Sunday, September 30, 2012

Medieval Music for Margaret of Scotland - 1281 - Wighton Centre, Dundee

Margaret of Scotland
From Sheena Wellington of Friends of Wighton:

On Wednesday 3rd October at 1.15pm, the Friends of Wighton will be holding their monthly free lunchtime concert in Dundee.

Performed by medieval harp expert Simon Chadwick, the programme for October's event tells the story of Margaret of Scotland, 1281: The story of Scotland and Norway, the Royal Wedding and the lead up to the Wars of Independence.

Using a selection of medieval music and traditional tunes from Scotland and from Scandinavia, the late 13th century history and politics will be dramatically brought to life, as the old ballad says: “The King sat in Dunfermline Toun, drinking of the blood red wine...”

More info about the Friends of Wighton and their classes and concerts are available at www.friendsofwighton.com.

Date and time:   Wednesday 3rd October 2012, starting at 1.15pm, finishing around 1.45pm.

Admission is free, with a retiring collection to support the work of the Friends of Wighton.

Venue:  Wighton Centre, Upstairs in Dundee Central Library.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Getting things done ... Perth Road

Following complaints from residents about a significant amount of water leaking over Perth Road near the junction with Springfield, I have contacted Scottish Water about this.   See photo (right) of the leak, just east of the Springfield/Perth Road junction.

Scottish Water has advised me :  "We have arranged for our Network Engineer to investigate the issue."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Harris Academy - Parent Council Meeting and Charity Coffee Morning

Last night, after a busy weekly ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the latest meeting of the Harris Academy Parent Council.

Following on from the update Head Teacher Mr Thewliss gave to the August Parent Council meeting regarding the 2012 examination results, Mr Thewliss gave an indepth report of more of the detail last night, which showed excellent and improving performance at Harris, both in terms of year on year over the past eight years, but also in relation to comparator schools across Scotland.   It was a very encouraging report indeed and reflects extremely well on both the quality of teaching by staff throughout Harris Academy and the hard work of the pupils.

There was also a further update on the school rebuilding project's progress, the pre-application planning notice now being lodged with Dundee City Council.    As part of the planning consultation process, there will be an exhibition at the school from 2pm-7pm on 22nd November, 10am-1pm on Friday 23rd November and 10am-1pm on Saturday 24th November - an excellent opportunity for the school community, parents and local residents to see the plans for the new school building and feed back their comments about them.    Additionally, there will be a presentation about the plans to a special meeting of the West End Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP) on Thursday 18th October at 7pm at the Tartan Coffee House in Perth Road.   

In the building development update at last night's meeting, the Parent Council was given the detail of project planning for the school's decant to the Rockwell building next summer - a challenging logistical exercise that is clearly being extremely well-planned.

The Parent Council is holding a social media event for parents at the school on Thursday 25th October at 7pm, covering issues like tackling cyber bullying, identity theft and online grooming.    This event is a really good initiative and more details will be given on the Parent Council's Facebook page in due course at www.facebook.com/HarrisAcademyPC.

I was back at the school this morning at the annual Harris academy Charity Coffee Morning and as the photo (right) indicates, this was really well attended.   The charity coffee morning will raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and also Keans Childrens Fund, that supports local young children who have cancer.

At the coffee morning, a new Harris Academy tea towel (see below) was on sale.   With the new school being built in the near future, this tea towel commemorates former Harris Academy buildings and proceeds will be used to benefit the new school building once opened.   If you are interested in purchasing a tea towel, they are £3.50 and available via the school office.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

West End Christmas Fortnight meeting

Also yesterday, I had the pleasure of chairing the latest meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight committee.

This year's Christmas events start on 17th November and run until 1st December.    We had a really productive meeting and the West End Christmas Fortnight is taking great shape!   Events will include:

* Launch Day - 17th November :   Community Fayre at Dundee West Church;  Guild Christmas Coffee Morning;  Dundee Art Society Christmas Fair (17th and 18th) and other launch events.

