Saturday, 31 October 2015
I have previously mentioned that I am taking part in the informal committee to progress the excellent Discovery Walk proposal.
The Discovery Walk will comprise of plaques set into the paved area of the Green Space at the heart of the city's huge new waterfront development - to celebrate the contributions of Dundee people who have contributed to science and society in a highly visible and permanent way. Bronze plaques in the pavement will tell the fascinating stories behind these individuals and their discoveries and inventions.
The committee met yesterday to review progress and finalise the plaques. The plaques look superb and the walk is on course to be officially opened in April 2016.
I have no doubt that Discovery Walk will enhance the new Waterfront and be another asset for our city.
Yesterday, I was pleased to attend the Sacro showcase event at the Dundee Voluntary Action offices in Constitution Road.
Sacro is a national community justice voluntary organisation working across Scotland to make communities safer by reducing conflict and offending.
It was very interesting to hear about the good work Sacro is undertaking in Dundee and across Tayside, particularly its youth restorative justice service.
You can find out more about the work of Sacro here.
Friday, 30 October 2015
Tomorrow - Saturday 31st October at 2pm - sees the Friends of Balgay Autumn Meeting and AGM take place in the Mills Observatory.
The guest speaker is Ken Neil, Red Squirrel Officer for Tayside.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Visitors to the University of Dundee this autumn are being invited to enter the fantastical world of the scientific imagination.
The University of Dundee Museum Collections contain many hundreds of scientific instruments and related equipment, as well as charts, models and other teaching aids. These are normally shown in a conventional fashion in exhibitions and other displays around campus.
However, a rummage through the collections by guest curator and author Reif Larsen has uncovered an alternative history and, in particular, the astonishing tale of explorer, inventor, cosmologist, professor, tenor, liar and rogue scholar Sir Gavin Hawkly-Longfarthing.
This fantastical history can be explored at the exhibition `A History of Nearly Everything: The Rise & Fall of Sir Gavin Hawkly-Longfarthing (1925-1966)’, which opens in the University’s Tower Foyer Gallery last Monday and runs through to 27th November.
From his humble origins as the son of a peat farmer on the island of Taransay to his mysterious death in the Congo 41 years later, Sir Gavin’s astonishing career in botany, cosmology, geology, entomology, trichology, spermology, kymatology, thermology and mixology (among others) is laid bare in this astonishing and frankly ridiculous exhibition, curated by author Reif Larsen.
“Reif Larsen has done an amazing job in uncovering this hidden, and possibly mythical, history from our collections,” said Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University.
The exhibition is open in the Tower Foyer Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee Monday to Friday, until 27th November – from 9.30am to 6.30pm.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers.
Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee's parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.
The recent Dundee success in the Britain in Bloom Awards was tremendous and owes much to the volunteers from Bonnie Dundee and other community groups across the city.
I was pleased to learn that, in addition to the Sensation Science Centre planters and the Union Street planters, the maintenance of which the group already undertakes, Bonnie Dundee has now also taken on the planters in the West Port, and I have no doubt that the fruits of their labours will become apparent next spring.
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
The Great Dundee Charity Bake Off, in aid of the Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust takes place later this week - here's the details!
- Dundee’s own Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsay compete live against each in a live Bake off
- Venue: Hosted courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton, Dundee
- Thursday 29th October 2015 from 7.00pm to 9.00pm
- Host for the evening is World Award winning author and Chef James McIntosh who is a graduate from the University of Dundee
- Special guest appearance from the Beano – Dennis the Menace
- Various craft stands on the night
- Ticketed events – tickets £15 each can be secured by contacting Gordon Ramsay on telephone 381136 or by email email@example.com
- Fundraising and awareness event for the Dundee Botanic Garden Endowment Trust – donations can be made online https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gordonramsay1
- The celebrity Mary Berry has donated a signed book for the evening that will be used in a silent auction
Further details are available here.
Monday, 26 October 2015
As part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Blether Tay-Gither are welcoming Marion Kenny.
Marion is a charismatic live performer, one of Scotland’s leading storytellers and a highly regarded multi instrumentalist who has spent time in Morocco and will share some Moroccan tales with us.
All are welcome!
For booking contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01334 474836.
Sunday, 25 October 2015
With the start of the new school term tomorrow, my weekly Monday surgeries for the West End recommence at :
Mitchell Street Centre, (The Base) at 4.20pm
West Park Centre (Old Mansion House) at 4.50pm
You can read full surgery details here.
