Getting things done – Abbotsford and Corso area

Just before Christmas, I had a well-attended meeting with residents in the Abbotsford and Corso area.
The residents asked when external wall insulation (EWI) was likely to be delivered for the area.   The council’s Housing Investment Manager has now advised :

Regarding (the) Corso Street (development), we are planning on carrying out EWI at this location around 2019/20.

This is of course subject to the usual caveats of available funding through HEEPs* and our own capital finance.

* (HEEPs is funding that goes to councils to develop and deliver fuel poverty programs – mainly solid wall insulation)

Walkabout – Blackness/Corso/Abbotsford area

Yesterday, along with a representative from the Housing Department and a representative from the Environment Department, I took part in a walkabout around the Blackness/Corso/Abbotsford area.

The six-monthly walkabouts take place in a number of areas (Pentland and Logie are other examples) and are a useful way to look at local issues and problems and ensure these are taken up and resolved.

Here’s a couple of photos of matters discussed yesterday, which also including bins/cleansing issues and overgrown trees in the area.

New improved street
lighting being installed
in the area
Pavement trip hazard at Peddie Street/
Abbotsford Place junction reported
for repair

Busy Monday …

A busy Monday started at Blackness Library where library staff, community councillors and I took part in drawing the winners of the shoppers’ prize draw and children’s window spotting competition as part of West End Christmas Fortnight – the full winners’ list will be published in the next couple of days.   Photo below!
Jo, Alan and Ann from West End Community Council undertake the prize draw!
The day also included my taking part in today’s Tay Road Bridge Board meeting, immediately followed by my chairing a residents’ meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge for residents in the area.   The meeting was primarily to discuss with tenants the council’s possible rents options for 2015/16 – two Housing Department representatives addressed the meeting – although we also had a very good discussion about sheltered housing and other issues.
After my two Monday surgeries at the West Park Centre and the Mitchell Street Centre, I took part in tonight’s Development Management Committee, which considers planning applications.   In a discussion about the renewal of planning consent (originally granted in 2011) for Tay Rope Works, I sought assurances on a number of issues raised by objectors including avoiding HMO use, parking and boundary walling.     
I supported both Western Gateway planning applications that would provide high-quality new housing and local facilities.   One application was lost by 2 votes, the other approved with the Convener’s casting vote.   
Oh, and we’re still missing Kevin unfortunately …

Tuesday meetings

Yesterday morning, along with the area Housing Officer and a representative of the council’s City Development Department’s Roads Team, I took part in a walkabout round the Corso Street, Abbotsford Street and Place, Blackness Road and Peddie Street areas, to look at local issues and ensure any problems are resolved.
Here are some of the matters we tackled yesterday :
Pavement repair required – corner of Peddie Street and Abbotsford Place – now reported for repair
Litter removal required – communal area – Peddie Street
Tree branches across pavement – Abbotsford Place – reported for trimming
Drain cover Blackness Road – reported for repair
Last night, I attended the October meeting of West End Community Council, at which there was an interesting address by Derrick Lang, the Dundee Airport Manager.   
My Update to the Community Council for October covered both West End Christmas Fortnight plans and also pavement improvements locally.   You can download the Update here.

Blackness area walkabout

Yesterday, along with council officers from Housing and Community Safety Wardens, I took part in a walkabout around the Blackness area.   The six-monthly walkabouts take place in a number of areas (Pentland and Logie are other examples) and are a useful way to look at local issues and problems and ensure these are taken up and resolved.
Here’s a couple of issues picked up from yesterday’s walkabout:
Eurobins in Peddie Street – I have raised the emptying schedule with the Environment Department
Tree bed in Blackness Avenue – now a muddy trip hazard since the removal of the tree – I have taken this up with the City Council

Blackness area walkabout

Abbotsford Street
This morning, along with the council’s Housing Officer for the area officers from the City Development and Environment Departments and one of my ward colleagues, I took part in a walkabout around the Blackness area – in particular, Corso Street, Abbotsford Place, Blackness Road, Peddie Street, Blackness Avenue and Abbotsford Street – to look at any local issues.
We undertake these walkabouts in several areas every six months to ascertain any local issues or problems and ensure action is taken thereafter to deal with them.
A walkabout for the Logie area takes place later this week and one for Pentland next week.

