Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Blether Bus for older residents proposed for the axe - a sad tale #dundeewestend


I have today slammed a recommendation that will come before the council’s City Development Committee on Monday 25th October that, if approved, will axe all the Blether Bus services in Dundee that assist elderly residents who have difficulty accessing the main bus routes. These include services in the West End but also services in Stobswell and Lochee.

If approved this would be a really bad decision for the elderly folk who rely on the service. There are older residents in streets in my own ward who cannot manage uphill to the main bus services and, after the SNP axed their supported proper bus service, the Blether Bus has been all they were left with. Now they will have nothing at all – a real disgrace.

I have been promised by the council for months that the Blether Bus would return once COVID positive cases dropped as this was allegedly necessary as the bus is a minibus. These promises have proved worthless and I am furious about this. It would leave elderly folk in parts of the West End with no access to public transport – and I fear the SNP administration will simply rubber stamp this dreadful recommendation.

There is something ironic that Dundee City Council was seeking to reduce public transport and thereby increase private vehicle use as the affected residents would have to rely on family and friends running them about by car if they are to get out at all. At a time of COP26, it is bizarre that the council would be reducing public transport and increasing reliance on the private car – what a dreadful signal to be sending.

I would suggest that the better way forward with the Blether Bus service is to consult communities on making the routes more attractive to increase usage, rather than axing the service. 

I will be strongly opposing the axing of these older people’s bus services when this comes before councillors next Monday.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 18 OCTOBER 2021

Blackness Avenue – closed for 2 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Hazel Drive) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Eton Street (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Hawkhill (Horsewater Wynd to Session Street) – eastbound nearside lane closure from Monday 18 October for one week for Scottish Water work.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Invergowrie Drive), Eton Street and Elliot Road (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) – closed from Thursday 11 November for 10 days for facilitating City Fibre duct installation works.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

'Drawn' exhibition at the Lamb Gallery #dundeewestend


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

We’re pleased to announce that now that semester has started, our main museum venues are re-opening! The Tower Foyer & Lamb Galleries are open Monday to Friday 9.30am-7pm (we hope to resume Saturday openings in the future) and we’ve just created a new exhibition for the Lamb Gallery, entitled Drawn.

Drawing is often seen as the fundamental basis of art, as well as being an important tool in other forms of creative thinking.     This exhibition presents highlights from the University’s wide-ranging collection of around 2,000 drawings. 

It includes rarely seen work by many renowned artists including Thomas Gainsborough, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, W Q Orchardson, David Foggie, James McIntosh Patrick, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, David Mach, Will Maclean, Stephen Sutcliffe, Annie Cattrell and many others. 

Come along to see portraits, life studies, topographical drawings, scientific diagrams, drawings for sculpture, fashion illustrations, comics art and much more!

The exhibition is on until 21st January but will be closed on Fri 22nd October and for Christmas Monday 20th December until Tuesday 4th January. 

Further information, and details of COVID safety, can be found at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/drawn-an-exhibition-of-drawings-tickets-178684499147

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Riverside Avenue


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 SSEN cable diversion works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Avenue (between Apollo Way and A90 Kingsway), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 25 October 2021 for 2 nights (7.30pm to 6.30am).

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available Apollo Way / Explorer Road / South Road / Myrekirk Road / A90 Kingsway.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Friday, 15 October 2021

Getting things done - Seymour Street #dundeewestend


I have received residents' complaints that the pathway at the south end of Seymour Street (section from Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) is overgrown.

The section north of the car park is council maintained and I raised this with our local environment manager who has asked a supervisor to get the foliage cut back.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Window replacement programme for council housing in the West End #dundeewestend


I recently raised at the City Council's Neighbourhood Services Committee the need to upgrade the windows in council housing in a number of parts of the West End, including the Corso/Abbotsford area and Logie.