* Monday 19th November :  Children's activity at Blackness Library - making handprint Christmas trees.

*  Christmas Concert and Lights Switch On in the West End - 21st November :   The annual West End Christmas Concert at Dundee West Church, Christmas Lights switch on at Seabraes, visit by Santa and spectacular fireworks display.

*  Saturday 24th November :   Blackness Library Coffee Morning;   Harris Academy Christmas Fayre;   Christmas Fortnight Primary Schools Football Tournament;  Pennycook and Sinderins Courts - Christmas Coffee Morning.

*  Tuesday 27th November :  Children's activity at Blackness Library - making a snowman.   

*   Saturday 1st December :  Blackness Primary Christmas Fair;   Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden "Gardeners' Question Time";  St Peter's Free Church Christmas Fayre.

The 2012 Christmas events will be the biggest and best yet - and the first time we have a whole fortnight of events - with more planned - so don't miss the West End Christmas Fortnight!

Local Economic Monitoring Group


Yesterday, I took part in the latest meeting of the City Council's Local Economy Monitoring Group, that includes a cross-party group of councillors, senior council officers and representatives of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.   

The group reviews the city's economic progress and yesterday's meeting covered feedback from the City Council's recent Youth Employment Summit, the renewables sector, progress with the Waterfront and V&A at Dundee projects and the DWP Work Programme.

The Local Economic Monitoring Group is a positive initiative and enables councillors and chief officers to hear views from local business representatives on the local economy and employment situation in the city.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

West End Sports and Heritage Association

Also last night, I took part in the latest committee meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association at The Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.

Amongst the many items discussed was recent good news about WESHA's success (along with three other Dundee sports hubs) in gaining funding through a Community Payback bid for significant improvements to the Riverside Pavilion/Changing Rooms on Riverside Drive.    It looks like the works to improve the changing facilities will take place early in the new year and will greatly improve the quality of changing facilities.

We also discussed progress on WESHA's lease negotiations at the site and progress towards WESHA becoming a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).

WESHA has a very active and enthusiastic committee that is making real progress in sporting improvements for the West End.   You can read more about WESHA's activities at its new website at www.wesha.org.

West End Traders' meeting

Although still recovering from 26 hours of return flights, I had the pleasure of attending the second meeting of Perth Road businesses last night at the Tartan Coffee House, aimed at establishing a traders' association for the Perth Road district shopping area.

Like the first meeting back in July, it was a very positive event and good to see an even-higher turnout of local businesses this time.

Apart from discussing progress towards getting a traders' association formally established, there was useful discussion about environmental improvements in the area, West End Christmas Fortnight and a walkabout that is to be arranged to look at local issues in the Perth Road shopping area.

Back from Australia ...

Janet & I have been in Melbourne for the past couple of weeks visiting our first grandson, Henry, who was born in July.

Henry is doing very well and it was lovely to meet him for the first time and see Greg and Karen, our younger son and daughter-in-law again!

It was, of course, "great" to come back to the lovely Scottish weather on Monday night!    Anyway, here's a few photos from our visit to Melbourne!
Henry and me!

Janet at Festival Indonesia at Melbourne's Queensbridge Square, on a beautiful Saturday morning!

Unlike our last visit to Australia last Christmas and New Year, we did actually meet a lot of kangaroos this time!

Melbourne's impressive Flinders Street rail station building

Me by the Yarra River in Melbourne

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Victoria Park - hedge repairs promised

A constituent recently advised that:

“…my sister has asked me to bring to your attention a problem relating to the play area in Victoria Park - this is closed in on 3 sides by fencing and fourth side by hedge on Jedburgh Road.   This hedge area is now full of holes and her great niece nearly escaped onto the road.”

I brought this matter to the attention of the City Council's Environment Department, and have received the following positive response:

"... yes there are holes in the hedge.   We will infill them to thicken up the hedge.   We would look to carry the work out sometime in October."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Premiere of ‘Our Dundee’ - a young people’s short film

As part of the Dundee Wave of Change project (coordinated by Go Dundee) a group of young people from The Shore made a short film about people’s experiences of life in Dundee and their views about the city’s future.  The young people were supported by professional ­film makers D Fie Foe.

