|Bellefield Avenue – SSE work postponed to avoid parking loss|
Over the past few months, I have had a number of concerns expressed to me by constituents about situations where the communal lights on the stairwells of tenements fail. This plunges the stairwell into darkness with obvious health and safety implications.
Just before Christmas, most of the lights on one side of Bellefield Avenue failed together as the wiring is communal and it was very concerning that a number of blocks of flats had no stair lights until that particular fault was detected and sorted.
There have been other examples of the stair lights failing in blocks in the West End and its bound to happen from time to time in tenement blocks where the wiring is old. Given that owners are communally responsible for repairs, getting repairs done can be complicated where a number of flat owners are involved, particularly where there are non-resident landlords.
I have sought advice from the Private Sector Services Unit at the City Council about grant aid for owners faced with a share of a bill for getting communal lighting systems upgraded. They advise :
“Grant assistance is available towards common repairs where the cost per flat exceeds £500. In calculating any approved cost of works we will also take into account savings above £6000.
The owners may wish to engage an electrician to test and report on the installations and obtain estimates. The overall cost to each owner will, as indicated above determine whether individually they will be eligible for grant.
Once they have the report and estimate, if they are needing help to coordinate the work and get everyone to buy-in, the Unit’s Advice & Liaison Team can offer assistance in contacting owners and arranging meetings if required.”
The team can be contacted on Dundee 435400.
This is a problem that first emerged 5-6 years ago when all the communal lights went out in the 8 of the 9 tenements on the west side, plus 47 Magdalen Yard Road. With the help of the council’s Environmental Health team and Scottish & Southern Energy, the problem was sorted on that occasion.
This time, the same tenement stair lights went off, but also some on the east side.
On Friday, at my request, an officer from Environmental Health and Trading Standards at Dundee City Council visited the street but there was some difficulty in locating the source of the problem.
However, as of tonight (and earlier in the case of part of the east side) many of the lights are back on, but I am hoping to progress a proper long-term solution by getting owners together to agree a full survey of the stair lighting system here.
“Officers visited Bellefield Avenue this afternoon and found that a fuse had blown. They were able to repair this and the stairlighting is working again.”
The timeframe set by the consultants for the return of the many questionnaires issued was tight, but I have been concerned to learn from residents in a number of West End streets – Bellefield Avenue and Thomson Street in particular – that delivery of some of the questionnaires had been delayed making the timeframe for return extremely tight.
I would stress that it is not too late to send back your questionnaire and also there will be consultation meetings across the areas before any recommendations are made by the consultants.However, as Planning & Transport Convener, I want to ensure that we get as large a response to questionnaires as possible because all residents and businesses are rightly entitled to their views on parking problems and how these could be tackled. I am looking for reassurance from the consultants that the questionnaire exercise has been meaningful and looking for them to take any additional steps to improve the process.