Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Road safety at schools - an update #dundeewestend


I was pleased to received an update last week that Police Scotland had given assurances that it is assisting in the city council’s school road safety campaign by deploying officers to areas surrounding schools with the new school term starting this week.

I have had numerous concerns from residents about safety outside our local schools and, in particular, the need for all drivers to adhere to the 20mph speed limit at schools to assist pupil safety.

In the run up to the October school holidays I had, in particular, concerns raised about the speed of a minority of vehicles around the West End campus of St Joseph's Primary School, Victoria Park Primary School and Balgay Hill Nursery School, and I asked the city council to reinforce the message about safe, slow driving near schools and was given assurances that this would be done.   

The input of Police Scotland on this important safety issue is very welcome.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Bus timetables concern #dundeewestend


A number of residents have highlighted that, although real time bus information is working at bus shelters, paper timetables have been out of date since the bus companies altered services during the health emergency.

As one resident pointed out in relation to the bus stop in Perth Road near Step Row :

“Perth Road is a main local community shopping area where people are being encouraged to think/act sustainably, yet the Step Row Stop (with no real-time display) has the main Stagecoach Tayway high profile route timetable still showing the old 10 minute weekday frequency, with appropriate comments from a disgruntled punter.

Add to that 2018 route maps not updated and … it is a far cry from “Bringing Confidence to Public Transport”.    Attention grabbing EV and electric bike hire initiatives are all well and good, but the simple public transport basics should not be forgotten, particularly since the operators’ own traditional printed timetables, for now, at least, seem to be hard to find.”

I appreciate that, given the changing bus timetables during the health emergency replacing every paper timetable at bus stops is difficult in terms of resourcing but I have sought and obtained assurances from the that erroneous timetables will be removed.

Hopefully once there is more of a return to normal services and stability in timetables, new and correct timetables can be placed at every bus stop and we will also hopefully see the return of suspended bus services like Service 4 and the Blether Bus in the West End.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 2020

Blackness Road (at junction with Bellfield Street for a distance of 25m or thereby in an easterly direction) – closed from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Blackness Road (at Bellfield Street) – temporary traffic lights from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off peak temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 27 October for maintenance work to DfT traffic sensors.

Blackness Road (at Glenagnes Road) - temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 October for SSEN disconnection works.

Pentland Avenue (City Road to Scott Street) – closed westbound from Monday 2 November for 6 days to facilitate road safety works.

Glamis Drive – closed from Monday 9 November for 2 weeks for carriageway surfacing.


Sunday, 18 October 2020

Lovely #Dundee views!

Earlier this month, I posted some great Tay Road Bridge & V&A Dundee photos taken by a very talented West End resident.

She has kindly sent me some other local views, which are fantastic!




Saturday, 17 October 2020

Scotland's Garden Scheme - visit this weekend! #dundeewestend



Just a reminder that this weekend sees Frances and John Dent in Glamis Drive open their lovely garden to residents as part of Scotland's Gardens Scheme, with new arrangements to comply with coronavirus routemap rules.

Not only is a visit to the garden a pleasure - it also helps raise funds for charity.

You can get full details of when the garden is open today and tomorrow here.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Temporary traffic order - Blackness Road


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 cable repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Blackness Road (from its junction with Bellfield Street to approx. 25 metres east), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 19 October for 3 working days.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available Bellfield Street / Hawkhill / Horsewater Wynd / Guthrie Street / Urquhart Street / Blackness Road.

For further information contact 433082.


Executive Director of City Development

Dundee City Council

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Harris Education and Recreation Association - new Zoom classes! #dundeewestend


The next HERA - Harris Education & Recreation Association block of Zoom classes will run in November, with most classes on Wednesday evenings and a couple on Mondays.

Online enrolment for the range of classes will be available on www.heradundee.org from 21st October to 28th October.

Don't miss out - full detils here!

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Getting things done - Victoria Park #dundeewestend

I am grateful to the local resident who contacted me recently to say that a young Rowan tree in Victoria Park had been damaged.

I reported this to environment management who very promptly resolved matters.   My thanks to the forestry team for a very efficient response.

Before :


After :

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Free parking in West End of Dundee car parks must be extended #dundeewestend

As reported recently in the Courier (see below), I have called for the City Council to extend its free parking period in Dundee’s West End car parks given that the coronavirus health emergency situation continues.

