Review of the last few days

Wednesday

* Met with the new acting Managing Director of Travel Dundee, and raised the concerns of residents about the re-routing of the 9X bus service – this no longer serves the Ninewells Avenue area. She promised to review this.

* Attended the Deaf Awareness Open Day at the Central Library, organised by the Sound Sense project. It was good to see a number of organisations promoting their services to deaf people locally and the event was extremely well-attended.
* Attended the “Community Spirit” group evening meeting at Mitchell Street Centre. “Community Spirit” is the new residents’ group for the “north” of the West End Ward – including the Pentland, Cleghorn and Ancrum areas. Another good attendance and an interesting discussion on local issues.


Thursday

* A site visit with Scotland Gas Networks, Turriff (their contractors) and City Council Planning & Transportation at Perth Road to review road management issues, signage and other issues arising out of the continuing gas main replacement works on Perth Road.
* Along with my LibDem council colleague, Cllr Helen Dick, I attended the Best Bar None accreditation scheme 2008 awards launch at the City Chambers. This is an excellent scheme – recognising customer safety and good practice in Dundee’s licensed premises. Click on headline to view the full story in the “Evening Telegraph.”
* After a busy three surgeries at Mitchell Street Centre, Harris Academy and Blackness Primary School, I attended the evening board meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts. A very positive review of the past year at DCA was presented, showing excellent visitor figures.

Friday

* A helpful site visit with Network Rail to Riverside Approach to allow me to point out graffiti and fly-tipping problems. Pleased at Network Rail’s willingness to tackle these issues, raised with me by West End residents.

* As one of the City Council representatives, I attended the opening of the Winston Churchill exhibition at the University of Dundee, making the 100th anniversary of Churchill’s election as Liberal MP for Dundee. An excellent and entertaining speech by Churchill’s daughter, Lady Mary Soames, who opened the exhibition and unveiled a plaque, commemorating Churchill’s connections to the City.

The event was extremely well-attended and it was good to see my former City Council colleague Neil Powrie (pictured at the event – right) and also my LibDem colleague Willie Wilson (Depute Provost of Perth and Kinross).
You can read the BBC news item on this at :

and the Churchill Centre web pages are very interesting :

http://www.winstonchurchill.org

And, lastly, here’s a photo from the event, during Lady Soames’ speech, showing that I have no photographic skills whatsoever.

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Presentation to Neil, Windsor Street, Council negotiations

A very enjoyable West End Community Council meeting last night at which Bailie Neil Powrie’s enormous contribution to the West End over nearly 28 years on three local authorities (Dundee District Council, Tayside Regional Council and latterly Dundee City Council) was rightly recognised.
Iain Luke, my predecessor as councillor for the now abolished Tay Bridges Ward, and former MP for Dundee East, gave an excellent speech about Neil’s contribution to both the West End and to the political scene in the City, and Neil was presented with a gift (see above right – Neil knows he’s featuring on the blog as I asked his permission!)
Also at the Community Council last night, following on from the article in my May 2007 West End Community Council Update about road safety at the Windsor Street/Perth Road junction, I suggested Community Council representatives and I meet with Planning & Transportation Officers on-site about the problems. Am also keen that the other West End Councillors participate.
A good piece by Brian Allison in the Courier this morning about the Council Administration negotiations (click on headline above to view). Helen (my council colleague) and I had very constructive talks with all other 3 parties yesterday. Clearly, the outcome of any negotiations will depend on policies and the way forward each groups sees as best for the City in terms of the delivery of services.
We will be studying carefully the manifestos given to us by others as will the other parties in relation to ours. All parties will consult their members and I have no doubt other parties will be meeting each other.