Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mural - St Peter Street

The striking and unique mural on the side of the most northerly tenement in St Peter Street (pictured right) has been in place since 1982.    Residents have said to me that it might be needing a repaint as it has begun to fade over the years.

The City Council's planning officer who deals with public art has advised me:

"The mural is now over 30 years old which is very unusual for a mural of this type.   The mural was carried by a group called Artists Collective in 1982.   The artists worked with the children of Blackness Primary School who were involved in a Dundee history project.   The Gable at that time needed a lot of repair and therefore the mural costs (funded by SDA) such as the scaffolding costs were shared with the repair budget.   

I have not seen the mural close up for some time so unaware of any recent problems.   Though the mural has faded in its brightness, it is still appears to be reasonably strong and readable.  Unless the paint is showing signs deterioration and peeling off then it is better to leave it alone. 

To refresh the whole surface with new paint we should consider a budget of well over £25k. 

I will go and have a look at the gable, but if the paint is still sound I would probably recommend little to no action at this time."

Harris Academy's new website

At the most recent Harris Academy Parent Council meeting, Mr Thewliss, Head Teacher advised us all that the new school website would soon launch.

This is now live and can be accssed at http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk.    It already has lots of useful information about the school that will be build upon in the coming months.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Fun Day


On Sunday, the City Council is arranging an Easter Fun Day at Camperdown Country Park.

It features the Play on Wheels Playbus, Cycle Stunt Show, Funfair, Easter Walkabout, Arts Activities, Radio Roadshow and takes place between noon and 4pm.

It is entirely free of charge (although there is a £2.50 charge for car parking).    

New roundabouts in place!

New Roseangle playpark roundabout
Last autumn, on behalf of residents, I requested that the City Council replace the two children's roundabouts it had removed at the Victoria Park and Roseangle playparks with new ones.

The removed roundabouts - over 30 years old - had worn spindles and were removed on safety grounds.

I am pleased to say the City Council agreed to my request and the new roundabouts have recently been installed - see right and below:
Installation of the new Victoria Park playpark roundabout is nearly complete

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The danger to wildlife caused by litter

I was contacted earlier this week by a University of Dundee student who was very concerned to have witnessed the death of a female Goosander caused by eating from the floating garbage behind the Unicorn at Victoria Dock.

As reported in last night's Evening Telegraph, this sad event was filmed (see below) and as the SSPCA correctly pointed out, this sort of irresponsible littering can prove fatal for local wildlife:
I took up the matter on behalf of my constituent and the Port Manager from Forth Ports Limited has reacted swiftly.   Two boats are being used this morning to clear all the litter floating in the water in the dock area.    This is welcome, but the potential for a future repetition of this sort of needless waste of birdlife will be avoided if people simply do not drop litter.

Zoology Museum Easter openings


From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee:

New art acquisitions on show in the Zoology Museum at Easter

The D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee will re-open its doors to the public this Easter.   As well as all our amazing animals from around the world, we will also be displaying some of the latest purchases from our Art Fund grant to build a collection of art inspired by the museum’s founder, Professor D’Arcy Thompson.

Going on show for the first time in the museum will be two works by major 20th-century artists.    One is a drawing called Overflow by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the St Andrews-born artist famous for her abstract work in St Ives.    The other is a spiral-inspired etching by Victor Pasmore, who revolutionised art teaching in Britain in the late 1950s with his Basic Design Course, which included exercises based on D’Arcy Thompson’s work. 

More up-to-date are two prints by Andy Lomas, a special-effects director whose credits include Avatar and the Matrix films.   Lomas also creates artworks generated by computer algorithms, inspired by D’Arcy’s work on growth patterns.

Also on show will be a new version of a long-lost sculpture by Kirkcudbright-based artist Alex Flett. Flett originally made Snail as a student in 1969 but the work was destroyed.    Now he has revisited the original idea to create a new version specially for the museum. 

The museum in the Carnelley Building will be open 2-4.30pm on Good Friday and 10am-12.30pm on Easter Saturday.   Admission is free - please enter by the front door of Carnelley.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alternative provision for Blackness Library during refurbishment welcomed

Construction of the accessible lift at
the library, currently underway
I have welcomed the decision by Leisure and Culture Dundee to provide alternative library provision during the period of over a month when Blackness Library will be closed during refurbishment that will include provision of an accessible lift to allow residents with mobility difficulties to access the upstairs meetings rooms for the first time.

