Very early start this morning (4.30am!) to go up to Pitlochry to help with early morning polling day leaflet deliveries in the Highland Ward by-election for Perth & Kinross Council. Lightly drizzling rain but otherwise a pleasant start to the day.

Back to Dundee in time for a site visit to Barnhill to see the new “rapid rhino” road pothole repairs system in action and very impressed with the finished result, creating a permanent repair rather than the traditional pothole repair which often fails, resulting in repeated patching over a period of time.

The other positive outcome is the financial savings that accrue from their being fewer overall repairs necessary over time. The City Council will spend some £1.7m revenue on cyclical road repairs in 2008/9, with a further £1.4m capital on road reconstruction (the latter a welcome improvement and one of the positive outcomes from the recent budget process). Although these are not inconsiderable sums, they should be seen in the context of several hundred miles of local roads within the City, and, through good initiatives like “rapid rhino” and the recent Roads Partnering agreement with Tayside Contracts, we can ensure funding is used to its best effect delivering the maximum improvements possible within budgets.

Held my usual three surgeries today – The Base at Mitchell Street Centre (5pm); Room 407 at Harris Academy (5.30pm) and the staffroom at Blackness Primary School (6.15pm). I hold these every Thursday, except during school holidays.

I’m a Board Member of Dundee Contemporary Arts – and as many residents are aware, DCA does a very useful weekly e-mail update of cinema e-listings. It has recently set up a facebook site where you can read all about their events, receive invitations to them and post comments, events and images of your own. You can join up at

Lastly, every credit goes to Mr Arshad of the newsagents on the corner of Abbotsford Place and Peddie Street who tackled thieves in the shop earlier today, foiling the robbery, despite being cut during the attempted robbery. You can read more (from tonight’s Evening Telegraph) by clicking on the headline above.