Sunday 31 January 2016

Seabraes Bridge - lift breakdowns

The bridge at Seabraes officially opened only last June but there's unfortunately already been a number of lift breakdowns.

Unfortunately another - the third - occurred last week and, in addition to seeking repair, I asked the Senior Engineer in the council's Structures & Bridges Team - who is in charge of the project - for assurances that the lift is fit for purpose and we won't see further regular breakdowns.

I have now had feedback from him as follows :

"We are satisfied that the lift meets the performance specification required for an external lift and has been installed and maintained/serviced by a recognised and reputable lift company, Stannah.

However, we have requested that the contractor carries out a thorough inspection of the installation and provides us with a full summary of the number and cause of breakdowns to date."

Saturday 30 January 2016

Dundee City Council to debate closure of Dundee’s call-handling operation

I have secured a debate at the council’s Policy and Resources Committee over fears following Police Scotland’s decision to axe Dundee’s call-handling operation in June as part of controversial reforms.   I have strongly criticised moves to close the facility in Dundee’s Bell Street and relocate it to the central belt.

I am very concerned by this further centralisation of police resource away from Dundee.  The call centre has served Dundee well over the years until the creation of Police Scotland.    Police Scotland has said it will “plan to work towards” moving all 999 and non-emergency calls from Dundee to the national centre from late June.

Now all 999 and 101 calls will be answered by police staff in the central belt rather than locally which is really bad news with the loss of staff with local knowledge.

I have therefore secured this debate at Policy and Resources Committee on 14th March to discuss this serious concern to the city.   It is important that the City Council makes clear to Police Scotland our concerns over the loss of this vital facility to Dundee.

I spoke on Wave 102 News yesterday about the situation.   You can listen to the interview by clicking 'play' below :

Friday 29 January 2016

Graffiti tackled - Glenagnes Street

Me pictured against some of the graffiti
Following complaints from residents about graffiti on the wall at the back of the lock-ups in Glenagnes Street near to the Elm Street junction (see right), I brought this to the attention of the City Council's Rapid Response Team.

The team has responded and will tackle this although it may require a disclaimer signed by owners as the wall is privately owned.

Thursday 28 January 2016

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy - an update

Last night, I also attended the second informal meeting to discuss the creation of a new committee to take forward adult learning/evening classes from when Harris Academy returns to Perth Road.   

Prior to the school decant to Lawton Road to enable the school rebuilding in Perth Road, there was an active Harris Education and Recreation Association that successfully provided a programme of evening classes over many years.    At the time of the decant, the previous committee retired after many years' service to the community.

Getting a new group together to take evening classes and adult education at the Harris is taking good shape and we had a very positive meeting last night.    Do please let me know if you are interested in getting involved.   You can also complete a short survey about possible evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy by clicking here.

Drop in event on future of Blackness General Economic Development Area

One of the presentations at the drop-in event yesterday
Last night, I attended a very useful drop in event on the future of the Blackness General Economic Development Area that took place at Verdant Works.

The consultation took place because city planners are now preparing the next Local Development Plan for Dundee.   The first stage in the process was to produce a Main Issues Report that discusses key planning issues and informs the preparation of the next Local Development Plan by considering which areas of the City are suitable and unsuitable for development and discussing the way land should be used, managed and developed.

The Blackness General Economic Development Area (GEDA) is identified as a main issue within the Main Issues Report for its potential to bring areas of vacant, derelict or underused land and buildings back into productive use.    As well as improving employment opportunities and productivity, it also highlights the potential to make the Blackness GEDA a more vibrant and high quality place by improving the quality of the built environment; strengthening the existing character and identity; increasing connectivity and making the area more attractive, safe and welcoming. 

Yesterday's event about the Blackness GEDA allowed business owners, property owners, residents and other stakeholders to give their views and it was extremely well-attended.   The public consultation runs until Monday 29th February and you can read more about the process here.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Bonnie Dundee and Harris Academy Parent Council meetings

It was a busy evening yesterday with my attending both the Bonnie Dundee group meeting at the City Chambers, followed by the Harris Academy Parent Council meeting at the school's current Lawton Road campus.

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, and it was a really positive meeting last night with lots of good initiatives taking place, including work on the planters at West Port, Union Street and Dundee Science Centre taking place during February and March and a litter pick at the University of Dundee on 19th February.

The Harris Academy Parent Council meeting was equally positive - you can't help but be impressed by the way the new Head Teacher Barry Millar has hit the ground running since taking up post earlier this month and there were excellent discussions about parent engagement, timetabling, progress with the new school building at Perth Road and other matters.