Saturday, 24 October 2015
Yesterday, along with two senior representatives from the City Council's Neighbourhood Services Department (Housing) and the Community Payback Manager, I participated in a useful site visit to look at progress the Community Payback Team has made in repainting the garden railings on the non-sheltered side of the Logie estate.
Back in April at a residents' meeting I chaired, we discussed with residents the idea of asking Community Payback to (with owners' consent) paint the railings of owned properties on the south side of the estate. As many of the railings were badly needing painted, this was welcomed by residents and I have to say that Community Payback has done an excellent job thus far with the painting - a couple of photos below :
Thus far, the railings right down Logie Avenue have been painted and the team are now in Elm Street working down the side streets eastwards. It is hoped to make some more progress up to when winter weather sets in, then complete the job in the spring.
Community Payback can repaint the railings with owners' permission but is not in a position to repair them. However, I have had discussions with the Dundee Historic Environmental Trust who can consider applications for grant funding for repairs from owners on an individual basis. E-mail me at email@example.com or call me on 459378 for more information.
An event from the Time2Give West End timebank :
Time2Give advises : “We'll bring tea/coffee, biscuits, pens/pencils and beautiful pictures to colour in!
You bring your secret desire to spend an hour just colouring in and creating something lovely on a cold dark afternoon!
Feel free to bring your own pictures and/or pens/pencils if you want to and relax for an hour or two.”
Friday, 23 October 2015
The City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership (RMP) has advised :
“We have now published a copy of our current financial year capital maintenance programme on-line.
The following link is accessible from the main ‘road maintenance’ page of the DCC website.
In summary, this webpage extension provides the following information :
• Annual Capital Maintenance Works Programme
• Information leaflet detailing the RMP remit and extent of activities (revised following receipt of comments from the May LCPP meetings)
• Information on the alternate treatment techniques deployed by the RMP
• Further enquiry contact details
We intend to continue the on-line publishing of our annual programme and the next programme release will be uploaded for the start of the 2016/17 financial year.
We aim to continue development and improvement of our communication channels and would welcome any comments you may have on this latest revision to the website or further areas of improvement we should consider.”
You can read this information by clicking here.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
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 crane lifting works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Abbotsford Street (from its junction with Seymour Street to approx. 100metres east), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Monday 26 October 2015 for 2 working days.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Parking will be restricted for the duration of the work.
Alternative routes are available via Seymour Street / Blackness Road / Abbotsford Street.
For further information contact (01382) 433168.
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Further to the update I gave earlier this week about the one day closure of Kirsty Semple Way in the Ninewells Hospital grounds this coming Saturday (24th October), Xplore Dundee has advised that the closure will affect the buses on Saturday as follows :
Saturday 24 October 2015 for 1 day affecting Services 5, 9,9A,10,10A
Service 5, 9 / 9A – To Ninewells
Normal route to Perth Road then via Tom McDonald Avenue, Explorer Road, Mallaig Avenue, Spey Drive, Charleston Drive, to James Arrott Drive
Service 9 / 9A – From Ninewells
(will not be serving the Technology Park during this diversion – please use Service 5 or 10)
From James Arrott Drive, then via Charleston Drive, Spey Drive, Mallaig Avenue, South Road and normal route.
Service 5, 10 / 10A – From Ninewells
From James Arrott Drive, then via Charleston Drive, Spey Drive, Mallaig Avenue, Explorer Road, Tom McDonald Avenue, to Perth Road and normal route
Service 10 – To Ninewells
Normal route to South Road then via Mallaig Avenue, Spey Drive, Charleston Drive to James Arrott Drive.
Customers wishing to travel to the Technology Park on Service 10 will be required to travel to Ninewells Hospital and disembark in the Technology Park on its route into the city – no additional ticket purchase will be required.
We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused during this one day diversion.
Last week, I updated residents about the problems the recent Xplore Dundee bus changes had made to people working in the Technology Park and the fact that I had contacted the bus company about this - specifically seeking an improvement in evening services.
I was pleased to have been advised by Xplore Dundee management that, following a meeting between Xplore Dundee and HMRC who have over 600 staff working in the Technology Park, the bus company has applied for registration for the following evening services to be re-routed to cover Explorer Road in the Technology Park:It is hoped to be able to start these services from Monday of next week. The bus company advises :
"We are aiming for October 26th. Our scheduler is checking daily for the go ahead from the traffic commissioners so once this is received we will implement the change."
Yesterday, I had a very useful meeting with the Dundee University Students' Association (DUSA) President, Deputy President and Vice President (Representation).
We discussed a number of DUSA initiatives including its involvement in various community initiatives in the local area and also discussed the parking problems in the West End and possible ways of improving matters.
Its good to see such a committed and enthusiastic DUSA Executive and its activity in the community is welcome, particularly its landlord accreditation scheme.
Monday, 19 October 2015
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 crane lifting works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Kirsty Semple Way (between the access road to A & E and the car park for the Mackenzie building), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Saturday 24 October 2015 for 1 day.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained. This section of road is only available to buses and taxis.
Alternative routes are available via Tom McDonald Avenue / Ninewells Avenue / Ninewells Drive.
For further information contact 433168.
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council
Sunday, 18 October 2015
From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
Our next evening event in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum will be a free talk by Professor Terry Dawson, SAGES Chair in Global Environmental Change at the University of Dundee, which will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 20 October -
Protecting the Real Treasure of the Pitcairn Islands -
Challenges to creating the world’s largest marine reserve
The Pitcairn Islands, located in the South Central Pacific Ocean, consists of two atolls; Oeno and Ducie (the most southerly atoll on earth), a raised atoll Henderson (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a volcanic island, Pitcairn. Only Pitcairn is inhabited, with a tiny population of around 50, mainly descendants of the ‘HMS Bounty’ mutineers and their Polynesian partners who landed there in 1790.
The islands are the last remaining Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom in the Pacific and are extremely remote, located at the south-eastern limits of French Polynesia, approximately equidistant between Chile and New Zealand.
Pitcairn, along with many other small island developing states, share significant challenges, including isolation, lack economies of scale, have high transportation and communication costs, and have limited means and capacity to implement effective sustainable development goals. However, current plans are underway to revitalise Pitcairn Island with plans to create a Marine Protected Area, the largest in the world!
The Pitcairn Island tourism department is developing new initiatives with a focus on the natural features and biodiversity value of the islands and their pristine marine environment. All of these activities will help to bring more tourism and cruise ships to the Pitcairn islands, to improve the local economy and support more sustainable livelihoods.
Please enter by the front door of the Carnelley Building. Refreshments will be served after the talk.
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
As I advised back in July, Phase 2 of the changes to recycling and bin collection arrangements starts on 9th November and represents a significant change in bin/recycling arrangements for households.
In Phase 2 of are the areas around Tullideph, Pentland, City Road, Brook Street, the eastern part of Blackness Road, Peddie Street, South Tay Street and Windsor Street.
Last night, I attended part of one of the roadshows taking place across the Phase 2 area. Last night's was at the Mitchell Street Centre and was well-attended with well over 40 folk attending. It gave residents the opportunity to find out more about the changes and get their questions answered.
Phase 2 - at least as far as the West End Ward part of it is concerned - probably presents more of an implementation challenge than the properties in Phase 1 given the large number of tenemental and flatted properties where, in many cases, the new system will involve communal facilities.
It is therefore welcome that the council is holding no less than eight roadshows across the Phase 2 area. There are more next week - see poster with full details here.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
Yesterday, I dropped in on the home safety event at Blackness Library, organised by Time2Give, the West End Timebank, with the assistance of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
This event gave residents the opportunity to discuss how to make their home safe, what to do in the event of a fire and prevent accidents in the home.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service provides home/fire safety visits including provision of smoke detectors and if you are interested in this free service, please give Susan Lander, Scottish Fire and Rescue's local community engagement officer, a call on 825295.
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
I have been contacted by a number of people who work in the Technology Park about the recent National Express Dundee (now Xplore Dundee) bus service changes and how they detrimentally affect services to the Technology Park.
As one person put it :
“I am currently employed by HMRC at Sidlaw House in the Dundee Technology Park, part of a team of approximately 650 people. Unfortunately recent changes to the bus timetables & routes servicing my workplace have been reduced, and during some times removed. Both myself and my colleagues have been detrimentally affected. I am now concerned about those of us with mobility issues to reach the nearest bus stop, and concerned over the personal safety of colleagues making the same journey.”
I have already pointed out the negative impact of removing the Service 5 from the far west part of Perth Road and this also impacts on services to the Technology Park.
I appreciate the detailed points the staff have made, particularly the safety issue in the evenings, and contacted the Managing Director of Xplore Dundee about this. She has confirmed that a meeting between HMRC and Xplore Dundee has taken place to discuss the concerns and the bus company is "currently putting plans in place to address the main issues."
I have asked to be advised of the detail of these once available.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Earlier tonight, I participated in a well-attended West End Community Council AGM at the Logie and St John's (Cross) Church Hall in Shaftesbury Terrace.
In addition to a useful police update from PC Buchan, one of the local community police officers, there was a very interesting presentation from two representatives from Dundee University Students' Association - Leia Farnan, Deputy President and Omar Mostafa, Vice President of Engagement, who gave an overview of DUSA's many activities including charity work, housing accreditation scheme and work in the community.
Andrew McBride was re-elected as Community Council Chair and reminded everyone about the upcoming Community Council Elections. You can read more about them here.
As reported in last night's "Evening Telegraph", I have raised numerous residents' complaints over the summer about the smell problem caused at time by the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site adjacent to Riverside Nature Park.
The problem appears to be particularly noticeable when windrows and turned as part of the composting operation and the wind changes direction. Staff attempt to ensure the operation happens only when the wind is to the south, away from the residential housing along the western part of Perth Road and in adjacent streets like Riverside Place, Millbay Terrace & Gardens, Clovis Duveau Drive, Millhall Crescent, River Crescent and Newhall Gardens.
The Environment Director has most recently advised me :
"I have discussed this matter with staff and am reassured by the arrangements that are currently in place for managing this operation. I have asked that our corporate Health & Safety team review the existing arrangements and working practices to ensure that there are no further steps that could be usefully taken to improve the situation."
If any resident experiences further concerns about the smell problem in the area, do please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 459378 - many thanks.
Taking place at the University of Dundee Tower Building tomorrow - Wednesday 14th October from 2.15pm to 4pm, the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden is holding another Dundee Afternoon Lecture.
This takes the form of a fascinating talk by Dr Rebecca Wade of Abertay University. Rebecca works across various disciplines to investigate how we can get multiple benefits from urban green spaces.
Admission £2.00 (payable at the door).
Monday, 12 October 2015
Several residents have recently expressed concern about the speed of a minority of drivers in the Logie area, particularly running through the main street - Logie Avenue.
There are concerns that some drivers from outwith the area are using Logie Avenue as a short cut and I asked the council's Head of Transportation for a speed/safety survey to be carried out, which he has kindly agreed to.
Given the large number of elderly people in the area, particularly in the sheltered housing part of Logie, it is important that vehicle speeds are kept to a minimum.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
Now that the school Autumn holidays are underway, my usual weekly ward surgeries do not take place, but I can still be contacted on any local issues or concerns through my e-surgery - just e-mail email@example.com.
I can also be contacted at home at any time on 459378 and also during office hours at my Dundee City Council office on 434985.
Surgeries commence again on Monday 26th October – full details of surgery days and times here.
Saturday, 10 October 2015
I spoke on Wave 102 News yesterday about the forthcoming Community Council elections in Dundee - and the good work of West End Community Council over many years.
You can read more about the elections here and to listen to the interview click 'play' below :
Friday, 9 October 2015
From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
Notes from the Museum : Creative Writing inspired by the Zoology Museum
D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Carnelley Building, University of Dundee
This year’s Notes from the Museum will be the seventh annual evening of poetry and prose inspired by D'Arcy Thompson and his extraordinary collections, written and performed by students on the School of Humanities' Creative Writing courses and introduced by tutor Edward Small.
These events always prove to be a real treat with beautiful and thought-provoking writing performed in the intimate but inspiring setting of the museum.
All welcome – no need to book. Please enter by the front door of the Carnelley Building.
Refreshments will be served after the event.
Thursday, 8 October 2015
Elections to West End Community Council take place soon - you can find out more by downloading the information leaflet here. Please complete and return it to the Freepost address indicated by 23rd October if you wish to express interest in participating in the election.
West End Community Council is the West End's voice and does great work for the local community so it is hoped that many local residents will want to participate in the elections to the Community Council.
The next Community Council meeting is next Tuesday (13th October) at 7pm at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall in Shaftesbury Terrace. It is the AGM and guest speaker will be Tim Hustler, President of Dundee University Students' Association. All welcome!
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
Back in July, I updated residents about the areas of the West End covered by Phase 2 of changes to bin and recycling collection arrangements. The changes are effective from 9th November :
It was originally envisaged that the areas covered in the West End in Phase 2 would be most of the east and north of the West End Ward, although the Environment Department decided to exclude the areas immediately north and south of the Perth Road district shopping centre, which is to be included in a future phase.
You can see a map of the areas that are in Phase 2 in the West End in my earlier update here.
Various roadshows are taking place - some in the West End Ward - see below - all residents are very welcome to attend :
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
Earlier today, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.
We had a useful discussion about promoting the work of Jericho House across the city.
Later today, I had a helpful meeting with Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, the police area commander, and two of his senior colleagues, about local policing matters affecting the West End and the wider city area.
I received a complaint from a resident at the end of last week that the dog bin on the cycle path from Greenmarket to Roseangle (at the Roseangle end) appeared to be full to over-flowing - see right. Not a pretty sight.
I immediately asked the council's Environment Department on Friday to have it emptied and tidied and this was done swiftly. The department responded as follows :
"This has been investigated and the operator spoken too. The operator confirmed there were bags on top of bin and on the ground and approx 8.15am today.
He did also mention that after uplifting the bags on top of the bin, when opening the lid, the bin was no where near full, possibly meaning that the dog owner /owners may in fact have just placed the bag on top of the bin, which is strange.
Anyway, the bin is clean and empty now and we will continue to monitor."
As the local resident pointed out :
“I think it's because the bin itself is filthy and difficult to open. Perhaps it should be replaced with a newer one. People wouldn't dump bags on top if bin was accessible.”
That's a good point and I have requested that this old dog bin be replaced with a new one.
Monday, 5 October 2015
Earlier this year, following my contacting the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership, I was advised that Hillside Terrace was recommended for inclusion in the 2015 carriageway resurfacing programme.
The much-needed resurfacing has recently taken place and feedback from residents about the work is very positive. However, residents (and I!) are confused as to why Hillside Place was not resurfaced at the same time as it is essentially a small cul de sac entirely within the curtilage of Hillside Terrace. The road condition is in the same poor state as Hillside Terrace previously was - see right :
The Roads Maintenance Partnership has advised me :
"I can confirm Hillside Place was swept while the road sweeper was in the area undertaking surface cleansing in advance of the works at Hillside Terrace.
The surfacing condition of Hillside Place is currently outwith priority programming criteria (i.e. there are worse condition roads within Dundee requiring expenditure priority). Hillside Place is currently assessed as priority 451. Our planned maintenance programme currently doesn’t include this road however at our current expenditure levels that would equate to planned maintenance in approximately 2023. The conditions of all roads in the authority area are assessed on an annual basis and this priority ranking may change dependant on condition deterioration of both this road and others within the city.
In the interim, prior to planned surfacing improvement works being committed, we will continue to undertake defect inspections on the road and will implement reactive repairs to priority safety related defects identified."
I have responded as follows :
"I note this but given the very short length of Hillside Place – its essentially a cul de sac of Hillside Terrace – it seems rather surprising that it wasn’t included as part of the Hillside Terrace works – particularly as the roadway in each was of similar condition. I question the cost-effectiveness of doing Hillside Place as a separate scheme at a future date – it seems to me sensible to include tiny roads like this as part of works for the adjacent main road."
I will continue to pursue this matter on behalf of local residents.
Sunday, 4 October 2015
Saturday, 3 October 2015
Friday, 2 October 2015
The photograph below, concluding this series of the Photopolis photographic resource, shows the north side of the Hawkhill at the junction with Bellfield Lane at the left (in the west).
Alexander Wilson's Dining Rooms and Coffeehouse were at No. 167. One of the advertisements on the gable end are for the Dundee Select Choir's performance of Handel's oratorio "Samson" at the Kinnaird Hall.
The Dundee Directory lists the other shops as Mrs G. Harper, tobacconist, Mrs A. Boyack, draper, The Annandale Dairy Company, Isabella Miller, fruiterer, and Miss F. Sheriff, confectioner. Then comes Lowden's Alley.
|At Warner Brothers' Movie World at the Gold Coast in Queensland!|
We're just back this week from our holiday visiting the family in Australia.
I would like to thank all colleagues for their great help with assisting with constituent enquiries and surgeries whilst I have been away - much appreciated.
I don't have any ward surgeries this coming Monday (5th October) as its a public holiday but surgeries will return as normal next Thursday (6.15pm at Blackness Primary School).
Thursday, 1 October 2015
The photograph below shows the east end of Dundee's Overgate, where it merges with the High Street, with the Town House (on the south side of High Street) just visible behind the hanging sign to the right.
David McLeod the bootmaker was at No. 41 Overgate, James R Butchart, a basket manufacturer, at No. 37, the smallware merchant Paul Kane at No. 33 and the Dundee Equitable Boot Depot at No. 29, although it is not listed in the Dundee Directory.
No. 23 was Robert Methven, a spirit dealer. The clocks are possibly part of a display by Herbert J. Cohen the jeweller's display (at The Golden Locket) at No. 15, and the Foreign and British Emporium was nextdoor to J. & J. Fleming's jeweller's shop.