I asked for an update from housing management on this and have now been advised as follows - from the council's Head of Housing and Communities :

"The Housing Asset Management Unit team firstly establish when the windows in a development were last replaced. This data is given a 30% weighting in terms of the decision on when they will require to be replaced, with the remaining 70% weighting going on the average cost per house on window repairs over the past 10 years.

Housing investment works are done on a development, rather than street by street or indeed estate, basis.

The windows in different developments throughout the City are made of a range of materials, including upvc, timber, aluminium etc. The type of material has an impact on the lifecycle of the windows and, therefore, when we programme their replacement.

As part of our Windows For All programme, all Council houses were double glazed between 1992 and 2002. Given the volume and relatively short length of this programme, we cannot prioritise purely on lifecycle dates as the impact on the Capital Programme of a repeating 10-year programme would be unsustainable.

However, given the impact on Covid-19 and the slippage in some programmes, the service is looking into the feasibility of speeding up our window replacement programme."

I will continue to press for windows upgrades for all council housing in the West End Ward that is in need of this.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Tenant Grant Fund

There is a new Tenant Grant Fund the City Council is administering to help prevent evictions as a result of COVID-19 related rent arrears between March 2020 and August 2021.

This fund enables local authorities to prevent homelessness and sustain tenancies by assisting tenants with rent arrears problems where a tenant is in either in the social or private rented sectors, and has faced difficulties due to Coronavirus.  

More details are in the poster below :

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Getting things done - Glamis Road #dundeewestend


The southern section of Glamis Road was "surface dressed" some time ago to prolong the life of the road surface.

To be honest I am not a fan of surface dressing (tar and chippings on top of the existing surface) and proposed at the budget this year an increase in the roads capital programme of £2 million this year, which could have been funded and would have increased the amount of "real" quality resurfacing.    Sadly I did not win the vote at the budget but continue to campaign for greater funding for roads and pavements improvements.

Many residents have contacted me in recent months about the surface dressed surface of Glamis Road, south of the roundabout with Blackness Road and Glamis Drive.    

One resident recently described the surface as "dreadful" and I again raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership.

The partnership's Senior Engineer has now sent me the following helpful feedback :

"At the tail end of this month, I will be looking over next years carriageway programme.

I will have a look at the section you have highlighted

If it is indeed "dreadful " then I am sure it will move up the programme."

Monday, 11 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEEK WEST END WARD - COMMENCING MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2021

Blackness Avenue – closed for 3 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Logie Street/Ancrum Road/Lochee Road/Loons Road – 4 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Hazel Drive) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Eton Street (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Riverside Drive (at the Airport) – temporary traffic lights on Monday 11 October (off-peak) for loop cutting.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Hawkhill (Horsewater Wynd to Session Street) – eastbound nearside lane closure from Monday 18 October for one week for Scottish Water work.

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Scotland's Garden Scheme - next weekend! #dundeewestend

 


Next weekend again sees Frances and John Dent in Glamis Drive open their beautiful garden to residents, as part of Scotland's Gardens Scheme.

Not only is a visit to the garden a pleasure - it also helps raise funds for charity.    This time, John and Frances are supporting Dr Graham's Homes in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

The homes were founded more than 100 years ago as an orphanage for Anglo-Indian children.   Since then it has developed to be a successful boarding school for children from Nursery to Senior ages, with an additional hostel in Kolkata for school leavers progressing to higher education. 

The pupils now come from a range of socially deprived families rather than as orphans.   Approximately half of the boarding pupils are partially or fully sponsored by an international group of supporters especially from the UK.    As Dr Graham was a Moderator of the General Assembly in the 1940s, the Church of Scotland has a long-standing interest in the homes.

So, please visit next weekend - a lovely garden to see and a very worthwhile charity being supported.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Bus timetables at bus stops - or lack of them!


There's been a large reaction from residents to the articles in the Courier and Evening Telegraph last week in which I 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 at the start of the COVID-19 health emergency.