The film will receive its public premiere at DCA on Sunday 7th October 2012 at 1pm as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (click here for details).  The young people who made the film will be there to introduce the film and then answer questions afterwards so please come along and take part if you can.  Entry is free.


You can watch a short preview of the film by clicking ‘play’ below:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting things done ... Rockfield Crescent and Corso Street

Following complaints from local residents about the state of the road surface in Rockfield Crescent, I contacted the City Council's Road Maintenance Partnership about this and have been advised as follows:

"An order is to be raised by the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector for the repair of approximately twelve potholes in Rockfield Crescent with a timescale for repair of twenty eight days or sooner."

At a recent meeting I had with sheltered tenants, I also received complaints about a hole in the road in Corso Street, near to its junction with Peddie Street.   The City Council's Road Maintenance Partnership has promised to repair this too, in the very near future.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Disabled Parking Bay - Perth Road

I have received complaints from constituents that at the disabled parking space outside the Speedwell Bar (Mennies) on Perth Road, the lettering is faded and therefore many don't notice the bay and it is therefore often filled by cars with no blue badge.  

This bay is essential for drivers with mobility difficulties getting parked near the Perth Road shops.

I have asked Dundee City Council therefore to refresh the markings and have had a very prompt response promising action to repaint them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dundee Literary Festival 2012


The programme for the 2012 Dundee Literary Festival is now available at www.literarydundee.co.uk.

It takes place between 24th and 28th October at the Bonar Hall.

Whether you're a political junkie who wants to hear behind the scenes tales from Nick Robinson of the BBC or Jeremy Bowen of ITV, a literature fan who wants to hear Liz Lochhead and Bernard MacLaverty, James Meek, Alan Warner. There's non-fiction from Max Benitez, Mark Beaumont, Andy Coogan and Doug Allan.

There's loads for the kids too - Sally Magnusson, Joan Lennon and Lari Don.   Don't miss it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Glenfiddich Champion at the Wighton this Saturday!

From Sheena Wellington at Friends of Wighton:

Reigning Glenfiddich Fiddle Champion Maggie Adamson and guitarist Brian Nicolson will provide the musical treats for the Friends of Wighton Cappuccino Concert on Saturday 22nd September in the Wighton Heritage Centre on the Central Library.

20 year old Maggie Adamson, currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is one of Shetland's finest young fiddlers who exemplifies the dynamic techniques which has made the Shetland fiddle style famous. Maggie is regularly accompanied by Brian Nicholson (a member of Hom Bru and many other groups), perhaps Shetland's most gifted and prodigious guitarist. The pairing has released three albums to date.

"A definite crowd pleaser, Maggie promises to be a star of the future, with already enough talent to challenge many professional players." - The Orcadian. 

The concert starts at 11am, doors open and coffee available from 10.30am.   Tickets, price £5 to include coffee, are available at the door or may be pre-booked from 01382 221242.

Congratulations Riverside Nature Park!

I'm delighted to learn that Riverside Nature Park has been awarded a Green Apple Award from the national Green Organisation.  

It is a bronze award for good environmental practice and great to see the nature park being recognised so comparatively early in the life of the park, that was opened last year.

You can read more about Riverside Nature Park at www.dundeecity.gov.uk/environment/riversidenature

Discovery Film Festival 2012

Plans are well under way for this year’s Discovery Film Festival, taking place between 20th October and 4th November at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Discovery Film Festival 2012 will feature the best films for young audiences from across the world, as well as workshops, special events and not one but two special exhibitions in the galleries, curated with young audiences in mind. 

The film festival will be welcoming back Norway’s lovable talking twig, Twigson, whose first adventure was such a hit at last year's festival that the festival this year is screening the sequel, Twigson Ties The Knot.