Future parent council meetings will include joint sessions with Menzieshill High School Parent Council, an excellent initiative on the part of both parent councils given that the two school communities come together in August as the new Perth Road campus opens.

Bank unwilling to reconsider Perth Road branch closure

Yesterday, I met with senior TSB officials about their proposed closure of the Perth Road Branch but, after a lengthy discussion with them, it is clear that the bank is unwilling to reconsider its decision.

I met with TSB’s Distribution Director for Scotland and their London-based Public Affairs Senior Manager and put the case for the bank retaining the Perth Road Branch given the loyal customer base it has enjoyed over many years, the importance of retaining one bank branch in the area and the inconvenience the closure would have to local people in the West End, particularly the elderly and those with mobility difficulties.

What was very clear from the meeting is that the bank has decided to close the branch for commercial reasons.   The lease on the branch’s building is up for renewal and the bank has decided it won’t renew it.     Although TSB officials said that the decision was not taken lightly, it is clear that the bank is not willing to renew the decision which is very disappointing.

Being aware of the fact that the branch continues to be very well used by customers in the local community, I was anxious that the bank listened to all the points made by the very many residents who have contacted me, expressing their deep dismay at the bank’s decision.

The bank officials did give a commitment to ensure that the transfer of accounts will not have to be to their Meadowside Dundee HQ.   If a customer would prefer to transfer to Lochee, the bank is willing to do this and the bank has promised that the Perth Road staff will be retained and will transfer to other local branches.   However, the bank will not retain their cash machine on Perth Road.

I am hugely disappointed at TSB’s position as this represents the final bank branch in the Perth Road district shopping centre being lost.   It’s the sixth bank branch to go in the wider West End and Lochee areas over the past few years and its really bad news, particularly for those less mobile and those who don’t use internet or phone banking.     I will continue to campaign for the retention  of local facilities like this as the loss of them is a real blow to the local community.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Jericho House Support Group

Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.

We had a useful discussion on a number of matters including the proposed Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the field, to showcase the work of Jericho House.     This will take place in April.

Monday 25 January 2016

Path - Perth Road to Riverside Avenue

North end of the path
Residents have raised with me the fact that the pathway running down from Perth Road to Riverside Avenue (runs behind the west side of River Crescent and the east side of Riverside Place) is overgrown.    The path is well-used - a main route on foot from Perth Road to Riverside Nature Park. 

I contacted the Environment Department of Dundee City Council regarding this and have been advised as follows:

" ... the Network Team has recently upgraded this path.   During this time we were unable to gain access.   Now that this section is complete, we are hoping (if weather allows us) to get in there to start bringing this area back to standard.

(With regard to) the long term solution ... I have a few thoughts and this will be carried out between January -March.   Again this will depend on the weather."

Sunday 24 January 2016

Lighting on path - Logie Street to Tullideph Street/Place

Residents in the Tullideph area recently raised with me the poor lighting on the pathway from Logie Street to the Tullideph Street/Place junction.   This is a very well-used path as it provides the main route on foot from Tullideph to catching a bus on Logie Street.   Many of the path users are elderly, living in the Tullideph Sheltered Housing.

I contacted the council's Street Lighting Partnership Manager about the lighting situation and she sent me a very helpful response as follows :

"I have had a look at the path in question and can understand the concerns that have been raised.  I will add a small capital scheme for additional lighting into next years programme.   Unfortunately we are fully committed both in terms of finance and workload for the current financial year.

In the meantime, may I suggest that the tree in the middle of the path be cut back? this may help to make the path a little more visible."

On the overgrown tree aspect, the Assistant Forestry Officer has also responded positively :

"I have inspected the mature maple tree next to the footway leading to Logie Street.    I will arrange to crown lift, crown balance, crown thin and prune this tree ... I will include this work in our current winter schedule and the works will be completed prior to any street lighting improvement works."

Saturday 23 January 2016

Pedestrian safety at Balgay Cemetery, Hill and Park

One of the roads running through Balgay Cemetery
I have recently received a number of constituents' concerns about pedestrian safety at Balgay Cemetery, Hill and Park.    The following comment from a local resident is typical :

“I would ... like to tell you about the speeding cars in Balgay Cemetery and the road leading up to the observatory, as I often walk in both places.   These drivers need to be more careful as there are children about.”

I raised this with a senior manager in the Environment Department of the council who has responded positively as follows :

"I can see how there are concerns from park users particularly if the have young children present. 

