Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Philip Ball Lecture

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

Our celebrations of the centenary of D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form continue on Wednesday 22nd November at 6pm with a free public lecture by renowned science writer and broadcaster Philip Ball in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, entitled From Natural Patterns to Self-Organisation

Patterns, regularities and order appear spontaneously in the universe over an immense range of scales in space and time. Not only does such organisation seem to challenge the universal thermodynamic tendency towards an inexorable increase in entropy and disorder, but these patterns often share similar forms and features in systems that seem to have no relation to one another. 

It has become increasingly clear that there are organising processes in nature that operate according to very general principles, insensitive to (or at best merely fine-tuned by) the details of a particular system. At the same time, the delicate interplay between chance and determinism in these situations is able to engender immense, seemingly endless variation on a few basic themes, as in the case of snowflakes.

On Growth and Form was the first great synthesis of this combination of universality and variety in natural pattern and form. But only in modern times have we had the conceptual, computational and experimental tools to do his intuitions justice. 

In this free lecture, Philip Ball will look at where our understanding of these processes has come over the century since the book’s publication. A former editor of Nature, Ball recently presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary about D’Arcy Thompson and is the author of Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts.

The lecture is free but please book a place here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2017

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 3 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

A85 Riverside Drive (at Railway Station) – eastbound nearside lane closure for 3 weeks for SGN essential valve maintenance.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Additional Scottish Water Works - Fyffe Street/Eassons Angle #dundeewestend

From the Corporate Affairs Officer at Scottish Water :

I have been made aware from our contractors CWA who are carrying out our water mains upgrade works in Dundee of an additional piece of work to take place within your ward.

This work was originally planned previously however due to issues with the proposed backfeed (to reduce amount of customers affected) the work was unable to be completed.

I have been informed that the work will now take place from Monday 20th November for approximately 2 weeks.  The work involves the lining of existing water mains in Fyffe Street (near junction with Benvie Road).  

There may also be some work required in Easson’s Angle however at this stage nothing has been confirmed.  I will keep you updated when I have confirmation.

The work in Fyffe Street will not involve any road closures and access will be maintained at all times.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Getting things done – Osborne Place #dundeewestend

Following residents’ complaints to me about a series of potholes in Osborne Place, I brought this to the attention of the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have been updated as follows :


"An order has … been raised for potholes in Osborne Place with a timescale for repair of approximately one week."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No ward surgery tonight

As today is an in-service day at local schools, my usual ward surgery at Blackness Primary School does not take place but I can be contacted at any time at home on 459378 or by e-mail at surgery@frasermacpherson.org.uk. 

My surgeries resume again next Monday.      Details are available here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Getting things done - Greenbank Place #dundeewestend

Residents highlighted to me recently the poor road condition in Greenbank Place and also a chocked street drain.

I raised this with the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have now received the following response :

"Greenbank Place is provisionally included in the 2019/2020 Carriageway Programme for resurfacing. An inspection has been carried out and there are currently no actionable defects on the adopted section however an order has been raised for the repair of three potholes on the non adopted section with an approximate timescale of twenty eight days.

The gullies were last emptied in February 2017 so the gully machine is not due to attend again until approximately September 2018 however will re-visit the blocked gully as soon it is available to do so, hopefully within the next week or so."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

West End Community Council meeting tonight #dundeewestend

I have today launched my November 2017 Update to West End Community Council.    

It covers the forthcoming West End Christmas Fortnight events – see details below and you can also download the full Update here.

The Community Council meets tonight at Logie St John's (Cross) Church Hall at 7pm - all residents welcome.      

A fabulous West End Christmas Fortnight launches soon!

Saturday 25th November sees the start of the West End Christmas Fortnight and there will be a fortnight of superb community events across the West End of Dundee.

On Wednesday 29th November the Christmas Lights Switch On for the West End will take place including a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place that evening at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm.   

There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Gordon Sharp.    

We are delighted that “The Notables” will perform as well as local school pupils – it will be a great concert and everyone is very welcome to attend.   Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On.

At 7pm, Loadsaweeminsinging will perform by the tree and thereafter at 7.20pm the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Lord Provost Ian Borthwick, ably assisted by Santa and his sleigh.  

There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on.

West End Christmas Fortnight is packed with events and we hope that, as in the past 17 years, the local community will take part.      

We are extremely grateful to all the local businesses for their support of the Christmas Fortnight, without which the events would not be possible.

Other main West End Christmas Fortnight events include :

Saturday 25th November   :   Christmas Fortnight starts with Dundee West Church’s Christmas Coffee Morning taking place in the church – 10am to 12 noon – enter from the church’s entrance at 132 Perth Road.

