Friday, May 31, 2013

Blackness Court Tenants' Meeting

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking at a packed meeting of tenants at the Blackness Court Sheltered Housing Complex.

We had a good discussion about local issues such as parking, pavement condition, bin collections and other matters and also discussed forthcoming local events such as the Festival of Volunteering and WestFest.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours and I am grateful to all who attended and participated.

Magdalen Green Sunday Band Concerts 2013

The City Council is again holding concerts on the Bandstand on Magdalen Green over the summer, along with concerts at Baxter Park and Barnhill Rock Garden.    Details below :
You can download a high quality PDF of this poster here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Christmas in May ...

Yesterday, at Blackness Library, I had the pleasure of chairing the first 2013 meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight committee.  Although it may seem a long way until Christmas, as the West End Christmas Fortnight takes a lot of organising, the committee starts its planning work many months in advance.

We had a good discussion about events to be run during West End Christmas Fortnight 2013.

After the meeting, Rob Carstairs and I had a site visit to Seabraes.   Rob is our excellent pyrotechnician, who has put on an excellent community fireworks display each year at the West End Christmas lights switch on.      

The issue at Seabraes this year will be that the site from which the fireworks display has been launched each year is now being built on - the new District 10 facilities for creative industries companies is being constructed on the site - see right.    

However, having held our site visit, Rob and I are confident that, on a new site, the fireworks display can still take place and we will be discussing this further with site owners Scottish Enterprise and with Dundee City Council in the coming weeks.

Another Festival of Volunteering event - Riverside Nature Park

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

Art exhibition at the Botanic Garden

A higher quality PDF version of this poster can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Roseangle playpark campaign - an update

I recently mentioned the meeting last week to progress the fundraising campaign by Friends of Magdalen Green to improve the Roseangle playpark.   

The team report that the meeting went very well and the next campaign event is at the WestFest Big Sunday!

You can follow and support the campaign on the campaign Facebook page.   As an initiative for the playpark fundraising campaign, the main Friends of Magdalen Green Facebook page is now featuring high quality artworks that have a Magdalen Green theme.

Getting things done ... Glamis Road/Drive and Blackness Road Roundabout - paint spillage

Constituents contacted me last night about the effects of a spilled or emptied 5 litre tin of cream masonry paint over the pavement at the roundabout at Blackness Road/Glamis Road/Glamis Drive - see below:
I have asked the City Council to have the paint cleaned up as a matter of urgency.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Campaigning in Aberdeen Donside with @CAJardine #scotlibdems

My Dundee LibDem colleague Craig Duncan and I spent this morning campaigning with our party's excellent candidate for Aberdeen Donside, Christine Jardine.

It was a beautiful sunny morning in Aberdeen and we had a really enjoyable time campaigning in Granholm Village and Danestone.

Here's Christine and me - pictured right - at the LibDem campaign HQ in Donside!

Graffiti clean-up

As part of the Dundee Festival of Volunteering, a number of us, including members of Community Spirit Action Group, are undertaking a graffiti clean-up of the Douglas Street area.   Details below:
You can download a higher quality PDF version of this poster by clicking here.

Getting things done ... Hillside Terrace

Having had a number of residents' complaints about the road condition in Hillside Terrace, I met yesterday with the roads inspector for the area and a local resident on-site.

It was agreed that a number of repairs (including at the road damage - see right) could be carried out using the "Rapid Rhino" permanent repair method, which is a most helpful proposal.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Falling masonry concern at Pleasance Court

This morning, following concerns raised about falling masonry at Pleasance Court, I visited the scene (see right) and have been in discussion with site factors, Ross and Liddell, about the situation.

A significant amount of masonry fell from the south side of the building into the car park area and it was extremely lucky that no-one was close to the site when the stonework fell.   There was also no damage to vehicles and three Fire and Rescue vehicles attended to ensure the building is safe and, along with police colleagues, an exclusion zone has been established round part of the building.

Ross and Liddell assure me that they are taking immediate steps to address the issue and ensure the building's stonework is 100% secure.

More on West End bus services improvements

Last month, I welcomed proposed bus service improvements that assist service provision in parts of the West End and are due to be implemented on 30th June.   These will see improved links for areas such as Pentland, Scott Street and Glenagnes Road with Lochee and Perth Road, daytime off peak Monday to Saturday, but will also give back an evening and a Sunday service to Pentland, City Road and surrounding areas.