We can certainly look at improving the signage.   I  will copy this to both the Head of Transportation to see if he has advice on traffic calming measures and also Leisure & Culture Dundee in terms of a view to see if there is a message we should be sending to visitors. 

Finally I will also copy this to the area supervisor and we will remind staff of the need to repeat speed limits and generally look out for visitors to the park and cemetery."

With specific regard to the road up to Mills Observatory, Leisure & Culture Dundee, who operate the observatory, has also responded, stating :

"We are presently looking at directional signage for The Mills to replace existing which is tired and in need of updating.

It might be worthwhile looking at incorporating something which indicates a speed restriction or advises caution for anyone in vehicles."

Friday 22 January 2016

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee

The January Blether will be on Tuesday 26th January at 7pm in Madigan's Food Emporium and Bookshop, Castle Street.

This month we are excitedly launching our very first CD, "Stories From The Hat."   Those who contributed to the CD are invited to re-tell the story they told. 

CDs will be available for sale at a very reasonable £5.   So, please come along and snap one up! 

Thursday 21 January 2016

Overflowing rubbish problem tackled

Last night's Evening Telegraph highlighted the overflowing rubbish problem at a set of flats on the Perth Road and my taking up the problem on their behalf to get the matter resolved.

I have had feedback from the City Council's Neighbourhood Services Department who advise that the problem occurred at the time of a complete change of crew dealing with the bin collection and I have been promised a prompt rubbish uplift.   

I have also asked for the bin store area to be given a proper clean-up as bags have been ripped open by seagulls, causing a mess.

Planning the Future of Blackness General Economic Development Area

From the City Council :

Planners are now preparing the next Local Development Plan for Dundee.   The first stage in the process was to produce a Main Issues Report.    This discusses key planning issues and informs the preparation of the next Local Development Plan by considering which areas of the City are suitable and unsuitable for development and discussing the way land should be used, managed and developed.

The Main Issues Report was approved for consultation at the City Development Committee on 7th December 2015. The public consultation runs until Monday 29th February. Officers will be hosting workshops, exhibitions and other events over this period.  You can read more about the process by clicking here.

The Blackness General Economic Development Area (GEDA) is identified as a main issue within the Main Issues Report for its potential to bring areas of vacant, derelict or underused land and buildings back into productive use.    As well as improving employment opportunities and productivity, it also highlights the potential to make the Blackness GEDA a more vibrant and high quality place by improving the quality of the built environment; strengthening the existing character and identity; increasing connectivity and making the area more attractive, safe and welcoming. 

As part of the public consultation exercise, a drop-in event will take place within the Blackness GEDA to engage with business owners, property owners, residents and other stakeholders.
The drop-in event will take place on Wednesday 27th January 2016, from 12 noon to 7pm in Verdant Works.   Planning officers will be on hand to outline the council’s preferred option for the area, discuss any issues and to gather as many thoughts and ideas from those who attend.

Please see poster about the event below :

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Meeting with sheltered housing tenants

Sinderins Court
Yesterday morning, I met with the residents' association that represents the tenants at Sinderins and Pennycook Courts.

We had a good discussion about various local issues, primarily around the changes to the warden arrangements implemented last year.

I am in discussions with Home Scotland about a review meeting with the tenants regarding the revised arrangements.

Perth Road Branch TSB closure slammed

I have slammed the decision of TSB to propose closure of the Perth Road Branch of their bank at the end of March.

Since last Thursday when the letters breaking this bad news started arriving with local TSB customers, I have been contacted by many residents upset and concerned at the loss of the last Perth Road bank branch.

The TSB's Perth Road Branch is extremely well-used, always busy and has long-standing professional and friendly staff.   The loss of the Perth Road TSB would be a great loss to the West End.   It comes less than two years after the loss of the Royal Bank Perth Road Branch.

Last Thursday, I wrote to the local manager of TSB outlining the case for keeping this vital branch and seeking a meeting to discuss the matter further.   I will do all I can to persuade TSB to reconsider and have urged all constituents who have contacted me to contact TSB also making their concerns clear.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Touch Screen Bus Information - Nethergate

A number of residents have contacted me about the touch-screen bus information facility at the bus stop west of the Queen's Hotel.

The touch screen is not working and I have reported this to the City Council requesting repair as soon as possible.

Monday 18 January 2016

Meeting at Harris Academy

Earlier this evening, after a council committee meeting, I attended a very informative meeting at Harris Academy of members from both Harris Academy and Menzieshill High Parent Councils.

