Busy Tuesday

During a busy Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a launch meeting of ‘DUSTIE’ – an initiative by the Enterprise Gym at the University of Dundee.
This is an excellent initiative that is aimed at providing university students with paid, supervised work experience that will benefit both the student and the local community.    The first two projects – a Green Advice Centre and a Green Bike Travel project – have much merit and it will be good to see the projects develop in the months ahead.
Also yesterday, I visited the new police office at Dundee Airport where two of our local community police officers are now based.   It is good to see community bases like this for our community police officers.    During the visit I was also able to speak with the Airport Manager about airport issues.
Last night, I attended the latest meeting of “Bonnie Dundee”, the group that encourages improvements to the Dundee environment and helps local groups who keep Dundee’s parks, open areas, streets and gardens in good shape.    There was a good discussion about local improvements, including in the area around the Seabraes steps.

Ryehill Police Station refurbishment – an update

Further to my recent item about the refurbishment of the Ryehill Police Station, just a reminder that the station is closed from tomorrow.   A further update from our local police inspector:
“Ryehill Police Office will be closed from the 11th March 2013 for a period of 10 working days (in reality 2 weeks) to enable Tayside Police to carry out maintenance and repair works both internally and externally. 
A notice will be placed on the front door of the police station informing members of the public of the situation. 
The 101 telephone number (non emergency) will still be available. 
Ryehill officers will be working from either Police HQ or Lochee Police Office. There will be no reduction in patrols (Community or Response). 
Supervisors will monitor the situation daily to ensure that there is minimum impact on the community.”

Ryehill Police Station refurbishment

I recently mentioned that the Ryehill Police Station is to undergo a much-needed refurbishment.
Our local police inspector has updated me as follows:
“The work is scheduled to commence the week of the 11th March.   Building contracts inform me that it will take approx. one week to complete;   I would suggest at least two. 
The place is getting a decent makeover, including outside paintwork, lights being fixed, paving slabs being lifted and relaid, the bedding area being planted up, render work being undertaken, etc. and some internal work that is badly needed. 
I will ensure that the West End LCPP is kept fully informed.   
Hopefully this will go some way to addressing some of the issues that have been highlighted and improve the Perth Road area.”

Monday’s City Council committees

After my two Monday ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and at Harris Academy yesterday, I attended City Council committee meetings at which:
* At Development Management Committee, the planning application for the new Dundee Railway Station was discussed and approved.   West End Community Council had been denied a deputation request as they had not submitted an objection but I was permitted to raise with the Director of City Development their questions about traffic management and the public consultation process.
* At Policy and Resources Committee, I commented on the draft local fire and rescue plan and questioned performance indicators about injuries arising from fires.   I also asked about the police response to domestic housebreaking that had seen an increase during 2012.   The police are taking a very proactive approach in combating house break-ins through the “After Dark” initiative.

Monday activities

This afternoon, after a number of visits to constituents, I attended the public exhibition about the parking proposals for part of the West End.
The exhibition was well attended – see right – but what is very clear from speaking with residents at this that they want a proper public meeting at which the plans can be discussed and questions answered.   The council is currently planning no public meeting and at last week’s West End Community Council, I raised this concern.   
The Community Council is therefore inviting the council’s Head of Transportation to its next meeting – this is a public meeting – and I hope he will accept the invitation.    It was impossible in the atmosphere of the exhibition at the library to hear all the points being made and answered.   A proper public meeting is therefore vital.
I spoke with the Director of City Development before council committees tonight and stressed this point.
After my two Monday ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended council committees at the City Chambers.    This evening, the first special Policy and Resources Committee on policing policy and performance took place.    This will become the replacement for the Tayside Police Board when the new single police force across Scotland takes effect next April.
I asked questions about performance information being provided at ward level, queried domestic housebreaking levels and provision of home security advice and praised the high level of public satisfaction with the quality of police service across the West End and Lochee (Dundee Section 2).

Pleasance Court – Residents’ meeting

Last night, I had the pleasure of chairing the latest – and well-attended – meeting of the residents of Pleasance Court.
There was a useful discussion on a number of local issues – seagulls nuisance, wheelie bins, parking issues and security to name a few – and I am most grateful to representatives from Home Scotland, Ross & Liddell, Tayside Police and Community Spirit Action Group who attended and participated in the discussion.

Laser attack at Dundee Airport

As reported in last night’s Evening Telegraph, I have condemned a highly irresponsible use of a laser pen last Sunday which was shone into the cockpit of the CityJet aircraft from London City coming into land at Dundee Airport.
It was an incredibly stupid thing for someone to do and, speaking with a police representative at the West End Local Community Planning Partnership last night, I am reassured that Tayside Police is investigating the incident.
I spoke on Wave 102 news about the matter this morning – click ‘play’ below to listen: