West End Community Clean-Up!

This afternoon, along with my councillor ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready, Environment Convener Cllr Craig Melville, Trudy Cunningham, Environment and Sustainability Officer at the University of Dundee, community representatives, members of the Bonnie Dundee group and others, we took part in a clean-up of the area around Greenmarket and collected bags (and bags!) of rubbish.    A couple of photos below!
Part of the litter pick team in action!
Alistair Gibb of Community Spirit Action Group and me at Greenmarket
Leaving aside the “keeping our environment clean” message that Trudy got across on tonight’s STV news, it was really good to see the community spirit that is such a feature of the West End coming to the fore again today.
I was interviewed about the clean-up on Wave 102 news earlier today – click ‘play’  below to listen:

Parking consultation : Council must act on residents’ views

As the consultation period on the proposed West End parking proposals ended, I spoke on the STV news last Friday evening about the issue.
It is vital that Dundee City Council actually listens to the views of the hundred of residents and businesses who have responded to the parking consultation.    I’ll eat my hat if the council’s proposal for a £80 parking permit finds favour in the responses the council has received.   I have spoken with dozens of residents who were critical of the council’s flawed proposal but absolutely nobody who thought the council got the parking scheme proposal right.    However, the parking problems for many residents will remain and it is therefore vital that the council looks carefully at the ideas put forward by residents.
The detail of the scheme proposed by the council wasn’t properly thought through and was a dead duck the day it was announced because it failed in three key aspects:
a)    Charging West End residents 16 times as much for their permits as Menzieshill residents – totally inequitable and unfair.
b)    Charging West End residents for their visitors’ parking when the Menzieshill scheme allows free visitor parking, albeit for a limited period.
c)    Failure to provide new car parking provision at the University of Dundee campus to ease parking congestion on West End streets – as I have previously highlighted.
I have heard some very sensible suggestions from residents that could be taken forward in the areas of parking difficulty even in the council’s flawed £80 permit parking scheme is rejected – these include addition parking provision near the university campus and a review of waiting restrictions at several locations.    
The vitally important thing now is that Dundee City Council actually listens to the views expressed in consultation responses.

Grampian Television’s 50th!

Had it not been ‘rebranded’ as STV North, Grampian Television, the regional TV service for the north and north-east of Scotland, would have been celebrating its 50th anniversary today.

Some of us campaigned against the removal of the Grampian brand back in 2006 and regret the passing of a great regional television service – immortalised by TV greats such as Ron Thomson, Jimmy Spankie and Alan Saunders.

STV North has, to its credit, produced an excellent Dundee and Tayside segment in the STV News at Six each evening, but I regret the passing of Grampian, a genuine regional and much-loved television station :

Bring back Grampian!

On STV news – campaigning against graffiti vandalism

I took part tonight in the STV news, highlighting the concerns of West End residents about graffiti vandalism.

I have reported the graffiti highlighted to the City Council, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Water for action to get it removed.

There’s another community initiative to tackle the graffiti issue in the West End this June, following the super effort by residents and others last year.   If you wish more details, please contact me at fraser@frasermacpherson.org.uk

Wednesday activities

This afternoon, I was interviewed for tonight’s STV news about my concerns regarding the City Council’s SNP Administration education ‘savings’ proposals that propose a so-called “City Campus” for senior pupils that would see pupils having to travel between schools for classes.   I have called for a proper explanation of how this would actually work but judging by comments made by the SNP Education Convener in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, she has “yet to fully consider transport for the plan.”   Announced, but not thought through.   Astonishing.

Thereafter I had the pleasure of attending the launch in the City Square of Stagecoach Strathtay’s fleet of brand new vehicles for the “Tayway” 73 service (Arbroath to Ninewells Hospital, including the West End).

The buses are brand new Enviro 400 buses, which benefit from state of the art technology, including the latest “green” Euro 5 engines, CCTV, free wi-fi and low floor entrances, making them easily accessible for wheelchair and buggy users. New branding has also been fitted to the vehicles, allowing the public to easily identify the 73 service.

I’m pictured (below) at the new buses at City Square after the launch.