The council took the sensible decision during the lockdown in the spring to make all its car parks free to use to assist key workers in the city centre and also people working from home in other car parks that charge across the city including in the West End.

However, it now intends to bring back car parking charges into seven West End car parks next Monday - 19th October - at a time when many local workers are still working from home and may well continue to be doing for weeks to come.     

The point about the West End car parks is that they all cover residential areas and so the council is charging people to park near their own homes when they are being encouraged by Scottish Government to work from home.   That is a totally ridiculous situation and contrary to the Scottish Government message to work from home where possible during the health emergency.

I therefore wrote to the Director of City Development at Dundee City Council asking for an extension to take place and received the following reply :

“As you are aware, the original aim of the introduction of charges was, as well as generating income, to prevent abuse of the car-parks by commuters and to promote turnover of spaces to support local shops.

As charges in the rest of the city have been reintroduced, I do not think we could justify further suspension of charges in the West End. We did extend the moratorium on charging until the University started back.

I have reviewed and whilst I understand the issues that you raise, we have a committee remit to introduce charges, and now require to discharge that remit.”

I think at a time when the Scottish Government is trying to encourage people to work from home where it is possible, the City Council charging people for the privilege of parking near their homes in the West End is not responsible and sending the wrong message.    

These are car parks in residential areas and I think that would be a common sense and helpful thing to continue the parking charges moratorium at this time.

Courier article :

Monday, 12 October 2020

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

Forthcoming Roadworks for West End Ward

Blackness Road (at junction with Bellfield Street for a distance of 25m or thereby in an easterly direction) – closed from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Blackness Road (at Bellfield Street) – temporary traffic lights from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off peak temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 27 October for maintenance work to DfT traffic sensors.

Glamis Drive – closed from Monday 9 November for 2 weeks for carriageway surfacing.


Sunday, 11 October 2020

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Tay Road Bridge & V&A #Dundee

My many thanks to the West End resident for these superb Dundee photos!



Friday, 9 October 2020

Getting things done - Blackness Road #dundeewestend


Many thanks to the residents who recently highlighted concerns that a TV aerial on a tenement on Blackness Road was hanging precariously. Given the potentially disastrous consequences if it fell onto the busy road and pavement below, I immediately contacted the City Council about this.

A Building Standards officer very promptly updated me as follows :

"I attended the property ... (and) it was noted when on site that the aerial attached to the tenement building appeared loose and was hanging over the footway.

I contacted the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to allow access to the aerial and review the condition.

On closer inspection the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the aerial was firmly attached to building with wires at the base.

The fire brigade rotated the aerial back over the building."

I am grateful to both the City Council officers and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for its very prompt response in resolving this.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Air quality improvements at Lochee Road long overdue and utterly vital


Following last week’s debate at Dundee City Council’s Community Safety and Public Protection Committee on air quality in the city, as reported in the local media, I have called on Dundee City Council to ensure it acts on promises made to improve air quality in Lochee Road by tackling traffic congestion and reducing emissions in the street.

The report before committee included this commitment : 

“Investigations into potential interventions to reduce both emissions and traffic congestion on the Lochee Road corridor will continue to be explored by the Head of Sustainable Transportation and Roads during the LEZ development process. These investigations will take a route corridor approach and take cognisance of potential traffic displacement onto other, less appropriate roads in residential areas. The route corridor review will also require to consider future bus priority, active travel and traffic congestion.”

As residents know, I have long campaigned on air quality issues, particularly in relation to Lochee Road where, as recently as January 2020, I again highlighted deep concern that, yet again, leading air quality campaigners Friends of the Earth had highlighted air quality concerns in Lochee Road in its Scotland’s most polluted streets survey with Seagate in the city also highlighted in the January national air quality survey.   

Whilst I welcomed the commitment to tackle the traffic congestion in Lochee Road, I pointed out at the council meeting that I have been pressing for this for many years, on behalf of my constituents who live in Lochee Road.    There are a number of specific and affordable actions I made clear I want to see the council do immediately. 

Firstly, tackle the junction with Cleghorn Street where, following minor accidents, the operation of the junction was to be reviewed for road safety reasons.    This should tackle the tailbacks of traffic trying to turn into Lochee Road.   