With grateful thanks to Suzy Scott who provides hugely useful route and timetable information on her website www.dundeebuses.info, the following downloads will be of use to residents:

Summary of overall changes - download here.    Please note that the new school bus services detailed below for the Harris Academy decant are likely to be registered with the Traffic Commissioner from 30th June, the services will not start until the start of the new term in August.  The download refers to the first Tuesday of terms but, because of the decant preparations, the start of the new 2013/14 academic year at Harris Academy will be Thursday 15th August, so the 11S/12S will commence that day.

New (or rather the return of an Outer Circle service) 9, 10, 11, 12 (various versions) - includes evening an weekend services to Pentland, City Road and surrounding areas - download here.

New 203 service - giving an off-peak Monday to Saturday daytime service to link streets like Glenagnes Road, Scott Street and City Road with Lochee and Perth Road - download here.

Changes to the 5 service - download here.

Changes to the 22 service - download here.

Revised Harris Academy School Bus Services 11S and 12S - Last Friday, I highlighted the proposed new school buses for the Harris Academy decant.   Please remember that, although registered as a service from the end of June, these bus services will commence at the start of the new term in August - download here.   

Getting things done ... Sycamore Place

Residents have reported to me that the litter bin at the corner of Sycamore Place and Balgay Road has been ripped off its post    See right.

I have reported this to the City Council and asked for a repair.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Communities in Action - feedback event

Back in March, I had the pleasure of attending a Communities in Action Afternoon Tea at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall.   

It 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.   At the time, I mentioned that a further feedback event will take place at the same venue from 2pm on 5th June.   A poster advertising this is now available - see below - all welcome!

West End Ward Surgeries


As tomorrow is the Victoria Day public holiday, my usual ward surgeries at the Harris Academy and at the Mitchell Street Centre do not take place.    I can be contacted on 459378 at any time or by e-mail at surgery@frasermacpherson.org.uk

My Thursday surgery at Blackness Primary School's staff room takes place as normal this week at 6.15pm prompt.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pentland Avenue wall - latest update

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

The council has been undertaking tests to get to the bottom of the issue and I have had another update from the Team Leader (Infrastructure) in the City Development Department as follows:

"To update you on the seepage issue, as you know we dye tested the drains to determine that these were not leaking.   

I had intended to get Scottish Water to test the water for chlorine to see if it was a leaking service pipe.   However, the seepage has (at least for the time being dried up such that there is no water to test.

This leads me to conclude that my initial assumption that the seepage is ground water due to raised water table after last year's persistent rainfall is probably correct.

I will monitor the situation and should the seepage re-occur I will get the water tested then and consider what further action may be required."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Residents' meetings - Tullideph and Morven Terrace

This morning, I had the pleasure of chairing a residents' meeting for the folk who live in the Tullideph area, followed by chairing an afternoon meeting with the residents of Morven Terrace sheltered housing complex.    Both meeting were well-attended and very productive but must rate as two of the most challenging I have ever chaired - I have a bad case of laryngitis and my voice is litle more than a whisper at the moment.    A radio interview I was to undertake today was really not an option!

At the Tullideph sheltered lounge, we discussed numerous issues including bus services (including the new 51 service, starting Monday - also discussed at the afternoon Morven Terrace meeting), street sweeping, a flooding issue, dropped kerbing and other local issues.

At the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge, in addiation to bus services, we had a chat about road safety on the  bend in Morven Terrace near its entrance (see right), overgrown bushes, parking and other matters.

Harris Academy - decant transport arrangements - an update

Last night, I attended the latest meeting of Harris Academy Parent Council.     

Further to the information given to the Harris Academy Project Board on 24th April, there was an update on school transport arrangements to the Rockwell site from August.

The Parent Council was given detail of the likely routes of the re-routed "S" school buses.     The current 1S and 22S services that go to the Perth Road site will obviously not be required when the school is relocated during the rebuild project and will be replaced by two new services - the 11S and 12S (note change of service numbers compared to the provisional information given back in April) and it is envisaged that these will operate in the morning as follows :

11S - Leaving Perth Road at Clovis Duveau Drive each morning at 8.10am, the service will travel to Rockwell along Perth Road to the City Centre then to the decant site via streets like Rankine Street and Kilberry Street.

12S - Leaving Perth Road at Clovis Duveau Drive each morning at 8.12am, the service will travel to Rockwell along Blackness Road, covering streets such as Brook Street, City Road, Lochee Road and Loons Road.

