Lighting on path – Logie Street to Tullideph Street/Place

Residents in the Tullideph area recently raised with me the poor lighting on the pathway from Logie Street to the Tullideph Street/Place junction.   This is a very well-used path as it provides the main route on foot from Tullideph to catching a bus on Logie Street.   Many of the path users are elderly, living in the Tullideph Sheltered Housing.
 
I contacted the council’s Street Lighting Partnership Manager about the lighting situation and she sent me a very helpful response as follows :
 
“I have had a look at the path in question and can understand the concerns that have been raised.  I will add a small capital scheme for additional lighting into next years programme.   Unfortunately we are fully committed both in terms of finance and workload for the current financial year.
 
In the meantime, may I suggest that the tree in the middle of the path be cut back? this may help to make the path a little more visible.”
 
On the overgrown tree aspect, the Assistant Forestry Officer has also responded positively :
 
“I have inspected the mature maple tree next to the footway leading to Logie Street.    I will arrange to crown lift, crown balance, crown thin and prune this tree … I will include this work in our current winter schedule and the works will be completed prior to any street lighting improvement works.”

Residents’ meetings

Over the past couple of days, I have had three very positive meetings with local residents – with residents from the Tullideph area (Tuesday afternoon), Logie area (Wednesday morning) and the Corso/Abbotsford area (Wednesday afternoon).
 
The main purpose of these was for council officers to update tenants about the current housing rents consultation and also to give attendees details of the current consultation on 20mph speed limits in residential areas.
 
I am very grateful to all residents who attended and to the council officers who did such a good job presenting to the residents and answering questions.

Community Spirit Action Group

Earlier this evening, I attended the June meeting of Community Spirit Action Group – the community group for the “north” part of West End Ward, covering Pentland, Tullideph, Ancrum and the Cleghorn area.   The meeting took place at the Mitchell Street Centre.
 
It was a good opportunity to discuss local issues and I updated the group about a number of matters including road surfacing at Tullideph and condition of paths in Pentland.
 
The next Community Spirit meeting will take place at the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge on Wednesday 1st July – 6.30pm.   Community Spirit is keen to have some meetings in different locations in its area – all residents welcome!
 
The meeting in July will be addressed by Sandra Thomson, Managing Director of McGregor Balfour Textiles, who will talk about the Jute Industry.   I have previously heard a talk by Sandra and she is very informative and entertaining so the July Community Spirit meeting is not to be missed!

Thursday West End meetings

Yesterday was a busy day with my chairing a well-attended morning meeting with residents from the Tullideph area at which we discussed numerous local issues including home energy efficiency improvements, grass maintenance, dumped items and other matters.
 
At lunchtime, I attended a City Council briefing on community asset transfer and I thereafter chaired a meeting with residents from the Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace sheltered housing, where issues discussed included bin collections, pothole repairs and graffiti removal.
 
I am grateful to officers from the City Council’s Environment Department who attended both the Tullideph and Ancrum/Morven meetings to discuss garden and open plan area planting and grass maintenance.
 
After my weekly ward surgery at Blackness Primary School last night, I participated in a very positive meeting of the Friends of Riverside Nature Park at which a number of forthcoming public events were discussed, including a meadow walk on 21st June – more details to follow soon!

Meetings at Tullideph and Morven Terrace Sheltered Lounges

Following on from Monday’s meeting with the tenants in the Corso Street/Abbotsford Street/Abbotsford Place area to discuss rent options for 2015/16, yesterday I had the pleasure of chairing meetings at the Tullideph and Morven Terrace Sheltered Lounges at which two members of staff from the Housing Department discussed with tenants the rent options for 2015/16.
 
We had very useful discussions on the rents issue, the sheltered housing charge and service and also other matters such as bin collections, grass maintenance and house energy efficiency/insulation.

Gowrie Care’s Big Lunch at Tullideph Place!

Earlier today, I was delighted to open a community lunch in Tullideph Place, organised by the staff from Gowrie Care’s Tullideph project and the people they support.    Taking place as part of Big Lunch 2014, the proceeds raised have been donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.
 
