Road/pavement works – Benvie Road – suspended #dundeewestend

 
I have had enquiries from residents about signage that appeared on Benvie Road last week – near the junction with Benvie Gardens – that indicated forthcoming road/pavement works.
 
I have spoken with council roads engineers and this work was to have been undertaken by SSE contractors to instal a new electricity supply.
 
However, non-essential/non-urgent work of this kind is now suspended during the COVID-19 health emergency, so the work is not now going ahead and will be undertaken at a later date.
 
The signage has now been removed.

Getting things done – Benvie Road #dundeewestend

Following concerns from residents about graffiti at the top of Benvie Road, I am very grateful to the City Council’s Rapid Response Team for its prompt response to my request to remove it – as you can see the fencing in question is now in a far more acceptable state :
 
I have also raised with a landowner the need to tidy up the very overgrown ground opposite this fencing :

Temporary Traffic Order – Benvie Road

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 BT pole removal works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Benvie Road (between numbers 27a and 29a), Dundee
 
This notice comes into effect on Thursday 20 September 2018 for 1 day.
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
No alternative routes are available
 
For further information contact 433082.
 
Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Temporary Traffic Order – Benvie Road #dundeewestend

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 demolition works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Benvie Road (at its junction with Mitchell Street), Dundee.
 
This notice comes into effect on Saturday 17th March 2018 for five working days.
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
Mitchell Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for part of the works.
 
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Cleghorn Street/City Road/Milnbank Road/Polepark Road/Fyffe Street and reverse
 
For further information contact 433168.
 
Executive Director of City Development  
Dundee City Council

Getting things done – graffiti removal – Rosebery Street, Pitfour Street and Benvie Road

Following residents’ complaints about graffiti requiring removal in Rosebery Street, Pitfour Street and Benvie Road (see below), I raised this with the City Council’s Rapid Response Team :

 

I have now been advised that disclaimers have been given to the property owners concerned to get their authority to allow the council to remove the graffiti (permission required as on privately-owned walls).

Site concerns in Benvie Road

Over a considerable period in the past, I raised residents’ concerns about the condition of the former garage at the top end of Benvie Road that had been the subject of fire raising.
 
A building warrant to demolish the structure was granted in 2010 and the derelict garage was thankfully demolished.
 
However, as you can see below, the site is still very much an eyesore :
I have been in touch with the City Council’s Head of Planning to see what can be done to encourage a future productive use of the site.

Benvie Road – an update

Earlier this month, I pointed out residents’ complaints that, in Benvie Road (opposite the Pitfour Street junction), the two street signs indicating flat numbers have totally worn away – see right.
 
The council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership has now responded to me as follows :
 
“New street name plates will be ordered within the next few days and erected as resources allow thereafter.”

Busy Tuesday …

A busy day today on local issues, including :
 
* A morning site visit to speak with residents in Mitchell Street/Polepark Road/Benvie Road about the recent external cyclical works to their properties.   Council officers from housing and architects also attended.
 
* A meeting with the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts’ Residents Association, at which we discussed a number of local issues.
 
* A meeting of the Jericho House Support Group.  The support group is a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   We had a good discussion about funding initiatives to support the House, participation in Doors Open Day 2014 and the new production of a play that the House service users and staff will be participating in.
 
* Tonight at the West End Community Council, there was a lengthy presentation on bin collection and recycling proposed changes and we also discussed the roads proposals relative to Riverside Drive.

Benvie Road : fire concern

In the past, I have highlighted residents’ concerns about the former garage site in Benvie Road, where, a couple of years ago, the owner finally demolished most of the derelict building that had been a target for vandalism and fires.

Some of the structure, however, remained, and, after a further fire earlier this week, I wrote to the City Council’s Director of City Development asking that the owner is contacted urging him to take immediate steps to clear the site and secure its boundary and if he fails to do so, that enforcement action be taken.    I took the photo (above right) here last night and it was easily possible to gain access to the site as the boundary fencing is not secure.

The Director has sent me a prompt response saying :

“My Building Standards Team are contacting the owner again urging him to take immediate steps to clear the site and secure its boundary.  The owner will be advised that failure to carry-out the above may result in the Council instructing the necessary safety measures.”

Getting things done … Benvie Steps

Residents have contacted me regarding the damaged fencing art the Benvie Steps that lead from Lochee Road to Benvie Road – see right.    Residents are concerned about the access to the former garage site and also to an adjacent tenement’s back garden

I contacted the City Council about this and the City Engineer has advised :

“An order has been raised for the repair of two linear metres of fence on the east side at the top of the Benvie Road steps. 

