West End Christmas Fortnight – more events yesterday!

Yesterday saw more excellent West End Christmas Fortnight events – including :
* A packed Children’s Christmas Crafts event at Logie & St John’s (Cross) Church this morning – hugely well-attended and many thanks to Lisa Earl of Create … Kids Creative Craft Workshops, Sharon Dickie, Natalie Mackland and Lynne Cameron of the West End Christmas Committee, and all at the church for being so welcoming and providing refreshments :
Crafts event in full swing
Lynne Cameron, Rev David Gray and myself at the crafts event
* A well-attended (despite the weather) “Walk in the Dark” children’s event at the Botanic Garden, organised by the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden :
* Pennycook and Sinderins Courts sheltered housing had their Christmas Coffee morning – a photo below of some of the stalls :
* Friends of Magdalen Green held their Soup and Pudding Lunch at Dundee West Church – a great success.
* St Margaret’s Church in Ancrum Road held their Christmas Fayre in the afternoon.

Last couple of days …

On Thursday, I took part in a walkabout with council officers round the Pentland area, similar to the one last Tuesday in Blackness, at which we identified and take action on local issues.
In Pentland, the following were taken up – amongst other issues :
Repairs to steps at various locations in Pentland are being undertaken
Overgrown bushes in Pentand Avenue are to be trimmed
and trees requiring trimming also reported
I have reported paint vandalism to a utility box at
Colinton Street/Saggar Street to British Telecom
Later on Thursday, I chaired the latest meeting of the West End Christmas Fortnight committee, at Blackness Library.    

We are very pleased with progress with this year’s events and it will be the biggest and best Christmas Fortnight yet!   
Christmas Fortnight runs from Saturday 22nd November to Saturday 6th December.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Rev David Gray, new Minister at Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church at the church’s Community Cafe.    
I look forward to working with him in the coming years and wish him every success in his new role.

Logie and St John’s (Cross) Parish Church celebration weekend

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the exhibition and afternoon tea at Logie and St John’s (Cross) Parish Church, as part of the church’s celebration weekend to mark the centenary of the church building.
The exhibition was really interesting as was the talk on the church’s history and the tour of the building.
Logie and St John’s (Cross) plays an integral part in our local community and my best wishes to the church and its parishioners at this important time.
Some photographs from yesterday :
Part of the church exhibition
The 26th Discovery Scouts’ stand at yesterday’s event

Blackness Library at Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church

Further to my recent update about the arrangements for the temporary move of Blackness Library to Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church whilst the remainder of the improvements at the library take place over the next 6-8 weeks, I today visited the temporary facility to chat with the staff and library users about how the temporary arrangement is working.    See photo of the temporary facility (below).
It was good to hear from staff that the facility at the church is working well and being well-used thus far by local library users since it opened on Monday.
The library will be moving back to its permanent base in July and will have been upgraded with disabled access to the upstairs meeting room and reading room for the first time.

Communities in Action – feedback event

Back in March, I had the pleasure of attending a Communities in Action Afternoon Tea at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.   

It was a great opportunity for older people in the West End to discuss what it is like growing older in the local community and what services and opportunities are provided and what could be improved.   At the time, I mentioned that a further feedback event will take place at the same venue from 2pm on 5th June.   A poster advertising this is now available – see below – all welcome!

Monday meetings

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of calling by a Communities in Action Afternoon Tea at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.   This was a great opportunity for older people in the West End to discuss what it is like growing older in the local community and what services and opportunities are provided and what could be improved.   A further feedback event will take place at the same venue from 2pm on 5th June.
I also attended the latest meeting of the Remploy Working Group where members were unfortunately advised that a bid to run the Dundee Remploy factory as a social enterprise is not feasible.  I stressed the point that a huge effort must now be made to find alternative work for the staff that is sustainable in the long term.
After my two Monday ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy, I took part in City Council meetings.
* At Education Committee, I asked the Director of Education about preparedness for the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence across the city and the availability of teaching resources.
* At City Development Committee, I welcomed a report on proposals for the City Council to work with Angus Council to seek sponsorship of roundabouts in the city.    Having previously raised this as a proposal during a previous budget process, I am pleased to see progress towards this that has the potential to reduce maintenance costs.    I sought assurances about ensuring landscaping is well-maintained and also that there should be no political advertising on the city’s roundabouts.
* At Policy and Resources Committee, I welcomed a proposal to bid for funding from the Youth Employment Scotland Fund that, should Dundee’s bid be successful, would result in some 200 subsidised jobs for the city’s young people.
* At Social Work and Health Committee,  I stressed that the new consultation on the Kemback Street Adult Resource Centre must be undertaken in a way that gives service users and their families confidence in the process.    I also asked about improvements to the Home Care Enablement (East) and Social Care Response Team following the inspection report in December 2012 that highlighted concerning issues with service delivery.

Harris Academy Christmas Carol Service

Earlier this evening, after my last ward surgery at Blackness Primary School before the Christmas break, I had the real pleasure of attending this year’s Harris Academy Christmas Carol Service at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church – see right.
Despite tonight’s torrid weather, there was a huge turnout of parents, families and other local residents.   As always, the Carol Service was a thoroughly enjoyable event and it superbly showcased the musical talents of Harris Academy pupils.

Children’s Holiday Club at Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church

From Monday to Friday (2nd to 6th July) each morning (10am-12noon) in the halls of Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church (Shaftesbury Terrace), the “On Your Marks” Holiday Club is being run for P1 to S1 children on an Olympics/sporting theme.
Pre-registration is recommended – especially on the first day.  Information will be going out to the various church clubs, but you can download a registration form here.

Wednesday activities …

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Celebrate Age Network‘s  Information Fayre in Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church – see right.   

It was a very well attended event, with lots of local residents visiting the many information stalls.   The Celebrate Age Network is taking part in the West End Community Fayre as part of Christmas Week late November to further highlight its activities.

Later yesterday, along with the other City Council political group leaders, representatives from Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and senior council officers, I participated in the council’s Local Economy Monitoring Group, discussing the current economic and employment situation locally and specific projects such as renewables, the V&A and Dundee Waterfront.

Celebrate Age Network

The Celebrate Age Network Forum is organising an Information Fayre in Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church on Wednesday 28th September from 1pm-3.30pm.  

There is an opportunity for older people to get involved in the planning of the event – if you would like to attend or know of anyone who might want to get involved, please ask them to get in touch with Susan Gunn at Dundee Voluntary Action – telephone 305745. 

26th Dundee Scouts, Cub Scouts and Beavers – Silent Auction presentation

Tonight, at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall, I had the great pleasure of presenting awards of appreciation to the sponsors of the 2010 26th Dundee Scouts Silent Auction. Over £1300 was raised and the Campbell family deserve great credit for all their efforts with the auction to raise funds for our local Scouts.

Here’s a photo from the presentation, including representatives from the Apex Hotel and CityJet, who generously donated to the auction :