Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ninewells Avenue - roundabout now tidied

Earlier this month, I mentioned residents' complaints about the overgrown state of the roundabout at the entrance to Ninewells Hospital on Ninewells Avenue.    I raised their complaints with the City Council.

The City Engineer subsequently advised me :

"The grass on the Ninewells Avenue roundabout at Ninewells Drive was left uncut to allow the daffodils to die back as is standard with all daffodil panels on Dundee City Council maintained grassed areas.   The grass on the roundabout has subsequently been cut and is included in the cyclical grass cutting regime carried out on a 2 to 4 week cycle."

Alexander Street multis - demolition

With thanks to gavbrum's YouTube channel, a piece of Dundee history in the making - from a few minutes ago :

Getting things done - Seafield Road

The footpaths in parts of Seafield Road are in a very poor state, especially on the south side opposite numbers 52-60 (see right).

On behalf of residents, I have asked the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership to undertake repairs and consider future full resurfacing of the pavement.    I have received the following positive response :

"A Roads Maintenance Partnership Inspector has been out to inspect the footways in Seafield Road as a result of this works to make safe have been ordered and the footways will be considered for structural works."

And now - Sunday Song ...

...  another fab Elkie Brooks' hit from 1982 (the Chris Rea original is also rather good!)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting things done - Shaftesbury Road

Getting things done
Residents have recently complained to me about the road condition of Shaftesbury Road between the Rockfield Street and Hyndford Street junctions.

I brought this to the attention of the City Council's Road Maintenance Partnership and have now been updated as follows :

"An order has been raised for the repair of various potholes on Shaftesbury Road with a timescale for completion of twenty eight days."

Saturday song ...

There now follows a short series of hits from Elkie Brooks, one of my favourite artists, starting with Elkie on Top of the Pops in 1977 ...

Friday, July 29, 2011

BARA AGM and Bingo!

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual General Meeting of Blackness Area Residents' Association (BARA) at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge (right).

There was a good turnout of residents and a presentation by our West End Communities Officer on the new local plan for the West End.

Afterwards, there was a bingo session, with yours truly as bingo caller.    I will not be considering a career move in that direction, but a good time was had by all!

Getting things done - Clovis Duveau Drive

Having had complaints from residents in Clovis Duveau Drive recently about the poor state of the street nameplates, I reported the matter to the City Council and have now received the following positive feedback :

"I checked the Clovis Duveau street name plates and agree they do need replaced.    Replacement signs will be included in the next street name plate order.   There is no timescale available at present however I will update you once this becomes known."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting things done - Westgrove Avenue

I have received complaints from residents about the state of the rather potholed surface of the roadway of Westgrove Avenue and have taken up their concerns with the City Council.

I have received the following response :


"There is a thin surfacing scheme proposed for Westgrove Avenue for this financial year which has not yet been programmed. In the meantime an order has been raised for the repair of various potholes with a timescale for completion of 28 days."

I am pleased at the proposed resurfacing during this financial year given the poor surface of the roadway here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting things done - Jedburgh Road

I recently received concerns about road speed in Jedburgh Road.   Residents have mentioned to me their concerns about this, especially given that elderly pedestrians use the street, going to visit at Royal Victoria Hospital.

I raised the matter with City Council road safety officers and have received the following positive response:

"Tayside Contracts re-surfaced this road a year ago and I had discussions at that time to ensure the SLOW road markings were reinstated correctly.

I will arrange to review this street in terms of markings and vehicle speeds."

I am pleased that this review is being undertaken as I hope this will reassure residents that all steps are being taken to emphasise the need for vehicles to drive slowly and safely in the street.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting things done - Bankmill Road

Further to my recent article about graffiti in Bankmill Road, with thanks to Dundee City Council, this has now been removed following my request on behalf of residents.

Community project taking shape

Last month, I congratulated the Pennycook and Sinderins Court sheltered housing Residents' Association who have secured over £1000 of funding to get new seating in Pennycook Lane and have some environmental improvements too.

