Saturday, November 30, 2013

West End Christmas Fortnight Primary Schools' Art Competition Winners

I was at Tesco Riverside yesterday to meet the store's community champion Kath Torode - Kath and I are pictured above at a photocall at which, not only did Tesco generously donate to the West End Christmas Fortnight, but also sponsored the West End Christmas Fortnight Primary Schools' Art Competition.

Each of our four local primary schools - Ancrum Road, Blackness, St Joseph's and Victoria Park - allowed all P1 and P2 pupils to take part and the winning entries are below.   Well done to Carys, Darci, Josias and Matylda, who each win a Tesco Gift Voucher.   Here are the winning entries below:
Carys Watt of P2A, Ancrum Road Primary School
Darci Reid of P2B, Blackness Primary School
Josias Roma of P2, Victoria Park Primary School
Matylda Karolewska of P1S, St Joseph's Primary School

Friday, November 29, 2013

West Port Lights Switch On!

At teatime tonight, we had our second lights switch on in the West End of the week, with the Christmas Lights being switched on in the West Port.   Well done to Cohen aged 7 who did the honours!   Here's a couple of photographs from the switch on:
Cohen switches on the West Port Christmas Lights!
The West Port Christmas Tree

Another West End Christmas event


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Friends of Riverside Nature Park AGM

Earlier this evening, after my weekly ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the Friends of Riverside Nature Park AGM at Blackness Library.

The AGM was really well attended and Ian Ford gave a really well-presented Chair's Annual Report on the Friends' activities over the past year.

The need for a pedestrian crossing over Riverside Avenue outside the park was again raised - a matter I have already highlighted with the City Council and will continue to pursue.
Exhibition display at tonight's AGM

Dundee and Angus ADHD Parents' Support Group event


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

West End Christmas Fortnight - Children's Window Spotting Competition

As part of West End Christmas Fortnight, we are running a Children's Window Spotting Competition - with grateful thanks to the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, who have provided one of the prizes.

The competition forms have been given to all pupils in our four local primary schools - Ancrum Road, Blackness, St Joseph's and Victoria Park Primaries.

A copy of the competition form can also be downloaded here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A fabulous night in the West End @wendchristmas

Many thanks to the large number of local residents, pupils from our local primary schools and Harris Academy, Rob Carstairs and team who provided another superb fireworks display, Rev Andrew Greaves and his colleagues at Dundee West Church for a great Christmas Concert, Arthurs (Senior and Junior!) of Elan Electronics for an excellent sound and lighting show, Wave 102 DJ Dave Price for Switching on the lights, Dundee City Council for all its help with the lights switch on, Downfield Musical Society's superb Dick Whittington stars for helping Dave with the lights switch on, Santa and his helpers and the Scotmid Community Fund who provided selection boxes for the children, Iain Wilson and the Nisa Extra Team for the excellent food and drink, Steve McSwiggan and his colleagues at the Saturday Morning Football League who did the stewarding and - lastly - but absolutely not least, the West End Christmas Fortnight Team for all their hard work that made tonight's West End Christmas Concert and Lights Switch On such a superb success!

And after a long, long sentence (above) here's some photos and a couple of videos from a night that shows community spirit is alive and well in Dundee's West End!
The large audience at Dundee West Church

Characters from Dick Whittington

A superb fireworks display

The Christmas Fortnight Team sorting the glow specs!
Santa distributes selection boxes to local children
  
The West End Christmas Tree lit at Seabraes

West End Christmas Events tonight! @wendchristmas

I am on Wave 102 News today about tonight's Christmas Fortnight events in the West End - click 'play' below to listen:

Tonight ... Lights On for the West End! … and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm tonight.   Everyone is very welcome to attend.   

There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves.    Local band “Unknown on Sunday” will also perform.  Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On!

At 7pm, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Wave 102 DJ Dave Price, ably assisted by Queen Rat and Grumpy Loo the Yeti from the Downfield Musical Society Panto, Dick Whittington!    Santa and his sleigh will also be there to meet the children and will be giving the children Christmas sweets gifts – with our thanks to Scotmid for their generous community grant that has made this possible.

