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.
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A few other things from last week…

Firstly, football. Last Wednesday, one of the West End Community Council members and I had a really productive meeting with the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise and the City Council Leisure & Communities Department to progress a proposal to establish an Under 11s junior football team for the West End.
The Community Council member has good experience of this prior to moving to the West End and we’re confident of the support of others in the local community including local primary schools, but for this to succeed, access to facilities is vital and we were very pleased with the positive co-operation of the University and City Council. I am now on the trail on a local business to sponsor things like football strips, etc!
Although the Mitchell Street Centre and Blackness Library, for example, are excellent local facilities, it is important to build up the amount of organised popular activities for the area’s young people and this proposal is an excellent one and, I’m pleased to say, one the West End Community Council has been keen to support us with.
Another West End activity I attended last week was the first get-together of the West End Local Community Planning Partnership on Thursday, which started with an initial induction session. Local Community Planning Partnerships are being set up across the eight wards in Dundee to support the development of the Local Community Plans, help address local problems, bring together representatives from local organisations and the City Council and hopefully improve community involvement.
Lastly, yesterday’s Courier also featured an article about moving forward proposals for a Park and Ride facility on the south side of the Tay. You can read the full article by clicking on the headline above. JMP Consulting has been commissioned to do a cross-Tay study by SEStran, the statutory transport partnership of eight councils—Fife, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Midlothian, Borders and West Lothian. As Chair of TACTRAN, the transport partnership for Tayside and Stirling, I was pleased that we have contributed to the project, as the proposal would not just assist communities in North East Fife but would also bring benefits to relieving traffic congestion in Dundee. As I said,

“I am well aware, as a ward councillor in the west end, of the significant problems caused by vehicles parking in residential areas and a number of local employers, particularly Ninewells Hospital and the University of Dundee, have a lot of staff coming over from Fife.
“Clearly, having a park-and-ride system is something we would greatly welcome.”