With thanks to the Dighty Group who did the work, the new seating is now in place (see right).   I have been in touch with the Head Teacher at Blackness Primary School, who has kindly agreed to the school maintaining some planters like the ones in the school grounds and the City Council has agreed to remove graffiti in the adjacent area.

The Residents' Association's project for a pleasant seating area is taking good shape and will hopefully be completed early in the new school term with the planters in place.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reassurances over 69 (now 204!) bus service

I have reassured a number of elderly constituents in the West End served by the subsidised 69 bus service that rumours of its demise are inaccurate and that a replacement service (204/204a) will cover much of the route from 15th August.

The 69 service in the West End covers streets like Roseangle, Magdalen Yard Road, Windsor Street, Newhall Gardens and Invergowrie Drive – streets that otherwise would not have any bus service.    It is well-used by elderly residents to get shopping, to go to the City Centre and to Ninewells Hospital.

A number of sheltered tenants in the Paton’s Lane area contacted me last week about rumours that the 69 service was being taken off and although it is accurate that the 69 itself will be removed next month, the replacement 204/204a gives a better service in that, up to Windsor Street, it will be hourly during the day and there will also be a Saturday service.   Although it does not serve Tesco Riverside as the 69 did, it will be possible for 204 passengers to shop at Tesco South Road.

The timetable can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/204-204a (or by clicking on the headline above).

I have updated sheltered housing managers in the Paton’s Lane, Muirlands and Magdalen Yard Road area of the new timetables so they can reassure residents.   I am also pleased that I have received a commitment that the Friendly Bus sheltered shopping service will – from August – cover the Richmond Court/Terrace area.

However, the re-routing of the 4 Bus Service from National Express Dundee away from Scott Street, City Road and the Tullideph/Pentland areas is clearly detrimental to local residents.

Shaftesbury Park

Following complaints from residents of Shaftesbury Park to me regarding the state of the grass area in the street, the City Council advised me last Friday that :


"The area in question is currently being covered by one of our relief drivers.    Unfortunately, he was unaware of this particular site.  He has been instructed to cut the area today and future cycles."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friends of Balgay Summer Meeting

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending a packed Friends of Balgay Summer Meeting at Mills Observatory.

There was a very informative and interesting talk from Guide Dogs for the Blind, complete with guide dog trainee Travis aged 9 months!

You can read more about Guide Dogs for the Blind at www.guidedogs.org.uk.

As an aside, the roadway up Balgay Hill from the Glamis Road entrance is badly pot-holed in places and I have taken this matter up with the City Council's new Environment Department.

And - continuing the theme - a Sunday Song!

Another disco classic from 1978 ...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday song ...

Heard again for the first time in a long time when on holiday!     A classic from 1979.    Also liked Voyage's "Souvenirs", their hit from 1978.

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ update

 You can now read my blog on my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/dundeewestend.
As of yesterday, I now have over 400 followers on Twitter http://twitter.com/dundeewestend.   Many thanks to all of you!

Updates will also soon be available on Google+.



North end of Hyndford Street

Following requests from residents that the very top part of Hyndford Street be added to the list of streets for future pavement upgrade under the Unadopted Footways Programme, the City Engineer has advised me :

"I can confirm that the section of Hyndford Street north of Blackness Avenue will be assessed in 2012/13 and added to the Unadopted Footway priority list after assessment."

Hackgate: The Movie

Rather well done this ...!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Wright Stuff Extra

I took part in a short telephone interview with Gabby Logan on The Wright Stuff Extra on Channel 5 yesterday about concerns regarding the large BT Openreach green boxes that are springing up all over the place, including in the West End.

You can see the programme by clicking on the headline above or by going to http://tiny.cc/wstuffextra.

Tayside Recyclers Urban Vegetable Garden

Further to my previous updates about the progress with the Tayside Recyclers' Backyard Container Vegetable Garden, its good to hear that Trading Standards and Environmental Health staff at the City Council have ok'd the selling of the produce.    The garden is well worth a visit :

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust meeting

Last night, I was minute-taker at the latest meeting of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.