It was great to see so many people in the local area take part – a great example of the Tullideph community coming together and also highlighting the great work Gowrie Care does.
Irene Duff, Gowrie Care’s Tullideph project manager, said,    “We decided to host the Big Lunch to meet our neighbours and to get the people we work with involved in the local community
“Gowrie Care support people in Dundee who require help with daily living skills and to access local resources.    It was great to see the people who benefit from our service raising community spirit and helping to organise this event.
“Not only did we provide our lunch guests with a tasty meal but we also had a DJ, a raffle, face painting, a cake and bake stall and we even offered our dining companions the opportunity to wax some of our male staff – all in the name of charity of course!”
Here’s some photographs and a short video from today’s Big Lunch:

Rethink needed on new bus service timetable

I have called on the City Council to look again at the bus timetable for the new 9, 10, 11 and 12 service recently introduced by National Express Dundee, with subsidy support from the City Council.   This follows complaints by constituents in parts of the route around Tullideph that the timing of the bus is badly aligned with the only other nearby bus service, the 17.
 
Constituents in Tullideph are rightly complaining about the rather bizarre timetable for this new service.  The 9, 10, 11, 12 service is in itself a very welcome development giving communities evening and weekend services where these were previously lacking, but residents are rightly complaining that the timetable is badly aligned to other services.
 
The biggest problem is that the bus from the Tullideph area travelling into town is at 25 minutes past the hour and the 17 is at 26 minutes past the hour.    Both are half hourly services and passengers – many of whom are elderly – have to wait at least another 28 minutes for the next bus.    Many other areas of the city enjoy far more frequent services, some enjoying a 8 to 10 minute service.
 
It would make far more sense for the 9, 10, 11, 12 service to be spaced equally between 17 buses so Tullideph and adjacent areas got a 15 minute service.
 
The City Council’s Head of Transportation advised me:
 
‘As you will be aware a large percentage of bus operations in Dundee are commercially operated, of which we have very little say in frequencies they propose to operate.
We will, if necessary look to subsidise any areas that we feel are disadvantaged by some service withdrawal decisions made by the operators, as in this case, we have subsidised the 9/10/11/12 evening service and Sunday services.
I am aware that service 9/10/11/12 operates all around Dundee and has a running time of two hours which means that this service cannot run in between other services in all areas of Dundee. If the service was to operate evenly on Tullideph Road it would not operate evenly between buses in other areas of Dundee, and this was a decision that National Express have decided to operate.’
 
I responded saying that as the 9, 10, 11, 12 service is a subsidised service, the council should be able to influence the timetable and it would make a lot of sense to look again at the service timings.
 
The new service is welcome but it has to be appropriately timed to maximise the benefit for local communities such as the people living in the Tullideph area.    I have asked the Head of Transportation to look at this issue and it would make sense to discuss it with the operators, National Express Dundee.

Residents’ meetings – Tullideph and Morven Terrace

This morning, I had the pleasure of chairing a residents’ meeting for the folk who live in the Tullideph area, followed by chairing an afternoon meeting with the residents of Morven Terrace sheltered housing complex.    Both meeting were well-attended and very productive but must rate as two of the most challenging I have ever chaired – I have a bad case of laryngitis and my voice is litle more than a whisper at the moment.    A radio interview I was to undertake today was really not an option!
 
At the Tullideph sheltered lounge, we discussed numerous issues including bus services (including the new 51 service, starting Monday – also discussed at the afternoon Morven Terrace meeting), street sweeping, a flooding issue, dropped kerbing and other local issues.
 

At the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge, in addition to bus services, we had a chat about road safety on the  bend in Morven Terrace near its entrance (see right), overgrown bushes, parking and other matters.