The 29 week project has been structured in such a manner that, for most of the work, the library can remain open.    However, between 7th June and 11th July, the library will be closed and I pressed for alternative library provision for the West End during that period.

The Head of Library and Information Services at Leisure and Culture Dundee has now advised me:

“Leisure and Culture Dundee has accepted the offer of temporary accommodation for Blackness Library from Logie and St John’s (Cross) Parish Church for the period of time when the library will be closed due to the Capital Projects work currently underway.  

We will be able to provide a library service from the church with opening times which reflect those currently in operation.  At present the closure is scheduled for 7th June to 11th July, although this is subject to change.”

I am very pleased that alternative library provision is to be made available and it is good that it will be very close to the library in terms of location.

Busy Tuesday

During a busy Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a launch meeting of 'DUSTIE' - an initiative by the Enterprise Gym at the University of Dundee.

This is an excellent initiative that is aimed at providing university students with paid, supervised work experience that will benefit both the student and the local community.    The first two projects - a Green Advice Centre and a Green Bike Travel project - have much merit and it will be good to see the projects develop in the months ahead.

Also yesterday, I visited the new police office at Dundee Airport where two of our local community police officers are now based.   It is good to see community bases like this for our community police officers.    During the visit I was also able to speak with the Airport Manager about airport issues.
Last night, I attended the latest meeting of "Bonnie Dundee", the group that encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee's parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.    There was a good discussion about local improvements, including in the area around the Seabraes steps.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday meetings

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of calling by a Communities in Action Afternoon Tea at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall.   This was a great opportunity for older people in the West End to discuss what it is like growing older in the local community and what services and opportunities are provided and what could be improved.   A further feedback event will take place at the same venue from 2pm on 5th June.

I also attended the latest meeting of the Remploy Working Group where members were unfortunately advised that a bid to run the Dundee Remploy factory as a social enterprise is not feasible.  I stressed the point that a huge effort must now be made to find alternative work for the staff that is sustainable in the long term.

After my two Monday ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy, I took part in City Council meetings.

* At Education Committee, I asked the Director of Education about preparedness for the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence across the city and the availability of teaching resources.

* At City Development Committee, I welcomed a report on proposals for the City Council to work with Angus Council to seek sponsorship of roundabouts in the city.    Having previously raised this as a proposal during a previous budget process, I am pleased to see progress towards this that has the potential to reduce maintenance costs.    I sought assurances about ensuring landscaping is well-maintained and also that there should be no political advertising on the city's roundabouts.

* At Policy and Resources Committee, I welcomed a proposal to bid for funding from the Youth Employment Scotland Fund that, should Dundee's bid be successful, would result in some 200 subsidised jobs for the city's young people.

* At Social Work and Health Committee,  I stressed that the new consultation on the Kemback Street Adult Resource Centre must be undertaken in a way that gives service users and their families confidence in the process.    I also asked about improvements to the Home Care Enablement (East) and Social Care Response Team following the inspection report in December 2012 that highlighted concerning issues with service delivery.

On Wave 102 News about fairer funding for the West End

Further to my article yesterday about a welcome review of regeneration funding, I was interviewed by both Radio Tay News and Wave 102 News on the matter.   You can hear the Wave 102 interview on this morning's news by clicking 'play' below:

Monday, March 25, 2013

A welcome review of regeneration funding

Further to my recent article about the need for fairer funding for the West End, I raised the matter with the City Council's Chief Executive and he has responded positively as follows:

“I can advise you that (officers) will be carrying out a review of the allocation of Fairer Scotland Fund  allocations, and this will be brought to Committee for consideration. The points you raise about the West End and I sure equally shared by elected members in the Ferry ward will be taken on board as part of that review.”

This is a very welcome development.

Free talk on Mary Lily Walker tomorrow


Mary Lily Walker
From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

"Never more blessed":  The lifelong friendship of Mary Lily Walker and D'Arcy Thompson
A free talk by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk & Pete Kinnear

Tuesday 26 March at 6pm in the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Carnelley Building, University of Dundee

Mary Lily Walker was one of Dundee's most visionary social reformers. 2013 marks the centenary of her death, and this evening talk is one of a number of celebratory events scheduled across the year. 