The work has yet to be programmed but the Road Maintenance Partnership will update you once this information becomes available.”

Getting things done … Benvie Road steps

I recently received a concern from a West End resident about the state of the Benvie Road steps down to Lochee Road.

I raised his concern with the City Engineer, who has responded as follows :

“Benvie Road steps are part of the Council’s adopted road network and as such are inspected regularly.   Following your enquiry, the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector for the area inspected the steps and has raised an order to re-set two slabs on the top step. No other actionable defects were identified during his inspection.”

Benvie Road former garage – latest

Back in June, I reported on progress regarding the removal by the owner of the fire damaged and dangerous former garage at the top end of Benvie Road.

I’m pleased to say that the fire damaged part of the building has now been largely removed but part of the structure remains as does a lot of rubbish – eg a pile of old tyres – see above – and I have contacted the City Development Department to ensure that the owner finishes the job and removes what may remain of any potential fire hazard.

Benvie Road derelict garage

I have raised my concerns and those of local residents on numerous occasions recently about the condition of the former garage at the top end of Benvie Road that has been the subject of fire raising in the past.
The building warrant to demolish the structure was granted back in October but there were delays in the owner/agent starting the demolition works.    I am now pleased to note some progress, with works to demolish starting, albeit that progress is quite slow.     See photograph above taken a couple of days ago – part of the building has been removed.
I am continuing to keep a close eye on the situation and liaise with planning officers about the matter.    The whole community in the Benvie Road area will be pleased to see the removal of this building.

Weekend West End Updates

A few Saturday West End updates :

* Seabraes : Following residents’ requests, I asked for litter bins both at the steps and along the path from Greenmarket to Roseangle. I am pleased to say that Scottish Enterprise Tayside has agreed to pay for bins around the steps area (in a style to fit in with the seating) and will attempt to secure necessary funds for further litter bins along the path.

There are dog bins at each end of the pathway, but none along it. Residents also requests some more along the pathway given its length, but the Animal Control team in the City Council advise that “the location requested isn’t going to be possible as the vans could not get close enough to the location to empty other bins.”

* Bankmill Road recycling : Yesterday, the Recycling Projects Officer in the Waste Management Department of the City Council advised councillors –

“I am writing to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments with the burnt out paper bin within the Neighbourhood Recycling Point on Bankmill Road.

As you may already be aware in such cases it is our standard policy to replace the burnt out unit for a second time, however, any further incidents would result in the removal of the paper bin from the NRP unit. The incident occurred on the 9/10/2009, and we thought it was wise to delay the installation of a replacement unit until some time after Guy Fawkes night.

We now have a replacement unit in stock and we will be looking to reinstate the paper bin over the course of next week. We will monitor the site closely in the forthcoming period and hopefully there will be no repeat of the previous vandalism.”

* Benvie Road : I have previously raised concerns about safety surrounding the derelict garage towards the top end of Benvie Road – see right. The City Council has made attempts to contact the owner and in September, he applied for a building warrant to demolish the remainder of the building. This was granted on 6th October and the Council was advised by the agent that demolition would start 7th December, but this has not happened yet. I am very concerned about the state of the site and the fact that the boundary is not secure. I have asked the Council’s Head of Planning to make urgent contact with the agent on this matter. It is very important that the demolition takes place as soon as possible.

* Safe parking near schools : I recently updated residents about the council committee report on improving arrangements for the drop-off of pupils and parking around schools (the report to the Education Committee can be read at http://tinyurl.com/schoolsparking).

I have now received the proposed “roll out” timetable across the city and am disappointed to be advised that it is not envisaged to undertake improvements at the Harris cluster until January to March 2011. Given the large number of concerns I get about the situation at Blackness Primary School, this timescale is disappointing.
I have written to the Head of Primary Education expressing my concern about timescales. It would have made more sense to prioritise the schools with most parking safety concerns raised by parents, carers and local residents.

Road works in the West End next week

The City Council has advised me of the following road closures next week, from Monday 29th June for a maximum of 5 working days:
  • Cleghorn Street (between Benvie Road and Lochee Road) – due to Scottish Water maintenance works
  • Seafield Road (from Number 54 to the Roseangle junction) – due to electricity cable laying works
I am advised that pedestrian access will be maintained throughout.
 
