Please support Bonnie Dundee!

As many of you will know, ‘Bonnie Dundee’ is a group of volunteers that has been running for over 10 years and the clue is in the name – to keep Dundee bonnie!
 
The team plant and maintain 68 planters, two garden areas and one large wildflower meadow in and around Dundee City Centre and the West End. 
 
Please support the great team of volunteers at Bonnie Dundee in their bid to the Aviva Community Fund.       Full details of the funding bid and how to vote for the team can be accessed here.    
 
You only have until 20th November, so please vote for Bonnie Dundee today!

Tuesday meetings

In addition to a number of meetings with constituents yesterday, I also attended :
 
+ A meeting at the Wasps Studios at Meadow Mill for local businesses in the Blackness industrial area hosted by the council’s consultants who are looking at ways of improving the area in a collaborative way, as part of the council’s review of the local development plan.  
 
Ideas include bringing forward a masterplan for the area, including improved car parking, ‘greening’ the landscape, better walking links and compatible new planning uses such as creative industries, workshops, some small scale retail and residential development.    
 
At this stage, these are only ideas and the input of local people and businesses is vital in progressing any proposals.
 
+ A meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group at the City Chambers.  Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.   
 
We discussed the various areas of Bonnie Dundee’s work including the planters at Dundee Science Centre and West Port, a possible summer West End litter pick and Bonnie Dundee’s input into the garden areas at the new Slessor Gardens in the Waterfront.
 
+ A meeting of the Ancrum Parent Partnership at Ancrum Road Primary School.   The Ancrum Parent Partnership is the group of parents who have been selected in accordance with the Parent Council constitution to represent all the parents of children at our school. 
  
There was a very positive discussion about school activities and we also discussed School Crossing Patrollers and road safety near to the school.

Bonnie Dundee meeting

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 
 
This really positive group encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.
 
In addition to the work maintaining colourful planters over the summer at several locations such as the West Port, Union Street and outside Dundee Science Centre, the group is taking responsibility for one of the Waterfront’s Show Gardens in the new Slessor Gardens, which is great news.
 
You can find out more about the work of Bonnie Dundee here.

Tuesday meetings

Yesterday, I had a number of meetings including :
 
* A site visit with council officers at Blackness Library to look at the best way of improving safety at the entrance steps when it is dark.   Officers are considering the options and I will be discussing them with West End Community Council and residents to get views on the best way of achieving the best outcome.
 
* The AGM of of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers.   Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.   In addition to discussing the city’s involvement in the Beautiful Scotland Awards and the It’s Your Neighbourhood Campaign for 2016, there was also an excellent presentation on community garden initiatives across Dundee.
 
* A meeting of the Balgay Stakeholders’ Group, which brings together local councillors, council parks/environment department staff and community representatives – in particular Friends of Balgay – to look at issues related to Balgay Park and its surrounds.   We had a good discussion on a number of initiatives including planned roads resurfacing in the cemetery, improved drainage in Lochee Park and tackling speeding issues and better signage across Greater Balgay.

Bonnie Dundee and Harris Academy Parent Council meetings

It was a busy evening yesterday with my attending both the Bonnie Dundee group meeting at the City Chambers, followed by the Harris Academy Parent Council meeting at the school’s current Lawton Road campus.
 
Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape, and it was a really positive meeting last night with lots of good initiatives taking place, including work on the planters at West Port, Union Street and Dundee Science Centre taking place during February and March and a litter pick at the University of Dundee on 19th February.
 
The Harris Academy Parent Council meeting was equally positive – you can’t help but be impressed by the way the new Head Teacher Barry Millar has hit the ground running since taking up post earlier this month and there were excellent discussions about parent engagement, timetabling, progress with the new school building at Perth Road and other matters.
 
Future parent council meetings will include joint sessions with Menzieshill High School Parent Council, an excellent initiative on the part of both parent councils given that the two school communities come together in August as the new Perth Road campus opens.