Secondly, the operation of the traffic lights at Polepark Road and Dudhope Terrace junctions need to be reviewed.     If they were more efficient, we would see fewer tailbacks of cars and therefore a decrease of emissions into the air in the Lochee Road area.   Following the committee meeting, I had a lengthy and useful discussion with a senior roads officer at the City Council about this and possible modelling to see what could be achieved by possible lights sequencing alterations.

I have highlighted that, earlier this year, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air published research showing many likely long-term health benefits from the pollution reductions in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, including fewer children developing asthma, fewer preterm births and fewer deaths long-term from better air.

It is therefore vital there is a proactive approach to tackling the air quality issue.   I have raised this on numerous occasions with the  council in the past and we need to see a situation where no Dundee streets have unacceptable air quality.   A significant number of constituents live in the tenement flats on the south side of Lochee Road near to the junction where nitrogen dioxide are unacceptably high.    It is therefore important that the council has a clear strategy for improving air quality here.

The proposed city centre low emission zone will help the surrounding area in particular in relation to buses that go up and down Lochee Road that have to access the city centre – they will have to be newer and cleaner.    However, detailed work tackling the specific issues at particular streets with air quality issues, like Lochee Road, is vital.    

Actions speak louder than words and we do need to see momentum to achieve a proper and lasting solution.    Residents deserve to breathe clean air in every street in Dundee.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

West End Community Council - election of additional community councillors


West End Community Council is calling for nominations for new Community Councillors as there are spaces to fill.  West End Community Council has space for up to 10 more Community Councillors.

In order to fill these spaces, there will be a recruitment period known formally as an 'election' where we call for nominations to join the Community Council. 

Community Councils play an important role in the local West End community and are an important link between the community and public bodies.      

It is important to note that West End Community Council's boundary does not cover the whole of the West End Ward as the Community Spirit Action  Group covers areas like Pentland, Tullideph, Ancrim and areas around Forest Park Road, Cleghorn Street and Brook Street - the areas to the north of the ward.

The community council area is therefore most of the south of the ward - roughly everything south of Blackness Road east of Balgay Road, everything in the ward west of Balgay Road, plus the Logie area.

There are also conditions for eligibility in terms of age and being on the electoral register - all this information can be accessed online or in Blackness Library. 

As this is a statutory group, there is a  process and publicity format for nominations which started from this Monday (5th October) and forms must be completed and returned by 30th October.  

More information is on the poster on how to obtain the information required online or via Blackness Library. 

The community council is a great way to become involved with our local community so do please consider getting involved if you live in the community council area.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Getting things done - Perth Road #dundeewestend

As the saying goes, all things come to those who wait, and this particular update is a great example of that!

Absolutely ages ago, at the request of residents, I asked the City Council's Private Sector Services Unit to contact the agents of the tenement block at 142 Perth Road that had been graffitied (at some considerable height).

At the time, the problem for owners was access to the large area of graffiti but I am pleased to advise that, while the scaffold was up on the neighbouring block, one of the managing agents has arranged removal of the graffiti as the photos below highlight - my thanks to them :




Monday, 5 October 2020

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

Forthcoming Roadworks

Blackness Road (at junction with Bellfield Street for a distance of 25m or thereby in an easterly direction) – closed from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Blackness Road (at Bellfield Street) – temporary traffic lights from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) – off peak temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 27 October for maintenance work to DfT traffic sensors


Sunday, 4 October 2020

Latest update during the COVID-19 health emergency


Further update - for Sunday 4th October from Councillor Fraser Macpherson (West End) and Councillor Craig Duncan (Broughty Ferry)

FLU VACCINE ADVICE

NHS Tayside is encouraging members of the public in at-risk groups, as well as health and social care staff, to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination.

The seasonal flu vaccination programme has now launched and NHS Tayside will be offering those who are most at risk the opportunity to protect themselves from flu.

• People aged 65 and over, adults with a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney diseases, unpaid carers, and those living with someone who was previously shielding should contact their GP to book an appointment. This year’s flu vaccinations will be delivered in a variety of settings, so your appointment may not take place in your own practice.

• Primary school pupils will be offered the flu vaccination at their school, while parents of children aged 2-5 who are not yet at school, and young people aged 12-18 with a long-term condition should contact 01307 475240 to book an appointment.

• Pregnant women can access immunisation through their midwife.

