Wednesday, July 31, 2013

West End Community and Sports Hub committee meeting

Last night, I had the pleasure of taking part in the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub, that took place at the now greatly upgraded Riverside Pavilion.

The Community Payback Fund upgrade is almost complete and the pavilion is looking so much better.   WECSH has great plans for the pavilion in terms of creating greater capacity and services for West End sport and the pavilion improvements represent a great start.  

We were all delighted to learn that our Vice Chair, Steve McSwiggan of the Dundee Saturday Morning Football League has won the Sunday Mail Volunteer of Year Award for the East region and he will get presented with the award at half time during Dundee United v St Johnstone at Tannadice Park on 24th August.  Congratulations to Steve for this very well deserved recognition.

Here's a few photos of the newly installed signage at the pavilion:
New entrance signage

Another new entrance sign

New noticeboard

The 12 changing rooms have been named - see above and below


Jericho House support group meeting

Jericho House
Yesterday, 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 had a very positive discussion about forthcoming activities by the folk at Jericho House, including :

* Participation in the next Dundee Open Doors events in September.

* Service users and staff walking the West Highland Way in October.   If any local resident is interesting in participating, please contact Jericho House at dundee@jericho-addictionservices.co.uk

* There is to be a cycle ride for charity - again, local residents interested in taking part should contact Jericho House.

* The excellent "Broken Puzzle" play that the service users and staff participated in earlier this year will be re-run at a West End venue during West End Christmas Fortnight in November.

We also discussed a number of other issues in what was an excellent and productive meeting.

Timebanking in the West End

Following the success of the TimeTree North East Dundee TimeBank, I was contacted recently by Gill Bain, Timebank Development Officer, about starting a similar initiative across the West End.

Here's some information from Gill, along with contact details:

There’s nothing new about people helping out friends and neighbours.   Some of that goes on every day in Dundee. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to offer help to people you don’t know or say when you could do with a hand yourself.   Timebanking  is  a new and exciting way for people to share their skills within the community and be rewarded for it- in time.   By helping others you can meet new people, do the things you enjoy and get something back.

Time banking works on the principle that everyone has something to offer, no matter who they are or what age they are! 

For every hour that someone volunteers they receive an hour's credit to “spend” when they need a service in return. For example, one person may provide gardening and in return may get help with computer skills. Everyone has something to offer and something to give!

You can give as little or as much as you want, it could be that you are walking someone’s dog on a weekly basis or it could be that you are just providing a one off service such as helping someone with building some furniture. It is entirely up to you!

Two new Development Workers have been funded through Reshaping Care for Older People, on a job share basis. Gill Bain and Barry Thomson will be rolling timebanks out across Dundee, after the success of the pilot timebank in the North East of Dundee- TimeTree NorthEast Dundee TimeBank. 

If you would like more information about timebanking or are keen to discuss the possibility of timebanking in your area, please contact: 

GillBain@number10.org                            

BarryThomson@number10.org                  

Phone 305758

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More on the graffiti vandalism in Blackness Road/Glamis Road area

Today's Courier highlighted my concerns about the graffiti vandalism that took place in the Blackness Road and Glamis Road area overnight Sunday/Monday, and the action I took informing the police and asking the City Council's Rapid Response Team to assist with the graffiti removal.

I was on Radio Tay News and Wave 102 News today and will be speaking about the situation on STV News this evening.   You can hear the radio interviews by clicking 'play' below.

I am grateful to all the many residents who have been in touch with me about the vandalism and to the Rapid Response Team who were in the area today cleaning up much of the graffiti.

Dundee's second Blue Skies Festival!

This coming Saturday sees the start of the second Dundee Blue Skies festival, a week of kite flying, stargazing and rainbow chasing starts - and it runs until 11th August.    Blue Skies brings together cultural agencies from across the city to present you with an exciting mix of free events for all ages.   

Events include :

* Blue Skies at Celebration in the park - launch activities on Saturday 3rd August.

* Make Paper come alive - on Monday 5th August - at DCA.