Last couple of days …

On Tuesday evening, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH) that took place at the Riverside Pavilion.   We had a hugely productive meeting, discussing future management of the pavilion and further improvements to assist sporting activity in the West End.
Yesterday afternoon, I firstly had a site meeting in Wilkie’s Lane with Rev Leszek Wiecaszek, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, the Chair of St Josephs Parish Pastoral Council and two representatives of the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership.   I recently raised concerns from residents including members of the church about the state of the footpath at the south end of the lane.   We had a useful discussion about the need to improve the state of the path.
Later yesterday afternoon, I chaired a meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge with residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street.   Around 40 residents attended and we had a good discussion about numerous local issues.   Judith Clark of Solar Cities Scotland was guest speaker and gave a very interesting presentation on carbon reduction and steps to reduce your heating bill.
And, talking of well-attended meetings, last night I attended the AGM of WestFest, that took place at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   It was a great night with an informative and interesting talk by Stewart Murdoch, City Council Director of Leisure and Communities, on the Dundee bid for UK City of Culture 2017.   Co-chair of WestFest, Paola McClure, gave a comprehensive and entertaining resume of WestFest’s past year and a new committee was elected.
With thanks to Peter Menzies at the Vine for hosting the AGM and the photography on the Facebook page, here’s a photo (right) from last night with me pictured bottom right in the photo!

Blackness Walkabout

This morning, along with the council’s Housing Officer for the area and two community safety wardens, I took part in a walkabout around the Blackness area – in particular, Corso Street, Abbotsford Place, Blackness Road, Peddie Street, Blackness Avenue and Abbotsford Street – to look at any local issues.
A number were highlighted, including the damaged bin store behind the tenements on Blackness Road (see above right) bin collections and similar issues.

Getting things done … Rockfield Crescent and Corso Street

Following complaints from local residents about the state of the road surface in Rockfield Crescent, I contacted the City Council’s Road Maintenance Partnership about this and have been advised as follows:
“An order is to be raised by the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector for the repair of approximately twelve potholes in Rockfield Crescent with a timescale for repair of twenty eight days or sooner.”

At a recent meeting I had with sheltered tenants, I also received complaints about a hole in the road in Corso Street, near to its junction with Peddie Street.   The City Council’s Road Maintenance Partnership has promised to repair this too, in the very near future.

Corso and Abbotsford area meeting

Me – outside the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge
Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of chairing a really well-attended meeting of residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street that took place in the Corso Street sheltered lounge.
We had a good discussion on a whole host of issues – from seagulls to controlled entry systems – and dog fouling to communal grass maintenance.
I was also able to update residents on a number of West End projects, including the new primary/nursery schools project on the former Logie Secondary site on Blackness Road, changes to disabled parking legislation, residents’ parking, improvements to Blackness Library and the Harris Academy rebuilding project.

Walkabout – Blackness area

A foggy Abbotsford Street
Yesterday, along with Housing and Environment Department Officers and representatives of Blackness Area Housing Association, I took part in a walkabout around the Blackness area – in particular, Corso Street, Abbotsford Place, Blackness Road, Peddie Street, Blackness Avenue and Abbotsford Street – to look at any local issues such as graffiti, road condition, bins collection, buildings repairs and similar issues.

It was a very foggy and rather cold morning – see right! – but a most productive walkabout, with several local problems being highlighted.

Last couple of days …

* I am pleased to note that some of the dropped kerbing around the Corso Street area that I requested last year on behalf of residents is now being installed – see example at the junction of Corso Street and Peddie Street (above).

* Last night, I attended the Harris Academy Parent Council meeting and, following this, have been in touch with the Head of Secondary Education regarding issues raised.

* I was pleased to be advised by the City Engineer recently that the weeds spraying programme at road edges etc commenced last week.   This year, the programme will start in the west of the city and progress eastwards and am pleased to be assured that extra resources will be put into herbicide application of street trees in streets like Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue.

Today’s Courier featured an update on the concerns I have raised about the large and ugly utility boxes BT Openreach is installing in Conservation Areas such as on Magdalen Green.

* Tonight, I briefly attended the start of the latest WestFest committee meeting and thereafter was minute-taker at the Tay Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust meeting (meeting in the adjacent room at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road!)

Blackness walkabout

This morning, I participated in the third of recent ‘walkabouts’ in West End estates – this time around the Blackness area – in particular Corso Street, Abbotsford Street, Peddie Street and Abbotsford Place.

