Sunday, June 30, 2013

Temporary Traffic Order : Session Street

From the City Council:

THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 : SECTION 14(1)

THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of gas connection works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Session Street, Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 1 July 2013 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Guthrie Street / Horsewater Wynd / Hawkhill.

For further information contact (01382) 433168.

Mike P Galloway
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Sheila Tennant

It was with much sadness that I, and my Dundee Liberal Democrat friends and colleagues, learned that one of our very long-standing members, Miss Sheila Tennant, passed away on Thursday.

Sheila was a stalwart of the Liberal cause and was a a much valued and hard-working member of the Liberal Party and, later, the Liberal Democrats, over many years.

I first met Sheila in 1980 when she was a lecturer in history at the then Dundee College of Commerce and, in addition to her professional and personal interest in history, she was a long-standing member of Dundee West Church and a very valued member of Liberal International.

Sheila was greatly respected by all of us and will be very sadly missed.

History of the West End : 2

Another Hawkhill photograph:
This section of the Hawkhill (which led westwards from West Port to Perth Road) shows the archway into Isles Lane.

To the west (and left) of the arch is Charles Laing's fruit shop.

The building to the right has an advertisement for Woodward's "fish suppers"; John Woodward sold fish at No. 110a Hawkhill. At No. 115 Hawkhill (to the right of the photograph) is one of the City of Dundee Co-operative Society's five general stores.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bus services - changes commence tomorrow

Residents will recall that, earlier this month, I gave an update on bus service improvements that are due to take place from tomorrow, Sunday 30th June.

In addition to some changes to the Number 5 and 22 services that serve the West End, there are some new services - the 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 and the 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.   A leaflet giving details of all of tomorrow's bus alterations across the city can be downloaded here.

Every household in the city is being delivered a new bus network map.  You can download this here.

History of the West End - a short series of photographs

With thanks to the City Council's excellent Photopolis site, over the next few days, I am featuring some superb historical photographs of the West End:
This view of the Hawkhill in Dundee is taken from the West Port, looking west.

Thomas Aitken's public house, The Globe, is listed in the Dundee Directory as Nos. 57 and 59 West Port, and is still so named today. Behind it is Johnston's Lane.

No. 1 Hawkhill is listed in the Dundee Directory as John Mathieson, broker, which may have been the West Port Loans Office. M. Boland & Co.'s clothiery was Nos. 20 and 24 Hawkhill.

Friday, June 28, 2013

West End Community and Sports Hub – latest committee meeting

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH)

We had a very productive meeting and we are finalising plans for an official re-opening of the Riverside Pavilion following its recent improvement work.    We are aiming to have the opening immediately after the school holidays.

For more information about WECSH go to www.wecsh.com.

Dundee - the place to visit

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A busy week thus far ...

It has been an extremely busy week on West End and City Council matters thus far.   Here's some of the issues covered and meetings attended :


* On Monday afternoon, I attended a site visit along with residents and City Council transportation officers to Pennycook Lane car park.    Last year, on behalf of residents, I secured agreement from the council that the disabled bay would be widened as it is presently too narrow to allow a person with mobility difficulties to be assisted in and out of a vehicle.   The site visit was to discuss how the bay can be widened without the loss of other parking in an extremely well-used car park.   It was agreed that it can be widened to the south of the bay (removing some waste ground - see above right) and this, all agreed, is a satisfactory solution.

* On Monday afternoon, I also met planning officers regarding about unsightly advertising on utility boxes and it was agreed that the City Council will write requesting removal of these at sites where there are complaints about such inappropriate advertising.

* Following my ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I took part in a very lengthy set of Dundee City Council committees at which at Policy and Resources Committee, I spoke in the debate of the proposed biomass plant for the Dundee Port area and called for the council to object to the proposal.    Committee agreed with this view (20-6) and this will now ensure that a public inquiry takes place.

