Dropped kerbing – good news

Back in May, I raised the need for dropped kerbing in the Peddie Street area.
I was concerned to learn recently from an elderly resident in the area that she had a fall from her motorised scooter at the Annfield Street/Peddie Street junction, where there is currently no dropped kerbing.

The City Council has now informed me :

“This area around Peddie Street and Annfield Street has been included in the area already identified and a works order has been issued to Tayside Contracts undertake dropped kerb work here. We have strived to provide access at most important junctions in this area.”

Peddie Street fire – an update

Further to my recent item about the blaze affecting the front of 97 Peddie Street, it appears that a mattress stuffed in a wheelie bin sitting outside the tenement was set alight, possibly by a discarded cigarette.

It absolutely highlights the need to get rid of the bins that sit permanently on the pavement – this blaze could have had very serious consequences.

The Head of Waste Management at Dundee City Council has replied to me in the following terms :

” … we have arranged to meet the City Engineer regarding the installation of street bins at the above and other locations within the West End.

We will keep you abreast of developments following our meeting which we hope will remedy some the issues which have appeared recently in your area.”

I welcome the move to look at alternatives to the wheelie bin collection in this part of Peddie Street and will be meeting with council officers to discuss this matter further.

Peddie Street blaze concern

The blaze outside 97 Peddie Street earlier today, caused by a wheelie bin fire, has caused considerable damage to the front of the block – see above.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it highlights the dangers of wheelie bins being left out on the street – a problem discussed at a meeting I attended earlier this year with the City Council’s Waste Management Department and the Environmental Health & Trading Standards Department.

The north end of Peddie Street was highlighted as one of the areas where bins are being left permanently on the street and it does have to be said that the council has made good progress in a number of streets in the West End, in terms of getting these bins off the pavement.

I have today contacted both departments requesting a meeting further discuss the wheelie bin issue in Peddie Street. Tayside Fire & Rescue today rightly pointed out that, if the fire was a deliberate act, it had the potential to put lives at risk.


Fundraising for the MS Therapy Centre

A message (below) from David Wilson, son of our long-standing friends Cllr Willie and Margaret Wilson of Perth. David is raising funds for the Tayside MS Therapy Centre in Peddie Street :

Hi All,

As many of you know I dabble in a little in triathlon to counterbalance my ongoing red wine and cake addiction. In the autumn of last year, in a moment of weakness, I decided to scratch the itch and entered Ironman Switzerland 2010. My initial grand plans and finishing goals were scuppered by a virus for most of the winter and spring so now I am on ‘Operation Just Finish It…..before it gets dark would be nice!’

This change in focus led me to think more about doing something positive with doing something a bit stupid. My Mum has secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis and regularly attends the Tayside MS Therapy Centre at Peddie Street in Dundee for amongst other things Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment. It has been one of the few treatments that has really helped. She also enjoys the friendly atmosphere created by the staff and the other patients.

The Tayside MS Therapy Centre is a totally autonomous self-help,self-funding local charity receiving no statutory funding whatsoever. The Centre caters for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis and offers Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, Physiotherapy, Counselling, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Yoga, Continence and Nutrition advice. It also affords people with MS to have access to information and to meet others with similar problems in an informal and friendly setting. The centre provides help, support and advice for people with MS, their families and their carers.

So on the 25th of July I hope to be swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and then running a Marathon only to end up exactly where I started some 12+ hours before but hopefully raising some money for a good cause in the process. Any donations to help me on the way to my fundraising target would be fantastic, just click on the link below to go to my JustGiving page.


Thank you


Tuesday news …

This morning, I was disappointed to hear from the City Council about vandalism to the paper recycling facility in Brook Street. The Recycling Projects Officer advised me :

“I am writing to inform you that unfortunately a paper bin within the Neighbourhood Recycling Point on Brook Street Dundee was burnt out at the weekend, now for the second time.

As you may remember was the case with the second act of arson to the NRP on Bankmill Road earlier this, that it is our standard policy to replace the burnt out unit for a second time. Any further incidents, however, will result in the removal of the paper bin from the NRP unit as these are very costly to replace, and could prove to be an ongoing fire hazard.

We have a replacement unit in stock and we will be looking to reinstate the paper bin as soon as our operations are able. We will continue to monitor this site closely in the forthcoming period and hopefully there will be no repeat of the previous vandalism.”

I am advised by the City Council that the replacement cost is £520 and as I point out in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, residents rightly deplore this sort of mindless vandalism that could end up resulting in the loss of a well-used and popular paper recycling facility. This afternoon, our local Police Inspector said he’d progress my request for use of mobile CCTV in the vicinity to deter further vandalism.

Also this afternoon, along with a representative from Blackness Area Residents’ Association (BARA), a fellow councillor and council officers, we undertook a walkabout in the BARA area (a rather wet walkabout as it was raining!) to look at local issues and problems. The walkabout covered Peddie Street (pictured above), Abbotsford Place, Abbotsford Street, Corso Street and parts of Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue.

This evening at West End Community Council, there was an interesting talk on the conservation of resources, given by Doug McLaren of the Tayside Foundation for the Conservation of Resources.

Peddie Street – dropped kerbs needed

Residents with mobility difficulties and, in particular, those who use motorised scooters, have welcomed the improved dropped kerbing recently provided for Perth Road, but I recently received this from one of the local sheltered housing wardens :

“Tenant who uses a motorised scooter has reported difficulty going from Peddie Street to Alan Clark’s Bakery. She says that due to the lack of dropped kerbs she has to go on the road in places to get along to the bakers.”

I have therefore asked the City Council if it can consider improvements for Peddie Street.

