Wednesday meetings …

A very busy day yesterday with numerous meetings, including :
* Attending two tenants’ meetings organised by Home Scotland at Blackness Court and Sinderins Court for the residents there and at Pennycook Court,   The meetings were to review the revised warden/support arrangements that were introduced last year and get tenants’ feedback.    The meetings were a good opportunity for all the tenants who attended to raise any issues or concerns, not just about support issues but also on other matters, such as repairs.
* A meeting with two senior Police Scotland officers to discuss the proposed loss of the 999 and 101 calls Dundee response centre, with the resultant loss of local knowledge in call handling, which I view as a detrimental step.    We had a useful exchange of views and information on the matter and I will be raising the issue at the council’s Policy & Resources Committee next Monday.
* A meeting of the Harris Academy Parent Council, which took place at Menzieshill High School.   This was followed by a joint meeting with the Menzieshill High School Parent Council – an excellent initiative, given that that the two school communities come together later this year.     It was a very positive meeting and planning for the future is well in hand and very reassuring.
* The formal opening of the High Mill at Verdant Works took place.  It was a very well-attended event and the restoration of the High Mill is simply superb – I would thoroughly recommend a visit.    Sir Neil Cossons, the eminent historian and leading authority on the industrial heritage, performed the official opening.    I had the opportunity to speak with Sir Neil, who is very pleasant and interesting.     A few photos from the opening of the High Mill :
Large turnout for the High Mill formal opening
Part of the High Mill restoration
Sir Neil Cossons performs the official opening
The beautifully restored Boulton and Watt steam engine

Thursday West End meetings

Yesterday, I took part in tenant consultation meetings at Blackness Court and at Sinderins/Pennycook Courts with Home Scotland representatives, about future scheme manager/support staff posts.   

This was the latest in a series of meetings with tenants I have attended with the tenants since last November and it was agreed yesterday that there will be further consultation meetings towards the end of the year to ensure that the changes to support arrangements are working fine and resolve any issues.
After my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School last night, I attended the West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting at Blackness Library.
The LCPP meeting is a good opportunity for representatives from different council departments, councillors and representatives from other organisations like police, fire and rescue and the NHS to discuss local issues and matters of concern and also let local residents raise issues, ask questions and have their say.
There was an interesting and informative update from the Partnership Manager at Tayside Contracts/Dundee City Council Roads Maintenance Partnership on the work undertaken to improve and maintain Dundee’s roads and pavements.
I also took the opportunity to highlight an enterprise initiative by the P6 pupils at Blackness Primary School, who are selling West End “Bag Buddy” shopping bags.   Costing only £5 each, they have various West End designs (see below) and can be purchased from the school office, the Rosebud, Nisa, Spar, Fraser’s Fruit & Veg, Indigo House, West End Gallery, Urban Print and Roseangle Arts Cafe. 

Blackness Court meeting

This morning, I had a very useful and productive meeting with the tenants of Blackness Court at which we discussed a number of local issues including the following :

Need to have overgrown foliage near Blackness Court trimmed as it is obstructing the handrail.   I have taken this up with Home Scotland.
Dumped items and litter round the communal bins in Rosefield Place.   I have reported this to the City Council’s Environment Department.

Road safety – Blackness Road

I mentioned at the end May that I had held a very well-attended meeting with the residents of Blackness Court.   Issues discussed included pedestrian safety and traffic speed on Blackness Road and I have now received this feedback from the City Council’s Head of Transportation:
“Thank you for email about Blackness Court and elderly pedestrians having difficulty crossing Blackness Road at the Bus stop.  I do have sympathy for elderly people crossing the road, however I think it would be highly unlikely that a new pedestrian crossing could be installed at this location as I do not believe that there is a significant pedestrian demand to justify one. In addition there is already a pedestrian refuge island just down the road to the east of the bus stop and this is within a short distance and I would recommend that this should be used to assist them across the road.
I would also resist the introduction of a 20 mph speed limit on this section of road as this road is a C Class road that carries significant amount of through traffic including buses, I know that there are ‘part time 20s further up Blackness Road however this is directly related to the new school that has been built.
Finally I have asked that the location be looked at in signage terms however there are limits to the type of signage that is allowable.  We have had difficulties around the city with signage clutter which can be aesthetically unattractive and reduces the effectiveness of the signage.”
I have updated the Blackness Court Scheme Manager about this feedback and the matter will be discussed further at the next tenants’ meeting there too.   The agreement to review signage is welcome although I do think the City Council should embrace more 20’s Plenty zones particularly where there are elderly residents crossing and in highly residential areas.

Blackness Court Tenants’ Meeting

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking at a packed meeting of tenants at the Blackness Court Sheltered Housing Complex.
We had a good discussion about local issues such as parking, pavement condition, bin collections and other matters and also discussed forthcoming local events such as the Festival of Volunteering and WestFest.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours and I am grateful to all who attended and participated.