Tuesday, July 31, 2012

River Crescent Residents' Association

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the latest committee meeting of the River Crescent Residents' Association.

I updated the association on a number of West End local issues, including bus services, carriageway repairs, overgrown shrubbery and progress on the new primary/nursery schools project at the former Logie Secondary site.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting things done - Paton's Lane

There's a significant pothole at the south end of Paton's Lane - see right - that residents have brought to my attention.

I have brought this to the attention of the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership requesting repairs.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Getting things done - Kelso Steps

Back in February, I was pleased to be advised by Dundee City Council that it had agreed to my request made on behalf of local residents to provide an extension to the handrail at the Kelso Steps to assist residents and visitors to Royal Victoria Hospital - particularly the elderly - negotiate the steps in the wintry weather.

I am pleased to say that the extension is now in place - see right - although I do feel it could have extended further along the path at the top and have therefore asked if further improvements could be made there.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dundee City Council - payment of invoices

Following a Freedom of Information request made recently by an MSP regarding the speed with which local authorities pay invoices due, the Scottish Daily Express reported that Dundee City Council failed to provide the information requested.

I queried this with the City Council's Head of Democratic and Legal Services, and was advised:

"The Scottish Daily Express report was inaccurate.  We submitted a reply on 12 June to Margaret Mitchell MSP's Researcher."

You can download the response from the City Council by going to http://tinyurl.com/dccfoisa.

I consider it important that the City Council pays invoices promptly - and particularly local suppliers.

Getting things done ... Apollo Way

Last week, I highlighted vandalism to the bus shelter in Apollo Way in the Technology Park that I had asked the City Council to attend to.

I am most grateful to the City Council for its swift response - see repaired shelter below:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Update on travellers' encampment issue

I have recently highlighted the concerns about the latest travellers' encampment at the Riverside Business Park.   I was on Wave 102 news earlier today about latest developments - click 'play' below to listen:
The encampment, following legal steps taken by the landowner at the Sheriff Court culminating earlier today, has moved on - but only to illegally occupy another site in South Road.    

The Riverside site is now properly secured but the fundamental issue is the slowness of the legal process.   Furthermore, the City Council provides a properly serviced site for the travelling community at Balmuir Wood, Tealing.

Corso and Abbotsford area meeting

Me - outside the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge
Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing a really well-attended meeting of residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street that took place in the Corso Street sheltered lounge.

We had a good discussion on a whole host of issues - from seagulls to controlled entry systems - and dog fouling to communal grass maintenance.

I was also able to update residents on a number of West End projects, including the new primary/nursery schools project on the former Logie Secondary site on Blackness Road, changes to disabled parking legislation, residents' parking, improvements to Blackness Library and the Harris Academy rebuilding project.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

David Dwyer

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service for David Dwyer, who passed away recently.

David and his late wife Elsa were stalwarts of the Liberal cause, who were much-respected and loved members of Dundee Liberal Democrat Association.

I first met David in the early 1980s, when he and Elsa came to Dundee, on his appointment at Manager of the Wellgate Centre.

David will be long remembered and sadly missed.

Promoting West End sport ...

Matt Miller of Riverside Community Sports Club and who is Chair of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA), took part in a recent interview on Tay FM about sports development in the West End - its a really good interview - click 'play' below to listen:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Perth Road Traders' Association?

Last night, along with Perth Road businesses and a City Council officer, I was pleased to participate in a very positive discussion that took place at the Tartan Coffee House on Perth Road, around the idea of forming a Perth Road Traders' Association.

I was very grateful to a representative from Broughty Ferry Traders' Association (BFTA) who I had asked to attend to explain how BFTA operates and has worked for the benefit of Broughty Ferry businesses and the wider community in the Ferry.    He gave a really interesting explanation of the work of BFTA that was really appreciated by all who attended.

There's real enthusiasm to move forward a possible Perth Road Traders' Association by all the local businesses who attended and I'll do all I can to assist.  

We have a superb local shopping area in the Perth Road and surrounding streets and there's much we can do in terms of infrastructure and environmental improvements, promotion of the district shopping centre - and so much more - to send the message that the West End is a great place in which to shop!