Discovery Film Festival 2011 was the festival’s busiest year yet with over 15,000 visitors attending screenings, workshops and the exhibition at DCA and at venues across Scotland. There’s lots in the 2012 programme to attract an even-larger audience this year!
See more at www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk or click ‘play’ below:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Retro Dundee - Lochee Road

Last of the Retro Dundee posts with a photo of the former Polepark Tram Shelter on Lochee Road - from 1989, just before its removal.   It was a shame this was removed as it was real Dundee landmark.   Technically the site is on the Coldside Ward side of Lochee Road but the West End Ward is just across the road to the south:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Retro Dundee - Sinderins

From Retro Dundee - a superb photograph of the Sinderins corner on Perth Road from 1982.     Looks rather better in 2012 and I have recently had Community Payback agree to my request to have the benches at the seating area here repainted:

Coronation Street Blog

I was delighted to have recently been invited by Glenda Young, editor of the fabulous Coronation Street Blog (http://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.co.uk) to do a guest entry!

Now live on the Coronation Street Blog - you can read it by following this link - http://tinyurl.com/fraser-corrieblog.

I'd also like to thank Glenda for the donation to the charity of my choice, the MS Society.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Retro Dundee - City Road area

These photos from the Retro Dundee blog are of the City Road/Blyth Street/Baxter Street area from the mid 1980s.   Unlike the photo yesterday from the Hawkhill area, the area around City Road remains basically the same today, albeit that some of the buildings are no longer there:
Baxter Street
Baxter Street

Blyth Street
Blyth Street

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Retro Dundee - Blackheath Place

Another Retro Dundee West End photo - this is a fascinating photograph from the late 1970s and the landscape is completely unrecognisable in 2012.   

It is of the corner of Blackheath Place (no longer) and Hawkhill - and to quote Retro Dundee - "Blackheath Place - this was on Hawkhill between Annfield Road and Ure Street, pretty much opposite Mid Wynd."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Retro Dundee - the West End

It was with some sadness that, last December, the rather fabulous Retro Dundee blog ended, after three or more years of brilliant articles, pictures and videos of Dundee through the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Over the next few days, I'll feature some of its items about the West End and I start with a photograph of Logie Street as it existed in the late 1960s/early 1970s.   Much of this part of Logie Street (West End Ward is on the south side only) no longer exists but the Logie Bar and adjacent tenement is still there:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Variation of Traffic Waiting Restrictions proposals

From Dundee City Council (West End proposals in bold):

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL :   ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL (VARIATION OF WAITING RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2012

Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of varying the provisions of several Waiting Restriction Orders affecting the City.  The effect of the Order is set out in the Schedule below.

Full details of the proposals are contained in the draft Order, which together with a Statement of the Council’s reasons for proposing to make the Order may be examined during normal office hours and without payment of fee at (1) Dundee City Council offices, Reception, Floor 4, 21 City Square, Dundee and (2) Broughty Ferry Neighbourhood Library, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee by any person, during a period of 21 days from 14 September 2012.  A copy of the proposed plans can also be viewed by searching for "Traffic Regulation Orders (In Progress)" in the A to Z section of our website.

Any person may within 21 days from 14 September 2012 object to the proposed Order by notice in writing to the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Dundee City Council, 21 City Square, Dundee.  Objections should state the name and address of objector, the matters to which they relate and the grounds on which they are made.

ROGER MENNIE
Head of Democratic and Legal Services
Dundee City Council

SCHEDULE

1. To protect accesses and/or improve sightlines in Brown Constable Street/Long Wynd/Fort Street/Baker Road/Ainslie Street/Ivory Place/Arthurstone Terrace/City Road/Pitfour Street/Cleghorn Street/Baxter Street/Benvie Road/Ure Street/Baird Avenue/Rutherford Road/Mariner Drive/Blackness Road/Larch Street/Scott Court/Fairmuir Street/Marryat Street.
2. To relieve congestion in Logie Street/Muirton Road/High Street/Garnet Terrace/Stewart Street/Lorne Street/Eden Bank/Crichton Street/Wilkie’s Lane.
3. To relax unnecessarily severe restrictions in Milton Street/Urquhart Street/Camperdown Street/Roseangle.
4. To create a turnover and relieve congestion in Perth Road/Craigowan Road.
5. To reduce a length of waiting restriction to allow for a bus build out in Perth Road.
6. To remove markings due to changes in local needs in Whinny Brae/The Esplanade. 
7. To provide better parking facilities for residents in Gourlay Yard.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

