Litter and rubbish concerns #dundeewestend

Over the weekend, I have had numerous concerns about a minority of people using our local parks in the lovely weather but leaving their rubbish behind them.
 
The photos below are just a few examples – from Lochee Park and Magdalen Green – and there were also examples on Balgay Hill.
 
I am grateful for the efforts of council environment staff over the weekend to clean this up and have reported concerns raised by residents.
 
Most people are sensible enough to use litter bins and tidy behind them and that’s the message residents would like everyone to take on board.
 

 

Getting things done – Greater Balgay #dundeewestend

I have had numerous concerns recently about the frequency of grass cutting and maintenance in Balgay Park, Victoria Park and Lochee Park and also the need to attend to overgrown bushes at the Victoria Park boundary with Jedburgh Road.
 
I took this up with the council’s Service Manager – Environment and he has now responded as follows :
 
“I can confirm that the grass at Victoria Park has now been cut. 
 
In terms of Lochee Park, to ensure the pitches are kept in a suitable standard for football we always endeavour to cut these weekly, the remainder of the park is cut on a fortnightly basis hence the grass is a bit longer in the non football areas cut rather than being of excessive length.
 
The hedge in Jedburgh Road is cut annually and is scheduled to commence at the start of next month.”

Lochee Park playpark improvements – an update #dundeewestend

The City Council has updated me about the proposed commencement of the playpark improvement works at Lochee Park’s playpark as follows :
 
“Works are due to commence at the end of February and we will have signage in place in advance to give notice of the closure of the park. 
 
A laminated plan will also be put onto the noticeboard.”
 
The new playpark proposals look great and will be a huge improvement :

Lochee Park car park extension #dundeewestend

I am pleased to see the commencement of work last week on the car park extension at Lochee Park – see below :
This is good news as it will provide additional capacity and also, when the park is busy with teams, ensure the spillage of parked vehicles onto local streets is minimised. 
 
Additionally, there will be improvements to the playpark with new equipment in the fairly near future which is further good news for the area.

Lochee Park – former toilets area – grass seeding

Residents will recall that the former toilets in Lochee Park were finally demolished last November.
 
I have had a number of enquiries about the state of the site within the park where they were situated – see below :

I contacted Neighbourhood Services at the City Council about this and have now been assured that the area will be prepared and seeded in the coming weeks to add to the grassed area within Lochee Park.

Toilets in Ancrum Road demolished – at last!

Back in August of last year, I reported that residents had asked me when the now disused (and rather horrible) toilets in Ancrum Road next to the Lochee Park children’s play area, would be demolished and the council advised that demolition would take place in October (that’s October 2015!)
 
I have continually reminded council officers over many months about the delays in this happening – and they were finally demolished last week – only a full year late!    See photo (right) :
 
I am now anxious to see the area properly restored and added to Lochee Park as part of the parkland. 
 
It should be stressed that there is still public toilet provision very close by – at the Lochee Park Pavilion.

Balgay Stakeholders’ Walkabout

Earlier this evening, I attended a walkabout round Greater Balgay by the Balgay Stakeholders’ Group, which brings together local councillors, council parks/Neighbourhood Services staff and representatives from the Friends of Balgay – to look at issues related to Balgay Park and its surrounds.
 
We had a very useful walk round Greater Balgay, and discussed proposals for improvements in the forthcoming year or so which include :
 
• Improved directional and road safety/vehicle speed limit signage
• Removal of the unused bowling green at Lochee Park to incorporate it into the main park (but maintaining the remaining bowling green)
• A welcome new overspill car park in Lochee Park and the lining of the main car park into bays
• Repair of the Serpentine steps in Balgay
• Significant upgrade and improvement to the Victoria Park tennis courts, hopefully taking place this summer
• Upgrade to the playpark in Victoria Park 
• Ask Community Payback to repaint the railings at the bandstand – see right
• Look at ways of improving areas like some of the hedgerows
• Some alteration to the Rose Garden to maintain its lovely appearance but improve its grass cutting regime
• Some solar lighting on paths
• Upgrading of Balgay Cemetery paths
 
These are very positive developments and I will continue to keep residents advised of progress.

Toilets – Ancrum Road

Residents have asked me when the now disused (and rather horrible) toilets in Ancrum Road next to the Lochee Park children’s play area, will be demolished.
 
The City Council has now advised me :
 
“The engineers have been instructed on the demolition. It is intended to take this to the September Committee with demolition taking place in October.”
 
It should be stressed that there will still be public toilet provision very close by – at the Lochee Park Pavilion.

Litter pick at Lochee Park and Greater Balgay @DunFestVol2015

This morning, a great number of volunteers turned out to help rid Lochee Park and the Greater Balgay area of litter.
 
The event was organised as part of the Dundee Festival of Volunteering and folk from Community Spirit Action Group, Bonnie Dundee, Tesco and local residents all helped.   Many thanks also go to Community Payback.
 
Here’s a few photos from this morning’s successful litter pick :
Some of today’s volunteers
At the side of Balgay Hill
With some of the rubbish collected this morning

Victoria Park and Lochee Park improvements

A constituent recently pointed out that the litter bin at Victoria Park (see right), although functional, lacks the aesthetic look of the rather nicer “heritage” style bins in other parks – for example at Roseangle.
 
I asked the Environment Department about improvements and have been advised :
 
“… we are putting in a couple of new benches at Lochee Park;  there will also be a bin going in too.   As for Victoria Park there will be a new bin replacing the old basket.”

