11/12 bus service petition – photocall

Last week, I highlighted the campaign by Community Spirit, local residents’ group for Ancrum, Pentland, Tullideph and the Cleghorn area, to seek improvements to the 11/12 bus service. I have since spoken with many local residents who rightly believe that a bus service that doesn’t run after 3pm on weekdays and has no service at all at the weekend is a really poor service and not fit for purpose.

At lunchtime today, at Ninewells Hospital, I joined with Community Spirit representatives and my ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready at a photocall to highlight the excellent response to the petition – already around 500 signatures (including nearly 50 on the on-line version available at http://tiny.cc/communityspirit). We chose Ninewells Hospital for a good reason – it is impossible for residents who rely on the 11/12 to get to the hospital to visit friends and relatives in hospital using this bus service – as visiting hours start at 3pm.   We are grateful to “The Courier” for covering the photocall – to appear in tomorrow’s edition.

Local councillors and Community Spirit wish to present the petition to National Express Dundee during August – and at the same time discuss the concerns with the bus company.
 

Thursday news …

* This afternoon, after a useful meeting about improving liaison between the numerous West End community groups, I attended the latest meeting of the Best Value Review group on Child Protection Services in Dundee.

* This evening, after a busy surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the March meeting of the Community Spirit group which does great work for the people in the Cleghorn, Ancrum, Pentland and surrounding areas. There was an interesting update from Liz and Kay from Dundee WestFest, as well as a good discussion on various local issues.

Changes to bin collection arrangements

Back in July, I updated www.dundeewestend.com (see http://tinyurl.com/cleghorn) – and the Community Spirit residents’ group – of changes to the bin collection arrangements in parts of the Cleghorn Street area. This initially consisted of a move away from traditional small bins in some parts of Pitfour Street, City Road, Rosebery Street and Benvie Road and their replacement by wheelie bins – and it was intended to introduce communal ‘eurobin’ style containers thereafter at other properties in the area, where a wheelie bin collection was not practical.
I am now advised that, with effect from a week on Monday (19th October), communal eurobins will be provided at the following locations :
Pitfour Street – 1 – 23 (odd), 22 – 60 (even)
Benvie Road – 26
Rosebery Street – 21 – 29 (odd)
Letters have recently been issued to residents affected advising them of the new arrangements. The transfer to the new communal bins, which are being introduced on a two month trial basis, should help tackle the long-standing problems of burst bags and strewn litter, and the City Council is helpfully undertaking removal of any rubbish lying in back areas of the properties affected at the time the new collection system comes into effect.

Busy Day …

Today’s activities included :

  • A meeting with National Express Dundee’s Managing Director (more about that tomorrow, as the hour is late)
  • Attended a briefing for councillors about looked after children in Dundee This was a very worthwhile event at which the film ‘Opal Fruits – A Year in Care’ was shown – go to http://tinyurl.com/opalfruit to read more about the film.
  • Attended the Community Spirit group’s monthly meeting this evening. Community Spirit is the very active community group serving the Pentland, Ancrum and Cleghorn/Benvie Road areas. A useful briefing was given on pest control problems (particularly about seagulls). I updated the group on a recent traffic speed survey on City Road and changes to the bin collections in part of the area. These are:

 

A number of properties in the Pitfour Street area are currently served by the small bin collection system. In the forthcoming weeks, the City Council intends introducing wheeled bins to undernoted properties (letters are going to residents about this next week):

Pitfour Street – 2 – 20 (even)
City Road – No 31
Rosebery Street – 14 – 32 (even)
Benvie Road – 28 – 36 (even)

Following this, the Council intends introducing communal Eurobins to service the undernoted properties:

Pitfour Street – 1 – 23 (odd), 22 – 60 (even)
Benvie Rd – No 26
Rosebery St – 21 – 31 (odd)
Cleghorn St – 25 – 29 (odd)

The Eurobins will be installed on a trial basis initially and will situated in the channel of the road.

Cleghorn Street recycling unit

Further to my item last Friday about vandalism to the above, I have received this update from the City Council this morning :
 
“We are installing a paper bin today at Cleghorn Street – any further acts of vandalism will undoubtedly affect the future of this site. We will monitor it closely at present, and if it were to be moved in future, we would certainly look at relocation within the general area it currently serves.”

