Replacement steps at Pentland #dundeewestend

I recently sought an update on behalf of Pentland residents about when the second set of new steps would be completed as was advised last week as follows :
“Our contractor on this project, Tayside Contracts, are advising that are awaiting on delivery of the anti slip material they need to finish off the steps. Without this, the steps could cause a slip hazard to members of the public. We would also not be prepared to open the steps for use until they are fully completed according to the design specification. 
The material should be delivered next week and as soon as they receive it, they will assign a member of staff to finish the job. Once completed, an inspection will be carried out and assuming everything is satisfactory, the fencing will be removed.
You may be interested to know that we are currently working on trying to start the next phase of the steps this financial year. This phase will concentrate on replacing the steps between Pentland Avenue and Pentland Crescent. The same standard of specification will be applied to this phase as was used on the steps between Pentland Crescent and Colinton Place.”
I am pleased to say the steps were completed and opened last Friday.

Lighting on paths and steps in Pentland – an update

Further to my article in May following the site visit with the Street Lighting Partnership Manager and also with the Chair of Community Spirit Action Group, the local residents’ group, to look at the new street lighting in Pentland, yesterday I had a useful meeting with the Director of Neighbourhood Services, some of her housing team, the council’s Service Manager – Community Safety and Resilience and the Street Lighting Partnership Manager.
This was primarily about the issue that, because the new lighting is that, because it is focussed on the road and pavements, it does not light paths and steps to housing as well as the old lighting.    I am concerned that in the winter, darker months, lighting could potentially be inadequate.
We agreed the following approach which makes sense :
• Ensure trees that need trimmed (already identified) are attended to – to maximise the effectiveness of existing lighting.
• After the clocks change in October, undertake measurements of lighting levels on these steps and paths to ensure they meet required levels.
• If there are any locations where lighting needs boosted, static security lights will be progressed.
• The Community Wardens service will meantime monitor any concerns about lighting in the area.

New street lighting in Pentland

I recently participated in a site visit with the Street Lighting Partnership Manager and also with the Chair of Community Spirit Action Group, the local residents’ group, to look at the new street lighting in Pentland.
The new lighting has been met with mixed reviews and, at the site visit, I asked that the lighting levels be measured to ensure they meet acceptable standards.     The Street Lighting Partnership Manager has now updated me as follows :
“I can confirm that we have now verified our lighting levels within the Pentland/Saggar Street area.
Measurements were carried out very late at night in order to minimise spill light from properties. 
Lighting levels were measured at a number of various locations throughout Saggar Street, Pentland Crescent and Colinton Place and I can confirm that all achieved the required designed levels with only one exception.
The single location which failed was at the rear of the footpath outside block number 8 on Saggar Street. This is due to the presence of a large tree at this location which overhangs not only the footpath but extends over the carriageway as well. However some extensive tree pruning will rectify this issue.”
The Street Lighting Partnership has supplied me with a map of the estate with details of trees needing trimmed that will improve the effectiveness of the new lighting.     I have given this to environment managers asking that necessary tree trimming work be carried out.
Another aspect of the new lighting is that, because it is focussed on the road and pavements, it does not light paths and steps to housing as well as the old lighting.    I contacted housing officers about this indicating that ‘security’ type static lights should be considered for dark paths and stepped areas and the Head of Housing and Communities has advised :
“While this raises a number of issues including available resources we are happy to have initial discussions with colleagues in the Street Lighting Partnership.
Once we have done so we will have a better idea of all the relevant issues and will come back to you to update on our position.”

Me pictured at the Saggar Street/Loganlee Terrace junction with the new street lights in Loganlee Terrace


Solar Cities Scotland event for Pentland and Logie residents

Energy MonitoringFrom Solar Cities Scotland about improving your home insulation :


We are having a drop in event from 10am-6pm on Monday 23rd February in Room 17 at the Mitchell Street Centre.


We have invited all Pentland residents in order to view their recent thermal images as well as Logie residents to in order to discuss the progress of our internal insulation pilot project in one home in Logie for which we received an award of £2000 from Dundee Partnership.  Full information on the outcomes will be in the final report which will be produced by the end of March 2015.


If you happen to be free and in the area please feel free to drop in or to pass this on to anyone who you think may be interested in finding out more about thermal imaging or our Logie pilot project.    We are happy to give advice with any energy efficiency related queries or renewable technologies for anyone as always too. 



Please note that, as there is no lift to this room, we have offered to visit people in their homes, or email images to people who have accessibility issues or who can’t make it along on Monday.


Background to the Logie insulation project


Solar Cities Scotland applied to the Dundee Partnership in September 2014 and was successfully awarded £2000 for a Pilot Insulation Project in Logie.


We are grateful to the Dundee Partnership for this funding to allow this pilot project to go ahead. We will pass on our findings to Dundee City Council Housing Department as well as to Logie residents, local councillors and other interested parties. We hope that by using this internal insulation product we may be able to offer a viable solution to assist with lowering energy costs and carbon emissions the residents of these solid wall properties in Logie.


The Logie properties are nearly 100 years old and are known as ‘hard to heat’ properties due to the fact that they are solid wall properties which are not suitable for cavity wall insulation. As a Conservation Area, no external insulation can be applied to the homes. The houses have large, draughty basements which cannot be insulated due to the presence of asbestos. As a result, the only hard measure that can be done is loft insulation. Our thermal images identified that the majority of these homes already have this to the current standard. The issue remains that the homes are expensive to heat with many of the residents suffering from fuel poverty. There are many older people within these homes.


We are supporting the Dundee Partnership’s commitment to tackling deprivation by ‘closing the gap’ between inequalities in terms of housing and fuel poverty across Dundee.

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.