Meeting with Logie residents

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of chairing a meeting with residents of the Logie estate and was most grateful to representatives from:

* Dundee Historic Environment Trust - who spoke about Conservation Area and grants issues

* Dundee City Council transportation division - who spoke about traffic issues and safety measures, parking, roads resurfacing and safe crossings - all arising out of the new schools opening in October at the former Logie Secondary School site

I am keen to ensure that Logie residents get the opportunity to meet to discuss local issues, particularly following the demise of the Logie Residents' Association.   

It was a very positive meeting and residents are keen to pursue to revival of a formal residents' group, a suggestion I am keen to pursue with residents and the City Council in the coming months.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Latest from Friends of Wighton - Trad Trails in Dundee


As part of Creative Scotland 2012, Trad Trails, a joint venture between Feis Rois and the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA), offers exciting performances and friendly music sessions showcasing Scotland’s world renowned folk music heritage.

Trad Trails will bring five of its brightest and best young musicians to Dundee on 31st July and 1st August.  There will be informal sessions at Discovery Point and Verdant Works on Tuesday and a Lunchtime Recital at the Wighton Heritage Centre at 1.15pm on Wednesday afternoon. 

Their visit to the city will end with a flourish in a Gala Ceilidh on the Frigate Unicorn on Wednesday 1st August, starting 7.30pm, with their special guests, singer Sheena Wellington, fiddler Karen Hannah and piper Kyle "Brave" Howie.  Tickets, price £8/£6, are available from the Frigate Unicorn, phone  200900, email roderick.stewart@frigateunicorn.org or at the door.

Sheena, who is patron of TMSA, said "I am delighted that Dundee will get the chance to see and hear these stars of the future.  It's especially good that they will be heard in some of our most interesting venues and that they will have a chance to enjoy the unique atmosphere and great acoustics of Dundee's own Frigate Unicorn. Songs, tunes and dancing - what more could you ask for?"

The Trad Trail musicians are:

Ali Levack is a piper and whistle player from Maryburgh who previously attended Sgoil Chùil na Gàidhealtachd and next year is commencing his studies on the B.A. Scottish Music (Piping) course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  

Eilidh Ramsay is a fiddle player and singer from Jamestown who is studying French and History at Glasgow University and will be spending next year in Brittany as an English language assistant.

Sally Simpson comes from Portobello in Edinburgh and plays the fiddle, piano and clàrsach. She has spent the past year at Sgoil Chùil na Gàidhealtachd and will be joining Ali in Glasgow next year studying B.A. Scottish Music.

Alasdair Paul comes from Aultbea in Wester Ross and plays the guitar. He has just completed his first year studying B.Mus. Folk and Traditional Music at Newcastle University.

Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul is originally from Sleat but now lives in Kyle and has spent the last six years at St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. She plays clàrsach and sings in Gaelic on the Trad Trails Tour but also plays pedal harp, saxophone and clarinet.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A welcome for planned improvements to public area at Dundee House


I have welcomed feedback I have received from the City Council following my raising several issues about Dundee House, the new council headquarters in North Lindsay Street.

Although there are many positives about the building, the feedback I have had from constituents is that the ‘public area’ appears sparse, cold and uninviting to a member of the public visiting the council HQ.   

The reception staff and “floor walking” staff are very friendly and do a very good job at helping to assist the public but on arrival, the reception area itself isn’t that obvious and the large, quite Spartan, entrance area is really not inviting to the public.   This could be fairly easily resolved if someone with a bit of imagination got to work to improve the reception area décor to make it more ‘warm’ and welcoming.

I have also pointed out that the windows (particularly at South Ward Road/Argyllgait) look very dirty indeed and that a window cleaning contract was badly needed.   I have also asked what is happening with the disused buildings to the south of Dundee House, saying these look very poor next to the council HQ, particularly the now disused former Chinese Restaurant but also the tenement previously used by the Dundee House contractor.

I recently raised the concerns with the City Council’s Chief Executive David Dorward.     I have now had comprehensive feedback from the City Council’s Head of Property as follows :

“I can advise that it is intended to replace the existing reception doors with revolving doors in Autumn of this year. This will eliminate drafts and reduce heat loss in the reception area. 

There is existing suspended signage and a 'floor walker' within the reception area to help guide visitors to their required service.   However, it is the intention of the Director of City Development, perhaps in consultation with Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, to review the decor within the reception area and the external loggia.    The effectiveness of the existing signage will also form part of this review. The provision of quality coffee/food stalls located in the northern part of the loggia is also to be investigated. 

I can further advise that a window cleaning contract is currently being procured and will be in place shortly. 

In respect of the tenement block beside Dundee House, I can advise that the building is Category B listed and its future use is currently being reviewed.”

Improving the appearance of the entrance area to make it as welcoming for the Dundee public as possible is important and I am pleased that some thought it being given to this as is a review of the effectiveness of signage.   I have asked to be updated on what is proposed for the disused buildings beside Dundee House as proposals come forward.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friends of Balgay Summer Meeting

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the very well-attended Summer Meeting of Friends of Balgay at Mills Observatory, at which City Archivist Iain Flett gave a very informative talk of 'The poor in Victorian Dundee.'   Iain is always a hugely interesting and entertaining and his address yesterday was excellent.

There was a social event thereafter, with a rather fabulous Friends of Balgay cake - see right!

With support from the Dundee Historic Environment Trust, the Friends of Balgay have published a new edition of "A visitor's guide to the Treasures of Balgay" - it is an excellent publication costing only £1 and copies can be obtained by e-mailing friendsofbalgay@yahoo.co.uk

Latest on West End bus services

Yesterday, the Courier covered the on-going issue of the gap in bus services in the western part of Perth Road and at the east end of the Technology Park, caused by the re-routing of the National Express Dundee Service 5.    I was also on Wave 102 news about the issue yesterday - click 'play' below to listen:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Volunteers needed for the Food Train ...

I have previously mentioned the excellent Food Train project that assists elderly Dundee residents with a quality shopping service.   Another supermarket chain's goods are now part of the service, which is good news in terms of shopper choice.  

The project is now looking for new volunteers to help - details below:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Latest on Service 5 route change petition


Further to the recent petition by over 230 residents of the West End and workers at the Technology Park opposing the recent change to the Number 5 bus route, the Managing Director of National Express Dundee, has responded to me saying he’s given the petition consideration but:

“I still believe that our decision was correct & we have no plans to revert this service to its former route. Please pass on my appreciation to the signatories and also my regret that National Express Dundee are unable to meet their aspirations in respect of this matter.”

I will continue to press this issue with National Express Dundee as the bus route change adversely impacts on both my constituents at the western end of Perth Road and also workers in the eastern part of the Technology Park.   However, I am also keen to look at other possible solutions.

I have now had discussions with the Operations Director for East Scotland for Stagecoach (both Fife and Strathtay) – to see if any of their services which by-pass the area might be given a short diversion.   

In particular, the X42 service from Kirkcaldy to Ninewells could possibly be diverted to cover the Perth Road before heading into the Technology Park and then to Ninewells rather than picking up no passengers on Riverside Drive.    I do think its worth looking at all the options to improve the situation and am grateful to Stagecoach for giving the matter its consideration.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bus shelter vandalism slammed

I have today criticised vandals responsible for damaging the bus shelter in Apollo Way in the Technology Park.   As you can see from the photo - right - a glass panel has been smashed.

I have been in touch with the City Council to ensure the shelter is repaired.

Another travellers' encampment as occupation of site next to airport takes place

I have expressed concern at yet another travellers’ encampment springing up yesterday, this time at the former Scottish Water site at the Riverside Business Park immediately west of Dundee Airport.    This site was previously occupied in August 2010 and there are concerns that another encampment will lead to the sort of mess left then – when a considerable mess was strewn and there were concerns about it blowing over the airport runway.

It appears that, although the site was secured with a barrier after the last occupation, this has been forced open.