There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on – and we would like to thank the West End businesses whose financial support has made the fireworks display possible and thanks to Robin Carstairs for his help in organising the fireworks.  
    
In addition, it will be possible to purchase food and drinks at Seabraes, with our thanks to Nisa Extra on Perth Road for organising.

There will be free “glow specs” and sparklers for all children attending the lights switch on and fireworks.
Many thanks to Police Scotland for their assistance and also to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who will have a fire engine on-site for children to see.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Balgay Stakeholders' Group meeting

Earlier today, along with representatives of the Friends of Balgay, two of my ward colleagues and a City Council Environment Department officer, I attended the latest Balgay Stakeholders' Group meeting that took place in the pavilion at Lochee Park.

The group discusses projects and issues at Balgay Park, the Hill, Cemetery and Victoria Park and we had a really good meeting covering a number of positive developments - 3 new noticeboards being proposed for the area, 5 new benches (mainly for the Balgay Cemetery area) and I was pleased to see that the area at the entrance to the park at Scott Street where I had highlighted dumping and a broken fence earlier this year, has now been subject to environmental improvement.   See photo - above right.

I raised residents' concerns about gates openings on the hill, slippy leaves on paths and the poor road surface at the entrance to Lochee Park.

Friends of Riverside Nature Park AGM


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Darkest Dreams

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :

Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee

Now open and running to 11th January 2014
(Closed for Christmas 25 December – 2 January)
Mon-Fri 09.30-20.30 Sat 09.30-16.30

The latest exhibition in the Lamb Gallery features stunning works from the University of Dundee’s Fine Art Collections inspired by our darkest dreams and nightmares. Including surreal images that will make your imagination run wild, prepare for a fantastical experience that will make your strangest visions come to life! Take a journey through bizarre landscapes, and meet some of our most uncanny characters. Come along to see some of the weirdest artworks in our collections, including works by Arthur Rackham, John Tenniel, John Johnstone, Ian Scott, Graeme Todd, Tommy Crooks, Alan Michael, Derrick Guild, Mary Modeen and Edward Summerton.

The artworks featured have been chosen because of their dream-like scenes and nightmarish characters. Each of them can be interpreted in many ways, and we want you to tell us your thoughts about the pictures that most inspire you.   Please use the cards provided in the gallery to describe what you see in the pictures, and have the chance to see your thoughts displayed in the exhibition! 

On Thursday 5th December at 1pm, join the exhibition’s curators, Matthew Jarron and Hope Roberts, for an informal guided tour.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Today's West End Community Fayre - a great success!

Many thanks to all who participated in and attended today's West End Community Fayre at Dundee West Church that launched the West End Christmas Fortnight 2013.     Here's some photos and videos from this morning's fayre:



Children from the Polish School:
Children from the Russian School:
The University of Dundee Gospel Choir:

Change to Domestic Refuse Collection System : Saggar Street

I have, over a long period of time, pointed out to the council's Environment Department residents' complaints that the wheelie bin system in Saggar Street did not work well, due to storage problems and the hilly nature of the street that makes moving bins a challenge for residents.

I am therefore pleased to have been advised that there will be a change to the bin collection system for numbers 2-10 (even) and 5-11 (odd) to a communal bin system. 

Residents have been advised:

The map referred to above is below (with eurobin positions marked by red dots):

Friday, November 22, 2013

West End Christmas Fayre - all set to go!

With many thanks to my West End Christmas Fortnight colleagues Ann and Lynne, that's us all set up for tomorrow's West End Christmas Fayre at Dundee West Church - see below!

The fayre starts at 10am and all residents welcome!

I was interviewed on both Radio Tay and Wave 102 about Christmas Fortnight - and you can hear the Radio Tay News interview by clicking 'play' below:

West End Christmas Fortnight starts tomorrow!