At Education Committee, I welcomed the Aspire Project Proposals that will see an expansion on drama, dance and music provision in nine Dundee schools, but as no school in the West End will currently benefit from this, I asked questions about ensuring that the benefits of more drama, dance and music provision are given to all schools across the city.   I also welcomed the proposed removal of instrument tuition fees for secondary and primary pupils and asked a question about the funding of this.

At City Development Committee, I welcomed road safety improvements planned for parts of the West End and asked questions about the Hawkhill/Brown Street junction and Riverside Drive at Riverside Approach - the latter being a site I have highlighted on behalf of residents in recent months.

* On Tuesday, I attended a lengthy Scrutiny Committee of the City Council, at which, amongst other matters, I asked about ways to build on the capacity and promotion of credit unions in Dundee, queried the security policy relative to City Council-owned laptops, and queried recycling targets and performance for the city for the remaining part of 2013/14.

Later on Tuesday, I was minute-taker at the latest Friends of Magdalen Green meeting at which we had a very positive report on fund-raising, funding applications and other activities towards play equipment improvements at the Roseangle playpark.   We also discussed our proposed Christmas Coffee Morning as part of this year's West End Christmas Fortnight.

* Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Harris Academy Prizegiving and it was great to see the hard work and achievements of so many Harris pupils being recognised.     

Having attended the prizegiving for many years, it was rather poignant that this was the very last such ceremony in the "old" Harris building as the school moves to its temporary home at Lawton Road for three years during the construction of the new Harris Academy building.   

In addition to the prizegiving itself, there was a highly professional and entertaining rendition of "The Great Escape" by the school woodwind and brass players, which was much enjoyed by all.

Here4U project seeks volunteers


A new community project in Dundee aimed at supporting people who are receiving end of life care at home, is seeking volunteers.

The Here4U project provides extra support to these people and offers the opportunity of social interaction to improve the individual’s quality of life. It is a service for people who have a life-limiting illness and are receiving palliative care.

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of individuals and their families facing the problems associated with life-limiting illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering. It provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms and offers a support system to help the family cope during the person’s illness and in their own bereavement.

The project is seeking people 18 years of age and over, from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse experience. They should be able to dedicate between two and four hours per week to the project. Sometimes those who have cared for someone receiving end of life care decide to volunteer themselves.

Community Volunteer Service Manager Derek McFarlane said, “Volunteers will build a relationship with an individual who is receiving palliative care. The relationship is based upon trust, support and confidentiality, and the volunteer will offer social support over a period of time.

“We are looking for volunteers who can give a commitment of time to the service. They should also have the ability to get along with others and be someone who values others’ opinions and beliefs whilst being able to listen.”

All volunteers will receive training and will have regular meetings to discuss how they are managing with the volunteering role and to offer them support. Associated expenses will be able to be claimed back.

For further information contact Derek McFarlane, Community Volunteer Service Manager, Roxburghe House, Dundee, DD1 1SP, call 01382 423134 (office hours Monday – Friday) or email dmcfarlane1@nhs.net.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tullideph Road and City Road off-licence applications defeated

On behalf of constituents, I recently objected to the off-licence applications at 17/19 Tullideph Road and 124 City Road on grounds of over-provision.     I am able to raise objections as I am not a member of the Licensing Board.

I am pleased to say that both applications were rejected on these grounds and it is clear from speaking with residents that this decision has strong support in the local community.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Update on preparations for this year's West End Christmas Fortnight

I gave an update last month about the initial 2013 meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight committee at which I highlighted the 'little local difficulty' that the team organising the events this year have in relation to the fireworks display - the firing site at Seabraes used in previous years now has the new District 10 built on it!    (See right).

Along with our pyrotechnician Rob Carstairs, I recently met with a representative of Scottish Enterprise (who own the Seabraes site) and the City Council's Risk Manager on-site to look at options for the Christmas Fortnight fireworks display and I am delighted that agreement has been reached that will ensure our display, as part of the West End Christmas Lights Switch-On, will take place this November as normal.

The West End Christmas Fortnight committee meets again next month and if you are interested in helping the team, please e-mail christmas2013@frasermacpherson.org.uk.

Monday, June 24, 2013

More on the Mary Lily Walker Centenary celebrations - walking tours

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

On Wave 102 News - school crossing patroller

I was on Wave 102 News yesterday regarding the good news that the Blackness Road school crossing patroller (at the Kelso Steps) will continue for the benefit of Blackness Primary School pupils, after Harris Academy is decanted to the Rockwell site in August.

You can hear the interview by clicking 'play' below:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden - an update

The Friends are holding an afternoon visit to Dunnichen Walled Garden on Sunday 30th June.

More details about the Friends' activities can be accessed on their blog and at http://fudbg.org/.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Palestinian Dabka Folklore Dance Troupe - and Civic Reception


Last night, I had the great honour of giving a welcome address to the Palestinian Dabka Folklore Dance Troupe from Bethlehem as they performed to a large audience (see right) at the Dundee West Church Halls.    

It was very kind of Tayside for Justice in Palestine, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Action Palestine to invite me to give the welcome address and I took the opportunity to thank all for their support for the people of Palestine and their right to self-determination, nationhood and a positive future.    

The Dabka Folklore Dance Troupe performed in the City Square last year and are hugely talented.   Here's a photograph below of the troupe with me last night:
Later yesterday evening, I attended the Civic Reception in honour of Bailie Ian Borthwick, as Ian celebrates his 50th anniversary as a city councillor.   It was very fitting that there was a large turnout to recognise Ian's immense contribution to his constituents and the city over 50 years, including councillors and other elected representatives of all political persuasions.

The Mary Lily Walker Centenary

You can download a high quality copy of this poster here.   You can also download details of the Early Years Conference on 29th June here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Good news regarding school crossing patroller - Blackness Road

Back in 2009, I was delighted when the City Council agreed to my request, made on behalf of the parents of pupils of Blackness Primary School and Harris Academy, for a school crossing patroller on busy Blackness Road at the Kelso Steps.

This is a busy crossing and I have had constituents ask for an assurance that the patroller will not be removed when Harris Academy is decanted to Rockwell as he will continue to assist Blackness Primary School pupils cross this busy road.

I am pleased to say that the Director of Education has advised me:

"There are no plans to move this patroller."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Community Spirit Action Group - walkabout

Last night, Community Spirit Action Group, the community group for the "north" part of West End Ward, covering Tullideph, Ancrum, Pentland the Cleghorn area and surrounding streets, held a walkabout across part of its area, and I was pleased to take part, alongside Community Spirit's office-bearers.

The idea of the walkabout is to look at local issues and then follow them up with the appropriate council department or other organisation to achieve repairs and improvements.    We highlighted a number of issues that the group's Chair has already followed up with the responsible department or organisation.

Here's some examples below:
Overgrown area in Blyth Street

Trip Hazard - Lawrence Street

Graffiti - Rosebery Street

Damaged street sign - Lawrence Street

Progress with the National Entitlement Card

Yesterday, along with a number of councillor colleagues, I attended a briefing from City Council officers on progress with the National Entitlement Card (NEC).

For many people in the city, the NEC is their concessionary bus pass, but it can actually cover a whole host of services from library card, taxi travel for disabled people, leisure membership, cashless catering in schools, council staff ID cards, on-line learning, and much more.

Dundee is leading the field in Scotland as the lead authority for NEC and the update yesterday was extremely useful.   I have called for swift progress to achieve roll-out of the 'Saltire Card', the proposed Scottish equivalent of London's Oyster Card and see this as a way the NEC can make a real difference in making public transport both joined-up and more affordable.

Dundee at finals of the Carnegie UK Trust's TestTown competition

I was delighted to learn that a local team has made it to the finals of Carnegie UK Trust's TestTown - a competition designed to enable young innovators (between the ages of 16 and 30) to develop and showcase truly original business ideas that will help to rejuvenate Britain's town centres. 

The first year of the TestTown initiative saw more than 550 young people from across the country produce over a hundred great enterprising ideas. 