The airport management is aware of the situation and anxious to see a swift resolution.    The former Scottish Water site management company has already confirmed that legal steps are being taken to get the matter swiftly resolved.    I have also been in touch with City Council officers about the situation.

I have asked the council officer who liaises with the travelling community to emphasise the availability of a properly serviced site for the travelling community at Balmuir Wood, near Tealing.   The council provides this site for the travelling community so there is no excuse for this sort of occupation of privately owned ground. 
Barrier burst open
Part of the encampment

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Wave 102 news ...

I am on today's Wave 102 news about the issue I recently raised about the need for more free-to-use cash machines across the city.   Click 'play' below to listen.    The first item on the news broadcast highlights the call by SUSTRANS for more 20mph speed limits in residential areas, an issue I have recently highlighted with Dundee City Council.

Thomson Street re-opens

Further to my article on Sunday, Thomson Street has now re-opened - see right - albeit at bit late - around 11am yesterday.

I am continuing to liaise with City Council officers on this matter, particularly to get clarification as to whether or not a further road closure will be necessary to complete servicing to the new townhouses at the top end of  the street.   The clear concern is that this will be necessary and the photo above hardly indicates a completed job.  Constituents in Thomson Street rightly feel they have put up with enough in the way of road closures and disruption.

The other issue will be to ensure the recently (and nicely) resurfaced road is restored to a good quality state at its north end.

Wild Wanders at Balgay!

Wild Wanders at Balgay takes place tomorrow, Thursday 19th July, from 1pm to 3pm - part of a series of walks organised by the City Council's Countryside Ranger Service.   

Wild Wanders will explore the wildlife and natural beauty of Balgay Hill.    There's a nominal charge of £1.50 per head and those wishing to take part should meet up at 1pm tomorrow at the Glamis Road entrance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Free to use cash machines ...

Yesterday, I had a very useful and productive meeting with a City Council Financial Inclusion Development Officer regarding the issue of ATMs that charge the customer for cash withdrawals from the machine.   My concern in raising this - and a map provided by the City Council of ATMs across Dundee confirms this - is that many of the machines that charge are in community regeneration areas, where the greatest concentration of people on the lowest incomes live.

The banks will argue that their providing free-to-use cash machines at these locations is away from where their volume usage is, but there is a need to ensure that all communities have easy access to free-to-use machines, and as the British public now own most of some of the leading banks, the banks should be putting more effort into filling in the gaps in free-to-use cash machine provision, for the benefit of all, particularly those citizens on limited income.

Following my meeting yesterday, I have written to a major national retailer about an ATM at one of their stores in the West End Ward to see if the company nationally is willing to consider contributing to the costs of this particular ATM so it can offer free cash withdrawals in the future.

Later yesterday, I had a useful meeting with City Council transportation officers about the forthcoming consultation on residents' parking in part of the West End to discuss the timetable and different and innovative ways of consulting with local residents on parking issues.    I also had the opportunity to take part in a site visit with a constituent and a housing association representative about a path repair.

Getting things done - Former McCheyne Memorial Church, Perth Road

Residents have complained to me that the site of the former McCheyne Memorial Church on Perth Road is again badly overgrown - see right.

I have asked the City Council's Planning Enforcement Officer to contact the building owners to request that they take steps to have the front of the site tidied.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting things done - Hillcrest Road

I have long-campaigned, on behalf of local residents, for an improvement to the terrible road surface in Hillcrest Road.   It must have rated as one of the worst across the city - rather resembling the surface of the moon!   See below:
I was pleased, earlier this year, to be given an assurance that road resurfacing would happen.   This work was slightly delayed, but has now been carried out.

The outcome is really good, as the photo below indicates:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thomson Street to reopen tomorrow

As reported in yesterday's Courier, I have been advised by Dundee City Council that the road closure affecting Thomson Street will end tomorrow night (Monday 16th July), having started later but run on longer than originally intended (it was originally to have closed for 5 days starting 25th June).

A number of residents have contacted me about the continued closure due to sewer connection works to new townhouses under construction and I'm therefore pleased to have been advised by the council that the road will be reopened by Monday night.

