Busy Friday … and High Mill Update

A busy day yesterday, including :


* Attending the 2008 Poppy Appeal launch at the City Chambers.


* A meeting with the City Council Leader – the Council autumn recess has just finished and its back to council committee meetings on Monday.


* A meeting with two representatives of the City Centre and Harbour Community Council (DCCHCC) – the West End Christmas Week team and DCCHCC are working together on one joint activity around Christmas Week – with the West End joining in the “Best Christmas-dressed local shop window display” competition DCCHCC runs. There will be a separate category for West End shops and its great to see two different community groups working together on a joint activity.


* A meeting with our very helpful pyrotechnician, to plan this year’s fireworks display as part of the West End Christmas Week.


* A meeting to plan the agenda for the next Planning & Transport Committee.


And … a quick update on the overgrown and untidy ground north of High Mill at Steven’s Yard. Along with a local resident, I have been pressing the City Council to take direct action given the owner not acting on requests to tidy the site. We have had the following update from the City Council :


“I would advise a draft Wasteland Notice has been issued to the Council’s Legal Department for checking and then subsequent serving. The Notice will allow 28 days for the works to be completed. I would further advise the owner has 28 days before the Notice comes into effect to appeal said Notice.”

City Centre & Harbour Community Council public meeting

The City Centre & Harbour Community Council is holding a public meeting on Thursday 15th March at 7pm in the Conference Suite, Central Library.
The subject is Wireless Access in the City Centre.
The City Centre & Harbour Community Council is hosting this public meeting on Thursday night to discuss the possibility of installing a community wireless network that would enable city centre residents, businesses and visitors to access the internet for free. A similar scheme has been operating in Norfolk since July 2006 and is currently the largest free community wireless broadband network in the UK. It is two-year pilot project, run by Norfolk County Council, from August 2006 to April 2008, to evaluate the impact of mobile technology.
The team behind the Norfolk Open Link project hosted an interactive forum in Norwich to outline details of the project, including presentations on how the project evolved, was implemented and delivered. A representative of the City Centre & Harbour Community Council attended the forum and will report their findings at the public meeting.
All local residents of the city centre and harbour area are invited to attend the meeting, to be held at 7pm in the Wellgate Central Library Conference Suite.

Public meeting – City Centre & Harbour Community Council – Thursday 15th February

Dundee City Centre & Harbour Community Council’s meeting on Thursday 15th February will give local residents a chance to raise waste management and environmental issues with Council officers.

Jim Nicholson from Waste Management and Alex Henderson from Environmental Health will talk about their work and there will be a question and answer session.

A Community Council spokesperson said “Excessive noise, seagull nuisance, uncollected waste, graffiti and litter affect the quality of life for all City Centre residents. The officers are coming to tell us how they tackle these and other problems but are also looking for input from residents with particular concerns.”

The meeting starts at 7pm in the Boardroom, Reference Library Floor, Central Library and all local residents are welcome. Tea & coffee will be served.

You can read the Community Council website by following the link above.

Have a Happy Christmas!

Since the last blog postings on Wednesday, have been busy delivering the last of my newsletters and Christmas Cards to constituents. Had a useful meeting on Wednesday with a member of Leisure & Communities staff about progressing the administrative aspects of the Friends of Magdalen Green project, together with meetings with the Council Leader and with Finance staff.

On Thursday, the City Centre and Harbour Community Council meeting was rudely interrupted by an emergency evacuation of the Central Library! We continued the discussion over a nice Christmas meal at Braes in the Perth Road. I am genuinely very sad that the new council boundaries will mean that this Community Council area falls outwith my ward area from the 2007 elections.

Yesterday saw us present young Mitchell (aged 7) with his prize for winning the West End Christmas Week Snowflake spotting competition – he won a £30 voucher for CDs or DVDs, a large soft toy and a visit to the Wave 102 studios after Christmas. (See photo at http://www.wecc.org.uk/west_end_week.htm). The runners-up soft toys are now all delivered too and my dining room no longer looks like the Disney Store!