• All NHS Tayside staff and frontline social care workers are also strongly encouraged to take up the offer of a flu jab to protect themselves and vulnerable people who may be more likely to suffer complications from flu. Staff will be made aware of opportunities to get vaccinated in healthcare settings, care homes and at community pharmacies across Tayside. 

The second phase is planned to begin in December and will include those aged 55 to 64 (by 31 March 2021) who would not usually be eligible.


CARE HOME VISITS

We support the right of families to safely visit residents in care homes.  Fine out more about what is needed here:

https://www.scotlibdems.org.uk/care_visitors


STUDENT ADVICE

New guidance encourages students to remain on campus if they are able to do so.  This guidance covers where students are isolating and require support to allow them to comply with the requirement to self-isolate.  The household students are returning to are asked to also self-isolate and states that public transport should not be used.

https://www.gov.scot/news/student-accommodation-guidance-on-visits-home/

 

STUDENT CAMPAIGN

We have proposed five measures to help support and protect students following the outbreaks at many universities.

https://www.scotlibdems.org.uk/student_catastrophe


NEW GRANT FOR THOSE SELF ISOLATING

People on low incomes will be eligible to receive a new £500 grant if asked to self-isolate.  The new Self-Isolation Support Grant will help those who would lose income if they need to self-isolate, such as those unable to carry out their work from home.

This grant is for those who will face financial hardship and will be targeted at people who are in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits, with some discretion to make awards to others in financial hardship.

Applications are due to open from 12th October and will be delivered through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund, which is administered by local authorities.

https://www.gov.scot/news/new-grant-for-those-self-isolating/


PARENT AND BABY GROUP LIMITS

There has been a lot of concern about the limit of five adults at a time for parent and baby groups.  

Our colleague Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP raised this directly with the First Minister in Parliament. She agreed to ask the Chief Medical Officer to look at greater flexibility for group sizes.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=399346058130217


QUARANTINE COUNTRIES

Travellers arriving in Scotland from Turkey, Poland and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba must quarantine on arrival.

They are required to self-isolate at home, or another specified address, for 14 days from 4am yesterday - Saturday 3rd October.

Those arriving from the Azores and Madeira no longer need to quarantine.

https://www.gov.scot/news/quarantine-rules-imposed-on-travellers-from-further-destinations/


INFORMATION


UK Government news: www.gov.uk/search/news-and-communications


Scottish Government Updates: www.gov.scot/news


Dundee City Council updates: www.dundeecity.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19


NHS Inform - https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19


NHS Tayside website: www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk


Helpline for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice Tel: 0800 028 2816.


Health Protection Scotland Guidance - www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19


Federation of Small Businesses: www.fsb.org.uk/coronavirus


Helpline for small businesses, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Tel: 0300 303 0660.


Ready Scotland Information - www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus


Tayside Cares - www.taysidecares.co.uk


SUPPORT AND ADVICE

This has been an anxious and uncertain time but we want you to know that we are here to try to help constituents in whatever way that we can.


CONTACT DETAILS

WEST END WARD – Bailie Fraser Macpherson

Phone – Dundee 459378 (home)

E-mail – fraser.macpherson@dundeecity.gov.uk

Facebook updates : www.facebook.com/dundeewestend

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Getting things done - Pennycook Lane #dundeewestend

I am grateful to the residents who highlighted to me this 30mph sign on Pennycook Lane which has been essentially made redundant as the area is now all part of the new 20mph zone that covers the Perth Road district shopping centre, Magdalen Green, Perth Road Lanes and surrounding streets.

I highlighted this to the City Council and the sign has since been removed.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Getting things done - Perth Road #dundeewestend

I am grateful to the member of West End Community Council who pointed out to me last week the rather pointless sign to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Perth Road.

As he correctly pointed out "... with the scaffolding up around the Art Bar, the footpath there is basically inaccessible for folk in wheelchairs/using prams, and must be a hazard for visually impaired people too. 

As this sign is basically useless (it points directly at the very visible DJCAD), could it be seen if the sign can be removed? Even without the scaffolding there this sign causes undue obstruction to the pavement."

I completely agreed with this point, contacted the City Council requesting its removal, and this was very promptly done.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Botanic Garden latest newsletter #dundeewestend


The University of Dundee Botanic Garden publishes an excellent newsletter and you can access the latest one here.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Getting things done - Eton Street #dundeewestend


I am grateful to residents who contacted me about a bad pothole in Eton Street.