Both buses should arrive at the Rockwell site at 8.40am.   Services at the end of the school day in the opposite direction will leave at 3.20pm, arriving back at Clovis Duveau Drive end of Perth Road at 3.50pm.

As all pupils who live in the catchment area and who live at least a mile from the Rockwell site being given a bus pass during the decant period of three years, pupils can alternatively opt for a number of main service bus routes as an alternative to the 11S and 12S, should this provide a better link between their home and the Rockwell site.

There are a number of aspects of the proposals I have raised with the Head of Transportation at the City Council in advance of the finalised arrangements being advised to pupils, parents and carers, around the second week of June.

At the Parent Council meeting last night, there were also useful updates on preparations for the decant to the Rockwell site, school staffing and finance matters.   I also raised the issue of evening classes and the operation of the Harris Education and Recreation Association during the decant of Harris Academy.

From Friends of Wighton

From Sheena Wellington:

Friends of Wighton, in association with Meadowside St Paul's and supported by Creative Scotland, present: 


Ivan Drever, singer songwriter

7.30pm, Meadowside St Paul's Church, Nethergate, Dundee, 

Tickets £5, at the door or advance booking - m.adamson@dundee.ac.uk


Ivan Drever hails from Orkney and possesses a warm compelling voice, a magical talent as a songsmith and virtuoso skill in the guitar.  He recorded his latest solo album, "Keep On Keeping On" in Easter Ross in June of 2012.

The album features 12 self-penned songs and is released on Ivan's own Orcadian recordings label.  His 2011 album, "Bless The Wind" (also recorded in Easter Ross) featured former Wolfstone band mate, Andy Murray on electric guitar as well as Paul Eastham, Keyboard player with Coast. It was released on September 1st 2011. His 2010 album, "Notes From an Island", on Attic records, was a reflection on his Orcadian heritage.

Having worked with the Knowe O' Deil and as a solo artist, Ivan joined Wolfstone in 1990, their work saw them perform worldwide. Ivan's songs and tunes have been recorded by an impressive list of artists and indeed one, which was co-written with Duncan Chisholm, was featured in the Robin Williams film "Good Will Hunting". Ivan composed the songs and music and performed for the Californian Dance Based Company "Celtic Fusion" which saw him working for the early part of  2001 in the States, touring with the Company throughout March on the East coast of the USA.

Ivan's latest band project is with Frank McGuire and Rich Young, their new album is now on general release. Touring frequently with fiddle player, Duncan Chisholm, their duo album "The Lewis Blue" was released on Iona Records. The DVD and CD release of "Long December Nights" captured the duo in the relaxed setting of Duncan's front room. He has also performed with the Ivan Drever Band who produced a self titled 5 track EP for Nutshell Records.

Ivan's career has been long and fruitful as "Keep On Keeping On" now confirms. 

Now resident in Norway, Ivan regularly tours in Scandinavia and the UK.

His current live set features songs from "Keep On Keeping On", "Notes From An Island" and "Bless the Wind" alongside several as yet unreleased new songs and material from his back catalogue. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friends of Magdalen Green

Last night, I was minute-taker at the latest Friends of Magdalen Green committee meeting.  It was an extremely positive meeting at which there was an update on the Roseangle playpark improvements campaign from Sharon and Alice, who are leading the campaign.

Don't forget the playpark campaign meeting tonight at 7.30pm at Braes Below - all welcome!   The campaign team will be at WestFest Big Sunday, alongside the Friends of Magdalen Green and West End Community and Sports Hub stall!
Magdalen Green - looking lovely in the warm spring weather yesterday

WestFest 2013 - 9th to 16th June

This year's WestFest launches on Sunday 9th June with the 2013 Big Sunday on Magdalen Green.    I'll be pleased to join my colleagues in Friends of Magdalen Green and the West End Community and Sports Hub who will have a stall at the event.

You can see details of Big Sunday here, with links to details of all the week's excellent events.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

West End Community and Sports Hub - Pavilion progress

Back in February, along with other committee members of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH, formerly WESHA), we toured the Riverside Pavilion to view the commencement of the improvement works provided by a Community Payback Scheme project.

Last night, we held another tour to view progress with the works that are nearing completion and these are looking great.   Here's a few photographs from the visit last night:
New kitchen equipment installed

Repainted changing rooms

Repainted corridors - the floor is to be repainted after the football season ends

New showers are hugely better than the old ones!

