Sunday 28 February 2021

Craft It On – an initiative from Feeling Strong

Craft It On is Feeling Strong’s latest art project that can be done by young people from the comfort of their own home, designed to promote connectedness and community while lockdown continues.

Young people will be given their own art supplies and a canvas delivered to their door. This canvas will be divided into four squares, and young people will have the task to complete their own square using prompts provided by Feeling Strong Volunteers from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Once completed, this canvas will be delivered to another young person with a different prompt, visiting a total of four young people. By the end of the project there will be a series of works, and each young person will have made their mark on four of them along with their peers.

At the end there will also be an online exhibition and digital zine for participants as well as the opportunity for them to meet their fellow artists!

If this is something that may be of interest there is a sign-up link here.

Please note that this is open to ages 8-26 and it will be putting young people into groups based on age.

Saturday 27 February 2021

Togetherall - a new mental health and wellbeing support for young people

The three Tayside local authorities, including Dundee City Council, have worked together to help establish safe, anonymous online support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Called Togetherall, it is for young people aged 16 to 24 across Tayside and is a supportive virtual community.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will suffer with mental health problems at some point in their lives. Talking about mental health, or just feeling overwhelmed by everyday worries and concerns, can be difficult, especially for young people.

Trained professionals are available 24/7 through Togetherall, which offers a choice of safe therapeutic services, including online self-help courses. This means anyone who may be struggling with mental health, distress or anxiety can get support at a time that suits them. Togetherall has already helped over 200,000 people around the UK and has very positive reviews from current users.

Togetherall is now available free for all 16-24 year olds living in Dundee, simply by visiting, click 'Register' and 'My area is registered', and then enter your postcode to gain access. 

When someone joins Togetherall as a new user, they create a username that does not identify them in any way, and the service is completely anonymous. 

Friday 26 February 2021

Botanic Garden latest newsletter

The University of Dundee Botanic Garden recently published another interesting newsletter.

This is well worth a read and can be read here.

Thursday 25 February 2021

Women and the Climate Crisis

On Monday 8th March, the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and the University of Dundee - on International Women's Day - are presenting a free online discussion, where an inspiring variety of guest speakers will discuss their roles and experience and why they think women can be a major part of solving the climate and ecological crises.

This event is being run as part of the Dundee Women's Festival and you can find out more here.

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Getting things done - Blackness Road #dundeewestend

Residents have complained about a loose manhole cover on Blackness Road, just east of the junction with Blackness Street.

It is very noisy when vehicles pass over it and I raised this with Scottish Water, whose cover it is.

I am pleased to say I have now received the following helpful feedback :

"I have been able to find out that the work to replace the noisy manhole on Blackness Road is scheduled to be carried out on 2nd March."

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Road safety – Rosebery Street/Cleghorn Street junction #dundeewestend

The City Council is to shortly consult on the Dundee City Council (Variation of Waiting Restrictions) Order 2021.

This covers proposed changes to waiting restrictions at various locations across the city and will include a proposal to introduce "No Waiting at any time" on the four corners of the Rosebery Street/Cleghorn Street junction.

Given the concerns raised by residents about some vehicles parking right at the junction and affecting sight lines, this is a sensible move, although the proposal will be subject to consultation.

Monday 22 February 2021

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 February Blether on Zoom

Tuesday 23rd February - 7pm to 9pm

Our theme this month is Sea Shanties and Sea Stories

Last month one of our attendees offered to sing a sea shanty this month so we thought we'd embrace that and make it our theme. 

The sea shanty was the song of the working people, the fishing people hard at work on the water, and the sea has long been a source and inspiration for stories.

So see what sea shanty or story you can dredge up and bring along to our club this month. Or join in for this February evening just to listen and have a blether.

Come along and join us, in the virtual format.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 874 5373 9015

Sunday 21 February 2021

Latest update during the COVID-19 health emergency


The Scottish Government is currently preparing a revised strategic framework for easing the lockdown.  It will be published on Tuesday.


The majority of primary and secondary school pupils will continue with remote learning until at least mid-March while children in early learning and childcare and primaries 1 to 3 will return full-time to classrooms from Monday 22nd February.

Very limited numbers of S4 - S6 pupils who require to complete practical work in order to achieve an SQA certificate will also return from Monday. Pupils currently in classrooms – primarily the children of key workers and those considered vulnerable – will retain their places.