There were various issues raised including graffiti, a broken gate, a steep drop in a back garden area, and wheelie bins left permanently on the street in Peddie Street (where there is a solution in sight).

I was pleased to be advised that the grit issue I raised with the City Council after yesterday’s meeting of Blackness Area Residents’ Association is being attended to.

Second estate walkabout of the week …

This morning, along with two of my ward colleagues, City Council officers and members of Blackness Area Residents’ Association, we had a “walkabout” around Corso Street, Abbotsford Place and Street, Peddie Street and parts of Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue to look at any repairs required and issues needing tackled in the area.   

Another useful and productive walkabout – and on a beautiful autumn morning too.

And Tuesday …

Today :

* I had a very useful meeting with the Director of Dundee Contract Services and a senior member of his team about garden and open space maintenance. This follows on from several issues raised with me by residents in the Corso/Abbotsford area and in the Logie Estate.

* This evening I attended part of the River Crescent Residents’ Association meeting at which I updated members on a number of local matters, including the proposed Harris Academy school buildings improvement.

* And … later this evening, I attended the Friends of Magdalen Green committee meeting where we planned our Autumn Coffee Morning. It takes place at Dundee West Church on Saturday 25th September from 10am to 12 noon – don’t miss it!

Abbotsford Place & Corso Street – dropped kerbing

I recently wrote to the City Council as follows :
“An elderly sheltered tenant of Abbotsford Place has contacted me following a bad fall when she fell trying to negotiate the kerbing near her home (using a zimmer) to get to the sheltered lounge.

There seems to be a lack of any dropped kerbing in the street and I was wondering if this could be looked into.

Aa resident in Corso Street nearby has made a similar complaint – getting from Corso Street along to Annfield Street (across Peddie Street). For an area with sheltered housing the area seems to lack dropped kerbing.”

I have received the following positive response from the City Development Department :

“This area is being included in this year’s list of works for Dropped Kerb provision. … tackling dropped kerbs on an area basis is more cost effective and this west end area will be ordered this financial year.”

Tuesday news …

This morning, I was disappointed to hear from the City Council about vandalism to the paper recycling facility in Brook Street. The Recycling Projects Officer advised me :

“I am writing to inform you that unfortunately a paper bin within the Neighbourhood Recycling Point on Brook Street Dundee was burnt out at the weekend, now for the second time.

As you may remember was the case with the second act of arson to the NRP on Bankmill Road earlier this, that it is our standard policy to replace the burnt out unit for a second time. Any further incidents, however, will result in the removal of the paper bin from the NRP unit as these are very costly to replace, and could prove to be an ongoing fire hazard.

We have a replacement unit in stock and we will be looking to reinstate the paper bin as soon as our operations are able. We will continue to monitor this site closely in the forthcoming period and hopefully there will be no repeat of the previous vandalism.”

I am advised by the City Council that the replacement cost is £520 and as I point out in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, residents rightly deplore this sort of mindless vandalism that could end up resulting in the loss of a well-used and popular paper recycling facility. This afternoon, our local Police Inspector said he’d progress my request for use of mobile CCTV in the vicinity to deter further vandalism.

Also this afternoon, along with a representative from Blackness Area Residents’ Association (BARA), a fellow councillor and council officers, we undertook a walkabout in the BARA area (a rather wet walkabout as it was raining!) to look at local issues and problems. The walkabout covered Peddie Street (pictured above), Abbotsford Place, Abbotsford Street, Corso Street and parts of Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue.

This evening at West End Community Council, there was an interesting talk on the conservation of resources, given by Doug McLaren of the Tayside Foundation for the Conservation of Resources.

Good news at Sinderins!

Pleased to learn today that the graffiti on the very prominent utilities boxes at Sinderins junction has been cleared off, following my request. As you can see, it looks a whole lot improved.

The Evening Telegraph has contacted me today about the graffiti issue; this is an area where the City Council has been very proactive, reaching agreement with Virgin Media (formerly Telewest) about action to remove graffiti.
One other site I have asked to be given priority given the extent of residents’ complaints is at Corso Street (see below left). I have also asked the Leisure & Communities Department to remove graffiti at Victoria Park (below right).
Useful meeting with the River Crescent Residents’ Association last night about a number of issues including the noise of helicopters from Dundee Airport.
Tonight the West End Community Council meets – you can get further details/agenda by clicking on the headline above.