Wednesday 27 June 2007

Latest updates

Spent all of yesterday at the Tay Rope Works Public Inquiry as the City Council's witness in defending the decision to refuse planning approval. We will know the outcome in a few weeks but I would like to place on record my thanks to the Council's solicitor and to the local residents and Community Council representatives who contributed.
On Monday evening at Council committees, I was very pleased to see a report be approved which will give tenants, especially elderly and disabled residents, the possibility of obtaining a shower where (normally because they live upstairs or their house cannot be ramped) the occupational therapist has been unable to recommend installation. This is an issue that has affected a number of constituents and I am pleased the Council has grasped the nettle. I am anxious, too, that similar arrangements are discussed with the local Housing Associations.
I have raised the issue of the lack of a lollipop person in Hawkhill (due to the postholder's long-term absence through illness) and am pleased to learn from the Education Department that efforts are being made to try to have a solution in time for the start of the new term at Blackness Primary in August.
I've also raised the issue of youth facilities in the West End. The Leisure & Communities Department has told me that the Youth Team has been working with the Harris-based Pupil Support Workers and others from the Youth Work Providers Group to develop a programme for the first four weeks of the school holidays. This will focus on activities in The Shore, Dudhope Park and Ancrum. This group will continue to meet to develop further programme ideas.
I'm also told that staff are keen to encourage young people to use Dudhope Park and the MUGGA facility that now exists there. There's now access to the Pavilion and the department is looking to develop opportunities from there.

Other facilities in the area that are routinely used by young people from the West End include the weekly Youth Information drop-in at Harris Academy, The Shore and Hot Chocolate at the Steeple Church. In addition, a number of young people from that area are involved with Duke of Edinburgh through the Open Award Centre currently based at Menzieshill.

There are also two Children's Clubs (5-8s and 9-11s) operating on a Thursday in Blackness Library. I've raised with the department the possibility of other activities and would welcome views from residents (and thanks to those residents who have already contacted me about this following the article I had in the recent FOCUS newsletter).