Balgay Stakeholders’ Group

This afternoon, I took part in the latest meeting of the Balgay Stakeholders’ Group that gives the opportunity for representatives from Friends of Balgay to discuss issues around the park area with local councillors and representatives of the City Council’s Environment Department.
 
We had a very productive discussion on a number of issues including the planting of wildflowers just inside the Scott Street entrance to the park, progress towards the new toilet provision at the Lochee Park Pavilion and improvements at the Rose Garden.
 
Friends of Balgay are having a litter pick on Sunday 2nd June from 2pm to 3pm on Balgay Hill. This takes place during the Dundee Festival of Volunteering.  If you would like to help, the team will be meeting at the Observatory at 2pm.    Equipment such a litter grabbers and gloves will be supplied.

West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting

Last night, after my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I took part in the latest meeting of the  West End Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP), which allows local councillors, council officers across various departments, police, fire & rescue, NHS and local community organisations to get together to discuss West End issues.   On this occasion, the City Council Chief Executive attended part of the meeting, which was a welcome development.
We were given an update about progress with the proposed new Dundee Local Development Plan from a senior officer from the council’s City Development Department.   I again highlighted the issues of derelict buildings and the need to support our district shopping centres.
The LCPP meeting also had a welcome update from the Environment Department about proposed improvements in parts of the West End that include:

  • Improvements to the pathway from Logie Street to the Tullideph sheltered housing.
  • New hedge planting to replace the “temporary” fence at the east end of Magdalen Green.   I requested the “temporary” fence on behalf of residents the best part of a decade ago, so some nicer hedging will be a welcome development.
  • Scott Street entrance to Balgay Park – I have complained about its state before and was pleased to hear it will be improved and brightened up.
  • Hunter Street – roundabout with Hawkhill by-pass – to be tidied, improved with new planting and birch trees.
  • The old toilet block at Lochee Park will be removed and replaced with new toilets at the Lochee Park changing rooms.

Busy Friday …

Yesterday, following my raising concerns that the latest City Council new recycling kerbside collection pilot excluded the West End Ward (and two of the other seven wards in Dundee), I met with the City Council’s Environment Director and the Head of Environmental Protection regarding the matter.

We had a useful discussion and I did obtain assurances that the department aims to swiftly roll out the facility to as many ‘viable’ houses as possible, hopefully this financial year.   It is expected that a report will go to the council’s Environment Committee later in the year regarding the roll-out programme and I will expect to see West End households benefiting from the extension of recycling facilities at that time.     I also raised the need to offer plastics recycling at Tesco Riverside and aluminium cans recycling at the Roseangle Car Park recycling facility and was promised that this would be considered.

Also yesterday, I had a site meeting with local residents and a City Council officer about improving security at the Lochee Park Bowling Green and thereafter met with representatives of the Community Spirit Action Group and a representative from Dundee City Council about the quality of grass maintenance in Pentland.    We viewed the remote controlled grass cutting machine in action (see right) and sought assurances about the way the grass is cut across Pentland to ensure a good quality result.

I had a superb lunch at the Dundee West Church Healthy Eating Lunches and the chance for a chat with Rev Andrew Greaves about local issues.   The Healthy Eating Lunches remain a hugely well-attended community resource.   Next Friday’s are the last before the summer break but they will be back later in the year!

Late yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending a reception (see right) to launch the University of Abertay Dundee Digital Graduate Show, showcasing work by students in areas such as computer arts, creative sound production, game design, visual communications and media design.   A fantastic event and great to hear students talk about their work and ambitions.    See more below …

Lochee Park – good news!

I recently received residents’ complaints about the state of the Lochee Park playpark and in particular the loss of the roundabout.  

I raised this with the City Council’s Environment Department and have been advised :

“There is a new roundabout that will be going into the play area at Lochee Park in the very near future together with safety surfacing.”

Thursday …

After a visit to Ancrum Drive to discuss impending works that the City Council will undertake to ensure the flooding problem from Lochee Park into residents’ gardens is tackled, I attended a very interesting briefing on the private sector house condition survey in Dundee, undertaken by David Adamson and Partners.

This contained very interesting information about the city’s private sector housing stock – owner occupied, former local authority sold housing and private rented housing.  Of concern is the extent of investment needed to bring those houses requiring repair up to an acceptable standard (£24.82 million to achieve tolerable standard/visible repairs up to £76.02 million for comprehensive repairs) and environmental concerns – graffiti/vandalism/parking issues/rubbish etc – a concern for some residents in the West End and in other wards, according to the survey.

Later today, I had a very useful meeting with the Head of Secondary Education about the City Campus proposal and progress with Curriculum for Excellence.   Thereafter, I held my weekly surgery at Blackness Primary School.

Lochee Park Update

As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, Tayside Police took proactive action on Friday night and over this weekend at Lochee Park following the youth disturbances and under age drinking concerns the previous weekend.

Having raised residents’ concerns about the disturbances and concerns about young people under the influence of alcohol in the park, I’d like to pay tribute to the police for their proactive and prompt response – and for the co-operation of the police’s partners – Community Wardens and the City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

I am assured that the police will continue to put resources into addressing this problem and this is to be welcomed.

Lochee Park

As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, I have expressed concern about the events in Lochee Park last Friday night in which up to a hundred young people were involved in anti-social behaviour in the park, causing disturbance to neighbouring residents.  

It is very concerning that a number of the young people involved were as young as 12-13, and there was a considerable amount of alcohol involved – Tayside Police confiscated 40 litres of alcohol.

I have been in correspondence with our local police inspector about the situation and am pleased at the proactivity of our local police officers with regard to this situation.