Additional bus service to assist part of the West End


A new peak time bus service, jointly funded by the City Council and Angus Council, and to be operated by National Express Dundee, will start next Monday (27th May) providing direct links between Piperdam, Liff, Ninewells Hospital and the City Centre.

The good news for the West End is that parts of the West End including Guthrie Street, Brook Street, Milnbank Road, City Road, Tullideph Road and Ancrum Road will be covered by the new route.    This is particularly welcome for those residents who used to rely on the former Stagecoach 74 service that was withdrawn back in 2009.

The timetable can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blackness Primary School Parent Council

Earlier this evening, I attended the latest meeting of Blackness Primary School Parent Council.     Mr Ferrier, Head Teacher, gave a very helpful update on impending building improvements at the school.  It was also great to hear that the school has been awarded a Health Promotion Platinum Award, the first school in Dundee to reach the platinum award level.

The school's PTA and Parent Council is holding its Summer Fete on Saturday 8th June, between 10am and 12 noon.   The theme this year is recycling, with lots of activities including 'urban gardens' (a planting stall), 'water to wine' (win wine - or water!), DVD swapshop, and 'eco school' (recycled school uniforms).

Friends of Balgay's new website


Friends of Balgay now have a website that you can access at www.friendsofbalgay.co.uk.    I'll declare an interest - Janet, me wife, has created it for the Friends, using a wealth of information Friends of Balgay supplied.

Janet has used the very helpful BT Community Website Builder to create the site, having already set up at a site for the Dundee Branch of the MS Society.

Blackness Library refurbishment - an update

Further to my previous updates about the disabled access and other improvements at Blackness Library, I have received the following information from the council's Head of Library and Information Services :

"We are now in a position to confirm details relating to the temporary closure of Blackness Library for the completion of the building works.  

The library will close from Thursday 30th May for a 6 to 8 week period.  

A reduced service will be provided from Logie and St John's Church from Monday 3rd June onwards.  

The opening times will remain the same."

I am very pleased that a West End library service is being maintained during the closure period and good to see it will be situated so close to the library at Logie St John's (Cross) Church.

Monday, May 20, 2013

City Council meetings

After my weekly ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I took part in City Council committee meetings at which :

* At Education Committee, in a discussion on the funding of the rebuilding of Harris Academy, I sought assurances about the level of the Scottish Government's part-funding of the project.

* At Environment Committee, I welcomed a report on promoting bowling in the city and pointed to the facility at Lochee Park and why it would be good to see the second green utilised and the Bowling Green's building improved.    I also welcomed improvements planned for tennis facilities across Dundee, including a new porous macadam surface for the Victoria Park Tennis Courts (which, incidentally, were part-flooded today across the existing blaize court surface - the new surface will make a real difference).

* At Policy & Resources Committee, I welcomed Common Good Funding for the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, the High Mill Open Gallery Project and three other worthwhile groups.   I also spoke in favour of ensuring that young people are represented across the city's Local Community Planning Partnerships.

Balgay Stakeholders' Group


This afternoon, I took part in the latest meeting of the Balgay Stakeholders' Group that gives the opportunity for representatives from Friends of Balgay to discuss issues around the park area with local councillors and representatives of the City Council's Environment Department.

We had a very productive discussion on a number of issues including the planting of wildflowers just inside the Scott Street entrance to the park, progress towards the new toilet provision at the Lochee Park Pavilion and improvements at the Rose Garden.

Friends of Balgay are having a litter pick on Sunday 2nd June from 2pm to 3pm on Balgay Hill. This takes place during the Dundee Festival of Volunteering.  If you would like to help, the team will be meeting at the Observatory at 2pm.    Equipment such a litter grabbers and gloves will be supplied.

Botanic Garden Fun Run!

In association with the University of Dundee Institute of Sport and Exercise, the Botanic Garden is holding a 5K Fun Run on the evening of Wednesday 22nd May.

More details are available here.

It is good to see that proceeds are going to the Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Creative writing event in the Zoology Museum


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

The next special event at the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum is one of the annual highlights of our programme, now in its fifth year. 

On Tuesday 21 May at 6pm we present Notes from the Museum, an evening of poetry and prose inspired by our amazing collections and the extraordinary life and work of D’Arcy Thompson.    All of the work is written and performed by students on the Creative Writing MLitt and undergraduate courses in the School of Humanities, University of Dundee. 

