Saturday, September 30, 2017

On Growth and Form 100 - Centenary Conference

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


Centenary Conference - ON GROWTH AND FORM 100
13th -15th October 2017
University of Dundee and University of St Andrews

2017 marks 100 years since the publication of D’Arcy Thompson’s landmark book On Growth and Form – “the greatest work of prose in twentieth century science” (Stephen Jay Gould), written by the man that Richard Dawkins recently nominated as possibly “the most learned polymath of all time”.

One of the key works at the intersection of science and the imagination, it is a book that has inspired scientists, artists and thinkers as diverse as Alan Turing, C H Waddington, Claude Lévi Strauss, Norbert Wiener, Henry Moore and Mies van der Rohe. It pioneered the science of biomathematics, and has had a profound influence in art, architecture, anthropology, geography, cybernetics and many other fields.

To mark the occasion, a three-day interdisciplinary conference is being organised at the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews. It will feature a range of presentations covering every aspect of D’Arcy’s own work and the various fields that it has influenced. The conference will also include visits to the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum and the Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History and there will be a special preview of a new exhibition exploring On Growth and Form and its legacy.

We are also delighted to welcome two outstanding speakers to give the keynote lectures at the conference.   These will be free and open to the public to attend.

Friday 13th October - Lars Spuybroek (NOX / Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta)

Lars Spuybroek is an internationally acclaimed Dutch architect whose practice, NOX, has become renowned for organically inspired projects. Having taught in the University of Kassel and Columbia University, he is now Professor of Architectural Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. His lecture will discuss the implications of D’Arcy’s ideas for architecture, drawing on experiments with both analogue as well as digital computing techniques for design.

Saturday 14th October - Evelyn Fox Keller (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
(The Fauvel Lecture, supported by the British Society for the History of Mathematics)

Evelyn Fox Keller is one of the most internationally respected historians of science. A physicist, author and feminist, she is currently Professor Emerita of the History & Philosophy of Science at MIT. Beginning her career in theoretical physics, she moved on to work in molecular biology before becoming renowned for her work as a feminist critic of science. Her books include Keywords in Evolutionary Biology (1998), The Century of the Gene (2000) and Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines (2002). The latter has a particular focus on mathematical biology and in her lecture she will discuss the legacy of D’Arcy Thompson’s work.

The venues will be as follows:

Friday 13th October – University of Dundee
Saturday 14th October – University of St Andrews
Sunday 15th October – University of Dundee

Booking for the conference is now open. The costs, programme and details for registration can be found here.   We gratefully acknowledge support from the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau for this event.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Have your say on transport

Dundee Voluntary Action and Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership are working together to see what accessible transport solutions can be created to help people with issues accessing public transport, to help them get out and do what they want to do.    

There is clearly a gap in transport for people who do not drive and are not able to access public transport.

It is vital that residents who are elderly, disabled, frail and vulnerable have an accessible transport option to reduce isolation for the people who currently cannot get out and about.

A consultation is underway and it closes on 30th September – you can take part here.

There is also a drop-in event at the Lime Street Sheltered Lounge from 2pm to 4pm on Tuesday 3rd October.    All welcome!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Friends of Balgay Autumn meeting #dundeewestend

The Friends of Balgay Autumn meeting takes place this coming Saturday (30th September) at 2pm at the Mills Observatory.

In addition to the AGM, Jean Oudney (pictured right) of the Tayside Bat Group will give a talk about "Batty Tayside" - all welcome!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2017

Riverside Esplanade/Riverside Drive (Tay Road Bridge off ramp to 75m along Riverside Drive) – westbound nearside lane closure for 11 weeks to facilitate V&A construction works.

A85 Riverside Drive – prohibition of right turn from westbound lane of Riverside Drive into Riverside approach and prohibition of right turn from Riverside Approach in to Riverside Drive for 11 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off-peak temporary traffic lights from Monday 25 September for up to one week.

South Marketgait (at Railway Station) – northbound nearside lane closure from Monday 25 September for one week for Hydro Electric cable installation.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee


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

The theme this month is " Tea."

Hope to see some of you there – all welcome!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dundee Jobsfair 2017

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, Skills Development Scotland and partners are organising this year’s Dundee Jobsfair :  



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pothole repairs – Hillside Drive #dundeewestend

Further to my recent update about residents' concerns about a poor quality of pothole repair in Dunmore Gardens, I have also had similar complaints in Hillside Drive.

I raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have been advised :

'Similar to Dunmore Gardens, the repairs were inspected and I note that these pothole repairs do not have a film of bond coat painted on the existing road surface prior to filling which will affect the long term adhesion and therefore durability, and I will take this matter up internally.