HM Frigate Unicorn event

A great night of music - jazz and blues on the Upper Deck of HM Frigate Unicorn tomorrow: Stephen Duffy - Friday 14th September:
More details and link to booking tickets can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Temporary Traffic Order - Blackness Road


Back in June, I reported that the City Council intended to resurface the poor road surface in Blackness Road between Abbotsford Street and the Blackness Fire Station.     Details of the works have now been published by the City Council as follows:

Dundee City Council proposes 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 fourteen days from 17 September 2012.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Blackness Road from Glenagnes Road to Forest Park Road.

Pedestrian thoroughfare and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.  The junctions of Abbotsford Street, Peddie Street, Rosefield Street, Blackness Street, Annfield Road and Forest Park Road with Blackness Road will also be closed for the duration of these works.

An alternative route will be available via Blackness Road, Blackness Avenue and Hawkhill.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.  If you have any queries please contact 433082.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

McGonagall's Walk - Riverside Drive

I have received complaints that McGonagall's Walk on Riverside Drive needs tidied, some new signs and perhaps having the words on the pathway picked out in gilt.

Having raised this matter with Dundee City Council, the Director of City Development has responded:

"It would not be advisable to infill the lettering, as this would be unlikely to last due to frost and direct wear.  However, it maybe possible to clean the stone and I have asked my officers to investigate this further."

Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day


Today is the World Health Organisation's World Suicide Prevention Day.

As part of National Suicide Prevention Week World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness of this serious and sensitive issue, in a focussed and active way.

You can read more about Scotland's national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland by going to www.chooselife.net.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Perth Road Traders' meeting

Following our productive meeting with Perth Road businesses in July, another meeting is planned for later this month - details below - all local businesses in the Perth Road area are very welcome to attend:

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Drive In Theatre

About Drive In Theatre :


DRIVE IN THEATRE
Riverside Drive Playing Fields
(Near the railway bridge and Bridgeview Station Café-Restaurant)
13th and 14th September  - 10pm to midnight
 Alexander Storey Gordon


Drive In Theatre is a multi-layered performance that examines our changing relationship to the spectacle. 

Occupying the same night-time space as the American drive in cinema of the 30s, the fairground shows of the 1900s, and the travelling theatres of the15th century, the work establishes itself in the areas between these complex and diverse histories, exploring public spaces as laboratories where people can experiment with different types of experience and perception.

Initially informed by drawing Alexander Storey Gordon’s work combines, scripted performance, film, painting, sculpture, and printmaking to form site-specific responses to individual social, and personal situations. His practice explores the idea that art is marked by its ability to disturb the historical and make it political. In particular, he is concerned with how we communicate the stories that we tell each other, ‘myths’, as a narrative construct that can at once both help us make sense of our own lives and at the same time lead us hopelessly astray. 

In this vein A.S.G has often sought to play with old and redundant frameworks, ideologies, art movements and modes of display, briefly adopting and expanding there potential boundaries, languages and ways of presenting the world, in order to push them out with their original historical conclusions. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Phone Box - Magdalen Place

Residents have complained to me that the pay phone box at Magdalen Place is graffitied and some of the glass panels are missing - see right.

On their behalf, I have contacted BT and requested repairs.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Friends of Riverside Nature Park - Inaugural AGM

Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Riverside Nature Park, that took place at the Dundee Botanic Garden - see right.

I was last to arrive as I have my weekly Blackness Primary School ward surgery at 6.15pm every Thursday, so it was really good to find that, on arrival, there was only one seat left, given the excellent turnout!