New Harris Academy Head Teacher, Barry Millar, gave an overview of his plans for the school and his approach, as the school prepares to move later this year into its new facilities back in Perth Road and welcomes the Menzieshill High community into Harris in August.

Barry gave a very impressive presentation and has a clear vision for taking the school and its pupils forward with some new initiatives including a regular Head Teacher Surgery for parents and carers to meet the Head Teacher.

Glenagnes Street council lock-ups demolition

Over the past couple of years, the City Council has consulted over the future of the Glenagnes Street council lock-ups (the ones at the east end of the street - see right).   These have been approximately 50% unoccupied over a long period.   

Given the lack of demand and after an attempt to advertise the empty lock-ups for rent, the Housing Committee took the decision to demolish them (after attempting to find alternative lock-up provision for the sitting lock-up tenants).

The Neighbourhood Services Department (formerly Housing) has now written to all adjacent residents in the area as follows :

"Contractors are proposing to commence demolition of the lock-up garages at 1-33 Glenagnes Street, Dundee week commencing Monday 25th January 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter, weather permitting. 

It is anticipated that these works will be complete within 3 weeks, again weather permitting.

A new 1.8m high fence will be provided along the current line of the rear wall of the lock-up garages as soon as possible thereafter. 

The yellow lines on the south side (only) of Glenagnes Street that are currently in front of the lock-up garages, up to the kerb, will be removed and the site of the lock-up garages will be made suitable for off-street parking. 

You can be assured that every effort will be made to keep any inconvenience, if experienced, to a minimum, but this part of Glenagnes Street may be obstructed at times by machinery. Additionally, a small portion of the rear gardens to 219-251 Blackness Road adjacent to the garages will be occupied by temporary security fencing during the works. 

If you have any enquiries whilst this work is on site please call 434412."

Sunday 17 January 2016

Big Garden Birdwatch Day

From the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden :

Big Garden Birdwatch Day : Saturday 30th January 11am – 3pm

Join RSPB Scotland at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch - the world’s largest wildlife survey!

Discover which birds can be found in the garden and get useful tips from RSPB staff and volunteers on identifying them. You can also find out more about how to Give Nature a Home in your garden and children can get messy making bird feeders to take home.

The event is free to Friends and the cost to others to enter the Garden will be £2 per person.   Donations to the RSPB on the day will be gratefully received.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Review of West End waiting restrictions

Back in 2013, when the proposed West End residents’ parking scheme proposal was rejected, I moved at City Development Committee that, at the very least, the department should review West End waiting restrictions.

This would allow the council to see if any yellow lining was now redundant/superfluous to requirements to hopefully free up some additional parking space.    

This exercise has now been completed and there are now proposals to do just that in various streets - you can download what is being proposed here.

I have been advised by the council that a cost estimate has been requested and, once approved, a Works Order will be made to allow the necessary lining removal to take place.

The Courier covered the waiting restrictions progress in yesterday's paper and also highlights my view that there is a real need for City Council transportation officers to look at residents’ priority parking again, given the flaws in the previous consultation.

The complacent response from the Convener of City Development to this is extremely disappointing and is a real concern to the very many West End residents who find great difficulty parking near their homes.

This is an issue I will continue to pursue on behalf of local residents in the West End.

Friday 15 January 2016

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy - next meeting

Further to my update in November about a possible new group to run evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy after the school returns to its Perth Road campus next August, the next meeting of the informal group to take this forward and seek your views and input will take place at Blackness Library (enter by Blackness Avenue entrance, not main entrance) at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27th January – all welcome!

Please so complete the short survey about possible evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy by clicking here.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Logie and Blackness areas walkabout

Yesterday, along with the Assistant Area Housing Manager and the local Housing Officer, I had a useful walkabout round the Logie and Blackness areas to discuss a number of local issues.

These include tackling the flooding issue on Logie Avenue at the lock-ups (see below), some missing or damaged street signs including the damaged one in Glenagnes Road at its junction with Blackness Road (see right) and fly-tipping at an empty property in Blackness Road.

The Neighbourhood Services Department (the new department from 1st January that covers both Housing and Environment) is ensuring that the Logie Avenue flooding issue is tackled both in terms of having the leak repaired permanently but also to ensure the pavement and lock-up area is given a better surface.

I have followed up non-housing issues with the appropriate departments to ensure all matters are properly resolved.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Annual Photographic Competition

Entries to the 50th city’s annual photographic competition are invited and there’s no time to lose with the closing date of Monday 25th January 2016 fast approaching.   