Tonight … and parking again …

A very informative meeting of the “Community Spirit” group for the north of the ward (Ancrum, Pentland, Cleghorn, etc) tonight with an excellent presentation from a representative of the Waste Management Department and a good discussion thereafter on cleansing, graffiti and recycling issues – to name just three.

Am meeting the parking consultants tomorrow morning (see yesterday’s item below) to ensure progress on the residents’ parking consultation process.

Review of the last few days

Wednesday

* Met with the new acting Managing Director of Travel Dundee, and raised the concerns of residents about the re-routing of the 9X bus service – this no longer serves the Ninewells Avenue area. She promised to review this.

* Attended the Deaf Awareness Open Day at the Central Library, organised by the Sound Sense project. It was good to see a number of organisations promoting their services to deaf people locally and the event was extremely well-attended.
* Attended the “Community Spirit” group evening meeting at Mitchell Street Centre. “Community Spirit” is the new residents’ group for the “north” of the West End Ward – including the Pentland, Cleghorn and Ancrum areas. Another good attendance and an interesting discussion on local issues.


Thursday

* A site visit with Scotland Gas Networks, Turriff (their contractors) and City Council Planning & Transportation at Perth Road to review road management issues, signage and other issues arising out of the continuing gas main replacement works on Perth Road.
* Along with my LibDem council colleague, Cllr Helen Dick, I attended the Best Bar None accreditation scheme 2008 awards launch at the City Chambers. This is an excellent scheme – recognising customer safety and good practice in Dundee’s licensed premises. Click on headline to view the full story in the “Evening Telegraph.”
* After a busy three surgeries at Mitchell Street Centre, Harris Academy and Blackness Primary School, I attended the evening board meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts. A very positive review of the past year at DCA was presented, showing excellent visitor figures.

Friday

* A helpful site visit with Network Rail to Riverside Approach to allow me to point out graffiti and fly-tipping problems. Pleased at Network Rail’s willingness to tackle these issues, raised with me by West End residents.

* As one of the City Council representatives, I attended the opening of the Winston Churchill exhibition at the University of Dundee, making the 100th anniversary of Churchill’s election as Liberal MP for Dundee. An excellent and entertaining speech by Churchill’s daughter, Lady Mary Soames, who opened the exhibition and unveiled a plaque, commemorating Churchill’s connections to the City.

The event was extremely well-attended and it was good to see my former City Council colleague Neil Powrie (pictured at the event – right) and also my LibDem colleague Willie Wilson (Depute Provost of Perth and Kinross).
You can read the BBC news item on this at :

and the Churchill Centre web pages are very interesting :

http://www.winstonchurchill.org

And, lastly, here’s a photo from the event, during Lady Soames’ speech, showing that I have no photographic skills whatsoever.

"Community Spirit" launch

“Community Spirit” – a new community group for the “north” part of West End Ward, covering Ancrum, Pentland and the Cleghorn area launches tonight (Thursday 13th March) at the Mitchell Street Centre (6pm for 6.15pm). All local residents are invited.
A number of local residents in the area have been involved in developing a community group, assisted by Dundee City Council staff and local councillors. Following a successful initial public meeting at Balgay Church Hall last October, tonight’s meeting will see the group formally established.

I have produced an update newsletter for the meeting covering various local issues – you can download a copy of this by clicking on the headline above.

Thursday and Friday

Apart from very busy surgeries last night, I attended a meeting of the group that is planning to set up a community organisation for Pentland, Ancrum, Cleghorn and surrounding areas. A really enthusiastic group and I am really keen to see this group succeed as it would be great to have an active community organisation in the north part of West End Ward. I was pleased to advise of updates on a number of local issues – including controlled entry, road safety, road and pavement repairs. I also left the meeting with a number of local concerns to raise and address.
I was in Glasgow today (5.30am start!) running a conference with the “day job” at hotel attached to Central Station as the photo above right alludes to. Mightily impressed with the lovely “Christmassy” feel in George Square although my photo is a bit out of focus!

Last couple of days …

I attended the Blackness Area Residents’ Association meeting on Tuesday night, and amongst matters discussed was parking difficulties in Corso Street. I have raised this (and a number of other local issues) with the City Council.
Wednesday night saw the launch meeting of the community group for Ancrum/Cleghorn/Pentland and surrounding areas at Balgay Church. I am really pleased that the group is getting off the ground and will be planning a series of community meetings in the future. We had a good discussion about local issues including anti-social behaviour, road repairs, parking and a number of other matters.
A few more issues over past couple of days:
* Constituents have complained that the steel bollard at the east end of the South Tay Street car park on the Marketgait side is loose in the ground – clearly been hit by a vehicle. The City Council has promised me that it will be repaired.
* On the Hawkhill by-pass beside the PDSA, someone has bumped into the bollards. The Council has raised an Order to ensure repair, following my request.
* On the corner of Union Place/Perth Road, there’s a dug up an area of pavement and it requires repair. Following my request, Tayside Contracts has been instructed to upgrade the footpath.
* I have been promised that the channel grating on the footpath at Pinegrove on Perth Road will be replaced soon (part of it is currently missing).

20 mph zones and Germany …

Got back late yesterday from a couple of days running a Conference in Grangemouth (with “day job”) to the usual pile of phone messages, e-mails, etc… Thanks to Janet who stood in for me at my surgeries on Thursday (on basis that I can’t be in two places at once!) – photo of Conference (right).

Spent some time today delivering flyers for the folk who are trying to set up a community group for the Ancrum/Pentland/Cleghorn/Polepark area to advertise their public meeting next Wednesday to discuss local issues. Meeting is at Balgay Church on the 24th (6pm for 6.30pm) and all residents in the area very welcome.
Also attended the public consultation event for the West End Community Plan at Dundee West Church Hall this morning – a good turnout of residents and community representatives and good to speak with many local people.

Lastly, you will recall my article on 11th October about 20mph zones around schools in the City (see http://frasermacpherson.blogspot.com/2007/10/20-mph-zones-around-schools.html) – well, Marlyn Glen MSP has advised me that (apart from the article about this matter in the Evening Telegraph) it also appeared on a German website! Click on headline above to view. Bizarre.

Latest updates …

Yesterday included a meeting with the residents organising a community meeting for Pentland, Cleghorn, Ancrum & adjacent areas. They are holding it on Wednesday 24th October at Balgay Church … more on this later but do please attend if you live in the area.
After an informal meeting about West End Christmas Week matters, the West End Community Council meeting took place, including its AGM and a useful update from the Dundee Airport Manager.
Today, I received the following update about the Tay Street service road from the City Council:
“Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating building works.
The Order is expected to be in force for ten weeks from 22 October 2007. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicles in Tay Street Service Road from its junction with South Tay Street at a point 30 metres or thereby in a westerly direction.
Pedestrian thoroughfare and vehicular access to premises will be maintained.
An alternative route will be available via Tay Square.
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, Planning and Transportation Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date. If you have any queries please contact the department on 433168.”

Busy couple of days …

A busy couple of days with City Council meetings resuming yesterday, after the summer recess.
At the Planning & Transport Committee, which I chair, we had news of useful progress towards getting the final section of that ugly old overhead walkway at the railway station end of South Marketgait finally removed. Earlier yesterday, in the comfortable surroundings of the Tartan Coffee House in Perth Road, we held the first meeting of the 2007 West End Christmas Week committee, with lots of useful new ideas to make the 2007 event special and different. Having been involved in organising the West End Christmas Week since it started in 2001, it is difficult to believe that we are already at Year 7!
Also yesterday, the Evening Telegraph again featured the graffiti problem in part of the West End (click on headline above to view) – I am pleased to note that the City Council advised me that they would tackle the removal of remaining graffiti in the Blackness Road area yesterday.
This afternoon, I attended the ‘Greater Balgay Stakeholder Group’ meeting, at which Friends of Balgay, Leisure & Communities staff and West End councillors meet to discuss issues affecting Balgay Park (including the cemetery) and Victoria Park. Later on, a very useful initial meeting between some residents of the Cleghorn/Pentland/Ancrum areas with the West End councillors and our local communities officer to discuss local issues and consider a possible community group for the area.