As well as giving an overview of Walker's remarkable life, the talk will explore the lifelong friendship she shared with Professor D’Arcy Thompson, starting with the mentorship he offered her as a one of the first cohort of students at University College, Dundee in 1883. 

The speakers will draw from 30 years of correspondence between them and other writers, with some letters having been only recently discovered. 

The scientific training that D'Arcy afforded her was put to good use in providing irrefutable evidence of the despair suffered by so many Victorian children. 

The effects of Mary Lily Walker's efforts can still be seen today in Scotland's burgeoning Early Years Movement, now championed by the Chief Medical Officer.  

In 1938, at the age of 78, D’Arcy said of her memory that he had “not been blessed in his long life with a friend more honoured than Mary Lily Walker”.  

Join us for a welcome and overdue renewal of her memory.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Temporary Traffic Order - Dudhope Roundabout

A Traffic Order from the City Council covering the Dudhope Roundabout on the West End Ward east boundary:

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 nine days from 8th April 2013.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) all lanes of the Dudhope Roundabout, (2) Lochee Road at a point 20 metres or thereby west of Dudhope Roundabout (3) North Marketgait (eastbound and westbound) at Dudhope Roundabout and (4) West Marketgait (northbound and southbound) at Dudhope Roundabout.

Vehicular access to Parker Street will be maintained from North Marketgait at its junction with Constitution Road by following the temporary diversion traffic signs.  The west bound (North Marketgait - Lochee Road) exit from Bell Street multi storey car park will be closed for the duration of the works, all traffic will exit this car park via Dudhope Crescent Road.  The car park entry points are unaffected by the works.

From Lochee Road, the Diversion Route for South and West Marketgait is via Polepark Road, Brook Street, Guthrie Street, Horsewater Wynd, Hawkhill and reverse.  From Lochee Road the Diversion Route for North Marketgait is via Dudhope Terrace, Sommerville Place and Constitution Road.  All other diversion routes are via the Inner Ring Road.

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 call 433168.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fair funding for the West End


Following the Evening Telegraph recently revealing the extent of child poverty across Dundee, I have pointed out that the council’s method of distributing Fairer Scotland Funding that excludes two wards including the West End is now proved to be totally unfair and I have called on the SNP Administration to radically rethink how it distributes regeneration monies to tackle poverty in the city.

The Tele’s figures completely destroy the myth the council seems to have created for itself that instances of poverty exist only in six of the eight wards in Dundee.   At the moment, six wards in Dundee get a flat rate £125 000 each year to spend on community projects and the West End and the Ferry get nothing.  

I have absolutely no issue with the six wards concerned getting their funding – it can be demonstrably proved that there is a need for such funding in these areas - but, given the evidence of child poverty in parts of the West End Ward the Evening Telegraph’s figures have revealed, it is no longer tenable for the SNP to ignore the needs of those who need this funding but happen to live within the boundaries of the West End Ward.

The Tele’s figures, revealed by the paper on 25th February showed that 22% of children within the West End Ward boundary are in poverty.  This was only marginally behind poverty levels in wards that do get regeneration funding such as Strathmartine (28%) and Maryfield (30%).    It is outrageous that the West End continues to be excluded by the SNP-led council from getting any funding to help alleviate this level of child poverty and a radical overhaul of how money is distributed must be undertaken.

The current funding formula divides regeneration monies equally between the six wards that get funding cutting out the West End and the Ferry.   However, the six wards are of totally different sizes – some like Lochee are much bigger than others - with different levels of poverty in each.  The funding mechanism the council is using is simply not fit for purpose if it is to be fairly allocated to tackle poverty – and particularly child poverty – across Dundee.

My proposal is that, henceforth, this funding is reallocated based on the % of child poverty in each ward.   In other words, if a ward had 10% of the city’s child poverty, it gets 10% of the overall funding;  30% of the poverty would be 30% of the funding.    That’s a far fairer way to distribute money to really tackle poverty and the SNP-led council continuing to totally ignore child poverty levels in the West End Ward is nothing short of a disgrace.

I am not seeking any community losing funding – I have no problem with ring fencing current ward allocations meantime to protect planned projects - but bringing some funding to the West End Ward is only right given the evidence of child poverty in the ward that the Evening Telegraph has highlighted.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Assurances sought on operational changes by Royal Mail in the West End


I recently sought assurances from Royal Mail regarding their changes to mail deliveries across Dundee West that will start in the DD2 part of the West End next Monday.   The DD1 part of our area is thus far not affected.