West End Christmas Fortnight will be launched tomorrow - Saturday 23rd November - with a West End Community Fayre, taking place in Dundee West Church from 10am to 12 noon.   Over 25 local groups in the West End are taking part.   
Entrance is entirely free of charge and it will be a great way for local residents to learn about all the organisations in the West End that are working for the local area.    There will be lots to see, including free face painting for the children and the children from the Russian School and the Polish School will be singing, as will the University of Dundee Gospel Choir.

2013 will see the largest number of West End Christmas activities yet seen and we are again running a whole fortnight of activities.   The West End Christmas Committee is really grateful to all local residents, organisations and businesses who have made this programme of events possible and we hope the whole community will take part.   

We hope residents will come along to Dundee West Church on Saturday morning to the fayre to see all the activities happening in our local area.

Wighton Heritage Centre - 10th Birthday Celebration

From Sheena Wellington:

This month, it is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Wighton Centre in Dundee. 

To celebrate a decade of this very special music and cultural place, the Friends of Wighton are organising a day of music, books and entertainment on Saturday 23rd November from 10.30am.

The popular monthly Cappuccino Concert will start as usual at 11am.   Violin soloist, Liam Lynch, will  be appearing with the Maxwell String Quartet.   Liam will be performing with George Smith, Asher Zaccardelli and Robert Anderson.   The music they will perform will be Haydn op.20 no 4 and the Ravel string quartet.

Before the music starts, there will be a special ceremony, where the Lord Provost on behalf of the City of Dundee will be presented with books recently acquired for the Library by the Friends of Wighton - music books and unique 18th century manuscripts from the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection as well as a number of interesting books donated to the Friends by Alice Palmer.

After the concert finishes at about 12 noon, there will be wine, coffee, cakes and other refreshments served, and some of the books will be out on display for visitors to look at. Members of the Friends of Wighton Committee will be on hand to answer questions about the books and the collections.

There will also be informal music-making by members of the Friends' popular Scottish music classes, with whistle, fiddle, harp and song. 

The cappuccino concert is £5 admission. Places are limited and tickets can be booked on 07720 891664 or sheenawellington78@gmail.com. The exhibition and music in the afternoon is free and open to all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting

Tonight, after my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the latest West End Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP) meeting at Blackness Library.    

The LCPP meeting is a good opportunity for representatives from different council departments, councillors and representatives from other organisations like police, fire and rescue and the NHS to discuss local issues and matters of concern and, tonight, we had a presentation on alcohol availability and over-provision.

We also had a good discussion on West End issues, with updates from the various organisations’ representatives attending.

Friends of Magdalen Green - latest update

Last night, I was minute-taker at the latest Friends of Magdalen Green committee meeting.    We had a useful discussion on a number of matters including:

* A very positive update on progress with the Roseangle Playpark Campaign.

* The launch of our latest newsletter - you can download this here.

* Finalised planning for our Soup and Pudding Lunch, taking place at Dundee West Church on Saturday 7th December as part of West End Christmas Fortnight.   All residents welcome - don't miss it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

West End Christmas Fortnight photocall launch!

With just days to go before the start of West End Christmas Fortnight, at lunchtime today, I took part in a photocall at the West End Christmas Tree at Seabraes, with a number of colleagues, to highlight our forthcoming events!

Ably assisted by four pupils from Victoria Park Primary School, I am pictured alongside (from left) Gavin Baird of Ross & Liddell (one of our principal sponsors), Rev Andrew Greaves and Ann Prescott of the Christmas Fortnight Committee:

Works on Nethergate tomorrow

I have been advised by the City Council:

"... there will be off-peak traffic control next Thursday 21 November to install traffic loops on Nethergate adjacent to Park Place which is a late addition to the Road Report on the web.    These are electrical induction loops cut into the top surface of the road which pick up passing vehicles.   There are 4 loops to cover the two lanes which as well as counting vehicles allow for vehicles to be classified according to type.

While these works are within the Embargo period the dates were dictated by Contractor availability and given location and works being carried out off-peak should have minimal impact on the area."



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Last couple of days ...

Yesterday, after my two Monday weekly ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre, I attended City Council committee meetings.