Further details can be provided by the City Council – phone 433168.

Update for the past week …

The past week has been extremely busy with West End issues. Here’s an update on some of the issues covered :

Thursday 21st : A useful meeting with the Director of Leisure and Communities over allotments issues.
I was concerned to receive concerns from residents about vandalism to the mini-recycling centre in Cleghorn Street – see right. It had been set alight and, in response to my e-mail raising the concern with the City Council’s Waste Strategy Officer responded,
“It is quite a cause for concern – the paper bin was only recently re-introduced at this site following it’s removal some time ago (after a similar act of vandalism).”
Steps were taken to have the unit removed to look at the viability of its refurbishment and I have been assured that I will be updated on developments.
A number of residents have said they wouldn’t like to lose the facility, so have made clear to the Waste Management Department that if it has concerns about putting the it back at the original location, I’d be grateful if an alternative local site could be found for the people in the area.
Friday 22nd : Near to the Cleghorn Street site, in the bushes area in Black Street, I had received complaints about the extent of rubbish lying about. I had a visit to see the extenmt of it (see left) and have brought this to the attention of the Economic Development Department of the City Council who own the area of and around the former play park in Black Street.
Wednesday 27th : A meeting with the new Police Inspector for the West End area. Following the police section boundary changes, the whole of the West End Ward is now part of the same police section, based at the Lochee Police Office, but with the sub-station at Ryehill. A good meeting and a useful chat about local issues.
Later that day, I attended a meeting of the Harris Academy Parent Council. The City Council’s recently appointed Head of Secondary Education was in attendance and answered questions on a variety of matters of concern to the Parent Council.
Thursday 28th : Along with Tayside Fire and Rescue and City Council staff and colleague, I attended a site visit to the burnt out derelict garage in Benvie Road. Go to http://www.dundeewestend.com/2009/04/fire-in-benvie-road.html to view my earlier article about concerns here, following last month’s fire.
Later that day, I also attended a meeting of the West End Local Community Planning Partnership and, amongst the matters discussed and agreed, was a plan of action to tackle the very real concerns about safety at the Benvie Road derelict garage. There was also a very useful update on West End youth issues.

Fire in Benvie Road

I was very concerned by the fire at a derelict garage in Benvie Road on Wednesday, particularly as it was so close to the Tullideph Care Home and other residential properties in Benvie Road.

I have been concerned about this site for some time and have had a number of residents’ concerns about its poor state and the graffiti that was on it.

 

I have had various discussions in the past with the police about the state of the former garage.

 

The fire incident, so close to the care home and other housing, is worrying and I therefore contacted council safety officers about the situation and condition of the site following the fire.    I have had the following feedback :

 

“The building has been inspected and the perimeter found to be secure. A chain has been left with the Police to secure the gate when their investigations are complete.”

Cleghorn Street

I am advised by the City Council that traffic will be prohibited on Cleghorn Street between Benvie Road and Lochee Road next week due to Scottish Water valve replacement works.
 
The road closure will start on Monday 1st December for a maximum of 5 working days and the alternative route is via Benvie Road, Fyffe Street and Polepark Road.
 
This won’t affect pedestrian access and further information can be obtained from the City Council on Dundee 433168.

Thursday Updates …


A very productive site visit at the Benvie Road steps this morning. It had been previously agreed to upgrade the steps and I met with the Waste Management and Planning & Transportation Departments to look at the issues and agree solutions.
Agreed :

  • Waste Management to remove paint on the steps and remove weeds, etc. As you can see below (photo I took just before my 5pm surgery at Mitchell Street) the work was started straight away.
  • Planning & Transportation to re-point the steps and remove any trip hazards (see above right)
  • I am writing to the adjacent owners about the fallen fencing to the west (see above left) – the City Council will remove the exisiting damaged fencing – but I have asked the owners to provide replacement fencing.
  • I have asked Waste Management to provide paint to remove the last of the graffiti to the east of the steps (most already removed by the department, following my request) – I have also asked the Rapid Response Team to remove the fallen fencing to the west of the steps.


Later this morning, I visited Barnetts Motors on Riverside Drive to see their recent improvements – very impressive – and pleased that Barnetts has kindly agreed to sponsor the team strips and track suits for the new West End Under 10s football team.

Lastly, the Dundee Forum (click on headline to view) asked if I’d like to participate and, having agreed, the West End Forum is now arranged. A number of my City Council colleagues are also participating – The Ferry Ward, Coldside Ward, East End Ward and Maryfield Ward thus far.