The event will be chaired by tutor Edward Small and promises to be an atmospheric and memorable evening. 

All are welcome and there is no need to book - enter by the front door of the Carnelley Building. 

Refreshments will be served afterwards. 

Dawn Chorus

Next Saturday - 25th May - will see a Dawn Chorus event at Riverside Nature Park, organised by the Dundee Countryside Rangers.

Starting at 4am (yes - 4am!), more details are available from the Countryside Rangers on 431848.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dundee ADHD Parents Support Group

I have recently been assisting the Dundee ADHD Parents Support Group get a local base to support parents and carers of children with ADHD.    I'm pleased to highlight the forthcoming fundraising the support group has organised:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Apply for £6m WWI funding


I am urging communities across Dundee to apply for the new £6m First World War: then and now fund, that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just launched.

HLF is making at least £1m available per year until 2019 to provide grants of between £3,000 and £10,000. The money will enable groups across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

Communities can apply for grants for a variety of different projects, which could include:

Researching, identifying and recording local heritage
Creating a community archive or collection
Developing new interpretations of heritage through exhibitions, trails, smartphone apps, etc.
Researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources
Conservation of war memorials

The First World War had an unprecedented impact on our communities, with so many young men leaving for the front. Few people are alive now who can give us a first-hand account of this period but the legacy they have left behind can still be felt and seen.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will allow our communities to mark the centenary.    I want to encourage those who want to commemorate the centenary to get in touch with the HLF and see if they can tap into this new fund. 

This anniversary will be a poignant time for local people. I look forward to working with different groups to bring the stories from that time alive and preserve our heritage for future generations.

West End Local Community Planning Partnership

Last night, I participated in a very positive West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting.   There was a very interesting report on alcohol over-provision from a representative of the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership and from the City Council's Health Improvement Officer.

The meeting also discussed a number of West End issues with useful updates from various representatives including Fire and Rescue, the Police, the third sector, the NHS and Dundee City Council.

I was very pleased to be assured that funding is now in place to provide a pedestrian crossing on Riverside Drive near the playing fields/pavilion, something I have long campaigned for.

Inappropriate advertising criticised

I have criticised a leading company for placing advertisements on their utility boxes, without necessary permission.

Advertisements for BT Broadband from British Telecom Openreach have sprung up in the city, stuck to BT telecom utility boxes.  I have had complaints about these from constituents in Cleghorn Street and Glamis Road – the constituents wondering if the adverts are authorised.   See photo from Cleghorn Street - right.

Advertising of this kind requires advertising consent from the City Council and having asked the council, I was advised that BT Openreach has failed to apply for such consent.   From time to time, I get complaints about fly posted unauthorised advertisements but you expect a company like BT to play by the rules.   As one constituent pointed out, if every utility box and piece of street furniture had adverts stuck across them like this, it would be extremely unsightly.

A constituent complained to BT about one of the adverts and was told by BT:

“I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the sign we have placed on our cabinet.

BT have invested heavily in the local area to provide a faster Broadband service. As such we want to make people aware of this so they have the opportunity to benefit from it.

BT have the necessary rights under the relevant advertising legislation to enable us to place the signs on our cabinets.”

I therefore challenged BT to indicates what “necessary rights” BT had to give authority for their adverts .   BT replied:

“Based upon independent Legal Counsel, BT believe that the advertisement has deemed consent under both Class 2B and 5 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.”

I have gently pointed out to BT that perhaps they have not noticed the country they are placing their adverts in!   English Regulations have no relevance to Scotland and when I asked them to provide evidence of deemed consent for sites in Scotland, I have been met with silence from BT.

As the Council’s Planning Team has confirmed that the company does indeed need planning consent, I do think BT should remove these advertisements until and if it obtains planning approval.    Personally I agree with my constituents that plastering utility boxes with such adverts is unsightly and should not be encouraged.

I spoke on Wave 102 News about the matter yesterday and you can hear this by clicking 'play' below:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Blackness Court!

This afternoon, I had the great pleasure of attending the 25th Anniversary Party of the Blackness Court Sheltered Housing Complex.    There was a great turnout of residents - see below - and it was a lovely event to mark an important anniversary for the complex.

The event also marked the 25th Anniversary of Linda Webster as Blackness Court's Scheme Manager.    Linda has been at Blackness Court since 1988 and is a much-loved and hard working scheme manager who has made Blackness Court such a lovely place for the tenants to have made their home.   Linda gave an entertaining rendition of a poem about the past 25 years at Blackness Court - see above right - and was fittingly given a presentation by colleagues at Home Scotland.