At Policy and Resources Committee, I again raised concerns about the extent of Fire and Rescue service resource being drained by unwanted fire signal calls from non-domestic properties.    I was pleased that the Fire and Rescue Service is working on an action plan to hopefully address this.

I also commented, in a debate over the unfortunate reduction and removal of police counter services at several police stations in the city that the ability of councillors to influence this matter locally was removed by those who supported the removal of local police forces like Tayside Police that had locally accountable police boards to ensure the needs of citizens locally were paramount.    I warned back in 2011 that the centralisation of police services into a single police force would have detrimental effects and the loss of local police counter services now highlights this.

This morning, I had a meeting with the Director of Housing and senior housing staff regarding my concerns and those of the sheltered tenants at Morven Terrace and Ancrum Place about the Housing Department's decision to 'decommission' two sheltered properties and turn them into "amenity housing" (non sheltered housing for the over 50s).   

I highlighted the tenants' concerns and the lack of consultation over this at Morven Terrace/Ancrum Place and, this afternoon, at a packed meeting of tenants I organised, the City Housing Manager and the Team Leader in house letting met with myself and the tenants to discuss all the concerns, give the tenants assurances and ensure the Housing Department responds to tenant concerns.

This evening, I attended a lengthy and positive meeting of Harris Academy Parent Council.   Mr Thewliss, Head Teacher, gave a detailed report on the very encouraging 2013 examination results, a discussion on the school's website, and I updated the Parent Council regarding school crossing patroller provision.

West End Christmas Fortnight Brochure launched!

Today, the West End Christmas Brochure for 2013 is launched and copies of the brochure are being given to every local primary school pupil, available in local shops, Blackness Library and other locations in the West End.   You can download the full brochure here.

The brochure includes full details of all the Christmas Fortnight events - and here are the details of two of our main events:

Saturday 23rd November:  Christmas Fortnight starts with a Community Fayre

West End Christmas Fortnight will be launched with a super West End Community Fayre, taking place in Dundee West Church from 10am to 12 noon (enter by main church entrance – 132 Perth Road, just west of the Roseangle junction).

Over 25 local groups in the West End are taking part.   Entrance is entirely free of charge and it will be a great way to learn about all the organisations in the West End that are working for our local area.    Everyone will be very welcome to come along!

There will be lots to see, including free face painting for the children and there will also be musical contributions from the children from both the local Russian School and the local Polish School.

Tuesday 26th November at 6.15pm :   Lights On for the West End!   …  and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm.   Everyone is very welcome to attend.   

There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves.    Local band “Unknown on Sunday” will also perform.  Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On!

At 7pm, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Wave 102 DJ Dave Price, ably assisted by Queen Rat and Grumpy Loo the Yeti from the Downfield Musical Society Panto, Dick Whittington!    Santa and his sleigh will also be there to meet the children and will be giving the children Christmas sweets gifts – with our thanks to Scotmid for their generous community grant that has made this possible.

There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on – and we would like to thank the West End businesses whose financial support has made the fireworks display possible and thanks to Robin Carstairs for his help in organising the fireworks. 
     
In addition, it will be possible to purchase food and drinks at Seabraes, with our thanks to Nisa Extra on Perth Road for organising.

There will be free “glow specs” and sparklers for all children attending the lights switch on and fireworks.   Many thanks to Police Scotland for their assistance and also to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who will have a fire engine on-site for children to see.

We look forward to seeing you at the many events taking place, starting this coming Saturday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time2Give - new poster

The West End timebank, Time2Give, has a new poster:
You can download a higher definition PDF of this poster here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Textiles on show for European Academic Heritage Day

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

Europe In Stitches
Room 400, Crawford Building
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
University of Dundee
Monday 18 November 2013
2pm-4pm

Come and see an amazing selection of European textiles from the Needlework Development Scheme Collection in a special drop-in event as part of European Academic Heritage Day.  

Founded in 1934 and run by the four Scottish Art Colleges, the NDS aimed to collect examples of contemporary and historic embroidery from throughout the world for use as a national teaching resource. 

These fabulous fabrics will be on display specially for this event, chosen for their beautiful designs that embrace both traditional and modernist styles from around Europe including works by Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska of Austria, Hede Kullenberg of Germany and the Society for Applied Arts in Hungary.  Come along at any time during the afternoon to meet embroidery experts who will answer any questions whilst you lose yourself in the vibrant stitches of Europe. 

Enter the Art College by the new entrance in the Matthew Building and ask for directions at Reception. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dundee City of Culture Bid - my own comments

One Day in Dundee - UK City of Culture 2017 Bid Video

Our wonderful, cultural, city:

Victoria Park Tennis Courts - an update

Back in July, I gave an update on planned improvements for the Victoria Park Tennis Courts (pictured right).

I recently asked for progress towards the improved playing surface and a senior manager in the Environment Department has advised:

"At this stage we have still to finalise the priority noting we are working with Tennis Scotland with Dawson Park which is next in line (noting that there is an external funding application in for this).

I will keep Victoria in mind ... I would envisage that we would remove the current surface and lay down permeable tarmac to the same specification as laid down earlier this year at South Road and Fairmuir Park. 

This is what is recommended by Tennis Scotland and has proved to be a big hit (excuse the pun) for recreational tennis and is easier to maintain."

I will continue to pursue this matter on behalf of constituents as playing surface improvements are really needed at the Victoria Park Tennis Courts.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Logie St John's (Cross) Church Guild Coffee Morning

This Saturday - November 16th - 10am to 12 noon, the Logie St John's (Cross) Church Guild Coffee Morning takes place.

The location is the church hall - enter by the Shaftesbury Terrace door.

Come along for coffee and a chat, plus a chance to support the Guild Project – Camp Rwanda.

All welcome!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Newhall Gardens - safety concern addressed

Network Rail has recently been undertaking work to the north of the rail line at Vernonholme and Newhall Gardens to reduce the possibility of debris landing on the rail line and part of this work has involved the removal and thinning of foliage.

This necessary work has resulted, however, in the wire boundary fence being exposed (see below) and highlights the need for its replacement.   I visited residents about their concerns at the weekend and am pleased to say that, after discussing the matter with Network Rail, it has been agreed to remove the existing fence and replace it with a substantial one.


Pleasance Court - Residents' meeting

Pleasance Court
Earlier tonight, I had the pleasure of chairing a meeting with the residents of Pleasance Court.   

I am very grateful to the council's Environment Department representative at the meeting who updated us on the Seagulls problem in the area.

I am also grateful to the representatives from Ross & Liddell and Home Scotland who attended and to the residents for their participation.

A West End Christmas Fortnight event


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

West End Community Council

Earlier tonight, I attended the latest West End Community Council meeting, which also was the Community Council's AGM.

Andrew McBride was re-elected as Chair, as was David Webster as Secretary and Laurie Edmond as Treasurer.

I had the opportunity to update the Community Council about the West End Christmas Fortnight activities taking place soon.

Dundee would make an outstanding City of Culture #wedundee #CityofCulture2017

Today in the Scottish Parliament, a debate took place on the UK City of Culture and Dundee's bid and it was great to see the support for our city across the political spectrum.   Below, I reproduce the comments made in the chamber today by my Liberal Democrat colleague Alison McInnes, MSP for North East Scotland, who made the point that Dundee would make an outstanding City of Culture.   Alison is pictured below (front, third from the right) in a picture of parliamentarians showing that cross-party support at the parliament today:
"As a regional member for the north east it is a privilege to represent the city.  The journey the city is on has been quite remarkable to witness.   

The vibrancy of the city and sense of determination amongst its people to bring about change is admirable.

I remember many years ago, while I was an Aberdeenshire councillor, visiting the city on a planning study tour to look at the importance of public open space and public art in town centre re-generation.  What the city council was doing then was small scale compared to the regeneration we are witnessing today, but it carried the hallmarks of creativity, imagination and determination that has propelled Dundee forward to this important tipping point.