There will be twice weekly at-home testing offered to people who work in schools, early learning and childcare settings attached to schools, and senior phase pupils.

All secondary pupils will be required to observe two metre physical distancing while in school and on school transport in the period immediately after the return. This is in addition to existing measures including the use of face coverings.

Further detail on the next phase of school return could be provided on the 2nd March.

The National Qualifications 2021 Group will soon publish further details on how qualifications will be awarded this year.

Dundee families are being urged to keep playing their part in the fight against coronavirus, as nursery children, Primary 1-3 classes and certain senior secondary pupils prepare to return on Monday.

Reminders are being issued about the steps that families and young people are being asked to take to keep everyone safe.

These include* :

Families observing 2 metre physical distancing while dropping off and picking up outside nursery or school

Face covering should be worn by anyone who is on nursery or school grounds, even if they don’t go into the building

Senior secondary pupils should observe 2 metres physical distancing at all times in school 

Those S4-6 pupils should also wear face coverings in communal areas of the school as well as the classroom

They should also wear a face covering if travelling by bus or visiting local shops at lunchtimes

Ensure that key worker spaces for children are requested as a last resort and only on days where no other option exists

(*The guidance on face coverings does not apply to those with exemptions).

Remote learning will continue for all pupils not returning to the classroom.

Senior pupils and all staff in primaries and secondaries who are regularly attending the premises have been contacted about a process of asymptomatic coronavirus tests which is beginning.

Dundee City Council schools will also still be open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. 

However, with the return of more children to school it is essential that key workers requiring support ensure that requests for all places are a last resort and only requested for days where no other childcare options are available. 

Head teachers will be speaking to families directly about these arrangements and may require further information from parents continuing requesting spaces as more pupils prepare to return to the buildings.

Dundee City Council has produced a school Covid-19 information page on its website. 


Group 1: Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers is complete for over 95% and scheduling of second dose underway.

Group 2: All those age 80+ and frontline health and social care workers is complete for over 95% and scheduling of second dose underway.

Group 3: Those aged 75+ were due to be completed by the middle of February.

Group 4: Those aged 70+ and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable were due to be completed by the middle of February.

Group 5: Those 65+ are due to be completed by 5th March

Group 6: this is for those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.  It is also for unpaid carers, including all adult carers and young carers aged 16 to 18.  The definition of an unpaid carer is set out in the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.

The first people invited will be those considered most at risk that the NHS can identify using a modified version of the annual cohort for flu (aged 18-64).

Letters were due to be sent Thursday 18th February, with appointments commencing on Tuesday 23rd February.

Groups 6 – 9: 50+ - TBC

Please wait until you receive a vaccination letter.

 Appointment letters not being received

Anyone who is currently eligible for vaccination but has not received a letter, or who has lost their letter, can arrange an appointment by providing some details using this link:  or phone the  National Helpline on 0800 030 8013 and the operator will complete this form. It will likely take a few days for the national team to review the forms and issue letters.


If any clinic is running more than one hour behind, this triggers escalation. A review of pinch points through the day to ensure staffing is optimal also takes place.

Scottish supplies

On 15th February 1,618,320 doses of the vaccine were allocated to Scotland and the number delivered to Scotland was 1,520,690. Up until Friday 19th February at 8.30am 1,386,152 first doses had been administered and 29,015 second doses.

Over 80s

Apart from some who are housebound, you should have already received your vaccination.  If not, please call your GP.

Independent health and social care workers

Independently employed health and social care workers should have received a letter inviting you for a vaccine appointment. If you have not, please reply to this email and we will contact the local vaccination team to make arrangements.


For those who do not have their own transport or support networks, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 400 (Monday to Friday - office hours) to arrange transport to get to their vaccination appointment.


Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22.  Newspapers will also continue to benefit from 100% relief for a further 12 months, while charitable rates relief will not be removed from mainstream independent schools until 1st April 2022.


Two funds are now open to applications. 

mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists and hairdressers – as well as registered driving instructors.

the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund will also re-open for a second round.

Both funds will provide £4,000 grants to successful applicants.

Since opening some applications were rejected because of an IT glitch. Others have been rejected because of problems with authenticating bank details due to errors by the applicants so please make sure you complete this part correctly.  All rejected applications are being rechecked manually.!Products=/last-modified/show+25/page+1


There will be a new £100 COVID Hardship Payment for qualifying low-income families whose children receive free meals in schools and early learning and childcare settings.