Only the 12 best have now been given financial support and mentoring to help develop their ideas and bring them to TestTown.    At the end of June, they will join the other teams in trading for real in vacant units in the TestTown finals base of Dunfermline.    The winner of this national competition will be decided by a panel of independent judges including Kwikfit billionaire Sir Tom Farmer, with the winner picking up a £10 000 prize to help them grow the next great British high street business.

I've spoken with Graham McCann, one of the team of young innovators from Dundee, about their project “Functional Fitness Express”.  The business will deliver a 15-minute high intensity to customers, a shower facility, high speed drier, and a balanced protein meal to take away. 

Graham advises:

"In the process of setting up Functional Fitness Dundee Limited, a new type of fitness facility in Dundee, one of my clients alerted me to this competition held by Carnegie Trust UK. A competition targeting young entrepreneurs to give ideas on how to use all the vacant units we see in high streets these days. I was initially made aware of the competition a few months prior to this day and had totally gone out of my head until it was the last day for entries. So I decided on a whim to put our entry in!

Our entry -  The entry was to be an extension of the business we are building, called Functional Fitness Express - a 30 minute, one stop shop for exercise and nutrition for the busy individual! 

The workout...

4 Minute cardio using an interval system called Tabata
5 Minute total body training using a suspension trainer and Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training
5 Minute intense core workout to stabilise the body.
Quick stop shower and dry.
leave the gym or sit in with a protein shake of your choice and a piece of fruit of your choice for a nutritionally sound snack, or a salad if at meal times!

In and out in 30 minutes!

From a total of 600 entries, we have made the final 10. We now get the chance to pilot this idea assisted by a grant through Carnegie Trust of £1000. If successful, the winner receives £10 000 to invest in business. We hope to do our best in representing Dundee,  win the event and invest into the future of Dundee's population. Branching out into business to business service making employees fitter and more aware of health and lifestyle."

I wish Graham and his colleagues all the best at the finals later this month!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Starter Packs Dundee AGM

Last night, I had the pleasure of being guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of Starter Packs Dundee, which took place at Meadowside St Paul's Church in the Nethergate.

It was a well-attended meeting and I was grateful for the warm welcome!

Supported by local churches, Starter Packs seeks donations of good unwanted basic household goods, bed linen and curtains that are recycled and made up into ‘starter packs’ by a team of 20 volunteers working on a rota basis.   The  packs are of huge need to many families,couples and single people who obtain a tenancy but lack basic items.

You can read more about Starter Packs here.

Waterfront roads issue

I have had complaints from several West End residents about the operation of the temporary traffic lights just south of Tayside House where Riverside Drive currently meets South Marketgait - see right.

Drivers coming from the West End from the Riverside Drive side (coming east and joining South Marketgait at this junction to continue east) are complaining that it is almost impossible in busy traffic to get turned right at the lights because of the tail back of traffic from South Marketgait users who have come down from the Nethergate junction and are continuing east.   Even when the “Riverside” part of the traffic lights is at green, there is traffic already across the junction on South Marketgait so traffic from Riverside Drive goes no-place.  

I appreciate the challenges at this temporary location at present but contacted the City Council wondering if anything can be done to improve the situation.    Constituents have mentioned a clear and large “yellow box” exclusion zone and/or enforcement measures as some vehicles on South Marketgait are pushing their luck in terms of going through as/after the lights change.

The Head of Transportation has responded to me as follows:

"I have investigated your query and I think that the main problem was that the temporary works (temporary lane closures) associated with the ongoing central waterfront project are causing the queuing and delay at the junction that you and your constituents are finding. 

A yellow box marking may help to keep the junction clear of vehicles however I think that the main problem is, temporary during lane closures), the lack of road capacity on South Marketgait.  Were  a yellow box marking installed I would consider that there would be still no progression from Riverside Drive as there would still be queuing traffic ahead.  The priority is to keep the inner ring road moving  to avoid  grid locking this road.   The removal of the pedestrian phase at this junction next week will also allow further efficiency for all legs.