* Top Gun - with extra guitars - on Saturday 10th August - at Dundee Airport.

* The Perseids - on Sunday 11th August - at the Mills Observatory.

There's many other events as part of the Blue Skies Festival - see more at www.dundeeblueskies.co.uk - and what's more, all are free of charge!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Photography and Art Exhibition this Saturday

Details below of a great event at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road this Saturday!

Concern over large amount of graffiti vandalism

I have today spoken with a large number of residents who are naturally furious at the explosion of graffiti vandalism that happened in the Blackness Road/Glamis Road area overnight.

Although there has been, over the years, several phases of bad spates of graffiti appearing, what happened overnight must be one of the worst examples of a large amount of graffiti spread over a wide area that I have come across.

The vandalism is across a large number of private garages, doors, walls and other sites as well as bus shelters and utility boxes - see some examples below taken earlier today.



This morning, I was immediately in touch with both the police and the City Council's Rapid Response Team and council staff will tackle as much of the graffiti that residents have been unable to remove.    This afternoon, I spoke with a number of residents who have already tried removing graffiti from their property.

This sort of mindless vandalism is infuriating and I know that the police will put in significant effort to get those responsible identified, as they have successfully done before.   If any resident saw anything suspicious overnight in the area, they are urged to contact the Police Scotland non-emergency number 101.   Many thanks.

City Road Allotments Open Day


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Teddy Bears Picnic on Magdalen Green!

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the Friends of Magdalen Green's Roseangle Playpark campaign Teddy Bears Picnic on the Green.

Despite it being rather rainy up to 3pm, it all went very well, raising over £250 this afternoon alone, in addition to promoting the forthcoming wine tasting event and the dinner dance planned for November.

And don't forget the wine tasting evening on 9th August - 7pm at Aitken's Wine Warehouse.
Only £15 per ticket which includes a glass of fizz on arrival, tasting of three whites, three reds and something special to finish.   For tickets email sharon.dickie@asktheobvious.com or phone 07947 203309.

Here's a few photos from today!
Sharon highlights the forthcoming events, whilst sporting one of the super campaign t-shirts - £8 for adults, £6 for children and available in many colours!

Campaign banner and face-painting gazebo!

Cup cakes were superb!

Tayport Instrumental Band added to the atmosphere, and played a rather good "Teddy Bears' Picnic!"

Waiting Restrictions Review in part of the West End Ward

Back in April, I mentioned that I had chaired a residents' meeting at Pleasance Court at which one of the matters discussed was the proposal by the City Council to review the parking waiting restrictions on streets in the area.

This should hopefully free up some additional on-street car parking in the area - including quite a wide area to the east of Pleasance Court towards Lochee Road to the north and Hawkhill to the south.

As a preliminary part of the legal procedures to be undertaken to give effect to the proposals, the Council be undertaking public consultation soon and you can download plans of the current situation and the proposals here.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Olympia

A constituent contacted me recently about the new Olympia facility as follows:

“My family has visited the new Olympia and we are very impressed but is there some sort of conspiracy to keep the identity of Dundee's latest premier swimming pool secret?   

I would have though that some exterior signage to identify the thing would have been usual ... attract custom etc?    

Also the large windows of the facility are already covered in bird mess and it would be good to be reassured that the facility will have these large windows kept clean.”

I took up the matter with the Director of Leisure & Communities who has advised me:

"The good news is that the signage contract is progressing and we expect to see it there soon.

I share the concern about keeping the glass facade clean but have been assured by the project team that this will form one of many maintenance contracts and that it will be periodically washed down."

I am pleased that these matters are in hand.  Having good signage at the facility can only help promote Dundee's newest swimming and leisure facility.

Friday, July 26, 2013

West End Christmas Fortnight 2013!

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing the latest meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight committee at the Mitchell Street Centre.

We are making excellent progress with the 2013 events and I can advise that the fortnight will include:

Saturday 23rd November :  Launch of Christmas Fortnight for the West End at Dundee West Church with a community fayre and the church's Christmas coffee morning.

Tuesday 26th November :   Christmas Concert featuring contributions from local schools, a pipe band and guest artists.   Followed by Christmas Lights Switch On, Fireworks Display and other great activities.

Saturday 30th November :  Blackness Primary School PTA Christmas Fair.

Saturday 7th December :   Friends of Magdalen Green Christmas Coffee Morning, Craft Fayre at the Vine and primary schools' football competition.

Lots of further information to follow!

Blackness Library works and planned re-opening - latest news

My last update regarding the works currently going on at the library and the progress with them referred to a site meeting that was planned for earlier this week.

I have now been updated by Library and Information Services at Leisure and Culture Dundee as follows:

"Here is the update from the site meeting on the 23rd. The sanitary ware is still not in place in the new toilets, nor is the new flooring.The contracted estimated this should be done by the end of this week. The ceiling in the adult library has been repaired and decorated. Decoration to the new access extension and toilets is ongoing. The ground floor will be handed back to us on Monday 29th July. 

Our Resource Assistants will begin the reassembling of shelves, reinstating the public access computers on Monday and we will begin the process of moving back from Logie & St John's Church on Wednesday 31st July. 

The library will close on Tuesday 30th July at 5.30pm and reopen in the original premises at 9am on Monday 5th August. 

When we reopen on the 5th August there will be no access to the upper floor. As work is still ongoing around the upstairs rooms we think for safety's sake that we restrict access until the whole project is completed.

The whole project will be completed on time, i.e. 23rd August but the hand back to the library has been delayed by two weeks."

RE: Sustain Fayre - Call for Submissions

Skill Share Dundee is looking for submissions for our RE: Sustain Fayre on Sunday 18th August 2013. 

Here are some brief details and you can find out more by downloading more information here:

If you have a craft that celebrates the theme of sustainability that you would like to display or run demonstrations at the event, get in touch to book a table at our fayre. 

For further details, visit the blog or email re.sustain@outlook.com

Deadline : Friday 2nd August 2013.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On Wave 102 News - on sheltered housing TV licensing

I was on Wave 102 News yesterday about the TV licensing issue at sheltered housing complexes including the Logie Estate, that I raised recently.

You can listen to the interview by clicking 'play' below:

Temporary Traffic Order - Nethergate and Perth Road

From the City Council :

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 three weeks from 5th August 2013.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily (1) all vehicular traffic in Nethergate from South Tay Street to Park Place and (2) all westbound vehicular traffic in Nethergate and Perth Road from Park Place to Roseangle.

Pedestrians will be unaffected by these works.  It is anticipated that Phase 1 will be complete within one week and Phase 2 will commence thereafter.

An alternative route will be available via (1) West Marketgait, Hawkhill, Perth Road and reverse and (2) West Marketgait, Hawkhill and Perth 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 contact the City Council on 433082.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TV licensing unfair to sheltered tenants who miss out on concessionary scheme

I have criticised the way the concessionary TV licence scheme for people in sheltered housing operates as it is being denied to significant numbers of people in sheltered housing in the city.

The Sheltered Housing Concessionary TV Licence Scheme should apply to people in sheltered housing who are under 75 (all people over 75 do not have to pay a TV licence fee) and gives them a lower fee of £7.50 per year.   However, there are numerous anomalies in this concessionary scheme which mean that some people in sheltered housing who it would have been expected would qualify are being denied a concessionary (ARC) licence and are being expected to pay the full £145.50 annual licence.

I have now taken up the matter with TV Licensing following concerns raised by sheltered tenants in parts of the Logie Estate.    Parts of the sheltered housing here qualify and other streets do not and I am arguing that all the sheltered tenants in the estate should qualify for the cheaper licence.

I initially took up the matter with the City Council’s Housing Department and was advised by a senior officer:

“TV Licencing were given a list of all our sheltered properties some time ago and they drew up a series of designated areas across the city. As long as all the properties within a designated area remained sheltered, all incoming tenants would be entitled to a discounted licence.