DCC Actionable Pothole Definition: "A surfacing defect will become actionable when it is greater than 300mm in diameter, the leading edge of a raised or depressed vertical face is proud of the immediately adjacent surfacing by 20mm on footways and 40mm on carriageways."

The material specified for use in carriageway pothole repairs is chosen to suit a depth of 40mm, or greater.  By trying to carry out a repair to a defect of insufficient depth the material sits proud and fretts at the edges as the aggregate within the material cannot fit in the depression once compacted.  If we use smaller aggregate then there is insufficient strength in the material to resist expected vehicular loading.  

Hillside Drive, Place and the east/west leg of Hillside Road , when assessed in comparison to other adopted residential streets throughout the city, are in fair condition and therefore a proposed timescale for resurfacing in year 2020/21 is in my opinion reasonable.  I can advise that there are 215 streets which have been prioritised in advance of these streets.'

Again, I feel that the poor road condition here warrants earlier resurfacing and I will continue to press this matter with the council.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lifelong Learning Dundee

Lifelong Learning Dundee is an independent, not-for-profit organisation developed by former students and tutors of the long-running continuing education classes at the University of Dundee.

For many years the University of Dundee offered classes for the general public,  most recently in its ‘Courses for Adults’ programme.  

Earlier this year the University replaced these with credit-bearing assessed courses.  As a result, Lifelong Learning Dundee was formed to continue the highly valued general interest classes on the campus.    

Having been involved in contacting the University Principal when the university changed provision to credit-bearing courses to ensure that general interest classes continued, I am delighted to see Lifelong Learning Dundee being formed and continuing the excellent tradition of general interest education classes at the university.

You can read more about the courses that are available here.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Scottish Water clarifies additional works in Blackness Road

Scottish Water has now clarified to councillors the details of additional works in Blackness Road, following criticism by me about the fact that the road is being dug up again just months after the original disruption in the street was completed.

Scottish Water’s Corporate Affairs Officer has now advised :

“As you will be aware we have carried out work in Blackness Road earlier this year.  Unfortunately, following the earlier work, some sections of the water main which were originally flushed have now been identified as requiring to be re-lined as per the other mains in this area.  Unfortunately, this means we will have to return to Blackness Road to carry out this work.

There are essentially 3 sections to this work.   Section 1 is from approximately Annfield Road to opposite the Fire Station.  Section 2 is from Rosefield Street to approximately the bus stop opposite Annfield Road.  Section 3 involves a small section of open cut mains replacement at the junction of Glenagnes Road.

Work is scheduled to be carried out starting on the 9th October and is expected to take approximately 2 weeks.  We will be able to carry out these works using temporary traffic lights which will be manned during peak times to ensure the traffic is kept moving as much as possible.  There will be no road closure required.  The section of work at Glenagnes Road will not require traffic lights but will be done under localised give and take traffic management.  These works have also been planned to coincide with local school holidays to try and further reduce any disruption caused.

Some customers will have some disruption to their water supply during these works.  All affected customers will receive notice prior to any planned interruption.

We are fully aware regards the previous disruption caused by the work carried out before and we will do all we can to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

I have already made clear to Scottish Water how concerned I am at further disruption to the east end of Blackness Road just months after the completion of works by Scottish Water.    The previous works by Scottish Water ended as recently as March and Scottish Water did finish in nearby Blackness Street until last May.   

I am also concerned that, in addition to roads disruption, the company has said that some residents and local businesses will have disruption to their water supply.   It should be remembered that its only months since the previous disruption and the local community is seriously asking why Scottish Water failed to do all the work it had to do the first time around.

I have sought assurances that the company will do all it can to minimise the effect on the local area and its residents.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2017

Perth Road (at Roseangle) – temporary traffic lights on Sunday 17 to Monday 18 September for Scottish Water main repair.

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2017

Riverside Esplanade/Riverside Drive (Tay Road Bridge off ramp to 75m along Riverside Drive) – westbound nearside lane closure for 12 weeks to facilitate V&A construction works.

SSE Glenagnes Cable Renewal – Lochee Road lane restrictions and closures on Blinshall Street until midweek.

A85 Riverside Drive – prohibition of right turn from westbound lane of Riverside Drive into Riverside approach and prohibition of right turn from Riverside Approach in to Riverside Drive for 12 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

Kirsty Semple Way (James Arnott Drive to Tom McDonald Avenue) – closed until midweek for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off-peak temporary traffic lights from Monday 18 September for one week.

Forthcoming Roadworks

South Marketgait (at Railway Station) – northbound nearside lane closure from Monday 25 September for one week for Hydro Electric cable installation.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Site visit - Magdalen Green #dundeewestend

Yesterday, along with representatives of the Friends of Magdalen Green and a representative of the council's environment management, I took part in a site visit at Magdalen Green to discuss a number of issues.

This was a very useful and productive discussion and it has been agreed to provide an information board near the bandstand and look at some other improvements for Magdalen Green in the coming months.

Friday, September 15, 2017

IT4Work&Life offer

IT4Work&Life offer from the City Council :


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cappuccino Concert with Bob Stewart

From Sheena Wellington :

Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library
Cappuccino Concert with Bob Stewart
Saturday 16th September, 11am (doors open 10.30am)  
Admission £5 (tea/coffee available for small charge)

Bob Stewart has been entertaining delighted audiences for over 25 years and plays a variety of Scottish/Celtic and contemporary acoustic music. Bob's performances are a very lively affair with a mixture of traditional and original material, a driving acoustic guitar sound, bodhran, whistle and mandolin (not all at the same time) and humour!

Bob has been a full time musician since 1989 and has played in several bands touring Scotland and Europe before going solo in 2007.  He has appeared on many successful albums over the years and has a new solo album due for release in Summer 2017 (album pre-orders will be available from June).

Bob has also performed for the BBC on local and national Radio and TV.  

He has worked with many top folk acts including appearing on stage at the Fochabers festival, guesting on bodhran, with the Battle Field Band. During this performance, Bob had to stuff the bodhran with guitar string packaging as the damp atmosphere had slackened the skin! Bob has worked in the studio with Ian McCalman who was a big influence throughout the years as well as Tich Frier, Andy Ramage, The Gaberlunzie, Blackeyed Biddy, Sheena Wellington and too many more to mention. 

Bob has appeared with bands and solo at many festivals including, The Edinburgh Fringe, The Orkney Folk Festival, the Coastal Fringe Festival and he had the privilege to perform at the very first Fochabers festival.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Getting things done - Logie Avenue #dundeewestend

Having had complaints that some trees along Logie Avenue are overgrown (one resident indicated they are "almost touching cars as they pass by"), I took this up with the City Council.

The council's Assistant Forestry Officer has responded positively as follows :

"I have inspected the trees the length of Logie Ave as requested. 

A number of these mature trees do have low canopies obstructing headroom for pedestrians, vehicles, sight lines and grass cutting. 

In the coming months I will include the crown lifting and crown balancing of all the offending trees into our mid / late winter work programme."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2017

Riverside Esplanade/Riverside Drive (Tay Road Bridge off ramp to 75m along Riverside Drive) – westbound nearside lane closure for 13 weeks to facilitate V&A construction works.

SSE Glenagnes Cable Renewal – Lochee Road lane restrictions and closures on Blinshall Street for one week.

A85 Riverside Drive – prohibition of right turn from westbound lane of Riverside Drive into Riverside approach and prohibition of right turn from Riverside Approach in to Riverside Drive for 13 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

Kirsty Semple Way (James Arnott Drive to Tom McDonald Avenue) – closed from Monday 11 September for 10 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Perth Road (at Roseangle) – temporary traffic lights on Sunday 17 September for Scottish Water main repair.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off-peak temporary traffic lights from Monday 18 September for one week.

South Marketgait (at Railway Station) – northbound nearside lane closure from Monday 25 September for one week for Hydro Electric cable installation.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Police Community Surgeries in the West End #dundeewestend

The next West End Police Surgery takes place at Blackness Library tomorrow - Monday - details below :

Saturday, September 09, 2017

September West End Community Council meeting - agenda #dundeewestend

WEST END COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 2017  AT  7.00PM
LOGIE AND ST JOHN`S (CROSS) PARISH CHURCH HALL
(ENTER FROM  SHAFTESBURY  TERRACE  -  OFF  BLACKNESS  AVENUE)

1. WELCOME, INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES

2. MINUTE OF MEETING 13TH JUNE 2017 AND  MATTERS  ARISING 

3. POLICE SCOTLAND UPDATE

4. REPORT FROM HARRIS ACADEMY – BARRY MILLAR

5. PERTH ROAD ROADWORKS UPDATE

6. WECC HIT LIST

7. PLANNING  UPDATE

8. CORRESPONDENCE

9. OTHER MEETINGS ATTENDED ON BEHALF OF WECC

10. AOCB – MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC INPUT

11. DATE  OF  NEXT  MEETING – Tuesday 10th OCTOBER  2017

Light refreshments will be provided.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Handrail extension promised - Pennycook Lane #dundeewestend

Some ten years ago, at my request, the City Council provided a handrail down the east side of the pavement of Pennycook Lane - at Pennycook Court sheltered housing - given the steep gradient of the pavement there and the number of elderly pedestrians - see right :

Residents recently pointed out that it would be helpful if a short extension was added to the south end of the rail to take the rail right down to the flat pavement of Perth Road.

I asked the City Council if this could be provided and I am pleased to say this was agreed to.   I recently asked for a timescale for installation and have now been advised by the City Development Department as follows :

"This is in hand and I am waiting on a date from the blacksmith for the works to be undertaken."

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Pothole repairs - Dunmore Gardens #dundeewestend

I recently received complaints about the quality of pothole repairs in Dunmore Gardens and therefore asked the Roads Maintenance Partnership to re-inspect these.

I have now received the following response :

'The repairs were inspected and I note that these pothole repairs do not have a film of bond coat painted on the existing road surface prior to filling which will affect the long term adhesion and therefore durability, and I will take this matter up internally.

DCC Actionable Pothole Definition: "A surfacing defect will become actionable when it is greater than 300mm in diameter, the leading edge of a raised or depressed vertical face is proud of the immediately adjacent surfacing by 20mm on footways and 40mm on carriageways."

The material specified for use in carriageway pothole repairs is chosen to suit a depth of 40mm, or greater.  By trying to carry out a repair to a defect of insufficient depth the material sits proud and fretts at the edges as the aggregate within the material cannot fit in the depression once compacted.  If we use smaller aggregate then there is insufficient strength in the material to resist expected vehicular loading.  

Dunmore Gardens, when assessed in comparison to other adopted residential streets throughout the city, is in fair condition and therefore a proposed timescale for resurfacing in year 2020/21 is in my opinion reasonable.'

The road surface is in poor shape and I have made the point that the road needs resurfacing far earlier than this - I will continue to press this matter.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Temporary Traffic Order - Kirsty Semple Way

From the City Council :

Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway resurfacing works.  The Order is expected to be in force for 10 days from 11 September 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Kirsty Semple Way between James Arnott Drive and Tom McDonald Avenue.

This Order only affects buses and taxis as no other vehicles are permitted within this area.

No alternative route is available.

If you have any queries please contact the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee, DD1 1LS or phone 433082.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Police Community Surgeries in the West End #dundeewestend

The next West End Police Surgery takes place at the Mitchell Street Centre today - details below :

Monday, September 04, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR THE WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2017

Riverside Esplanade/Riverside Drive (Tay Road Bridge off ramp to 75m along Riverside Drive) – westbound nearside lane closure for 14 weeks to facilitate V&A construction works.

SSE Glenagnes Cable Renewal – Lochee Road lane restrictions and closures on Blinshall Street, Fleuchar Street and Scott Street for one week.

A85 Riverside Drive – prohibition of right turn from westbound lane of Riverside Drive into Riverside approach and prohibition of right turn from Riverside Approach in to Riverside Drive for 14 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

Old Hawkhill (Park Place to Hunter Street) – closed from Monday 4 September for 5 working days for Scottish Water mains repair works.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Kirsty Semple Way (James Arnott Drive to Tom McDonald Avenue) – closed from Monday 11 September for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off-peak temporary traffic lights from Monday 18 September for one week.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Joe Aitken at the Wighton

From Sheena Wellington :

Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library - Lunchtime Recital with Joe Aitken, singer
Wednesday 6th September at 1.15pm 

Joe Aitken is a favourite guest singer at festivals in Scotland, Ireland and England.  

Hailing from Kirriemuir, and fresh from another round of fine performances at its famous TMSA Festival, he brings his rich warm voice to the Wighton to start the new season of Lunchtime Recital.  

He is a fine singer of traditional songs which he delivers in his own inimitable fashion.  He’s also a great exponent of the North East bothy style of singing. 

He has won the coveted Champion of Champions bothy ballad competition at Elgin, and featured on the BBC Scotland documentary Beyond The Bothy in 2010.  He has a variety of material from the richness of the traditional to the best from modern Scottish songwriters’ material. 

Joe does what singers enjoy – stand and sing the song and let it speak for itself.  A very welcome guest indeed at the Wighton.

Admission free, donations welcome. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Additional handrails at Blackness Library #dundeewestend

Some time ago, I arranged a site visit to the entrance of Blackness Library where a council officer kindly discussed safety at the entrance with representatives from West End Community Council and myself.

The issue was around safe access up and down the steps particularly in the dark during the winter months on the late opening evening.

It was agreed to provide two new handrails and I am pleased that these were put in place recently - see below :

Friday, September 01, 2017

Temporary Traffic Order - Glenagnes Street

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 BT cabling works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Glenagnes Street (between Ashbank Road and Birchwood Place), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 4 September 2017 for 3 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes are available via Ashbank Road / Blackness Road / Glenagnes Road.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council