I will get the staff in UTC to monitor the situation to keep an eye on what is going on at this junction and I will pass your comments onto the Central Waterfront Team."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Harris Academy Project Board

Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Harris Academy Project Board, the board overseeing the rebuilding of Harris Academy and the impending decant to the former Rockwell building in Lawton Road.

The meeting took place at the Lawton Road site and,further to my recent update on school transport arrangements from August,we had a lengthy discussion about this matter at which I sought assurances about capacity on the proposed 11S and 12S school buses.

We took the opportunity to make a further tour of progress on-site at Lawton Road - some photos below:
Work on going in the Assembly Hall

One of the gym halls

IT classroom

Science classroom

Work on-going re the food servery

Hone Economics classroom

Problems with City Council's Emergency Telephone Service

Following complaints from constituents about the City Council's Emergency Telephone Service not being accessible recently, I raised this concern with the council and the Head of IT has responded as follows:

"We had a serious issue with our telephony service on Thursday night, which was fully cleared at 10:00am on Friday. Contingency plans were put in place overnight to reduce disruption, but your constituents' assessment of impact is fairly accurate.

There is resilience in the system for the emergency line, but despite regular testing, this did not work as it should have. This issue, and the main failure issue are being investigated as a matter of urgency by our supplier and my staff.

We have put in a short-term contingency of rebooting a server overnight, which will prevent reoccurrence.   However, the overall issue will remain as an urgent open call with our supplier until root-cause is identified.   This is part of our normal process to ensure minimum disruption.

For information, we are also currently engaged in a longer-term migration of the telephone system which is leading to lower charges and greater resilience."

I have given my view that the emergency number (434343) should be on a completely separate system than the main council phone system to avoid 434343 going out of action if the council's main system fails.

Hawkhill by-pass - new pedestrian crossing

As residents will have noted, there are currently roadworks and a temporary crossing on Hawkhill at Tesco Express near to the Marketgait roundabout - see right.

I have discussed the works with the Head of Transportation who advises that the aged crossing is being replaced with a new system and this requires a new ducting across the road.     The works should be completed within the next 7-10 days.

This is a very well-used crossing so the new pedestrian crossing is to be welcomed as was the recent replacement of the old crossing on Riverside Drive immediately east of the main Tesco Extra on Riverside Drive.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tay Road Bridge Joint Board meeting

Earlier today, I participated in the latest meeting of the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board, at which I was pleased to nominate my Liberal Democrat colleague, Cllr Maggie Taylor of Fife Council, as new Chair of the Board. (Maggie is pictured - right).   

I was delighted that Maggie was elected as the new Chair.   Cllr Jimmy Black of Dundee City Council was elected Vice Chair.

There were useful discussions about a number of Tay Road Bridge matters and I asked questions in relation to planned engineering works in relation to the bridge's north approach viaduct.

Latest on Harris Academy bus travel arrangements

Further to my article last month on progress towards ensuring there are satisfactory bus travel arrangements for pupils of Harris Academy after the decant to Rockwell takes place at the start of the new term in August, the City Council's Head of Education (Secondary and Support for Learners) has updated as follows:

"A meeting was held on 5 June 2013 to discuss final preparations for the transport arrangements to Harris Academy Lawton Road.   The strategy of using the existing commercial network of bus services was finalised and I am confident that, following a short period of bedding in, the proposal will work well and that there will be sufficient capacity to accommodate all entitled pupils.    Our strategy of using existing buses is an affordable approach which gives pupils the added benefit of being able to access free travel on the NXD bus network throughout the school year (term-time).   

There have been concerns expressed about potential capacity issues and in particular the attractiveness of the direct buses to Lawton Road relative to other bus services.   With the exception of the double decker bus that will leave from Invergowrie each day, all the bus services are registered (i.e. available to the public).  This means we are somewhat restricted in what we can do to manage loadings at the beginning of the return journey from Rockwell, but the school is planning to adopt a number of strategies to manage the numbers and ensure the pupils make use of all the available options.   

These strategies will be communicated to pupils in the coming weeks, before the end of the summer term and may be adapted following experience of the first few weeks in August 2013.  I can confirm that we do not plan to provide additional capacity over and above the registered services.  These plans have been discussed and shared with colleagues from Perth & Kinross Council."