The changes are part of the “Way Forward” introduced by Royal Mail and I sought assurances given the problems a similar introduction had caused some time ago in Dundee East.

The response from Royal Mail is here:

Dear Councillor Macpherson

Thank you for your email of 8 March 2013 about mail services in the Dundee West area.

Royal Mail is implementing a fundamental change in the way we work across our delivery operations.  This is part of our rolling programme of modernisation which is being introduced in delivery offices across the UK. This is in order to accommodate the changing traffic mix – more parcels and fewer letters.  We need to modernise in order to maintain the universal service, not changing will put this at risk and we are committed to ensuring we can continue to deliver to 29 million addresses in the UK, 6 days a week, at a universal postage rate. 

We have begun to introduce a number of operational changes in the Dundee West area and these changes involve new ways of working.  This is predominately that our postmen and women are starting to make their deliveries with light weight trolleys from a small van instead of carrying a traditional bag on their shoulder.  This reflects the significant increase in the number of parcel; deliveries that we are now making and equips us with the continued growth in e-retailing going forward.  The first changes began in rural areas week commencing 4 March 2013, followed by the DD3 area.  Changes in the DD2 area begin week commencing 25th March 2013.  We are not making any changes in the DD1 area.

As part of these changes and to improve our customer experience our delivery times have increased which means people will spend more time delivering mail.  In addition twelve of our officers have changed their hours from part time to full time.  We have also invested in an additional 16 vehicles and a large number of Postal Digital Assistants (PDA) to help with deliveries.  Lightweight trolleys have also been introduced which will help prevent our people carrying heavy bags.

Deliveries to firms in the DD2 and DD3 areas remain unchanged and business customers will not notice any changes.  Some residential customers may get mail at a different time either earlier or later depending on where they are on route

We appreciate any changes may impact on our customers and our planning activities always give careful consideration as to how we can best protect and serve their interest.  It is vital that we are able to invest in new technology and equipment and upgrade operational facilities.  This helps to ensure that we have world class facilities which provide the most efficient and effective network for delivering the post.  Careful planning is made to ensure that customers – both business and residential – continue to receive the best possible service from Royal Mail.  

I have spoken to Ms Sarah Ward who is in charge of the delivery changes in Dundee West.  She reports that the changes so far have been implemented smoothly and without any difficulties being experienced.  I hope this will reassure you.  

Many thanks for contacting Royal Mail.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.  

Yours sincerely

Felicity MacFarlane
External Relations Manager (North) 
Royal Mail 

I am pleased that Royal Mail has given assurances about no adverse effect on mail deliveries but I would urge any constituent with any concerns about their mail deliveries to get in touch.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pennycook and Sinderins Courts - Residents' AGM

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being speaker at the AGM of the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts Residents' Association AGM, taking place at Sinderins Court in Hawkhill.

Despite a very snowy morning, there was an excellent turnout of residents and I updated them on current West End matters.

We had a very positive report from Marion Adams, Association Chair, about activities over the past year, and a new committee with continuing and new members was elected.

The Reform Club - Piccadilly Circus

Isn't Norman Baker MP rather superb in this ...

Nick Clegg at Dundee College #sldconf

Further to my update on Friday about the first day at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference at the West Park Centre, and with thanks to Dundee College, here's a photo of Nick Clegg MP, Liam McArthur MSP and myself with some of the team at Dundee College, during Nick's visit:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

City Church at the Friary - community update


It was really good news to learn recently from Craig Stocks of City Church at the Friary on Tullideph Road that the church as been awarded more than £257 000 to ensure essential repairs to preserve the building can be undertaken.    The funding comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Scotland.
City Church has become an integral part of community life in its local area within the West End Ward and I have been pleased to attend a number of community events at the church over the past year or so.    Craig has recently advised me of the following excellent community activities that local residents are very much welcomed at:
“The Bridge” community café drop-in, Tuesdays 11.30am to 1.00pm. Free toasties, drinks and snacks in a warm and friendly space in the Friary Halls.
“Little Stars” parent and toddler group, 1.00pm to 3.00pm on Wednesdays, mums, dads, grannies, granddads must be accompanied by a little star (pre-school).

“The Hub” youth club. Thursday evening, 7.00-9.00pm, ages 14 and above, pool, table tennis, games, snacks etc.