The Trust is going from strength to strength and, in the autumn, Trust office-bearers are giving talks to various societies and schools across Dundee and Fife on the 1879 disaster and the work of the Trust.

You can read more about the Trust's work on its website - www.thetaymemorial.com.  

Oxfam East Africa Appeal

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More on bus services in the West End

I have already updated residents about my concerns at the re-routing of the Number 4 bus service away from the West End and its negative effect on elderly residents in particular in the Logie/City Road/Tullideph/Pentland/Ancrum areas.

The City Council, through its revised tendered subsidised services from 15th August, has attempted to provide some sort of service on this part of the former National Express 4 route, although no-one could pretend that the new 204 (replacing the current 69 Stagecoach Strathtay subsidised  route - the 204 covering part of the former 4 service;  the 204a on alternate hours covering other parts of the former 69 route such as Invergowrie Drive and Newhall Gardens) is a real replacement for the 4 service.    

I have received many concerns from residents about the situation regarding the 4 service.    The new 204 subsidised route's timetable is now available - click on the headline above or go to http://tinyurl.com/204-204a to download this.    

Another concern raised by constituents has been the position regarding the 4s school bus and staff at the City Council raised this on my behalf with National Express Dundee while I was on holiday.   Here is the bus company's response :


"I refer to your email regarding the 4s service which currently serves the St John's High School.   As you will be aware Councillor Macpherson had a meeting with Mr Smith regarding services in the west end just prior to going off on his holiday and at that time he was informed that we had carried out a review carried of all the services which we currently operate and decisions were taken regarding those services which were no longer viable for us to operate on a commercial basis.     The 4s is one such service and was not a decision that we took lightly but I can advise that the pupils who do use the service are still able to get to school and home again albeit their journeys will be slightly longer.

From the 14th August the new revised 26 service will depart from the Seagate at 0754 and from Whitehall Street at 0800 heading towards Ninewells Hospital and should arrive at the school at approximately 0840.   For the return journey they have two options: one being the 26 service at 1545 towards Ninewells Hospital arriving into the City at 1627, the second option being  to board the 10s leaving St John's at 1532 arriving at the Hospital at 1551 where they would then be able to catch a 5, 17 or 22 to their destination."

I would welcome residents' feedback on the buses issue - buses@frasermacpherson.org.uk.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back from holiday ...

Janet and I have just got back from holiday, having a short cruise from Venice to Croatia then Greece, followed by a few days in Venice on return.    Until now, my favourite cities have been Barcelona, Honolulu and Boston, but now Venice wins ...  

I absolutely loved Venice - a stunningly beautiful city and simply lovely to visit.    So at the risk of boring everyone, here's a few photos and a short video from our trip.    Now, back to the joy of loads of phone messages, letters and e-mails to respond to!
Dubrovnik
The Acropolis of Athens
Me at St Mark's Square, Venice
The lovely island of Burano, Venice
Me on the island of Murano, Venice
Bunty today, recovering from her own holiday at her cousin's in Downfield!    You'll note she is engrossed by the latest on the TV about the hacking scandal 
  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Riverside Nature Park - dog bins

Following the opening of the Riverside Nature Park, residents have pointed out the end for dog bins at the park.    I have contacted the City Council regarding this and the Team Leader, Partnership and Regeneration in the City Development Department has responded positively as follows :

“Thank you for your email which raises a matter that we have already been considering.  We have agreed that dog bins should be provided at the car park and Invergowrie entrances to the Park and possibly one or two within the Park.  The poles have been put in place and the bins are to be installed as soon as possible.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

West End nursery and primary schools project

Following the commencement of site works on the former Logie Secondary site - to build the new St Joseph's Primary School, Park Place Nursery School and Park Place Primary School - I have had several residents contact me about the building project.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at schools@frasermacpherson.org.uk.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bankmill Road graffiti

Residents in Milnbank Road and Bankmill Road have complained to me about unsightly graffiti on the lock-ups in Bankmill Road – see right.