A bursary of up to £6,750 will be offered to dental students who will have to repeat a year.


Anyone who is identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive will be asked to get tested. Previously, outbreak Incident Management Teams (IMTs) have had the ability to order testing of close contacts on a case-by-case basis. Now everyone who has been identified as a close contact via the Protect Scotland app, or through manual contact tracing, will be provided with instructions on how to book a PCR test.  This has no impact on the self-isolation rules.


This order has been delayed.


You can access local information on the spread of the virus in our council area then choose Dundee City from the menu in local neighbourhoods.!/vizhome/COVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview



If you have symptoms of the virus check out this link.



UK Government news:

Scottish Government Updates:

Dundee City Council updates:

NHS Inform –

NHS Tayside website:

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

Health Protection Scotland Guidance -

Federation of Small Businesses:

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

Ready Scotland Information -

Tayside Cares -


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.


WEST END WARD – Bailie Fraser Macpherson

Phone – Dundee 459378 (home)

E-mail –

Facebook updates :

Saturday 20 February 2021

Getting things done - Roseangle recycling area #dundeewestend

Many thanks to all the residents who contacted me yesterday about the mess of overflowing recycling - mainly cardboard - at the Roseangle recycling area.

I immediately contacted the City Council who promised to get it cleaned up - hopefully by the Saturday environment crew who are working today.

Friday 19 February 2021

Recycling update at the Riverside Recycling Centre #dundeewestend

A number of residents have queried with me why currently you cannot recycle cardboard at the Riverside Recycling Centre.

I raised this with environment management at the City Council and the Assistant Waste Services Manager has advised :

"The current waste acceptance restrictions at the two recycling centres and the reasons for them are detailed here.

Due to the requirements for social distancing, both Riverside (two zones) and Baldovie (three zones) are running at significantly reduced capacity. 

As pretty much every resident has access to a paper/cardboard kerbside or communal bin, the decision was taken to should prioritise other waste commodities e.g. wood, waste electronic equipment etc. as we don't have other locations where these waste types can be disposed of. 

There are various mini recycling centres across the city that accept paper/cardboard. Obviously when the pandemic is over, we will reinstate all services at both sites."

Thursday 18 February 2021

Opportunity from Showcase The Street

Do you know anyone aged 16/ 17 currently not in education or employment that this course would suit?

Get in touch with for more information or to note your interest.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Ninewells Community Garden blog - Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 #dundeewestend

One of the volunteers at Ninewells Community Garden - Christina - has written an excellent blog about this year's Big Garden Birdwatch.

It is an interesting read and you can read it here.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Progress with the Sinderins Beacon #dundeewestend

Residents with fairly long memories may remember the "Dundee Decides" participatory budgeting consultation in early 2018.

In the West End, one of the successful projects covered the Perth Road district shopping centre.     Some of that - for example the "Perth Road" seating at the entrance to the Miller's Wynd car park - has been long completed but there have been repeated delays with the Sinderins Beacon, the proposal for a entrance structure at the west end of the shopping area at Sinderins.

I am pleased to say that there is finally some progress towards completing this.     The council's Public Art Planning Officer has recently updated me as follows :

"The beacon is in fabrication and the last details for the site works are being worked on.  

I believe the aim is to complete by 31st March. 

However, I am assuming that it cannot be guaranteed as there a few different contractors involved who effected by the pandemic in different ways."

More information is available below :

Monday 15 February 2021

From Migration to Mobility to Climate Change- Online Open Lecture

Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education is holding this online lecture later this week.

Dr Kiril Sharapov, Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University, is speaking on the subject of ‘From Migration to Mobility to Climate Change: What does ‘Migration’ really mean?‘ as part of the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education online Open Lecture Series.
All welcome to join on Thursday 18th February at 6pm and you can register here.

Sunday 14 February 2021

In D’Arcy Thompson’s Footsteps : Science, Technology and the Classics

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

I’m delighted to advise of this special event on Tuesday 16th February at 5.30pm.

It is a free online event co-organised by the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, University of Dundee and Tufts University, Massachusetts

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson is best known for his ground-breaking book On Growth and Form, which laid the foundations for the science of mathematical biology. However that was just one of his many publications, and this special live event focuses on an exciting interdisciplinary project led by Tufts University in Massachusetts, exploring D’Arcy’s 1895 book A Glossary of Greek Birds. 