All these events are aiming to build community well-being.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday meetings

Earlier today, I attended a briefing by City Council planning officers for elected members about the Western Gateway housing proposals.   I raised questions about schooling provision should the housing go ahead at a later stage.   The proposed 'catchment' schools (Ardler Primary School and Baldragon Academy) are some distance away and I sought assurances that the building of future housing would not result in large numbers of placing requests for Harris Academy.

After my weekly ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and at Harris Academy, I participated in City Council meetings.   At Policy and Resources Committee, on police and fire issues, I raised:

* Queries about crime statistics, noting the excellent progress Tayside Police has made in crime detection in 2012/13, for example in robbery and violent crimes detection.

* Concerns constituents have raised about items such as furniture and rubbish being left in communal closes in flats and tenements that could present a fire hazard.

From Willie Rennie ... Conference in Dundee


Dear Fraser,

It was great to see so many in Dundee over the weekend for what was a fantastic spring conference.  You can catch up with all the news from conference here or at our new Facebook page.

Feedback from members has been positive with the emotional debate on mental health and heated debates on housing benefit reform and secret courts receiving special recognition.  Eastleigh by-election winner Mike Thornton made a surprise appearance to the delight of the conference.

In my speech on Saturday, I recalled the efforts of Jo Grimond who led this party from the fringes to the mainstream of politics and urged members to embrace his spirit as we head towards the next election.

What our Eastleigh win shows is that where we deliver a strong local campaign and get our strong national messages across, we can win.

With best wishes,

Willie Rennie MSP

Glamis Road - trees concern

Residents contacted me recently concerned at the recent removal of three well-established mature trees on Glamis Road.     

It is the case that the roots were having an adverse effect on the pavements, although it was disappointing to see the loss of mature trees in the street.   Last week, Tayside Contracts (on behalf of Dundee City Council) started to restore the pavements here - see right - although not meaning to create a Bansky in the process!

I asked the City Council - on behalf of residents - about replacement tree planting and have been advised as follows:

"There are no plans to plant replacement trees at this immediate location but there is to be a review of all the tree locations along the whole length of Glamis Road with suitable trees being planted at appropriate locations in the future. 

The Forestry Section has advised that this is likely to be done at some stage during next planting season ie. from November 2013 onwards.   There was no scope for including in the tail end of this planting season."

Spandau Ballet - I'll Fly For You

Not had music on the blog for some time!  So ... a rather superb 80s song from Spandau Ballet ... "I'll Fly For You":

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to recover from Scottish LibDem Conference ... #sldconf

After a hectic two and a half days at Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference, I had a "relaxing" afternoon helping the Countryside Rangers and a group of local residents undertake path cleaning at Balgay Hill - here's a few of the group pictured below:
It was jolly hard work but the steps on the hill are now much easier to walk on following us removing lots of leaves:
I also had the chance to call by the WestFest Spring Fair at the Vine:
Kay Macfarlane's crafts stall ...

... and Pauline Murray's crafts ...

Attractive and unusual plant pot holders

Hunter Street/Hawkhill roundabout

Some months ago, I reported the City Council's intention to improve the untidy, litter-strewn and overgrown Hunter Street/Hawkhill roundabout.

On behalf of residents, I had raised this matter with the City Council's Environment Department and I am pleased to advise that work to improve the roundabout has now been undertaken.   The shrubbery has been well thinned-out and the litter removed - see right.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in Dundee – Day Two in pictures #sldconf

Some photographs from the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference at the West Park Centre today:
Dundee team meet Vince Cable MP

Danny Alexander MP addresses conference

Caron Lindsay snaps a photo of Eastleigh by-election winner Mike Thornton MP

Willie Rennie MSP addresses conference

WestFest's Spring Fair tomorrow

You can download a good quality PDF version of this poster here.

Pentland Avenue wall - an update

I have recently been in touch with the City Engineer regarding concerns about a significant amount of water seepage from the retaining wall along Pentland Avenue, towards the Balgay Road end of the wall.   This has been raised with me by local residents and by representatives of Community Spirit Action Group.

The City Engineer has updated me as follows:

"As you will be aware weather-wise,  we have had higher than normal levels of rainfall.

This has led to ground saturation and less natural absorption and attenuation of rainfall. This has resulted in elevated ground water tables.

