Getting things done – Scott Street and Pentland #dundeewestend

Over a prolonged period, I have received complaints about the lack of maintenance of the slopes at the west end of Scott Street and on Pentland Avenue – see below :
Scott Street – west end
Pentland Avenue
I have raised this on numerous occasions with the City Council and the latest update I have received is from the new area environment manager and I am grateful for his helpful response and trust we will now see improvements to the situation here and also to the general grass maintenance of the Pentland area into the future :
 
“First of all regarding the ground at the top of Scott Street. Due to the steepness of the slope we do not cut the grass as we do not have anything capable that would manage and be legal under Health & Safety regulations. Part of it gets cut with a tractor mounted flail which we hire in, but it can only go so far in from the street, the rest was left to naturalise, but one person’s naturalisation can be another person’s mess. 
 
This could be something that can be looked at over the winter period to see if we can improve the appearance of the area and I will run a few ideas past our projects team.
 
The bankings at Pentland Avenue have a similar problem but approached in a different way. We have one machine that can manage to cut the grass on these bankings but it works City Wide. When I made enquiries I discovered that it was in the workshop and will be unlikely to be back in service this week. Depending where they are on their cycle, once it is repaired they should get to Pentland Avenue in no more than a couple of weeks.
 
I have discovered since taking on the West End that the whole Pentland/Saggar Street area is “challenging” due to the terrain. Our service revisions carried out at this time do not seem to have done us any favours in respect of this area. There is not a great deal we can do now that we are well into the grass cutting season and it would be difficult to change things, but I have already asked our quality and development section look at the grass cutting regimes in this area as I do not want to see the same level of complaints next year as I have had this year.”

Getting things done – Scott Street and Pentland Avenue #dundeewestend

Yesterday afternoon, I had a really useful site visit with council environment officers regarding the overgrown and unsightly sloped areas in Pentland Avenue and Scott Street – at the west end of each :
West end of Scott Street
Slope in Pentland Avenue
It was agreed at the site visit that the overgrown area in Scott Street will be strimmed back in the near future.
 
With regard to Pentland Avenue’s slope which is a real challenge to maintain given its significant gradient, it has been agreed to plant lupins or a similar plant next season which will improve the look of the area.

Temporary Traffic Order – Fleuchar Street, Blinshall Street and Scott Street

From the City Council :
 
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating works for the SSE cable renewal scheme.  The Order is expected to be in force for 20 weeks from 6 March 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Fleuchar Street from Eassons Angle to Blyth Street, (2) Blinshall Street from Lochee Road to Douglas Street and (3) Scott Street from City Road to Glenagnes Road.
 
Pedestrian access and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.
 
Alternative routes will be available via (1) Eassons Angle, Milnbank Road and City Road, (2) Douglas Street, Smellies Lane and Lochee Road and (3) City Road, Milnbank Road, Rosefield Street and Glenagnes Road.
 
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS and if you have any queries please contact 433082.

Balgay Road/Scott Street pavement improvements

Having, on behalf of residents, raised the poor condition of pavements along Balgay Road and in the short west part of Scott Street west of Balgay Road (towards the Balgay Park entrance) in the past, I am pleased to see the long-awaited resurfacing now being completed.
 
Here’s a plan of the works kindly supplied to me by Tayside Contracts and a couple of photos of the works :

 

 

Slippy leaves tackled

A number of residents have contacted me recently regarding slippy leaves on pavements in parts of the West End.
 
I am grateful to the council’s Neighbourhood Services for promptly sweeping up leaves at the locations I have highlighted.
 
A recent example is at the steps from Scott Street to Pentland Avenue (see above right) and also in sheltered housing areas such as Abbotsford Place.

Busy Wednesday!

Earlier today I had the pleasure of visiting Heart Space Yoga and Bodyworks in Scott Street to see round the impressive facilities and meet Ian Alexander and Finlay Wilson who have, over the past five years, built up services aiming to improve quality of life by increasing physical activity levels and offering numerous services for well-being.
 
