Dundee Partnership – West End Quarterly Update

As part of the local community planning partnership (LCPP) arrangements across the city, council communities officers produce a quarterly e-mail update on activities and in their LCPP area (there are eight of them across Dundee, each covering a council ward).
 
The West End one is produced by Natalie Mackland, our excellent communities officer, with input from various organisations and the March 2014 one has just been published.
 
This can be downloaded from the Dundee Partnership website here (along with previous editions from 2013).

Dundee’s Second Economic Summit

This morning, I attended Dundee’s Second Economic Summit, at the Bonar Hall.
 
Like last year’s summit, it was extremely well-attended and it was good to see so many of the city’s employers represented.
 
There were a number of very interesting presentations and I was, in particular, fascinated by the excellent contribution by Herman Twickler, Managing Director of the PressureFab Group, the leading designer and manufacturer of offshore transport and development equipment, and based in the West End Ward at Wright Avenue.   Not only did Herman give an insight into the astounding success of PressureFab over the past four years, he also led the calls for employers to take on more modern apprentices.
 
The photograph below is of David Dorward, the City Council’s Chief Executive, launching the “Discover Opportunities Employers’ Pledge” to encourage employers to help maximise employment opportunities for young people and adults across Dundee to support business growth and develop our city’s economy.
 
What was striking this morning was the great sense of drive, confidence and optimism about our city’s future and the key role Dundee’s employers have in taking the city forward.
City Council Chief Executive David Dorward addressing the Economic Summit this morning

Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner at the City Chambers – see right.
 
It was a very enjoyable evening and great to see the winning local organisations recognised for the work they do in local communities across Dundee.
 
Amongst the winners last night was the Food Train, which has expanded rapidly thanks to the hard work of Grant Simmons, his colleague and the team of volunteers who provide an invaluable shopping service to elderly people across the city.

Dundee Economic Summit

Yesterday, I took part – along with nearly 300 others from local businesses, the education sector, the Chamber of Commerce, the public sector and many others – in the Dundee Economic Summit.   See right.

Organised by the Dundee Partnership, it was a very positive morning spent discussing the economic future of our city – and all the positive developments in Dundee – including V&A at Dundee and the Waterfront development.

I had the opportunity to seek assurances that Dundee Rail Station will be upgraded and redeveloped before the V&A at Dundee opens and was pleased to receive that assurance.

Friday activities …

Yesterday morning, in addition to meeting various constituents, I had a meeting with sheltered housing tenants at Sinderins Court, a City Council Environment official and Home Scotland staff about the waste and recycling bins at the complex – see right.   The current bins are overly large with heavy lids that some of the tenants find difficult to use.   During a very amicable meeting, agreement was reached on smaller communal bins and a more frequent collection.

Early yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the Cherry Blossom Nursery School in Seafield Road.   The nursery is beautifully build and provides excellent facilities for the local children who attend the nursery.   It transforms the site of a long-derelict property and previously badly overgrown grounds.   The welcoming lighting outside last night (see above right) was very impressive too!

Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner
Later yesterday evening, I attended the Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner at the City Chambers.    It was great to see a diverse group of awards winners, all of whom do a huge amount of good for communities across Dundee.   It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and hear more about the achievements of the winning groups.

Campaigning, Belfast, Surgeries, City Council …

A very busy few days – with the Liberal Democrats campaigning across the West End and the Dundee West constituency as a whole.     Pictured above is John Barnett, Dundee West Liberal Democrat candidate, in Cleghorn Street yesterday.
I missed much of Sunday’s campaigning as I have been in Belfast with the “day job” (photo below!) and returned just in time to attend my afternoon surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy, followed by City Council meetings tonight.
At tonight’s Council’s committees, I raised questions about the Bike Boost initiative as part of the Dundee Travel Active project, the review of ‘out of hours’ social work service, and welcomed the decision to give the job brokerage services contract to the Dundee Employment and Aftercare Project (DEAP).      The handling of this matter by the Dundee Partnership and the SNP council administration has been unimpressive, the tendering process wasteful and unnecessary and – in terms of the future – I made the point that now is the time for all councillors in the city to get behind DEAP and the excellent work it does to secure job opportunities for Dundee people.
I also raised my concern at the expenditure of nearly £80 000 to change the car parking and access at the East District Housing Office – an office barely three years old.    Why is the council spending such a large sum of rent-payers’ money changing parking arrangements so soon after the project was completed?    The SNP Housing Convener appeared disinterested in the matter and I have written to the Chief Executive of the City Council asking further questions about the concern.    City Council tenants are entitled to know that their rent monies are being properly spent.