Bonnie Dundee group

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 
 
Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.
 
The recent Dundee success in the Britain in Bloom Awards was tremendous and owes much to the volunteers from Bonnie Dundee and other community groups across the city.
 
I was pleased to learn that, in addition to the Sensation Science Centre planters and the Union Street planters, the maintenance of which the group already undertakes, Bonnie Dundee has now also taken on the planters in the West Port, and I have no doubt that the fruits of their labours will become apparent next spring.

Litter pick at Lochee Park and Greater Balgay @DunFestVol2015

This morning, a great number of volunteers turned out to help rid Lochee Park and the Greater Balgay area of litter.
 
The event was organised as part of the Dundee Festival of Volunteering and folk from Community Spirit Action Group, Bonnie Dundee, Tesco and local residents all helped.   Many thanks also go to Community Payback.
 
Here’s a few photos from this morning’s successful litter pick :
Some of today’s volunteers
At the side of Balgay Hill
With some of the rubbish collected this morning

Dundee Garden and Allotment Competition 2015

Your chance to participate in the Annual Competition run by Dundee City Council!
 
Why Get Involved?
 
– To encourage the community, including schools, citizens and businesses to take pride and interest in the city. 
 
– To promote the involvement of allotment gardening and the benefits of growing vegetables, fruit and flowering plants. 
 
– To make attractive use of floral displays and creative imaginative landscapes. 
 
– To sustain the diversity of plants and wildlife. 
 
Who Can Enter?
 
– Open to all within the Dundee City boundary. 
 
How to Enter? 
 
You can download the full details and application form here.

Today’s meetings …

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of attending the AGM of the Sinderins and Pennycook Courts Residents’ Association, covering both sheltered housing complexes.
 
It was a well attended and productive meeting.   I updated residents on a number of matters including the new bin/recycling arrangements for much of the West End, changes to the Friendly Bus sheltered shopping service from July and liaison with Home Scotland who own the housing.
 
Tonight, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 
 
This really positive group encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape, and it was a really positive meeting with lots of good initiatives taking place.

Bonnie Dundee group – AGM

Last night, I attended the annual general meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee.
 
There was an excellent presentation by Dr Chris Connolly on ‘Pollinators on Blooms’ – the detrimental effects of pesticides on the insect population.   There was also a useful update on Dundee’s forthcoming entry into the Britain in Bloom finals city category. 
 
Bonnie Dundee encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.   
 
The Bonnie Dundee group meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 14 City Square – all interested are very welcome to attend.

Bonnie Dundee 2015 AGM

The Bonnie Dundee Annual General Meeting will take place at the Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, on Tuesday 24th February 2015, starting at 6pm.
There will be a talk on “Pollinators on Blooms” by Dr Christopher Connolly and the AGM will also include an update on Dundee’s entry into Britain In Bloom, as a UK Finalist in the City Category.
 
All welcome.

Litter pick on Magdalen Green

The Bonnie Dundee Group and Dundee City Council are working in partnership to promote Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Clean Up Scotland Campaign and the city’s Have a Pride In Your Park initiative. 
 
To promote this work the group and the city council are organising a litter pick on Magdalen Green and the surrounding area (mainly along the railway areas) next Wednesday 9th April at 2pm meeting at the bandstand.
 
Would you like to be involved?    Litter picks, gloves and bags will be provided.    The event will last no longer than 2 hours and you are not required to stay that length of time, whatever time suits the individual.
 
If you are interested in attending please let the Environment Department know (direct phone number 436882) for organising litter picking equipment.   Many thanks!

Bonnie Dundee meeting

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 
 
The group encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.
 
It was great to learn that the group won a silver award in this year’s Beautiful Scotland Awards, with significantly improved scoring compared to 2012 – well-deserved recognition.