The entry form can be downloaded by clicking here,  obtained directly from the Dundee Photographic Society or by contacting Dundee City Council’s Environment Events team on 433104.

The winning selection will be made on Monday 15th February at the Marryat Hall and an exhibition of the entries will take place between Wednesday 24th February and Wednesday 9th March at the Central Library.

Prizes being offered include :

Dundee Corporation Trophy :   This trophy, together with a miniature and prize voucher, is awarded for the best 3 images in print and/or projected which best portray Dundee.

Robert Saunders Trophy :   This trophy was presented by Messrs Robert and Ivan Saunders to commemorate their father who was an early exponent of colour photography. Awarded annually with a miniature for the best projected image taken in any park in Dundee.

Dundee Photographic Society Trophy - Open Competition :   This trophy donated by Dundee Photographic Society in recognition of the photographer who, overall, obtains the highest aggregate points from projected image, monochrome and colour print sections in the open competition. This will automatically include all images submitted for the Dundee Corporation Trophy and Robert Saunders Competitions.

Under 18 :   For the best image taken by an Under 18.

You can view an image gallery of the 2015 winning entries by clicking here.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Planetarium Shows at the Mills Observatory

The next Mills Observatory Planetarium Shows take place on Friday 22nd January at the Observatory – four timings to choose from - 7pm, 7.45pm, 8.30pm and 9.15pm.

Take a tour of the night sky in the Observatory’s Planetarium Room and learn about constellations, asteroids and galaxies.

Booking essential on 435967 (with a nominal entry charge of just £1 Adults, 50p Children)

You can also download the Mills Observatory Winter Events Programme 2015/16 here.

Great progress with Discovery Walk

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the latest meeting of the committee to progress the excellent Discovery Walk proposal.       As I have previously mentioned, Discovery Walk will comprise of bronze plaques set into the paved area of Slessor Square, in the heart of the city's waterfront development and it will celebrate the contributions of Dundee people who have contributed to science and society in a highly visible and permanent way.  

At the latest meeting, we ‘proofed’ several of the plaques that tell the fascinating stories behind these individuals and their discoveries and inventions.

The plaques look superb – a draft example can be seen (above right) – with the walk to be officially opened in this coming April.

Monday 11 January 2016

City Council committees

Earlier tonight, the City Council's first main committee meetings on 2016 took place and Policy and Resources Committee was dominated by a report on the local government financial settlement for the forthcoming financial year.

The report from council officers correctly points out :
The outcome of the Westminster Spending Review was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 25 November 2015. The Scottish Budget totals show a cash increase of £1 billion (3.3%) between 2015/16 and 2019/20, largely due to the Barnett consequentials of changes to other Whitehall departmental budgets. When adjusted for projected inflation, however, this represents a real terms reduction of 4.1%. For 2016/17, the year-on-year cash increase is £0.5 billion (1.7%), which represents a standstill budget in real terms.
However, despite being given "a standstill budget in real terms" in terms of the Scottish Block from Westminster, John Swinney, the Scottish Government Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy is wielding the axe to local government, with a cut of £350 million, which results in Dundee City Council facing cuts of some £23 million in the next year.

I have been a member of the council for nearly 15 years and this financial settlement is by far the worst I have ever seen.   The claims of Scottish Government Ministers to be "anti-austerity" can now be seen for the wholly empty rhetoric it is and I do not under-estimate the scale of the financial disaster Scottish Government is imposing upon vital local services.

Tonight, I moved the following amendment at committee - unfortunately the council administration voted it down, despite the fact that I purposely wrote it in a manner designed to be consensual and non-confrontational :

Policy and Resources Committee :   11th January 2016  :   Item 3 (a)

Amendment by Councillor Fraser Macpherson 

Add an additional recommendation :

2.8 Instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy expressing the council’s deep concern at the inadequate level of revenue and capital funding allocations for 2016, indicating the council’s disquiet that the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy is proposing that local government bears a disproportionate share of government funding reductions in 2016/17 and requesting that the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy reviews the position with a view to increasing local government revenue and capital funding allocations for 2016/17.

Adult Learning Opportunities in the West End

The latest Adult Learning newsletter for the city has just been published - the first for 2016 - and you can download it here.

Here's details of the adult learning opportunities available in the West End area :
... and there's also a feature on the real life learners' outing from their Mitchell Street base :

Sunday 10 January 2016

Discovery Days - short presentations from the Cutting Edge

Later this week, the University of Dundee is inviting local residents to listen to the university’s newest professors and award-winning teachers and communicators, as they share the ideas that inspire them. Everyone is welcome including school pupils, members of the public and university staff and students.