I have reported this to Dundee City Council, at their request.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flash flood concern at Meadow Mill

Following the devastating early-morning flash flood last Monday that affected the Meadow Mill area, near to the Verdant Works, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, I have been in touch with the City Council and Scottish Water about the flooding issues in the area.

This is a significant problem – at its worst last Monday, water reached two feet in depth and its force ripped up parts of the roadway.

There have been calls for a storm drain to be provided to help protect properties from future occurrences and I have asked Scottish Water and the City Council to clarify what can be done to help avoid such flooding in the future.   


The City Engineer has responded to me as follows :



"Scottish Water and my Engineers are working together to understand better the failure mechanisms associated with this specific area. The way in which flash floods of this type affects the area varies depending on the intensity and duration of the storm and also site specific factors such as the capacity and condition of the public and private drainage systems, local blockages at road gulleys, surface obstructions and the topography of the area.


Unfortunately, the nature of these flash floods, combined with unfavourable circumstances such as those noted above can impact on the site in different ways and this means the most effective flood protection measures and response can be difficult to determine or predict. An example of this includes the storm on 6 July which was similar in nature to the one experienced on 11 July. An inspection on 6 July revealed no flooding in the area. I appreciate this may be the exception here as our site visits have also shown flooding during similar events.

In order to determine the most cost effective and sustainable method of reducing flood risk it is essential that the root cause of the flooding is established as this will inform the design process and ensure investment by any party is cost beneficial. Alternatives may include additional site storage and controlled discharge, improved maintenance or repairs to existing systems, appropriate protection, adaptation or consideration of measures in the upper catchment. Once the root cause is established alternatives such as those noted can be explored in more detail.

For your information I can confirm that my Engineers will extend the investigation of the public system to Brook Street by attending a Scottish Water inspection. The manholes were observed surcharging by my Engineers on Monday 11 July at 7:20am and following our reporting of this to Scottish Water the inspection will now take place. The purpose of this will be to determine whether there are any obstructions within the system adjacent to the surcharging manholes. As noted previously this will feed in to our ongoing discussions with Scottish Water as we try to resolve matters in this area.

I will update you of the outcome of our investigations in due course." 



I am pleased to see proactivity by the City Council as it is important that the flooding issues in this area are addressed.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Same Green: A visual journey into the world of rice

From Sarah Gittins :

The above exhibition will run from 10th to the 17th July, open daily from 10am to 4pm.

It is part of a whole series of public art and performance events taking place during the very exciting Dundee Live festival.   Please see www.d-air.org following the 'Dundee Live' link, for more information. (Within Dundee Live, I also have work in group exhibitions at the Central Library and the Hannah Maclure Centre). 

I will be giving a talk at 2pm on the 17th July in the Botanics which will be followed by a rice picnic (cooked by Spice Restaurant in Dundee) please come along for a very nourishing experience! 

With all very best wishes,

Sarah 

Sarah has been D-AiR's artist in residence at the Dundee Botanic Garden since September 2010.

During this time she has been researching and making images that respond to the story of rice. This research has made particular reference to the challenges of food security, issues of traditional and industrial cultivation, and the work of small farming communities to maintain food sovereignty.

A visual artist working across a variety of media, Sarah places particular emphasis on drawing and printmaking. She is interested in making images that explore issues of social and ecological justice and in the capacity of image-making to create an environment for engagement and conversation. 

The Same Green will include a rice picnic and artist's talk on Sunday 17th July. The talk will highlight some of the issues explored during this residency. It will include an online interview with Vandana Shiva, environmental campaigner and scientist, whose work to conserve the rich diversity of  indigenous rice varieties in India has been an inspiration for the exhibition.