The work started later than intended because of weather conditions but I am told by the council that it cannot legally run past Monday and residents will be pleased to see their road reopened.    I hope all the connection works are completed by tomorrow as I want to see any further road closure in the future avoided.

The residents in the street have put up with extended closures in the past 18 months with previous closures due to works on the gas main and other utility works, so it will be good to see Thomson Street open again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Getting things done - Lochee Road/Logie Street

Back in March, I raised with the City Council the fact that the 'yellow box' markings at the Logie Street/Lochee Road junction were extremely worn.     I was promised repainting but this was delayed due to gas main replacement works on Lochee Road during June.

The Dundee City Council and Tayside Contracts Roads Maintenance Partnership has now updated me as follows:

"Rhino patching works are currently programmed for week commencing 13th August with the road marking works to follow."

On Radio Tay News ... about the Service 5 bus petition ...

I was on Radio Tay News yesterday about the petition I handed in to National Express Dundee on Thursday  regarding the Service 5 bus route change.   Click 'play' below to listen:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Over 230 residents oppose change to West End bus service

As reported in today's Courier, yesterday, I delivered a petition to National Express Dundee that criticises changes that have seen the removal of a vital bus service from the west end of Perth Road, resulting in fewer bus options for residents but also removing the service for visitors to the Riverview Nursing Home.   The petition calls for the previous bus route to be restored, for the benefit of local people.

Bus changes from the end of May resulted in National Express Service 5 terminating at the Technology Park (Luna Place/Explorer Road) after visiting Ninewells Hospital, not serving Apollo Way or the Clovis Duveau Drive area at all.    

I am very grateful to the group of local residents and workers at the Technology Park who have helped me gather over 230 signatures from local people, who have made it clear their opposition to the bus route change.

This detrimental bus route change means that the far west end of Perth Road around Clovis Duveau Drive is no longer be served by this vital bus service – it previously covered the area on its return route eastwards from Ninewells and the Technology Park back into the City Centre – and I concerned about this not only for the residents involved but also visitors to the Riverview Nursing Home who relied on the service.

Back in May, I wrote to the Managing Director of National Express Dundee who replied :

“… We have taken a commercial decision to make Service 5 a more attractive proposition for those customers wishing to travel to and from Ninewells Hospital.   Other bus services provide to and from the western extremity of Perth Road and the other roads stated. Our objective is to make Ninewells Hospital the primary focus of Service 5 so that it calls there before serving the Technology Park.” 

I have, in response, pointed out to National Express Dundee that Service 5 does already serve Ninewells Hospital – which is also extremely well served by many other bus services.     Also, in numerous proposed changes by Stagecoach Strathtay, changes on the 73 group of services mean Saturday services also reduced from 6 buses an hour to 4 in the West End.

The changes are highly detrimental to the residents in the area and I hope that the strength of feeling expressed by over 230 people will result in a rethink by National Express Dundee.   These people it must be remembered are all National Express Dundee customers, and I hope that the bus company will listen to its customers.
Delivering the petition to National Express Dundee Headquarters yesterday

Recent meetings ...

On Wednesday, I had a very useful meeting with the City Council's Head of Planning, the council's Conservation Officer and a senior Buildings Standards Surveyor about my concerns regarding the state of the Queen Victoria Works site and we also had a detailed discussion regarding derelict or dilapidated buildings in other parts of the West End and across the city and how the City Council will seek to attempt to work with owners to bring these back into productive use.

In a positive sense, the officers confirmed a willingness to open a dialogue with the owners of Queen Victoria Works about the site's future.   Clearly the economic downturn after 2008 has made the sale and development of the site more difficult, particularly given the particularly challenging situation for the construction industry, but City Council officers are willing to proactively engage in discussions with the owner over site options and one possible way of assisting is through the development of a Site Planning Brief for the works - this has been a way of encouraging development and future planning applications at other challenging sites across the city.

On the wider issue of derelict and dilapidated buildings in other parts of the West End and across Dundee as a whole, the City Council's Chief Executive has agreed to my request to re-establish a Derelict Land Working Group to identify such properties and look at ways of bringing specific sites back into use and having them improved.