Our feeling is that it is these circumstances which has led to the seepage through the wall at Pentland Avenue.

We are not aware of this being a historical problem and this seepage could well cease during an extended period of dry weather.

As we will soon see warmer temperatures, there will be less risk of icing of the footway leading to safety concerns.

Therefore, I propose to monitor the site over the next few months before deciding whether or not any action is necessary."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in Dundee - a day in pictures #sldconf

This morning, I had the great pleasure in making a welcome address to hundreds of Scottish Liberal Democrats attending our Spring Conference, taking place in Dundee's West End, at the West Park Centre.

Here's some photographs from a very productive and enjoyable day:
Welcome to Dundee!

Making the opening address to delegates this morning.

Conference Hall.

Nick Clegg MP, Liam McArthur MSP and I had a very informative visit to Dundee College.   Here's Nick speaking with HNC students.

I had the pleasure of taking part in a Q&A session with 55 modern studies pupils from Dundee schools (and Madras College at St Andrews) along with Jim Hume MSP and Mike Crockart MP.    Here's Jim, along with Perth & Kinross Councillor Willie Wilson and myself, with St Paul's Academy pupils on the conference podium.

Vince Cable MP addresses conference.

Nick Clegg addresses conference.

Latest from Friends of Wighton

From Sheena Wellington:

On Saturday 16th March, Friends of Wighton's monthly Cappuccino Concert will feature Sara Grey (pictured right) and our very own Wighton Singers!

The concert takes place in the Wighton Heritage Centre, upstairs in the Central Library.  Admission is £5. Doors open, and coffee and newspapers are available, from 10.30am with the music from 11am until 12 noon.

Sara Grey is a fine American singer, banjo player and song collector, who is immersed in the song traditions of both sides of the Atlantic. She lived in Scotland for 28 years.   She also travelled extensively through the U.S. and Canada, performing and participating in workshops and summer schools. 

Sara became very aware of how easy it is for people to become insular in their appreciation of music and how important it is for people to see that as songs travelled they became part of US culture too.   Her passionate interest is to maintain and strengthen the links between Celtic and American culture.

The Wighton Singers meet every Tuesday afternoon in the Wighton Heritage Centre and have been working with Sara for several weeks.

From the City Council - Glenagnes Road


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL : ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL (GLENAGNES ROAD, DUNDEE) (VARIATION OF SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR) ORDER 2013

Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to increase safety for children at West End Primary School (Blackness Road/Glenagnes Road).

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 Dundee City Council offices, Reception, Floor 4, 21 City Square, Dundee by any person, during a period of 21 days from 15/3/13.  A copy of the 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 15/3/13 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 the objector, the matters to which they relate and the grounds on which they are made.

Head of Democratic and Legal Services

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New lower speed limit on Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue becomes reality

LCD temporary signage on Riverside Avenue
highlighting new speed limit
I have today welcomed the new lower 40 mph limit along Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue becoming reality late yesterday, with the last of the new speed limit signs being erected and the old 50 mph signs being taken down.

Due to the need to deploy staff onto winter maintenance tasks on Monday due to the inclement weather, the switch-over was about 24 hours behind schedule, but as of last night the whole stretch of road from Invergowrie to Tesco Riverside was now completely re-signed with the new limit, together with large LCD temporary signage (see right) to highlight the new lower speed limit.

Many residents have said that it would make sense for this part of Riverside Drive to have a lower speed limit.

Crucially, not only will it lower speeds, it will also allow for the possibility of future pedestrian crossings – for example at the playing fields and at Riverside Nature Park.   These would be a boon for pedestrians who currently have a real challenge trying to get across this very busy road.

The West End Community and Sports Hub has welcomed the speed limit reduction as a way of allowing a decent crossing at the Riverside Pavilion area which will allow a much safer crossing for people participating in sport on both sides of Riverside Drive.

WestFest Spring Fair


On Sunday - March 17th - Dundee WestFest is holding the Spring Fair and Pop-up Café at the Vine, 43 Magdalen Yard Road - in Marquee accommodation in the grounds of this beautiful neo-classical building. 

The event will run from 12.30pm – 4.00pm and the café will be serving hot drinks, home made soup and cakes.

Various entertainments will take place during the day including:

* Freya hand-prints cards and limited edition prints, sometimes with a fleck of gold of silver for a bit of glam. Her work features anything that catches her eye, Chickens, flying men and tins of fish have all been printed, and there's plenty more where that comes from.