What: Exhibition of silkscreen prints and related research material with an artists talk and rice picnic.
Where: Dundee Botanic Garden, Riverside Drive, DD2 1QH.
When: 10th-17th July 10am-4pm + Artists Talk and Rice Picnic 17th July 2-4pm

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Community Learning Newsletter

The latest community learning newsletter from the City Council has been published and you can download it by clicking on the headline above or by going to http://tinyurl.com/dundeelearning.    This includes details of activities at the Mitchell Street Centre.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ancrum Drive - parking problems and road safety

Over the past few months, I have received concerns from residents in Ancrum Drive about parking problems and road safety issues.    The fact that the new 204 bus service will run along Ancrum Drive from next month could simply exacerbate the concerns.

The matter has been discussed at the Community Spirit Action Group and, at the last meeting, we agreed that I should ask a road safety officer to meet with us in the street in the near future to discuss the issues and possible solutions.

As always, I would welcome views and comments from local residents - ancrum@frasermacpherson.org.uk

Monday, July 11, 2011

Appeal outcome at Tay Mills flats in Brown Street

I've often been critical in the past about the way appeals against planning decisions made by Dundee City Council are handled. 

The vast majority of appeals  are delegated to a member of the Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA), known as a Reporter.

Reporters have, on occasion, overturned planning decisions made by the council and, in doing so, have failed to take into account concerns from the local community.  Examples include various applications for phone masts near schools (eg Blackness Primary School) and in residential areas.

However, I cannot help but congratulate the Reporter who overturned a decision by the City Council earlier this year in which the council refused planning approval for more student flats at Tay Mills in Brown Street.    Planning officers recommended refusal and the committee went along with that, although I moved approval (losing 17-10).

This is an area close to both university campuses and is perfect for student housing.    More student housing here means fewer HMOs in residential areas of the West End.    I found the officers' recommendation difficult to follow and the committee decision was unfortunate.

So - for once - full marks to the Scottish Government's Reporter in reaching a sensible decision and allowing this development to go ahead.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Demand Responsive Transport and Park and Ride - an update

I have received a number of residents' enquiries recently about progress in getting park and ride in Dundee - particularly to the west and south of the city.   

Having moved forward the Park and Ride issue when I was chair of TACTRAN, the regional transport partnership, between 2007 and 2009, I asked TACTRAN for an update on the issue, and also on moves towards community transport (Demand Responsive Transport or DRT) that would be a boon for those who have difficulty using the main bus services or who have a poor bus service at present.  

The TACTRAN response is below :

"Park & Ride at south side of Tay Bridge

This project is being taken forward jointly with Tactran, Sestran, Transport Scotland, Dundee City Council and Fife Council.  As you’ll no doubt be aware a site identified as “Landfall Site” located on an area across the road from the existing Tay Road Bridge car park, was identified through the joint study as the preferred site and would include 350 car park spaces and be serviced by existing bus services passing the site.  However, the land was not allocated for Park & Ride within the draft St Andrews and East Fife Local Plan and Tactran and Sestran formally objected to this lack of allocation.  The St Andrews and East Fife Local Plan examination commenced in June 2011 during which the issue of Park & Ride at the Landfall site will be considered by the Reporter.  We are therefore waiting for the outcome of the examination at present before taking this project forward.  The best guess I have from Fife Planning Officers is that they expect the examination process to take around 9 months, but nothing official has been received regarding this timescale.

Dundee West Park & Ride

A Technical Report and Outline Business Case for Dundee West Park & Ride was recently completed and reported to Tactran Partnership meeting in June.  This was taken forward by a Steering Group consisting of Tactran, Dundee City Council and Transport Scotland and also keeping NHS Tayside informed of progress.  The study provided detailed designs for two possible sites, both with 400 space car parks: Site 3i - north west of Swallow Roundabout and Site 6b Riverside Avenue at Wright Avenue. Both sites would likely be serviced by a 12 minute frequency dedicated P&R bus service and could serve Ninewells Hospital in addition to the city centre.  However, the cost of the bus service serving Ninewells Hospital would be significantly more than serving the city centre only. 