There has been an attempt to remove erroneous and out of date timetables but bus stops across Dundee still lack correct timetables - some 18 months since the pandemic started.

I think everyone accepts that during the 2020 lockdowns there was significant change and understandable volatility in bus services but some stability has returned - just not the timetables at bus stops! It is unhelpful for passengers who do not have access to apps on their mobile phone.

I have repeatedly raised this with the City Council over many months and the most recent feedback from the Team Leader, Parking & Sustainable Transport advised :

"The commercial bus network in Dundee has still not stabilised so we continue to push passengers towards apps, websites or Traveline (phone service) for the most accurate and up to date bus information. The real time displays in our bus shelters are updated with each change."

I have made clear to the City Council that I think this line has run its course particularly as other authorities are restoring timetables, such as in Perth and Kinross.

There are repeated requests from constituents and bus passengers about this. The lack of timetables at bus stops impacts on older passengers in particular where a higher proportion of people do not use or have access to mobile apps.

I have said to the council's transportation team that I do think we really do now need a timeframe for restoration of timetables after consultation with the bus operators. We should be making it as easy as possible for people to use public transport and Dundee City Council's current position on this simply is not helping.

Friday, 8 October 2021

Harris Education & Recreation Association - Autumn classes #dundeewestend


The HERA autumn term enrolment night is on line from next Wednesday (13th October) at www.heradundee.org.

There's a great range of evening classes to sign up for!

The next block of courses will start on the week commencing 25th October.

Details of courses are available on the HERA website mentioned above and also on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HERAdundee.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

West End parking improvements – more delays concern


I have today heavily criticised Dundee City Council for yet further delays in bringing forward proposals for residents’ priority parking in the West End – a year and a half after the council undertook consultation meetings with local residents over the issue.

I have been continually asking the City Development Department to bring the outcomes of the consultation with the public to committee together with recommendations to improve parking for residents. 

There is clearly good support for a residents’ priority parking permit scheme as long as it is reasonable and affordable as it would make it much easier for local residents to get parked. However, the council is taking an absolute age to bring proposals forward and there is a total lack of momentum on the part of Dundee City Council to get this issue resolved.

Well-attended consultation meetings took place in March 2020 just before the onset of the COVID-19 health emergency but there has been absolutely no progress by Dundee City Council since. In October 2020, the council said it hoped for progress in the first half of 2021. 

It later said a report to committee would come forward by the end of 2021 and now it is kicking the ball even further down the road. This is apparently because separate consultations in two other wards are not complete but I see absolutely no good reason to further delay progress in the West End where the consultation meetings are long completed, a year and a half ago.

The council’s Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads has this week advised me :

“We previously advised of a December reporting target earlier in the year when the Covid transmission rate was supressed, and we were scheduled to recommence consultations in person. Following the re-emergence of high transmission rates these consultations were suspended which has resulted in a delay to the reporting programme.

Once we have identified with communities a preferred route for remote engagement, and scheduled the remaining consultations, we will update stakeholders with a revised timescale for reporting on the consultation.”

For some reason best known to itself, the council is further delaying progress on this important issue in the West End because it has still to do consultation in some in other parts of Dundee that have unrelated parking issues.        I fully agree that the other areas should have their consultation meetings and their issues properly tackled, but delaying the West End proposals further because of consultation meetings in other areas that are unrelated to the issues in the West End makes absolutely no sense.

The council is losing public confidence in the West End over its snail’s pace approach to the parking problem and I am calling on the council to finally put some momentum behind this and bring forward proposals to help local residents and give concrete assurances as to timescales.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Friends of Wighton event today!


From Sheena Wellington :

Today - Wednesday 6th October at 1.15pm - Friends of Wighton will be delighted to present on Zoom the wonderful Robyn Stapleton, one of the finest singers of her generation. 