A committee of eight was elected to move the Friends' group forward.  There's much enthusiasm amongst all who attended tonight and there's no doubt this new Friends' group in the West End will do much to enhance and promote the nature park.

Riverside Nature Park is well worth a visit - read more at www.dundeecity.gov.uk/environment/riversidenature.

Pathway - Tait's Lane to Peddie Street

Residents have complained to me that the walkway that runs from Tait's Lane to Peddie Street is rather overgrown and needs a tidy - see right.

I have requested that the City Council takes action to cut back bushes here and tidy the path.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Works at Riverside Avenue

Constituents have queried with me the works on Riverside Avenue's north side, opposite the entrance to Riverside Nature Park.    Concerns were expressed about the removal of some trees and bushes.

The City Council's City Development Department has updated me as follows:

"Some trees, shrubs and bushes were required to be removed for the installation of a venting trench to monitor landfill gas concentrations along the eastern part of the northern boundary of the Riverside Landfill site to prevent migration off site to adjacent properties. 

The trench will approximately be 230m long  to take into account the relative concentrations of landfill gas established from trial investigations and risk assessments  over the area with a width of 1.0m and depth of 2.0m. Once complete monthly monitoring of landfill gas concentrations in the ground along the full length of the trench will inform further assessment of whether further mitigation is required if necessary . 

The whole works are being undertaken after consultation with appropriate parties including SEPA, Network Rail and DCC's Environment Department (Forestry Section) who were happy with the proposals."

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Logie Central School historic plaques return!

Last Summer, at the request of local residents, I raised with the City Council concerns about the future of the two rather historic plaques that were at the Blackness Road entrance to the old Logie Secondary site, by then a construction site for the new St Joseph's Primary, Park Place (Victoria Park) Primary and Park Place (Balgay Hill) Nursery Schools.

The concern was about possible damage or loss during construction and - all credit to the City Council's Project Manager - she had them placed in her office at Council HQ for safe keeping.

As the new schools are soon to open, the plaques - renovated and looking great - are now back at the entrance to the new building.    Constituents have already commented how good they look - pictures below:



Roseangle Play Park

Residents have expressed concern to me that the children's roundabout at the Roseangle playpark is missing - see photo below:
Having contacted the City Council's Environment Department about the 'missing' roundabout, I am assured that it has been only temporarily removed for safety reasons, following damage to the spindle.    It will be either repaired or (if not repairable) replaced, hopefully in the near future.

Monday, September 03, 2012

On Tay AM news - Royal Mail post re-deliveries

I am on Tay AM news this morning about the Royal Mail post re-deliveries to Perth Road Post Office.   Click 'play' below to listen:

Friends of Wighton Lunchtime recital : Wednesday 5th September


Singer Sheena Wellington will perform the first Friends of Wighton Lunchtime Recital of the autumn.  The Lunchtime Recital, which takes place in Dundee Central Library's Wighton Heritage Centre, starts at 1.15pm.  Admission is free, although donations to the work of the Friends are welcomed. 

Sheena Wellington is one of Scotland's most renowned traditional singers whose art has taken her around the world.  She is currently teaching Scottish songs to children in several Dundee primary schools as part of the Youth Music Initiative.

Royal Mail's position on mail re-delivery ridiculous


I have today slammed Royal Mail’s position on mail re-deliveries in the West End.  It follows a request made by myself and West End Community Council to allow residents who have a DD2 postcode to have their undelivered mail and parcels to be picked up at the Perth Road Post Office should they wish.    

I have previously criticised Royal Mail for closing its well-used and very accessible Collection Office in Crichton Street.      Mail and parcels that are undelivered are now redirected to the Edward Street Sorting Office for DD1 customers and Baird Avenue for DD2 and DD3 customers.    As Baird Avenue is not near the West End and is very inaccessible by public transport, West End Community Council and I asked Royal Mail to have West End DD2 customers’ mail sorted at Edward Street rather than Baird Avenue, as Edward Street is a much better location.   However, addressing a West End Community Council meeting in April, the then Scottish Affairs Manager at Royal Mail said that Royal Mail would not use the Edward Street facility for the sorting of its DD2 customers’ mail.