The work concluded that both sites have positive business cases. Site 3i has a higher capital cost and annual bus subsidy cost, but has a benefit of removing traffic from Swallow Roundabout in the morning peak as well as removing traffic from the city centre.  Site 6b has a lower capital cost and bus subsidy cost, but removes traffic from city centre only (i.e. no effect at Swallow Roundabout).

The Partnership in June remitted officers to explore opportunities for funding and implementation for Dundee West Park and Ride.  We are currently in discussion with Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council regarding which of the two sites is each organisation’s preferred site for implementation and we are also exploring NHS Tayside’s interests.  Once we get agreement on the preferred site, we will report back to the Partnership Board and continue with the detailed design.

Both Dundee West and South of Tay Bridge Park & Ride sites are identified within Transport Scotland’s Strategic Transport Projects Review, Strategic Park & Ride Project (Project 8) and as such any funding discussions will involve Transport Scotland.  We are also investigating the possibility of European funding for both sites.

As noted above a report on progress with the various Tactran Park & Ride projects was considered at the Partnership meeting on 21 June 2011and I’ve included a link to the report should you want more detailed information than that I’ve provided above.

DRT

Dundee City Council is leading on implementation of the DRT scheme, in partnership with Tactran. Revised options are being considered for the delivery of DRT, with the aim of introducing a pilot scheme during 2011/12. It is anticipated that the scheme will commence in December 2011 at the earliest.  £30,000 is allocated within Tactran revenue budget and £125,000 within the joint Tactran/DCC Capital budget in 2011/12 to support the introduction of DRT in Dundee."

The City Council has missed its original target date for a DRT pilot and I have therefore asked the council's Head of Transportation for more details of exactly what scheme will be brought forward and if it will indeed be brought forward in the revised timescale envisaged above.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Options and Choices

You can download details of this course at the Mitchell Street Centre, starting next month, by going to http://tiny.cc/optionschoices :

Friday, July 08, 2011

Ninewells Hospital entrance

Residents have complained to me about the state of the roundabout on Ninewells Avenue at the entrance to the hospital.

It is very overgrown and I have asked the City Council to give it a tidy.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Update on bus service concerns

Earlier this week, I mentioned my concerns about the future of the Number 4 bus service in the West End part of its route.

Yesterday, I met with Phil Smith, the new Managing Director of National Express Dundee over the situation and Mr Smith confirmed that, although the 4 service will continue on a revised route going to Dryburgh via Hilltown, National Express Dundee intends to withdraw the West End part of the 4's route (along with the withdrawal of some other services including with the 3/3A and 28S in other parts of Dundee) from August.

I outlined my concerns to the bus company about the effect on many elderly people in the West End.   The 4 service provided a lifeline for residents in the Peddie Street/Logie/Scott Street/City Road and Tullideph areas and I am very disappointed that National Express Dundee intends to cut out the West End part of the 4 service.   

The 4 service, currently coming along Scott Street, is a very useful service, particularly for the people in the north of the Logie estate.   It is also well used by people in the City Road and Pentland/Tullideph/Ancrum areas.   Both Logie and Tullideph have a large concentration of Sheltered Housing and the loss of this service in their area will be a really detrimental step.

I also recently met with the council’s Head of Transportation and from that meeting it is clear that the council will try to fill part of the gap through a restricted subsidised service, but it will by no means fully fill the gap caused by the 4’s intended West End demise.   The new subsidised service (the 204) will only run every 2 hours on that part of its route which is “hardly compensation” for the loss of the Service 4 in the West End.

At my meeting with Phil Smith yesterday, Mr Smith did give a commitment to monitor closely usage of the 204 service because, if it is well-used, that will be a clear indication that a more frequent commercial service could be viable in the Peddie Street/Scott Street/City Road area of the city in the future.   I also raised the decision to reduce the daytime frequency of the Number 5 service in its West End leg from 15 to 20 minutes that I view as a retrograde step.    I also suggested an improvement to the 5 route so that it covered the far west end of Perth Road in both directions – currently the area around Clovis Duveau Drive can get the service in the inbound direction only.