Also on Wednesday, I had a very useful meeting with two senior members of the Education Department about the new staffing structure within the department.

Last night, along with our local police sergeant, I met with residents from Ancrum Drive at the Ancrum Outdoor Education Centre in Ancrum Road, to discuss progress with parking and related issues in the street.

It was a very positive and productive evening and I am grateful for the Tayside Police input into the meeting. Next month, a representative of the leading transport charity SUSTRANS has kindly agreed at my request to visit Dundee to look at traffic-related issues in particular parts of the West End where there are issues - such as Ancrum Drive and also in the Pentland estate.   SUSTRANS has undertaken an excellent safer streets project in part of Kirkcaldy and the lessons from that project will assist in terms of trying to improve the traffic and parking issues in streets like Ancrum Drive.

Getting things done - Magdalen Place

Local residents have pointed out to me that the crescent shaped section of the footway in Magdalen Place - at its north end - is not adopted by the local authority.   See plan below - adopted pavements are in blue:
The unadopted section is a well-used footway, used by visitors to the nearby Cherry Blossom children’s nursery and local residents use it to get to Roseangle.

I have asked the City Engineer if it can considered for inclusion into the Unadopted Footways Scheme.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting things done - Fyffe Street

Following complaints raised with me by local residents, I requested that the City Council removed graffiti in Fyffe Street, west of the junction with Benvie Road - see below:
The City Council's Rapid Response Team immediately tackled this and this graffiti has been removed:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting things done - Elm Street


Some weeks ago, on behalf of residents who had complained to me that the white lines at the junction of Blackness Road and Elm Street were badly worn (see right), I received an assurance from the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership that the markings would be refreshed in the near future.

I was pleased to be advised recently that this work has now been carried out - see below:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jericho House Support Group

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

It was good to hear about positive progress on the funding issues I have been assisting Jericho House with and we also had a discussion about local activities Jericho House will be involved with in the coming months.

Ancrum Outdoor Centre - Summer Programme

With the school holidays well underway, there's a large number of activities provided by the Ancrum Outdoor Centre in Ancrum Road.

You can download the Summer Programme at www.ancrum.com/AncrumSummer_12.pdf

Queen Victoria Works - an update ...

The Courier yesterday covered my concerns about the state of the former Queen Victoria Works and I was also on Radio Tay News about the matter - click 'play' below to listen:

Monday, July 09, 2012

Caravans moved on from Riverside Nature Park


The travelling persons' caravans that have filled the Riverside Nature Park’s car park over the past week finally moved away this morning - see restored car park above.

I am pleased that local people will again be able to use the car park to visit the nature park.   The car park should never have been used as an unofficial caravan park, particularly as the City Council does provide a proper serviced site for the travelling community at Balmuir Wood near Tealing.

I have been in touch with the City Council’s Environment Department about ensuring the car park is henceforth properly secured out of hours to hopefully avoid a repetition of this.   There's some rubbish left (see above right) and the Environment Department will have this removed.

Further concern over Queen Victoria Works

Over a long period, I have raised concerns about the dilapidated state of the former Queen Victoria Works between Brook Street and Douglas Street.    

The concerns were raised again recently by residents of Pleasance Court at a meeting I held with them.

Following this, I raised the concerns again with the City Council and the Head of Planning has advised:


"Building Standards Officers have regularly inspected this property following the receipt of numerous reports.  These inspections have confirmed that a reasonable level of site security is achieved such that no law abiding citizen could inadvertently find themselves at risk within the existing perimeter walls.

A recent inspection on 28 May 2012, following a report that the Mill was accessible to children, again indicated the site to reasonably well secured.  A loose security mesh grill was identified over a ground floor window to the building on Brook Street and dislodged lining boards were observed to a timber gate to the Lower Pleasance elevation.  Neither of these damaged/vandalised areas created a significant or immediate breach of the site perimeter security.  However, when one of my officers returned the following day to effect repairs, the loose security mesh (and others which did not necessarily require it) had been re-secured by spot welding and the timber gate had been boarded over.  It is assumed that these works had been carried out by the owner, or on the owner's behalf.

