackle the removal of remaining graffiti in the Blackness Road area yesterday.
This afternoon, I attended the 'Greater Balgay Stakeholder Group' meeting, at which Friends of Balgay, Leisure & Communities staff and West End councillors meet to discuss issues affecting Balgay Park (including the cemetery) and Victoria Park. Later on, a very useful initial meeting between some residents of the Cleghorn/Pentland/Ancrum areas with the West End councillors and our local communities officer to discuss local issues and consider a possible community group for the area.

Saturday 11 August 2007

Steps from Tullideph Street to Lochee Road

I recently received complaints from residents about the condition of the steps here and, having taken up with matter with Dundee Contract Services, am pleased to have now had the following feedback :

"Further to your earlier enquiry I confirm that we have now received an instruction from Economic Development to have the bushes etc. in the area cleaned up.

These works will be carried out within the next two weeks."

Friday 10 August 2007

Pentland recycling

On behalf of residents I recently asked about the possibility of extending the blue (paper) recycling service to Pentland. I have now received the following response from the Waste Management Department :
"The "Pentland" area hasn't been included as yet - vehicle access difficulties seem to be the major bugbear in this general location according to my operational colleagues. I've asked them to consider it for future evaluation."

Thursday 9 August 2007

Blackness Road graffiti tackled

If you click the headline above, you can read the story in tonight's Evening Telegraph about the unfortunate appearance of more graffiti locally - this time on Blackness Road.
Following this matter being raised with me yesterday, I was in touch with the City Council Waste Management Department about it and I am pleased to say the graffiti has now been removed (earlier today) - I have also reported the matter to Tayside Police.

Jedburgh Road

Residents have complained to me about the state of the road surface here. I have now had the following feedback from the City Council :

Area supervisor has visited site and will make arrangements for potholes to be repaired.

Tuesday 7 August 2007

Temporary Traffic Order - Apollo Way

I've been advised that Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway resurfacing works.
The Order is expected to be in force for two weeks from 27 August 2007. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Apollo Way from Riverside Avenue to Explorer Road.

Pedestrian access will be maintained.

An alternative route will be available via Riverside Avenue, Kingsway, Myrekirk Road, South Road and Explorer Road.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the 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 the City Council on 433168.

Monday 6 August 2007

Update on West End recycled jewellery project

Further to Saturday's blog entry about this (see below!) you can now hand in any jewellery donations at the Tartan Coffee House, 53 Perth Road.

Sunday 5 August 2007

West End pavements

I am pleased to note that, following my request that the pavements in Menzieshill Road, Whitefauld Road and Hillside Terrace are included on the Unadopted Footways List for future adoption, I have been advised that they will be added at the next review.

Saturday 4 August 2007

West End recycled jewellery project

I have been speaking recently with Fiona Coull - Fiona is a fourth year Jewellery and Metalwork student at Duncan of Jordanstone.
She's studying for her dissertation and looking in to how to be an ethical jeweller, without compromising good quality design.
Fiona says, "I am researching the possibility of maintaining an ecological workshop, and rethinking jewellery practices to maintain 'green' ethics.
"Classmates and I have set aside week in September in which we will hopefully transform unwanted trinkets in to fresh, interesting new pieces of jewellery. This project aims to prove or disprove my theory that jewellery can be created to a very high standard using unorthodox materials and still prove beautiful, practical and appealing.
"DCA has agreed to exhibit final products so our local community can see the results for themselves."

Materials Fiona is looking for include: any precious/semi-precious/costume jewellery that is no longer worn or wanted by the owner. Any old cutlery, old foreign currency, badges and/or unwanted trinkets also appreciated.
All donations are very welcome - please contact Fiona at F.L.Coull@dundee.ac.uk - if you can help. Fiona hopes to arrange a couple of places in the West End where people can drop off items and I'll update the blog with these locations once they are arranged.

Friday 3 August 2007

Riverside Avenue

I have been advised by the City Council that, in order to undertake patching of the roadway, Riverside Avenue will be closed to traffic between the Swallow roundabout and the junction with Apollo Way at the Technology Park only from 7pm each evening until 1am the following morning on Monday 6th August for a maximum of three working days.
The alternative route is through the Technology Park and Myrekirk Road and any queries can be answered by the Road Network Team on 433168.

Thursday 2 August 2007

Glamis Road

Residents here have pointed out to me the lack of bus shelters in Glamis Road between the Dickson Avenue roundabout at north and the Blackness Road roundabout to the south and, following my contacting the City Council about this, the location has been added to the list of outstanding bus shelter requests. The street here is quite exposed and shelter provision would be a boon.
In my capacity as Planning & Transport Convener, I have recently asked the department to undertake a review of requests for bus shelters. Well over 300 were replaced as part of the SmartBus project (this included the real time information etc) and after this extensive expenditure on new, improved shelters, requests for additional shelters have been put on a waiting list. Having asked for a number of West End sites to be considered for shelters following residents' requests, (and being aware that other councillors have asked for sites in their areas) I am keen to see how the City Council can progress these requests.