Seabraes site visit

Yesterday afternoon, along with two representatives of the Bonnie Dundee group and a representative from the City Council’s Environment Department, I took part in a site visit to the stepped area at Seabraes to discuss improving the area.
 
The “top” part of Seabraes is beautifully maintained by the Environment Department.   However, the stepped area below is very overgrown and unsightly, despite the steps themselves being well-designed.    
 
Scottish Enterprise (who own the stepped area and the digital media park to the south) has reached agreement with the City Council to transfer ownership of the stepped area to the Environment Department.   At the site visit, we agreed the way forward to have the weeds removed and the area improved in the coming weeks.
 
A couple of photographs from the site:

Dundee’s Festival of Volunteering

As residents are aware, this has been Dundee’s Festival of Volunteering Week and, in addition to the activities earlier this week I have taken part in across the West End and elsewhere, this morning, along with residents, University of Dundee volunteers, Scottish and Southern Energy volunteers and my ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready, I took part in a litter pick organised by the Bonnie Dundee team.   See picture below:
We spent a couple of hours litter picking in the University of Dundee Campus, Perth Road, Seabraes and along to Greenmarket and Nethergate.
 
This afternoon, I popped by the Festival of Volunteering Review event that took place at Number Ten in Constitution Road.      It was great to see all the photos and press coverage of the almost thirty volunteering events that took place over the past week – and there was some rather nice cake too!   See below:

Dundee Festival of Volunteering Launch!

Today, I have had the pleasure in taking part in the first day of the Dundee Festival of Volunteering – and it has proved to be a hugely enjoyable day, helped, I suspect, by lovely weather!
 
Here’s a few photos from today:
This morning, a group of us helped the Bonnie Dundee Group with planting in Union Street
Planting at Union Street taking shape
The Festival of Volunteering Launch at Dundee High School this morning
Celebrating Dundee’s biggest asset – its people
A group of the folk who attended the Riverside Nature Park events this afternoon – I took part in the litter pick and although I finally collected a bag full of rubbish, I was pleasantly surprised at relatively how little litter is in the park

 

Making a bird box – the children really enjoyed this!

Busy Tuesday

During a busy Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a launch meeting of ‘DUSTIE’ – an initiative by the Enterprise Gym at the University of Dundee.
 
This is an excellent initiative that is aimed at providing university students with paid, supervised work experience that will benefit both the student and the local community.    The first two projects – a Green Advice Centre and a Green Bike Travel project – have much merit and it will be good to see the projects develop in the months ahead.
 
Also yesterday, I visited the new police office at Dundee Airport where two of our local community police officers are now based.   It is good to see community bases like this for our community police officers.    During the visit I was also able to speak with the Airport Manager about airport issues.
Last night, I attended the latest meeting of “Bonnie Dundee”, the group that encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.    There was a good discussion about local improvements, including in the area around the Seabraes steps.

Bonnie Dundee group

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group, at the City Chambers. 
 
This really positive group encourages improvements to the Dundee  environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.
 
I took the opportunity to highlight the new traders’ association about to be launched in Perth Road and its interest in environmental improvements.    Bonnie Dundee has already assisted with  improvements at the Roseangle/Perth Road corner owned by Dundee West Church, at the back of DCA and at Sensation.
 
On the group’s behalf, I have asked Scottish Enterprise for its permission for Bonnie Dundee to undertake planting of lavender at the steps down to Seabraes that would enhance the area.

Busy Thursday …

Also yesterday, I chaired the latest meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight Committee – this is taking really good shape.   There’s a growing programme of events in place covering the fortnight – 17th November to 1st December!
 
Later yesterday, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Bonnie Dundee group at the City Chambers. The group encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and local groups who help to keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.   We discussed judges comments about the recent Silver Award to the city by Beautiful Scotland.   
 
In terms of Bonnie Dundee’s current and proposed 2013 projects, the West End features well – from Sensation to Sinderins – and this is to be greatly welcomed.