Sunday 26th November   :  Open Day at Blackness Fire Station – 11am to 3pm – see round our local fire station – all welcome.

Tuesday 28th November 4pm – 5pm :  Children’s craft activity at Blackness Library – make a Christmas Tree card  – all children welcome!

Thursday 30th November – Frocks and Fizz evening at The Gate Coffee Bar, 158 Perth Road – 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Friday 1st December – West End – Best End!   –   Lights Switch on in West Port at 5.30pm – includes a piper, singers and a string quartet.    Roast chestnuts, apple spiced Christmas drinks and hot chocolate for the children.     Don’t miss it!

Saturday 2nd December – Blackness Primary School’s Christmas Fair (10am to 12 noon), organised by the Friends of Blackness, and with a large variety of stalls.

Saturday 2nd December – A Cosy Cup of Crafts! - Join the Gate Church for a cosy cup of tea or coffee and a cake while you enjoy a Christmas Craft Fair featuring local artists.   11am to 4pm.

Saturday 2nd December – Verdant Works Winter Fayre – 12 noon to 4pm.

Saturday 2nd December – Specifically Vintage Christmas Market at Roseangle Kitchen CafĂ© from 11am to 4pm.

Saturday 2nd December – An evening of Christmas music – Dundee West Church at 7.30pm.    Tickets from Dundee Box Office.   Raffle in aid of Age Concern Dundee.

Monday 4th December -  Children’s craft activity at Blackness Library – decorate a Christmas stocking  – all children welcome!   4pm – 5pm.

Wednesday 6th December – Christmas West End Community Groups’ Social Event at The Vine.    

Thursday 7th December – Winter Market at Dundee University Students’ Association, Airlie Place.   11am to 4pm.

Friday 8th December - Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden’s “Mystery Walk in the Dark” – great fun for children!       5.30pm to 6.30pm.   

Friday 8th December – West End Community Christmas Carol Concert at Logie & St. John's (Cross) Parish Church at 6.30pm.    A family orientated candlelit celebration of Christmas sung with Carols, old and new.    Refreshments served and admission free. Bring a torch if you can!

Friday 8th December – Starter Packs – a Rocking Christmas with “Road Runner” – 7.30pm at the Friary.   Tickets £7 in aid of Dundee Starter Packs and Dundee Foodbank.

Saturday 9th December – West End Christmas Fortnight’s lovely children's craft event led by the wonderful Lisa Earl of Create … Kids Create Craft Workshops.    Taking place at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall, this event is most suited to young school aged children.

Saturday 9th December – Friends of Magdalen Green – Soup and Pudding Lunch at Dundee West Church – 11am to 1pm - £5 – all welcome!

Saturday 9th December – Harris Academy from 12.30pm – Primary 6 football competition.  P6 teams participating from our local primary schools. 
  
Saturday 9th December – Christmas Tea and Carols at the Gate Church – 3pm to 5.30pm.    Come along and enjoy a festive afternoon tea including sandwiches and cakes and a sing along to some of your favourite Christmas carols.  

Over Christmas Fortnight – Window Spotting Competition for children – prizes include a family membership of the Botanic Garden.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Council to review street cleaning changes

Dundee City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee has agreed to review the effectiveness of changes made to the street cleaning operation across the city, following implementation of a report in December 2015 that has resulted in alteration to the service and removal of street cleaning posts.

I made the request to the Policy and Resources Committee as it is important that the council reviews the situation to ensure that there is no reduction in the effectiveness of the street cleaning service.

My motion – accepted unanimously by councillors – states :

“Street Cleaning and Open Space Management

Motion by Bailie Fraser Macpherson 

Given that it is approaching two years since adoption of Report 439-2015 on the Street Cleaning and Open Space Review, adopted at committee on 7th December 2015, this committee instructs Neighbourhood Services to review the effectiveness of the street cleaning revised operation to ensure that the changes undertaken since 2015 have not significantly impacted on the quality of street cleaning in any part of the city.   

A report on the outcomes of such a review should be brought back to committee, together with any necessary recommendations, to ensure Dundee City Council maintains good quality street cleaning standards across the city over the coming years.”

Earlier this year, Accounts Commission reported that the streets of Dundee are becoming dirtier – the report showing that Dundee’s street cleanliness score fell by 1.6% over the past six years and the council’s spending on street cleaning, per 1 000 residents, had been reduced by 39.8% over the same period.

The staff doing street cleaning do an excellent job.   However, recent changes have already resulted in some 26 fewer posts in street cleaning and this is bound to affect the service.     It is really important therefore that the street cleaning operation is fully reviewed and I am pleased the council has agreed to this.

A photo of an example of residents’ complaints about street cleaning (taken in Annfield Road) is shown above right – I highlighted this example at the Policy and Resources Committee.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Police Community Surgeries in the West End #dundeewestend

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

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lest we forget


Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - SATURDAY 11 AND SUNDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2017

Lochee Road (at Blinshall Street) – temporary traffic lights on Sunday 12 November for refuge island installation.

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2017

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 4 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

A85 Riverside Drive (at Railway Station) – eastbound nearside lane closure for 3 weeks for SGN essential valve maintenance.

Riverside Drive (at Tesco roundabout) – off-peak eastbound nearside lane closure on Wednesday 15 November for crane works.

Riverside Drive (drop off/pick up access road at train station) - closed on Saturday 18 November 10.00pm – 6.00am) for station wall repairs.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Exponential Growth

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

Exponential Growth features new work by Graphic Design and Illustration students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, one of a series of events celebrating the centenary of D'Arcy Thompson's landmark book On Growth and Form. 

Over the past few weeks, the students have created an amazing variety of sketches, objects, illustrations, collages and magazine layouts inspired by D’Arcy’s ideas and collections, the best of which will be shown in the exhibition.

Open now and running until into the New Year - details below :

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Getting things done - Logie Avenue #dundeewestend

Residents recently brought to my attention two big potholes on the southern carriageway of Logie Avenue, near its junction with Glenagnes Road.

I brought this to the attention of the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have now been updated as follows :

"An order has been raised for the repair of this pothole on Logie Avenue with a timescale for completion of approximately one week."

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

University of Dundee Culture Day - today!

The Thirteenth Annual University of Dundee Culture Day :

GROWTH

Today - Wednesday 8th November 2017, 1.30pm-5pm
Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

This year the University's annual Culture Day takes Growth as its theme, reflecting several important anniversaries – the centenary of D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form; the 350th anniversary of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels (in which size really matters); and the University’s own growth as we celebrate our 50th anniversary as an independent institution.

Full details here.

You can still book your free place via Eventbrite here.



Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Police Community Surgeries in the West End #dundeewestend

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

Monday, November 06, 2017

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2017

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 5 weeks for works to the sea wall.  Prohibitions will only be in place when required.

A85 Riverside Drive (at Railway Station) – east bound nearside lane closure for 4 weeks for SGN essential value maintenance.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dundee Botanic Garden event today #dundeewestend

From the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden :

The next event arranged by the Friends committee is today - Sunday 5th November - at 2pm in the Education Centre. 

Dr Alan Barclay, who can occasionally be seen ringing birds in the Garden, will give a talk on birds and bird ringing.

This event is free to members of the Friends, but guests are welcome and are invited to make a donation.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Union Place Car Park #dundeewestend

Further to my recent article about the lack of maintenance of the Miller's Wynd Car Park, residents have also pointed to the poor condition of the infrastructure of the council's Union Place car park - see photos below :

I have raised this with the City Council and Neighbourhood Services' Projects and Development Manager has advised :

"We are currently reviewing all soft landscaping within all the car parks with a view to carrying out improvements in terms of sight lines, aged plantings , tree works etc .

We are pulling this together and working (to) ...  hopefully having works planned for over the winter months."

Friday, November 03, 2017

Road issue - Elliot Road #dundeewestend

Residents have drawn to my attention an apprently forgotten road excavation in Elliot Road - see below :
I have asked the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership to ascertain responsibility - I suspect a utility - and request this gets completed as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Blackness Street - leaves #dundeewestend

Residents have contacted me about the extent of fallen leaves on the pavement of Blackness Street - see below :
I have asked the City Council's Neighbourhood Services to attend to this.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Take pride in your city events - November #takepridedundee #dundee

... includes a litter pick in South Tay Street on 24th November :

Miller's Wynd Car Park #dundeewestend

The acquisition by Dundee City Council of the Miller's Wynd Car Park - from the University of Dundee - has provided much-needed additional free 2 hour parking in this area of Perth Road.

However, residents have pointed out the poor maintenance of the car park - the foliage is very tired, for example - see below :
I contacted the City Council about this and the Head of Roads and Transportation has advised :

"We will ensure it is clean and tidy in terms of litter and dumped materials such as the pallets.  However we will need to speak with colleagues regarding the vegetation and what is acceptable in terms of a clear out.  


... if the land is to operate as a car park we want it safe and visible in and out of car park, likewise we don't want to remove trees or other bushes that people like.  Kenny I will discuss at Management Board ... regarding some maintenance."

Nearby, on Perth Road itself, is a phone box in a poor state of repair - see right.   Following residents raising the condition of it with me, I contacted BT and have had the following update from the company :

"...  an engineer will be out in the next few days to repair and clean the payphone."