Victoria Gazeley, local artist who will be selling small artworks and homemade craft works. What she strives to capture in her art is each animal's individual personality and how their characteristics can be compared to those of humans.

Emma McDermott, specialised in jewellery and metalwork, and stained glass technics, combines both crafts to create glass jewellery. Each piece of jewellery is individual as they have been fired in my kiln and the results are always unpredictable.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, and Chris Collins, book designer, presents the first Playroom Press book, Dundee 123, a counting book for cool kids using Dundee’s landmarks.

* Jim Stephen, wood turner, makes a wide variety of things, such as fruits, clocks, bowls, etc.

* Margaret Rae makes handmade jewellery and accessories : lacy scarves/snoods and corsage/brooches.

* Georgia Clayton makes hand-knitted hats, inspired by the colours and textures of Scotland – hence the business name “Highland Hues.” – and combining new, recycled wool and other materials. All are named with evocative titles such as Heather Moor, Mossy Brae, Sea Holly etc. She also does all-inclusive kits so that you can knit your own hat.

* Liz McCarthy paints semi-abstract landscapes. “Although most of my paintings are rooted in reality by the beautiful Angus countryside, I do enjoy putting my own personal spin on what I see, and interpreting in a more imaginative way. I am particularly excited by the abstract harmonies that I sense in my subjects and in colour harmony and composition.” 

*And more to come...

* Plus a special guest: Garden Gate Plants ... Andrew Morrison will bring hardy garden plants and an attractive range of brushwood animal planters.

See you all there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Friends of Riverside Nature Park event

The Friends of Riverside Nature Park are hosting a native flowers planting event at the park on Sunday 24th March - poster below - you can download a higher quality PDF version here.

With thanks to a grant from Sustain Dundee, the group has purchased a number of native species, including bluebell, snowdrops, wood anemone and primroses and they would welcome a hand to plant them.

All welcome but please wear suitable clothing and footwear.

Winter maintenance over past few days

With the inclement weather over the past few days, I have had numerous winter maintenance queries from constituents.   The City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership has updated me regarding resources deployed and I reproduce this below.   

The reference to West Park Road is in relation to a specific concern I raised about the road surface there on Monday - there was a minor traffic accident there at the junction with Beechwood Terrace on Monday morning:

"In response to your enquiry relating to the winter service delivered over the last few days I can confirm that all available resources were deployed in accordance with Committee Report 365-2012: Winter Maintenance Service.

With regard to West Park Road there was a road traffic accident which Tayside Police attended at approx. 8am on Monday 11th March.  

Priority carriageway gritting route 02 which includes West Park Road, was treated between 0600 and 0800 on the morning of Monday 11th March.

The following resources were deployed by the Roads Maintenance Partnership on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday:

Sunday 10th March:

•         Priority carriageway routes were treated by mainline gritters commencing 0500 through to 1700

•         Secondary and cul-de-sac carriageway routes were treated by tractor 8 gritters commencing treatment from 0700 through to 1700

•         Priority footway routes were treated by mainline mini-ploughs commencing 0530. 

•         Secondary footway routes followed priority footway routes through to 1700

•         Nightshift carriageway routes (east and west) commenced 1900 through to 0530.

Monday 11th March:

•         Priority carriageway routes were treated by mainline gritters commencing 0600 through to 1930

•         Secondary and cul-de-sac carriageway routes were treated by tractor 8 gritters commencing treatment from 0600 through to 1800

•         Priority footway routes were treated by mainline mini-ploughs commencing 0600. 

•         Secondary footway routes followed priority footway routes through to 1900

•         Nightshift carriageway routes (east and west) commenced 2100 through to 0530.

Tuesday 12th March:

•         Priority carriageway routes are being treated by mainline gritters, commenced 0500 onwards

•         Secondary and cul-de-sac carriageway routes are being treated by tractor 8 gritters, commenced treatment 0600 onwards

•         Priority footway routes are being treated by mainline mini-ploughs, commenced 0600 onwards. 

•         Secondary footway routes follow priority footway routes 

•         Nightshift carriageway routes (east and west) will commence 2100 through to 0530.

In addition the Environment Dept had a workforce of approx. 75 treating sheltered housing and social works priority buildings on Monday, and a workforce of approx. 40 Tuesday."