West End Schools' Campus Official Opening


This morning, along with many other guests, I had the pleasure of attending the West End Schools' Campus Official Opening at the magnificent new home for Balgay Hill Nursery School, St Joseph's Primary School and Victoria Park Primary School.

The musical and dance contributions by the pupils were excellent and it was a thoroughly enjoyable morning.   Here's a couple of photographs from a most memorable and enjoyable event:
A welcome from pupils from all three schools
The talented choir that contains pupils from all years from all three schools

Dundee Liberal Democrat Team

Dundee Liberal Democrats held our AGM last night and Craig Duncan was elected as the new local party Convener with Joe Setch of Dundee Liberal Youth being elected as Vice Convener.    Thanks were expressed to Allan Petrie who has stood down as Convener.    Allan remains on our local party Executive and we are delighted at welcoming new members to the Executive too.


The photo (right) is of (from left) myself, Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron MP, Craig, Scottish LibDem Leader Willie Rennie MSP and Joe during Willie's and Tim's visit to Dundee last year.

Roseangle Play Park Fundraising


From Sharon Dickie and Alice La Rooy who are leading the Friends of Magdalen Green campaign for play improvements at the Roseangle Play Park:

We recently kicked off the fundraising efforts for improving Roseangle Play Park and a lot is happening already.  

Alice La Rooy and Sharon Dickie are leading the fundraising efforts on behalf of the Friends of Magdalen Green and have organised a meeting for anyone interested at Braes Below (Perth Road opposite the University) at 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd May.  

Anyone is welcome.   We hope to gather a lot of ideas for the park improvements and fundraising as well as seek support of other volunteers. 

There is also an online survey about the play park that we’d appreciate as many responses as possible - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MGWCTGJ.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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.

We received the extremely positive news that the recent play at the Steps Theatre ("Broken Puzzle") not only produced an income of over £1200 in aid of Jericho House's charitable work, the service users, staff and others who performed in it are now taking the show to Glasgow.

We also heard the good news that the Families Anonymous support group at Jericho House is going from strength to strength and gaining new participants.

Jericho House staff and service users are kindly taking part in the West End clean-up initiatives as part of the Festival of Volunteering early next month, which is also good news.

Gaelic icons at the Wighton Heritage Centre

From Sheena Wellington:

Wighton Heritage Centre at the Central Library :  Cappuccino Concert - Saturday 18th May at 11am, with coffee available from 10.30am.

Kenna Campbell and Wilma Kennedy, Gaelic singers

Kenna Campbell is recognised as one of the principal tradition bearers of contemporary Gaelic Scotland.   Born in Roag, near Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, and now living in Glasgow, she belongs to a family of singers and pipers - the Campbells of Greepe. Her greatest passion is for the òran mòr or the "big song" in classical Gaelic tradition, and the family as a whole share a special talent in the singing of mouth music or  puirt a beul.

Her love of song is matched by that of her desire to pass on this knowledge and skill to a new generation of singers, and her role as principal tutor in Gaelic Song at the RSAMD's Scottish Music degree is characterised by a contemporary approach matched with a respect for the roots of tradition.

Her daughter Wilma Kennedy is also a  renowned Gaelic singer, broadcaster and teacher.   A double Mod Gold Medalist, she is very well known in Dundee as the director of the award-winning Dundee Gaelic choir and Gaelic song tutor for Friends of Wighton.

On Wave 102 News - regarding the further encampment at the former GA Call Centre site

Further to my article yesterday about the new encampment on the former GA Call Centre site at the Technology Park, I spoke on Wave 102 News about the matter.   Click 'play' below to listen:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

West End Community Council meeting

Earlier this evening, I attended the latest West End Community Council meeting at which the guest speaker was Miguel Gomez Goni who, as a Spanish citizen living in Dundee, spoke about his experiences of living in our city.

During the community council meeting, I updated the audience about recent planning matters including the granting of planning approval for the Harris Academy project and the debate over the Parkview school site at the council's Development Management Committee last night.

In the police update, PC Forrester mentioned the recent spate of graffiti, an issue I raised at Policy and Resources Committee last night.    I was given assurances that all efforts are being made to tackle this.   I have reported the most recent complaint - near the Roseangle Car Park - (see right) - to the council's Rapid Response Team to have the graffiti cleaned off.