Over the festive period, my colleague Cllr Helen Dick and I don’t hold our regular weekly surgeries as the schools are obviously shut but if you follow the link below, you can get our home contact details:

If you click on the headline above, you can see the Dundee City Council festive information and emergency numbers.

No blog entries now for a few days! Apart from Christmas, its our wedding anniversary tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and followed by Janet’s birthday a few days after Christmas. Can we wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and prosperous 2007!

And then Saturday to Tuesday!

So, Leona won! But who on earth decided to use that dreadful “Sandals advert” song for the debut single?
Sunday was spent starting delivery of my Christmas edition of FOCUS to my own constituents together with my traditional Christmas Card. You can see the Christmas Card by clicking on the headline above and the story about the FOCUS newsletter (together with download links) is available at : http://www.dundee.prai.co.uk/news/000393.html
Yesterday, apart from Council meetings, we had the West End Christmas Week debrief meeting which was very positive and productive – good ideas flowing for Christmas Week 2007 already! The shoppers’ prize draw winners’ list is now on the Community Council website (see http://www.wecc.org.uk/west_end_week.htm). The Christmas Week website (see http://www.westendpyro.com/) has now had over 21 000 hits! Some of the 2006 photos are now on it too.
I also launched my December 2006 update to the City Centre & Harbour Community Council yesterday – see http://www.dundee.prai.co.uk/news/000394.html.
Today, attended the Christmas Lunch for retired employees of Dovetail Enterprises (I’m on the Board by virtue of being the City Council’s Finance Convener) – a most enjoyable afternoon was had by all. Attended a Neighbourhood Partnership Network meeting for the West End area in the morning where many local issues were discussed including refuse collections, recycling, housing, parking and pavements, amongst others. Also had a useful meeting about Magdalen Green (mainly the parking aspects) with Leisure & Communities and Planning & Transportation staff, in advance of the next residents’ meeting about Magdalen Green in the early New Year.
Lastly, had complaints about the lack of gritting on Taylor’s Lane today – have taken up with the Planning & Transportation Department.

City Centre & Harbour Community Council Presentation and Christmas Week again …

On Monday, apart from a useful City Centre meeting and one at the Corso Street sheltered lounge about planned activities for 2007, it was good to attend the presentation by the Lord Provost to Sheena Wellington of the City Centre & Harbour Community Council regarding their £5000 lottery funding success for Hogmanay activities (see below!)

Was on Wave 102 news today about tonight’s West End Christmas lights switch on, concert and fireworks. We seem very organised – let’s hope the weather holds!

Planning inquiry, Scottish Parliament, Car Parking

Spent Thursday morning at the Invercase Hotel as the Council’s witness in relation to a planning inquiry (about a West End planning application) and thereafter to Edinburgh for a reception at the Scottish Parliament – day job – European valuers visiting Edinburgh. A few photos below!

Spoke with the City Engineers today about their proposed closure of the car park at the bottom of Commercial Street (at Tay Road Bridge) from 27th November, following one of the local businesses contacting me late yesterday. The closure is as a result of the rail tunnel strengthening works, which will take a year to complete. Unfortunately because of the Scottish Parliament event, I couldn’t attend Thursday’s City Centre & Harbour Community Council meeting, but I’ve updated the committee by e-mail about the car park issue.
Below : Andrew Arbuckle MSP welcomes the visitors –

Below : Welcome to the Scottish Parliament!

Below : Fraser, MSP for 60 seconds! NB : Absolutely never going to happen for real!

Parking and City Centre success!

A very productive meeting of the Central Dundee parking strategy “focus group” this afternoon, looking at improving parking for residents in both the City Centre and also the areas immediately adjacent including the West End.
The Director of Planning & Transportation is now considering some draft proposals for consideration by the group in the weeks ahead. I have emphasised the need for consultation with residents on any proposals.
Whilst at the meeting, delighted to hear that the City Centre & Harbour Community Council has successfully obtained £5000 of lottery funding to help its Hogmanay celebrations activities. With Blackness Area Residents’ Association’s success reported yesterday, what a great week for our local community organisations!