Progress for the campaign for free public wi-fi

As I reported in the press earlier this week, I have welcomed progress towards the provision of free public wi-fi for the Waterfront and City Centre, something that has been a long time coming.
The City Council’s Head of Customer Services & IT has now confirmed to me that a working group involving the council’s IT and City Development Departments along with representation from the Scottish Futures Trust has now been established to drive the initiative forward.      The Head of Customer Services & IT advised :
“A Public Wireless project is still being investigated by Dundee city council for the waterfront development and city centre and we are actively  working with the Scottish Futures Trusts Public Wireless program to get best value for the city given the financial implications.    The discussions are on-going and I attended a meeting with them … and have established a short working group to take this forward.”
Going back as far as 2014, I highlighted the need for Dundee to progress free public wifi for the City Centre.   Many cities are discovering free wi-fi is a good way to attract more visitors.   Already local businesses from coffee shops, hotels and restaurants, churches and bars are among the locations discovering the value of offering free wireless but a city centre wide wi-fi facility would be a boon for our city.
Other cities in Scotland are already providing free public wifi such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and I am anxious that Dundee does not fall behind.
I am pleased that the council now has a working group with the Scottish Futures Trust whose remit is to deliver a free-wifi offering for Dundee City Centre and the Waterfront area.    I wanted to see momentum behind this and delivery of free public wi-fi for Dundee.

Call to make better use of West Bell Street multi-storey car park

I have called on Dundee City Council to make better use of its half-empty West Bell Street multi-storey car park which I feel could be revitalised if short-stay parking was permitted.    
This could also have the beneficial effect of helping ease the on-street parking capacity problems near the University of Dundee Campus and in West Port, South Tay Street, Nethergate and the east end of Perth Road.
The council’s Head of Roads and Transportation advised me :

Bell Street multi storey car park is a very large car park with in excess of 900 spaces and currently demand does not require us to regularly open the upper floors and our daytime car park staff do flexibly open and close it if the car park gets busy.  

In terms of providing shorter stay parking, Bell Street multi storey car park is identified as a long stay car park, and the tariffs are so designed to encourage the use of the facility by all day / half day parkers with more flexible tariffs available at other car parks and the on street spaces around the vicinity allow for parking for up to one hour.

I have commented that there is no short term (30 minutes to 2 hour) parking available at the West Bell Street multi-storey car park and the parking situation near the campus would be helped if some short term facility was provided here.   
I think the council has to think imaginatively about the way this half-empty car park can be improved.    With the introduction of short-term parking here, it would assist ease parking difficulties in the surrounding area particularly in the West Port/South Tay Street areas of the West End Ward.
The council’s Parking Team Leader has agreed to discuss this further which is helpful as an urgent improvement is needed.