West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting

Last night, after my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I took part in the latest meeting of the  West End Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP), which allows local councillors, council officers across various departments, police, fire & rescue, NHS and local community organisations to get together to discuss West End issues.   On this occasion, the City Council Chief Executive attended part of the meeting, which was a welcome development.
We were given an update about progress with the proposed new Dundee Local Development Plan from a senior officer from the council’s City Development Department.   I again highlighted the issues of derelict buildings and the need to support our district shopping centres.
The LCPP meeting also had a welcome update from the Environment Department about proposed improvements in parts of the West End that include:

  • Improvements to the pathway from Logie Street to the Tullideph sheltered housing.
  • New hedge planting to replace the “temporary” fence at the east end of Magdalen Green.   I requested the “temporary” fence on behalf of residents the best part of a decade ago, so some nicer hedging will be a welcome development.
  • Scott Street entrance to Balgay Park – I have complained about its state before and was pleased to hear it will be improved and brightened up.
  • Hunter Street – roundabout with Hawkhill by-pass – to be tidied, improved with new planting and birch trees.
  • The old toilet block at Lochee Park will be removed and replaced with new toilets at the Lochee Park changing rooms.

Tuesday in the West End …

I had a very busy Tuesday with West End Ward activities yesterday including :

* A meeting with the sheltered tenants in Tullideph at the sheltered lounge in Tullideph Place, where we discussed a number of local issues, including the punctuality of local bus services.

* Attending the latest meeting of the Sinderins Court and Pennycook Court Residents’ Association, at which one of the local community policemen for the area also attended and we discussed local issues around the sheltered housing area.

* I thereafter attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House Support Group at the base in Artillery Lane.   I have recently been assisting the group, who assist men with alcohol-related problems, over funding and benefits related issues and, after discussion yesterday, will be discussing these further with the Social Work and Finance Departments of Dundee City Council.   The staff and service users at Jericho House recently took part in the large West End litter and graffiti clean-up I assisted with the organisation of, and we were most grateful for their help.

* I also held a meeting with the sheltered tenants at the Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace and we had a good discussion about many local issues including lighting in the sheltered housing complex and overgrown trees.   As with all the other meetings I attended yesterday, I am taking forward all issues raised by residents with the appropriate organisation or council department.

* Last night, I attended the final meeting of West End Community Council of its present session, before its summer break.   There was a detailed and highly informative presentation by the Dundee Airport Manager as well as an update on local policing matters by the community police officer covering the western part of the West End ward.   I was able to update the Community Council about a road safety matter at Sinderins and on local litter issues and forthcoming events as part of WestFest were also mentioned.    The Community Council next meets after its summer break on the second Tuesday of September.

Tuesday in the West End …

This morning, I had a very productive meeting with the Tullideph sheltered housing tenants at the sheltered lounge (see right).   We discussed numerous local issues included safety on the pathway from Logie Street to Tullideph Street/Tullideph Place, local bus services and graffiti.

This afternoon, I had a similar and equally useful meeting with the sheltered tenants of Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace.    Issues discussed included pavement repairs that are needed, grass/flower bed maintenance in the area and kitchen/bathroom upgrades.

I have raised all issues mentioned with appropriate council officers.

After a meeting with constituents at teatime, I attended tonight’s West End Community Council meeting, at which there was an interesting presentation from Craig Bartholomew of ADAPT, Dundee CAB‘s money advice service, that is doing great work in helping local people deal with debt and financial hardship.   At the Community Council, there was also discussion on numerous local issues such as graffiti and the state of local roundabouts.   Tayside Police representatives also gave an update on local policing issues.

Meeting with Tullideph area residents

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking with over 20 residents from the Tullideph area at a meeting I organised at the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge to discuss local issues.

It was a a very useful 90 minutes at which numerous concerns were discussed – including bus services, winter maintenance, roads condition and bin collections.   And a lot of banter too!

I have a ‘wee list’  of issues to follow up on behalf of residents that are already in hand.

Polling station changes back in Tullideph area

Following the recent refurbishment of the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge, for the Scottish Parliamentary Election & Fairer Votes Referendum on 5th May, voters in polling district WAE will go back to voting at this lounge.

These electors were temporarily moved to voting at the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge for the General Election last year during the works on the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge.