The reviewers have said :

‘Rich, characterfully lilting, warm and clear’ The List

Robyn is an award-winning singer and song leader who shares her talent and passion for traditional music with audiences and communities throughout Scotland and internationally.

‘Her warm sweet voice has a depth and colour that belies her youthfulness’ fROOTS

Don't miss it - link below :

Sheena Wellington is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Lunchtime Recital with Robyn Stapleton

Time: Oct 6, 2021 01:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 865 5568 8317

Passcode: 653876

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Blackness Library - hours extended #dundeewestend


Leisure and Culture Dundee has advised that, with the further easing of restrictions, library hours at Blackness Library are being increased from this week.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 4 OCTOBER 2021

South Tay Street – temporary traffic lights for one week for footway works.

Ancrum Road - temporary traffic lights from Wednesday 29 September for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Blackness Avenue – closed from Monday 4 October for 4 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Logie Street at junction with Ancrum Road – 3 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Glamis Drive - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Getting things done - Park Place - an update #dundeewestend


As residents will recall, over some months, I have raised numerous concerns from residents about the state of the bins in Park Place, near to the junction with the West Port.

These are not all council bins for residents' use but there are also commercial bins there for business use and the Enforcement Officer in the council's Community Safety and Protection team has been very helpful on the issue and liaising with business users.

She has now updated me as follows :

"I again visited Park Place and visited several of the businesses that store bins at Park Place.

As a result of these visits it was discovered that there was excess bins at Park Place due to a change in business ownership.

The excess bins, of which there were 5, have now been uplifted and I have asked a street cleaner to attend to remove any spillage/littering from the overflowing bins."

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Lochee Road and North Marketgait


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 retaining wall repair works. The Order is expected to be in force for 15 months from 11 October 2021. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all pedestrian traffic in North Marketgait and Lochee Road from Parker Street to a point 100 metres or thereby west of Dudhope Roundabout.

An alternative route for pedestrians will be available via Lochee Road, West Marketgait and North Marketgait.

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

Friday, 1 October 2021

Bus diversions - Blackness Avenue #dundeewestend

With the impending resurfacing of Blackness Avenue from next Monday (4th October), Services 17 (Xplore Dundee) and 73 and 204 (Stagecoach) will be temporarily re-routed as follows :

XPLORE DUNDEE :

🚧 Roadworks on Blackness Avenue (phase 1)

4th Oct onwards

  • Affected routes:
  •  
  • 17

Due to roadworks on Blackness Avenue (between Blackness Library and Seymour Street) for two weeks from Monday 4 October, service 17 will be diverted as follows:

Towards Whitfield: Normal route to Blackness Avenue, then via Hyndford Street and Perth Road. Normal route resumes from Perth Road.

Towards Ninewells Hospital: Normal route to Perth Road, then via Perth Road and Hyndford Street. Normal route resumes from Blackness Avenue.

🚧 Roadworks on Blackness Avenue (phase 2)

18th Oct onwards

  • Affected routes:
  •  
  • 17

Due to roadworks on Blackness Avenue (between Seymour Street and Blackness Road) for two weeks from Monday 18 October, service 17 will be diverted as follows:

Towards Whitfield: Normal route to Balgay Road, then via Blackness Road and Seymour Street. Normal route resumes from Blackness Avenue.

Towards Ninewells Hospital: Normal route to Blackness Avenue, then via Seymour Street and Blackness Road. Normal route resumes from Balgay Road.


STAGECOACH :

Road closure Blackness Avenue, Dundeefrom Monday 4th October


Due to resurfacing works, Blackness Avenue, Dundee will be closed in two phases from 4 October 2021 for 4 weeks.

During the first phase the diversion for services 73 and 73A will be Perth Road - Hyndford Street - Blackness Avenue. Service 204 will divert Perth Road - Hyndford Street - Blackness Road.

During the second phase services 73 and 73A will divert from Blackness Avenue - Seymour Street - Blackness Road. Service 204 is unaffected during the second phase.