This extraordinary book combines his deep knowledge of natural history with his love for classical studies and mythology. Building on D’Arcy’s own belief in fostering diversity and dialogue among disciplines, this unique project brings together a team of humanists and scientists to uncover the contemporary relevance of a forgotten classic.


Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee

Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Associate Professor, Classical Studies, Tufts University

Michael Reed, Professor of Biology, Tufts University

Anthony Bucci, Lecturer, Computer Science, Tufts University

Jennifer Burton, Professor of the Practice, Drama and Dance, Tufts University

Zachary Fletcher, Senior Software Developer, Perseids Project, Classical Studies, Tufts University

The event will be held live on Zoom and to book a place, please go to

Saturday 13 February 2021

Latest update during the COVID-19 health emergency


We want to thank the great efforts of all the vaccination staff who have worked incredibly hard to get people vaccinated. 

In Scotland 1 million people have been vaccinated and the gap is closing with the rest of the United Kingdom where governments organised a faster start to the programme. 

As of Thursday evening, Scotland was still 47,814 behind where it would be if it had rolled out the vaccine at the same rate as England.  As that gap was up at 200,000 at one point this is good progress by the vaccinators.

These are official figures Public Health Scotland published this week available at


The revised timetable across Scotland is: 

Groups 1 and 2 – by now

Groups, 3 and 4

Group 5 – by end of February

Groups 6 - 9 - by early May

Group 1 - Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

Group 2 - All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

Group 3 - All those 75 years of age and over

Group 4 - All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

Group 5 - All those 65 years of age and over.

Group 6 - All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. This also includes unpaid carers.

Group 7 - All those 60 years of age and over

Group 8 - All those 55 years of age and over

Group 9 - All those 50 years of age and over

Regarding rearranging or opting-out of your coronavirus vaccination appointment, further information is available at (and follow the advice for the NHS Tayside area).


You can access local information on the spread of the virus in our area then choose “Dundee City” from the menu in local neighbourhoods.!/vizhome/COVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview


All arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels from 15th February.

Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per individual traveller. Final costs for those not travelling alone are currently being worked through, as well as the details for a Managed Isolation Welfare Fund which will be launched for those who cannot afford the charge.

All arrivals must quarantine for at least ten days and will be tested twice for the virus – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival.

Existing travel exemptions will be strengthened, including limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.

A small number of arrivals will not be required to isolate, such as those involved in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland.

Non-essential international travel is still not permitted.


The following funds are now open for application: 

Exclusive Use Grant

Events Industry Support Fund 2

Large Self-Catering Grant

Bed and Breakfasts Paying Council Tax Grant

Visitor Attractions Support Fund

Seafood Disruption Support Scheme

Coronavirus Resilience and Recovery Fund for Legal Aid

Covid-19 Recovery Support for Scottish Recycling Businesses

Hostel Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund

Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme

Seafood Producers Resilience Fund

Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance

Coronavirus Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund!Products=/last-modified/show+25/page+1


A further £17.5 million of emergency funding has been allocated to support creative freelancers and the events sector.  £8.5 million will go towards the events sector – distributed through the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund and the Events Industry Support Fund 2 as well as targeted support. The remaining £9 million will be distributed as a top-up to the Creative Freelancers Hardship Fund.


Grants of £750 are being paid to all registered childminders.


If you are told to self-isolate through the Protect Scotland phone app you can download a certificate on your phone.  That certificate can then be used as proof when you are claiming self-isolation support, or when you are contacting your employer.

Also, the app uses an exposure notification system, which didn’t work on some older phones.  But Apple has now made changes which mean that if you have an iPhone 5S or an iPhone 6, the app will now work.


The snow has meant the City Council has been unable to empty bins for part of last this week.

Advice regarding this is available at



If you have symptoms of the virus check out this link.



UK Government news:

Scottish Government Updates:

Dundee City Council updates:

NHS Inform –

NHS Tayside website:

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

Health Protection Scotland Guidance -

Federation of Small Businesses:

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

Ready Scotland Information -

Tayside Cares -


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.


