Friends of the Earth Tayside is organising the Dundee Green Walk tomorrow – Saturday 18 September – in conjunction with the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, where it will start (at 10 am) and finish.
It is being held to highlight the Climate Emergency in the run-up to the COP26 UN Climate Conference in November, and is supported by the Tayside COP26 Coalition.
It’s free to take part and is 6 km (3.7 miles) with only a couple of gentle slopes.
There will be speakers to welcome you to the Ninewells Community Garden and the Riverside Nature Park, and tell you something about the importance of Dundee’s green spaces for biodiversity and tackling climate change.
You can go to hear the talks without walking the whole route, if you wish, at the times indicated.
There will also be a “walk-and-talk” at 2pm at the Botanic Garden, where you can spend the rest of the day, at no cost, other than any refreshments at the cafe.
As residents know, councillors were not able to hold their weekly ward surgeries at schools and libraries since the start of the COVID-19 health emergency, but I am pleased to advise of the one new weekly ward surgery I am now able to start.
From today – Tuesday 14th September – and during school term times, my new surgery time and location is :
Tuesdays at 3.30pm prompt at Blackness Library
All welcome and no need to book. The library has appropriate safety measures in place to ensure a COVID-safe environment, including hand sanitisers and use of face coverings.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-related restrictions and venue availability, my very long-standing surgeries at Blackness Primary School’s staff room and at the Mitchell Street Centre will no longer be possible.
However, once access to school premises for councillors’ surgeries is again permitted with COVID restrictions easing, I hope that, later in the autumn, I will be returning to a surgery at Harris Academy. I hope to also run one at Ancrum Road Primary School.
Both will also take place on Tuesdays – with details to follow.
The school crossing patroller on Milnbank Road near Milnbank Gardens recently retired.
Tayside Contracts, who provide the service for the City Council, has not replaced the patroller, saying the crossing does not meet its criteria for allowing a crossing, in terms of pupils using it and vehicle movements.
I am very unhappy about this decision becuase the crossing is at a crucial location as vehicles come down the hill at City Road towards the site and I feel strongly that a crossing patroller is needed here.
I have therefore put in a formal objection to the removal of the patroller at this location.
I have recently received a number of complaints about the pathway that runs from around half way up Tait’s Lane eastwards to Peddie Street – it is really needing a tidy and new planting.
I took this up with our local council environment manager who has responded helpfully as follows :
“The path is overgrown with weeds, this is manly due to our recent staffing issues and there are similar issues in other areas of the city. We are currently putting together a list of them and are putting together a hit squad to deal with all these areas in one fell swoop. This should be done within the next couple of weeks.
The path is relatively clear of litter but there is a considerable amount trapped at the sides in the weeds. It looks like it has been like that for some time so I have instructed the supervisor to remind the person on this area that he has to keep the whole path clear and not just the part that folk usually walk on.
The shrub beds are probably past redemption now and will likely require replanting. This would be something we would do in the Autumn, however I thought the whole area was looking tired and could do with a refresh. I have asked our projects team if they would consider doing this over the winter.”
As residents will recall, following the unfortunate removal some time ago of the ‘old’ 204 bus service that covered streets like Newhall Gardens, Invergowrie Drive and Glamis Drive, the council’s response was to establish the “Blether Bus” minibus service for older residents.
I strongly opposed the withdrawal of the old 204 as it was a better service than the Blether Bus. The previous version of the 204 went to both the City Centre and Ninewells Hospital, something the Blether Bus did not. However, at least the Blether Bus gave some sort of service for older residents who would struggle to walk (often uphill) to main bus services on streets like Perth Road and Glamis Road.
With the onset of the COVID health emergency, the Blether Bus was suspended as it uses a minibus where social distancing is a challenge. As restrictions ease, I have been anxious to ensure that a service for older folk in the area is restored.
Back in May, the council’s Team Leader, Parking & Sustainable Transport told me that he hoped the Blether Bus would be restored during the school summer holidays but he has since advised :
‘We are conscious of the potential for community transmission on the minibus services, particularly with the vehicles being shared between school children at Kingspark and older adults. We will further review our options in the weeks ahead, giving regard to any public health advice available.
My e-mail in late May 2021 suggested a return date during the school holidays but this was before the spike in Covid cases in the Dundee area which caused us to rethink our plans. We also had to consider driver availability and the potential of having to withdraw minibus services at short notice if the drivers were ill or required to self-isolate.’
I have made clear to council officers that it is vital that a bus service is restored as soon as possible and also raised the issue at the recent West End local community planning partnership meeting. It is not acceptable that older residents who cannot get to the main bus services on streets like Perth Road are left without their Blether Bus service.
I will keep residents updated and can assure the Blether Bus passengers that I will be continuing to pursue this to get the service back ASAP.