However when all the properties in a designated area are no longer sheltered, incoming tenants no longer qualify for a discount (unless they are over 75 and/or visually impaired). Crucially, though, although the designated area no longer has an entitlement to a discount on the grounds that not all properties are sheltered, existing sheltered tenants in that area who already receive the discount, have that right preserved i.e. Preserved Rights.

Just to further complicate matters, there are a few complexes where part of the complex retains the entitlement to discount and the remaining part does not. The remaining part only has Preserved Rights. This is because of the way TV Licensing has drawn the boundaries of their designated areas. Logie Sheltered Housing falls into this category. Some of the streets in Logie are entitled to a discount, whereas others will not.”

The principle of the concessionary TV licence was that it would recognise the special circumstances of elderly people in sheltered housing and their particular needs and it is not fair that some sheltered tenants are not receiving the benefit.   

I have therefore taken up the matter with TV licencing and asked them to review the streets in the Logie Sheltered Housing that are not currently being given the ARC or lower licence with a view to giving them this right.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On Tay AM News - Recycling improvements called for

Further to my article yesterday (and in the Courier), I spoke on Radio Tay News about the matter too.   You can hear the interview by clicking 'play' below:

Friends of Balgay - Summer Meeting

The Friends of Balgay Summer Meeting takes place next Saturday - 27th July - at 2pm at the Mills Observatory.    

Guest speaker is Professor Geoff Squire of the James Hutton Institute.  

Please come along and bring a friend!   

Entrance is free for members and only £1 for visitors.   

Refreshments will be provided. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

On Wave 102 News - Victoria Park Tennis Courts

I am on Wave 102 News this morning about my call for tennis court improvements at Victoria Park.   You can listen to the interview by clicking 'play' below:


Dundee's recycling figures show concerning trends

I have today expressed concern that Dundee's recycling figures for the three months to June showed some concerning trends and have again called on the council to look again at the removal of bulky waste recycling facilities at Riverside and garden waste facilities at Baldovie, calling the removal of these facilities a totally false economy.

The council's figures for April to June can be downloaded here.   They were provided by a senior officer in the council’s environment department and came with the following commentary:

“I have provided some figures for April / May / June (since the closure of Marchbanks Recycling Centre).   However, normally we would only consider a full year's period of data in making any kind of comparison, therefore I would suggest the 3 month figure to-date for this year is treated with caution.

Within this table are the amounts of green waste taken to Riverside Recycling Centre along with the corresponding tonnage for previous years.  Also, there are figures for the overall amount of green waste processed at our composting site, the amounts of wood/timber recycled at the recycling centres and the amount of residual waste taken to the recycling centres.  We do not yet have a figure for the overall amount of residual waste.”

I do accept the point that there is a limit to the conclusions one can draw from just 3 months’ data but the figures do tend to indicate what has been my concern since the removal of bulky waste facilities at Riverside and garden waste facilities at Baldovie – that it would impact adversely and this appears to be borne out in the initial recycling figures provided by the council.    The green waste tonnage drop is particularly concerning but will come as little surprise.

There is anecdotal evidence of many residents now putting items into their general waste bin that would previously been recycled and the figures at the recycling sites now bear this concern out.    There are also concerns about possible fly-tipping.   The council is a country mile short of meeting its Scottish Government recycling target for 2013 and the trend looks rather bleak.

The issue is wider than the basic recycling tonnages achieved and also covers increased private vehicle movements across the city as people are having to drive further to recycle bulky items and garden waste.   

The council claims that the very significant additional private car emissions will be “largely offset” by less council HGV emissions but I don’t think anyone seriously accepts this.     The number of private vehicle movements has significantly increased because people are having to drive right across the city with some recycling as their nearest site no longer accepts the recycling they have.