WEST END WARD – Bailie Fraser Macpherson

Phone – Dundee 459378 (home)

E-mail –

Facebook updates :

Friday 12 February 2021

Street lighting - Hillside/Glamis Drive/Hazel Drive area - further update

Further to my update earlier this week about the street lights being out in much of the Hillside/Glamis Drive/Hazel Drive area, in which I advised that there was an electricity supply problem, I have now received this further news from SSE :

"Our Network Integrity team are aware of this fault and have advised that it is high on this priority list.

We have had a number of faults on our network as a result of the snowfall which the team have had to attend to in the first instance.

Can you please share our apologies and advise that we will resolve this by next week at the latest?"

I should add that, after receiving this update yesterday afternoon, residents advised me that SSE vans had appeared, so if the lights were not back on last night they should now be back on very soon.

Thursday 11 February 2021

Getting things done – road surface at Tesco Riverside #dundeewestend

Residents recently contacted me about the deteriorating state of parts of the car park and the access road from Riverside Drive into Tesco Riverside.

This is not an adopted road but maintained by Tesco PLC.    

The City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership kindly raised the issue with Tesco following my highlighting it and has received the following helpful response from the company :

“I just spoke to the management over at the Riverside Extra, they advise that they have recently finished the internal approvals for the maintenance of the car park, and are expecting work to begin within the next week or two.”

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Getting things done - Glamis Road #dundeewestend

Many thanks to the residents who highlighted with me that, following the resurfacing of Glamis Road some time ago and the access road at Balgay Cemetery, some of the road linings have not been repainted.

I raised this with the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership and have now received this helpful reply : 

"Dundee Road Maintenance Partnership carried out improvements to the surfacing to the access road at Balgay Cemetery. A lining schedule has been produced but unfortunately due to the inclement weather it has not been possible to apply these markings to the new surface.

As far as our lining duties are concerned, we have made this a priority and will bring this to a conclusion at the earliest possible opportunity."

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Research finds 20mph speed limits prevent crashes

I have welcomed recently released research from the universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh, East Anglia and Cambridge that has revealed that the introduction of 20mph speed limits in Edinburgh in 2016 has had a positive effect on road safety, changing the trend of crashes from “slow decreasing” to “fast decreasing”. 

The research covering Edinburgh’s 20mph residential areas shows that there was a monthly average of 95 crashes per month in 2016, the year the change was introduced, with that figure down to 64 a month by 2018. 

These research findings clearly show that the 20mph rollout in Edinburgh – which is the city that has led the way in Scotland in terms of safer speed limits in residential areas - has resulted in significantly fewer accidents. 

Here is Dundee, progress has been slower although the four new 20mph zones fairly recently introduced in the city under the “Spaces for People” funding – including parts of the West End around the Perth Road district shopping centre and Perth Road lanes and as far east as South Tay Street and West Port – is a good step forward.

Feedback to the West End 20mph zone from residents has been very positive although there is a clear need to ensure regular enforcement which I have raised with Police Scotland.

It is clear from feedback from residents that lower speed limits in other residential areas of the West End would be welcomed and I will continue to pursue this with the council.

Monday 8 February 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend



A991 West Marketgait (Hawkhill to Guthrie Street) – northbound nearside lane closure on Monday 8 February for roof inspection works.

Sunday 7 February 2021

Saturday 6 February 2021

Ninewells Community Garden on-line event #dundeewestend

In this Ninewells Community Garden on-line event, Bob Bilson and Peter Christopher will lead a workshop on the pruning of fruit trees and bushes to de-mystify and explain the processes which many amateur gardeners can find daunting.

This will be a Zoom-based workshop, with presentation and time to ask questions.

It takes place on Sunday 21st February from 2pm to 3pm.

Friday 5 February 2021

Support for cross-party effort to secure free ATMs

I am giving my support to a cross-party effort at the UK Parliament to secure free-to-use ATMs.

Led by Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone, a group of 26 cross-party MPs has called on the Payments System Regulator and the UK Government to take action on the interchange fee – allowing for ATMs up and down the country to become once again free to use.

The decision from LINK to cut the fee paid by banks to ATM providers for every cash withdrawal has passed costs usually paid by banks onto consumers, resulting in the lack of free-to-use cash machines.

10 500 free-to-use cash machines have already disappeared across the UK in the past two years - with 1 in 4 ATMs now charging Scots to withdraw cash.    We have seen this locally across Dundee including in the West End.