Benvie Road Steps

Last year, the Benvie Road steps (to Lochee Road) were cleaned up, following my raising residents’ concerns about their condition (and at that time, a load of paint that had been covering part of the steps area). You can read the original article by clicking the headline above.
I have recently received further residents’ complaints about the steps here and I raised the matter with the City Council. The City Engineer has now responded positively as follows:

The steps at Benvie Road were again checked by the area inspector who did not find them to be slippy at the time of his inspection. However an order will be raised for the power washing of the steps to address any build-up of moss.

Additionally, there will be mortar repairs applied to any cracks. This order will be prepared for forwarding to the contractor at the start of the new financial year.
I will ask the area inspector to monitor the situation.

Benvie Road and Fyffe Street

Good progress towards improvements in the road surface of Fyffe Street and Benvie Road (see photo of the current poor condition – right) – here’s a news release I issued earlier today :
West End Dundee City Councillor Fraser Macpherson has today welcomed feedback he has received from Dundee City Council regarding his request for improvements to the road surfaces in parts of Benvie Road and Fyffe Street.

“The road surfaces here were originally cobbled surfaces and some years ago a layer of tar was added. Although this initially provided a smoother road surface, over the past few years, the tarred surface has badly worn, resulting in a really poor and very unsightly road condition. I have had dozens of complaints about it from local residents,” commented Cllr Macpherson.

Cllr Macpherson approached the City Council during 2007 to see if improvements to the road could be undertaken.

“I was advised that, given the setted surface beneath, a technical solution had to be found that would provide for a quality result. The Council had therefore approached a company that carries out proprietary works to see if their system is suitable,” continued Cllr Macpherson.

“I have recently received further feedback from the Council advising that the technical solution here is indeed a viable and cost-effective way forward. Although the roads capital programme for 2008/9 has yet to be finalised, it is hoped that the improvement works will be carried out early in the new financial year.

“The extent of the work on Benvie Road will be between Cleghorn Street and Fyffe Street and in Fyffe Street it will be from Eassons Angle to Polepark Road. The works will involve the repair of the existing potholes and the laying of a proprietary overlay over the existing surfacing. I am very pleased that a solution to the poor road surfaces in Benvie Road and Fyffe Street are in sight,” concluded Cllr Macpherson.

Lochee … and Benvie Road

Had a thoroughly enjoyable day in Lochee Ward (despite a bit of rain!!) with our Lochee Ward by-election candidate Chris Hall, Alison McIness MSP, and a great campaign team. Chris, Alison & I are pictured (right) at Ninewells Hospital.
An update on my request for an improved road surface in Benvie Road – update from the City Council :
“We are still continuing to investigate this. A company that carries out proprietary works is coming to look at the area next week to see if their system is suitable.”

Community Organisation for Cleghorn/Pentland/Ancrum and other matters …

I have been speaking with a number of residents in the Cleghorn Street/Benvie Road (and surrounding streets), Pentland and Ancrum Drive areas about hopefully setting up a Community Council or community group for the area. The area is to the north of the West End Community Council area and seeing the good work that Community Council does, there’s no doubt that a community group for Cleghorn/Ancrum/Pentland would be good for the area.
We have now got enough interest for the Communities Officer to arrange an initial informal meeting to get the ball rolling. If you live in the area and are interested in attending, please contact me at community@frasermacpherson.org.uk or call me on 459378.
Yesterday, apart from attending a Board Meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts (of which I am now a member), I met residents in one street in the West End where a utilities company has left the roadway in a mess, following recent “repairs” – I am on the case! I have also spoken with a number of residents about the extension of the refuse wheelie bins being undertaken as a number of residents have genuine issues arising out of this.

Benvie Road, Mitchell Street, Fyffe Street

Spent the last few days campaigning right across the West End, with super feedback (and rather super weather too!)
Had the following feedback from the Acting Chief Engineer about my request to resurface Fyffe Street and Benvie Road (road surfaces really poor) :
“I have asked one of the officers to inpect Fyffe Street and Benvie Road. The 07/08 programme is just about completed.”
With regard to graffiti problems in the Fyffe Street and Benvie Road area, good feedback from Waste Management whose officers have spoken with local businesses. They have agreed to remove graffiti on their premises – the department will equally be removing graffiti from the Mitchell Street Centre area.