It was worthwhile to meet Phil Smith on his return to National Express Dundee, in particular, in order that I could express my concerns about the re-routing of the Number 4 service.   I will continue to campaign for a rethink by the bus company on this route change that detrimentally affects many residents in parts of the West End Ward.  

Last Friday, I took part in a meeting with Logie residents at the Lime Street sheltered lounge and speaking with residents afterwards, it is very clear that many residents are very concerned indeed at the loss of this bus service.       Last night, I met with the Community Spirit Action Group – the residents’ association for the north of the West End Ward, including Pentland, Tullideph and Ancrum – and the group expressed similar concerns.   They are to be writing to National Express Dundee about the loss of the 4 service going through the area and I am grateful for their support of this issue.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Shocking vandalism at Balgay Cemetery

Tonight's "Evening Telegraph" highlights the utterly mindless vandalism at Balgay Cemetery that resulted in over 40 gravestones being toppled over.

As I am quoted in the Tele - "I hope the police get maximum cooperation from the public apprehending whoever is responsible.   It is a heinous thing to do.   It shows no respect for people's families."

Anyone who has noted anything suspicious happening at Balgay Cemetery over last weekend are urged to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.
Shocking vandalism at Balgay Cemetery

Congratulations, Iqbal

Iqbal Mohammad has been a member of Dundee Liberal Democrats for a few years, joining as a young man soon after he left Morgan Academy.   

Iqbal has been a good friend to us all and we were all really pleased to learn of his recent success in gaining a place at university.   The fact that Iqbal has Asperger’s syndrome has made getting to university a big challenge and it is of great credit to Iqbal that he has overcome all hurdles to succeed.

His success was reported in the Evening Telegraph last week and you can read more on The Learning Exchange website at http://lx.iriss.org.uk/content/iqbal-mohammad.    Here's an interview with Iqbal :

Iqbal Mohammad from iriss on Vimeo.

Graffiti clean-up by Network Rail

On Sunday, I highlighted the eyesore of the graffiti mess on railway buildings at the north end of the Tay Rail Bridge, adjacent to Riverside Drive and Riverside Approach.

I am pleased to say that yesterday Network Rail advised me that they would clean off the mess today and tomorrow.

I was interviewed on Radio Tay News about the matter earlier today - click 'play' to listen:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Action promised on damaged street signs

Last month, I mentioned that I had raised with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership the need to have the damaged Melville Terrace street sign (at its junction with West Park Road) replaced.

The City Council has now advised me :


"A replacement street name plate will be included in the next street name plate order and the timescale for completion will be approximately eight to ten weeks."

I had also reported the damaged Marchfield Road sign (at its junction with Blackness Road) and have been updated as follows :

"This street name plate will be checked and a replacement ordered as required for including in the next street name plate order.    As with the Melville Terrace street name plate, the timescale for completion will be approximately eight to ten weeks."

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cllr John Gold - 1902-59

Cllr John Gold was a  well-respected member of Dundee Corporation for over 20 years - from the mid 1930s until his death in 1959 at the age of 57.

He represented the then Dudhope Ward, was married at 7 Rosewood Terrace in the West End on 12th July 1929, and their oldest daughter was born exactly one year later - 12th July 1930 (who, now aged over 80, lives in Australia). 

Cllr John Gold was very much involved in the Temperance Movement, was heavily involved in amateur dramatics and was a basket maker to trade.

But in addition to all this, John Gold was a first - the first blind councillor in Scotland - educated at the Blind Institution in Magdalen Yard Road.

Today, along with his granddaughter Jill McLaren and her husband George - West End residents themselves - I had the great pleasure of taking part in a civic tour for Jill and George followed by a meeting with Lord Provost John Letford, in recognition of the civic contribution of the late Councillor John Gold.

I am very grateful to the Lord Provost for his kindness in meeting with Jill and George today in recognition of the contribution of Jill's grandfather to the City of Dundee.
Cllr John Gold (with chain) at a temperance event 

George & Jill McLaren during the civic tour

George & Jill with the Lord Provost and myself