Community litter pick – all welcome! #takepridedundee

Further to the community litter pick last month we undertook around the Blackness Industrial Area/Hawkhill (see photo of us – right), there will be a further community litter pick arranged at Riverside Nature Park for this Sunday – 7th August – at 10am.  
Very grateful thanks to Tesco Riverside who are bringing volunteers to help us.
If you can help, please meet at the Riverside Nature Park car park.

Tackling litter and graffiti in the West End

There’s a West End Community Clean Up on Saturday 23rd July at 10am – all welcome!
Join the local community in a clean up to help tackle litter and graffiti in the West End.
Meet at the Verdant Works car park on the corner of Blinshall Street and Miln Street.
The plan is to have the Verdant Works as a starting point and then radiate out and work in the area around it.  

West End Community Clean-Up!

This afternoon, along with my councillor ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready, Environment Convener Cllr Craig Melville, Trudy Cunningham, Environment and Sustainability Officer at the University of Dundee, community representatives, members of the Bonnie Dundee group and others, we took part in a clean-up of the area around Greenmarket and collected bags (and bags!) of rubbish.    A couple of photos below!
Part of the litter pick team in action!
Alistair Gibb of Community Spirit Action Group and me at Greenmarket
Leaving aside the “keeping our environment clean” message that Trudy got across on tonight’s STV news, it was really good to see the community spirit that is such a feature of the West End coming to the fore again today.
I was interviewed about the clean-up on Wave 102 news earlier today – click ‘play’  below to listen:

Friends of Balgay

Earlier today, I took part in the latest meeting of the Balgay Stakeholders’ Group at which City Council Environment Department staff, Friends of Balgay and West End councillors discuss issues at Balgay Hill, Balgay Park and Victoria Park.

Following on from the highly successful West End litter pick and graffiti clean-up last week, the Friends of Balgay are having their own litter pick in Balgay Park next Sunday (27th May) starting outside the Mills Observatory (pictured right) at 2pm – all volunteers very welcome!

Superb community spirit across the West End!

Earlier today, around 70 of us spent four hours litter picking and removing graffiti right across the West End – from Lochee Road in the north right down to Riverside Drive in the south.

Helpers included local residents, community groups, local businesses including Barnetts Motor Group and Tesco Riverside, persons on the Community Payback Scheme, local church groups including Jericho House and Mormon Helping Hands and a group of volunteer students from the University of Dundee.

It was great to see such a large group of local people coming together to remove graffiti and litter from the West End.    Local residents want the West End to remain a lovely place to live and work in and this huge voluntary effort shows the extent of good community spirit across the West End.

I would like to thank everyone – residents, community groups, businesses, the churches, Community Payback and all others who have helped.    I’d also particularly like to highlight the huge effort put together to co-ordinate the clean up that was done by Trudy Cunningham, Environment & Sustainability Officer at the University of Dundee.   Trudy’s hard-work and great enthusiasm has been vital in making this community clean-up event a success.

Here’s a few photos from today:

Some of the team at the start of the day
And … some more of the volunteers!
Barnetts Motor Group Team!
Trudy was offering a prize for the most unusual item found – I’ve nominated this – found by Alistair  Gibb of Community Spirit Action Group (left) who found this in Roseangle!
Some of the team at our lunchtime break!

The Great West End Clean Up!

On Wednesday 16th May, there will be a great clean-up of litter and clean-off of graffiti right across the West End.

Building on an initiative by the University of Dundee as part of Keep Scotland Tidy’s National Spring Clean (see below), I have now secured support from the staff at a major West End business, numerous local residents (thanks folks!) and the Community Payback Scheme.    The West End Community Council and Community Spirit Action Group have signed up, as has one of the local churches.

It will be a huge effort right across the West End to remove graffiti and get rid of litter – we are already at over 70 volunteers – so please indicate your support by e-mailing – many thanks.

Tackling the litter problem

I was pleased to be advised by the City Council’s Waste Management Department this week of progress towards implementing a litter protocol for schoolchildren in the city.
Having received complaints from residents over past months about litter left at lunchtimes in the Perth Road area, I have been in touch with both Harris Academy and the Waste Management Department about this. The school has been very proactive in following up complaints and has put staff resource in to tackle it. Being aware that this is not just an issue in the West End, I had asked the Waste Management Department what was being done from a strategic point of view, across the city.
The idea of the litter protocol will mean littering will be treated as anti-social behaviour. Anti-social advice letters issued to those littering, these being copied to the school and parent/guardian, with further action through the anti-social behaviour route where repeat offending takes place.
I am advised that the protocol will be launched as a pilot in the Morgan Academy area once the schools return later this month. As part of the pilot, Waste Management staff will meet Eco schools groups and teachers and also giving a presentation to all pupils. There will also be visits to all food outlets in the area to encourage them to :
1. Reduce the amount of packaging they give out
2. Take a more active role in cleaning up outside their shops
3. Report offenders
A procative approach on the litter issue is to be welcomed and I have requested that the department keeps me updated as to the success and impact of the pilot of the protocol on littering.

Litter on Magdalen Green

As reported in today’s ‘Courier’, over the weekend, I was contacted by residents who were angry at the litter mess on Magdalen Green had been left in by some people picnicking on the Green in the warm weather.
The Green was a fair mess, particularly on Saturday morning, and although the majority of people using the Green in the good weather were very responsible, unfortunately there’s a minority who appear not to care and left the green covered in litter. I think everyone likes to see Magdalen Green well used by people as it’s a lovely place to visit, but we would ask that all act responsibly and pick litter up behind them.
One resident contacted me to express his concern in the following terms :

“I am utterly shocked and disgusted at the rubbish strewn liberally around Magdalen Green. This is an ongoing problem exacerbated by the recent good weather when groups of irresponsible people bring their food and drink to the Green and abandon all thought as to cleaning up afterwards. I have seen it time and time again as a resident overlooking the Green.

“I of course have no objection to people using the Green for leisure activities such as this. There are in fact barbecues provided. Unless however there is a curb to this sort of irresponsibility, I am afraid it will continue to spoil the joy of the Green for the residents and the majority of people using it.
“The area around the bandstand this morning looks like a public dumping ground and there are numerous plastic bags blown into the fencing next to the railway yard.”

I had recently asked the City Council’s Leisure and Communities Department for more litter bins – particularly at the south side of the Green – and bigger ones as I feel the current litter bins are too small to cope with the amount of litter.

The response from the Council on 14th May was that they said they were continuing to “monitor” the litter situation on the Green and, in response to the request for more litter bins, I was told ‘we are conscious that finance is still tight at the moment.’

I have now written again to the City Council saying that more litter bins are vital, that the cleaning regime over warm weekends needs looking at again and there’s a need for better attention to the Green in terms of park rangers’ time.

It is great to see Magdalen Green being well-used but residents’ complaints about the litter mess are very valid and I am hoping for a positive response from Dundee City Council to their concerns.

Above : Some of the litter mess on the Green on Saturday morning

 Above : One of the many overflowing bins earlier this morning – rather proving the point about the need for more – and larger – bins on the Green

Surgeries – and litter!

A useful time at lunchtime yesterday with a joint surgery with Alison McInnes MSP at Dundee University Students’ Association – good in particular to speak with two of the DUSA office bearers about issues affecting the student community and, in particular, how the City Council can assist.

This morning participated in a West End Community Council organised litter pick in the West End – mainly covering Perth Road, Hawkhill and the lanes in between. As you can see from the photos below, it was extremely productive!

Phone Boxes, Litter again and Pennycook Lane

You’ll recall that last month I raised concerns with BT about the condition of the phone box in Milnbank Road (see – I have e-mailed them again about this and at the same time have raised residents’ concerns about the graffiti on the phone box in Magdalen Place – see below.
The Courier contacted me earlier in the week about the litter issue in Perth Road (see – and note the issue is reported in today’s edition.
Lastly, following residents’ concerns about the lack of a handrail in Pennycook Lane (east side next to sheltered housing) I have raised this with the City Council’s Planning & Transportation Department. Following my request, a similar handrail in nearby Ford’s Lane has been welcomed by residents and a handrail in Pennycook Lane would make a difference in the icy weather.

Litter in Perth Road

Since the schools went back for the autumn term, I’ve had a lot of complaints again about the amount of litter being dropped at lunchtimes in the Perth Road shopping area and the area westwards back towards the Harris. Having been in touch with both the Head Teacher at Harris Academy and the Waste Management Department, I’ve had good feedback from both. The feedback from Harris :-
“… start of new term. I have assemblies next week and will raise this again with all pupils. We will also have a senior managers in Perth Road at lunchtime.”
and from Waste Management :
“Am aware this is an ongoing problem that we have addressed on a number of occasions. Despite putting in extra litter bins, it would appear they still prefer to throw litter on the ground. We will continue to be as vigilant as we can through the local beat man and I will also get our Enforcement Officers to monitor the area along with local Police Officer.”
Good to see both the school & City Council taking steps to address this issue.