Here’s a couple of photographs from my visit :

 

Later, I attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House support group, a regular meeting at which a number of us discuss fundraising and other projects to support this important facility in the West End Ward, that assists those recovering from alcoholism.   
 
We concentrated our discussion of final arrangements for the impending Open Day at Jericho House aimed at local organisations working in the alcohol and addiction fields, to showcase the work of Jericho House.  
 
This evening, I attended the latest Harris Academy Parent Council, which commenced with another joint meeting with Menzieshill High School Parent Council.    The working together of the two school communities in coming together is impressive and there was very positive discussion over a number of subjects – visits to the new school building for pupil year groups, parents and the wider community and school uniform being just two.

Temporary Traffic Order – Fleuchar Street, Blinshall Street & Scott Street

Further to my earlier update, I am now advised by Dundee City Council :
 
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating SSE cable renewal works.  The Order is expected to be in force for twenty weeks from 4 April 2016.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Fleuchar Street between Eassons Angle and Blyth Street, (2) Blinshall Street between Lochee Road and Douglas Street and (3) Scott Street between City Road and Glenagnes Road.
 
Pedestrian access and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.  All closures will run concurrently.
 
An alternative route will be available via (1) Eassons Angle, Milnbank Road and City Road, (2) Douglas Street, Smellies Lane and Lochee Road and (3) City Road, Milnbank Road, Rosefield Street and Glenagnes Road.
 
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.  If you have any queries please contact 433082.

Lighting issue – steps from Scott Street to Pentland Avenue – an update

I have previously highlighted residents’ requests for proper lighting on the steps from Scott Street to Pentland Avenue – see below:
The steps are well-used and the adjacent street lighting only gives limited coverage.    Providing traditional lighting would be very costly given the layout and slope and so the council’s Street Lighting Partnership agreed to my request to investigate the viability of solar lighting.
 
I recently asked for an update from the Street Lighting Partnership, who now advise :
 
“I have looked at several option for lighting these steps over the past year or so and I cannot find a suitable option for these steps.     Having looked at solar powered light for the steps and subsequent talks with manufacturers, they all come to the same conclusion (that) there is insufficient sun light during the winter months to sustain power for the light at this latitude.
The cost of excavating and powering a light by the normal means on the steps would run into the thousands of pounds, providing I can get a way leave to track in to the adjacent ground. 
Until I can find an alternative means to power a light or a manufacturer develops a more efficient means of using alternative energy I can not see a way forward with this queries (but) I will continue to pursue a solution for lighting for these steps.    Until then if your constituents do not wish to use the steps in the dark there is a lit alternative route via Scott Street to Pentland Avenue.”
 
I will continue to pursue this matter as having better lighting on the steps would greatly assist residents using them at night.

Getting things done – Pentland Avenue and Scott Street

Residents have mentioned to me the overgrown trees that sit at the far west end of Scott Street are now so high that they protrude across the south pavement of Pentland Avenue.
 
I took at this concern with the City Council and the Assistant Forestry Officer has updated me as follows :
 
“I have inspected the trees along the south side of Pentland Ave as per your constituents’ enquiry.  
There are a number of trees and other vegetation that is beginning to obstruct headroom and encroach the footway for pedestrians, (Scott street junction to City Road junction). 
 
My intention will be to crown lift and prune/trim back these trees to make an improvement for pedestrians using the south side footway. 
 
The works will be included in our work programme or added to the local area ground maintenance programme and carried out as soon as reasonably possible.”

Lighting issue – steps from Scott Street to Pentland Avenue

Steps – Scott Street-Pentland Avenue
Last year, I raised, on behalf of residents, the need for lighting on the steps from Scott Street to Pentland Avenue.   The steps are well-used and often by elderly people and are quite dark at night, relying on what light reaches the area from the adjacent roads.
 