The owner has intimated that regular security checks are carried out on the premises.  

The serving of a Dangerous Building Notice may be subject to technical or legal challenges via the appeals procedure.  Any such Notice would set out a description of works to be undertaken and a timescale for completion.  In the event of an owner's default, the Council would be required to instruct the works required by the Notice and recover costs reasonably incurred.  Such costs can only be recovered where the owner has sufficient funds.  Emergency Works can be instructed without a formal Notice, but this action has to be justified, and creates the same issues in cost recovery as indicated above.

The condition of this site will continue to be kept under review."

I have responded saying:

"I am pleased that there was a recent inspection but remain concerned about the continuing decline in the condition of the site and the owner’s lack of any real action to address this other than alleged infrequent “security checks.”

I note what you write about the Dangerous Building Notice but given the long term decline of this historic mill, I feel this is a procedure the City Council should now be initiating – the alternative is simply to see the mill’s state to decline to an extent that demolition is the only answer and I convinced that the City Council has a responsibility to ensure that does not happen."

Here's two photographs I took last week that show the extent of deterioration of the mill:

The City Council's Chief Executive has agreed to my request to reconvene a working party to tackle vacant and derelict buildings in the city.   I have asked him to ensure that this group swiftly tackles issues like Queen Victoria Works and Verdant Works.  Dundee has an industrial heritage that is in danger of being lost - and the City Council has a key role in ensuring this does not happen. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Medical records dumped in West Port - an update

Last month, I highlighted the serious issue about medical records dumped in bins in West Port and that I had raised constituents' concerns regarding this with the Chief Executive of NHS Tayside.


I have now received his response and I reproduce this below:

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Riverside Nature Park - encampment latest

The Courier and Evening Telegraph have been covering news of the encampment of travellers (see right) who have taken over the car park at the Riverside Nature Park over the past week and my raising residents' concerns about this and calling for the council to take necessary steps to have the situation resolved.

This encampment fills the car park for the Riverside Nature Park and it is important that the car park promptly becomes available again for the purpose it is actually intended – as a short-term car park for people visiting the Nature Park, not as an unofficial caravan site.

Earlier yesterday, the City Council's City Development Department advised me that:

“I write to advise that DCC's legal division intend to raise a Summary Cause Action for Ejection this afternoon in respect of the illegal encampment at Riverside Nature Park.”

The City Council's Legal Services Department thereafter advised me that necessary court papers were lodged and that:

"It is likely that we will get the Court papers back on Monday.   As soon as we do, we will have Sheriff Officers serve the papers on the occupiers of the caravans.  

We've asked the Court to shorten the period of Notice due to the urgency of the situation, but we are in the Court's hands."

The City Council provides properly serviced facilities for the travelling community at Balmuir Wood near Tealing and I hope they will now move to use this facility.

I have also received complaints from residents that the previous unofficial travellers’ site at the former Etal factory site in the Technology Park was left with rubbish strewn around and I have asked the City Council to contact the agents at that site to arrange for it to be cleaned up.   See photos below:


Friday, July 06, 2012

Glamis Road and Explorer Road - an update

Last month, I mentioned works that were proposed for both Glamis Road and Explorer Road (the latter being in the Technology Park).

However, these did not go ahead as planned and the City Council has now advised me:

"Due to the unsuitable weather over the last few weekends the works in Glamis Road and Explorer Road have still to be carried out.  We now propose the weekend of the 7th and 8th July."

Friends of Wighton - Summer programme


From Sheena Wellington - some forthcoming events from Friends of Wighton:

Saturday 7th July at 11am - 12 noon:   Special Fiddle maintenance workshop with Karen Hannah £5 

Fiddle classes 14th, 21st, 28th July, 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th August.  11am to 12 noon Beginners;   12 noon to 1pm - Improvers - £5 per session

Medieval Harp with Simon Chadwick:  Saturdays 7th & 28th July 2 - 3.30pm - £5 per session

Scots Song Class Tuesday 10th July 2pm to 3.30pm

Tuesday 17th July Marryat Hall - Weaver's Teaparty at 1.30pm.