The then Scottish Affairs Manager at Royal Mail rejected the requests made by the Community Council, myself and local residents to keep the Crichton Street facility open or use their much more accessible Edward Street Sorting Office for all West End mail rather than having people have to find their way to the remote Baird Avenue facility.    However, at the meeting, the Royal Mail representative did say he would look into the viability of allowing DD2 residents of the West End to request that their undelivered mail be picked up by them at the Perth Road Post Office.    At the moment, as the Perth Road Post Office is in the DD1 area by just a matter of yards, only mail and packages that are for DD1 households can be collected there.

The Perth Road Post Office is a well-used Post Office, accessible and also very close to the start of DD2 households to the immediate west and north of the Post Office.    It strikes me that, although we would have much rather seen the retention of the Crichton Street office, at least allowing all West End residents the opportunity to pick up parcels and undelivered mail at the Perth Road Post Office would of some help.

However, having contacted Julie Pirone, Director of Communications Scotland at Royal Mail recently about another constituent’s complaint about Royal Mail’s unwillingness to redirect their parcel to the Perth Road Post Office because the resident lives “over the Postcode boundary” into DD2, I have received the following response from Ms Pirone:

“I am sorry for the problems your constituent had when attempting to arrange redelivery of her item.   We always do our best to resolve any problems our customers may have with the delivery of their mail and I apologies again that we failed on this occasion.

Whilst I would agree that there have been a number of issues around the caller's office move from Crichton Street to Baird Avenue I want to reassure you that our main objective is to ensure the continued provision of postal service in the community.

As you are aware Perth Road Post Office is outside the DD2 delivery area and mail is delivered by Dundee Central delivery office (DD1).   As we do not redeliver mail outside of the intended recipients' postcode area this may inconvenience some customers more than others.    However, we have no plans at the current time to change this practice.”

I think Royal Mail’s position is ridiculous and shows a real lack of good customer relations.    There are properties in – for example, Step Row and Hawkhill – that are in DD2 but are literally a stone’s throw from the Perth Road Post Office but they can’t collect their undelivered mail from their local Post Office, according to Royal Mail.     

I have asked the Director of Communications Scotland at Royal Mail for a rethink on the matter.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dundee Travel Active at Blackness Primary School

Dundee Travel Active has returned to Blackness Primary School at the start of the new term last week, to work with pupils on travelling actively.    

Last week saw P7 pupils participating in workshop activities to learn about air pollution and the forthcoming week will see P5 and P6 pupils learning how to use www.dundeetravelinfo.com to create a Personal Journey Plan for journeys on foot, by bike or by public transport.

Week commencing 10th September will be Walk to School Week - pupils and their parents are being encouraged to walk to Blackness Primary School this week and there's other activities that week in partnership with local bus companies to launch a new bus with advertising poster designed by Blackness Primary School pupils.

In the 4th week - week commencing 17th September - Dundee Travel Active will be back at Blackness Primary School to find out how pupils enjoyed Walk to School Week and there will be a special school assembly to congratulate everyone for all their efforts.

You can read more about Dundee Travel Active at www.dundeetravelactive.com

WESHA's website launched!

I'm delighted to advise that the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) has just launched its new website at www.wesha.org - and it is a really professional site, designed and hosted by Dundee web designers MTC Media.

As WESHA's Secretary, I'd like to thank all colleagues who contributed to the site's content and, in particular, Daryl McKenzie, Community Sport Hubs Officer, at Leisure & Culture Dundee, whose hard work and enthusiasm in this project and in generally supporting WESHA and Dundee's other sports hubs is greatly appreciated.

WESHA is doing great work in promoting sport and improving sporting facilities in the West End.   If you are interested in WESHA's activities, please e-mail us at WESHA@frasermacpherson.org.uk