I reported this to the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and this has now been repaired along with two smaller potholes.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Weekly Road Report - West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT – WEST END WARD

Forthcoming Roadworks

Blackness Road (at junction of Bellfield Street and Blackness Road for a distance of 25m or thereby in an easterly direction) – closed from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.

Blackness Road (at Bellfield Street) – temporary traffic lights from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work.


Sunday, 27 September 2020

Autumn at Riverside #dundeewestend

I am very grateful to the local resident who sent me these lovely photographs of autumn at Riverside!




Saturday, 26 September 2020

Blether Tay-Gither - Storytelling in Dundee


Blether Tay-Gither is the Dundee Storytelling Group.

From Sheila Kinninmonth, Blether Tay-Gither’s secretary :

“Hope you can join us for our September Zoom  Blether  on Tuesday 29th September at 7pm 

The Theme is "Bimbles" 

What on earth is Bimbles you may ask, or maybe not!    Bimble:  informal British. Verb: Walk or travel at a leisurely pace. Noun: A leisurely walk or journey.”

For the log-in details to participate, contact Blether Tay-Gither at sheila@blethertaygither.org.uk 


Friday, 25 September 2020

Getting things done - Perth Road #dundeewestend


I am grateful to the residents who have brought to my attention a water leak on Perth Road, opposite River Crescent.

This is continually leaking all over the pavement and down the road. 

Residents advise it is exceedingly slippy to walk there.

I have reported the matter to Scottish Water who has confirmed it will investigate the issue and get it resolved.


Thursday, 24 September 2020

Getting things done - Seafield Road #dundeewestend

Many thanks to the residents who have highlighted to me the poor condition of the pavement on the west side of Seafield Road, in front of the Cherry Blossom Nursery.

I have raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership, requesting repairs and am grateful for the very prompt response as the 'before' and 'after' photos indicate :



Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Ninewells Community Garden September update #dundeewestend


A great flower update appears in the excellent Ninewells Community Garden blog and can be viewed here.


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Getting things done - Perth Road #dundeewestend

I recently received concerns about overflowing litter bins on Perth Road east of Harris Academy, following the return of the school last month.

I raised this with our local environment manager and received the following helpful response :

"This has now been attended to and should no longer be a problem."


Monday, 21 September 2020

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2020

Strawberrybank – closed until Wednesday 23 September for 5 working days for wall maintenance works.

Riverside Esplanade – off-peak nearside lane closure on Thursday 24 September for Scottish Water ironwork repair.


Sunday, 20 September 2020

Developing a climate justice curriculum for Scotland


This on line presentation will follow the One World Centre AGM on Tuesday 22nd September.

It will cover the global citizenship work being done by the Third Generation Project think tank with pupils at Bell Baxter High School in a really motivating, interesting collaboration.  

It will run from 6pm to 7pm online on Tuesday has appeal for schools and a much wider audience too.  

All welcome!   You can book free tickets at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/developing-a-climate-justice-curriculum-for-scotland-tickets-119213447631


Friday, 18 September 2020

Getting things done - steps off Riverside Drive #dundeewestend

A resident recently wrote to me regarding the steps that run from the west side of Riverside Drive near the bridge over the rail line down from the Botanic Garden, writing : 

“We regularly use the steps down to Riverside from the rail bridge down from Newhall Gardens.

They are becoming quite dangerous when wet and also the foliage is really overgrown.”

I have raised these concerns with the local environment manager asking for this to be resolved.


Thursday, 17 September 2020

Getting things done - Ancrum Drive lock-ups – an update #dundeewestend

Back in January, before the COVID-19 health emergency lockdown, on behalf of residents, I asked Hillcrest Enterprises as factors if it would consider improving the road surface around the lock-ups in Ancrum Drive as it was very potholed and muddy at the lock-ups.

Hillcrest's Housing Manager (Operations) had advised that “… the cost of tarmac would be prohibitive but we can of course look at some practical repairs and maintenance.”    It was originally hoped to undertake this in the spring but the health emergency prevented this but it has now proved possible to improve the surface as the “after” photos now show.

I am grateful to Hillcrest for undertaking this as the road surface is much improved.

Before :

After :