I have been in correspondence with council officers about possible capacity issues with the proposed 11S and 12S new school buses which leave Perth Road to Rockwell each morning (by different routes and doing the reverse journeys at the end of the school day).   These two services will be popular as they cover much of the Harris catchment area and it is vital that pupils can get on these services and that there is sufficient capacity.

A leaflet is being issued by the school to all pupils by the school that gives a good level of detail regarding travel alternatives - you can download it here.     I have sought an assurance that the leaflet will also be given to P7 pupils at feeder primaries who will attend Harris Academy from the start of the new academic year in August.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Magdalen Artists' Crafts and Paintings Day

As WestFest 2013 drew to its end after a great week of events, I had the pleasure yesterday of visiting Magdalen Artists' Crafts and Paintings Day at the Vine in Roseangle.

In addition to the art exhibition that has taken place throughout WestFest, there were excellent crafts on sale yesterday - see below.     Remaining artworks will be on display at the Vine for some time yet, so there is still the opportunity to view and buy some of the art works.

On Wave 102 News ... parking in the West End

Further to my article yesterday about parking issues in the West End, I spoke on Wave 102 News about the matter yesterday.

You can hear the interview by clicking 'play' below:


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wasps Studios - Vitamin D : Meadow Mill Projects’ Summer Call for Proposals

This is a call for proposals from Meadow Mill Studios for a fantastic new project space at the recently developed Meadow Mill studios in West Hendersons Wynd.

Meadow Mill Projects cordially invites you to submit proposals for Vitamin D, an open call for events and exhibitions to be staged on and offsite at Meadow Mill Projects between 26th July and 17th of August 2013. Submissions are welcomed from all manner of creative practitioners whose work is linked to or informed by visual arts practice.

Vitamin D: helps regulate calcium and phosphate levels in our bodies; these nutrients are essential for healthy teeth and bones. We synthesize vitamin D through the agency of the sun - simply by being outside.

Vitamin D can synthesize all forms of work outdoors. This includes performance and placed objects, visuals in the public environs of the city and gallery based concepts for proposed public works whose imaginary budgets and relationship with reality may be limitless.

Proposed works may be situated outdoors or could be installed in Meadow Mill Projects One, our newly redeveloped gallery space. There is a small materials budget available to support some projects, exhibitions and events and up to four projects will be selected. Please indicate on your application if you need financial support to realise your proposal.

For more details about Meadow Mill Projects, technical advice and guidance on how to make a submission for Vitamin D please read over our Meadow Mill Projects Proposal Guidelines and Wasps Studios Exhibitors Guidelines.

Please submit your proposal no later than Monday 24th June. All proposals will be reviewed by the Meadow Mill Projects Panel and successful proposals will be notified by Thursday 27th June.

Hope for some West End parking improvements

I have welcomed the commitment by council transportation officials to look at several ways of easing parking problems in the West End short of a residents’ parking scheme, following the rejection of such a scheme by residents last year.

Along with my West End councillor colleagues, I met with transportation officials yesterday to look at what steps could be considered to improve parking and ease particular problem sites and a number of possible proposals are to be investigated, with recommendations likely to come forward in the autumn.

It was no surprise that the residents’ parking scheme idea was rejected by the majority of residents as the proposed £80 cost and proposal to charge visitors for parking in the area was a pretty unsellable idea, but I am anxious that something positive comes out of the consultation process and, looking at the consultation returns from residents and local businesses, there are a number of good ideas the council should consider taking forward.

The most obvious one is to look again at the extent of waiting restrictions to see what additional parking space could be safely created.   This is not only about removing yellow paint off some roads where it would be of benefit to residents, but also in some places making some of the current double yellow lines into single yellow would help residents at weekends and in the evening.

Council transportation officials have agreed to look at this issue street by street in the West End over the forthcoming period and come up with some recommendations to consult local people with.  They also agreed to look at ways local car parks could operate better.