Temporary Traffic Order – Annfield Road

Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating gas main reinforcement works. The Order is expected to be in force for four weeks from 16 February 2009. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
The effect of the Order to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Annfield Road from Hawkhill to Blackness Road.
Parking in Annfield Road will be suspended for the duration of the works.  Access to businesses will be maintained for the duration of the works.
An alternative route will be available via Hawkhill, Peddie Street and Blackness Road.
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, Planning and Transportation Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.
If you have any queries please contact the City Council on 433168.

Post Offices – a decision likely on Wednesday

In discussion today with the Royal Mail Scottish Press Office in Edinburgh today, I received confirmation that a final decision on the four threatened Dundee Post Offices is due to be announced on Wednesday (30th July).

As residents are well aware, there has been much local concern over Post Office Limited’s proposals to close four Dundee Post Offices. Many constituents in the West End have expressed their opposition to closing the Lochee Road and Nethergate Post Offices, both of which provide an invaluable service to local communities and, along with other city councillors, I have made clear my strong objections to the closure proposals.

The Royal Mail Scottish Press Office in Edinburgh confirmed to me today that an announcement is due on Wednesday regarding the four Dundee Post Offices and have further promised to e-mail me their announcement immediately it is made. I have reiterated the point that Post Office Limited should be listening to local communities and taking into full account the detailed evidence presented to them to make the case for keeping the Post Offices open.

The Royal Mail Scottish Press Office in Edinburgh confirmed to me today that an announcement is due on Wednesday regarding the four Dundee Post Offices and have further promised to e-mail me their announcement immediately it is made. I have reiterated the point that Post Office Limited should be listening to local communities and taking into full account the detailed evidence presented to them to make the case for keeping the Post Offices open.

I am to be speaking on GMTV on Wednesday morning to make the case for our local Post Offices and pleased to have the opportunity to do this.

On an unrelated matter, I was very concerned to learn about an incident in the lane that runs between Tait’s Lane and Peddie Street which took place late on Saturday evening, and in which a local women had her handbag snatched at knife point.

You can read the full story in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” (click on the headline above to read this). As I said to the Tele, “Obviously, I’m concerned to learn about the incident and for the woman, who must have had a frightening experience. I should also say, however, that incidents of knife crime in the city are thankfully very limited.

“I urge anyone with information to contact Tayside Police on 0845 600 5705.”

Wet day in Lochee and planning concern

A very wet Monday in the rain in Lochee campaigning at the City Council by-election. Here’s Nicol Stephen MSP, Chris Hall (Lochee candidate) and myself in the cafe at the Lochee Tesco store, escaping the rain!
Tonight, at development quality committee, I moved refusal of the extension of a 24-hour take-away at the Peddie Street units, given residents’ concerns about noise, etc. A disappointing result (I lost 22-2) and in my view detrimental to residential amenity.

Public path Peddie Street to Tait’s Lane

I have in the past dealt with a number of complaints about the condition of the above pathway, which runs from the middle of Tait’s Lane to Peddie Street – complaints have previously included graffiti and litter.
However, recently residents have expressed concern at the state of the fencing running along the pathway and I contacted Home Scotland (who own the houses to the south of the path) about this.
I am pleased to say that, having inspected the situation, Home Scotland has agreed to carry out repairs to the fencing and in the reply it is indicated this will be done in the near future.

Busy Saturday …

Firstly, thanks to everyone who helped today with West End FOCUS deliveries; many thousands delivered in a rather windy and slightly soggy environment!
I have complained to the City Council’s Economic Development Department about the state of the walls of their industrial units in Peddie Street (see above right) and have asked for the graffiti to be removed.
I have also received complaints that there are absolutely no signs in Perth Road itself to indicate that Riverside Approach is closed as a result of repair work. They are at the south entrance to Riverside Approach but nothing to stop drivers going down, say, Roseangle or Thomson Street, only to find Riverside Approach closed.
On 30th May, I mentioned the trip hazard at the bus stop in Tullideph Road – click on headline above to view story. I have now had feedback from the City Council as follows:
“This hole in the footway was left when the previous variable message system at the bus stop was dismantled and the new bus stop pole installed. The footway should have been reinstated at the time but this was overlooked. Street Lighting coordinated the works and they have arranged with Tayside Contracts to have a temporary repair carried out to make safe, followed by a permanent reinstatement at a later date.”
I have now had feedback on my request for detail of speed/safety surveys in Scott Street, following issues raised by residents. Here is the feedback from the Planning & Transportation Department :
“A speed survey was carried out at Scott Street as well as Blackness Road and City Road. The survey was carried out in the first week in February.
Results did not show a problem with speeding at Scott Street in relation to other similar streets in the City, (with average speed of 27 mph for both directions and an 85th percentile speed of 34 mph which demonstrates that a relatively small number of cars are travelling over 30 mph).
As a result, the police did give attention to both Blackness Road and City Road.
In view of the results there was no case to give similar attention to Scott Street, however, if residents are finding that there is a problem associated with certain vehicles at known times, perhaps these details could be forwarded to the road policing unit for their attention.”

Peddie Street, Riverside Drive

Pleased to say news today that:
* Dundee Contract Services has been given an Order to clean off the huge (green and pink) graffiti on the pavilion building on Riverside Drive.
* Assurance that a tree in Peddie Street area causing overshadowing into residents’ windows will be trimmed.
Spent part of the morning with colleagues delivering notices about next week’s meeting about Magdalen Green to local residents; later on in Edinburgh at LibDem Campaigns and Candidates Committee. Long day, tired, off to bed!