I also think it is a highly suspect way to encourage people to recycle by reducing their recycling options at the city’s civic amenity sites.   I would reiterate my view that if there are only two main civic amenity sites in a city of 145 000 people and these two sites are 9.3 miles apart, both sites should have the full facilities to avoid unnecessary private vehicle movements across the city.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Roseangle playpark campaign latest

As residents are aware, as the Secretary of Friends of Magdalen Green, I have been supporting the Friends' campaign for improvements for the Roseangle playpark.   The campaign is ably led by Sharon Dickie and Alice La Rooy and Sharon has sent an update on two forthcoming fundraising events - don't miss these!

Teddy Bears Picnic – 28th July :  2pm to 4pm in Magdalen Green
Come along to Magdalen Green for a picnic with your favourite Teddy’s and their friends.   We will be having a bake sale, face-painting, story-telling and teddy bear themed craft items for sale.   The Dundee Instrumental Band will also be playing in the iconic bandstand from 2pm-3pm!    Come show your support for the project to improve Roseangle Playpark!

Wine Tasting fundraising for Roseangle Playpark – 9th August :  7pm at Aitken's Wine Warehouse
Fancy a Friday night out sampling a few great wines, with expert commentary while at the same time helping out the fundraising for Roseangle Playpark?  £15 per ticket which includes a glass of fizz on arrival, tasting of three whites, three reds and something special to finish. A great way to end the week, everyone welcome.  For tickets email sharon.dickie@asktheobvious.com or phone 07947 203309.

See more about the playpark campaign at the team's Facebook page.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pentland Avenue embankment

I have had complaints from residents that the embankment at Pentland Avenue looks very poor, with burned/dead weeds across it.
I have taken up the matter with the Environment Department and have now been advised:
"The burned dead weeds are where we have applied herbicide in an effort to keep the vegetation at bay. At this time of year we really have no option if we are to keep on top of the vegetation in this area. If finances allow we will plant up more shrubs in this area as ground cover over the winter period.
The front of the embankment where we planted trees and shrubs as part of our environmental improvements is still clean and looks ok from my perspective."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friends of Riverside Nature Park

Last night, I attended the latest meeting of the Friends of Riverside Nature Park committee.   We were awfully grateful to Janice, committee secretary, for hosting the meeting as our usual venue (Education Centre at the Botanic Garden) was not available.

There were useful discussions on a whole host of issues, including forthcoming guided walks (there will be a bird walk in early October and hopefully a geocache walk in the autumn too) and the Friends' participation in Dundee's forthcoming Flower and Food Festival.

The great news from last night is that Riverside Nature Park has been shortlisted for an award in the 2013 Nature of Scotland Awards in the sustainable development category.    This is a fantastic achievement for the Nature Park, so early in its life, and I'll be keeping fingers and toes crossed when the award winners are announced on 30th October!

Tennis improvements for Victoria Park

Back in May, I welcomed improvements that the City Council has planned for tennis facilities across Dundee, including a new porous macadam surface for the Victoria Park Tennis Courts.

I don't doubt that the Andy Murray success at Wimbledon 2013 will encourage more and more people to take up tennis and so it was good to see the courts at Victoria Park were very well-used last week during the really good weather.

But the fact remains that the playing surface is from the old days of red shale and blaise courts and it badly needs upgrading,

I asked for an update from the City Council on improvements planned for Victoria Park's tennis courts and have been advised by the Head of Environmental Management:

" ... the promotion and upgrade of public tennis courts in Dundee was agreed at committee on 20th May 2013.  In the action plan it outlines that Victoria Park will have the blaise surface replaced with an all-weather porous macadam surface and replacement of the perimeter fence.  

This is scheduled for anytime between 2014-2016.  If we manage to secure external funding over and above the monies for Dawson Park, then we would like to look at the potential of bringing some of the tennis renovation programmes forward."

I am anxious to see the improvements at Victoria Park's tennis courts as soon as possible and have asked the council that all efforts are made to ensure this happens.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Logie residents' meeting

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing a well-attended meeting of residents in the Logie Estate that took place at the Lime Street Sheltered Lounge.

I am most grateful to the three representatives from the Housing Department of the City Council who were guest speakers and who updated residents about the issue of improving the railings across Logie and other Conservation Area matters.     