Discovery Days 2016 will take place on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th January at the Main Lecture Theatre, Dalhousie Building on Old Hawkhill - see poster below - and free tickets are available to book online via Eventbrite, on collection at the Tower or Dalhousie Building receptions at the University of Dundee, or by calling 386660.

The Discovery Days 2016 programme is now available by clicking here.

Saturday 9 January 2016

Traffic Order - Harris Academy (Perth Road, Dundee) (Variation of Waiting Restrictions) (No 2) Order 2016

From the City Council :



Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.  Due to the redevelopment of Harris Academy, it is necessary to revise the waiting restrictions on Perth Road and surrounding streets to prevent indiscriminate parking associated with the school to reduce potential risk to all road users.

Full details of the proposals are contained in the draft Order, which together with a Statement of the Council’s reasons for proposing to make the Order may be examined during normal office hours and without payment of fee at Dundee City Council offices, Reception, 20 City Square, Dundee by any person, during a period of 21 days from 8/1/16.  A copy of the plan can also be viewed by searching for "Traffic Regulation Orders (In Progress)" in the A to Z section of our website.

Any person may within 21 days from 8/1/16 object to the proposed Order by notice in writing to the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Dundee City Council, 21 City Square, Dundee.  Objections should state the name and address of the objector, the matters to which they relate and the grounds on which they are made.

ROGER MENNIE, Head of Democratic and Legal Services

The proposals in relation to the area immediately outside the school can be viewed here.

The proposals in relation to the residential areas around the school can be viewed here.

Friday 8 January 2016

Event at the Botanic Garden

Thursday 7 January 2016

West End Surgeries

With the school holidays at an end and schools returning today, my weekly ward surgeries for the West End recommence later today.   

Here's the details :

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Lynsey wins window spotting competition!

Earlier today, Blackness Primary School pupil Lynsey Mitchell age 5 received her prize from the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and the West End Christmas Committee as she emerged as winner of a competition run by the Christmas Fortnight in the run up to the festive season.   

All local school children from the four West End Primary Schools – Victoria Park, St Joseph’s Ancrum Road and Blackness – and local children who attend other primary schools – were all invited to participate in a window spotting competition around the Perth Road district shopping area.   They were tasked with following a trail of clues in shop front window displays to spell the word “SANTA”, and from the 50+ correct entries, Lynsey’s emerged out the hat as the winner!

Lynsey has won a year’s Family Membership of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden that was presented to her by Dr Mark McGilchrist, Chair of the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, and also a gift voucher from the West End Christmas Committee that I presented - see photo (below) of (from left) Mark, Lynsey and myself :

Tenant Participation Strategy Review

Dundee City Council is reviewing its Tenant Participation Strategy.

This strategy sets out how the council will support tenants and their representatives to influence the delivery of housing services.    A draft strategy has been written after having some initial discussions with tenants - we now want to consult more widely to make sure that the strategy covers all of the most important actions.

The council is consulting on the draft strategy until the end of January 2016.    Dundee’s tenants are asked to help by reading the draft strategy you can download here and give the council feedback using the online consultation questionnaire you can access here.

If you have any questions about the review, please contact John Wolstencroft of the City Council on Dundee 307369.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Fun Run at the Botanic Garden

Just before the festive season, I mentioned the fun run being organised by the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden immediately after the New Year (on the 2nd).

I am pleased to say it was a great success, and, with thanks to Colin Robertson, the Friends' Membership Secretary, here's some photos from last Saturday's event :

On Wave 102 News : Temporary road closure @wave102

I spoke on Wave 102 News today, speaking about the temporary road closure at West Henderson's Wynd/Douglas Street, which starts tomorrow.

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

Recycle your real Christmas tree!

The City Council advises that, if you are on a brown bin collection route, your real Christmas Tree can put the next scheduled brown bin collection day.  

Please cut up your tree and put it in your brown kerbside bin (if you have one) for collection, add it to your garden compost bin should you have one, or take it to your local recycling centre, such as the Riverside Civic Amenity Site.

For more information, please telephone 433710.

Monday 4 January 2016

Temporary Traffic Order - West Henderson's Wynd/Douglas Street

From the City Council :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of BT duct laying works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in West Henderson’s Wynd / Douglas Street junction, Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Wednesday 6 January 2016 for 5 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes are available via Blinshall Street / Lochee Road / Park Street.

For further information contact 433168.

Director of City Development
Dundee City Council