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating City Fibre cable installation works. The Order is expected to be in force for 4 weeks from 8 September 2021. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Glamis Drive between Glamis Road and Invergowrie Drive, (2) Hillside Terrace between Hillside Road and Hillside Drive, (3) Hillside Drive between Hillside Terrace and Hillside Road, (4) Hillside Road between Hillside Terrace and number 32 Hillside Road, (5) Dunmore Gardens between Dunmore Drive and number 22 Dunmore Gardens, (6) Glamis Terrace between Glamis Place and Hazel Drive, (7) Oxford Street between Blackness Road and Cambridge Street, (8) Oxford Street between Cambridge Street and Harrow Street, (9) Oxford Street between Harrow Street and Eton Street, (10) Cambridge Street between Oxford Street and Eton Street and (11) Eton Street and Elliot Street between Blackness Road and Cambridge Street.
More than one section may be closed at any time.
Alternative routes will be available via (1) Glamis Drive, Invergowrie Drive, Perth Road, Glamis Road and Glamis Drive, (2) Hillside Drive and Hillside Road, (3) Hillside Terrace and Hillside Road, (4) Hillside Terrace, Hillside Drive and Hillside Road, (5) Dunmore Drive, Perth Road, Glamis Road, Glamis Terrace, Hazel Drive and Dunmore Gardens, (6) Glamis Terrace, Glamis Road, Glamis Drive and Hazel Drive, (7) Blackness Road, Harrow Street and Oxford St, (8) Harrow Street, Blackness Road and Oxford Street (9) Eton Street, Cambridge Street and Oxford St, (10) Oxford Street and Eton Street and (11) Blackness Road, Oxford Street and Cambridge Street
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.
Residents recently highlighted to me that at the tenants’ car park between Lower Pleasance and Polepark Road, a buddleia is starting to take over and will no doubt start to cause damage to the boundary wall if left to its own devices.
I raised this with the City Council and have been assured it will be passed to appropriate officers for attention.
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 Scottish Water mains repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Annfield Row (from its junction with Annfield Road for a distance of 35 metres), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 31 August 2021 for 5 working days.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Annfield Road / Annfield Street / Peddie Street.
Residents will be aware that, at the re-opening of the Riverside recycling centre last year, after the first lockdown, service provision was reduced and did not include paper/cardboard recycling. This was due to social distancing and queuing necessity at the time.
I have been pressing for full recycling services to recommence and have now had this helpful update from the City Council’s Waste Services Manager :
“Following the announcement last week we are reviewing the implications and what control measures are now required in line with industry and government guidance.
We are also speaking with colleagues in neighbouring authorities.
We are certainly hoping in the coming few weeks that we can re-instate all services to both recycling centres.”
I have asked to be kept updated and will advise residents when I hear further about this.
There are 29 000 young people living in Dundee and facing the many challenges of the pandemic and of ordinary life.
Dundee Youth Work Network members work citywide offering support around emotional and mental health, employability support, housing support, sexual health, LGBT+, support for ADHD, sports coaching, dancing, gaming and anything else young people need.
With help from friends around the city it is doing lots of different actions around the number 29 or 29 000 and asking people to support this excellent initiative!
Some time ago, the council’s administration group proposed changing the criteria for the adoption of unadopted pavements to widen it to include other unadopted assets that wouls allow some areas that had previously not met the criteria for adoption to be considered in the future, such as cul de sacs and some remote footpaths.
My colleague Councillor Duncan from Broughty Ferry and I had no issue with the change in principle but felt it should be altered only after the current unadopted list had been honoured – indicative dates had been given in relation to streets on the “old” list up to this financial year 2021-22 – and were in the public domain.
Changing the criteria would potentially mean that indicative dates would not be honoured, but the council administration was not for listening and the change went ahead before the old unadopted footways list had been completed.
There were six outstanding schemes in the West End on the “old” list and I recently asked the Senior Engineer in the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership what the position with them is :
“I have had a look at the list and interpolated the positions of the schemes you asked about.
At current budget levels we do roughly 15 schemes a year
I have put the place in the list beside the address :
1. Elliot Road At Tennis Courts, East Footway – Footpaths on Elliot Road all adopted
2. Rockfield Crescent – This financial year
3. Roxburgh Terrace South Footway – Place 235 in list – roughly 2036-37
4. Millhall Crescent remote path to No 3,5,7,9 &11 – Place 279 in list roughly 2039-40
5. Dunmore Gardens – This financial year
6. Norwood Terrace – This financial year”
On the “old” criteria, Roxburgh Terrace south footway would have been upgraded and adopted last year so will now be done 16 years late. Millhall Crescent’s path covering numbers 3 to 11 would have been improved this financial year and is now scheduled to be done 18 years late.
In the West End, this affects only two pavements but the issue will exist in other wards and could have been avoided by changing the criteria for adoption from 2022-23.
Residents will recall that I recently highlighted that the foliage on the roundabout at Riverside Avenue/Drive near the Riverside Inn was so overgrown, a pedestrian trying to cross could not see on-coming traffic.
I asked the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership to attend to this. This has now been carried out – and it looks a lot better.
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 crane lifting works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Perth Road (between Roseangle and McVicars Lane), Dundee.
This notice comes into effect on Sunday 22 August between the hours of 00:15 and 05:30.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Roseangle / Magdalen Yard Road / Windsor Street / Perth Road.