We had a good discussion about a number of other issues including concessionary TV licences in sheltered housing - an issue I raised on behalf of several residents recently an on which I will update residents on in the coming days - and also on the speed of some vehicles driving through Logie.

Concern at yet another travellers' encampment

As reported in last night's Evening Telegraph, I have expressed concern at another travellers' illegal encampment springing up on Tuesday, this time on land at the far west of Perth Road, understood to be owned by WL Gore Limited.

There are about dozen caravans are parked on the site, which sits on the north side of Perth Road immediately east of the end of the road at the junction with Riverside Avenue.

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

I was interviewed on Wave 102 and Radio Tay News regarding the issue yesterday.   You can listen to the Radio Tay interview by clicking 'play' below:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blackness Library - improvements progress

I have welcomed feedback from the City Council that the improvements taking place at Blackness Library are on track and it is hoped that the library will re-open around the end of July.  
The Library has made a temporary move to Logie and St John's (Cross) Church whilst the last of the improvements at the library, that primarily consists of disabled access facilities to the upstairs meeting and reading rooms being provided for the first time.

The City Council has recently advised me :

“The project at Blackness is still one week ahead of schedule. the lift to the upper floor has arrived and is ready to be installed. The moving back date for the library service is still to be confirmed but we are hopeful it would be at the end of July. The next site meeting is scheduled for the 23rd of July and we may be in a position to confirm a date at that time.”

I am pleased that the library will re-open in the near future and, given the improved meeting room access, am looking forward to the library providing much greater community access in the future.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Green Challenge project in the West End

Last year, I met with Solar Cities Scotland about their Dundee Green Challenge project.   The West End Ward is a part of this project and it aims to work with residents on a variety of projects that will encourage 2 600 households to take up low carbon living.

There is now a team of canvassers in the West End who are asking local people to take part in a short survey and then commit to some carbon savings actions if they are interested in them.    The canvassers then carry out a follow up in a few weeks to find out if people have carried out their actions.

I’m meeting with Solar Cities Scotland later today to discuss ways of promoting this excellent project.    Here’s  a poster about the project (below) and you can download a higher quality version of this here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Starter Packs - and the Liver Birds!

Last month, I was pleased to be guest speaker at the Dundee Starter Packs AGM.   

I am therefore delighted that Starter Packs is one of the good causes to benefit from the Wednesday evening performance of the September "Liver Birds" performance by Act IV at the Gardyne Theatre.   Starter Packs has tickets at its office - 223977.    Tickets for the Wednesday night performance as well as the other performances are also available from the box office. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Rethink needed on new bus service timetable

I have called on the City Council to look again at the bus timetable for the new 9, 10, 11 and 12 service recently introduced by National Express Dundee, with subsidy support from the City Council.   This follows complaints by constituents in parts of the route around Tullideph that the timing of the bus is badly aligned with the only other nearby bus service, the 17.

Constituents in Tullideph are rightly complaining about the rather bizarre timetable for this new service.  The 9, 10, 11, 12 service is in itself a very welcome development giving communities evening and weekend services where these were previously lacking, but residents are rightly complaining that the timetable is badly aligned to other services.

The biggest problem is that the bus from the Tullideph area travelling into town is at 25 minutes past the hour and the 17 is at 26 minutes past the hour.    Both are half hourly services and passengers – many of whom are elderly - have to wait at least another 28 minutes for the next bus.    Many other areas of the city enjoy far more frequent services, some enjoying a 8 to 10 minute service.

It would make far more sense for the 9, 10, 11, 12 service to be spaced equally between 17 buses so Tullideph and adjacent areas got a 15 minute service.

The City Council’s Head of Transportation advised me:

‘As you will be aware a large percentage of bus operations in Dundee are commercially operated, of which we have very little say in frequencies they propose to operate.

We will, if necessary look to subsidise any areas that we feel are disadvantaged by some service withdrawal decisions made by the operators, as in this case, we have subsidised the 9/10/11/12 evening service and Sunday services.

I am aware that service 9/10/11/12 operates all around Dundee and has a running time of two hours which means that this service cannot run in between other services in all areas of Dundee. If the service was to operate evenly on Tullideph Road it would not operate evenly between buses in other areas of Dundee, and this was a decision that National Express have decided to operate.’

I responded saying that as the 9, 10, 11, 12 service is a subsidised service, the council should be able to influence the timetable and it would make a lot of sense to look again at the service timings.

The new service is welcome but it has to be appropriately timed to maximise the benefit for local communities such as the people living in the Tullideph area.    I have asked the Head of Transportation to look at this issue and it would make sense to discuss it with the operators, National Express Dundee.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rail Station Lay-by Extension

The City Council has advised me of the arrangements for the creation of a welcome extension to the rail station lay-by in Riverside Drive, as follows:

"Dundee Central Waterfront Development : P13162 Rail Station Lay-by Extension Phase 2

I wish to notify you of works we are currently preparing to carry out to extend the Rail Station lay-by, in the vicinity of your business, to provide a rail replacement bus lay-by.

Following on from the recent lay-by works it has become necessary to provide a lay-by specifically for the rail replacement buses, which when necessary, have been found to cause congestion within the existing lay-by and on Riverside Drive. 

I can confirm that the footway shall be closed west of your access and that a lane closure will also be necessary on Riverside Drive to allow the lay-by to be constructed.  Access to your property shall be maintained at all times during business hours with any footway works directly outside your property being undertaken when closed. 

I will ensure the Contractor keeps you updated with the footway works at your access as they progress.

The current programme for these works is to start on Tuesday 30 July 2013 for 10 weeks."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Forthcoming exhibition at the Botanic Garden

Tomorrow sees the start of an exhibition of paintings and drawings, taking place at the Botanic Garden's gallery.   It features works by artists from the Scottish Society of Architect Artists and the exhibition runs until 23rd July.

The Botanic Garden has a great new website you can access at www.dundee.ac.uk/botanic.


Back from holiday ...

Janet and I are just back from our holiday in the Eastern Mediterranean.   We had a brilliant time (apologies in advance about the annual holiday snaps below!) and what was good was to fly back from a beautifully hot Rome to find that the weather in Glasgow was almost as warm!
Athens
The bazaar at Kusadasi, Turkey
Chania in Crete
Messina, Sicily
On board!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

History of the West End : 12

A final photograph in this short series shows Perth Road at St Peter Street.    You can see many more photographs of Dundee’s rich history on the City Council’s excellent Photopolis site.

It shows the north side of Perth Road running eastwards to the right towards the city centre, with St Peter Street leading north to the left.

Alexander Sutton, The West End Supply Stores, was at No. 121 Perth Street. Notice the peculiar barrow in St Peter Street. Sutton lived at No. 4 Gowrie Street. The confectioner at No. 199 was David Kermack. No. 117 was George Pickles' West End Hosiery.

Alexander Thompson Watt at No. 115 was a butcher, with other shops at No. 4 Wellgate, No. 30 Victoria Road, No. 112 Ann Street and No. 40 Overgate. The tailor / clothier at No. 113 was George Pullar, and the bootmaker at No. 111 was David Fairweather.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Monday, July 08, 2013

History of the West End : 10

Balgay Park, Entrance Lodge East End.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

History of the West End : 9

Ancrum Road Public School, Dundee

Saturday, July 06, 2013

History of the West End : 8

Tay Square in Dundee is the present-day location of The Rep theatre. It stands to the west of South Tay Street, which runs north from Nethergate to the junction with Overgate to the east and West Port to the west.

It is impossible to date this photograph by Alexander Wilson as not only are there no visible names, but there was very little change of ownership over a considerable time span anyway. No 9. (the house behind the central tree!) was home to James H. Laing. 

No. 10 belonged to David Ogilvy, tailor, and No. 11 is listed in the Dundee Directory as Peter Steven FRCSE, a surgeon. The photographer set up in front of Tay Square United Free Church (ministered to by Rev. Robert Lang), looking north.