And what regeneration there has been!

The city‘s distinctive approach- firstly  recognising  that a cultural renaissance could be a powerful catalyst for change, and then successfully harnessing that cultural energy  makes Dundee a special place.

And the UK City of culture team has recognised that by shortleeting the city.  

Feedback at the time said the bid was particularly strong in the way in which it talked about the journey of the city over the last 10 years, using culture to regenerate the city with DCA, the McManus, the Rep and now the V&A.

The judges were positive about the consultation, and they were particularly impressed on the way the team engaged with people through the WeDundee website, as well as the number of people involved. Council members, universities, community groups, young and old, cultural groups, businesses and  local media have all pulled together to make the best possible case for Dundee.

My Liberal Democrat colleague Cllr Fraser Macpherson told me that  “The all-party, cross-party, working together positively to support Dundee’s bid has been the best example of co-operation between politicians of all political hues in many a year.”

I am delighted to be able to join in tonight’s debate to underline the wholehearted support there is across all the political parties for this bid to succeed.

Dundee would be an outstanding choice for the accolade of UK City of Culture and I fervently hope that it is successful.

There is nothing superficial about the bid.   It addresses the real needs of Dundee , not shying away from the stark facts such as 

A third of the city’s population live in the areas which make up the poorest 15% in Scotland. 
Dundee’s educational outcomes are poorer than the Scottish average. 
The current level of participation in cultural activity in Dundee is divided between the poorer and better off areas.  

Dundee’s bid is about social regeneration through culture.  The step change will be to use culture and creativity to evolve a more confident community and through this to address inequality.  

Dundee will use the year of culture to connect parts of the city more effectively, ensuring those who live in its deprived communities are able to fully enjoy the benefits of its creative and cultural resources.

That would be a lasting legacy. 

Let me turn now to the wider impact.  I believe that there will be significant benefits for the whole region.

At the core of the economic impact is the increased visitor spend and the uplift in economic activity related to cultural led tourism.  

VisitScotland recognise that the north east underperforms and that Dundee has a key role as the city at the centre of a region of great natural beauty.

The visitor impact on Dundee would be to increase by 50% the total number of visitors in the Year of Culture and to have a sustained level of higher visitors beyond that.  

The combination of completing the V&A, developing new hotel opportunities and improving transport links places Dundee in a great position to attract cruise ships as well as UK based tourists.  

Dundee:  one city many discoveries.

All of us here tonight can sing the praises of this vibrant city, but truth be told there are still too few scots who have visited Dundee to find out for themselves what’s to be discovered. I hope that winning city of culture will encourage a great many more people to come on a visit of discovery.

I’d like to congratulate the Evening Telegraph campaign.  Reading some of the online comments about what people love about their city was uplifting.

One comment summed it up for me:

“Dundee people are proud of a city which has seen hard times but is reinventing itself as a modern city which embraces change and new opportunities.”

I have no doubt that this should be Dundee’s moment."

A Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden event

Choosing Wines for Christmas 

 A wine tasting at Aitken's Warehouse 
Unit 7, Annfield Row, Dundee.  

Friday 15th November
7.15pm - 9.15pm  
  Cost £15 per person.
     
Booking essential 
Cheques made payable to "Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden"  should be sent to Frances Tait c/o University Botanic Garden, Riverside Drive, Dundee DD2 1QH 
or telephone 665719

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday activities

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing the final planning meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight Committee and I am pleased to report that all is looking good for Christmas Fortnight 2013!    The Christmas Fortnight brochure will be launched at the weekend.

Thereafter, I held my two weekly ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre - and then participated in tonight's City Council committee meetings at which:

* At the Environment Committee, I welcomed public open space environmental improvements across the city.   There are a number in the West End including at Victoria Park and Hunter Street - and I particularly welcomed planned improvements at Polepark that I have campaigned to see upgraded.

* At the Policy & Resources Committee, I said that the council's revenue budget for car park income must be comprehensively reviewed given the failure to meet budgeted income.   I also queried the centralisation of some areas of work.