The letter - signed by the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Labour, and Conservative parties - as well as the Parliamentary motion introduced by Mr Stone advocates for the Payments System Regulator to introduce a tiered or zonal approach to interchange fees, which would ensure funding is fairly distributed throughout the UK to protect access to cash in all communities. 

I strongly believe it is unacceptable that constituents have to pay to access their hard earned cash.    It particularly affects the vulnerable and elderly and I hope the regulator and the government take up Jamie Stone MP’s proposals.   That way, we ensure we can secure a good network of free-to-use cash machines.

Thursday 4 February 2021

University restructuring concerns - Minister responds

Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education has responded to the concerns I have raised over proposals by the University of Dundee that would see the merger of three academic schools - Schools of Humanities, Education and Social Work and Social Sciences – into one, with the loss of 34 academic jobs and potentially other support staff jobs.

Whilst indicating that universities are autonomous institutions and Scottish Ministers nor the Scottish Government has locus to intervene directly, the Minister does say that “in the spirit of the Scottish Government's Fair Work policy, our view is that compulsory redundancies should only ever be used as a last resort” and that he has “asked my officials to maintain contact with the University and to report to me on developments” particularly in relation to the redundancy issue.

I appreciate that the Scottish Government will not get directly involved but the clear message about the avoiding compulsory redundancies is clear.    I have made clear to the University Principal that I strongly believe that the University should remove threats of compulsory redundancies completely.     It should, at the very least, look at options to rebalance the staffing in the affected areas by natural turnover over the next few years.   

The City Council – with twice the number of staff as the university – has avoided compulsory redundancies.   The University of Dundee needs to step up and give a commitment to its staff that any compulsory redundancies are completely off the table.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal of the University of Dundee, has responded to my concerns about the possible axing of university jobs offering a meeting to discuss the issues which I have accepted.

I am grateful to the Principal for agreeing to meet with me about this very serious issue.    I will be making clear that potential compulsory redundancies of 34 academic posts, with probable additional reduction in support staff is of real concern and cannot be justified.   

It would have a really detrimental impact on student teaching and the student experience and make the university a less attractive option to potential new students.     It would also result in further strain on already overworked staff.  

The bottom line is that the university owes it to its staff to take the threat of compulsory redundancies completely off the table.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Latest update from Friends of Wighton

From Sheena Wellington about today's Lunchtime Recital online by Ensemble Hesperi :

We are very pleased to welcome back as our online Lunchtime Recital guests this month, Mary-Jannet Leith (Recorders) & Thomas Allery (Harpsichord) of Ensemble Hesperi. The pair are no strangers to the Wighton both as performers and researchers.  The Zoom link to join in is below!  

Mary-Jannet is a Scottish instrumentalist, musicologist, historian, and teacher. She is fascinated by the potential which her instrument has for bridging artificial boundaries between musical ‘genres’. It is her strong belief that truly excellent music often eludes definition, and that it is the communication of emotion and feeling to an audience which should be the aim of a professional musician. 

Thomas is an organist, choral conductor and harpsichordist based in London and Oxford. He enjoys a varied career spanning work as an organist and choral director in church music, continuo playing, research and teaching. Thomas is the Director of Chapel Music at Worcester College, Oxford, where he is responsible for the musical development of the Chapel choirs and organ scholars. 

To see the concert:

Friends of Wighton invite you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 

Topic: Lunchtime Recital with Ensemble Hesperi

Time: Feb 3, 2021 1PM Greenwich Mean Time 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 818 7037 8916 

Passcode: 968552 

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Mental health guides from Feeling Strong

Feeling Strong, Dundee’s youth mental health charity, has launched its new and improved mental health guides.

There are three new guides which are for young people, children and guardians. 

Feeling Strong has been working with Dundee's young people on creating these new guides for a few months now, with over two hundred responses from young people about what they think matters most. 

The guides will help those who read it have a better understanding of Feeling Strong, other Dundee specific support and how it can possibly help young people.

Feeling Strong has printed 2 000 copies of the guides which are being distributed to schools, community groups and libraries across Dundee, as well as making digital copies of the guides available on their website.

More information is available at

Monday 1 February 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


Forthcoming Road Works 

A991 West Marketgait (Hawkhill to Guthrie Street) – northbound nearside lane closure on Monday 8 February for roof inspection works.