A number of other aspects were discussed and I am keen to see a minor amendment to the City Centre Parking Scheme to help constituents in parts of West Port and Hawkhill.

It is vital that some good comes out of the residents’ parking scheme consultation and that all reasonable steps are taken to help West End residents get their cars parked a little easier and I felt the meeting with transportation officials was positive in that regard.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Harris Academy FP Hockey Club



Campaigning again in Aberdeen Donside with @CAJardine #scotlibdems




I was campaigning again in Aberdeen Donside yesterday morning for our excellent candidate Christine Jardine and this time was joined by my Dundee LibDem colleague Daniel Coleman - see Daniel (right) in the constituency.



It was a beautiful morning in Aberdeen - I'm pictured below:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Traffic Lights on Hawkhill

Earlier this week, I received complaints from constituents that that the “red” light on Hawkhill at the junction with Bellfield Street (heading east) is not functioning properly.

The ‘visor’ is  not positioned properly so drivers can’t see the red light on the right side of the road.

The City Council's Head of Transportation has assured me that he has taken forward my complaint and repairs will be undertaken.

Policing plan for the West End 2013

Police Scotland has recently published its policing plan for the West End for 2013.   

Having plans for every ward across Scotland is a very good initiative and the West End Policing Plan highlights local priorities including tackling vandalism and graffiti, dealing with housebreaking and thefts and tackling anti-social behaviour and drugs and alcohol abuse.

You can read the West End Policing Plan here.

We are lucky in the West End to have a superb team of community police officers and the team can be contacted at westendcpt@scotland.pnn.police.uk.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Oliver" at Harris Academy

Last night, alongside a packed audience, I had the pleasure of attending Harris Academy's production of "Oliver."   See below:
It was a superbly well-produced musical that showcased the talents of all the pupils who performed and also all the staff and others whose hard work made it a production to remember.

As Harris Academy shortly moves to its new temporary home at Rockwell, last night's production certainly ensured that the school leaves the 'old Harris' on a high!

Roseangle Playpark campaign's superb banner!

The Friends of Magdalen Green's Roseangle Playpark campaign did a superb job at WestFest Big Sunday, raising nearly a further £700 towards the target to get improved play equipment in this much-used playpark adjacent to Magdalen Green.

Thanks go to local artist Stu Ivins who created the banner - see below:

Zoology Museum and WestFest

From Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

D'Arcy Thompson
As part of Dundee's WestFest, I'll be giving a talk about D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, his work in Dundee and his extraordinary influence around the world, on Friday 14th June at 1pm in the old lecture theatre, Carnelley Building at the University.    Admission is free and all are welcome. Enter by the modern link entrance on the west side of the building.

Also for WestFest, on Wednesday 12th June at 2.30pm, I'll be leading a guided walk round the houses and studios of notable Dundee artists from the 19th century onwards. Tickets cost £3 (proceeds go to support WestFest) and must be booked in advance from the festival organisers (call 07581 383615). 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

West End Community Council - June 2013 Update

I have today launched my June 2013 Update to West End Community Council.

Subjects covered include :

Road Safety - Riverside Drive
Seating at Sinderins 
West End Christmas Fortnight 2013 

You can download my Update here.

The Community Council meets tonight at 7pm at the Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall in Shaftesbury Terrace.   All residents welcome.

Crafts and Paintings Day - a WestFest event

During WestFest, the Magdalen Artists have their exhibition taking place at the Vine in Roseangle, opposite the Roseangle car park. 

This Saturday, the exhibition is on all day along with a crafts fair - don't miss it!  
A high quality PDF of this poster can be downloaded here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another encampment at Riverside

I have today expressed concern at another travellers' illegal encampment on council owned land springing up in the past 24 hours, this time immediately west of the Riverside playing field to the north side of Riverside Drive.

I have received several concerns from residents about this encampment and I have been in touch with the police and council officers about this, to hopefully ensure there is a swift resolution.

I have received feedback that council officers today met with the travellers and have also taken appropriate legal steps.

A photo of the site is below: