Monday, 31 August 2015
Wednesday 2nd September, Lunchtime Recital - 1.15pm – 1.45pm
Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library.
Sheena Wellington, Scots song. Sheena entertains with her mix of beautiful singing and Dundonian humour!
Admission free (donations for The Sir Jimmy Shand Connection welcome)
Sunday, 30 August 2015
Jimmy Shand was world renowned as player, composer, band leader and innovator. Less well known is that he was also a discerning collector of old music books.
Friends of Wighton bought The Jimmy Shand Collection at auction and we are now raising money, through events, application to funding bodies and trusts, and crowdfunding, to have the volumes conserved so they can be on display at Dundee’s Wighton Heritage Centre and used by musicians, scholars and the community.
To bring the music off the page and into life and to celebrate the works being made available we’ll run, in Dundee, Angus and Fife, a series of concerts, ceilidhs and workshops under the title 'The Sir Jimmy Shand Connection'.
Our initial crowdfunding target is £5000 and when you contribute through our crowdfunding page - your name will entered on a role of honour. There are also some wonderful musical treats available depending on the amount donated!
We would like to thank Jimmy Shand Jr and all the Shand family for their support of this project.
Saturday, 29 August 2015
The City Council's Housing Committee approved the council’s participation in the Mortgage to Rent scheme on 8th June 2015. The council has now provided helpful additional information on how the scheme will operate :
Eligibility : To be considered for the Home Owners’ Support Fund Scheme owners experiencing mortgage difficulties must have failed to reach agreement on arrears with their lender, obtained independent financial advice from CAB or local authority money advice centre and the value of their home must be no more than maximum levels set for Dundee.
For 2015/16 the values are:
1 bedroom - £70,000
2 bedroom - £80,000
3 bedroom - £100,000
4 bedroom - £150,000
5 bedroom - £185,000
The maximum level may be waived in instances of particular housing need such as disability.
The house must be the principal home and the owner must have lived there for the previous 12 months. Owners must not have capital over £2,000 (£4,000 if they are over 60). Capital includes savings, assurance policies, redundancy, pension lump sum payments.
Making an application to the scheme : Having met with the independent financial adviser the owner must complete and submit an application to the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government undertakes an initial assessment of eligibility under the scheme against the criteria outlined above.
The property is valued at current market value by a professional surveyor. This is the price that will be paid for the property.
The council can receive a repairs allowance up to £8,500, the allowance includes repairs to bring the property up to Scottish Housing Quality Standard as well as gas and electric checks.
The Home Owner Support Fund (HOSF) team at the Scottish Government sends the application to the participating landlords in the area, for Dundee these are: Dundee City Council (DCC), Sanctuary, Angus HA and Caledonia HA seeking expressions of interest in the property.
HOSF considers expressions of interest and decides on the preferred social landlord, if the landlord who previously owned the property expresses an interest, they will be the preferred landlord.
Assessment by DCC : The council would apply its assessment criteria as outlined within the committee report. These are:
• Must fit Scottish Government funding and financial assessment criteria
• Be located in an area with significant need and demand (as evidenced by the Council’s waiting list) for social rented housing.
• Property size and type - priority will be houses providing family accommodation, wheelchair adapted housing and 1 bedroom flats; two bedroom flats may be considered in areas where there is scarcity of such social rented properties.
• Not re-acquiring ‘last in block’ factoring liabilities.
The final decision on individual properties will be determined by the council based on financial viability and the property meeting the required criteria.
If the property is eligible the council would receive property and contact details to complete an inspection of the property.
DCC would submit the repairs survey and the HOSF team would then provide the council with details of the anticipated subsidy level.
After the HOSF team has received agreement from DCC to the subsidy level a formal offer would be issued to all relevant parties.
At date of entry (the date the Council takes ownership of the property), the tenant becomes a Scottish Secure Tenant of DCC.
Further detailed information can be found here, including an information booklet entitled ‘Are you in danger of losing your home?’ which sets out detailed information for owners seeking assistance through the scheme.
Friday, 28 August 2015
Thursday, 27 August 2015
I mentioned last month that I had raised with the City Council the fact that the lighting on the steps that run down from the side of the Queen's Hotel in Nethergate was not working.
The council had promised an inspection and necessary repairs.
I am pleased to advise that I have since been updated as follows :
"(The City Council) undertook remedial works to the electrics serving the stair lighting. They are now operational."
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Earlier this evening, I attended a walkabout round Greater Balgay by the Balgay Stakeholders' Group, which brings together local councillors, council parks/environment department staff and community representatives - in particular Friends of Balgay - to look at issues related to Balgay Park and its surrounds.
We had a very useful walk round Greater Balgay, with a number of improvements agreed by the Environment Department representative. This included agreement to tidy up the area round the bandstand, including a repaint of the bandstand itself and tidying up the flower beds.
Yesterday afternoon, I attended the City Council's School Parking and Pupil Safety Working Group where there was a detailed discussion about policy on the provision of School Crossing Patrollers.
I asked how quickly the very welcome new patroller site at the bottom of City Road next to Milnbank Gardens will be in place. This will be of benefit to many Victoria Park Primary School and St Joseph's Primary School pupils and I was advised it was hoped to have the new School Crossing Patroller in place by the start of term after the October holiday.
Yesterday evening, I firstly attended the latest Friends of Blackness meeting at Blackness Primary School. Friends of Blackness covers the roles of both Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association. The school has a record P1 intake this year and a very healthy roll and its good to see such a good turnout at the meeting and positive work undertaken by Friends of Blackness on behalf of the school community.
Later yesterday evening, I attended the Harris Academy Parent Council meeting, again a very positive meeting. Mrs White, Acting Head Teacher, gave a very comprehensive update about the school's activities and very positive SQA examination results.
There was also a good discussion with the Head of Transportation about travel and drop-off arrangements for the school once it returns to Perth Road next year.
It is good to see that work has started this week (see right) on the new pedestrian crossing being installed on Riverside Drive to the south side of the Harris Perth Road site and the playing fields at Riverside.
Thanks to generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, an exhibition is currently taking place in the city about Mary Slessor, a centrepiece of the centenary commemorations of her life and work.
The exhibition is at Verdant Works @ Scotland’s Jute Museum and is free to visit.
The main exhibition is already open and runs until 1st November.
For more details about Verdant Works, please call 309060.
The centenary exhibition tells the story of Mary Slessor’s journey from Dundee mill girl to missionary and later magistrate in Calabar. It celebrates her work to improve the lives of the local tribes, in particular the women and children and her ongoing legacy.
You can read more about the exhibition here.
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
I have had complaints from residents in parts of the West End about the growth of roadside weeds in some residential streets/.
I contacted the Director of Environment at the City Council who has advised :
"We are aware that there are a number of areas across the city where we are noting similar concerns with weed growth. Unfortunately the weather conditions this year have exacerbated this problem.
We commenced the second round of herbicide treatment and street spraying a few weeks ago. ... After treatment it will normally take around 10 days for the weeds to die back."
Monday, 24 August 2015
On behalf of residents, I recently raised with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership road flooding concerns regarding Balgay Road.
I have now received the following feedback :
"Balgay Road has been checked and all the gullies are clean and clear although have been noted to be slow-running in times of very heavy rain.
Previously, any particular issues with ponding water have been dealt with by the gully machine.
There was no mud noted on the carriageway however it is possible this was run-off from Balgay Hill/ Park which has now been cleared or washed away."
I have also raised similar issues at nearby Sycamore Place, following residents raising these with me.
Sunday, 23 August 2015
Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of visiting the West End Tennis Club in Shaftesbury Road to speak with committee members and some of the parents whose children attend Saturday morning training sessions.
It was good to discuss the club's future plans with the committee and great to see the enthusiasm of all in promoting tennis in the area.
You can read more about the West End Tennis Club here.
In the afternoon, I attended the Friends of Balgay Summer meeting which took place at the Mills Observatory. There was an excellent and informative presentation by Dr Kenneth Baxter of the University of Dundee on 'Old Dundee.' You can read more about Friends of Balgay here.
Some weeks ago, on behalf of residents in the Clovis Duveau Drive area, I contacted Network Rail about the overgrown trees and foliage from their ground between the rail line at the nearby houses.
I have now had the following positive response from Network Rail :
"Please accept my apologies for the delay in contacting you regarding this matter.
I have attached photographs which were taken ... after completion of the work - that shows the trees and vegetation situated on our land near to the properties concerned - which include trees, cultivated hedges and plants present on the housing side - and all provide a screen from the operational railway.
It is essential that this vegetation is properly controlled and managed. For this reason, Network Rail carries out a nationwide, planned programme of vegetation management throughout the year."
The photo (above right) shows the area with the trees thinned back.
Saturday, 22 August 2015
I have had a number of residents' concerns recently about pedestrian safety near the Roseangle playpark since the playpark was improved as the footfall is very significantly increased. The following comment from a resident is typical :
"I want to draw your attention to my concerns of the road safety around the new fantastic Roseangle play park specifically the crossing from the play park to Magdalen Green (Riverside Approach).
There are two issues as I see it.
One of parked cars around that crossing and secondly of the speed of cars on the road around the crossing."
I have contacted both the City Council's Head of Transportation and the Road Policing Unit at Police Scotland, asking if a speed survey could be carried out.
Some years ago, I asked about the possibility of a pedestrian crossing across Riverside Approach from Magdalen Green to the playpark side. At that time there wasn't the footfall to meet the criteria but given the increase in usage of the playpark, I have asked that this be reassessed.
Friday, 21 August 2015
Thursday, 20 August 2015
Back in October 2012, St Joseph's Primary School moved from its old building (pictured right) to the new West End Campus and ownership transferred to the Al-Maktoum Foundation.
The building has since remained unoccupied and over time the playground has become overgrown with also some repairs required - see below :
Following concerns raised by residents about its deteriorating state, I have spoken with the Director of Operations at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education who has assured me that the long-term future of the building is being actively considered.
Meantime, it has has been agreed that a tidy-up of the site will take place, which is welcome.
From Sheena Wellington of the Friends of Wighton :
Come and Try!
Saturday 22nd August : 11am - 3pm at the Central Library
Always wanted to play the fiddle, whistle, harp but not sure which would suit? Like to know a few more Scottish songs? The Friends of Wighton tutors and friends will be at the Central Library Lending Library floor) this Saturday - 22nd August - 11am - 3pm - so you can 'Come and Try' fiddle, whistle, harp and/or song - for free!
Scots song class restarts on Tuesday 25th August at 2pm.
Fiddle and whistle classes restart on Saturday 29th August with fiddle 11am - 12.30pm and whistle 12.30pm – 2pm.
Medieval harp 2pm - 3.30pm restarts on Saturday, 5th September. All classes are £5 per session.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
In the past week, I have participated in committee meetings of both the Friends of Magdalen Green and Friends of Riverside Nature Park.
Both groups do great work - as do other Friends groups in the West End - such as Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and the Friends of Balgay.
If you are interested in more details of any of the West End Friends groups, contact me at email@example.com and I will pass on your contact details - many thanks!
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
From the Regional Communities Team Manager at Scottish Water :
“I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of a Scottish Water project to improve the water supply in the Perth Road/City Road area of the city.
This project has been promoted to reduce the levels of iron in the drinking water in that area. The work consists of approximately 10km of unlined cast iron mains which will be spray lined with a polyurethane lining and 10km of other mains which will be flushed or swabbed as appropriate. The work will proceed in sections of up to 150m per day. Most properties will only experience one interruption to supply, for up to 12 hours. Customers will be notified in advance to allow them to make alternative arrangements prior to the shut. Businesses in the area will also be visited to discuss particular needs. In exceptional circumstances some properties may experience more than one interruption but we will make every effort to avoid this.
We plan to begin with the Perth Road section, starting at the Sinderins junction and working our way down to the West Marketgait junction. This is currently programmed to start on site the 5th October and will last for approximately 6 weeks. For the first 3-4 weeks we will be lining the water mains in Perth Road itself. In the interests of speed and safety, DCC Roads Department has agreed to an eastbound lane closure of this section of Perth Road for the duration of this phase.
Once we have completed the works on Perth Road itself, the lane closure will be lifted and we will carry out lining works in some of the side streets (Shepherds Loan, Mid and West Wynd, St Peter St, etc) and elsewhere in the area (such as South Tay Street, West Port, Artillery Lane).”
Monday, 17 August 2015
With the school holidays over tomorrow, my West End Ward surgeries start again later this week – on Thursday :
These are :
• Mitchell Street Centre - Mitchell Street (The Base) - Mondays – 4.20pm (prompt) (except school holidays)
• West Park Centre (Old Mansion House Reception Area) - Mondays – 4.50 pm (prompt) (except school holidays)
• Blackness Primary School (Staff Room) - Thursdays - 6.15 pm (prompt) (except school holidays)
All West End Ward residents welcome and no appointment necessary!
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Saturday, 15 August 2015
The Dundee Food Train is going from strength to strength and you can read more about the service locally here.
The Food Train is a Scottish charity providing a vital grocery delivery service to older people. This service is run by volunteers and is always looking for new volunteers to come forward to help across Dundee.
The charity recently celebrated its 20th anniversary nationally and you can read its latest newsletter covering this milestone here.
Friday, 14 August 2015
Earlier today, along with four councillor colleagues, I attended a briefing with the council's Chief Executive and with John McClelland, author of the independent review of the V&A at Dundee construction project budget and the huge budget overshoot, during which Mr McClelland explained the detail of his findings.
His report is over 30 pages long and he has made eight key recommendations and I will be scrutinising the report in detail before it is discussed at the council's Policy & Resources Committee on 24th August.
However, what is glaringly obvious from the report is the failure of cost management and technical support at the time of the architectural competition and judging panel decision. The underprovision in the original budget cost estimates clearly account for the majority of the budget overshoot. Additionally, there was a lamentable failure to properly report back to and update councillors.
The V&A at Dundee project now has to be completed and it is vital that all recommendations raised in John McClelland's report are acted upon promptly and efficiently.
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Residents have asked me when the now disused (and rather horrible) toilets in Ancrum Road next to the Lochee Park children's play area, will be demolished.
The City Council has now advised me :
"The engineers have been instructed on the demolition. It is intended to take this to the September Committee with demolition taking place in October."
It should be stressed that there will still be public toilet provision very close by - at the Lochee Park Pavilion.
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Last month, I advised that I had written to the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights asking that a review of the planning legislation be undertaken, following the revelation that, when upgrading a mobile phone mast in Perth Road (from 3G to 4G), a mobile phone provider did not require planning permission. This allowed the provider to replace a ‘disguised’ mast with an undisguised and unsightly one.
I have now received a response from Scottish Government’s Policy Manager in Development Management - Planning & Architecture, that, for the record, I reproduce below. The response is, sadly, thoroughly inadequate and shows a rather unfortunate laissez faire approach to planning and a casual disregard for residential amenity :
"Thank you for your letter of 7 July to Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights. As your concern related to permitted development rights (PDR) in regard to telecommunications masts, I have been asked to respond.
As you are aware, PDR for telecommunication equipment (Class 67 of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992) were amended in 2014. Prior to 2014 PDR allowed operators to replace, alter or upgrade a telecommunications mast provided the mast was not located within a ‘designated area’. One effect of the changes in 2014 was to extend such PDR to include masts in ‘designated areas’. This includes masts in conservation areas, which I understand is the situation in this case. The replacement, altered or upgraded mast has to be located within 4 metres of the existing mast.
Scottish Planning Policy (SSP), published in June 2014, sets out the Scottish Government position that the planning system should support:
• development which helps deliver the Scottish Government’s commitment to world-class digital connectivity;
• the need for networks to evolve and respond to technology improvements and new services;
• inclusion of digital infrastructure in new homes and business premises; and
• infrastructure provision which is sited and designed to keep environmental impacts to a minimum.
The decision by Scottish Ministers to extend PDR for replacing, upgrading or altering masts was part of a wider review of Class 67 intended to promote the provision of telecommunications and broadband infrastructure across Scotland. The intention is to promote greater utilisation of sites that have already been granted planning permission and are therefore considered suitable for a mast, thereby reducing the need for further masts sites and minimising the overall impact of the telecommunications network on amenity.
The amendments to Class 67, including the changes to PDR for masts in designated areas were the subject of public consultation in early 2014. There are no plans to make further amendments to Class 67 at present time. The Scottish Government is currently reviewing guidance on telecommunications PDR and an updated Circular is expected to be published later this year.
I note your comment that the replacement of the mast would require planning permission in England and Wales. As the mast is in a conservation area, this is correct. You may wish to note however that in England and Wales, if the mast was located outside a conservation area, planning permission would not have been required for the initial installation of the mast or its subsequent replacement. In Scotland, planning permission is required for all new mast installations."
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Four years ago, I highlighted complaints from constituents about the state of the ground on Dundee’s Technology Park at the entrance to the city, having received many concerns about the untidy state of the ground running along Riverside Avenue, just east of the Swallow Roundabout.
As I said at the time, it is important that it is tidied as it is a prominent entrance to Dundee. At the time, with assistance from City Council officers, the area was tidied.
Unfortunately, it was recently looking unsightly again – see photos from last week below :
The area above is not within the ownership of either the City Council or Scottish Enterprise (the latter own some other parts of the Techology Park grounds). The City Council's Director of City Development advised me at the end of last week :
"I am seeking to establish who the owner/s of the area of land in question is and will seek to pursue the proper maintenance of this area with them."
However, meantime, I am extremely grateful to the council's Environment Department who undertook a one-off cut of the area to ensure it looks better meantime.
Monday, 10 August 2015
Sunday, 9 August 2015
There will be changes to National Express Dundee bus services from Sunday 13th September (and the company will be rebranding locally as Xplore Dundee this autumn too).
I am grateful to Suzy Scott of dundeebuses.info for the detailed breakdown below (in which I highlight only the changes as they affect the West End) - these are now in the public domain, having been published by the Traffic Commissioners in their weekly Notices and Proceedings.
There are significant changes across the city but the changes that particularly impact on the West End are as follows :
Service 5, X5 - Ninewells Hospital to Balgillo (and Outer Circle between these places) :
• A revised timetable, with all buses running as Service 5.
• All buses will run to and from Ninewells Hospital via Perth Road and Tom McDonald Avenue. Technology Park to be served by the Outer Circle, with Gowrie Park served by the 29. Please see my comments below about the negative impact on the very far west part of Perth Road.
• The daytime service of every 7-8 minutes during the day (some as Outer Circle) Monday to Saturdays continues, with buses doubled between the City Centre and Ninewells Hospital, as almost all buses will now run through.
• Sundays will have two buses an hour from Ninewells Hospital to City Centre, with four buses an hour from City Centre to Balgillo. Evening service is part of revised Services 9A/10A.
Services 9-12 Outer Circle :
• Service much simplified, with buses now showing 9 Clockwise Mon-Sat daytimes, 9A Mon-Sat evenings and Sundays, 10 Anti-Clockwise Mon-Sat daytimes, 10A Mon-Sat evenings and Sundays. Two morning buses will continue to by-pass Douglas as Service 9C. Monday-Saturday services will be every half hour, with a Sunday half-hourly service between Ninewells and Balgillo, and hourly elsewhere on the route.
• Between City Centre and Ninewells Hospital, buses will operate direct along Perth Road and Tom McDonald Avenue. Blackness Avenue, Balgay Park, Pentland Avenue and City Road will now be served by Service 17, and also served by Services 51, 203 and 204. Glamis Road and Elmwood Road will still be covered by Services 204A and 205.
Services 15, 17 Whitfield to Technology Park :
• Between City Centre and The Friary, Service 17 is rerouted via Perth Road, Sinderins, Blackness Avenue, City Road, and onto Tullideph Road. This replaces the Outer Circle section between Sinderins & The Friary.
• Most daytime buses on the 17 will now terminate at Ninewells Hospital, with some peak time buses extended to Medipark and Technology Park. Gowrie Park will now be covered by Service 29 all day, while the off peak buses to the Technology Park will be provided by the Outer Circle.
• Service 17 will run every half hour on evenings and Sundays, as now, thus then providing more buses to Blackness Avenue and Pentland Avenue.
Services 28, 29 Douglas to Charleston :
• Service 29 no longer serves Asda Myrekirk Road. Service 28 will continue to do so. No effect on West End part of the route (Lochee Road).
• Bus times are now standardised, Monday to Friday, at the same times. Service will be gradually converted to only double deck buses.
Commentary : There are clearly significant changes for the West End (and, indeed, across the city). In particular, the 9/10 service no longer serving Blackness, Pentland, Tullideph areas but instead going right along Perth Road as far as Tom McDonald Avenue; the 17 no longer serving the Lochee Road area but instead picking up the Blackness, Pentland, Tullideph areas that the 9/10 used to serve, and the 5 no longer serving the very far west end of Perth Road west of the roundabout at the bottom of Ninewells Avenue. The latter area will continue to the served by the hourly Stagecoach 16 service.
Prior to the changes becoming public with the submission to the Traffic Commissioners, I met with the Managing Director of National Express Dundee and with the company's Operations Manager, to discuss the proposals.
Many of the changes across the city are positive with increased frequencies and simplified timetables. However, some of the changes are disappointing - back in 2012, I organised a petition (that hundreds signed) against the removal of Service 5 from the far west part of Perth Road and the Technology Park - a decision that was thankfully reversed - so it is disappointing to see the areas around Millbay Terrace, Millbay Gardens, Clovis Duveau Drive and the far west of Perth Road losing National Express Dundee services (although the Stagecoach 16 service will continue to cover the area).
There are also changes to the timetable for the X7 hospital bus service (between Royal Victoria Hospital, Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary) from 17th August. You can download the new timetable here.
Saturday, 8 August 2015
Good to see Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church running a daytime free café from 10th-14th August, 10am-12 noon each day - with evening events too.
More information is available on the church website.
Friday, 7 August 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 carriageway patching works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Session Street (at its junction with Hawkhill), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Monday 10 August 2015 for 2 working days.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Brown Street.
For further information contact 433168.
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council
Thursday, 6 August 2015
The City Road Allotments Open Day takes place this coming Sunday, 9th August, between 11am and 3pm :
Wide selection of produce, preserves and plants
Refreshments and home-baking in the café
Free on the street car parking
Toilets on site
Join in the fun everyone welcome
Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Tuesday, 4 August 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 carriageway patching works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Hunter Street (closed to southbound traffic at its junction with Hawkhill), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Monday 10 August 2015 for 2 working days.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Hawkhill / Perth Road / Nethergate / South Tay Street.
For further information contact 433168.
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council
Monday, 3 August 2015
Leisure and Culture Dundee has invited the author Lindsay Littleson to Blackness Library to help celebrate the fun of reading throughout the summer holidays, as part of Record Breakers, the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge for Scotland 2015. This will take place this Wednesday - 5th August 2015 - at 2.30pm.
Lindsay won the Kelpies Prize last year for her debut novel ‘The Mixed-Up Summer of Lily McLean’. She was also one of the three shortlisted authors for Leisure and Culture Dundee’s own Great War Dundee Children’s Book Prize earlier this year. Lindsay will talk about her writing journey, the process of creative writing and read an extract from her laugh-out-loud adventure.
Children’s reading can ‘dip’ during the long summer holidays. The Reading Agency’s annual Challenge helps get three quarters of a million children into libraries to maintain their reading skills and confidence. Tesco Bank support has led to a 30% increase in participation in Scottish libraries over the last three years. The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland takes place every year during the summer holidays. Open to 5-12 year-olds, children can sign up at their local library then, read six library books of their choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all for free.
Last summer over 1,000 children in Dundee registered to take part and it is hoped the number will increase this year. The Challenge runs until Saturday 22nd August 2015.
Sunday, 2 August 2015
The “Knit 1 Bike 1” event takes place at the Fluph Yarn Shop, 164 Blackness Road, tomorrow - Monday 3rd August – from 7pm to 9pm.
Textile artist Janet Renouf-Miller is cycling around Scotland knitting or crocheting what she sees.
She lands at Fluph yarn shop tomorrow and will hold a mini workshop at 7pm. Janet will talk about her travels so far and her plans to write a book.
Come along for a cuppa and the crafting cycling fun at Fluph, it's free!
All welcome - enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 690190.
Saturday, 1 August 2015
Yesterday, I had a very interesting and useful visit to the new offices of Starter Packs, who recently moved from Perth Road to Forest Park Road.
Starter Packs Dundee is a voluntary charity, initiated by Scottish Churches Housing Action in 2000, and provides vital home ‘starter packs’ for resettling homeless and needy individuals and families in the Dundee area.
The team are always looking for donations of good, unwanted basic household goods, bed linen and curtains. These are then re-cycled and made up into 'starter packs' by a team of volunteers working on a rota basis.
Last year Starter Packs Dundee responded to almost 700 referrals, helping over 1000 individuals. You can read more about its excellent service and how to donate here.
The new offices are a great step forward for the Starter Packs team as they are light and spacious and make an excellent new base for this vital local charity.