At the time, the council’s Street Lighting Partnership advised :
 
“… we looked at putting lights on the stairs.   Unfortunately it’s just not technically feasible and the costs would not justify since there is a lit route via the end of Scott Street.”
 
However, as I have continued to receive requests from residents for lighting here, I have again raised the matter with the Street Lighting Partnership, who have updated me as follows :
 
“I have spent some time looking into alternative method of lighting this footpath.    The position on conventional lighting remains the same. 
I have looked at some solar powered lighting by Philips Lighting and was advised that Solar Lighting it not really feasible in the North Hemisphere as there is insufficient sun light to keep the batteries charged for the whole year. possibly as technology moves a more cost effective and easier method of lighting footpath my become available.
I will continue to pursue the lighting industry for a permanent answer to these problems.”
 
With the agreement of the Street Lighting Partnership, I have asked a contact I have at the University of Dundee, who has expertise in solar lighting, to hopefully provide some advice on this matter that could provide a solution.

Lighting issues – Scott Street and Logie

Steps between Pentland Avenue and Scott Street
On behalf of residents, I recently raised the need for lighting improvements in the Scott Street and Logie areas – particularly replacing the old ‘orange’ lighting in Scott Street and lighting the steps down from Pentland Avenue to Scott Street.
 
The City Council’s Street Lighting Partnership has now advised me as follows:
 
“Re Logie – most is converted to white light but we did discuss converting Scott Street to white light … and hope to do this either before the end of March or early in the new financial year.
 
Re the Path/steps – we looked at putting lights on the stairs.   Unfortunately it’s just not technically feasible and the costs would not justify since there is a lit route via the end of Scott Street.”
 
The upgrading of the lighting in Scott Street is to be welcomed.

Extensive graffiti vandalism in Victoria Park and adjacent streets

I have slammed the mindless vandals responsible for extensive graffiti vandalism in Victoria Park and in nearby streets (Scott Street and viewing area of Logie Avenue).   It is thought the vandalism occurred overnight Friday/Saturday.
 
Over the weekend, I reported the extensive vandalism to the police and also to the City Council’s Rapid Response Team to get the graffiti cleaned up.   See examples of the graffiti below:
After months of very little of a graffiti issue, it is thoroughly disappointing to see this sort of mindless activity take place at the weekend.     Some of the graffiti is offensive so I hope the council can clean it off as soon as possible but I am concerned about how viable it will be to try to remove the mess on the trees in Victoria Park.   A resident has also advised me that a van was also graffitied.   It is utterly stupid, mindless and criminal activity.
 
I have asked the police to consider deploying mobile CCTV and would ask if any resident saw any suspicious activity at the park or in surrounding streets, it would be greatly appreciated if they could speak with the local police.

Getting things done … Steps from Pentland Avenue to Scott Street

Residents have complained to me about damage to the steps (see right) leading down from Pentland Avenue to Scott Street.

I contacted the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership who have now advised me that:

“An order has been raised by the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector for the repair of a hole at the top of the steps on Pentland Avenue with a timescale for completion of three days.”

Scott Street car vandalism

Residents in Scott Street are rightly angry at the mindless vandalism of 16 vehicles in Scott Street overnight on Wednesday/Thursday.

Our local Police Inspector Graham Young updated the West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting on Thursday evening about this disgraceful vandalism of residents’ cars and gave assurances that the police putting resources into catching the person or persons responsible.

I spoke on Wave 102 news about the matter today – click ‘play’ to listen:

Recycling facility in Scott Street – good news

At the last Community Spirit Action Group meeting, residents raised concerns that the waste paper bin at the Neighbourhood Recycling Point (NRP) at the east end of Scott Street is often full.    I asked the City Council Recycling Projects Officer if it could be either collected more frequently or an additional paper bin provided.

I have now had the following positive feedback from the City Council :

“My colleagues in Management Services have just advised that a third weekly collection date has been added to the Scott Street NRP schedule. The paper bin will now be emptied Monday, Wednesday & Friday of each week.”

City Road/Scott Street junction

Following residents raising concerns about the extent of litter in the wooded area at the junction of Scott Street and City Road, I raised the matter with Home Scotland, owners of the site.

The housing association has responded positively as follows :

“… this area is covered by contract and it will be given a deep clean this month I have spoken to our contractor who assures me this will be carried out.”

Latest West End News …

Latest West End Updates …

* One of the safety bollards on the south side of Pennycook Lane has been broken by a vehicle. Following residents’ complaints, I raised the matter with Dundee City Council, whose response is :

“An order has now been raised to re-set this missing bollard.”
* Corner City Road & Scott Street – a bit of a mess. Following contact with the owners, Home Scotland, they have replied as follows :
” We contacted our contractor and weather permitting it will be deep cleaned this week.”

Graffiti clean-up – latest

I recently mentioned that the City Council’s Waste Management Department had confirmed to me that residents’ complaints I had raised about graffiti at Marchfield Road, Scott Street and Seafield Road would be cleaned off.

I am pleased to report that this had now been carried out with graffiti at the west end of Scott Street removed, street signage in Marchfield Road cleaned up and a Virgin media box, a wall, a telephone box and a GPO box all cleaned up last week.

The anti-graffiti initiative in the West End continues, with a community anti-graffiti action day taking place next month.

Working for the West End … latest updates

* I have, at the request of residents, raised street sweeping issues at Clovis Duveau Drive and Blackness Road and have received assurances from the Waste Management Department that these will be tackled.

* Following residents’ complaints about graffiti at various locations, I have raised these with the City Council. The Waste Management Department assures me that mess like this in Marchfield Road (above) and graffiti in Scott Street will be cleaned off and I have also raised graffiti issues at Seafield Road. I have also been assured by the Leisure & Communities Department that the mess of graffiti on the west wall of the allotments at Magdalen Green will be attended to.
* The City Council has given me details of the updated footways priority list which envisages the following streets in the West End being brought up to adoptable standard in 2010/11 – Glamis Place, Glamis Terrace and Seymour Avenue. I have raised queries on behalf of residents about some other streets that I view as a priority given their poor condition. I am pleased to note that the upgrading of the footpath on the south side of Perth Road west of the former Lawrie’s Nurseries is to commence in the near future.

Friendly Bus – new stop!

Following residents’ requests to get the Friendly Bus sheltered shopping service to visit the sheltered housing in Logie, I had this response from Stagecoach Strathtay today:
 
“… spoke to the driver he said that he will be at the corner of Lime Street and Logie Avenue at 10:10 on Thursdays.   He will approach from the Scott Street entrance into Lime Street.”
 
I am sure this will be welcomed by local residents.

Further recycling progress in the West End

Friday’s Evening Telegraph covered news that Dundee’s neighbourhood recycling scheme is to be expanded, given its success since its introduction last year. Click on headline above to view.
The photo (right) is the launch in Blackness Avenue of the original phase last year, attended by myself, fellow councillors and members of Blackness Area Residents’ Association.

I’m pleased to say that it is planned to include the West End in this expansion, and the following areas are being considered, subject to consultation with nearby residents :

· Perth Road – east of Ryehill Lane
· Perth Road – at the east side of Seabraes
· Balfour Street – in the Dundee University campus near entrance of Students Union building
· Scott Street – east of Glenagnes Road (subject to the adjacent land owner’s permission)

It is intended to consult with residents this week and give a period for feedback, so the new facilities are likely to be installed later on in April. Residents’ groups/Community Councils are also consulted and nearby householders will also be provided with an information leaflet and reusable jute bag to carry recyclables to the bins.

Each Neighbourhood Recycling Point will consist of 4 steel containers for recycling each of the following materials:
· Paper
· Clear glass
· Green glass
· Brown glass

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.”