The change back to the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge affects electors in :

Ancrum Road (2-6 evens)

City Road (103-129 odds, 130-162 evens)

Colinton Place (1-15 odds)

Loganlee Terrace (2-16 evens)

Logie Street (66, 80, 82, 86, 88 and 90)

Pentland Avenue (30 -76 evens)

Pentland Crescent (1-33 odds)

Saggar Street (1-11 odds and evens)

Tullideph Place (2-10 evens, 9-41 odds)

Tullideph Road (7, 9, 11 and 20-36 evens)

Tullideph Street (1-10 odds and evens)

An update on crossing concerns at City Road/Tullideph Road

Further to my recent item about concerns from residents in the Tullideph area about the temporary crossing arrangements across City Road to the shops, during the current work to replace the traffic lights, and as reported in today’s Courier and Evening Telegraph, the Managing Director of Tayside Contracts has advised me :

 

Further to our telephone conversation regarding the crossing of elderly residents of the sheltered housing complex adjacent to the Tullideph Road/City Road junction I can confirm the actions we have taken since you raised the issue with me yesterday.

 

 

It is not possible to get 4 way lights with pedestrian phases as standard and the lead in time is around 4 weeks to order these. Therefore to ensure that the pedestrians are protected crossing the road I have arranged for a man to be on site from 8:15 to 16:30 whose sole duty is to assist pedestrians crossing the roads at this junction. He will be on site every day this week including Saturday and Sunday. The current plan is that the lights will be fully operational next Monday 15 November 2010.

If for any reason this is delayed then he will remain on site for the necessary days next week and will only be removed when the lights are fully operational.

  

I trust that this fully addresses the problem you have raised with me but should there be anything else or any alteration to the times of the man on site considered necessary please let me know.”
 

Residents tell me that the member of staff helping elderly residents across this busy road during daytime worked well yesterday. Hopefully the new lights will be working by next week but I am meantime grateful to the contractor for acting swiftly on this safety concern.

Temporary crossing concerns at City Road/Tullideph Road

I have received concerns from residents in the Tullideph area about the temporary crossing arrangements across City Road to the shops, during the current work to replace the traffic lights.   

Whilst replacing the lights with new (and better functioning) ones is to be welcomed, the temporary crossing is a concern as pedestrians have to cross in a more diagnonal route rather than straight across.   This is a particular concern in relation to the area’s many elderly folk many of whom take a little longer to get across.   There are also concerns being raised about the amount of time per day the contractor is spending on the work at the junction.

I raised the concerns with the City Council this week and have received the following feedback :

“I would agree that the works at City Road / Tullideph Road, in refurbishing the traffic signal junction have taken longer than anticipated.However, it was only Thursday that the permanent traffic signals were switched off and therefore the junction has been operating normally, including pedestrian movements, for the duration of the works to date.

I anticipate that the new signal arrangement will be operational on Monday 15th November and the temporary traffic signal arrangement utilized in the interim, will have pedestrian facilities. I agree that it is frustrating that the contractor chooses to apply this level of resource to this job which results in the timescales observed. But the improved traffic signal facility and improved efficiency of operation will hopefully make up for the short term inconvenience.”

I have responded as follows :

“… my major concern here is that the temporary pedestrian crossing facility is not really satisfactory for getting elderly folk across safely – can anything be done to improve it during the period up to the 15th?”

I will be speaking further with City Council officers regarding this matter.

More roofing repairs for the Tullideph Area

The roof repairs programme for the Tullideph Area continues with new roof replacement work starting next Monday (27th September) at 2-6 Tullideph Place and 9/10 Tullideph Street.

This part of the programme should be completed by November.

The Housing Department has written to tenants with full details and I am also happy to speak with any tenant who may have any questions about the roofing work that is about to commence.

11/12 bus service – meeting with National Express Dundee agreed

I welcome today’s commitment from National Express Dundee that it is willing to review recent controversial bus service changes in the city.

In recent weeks, along with residents, fellow councillors and the Community Spirit Action Group, I have highlighted the deficiencies in the revised 11/12 service in the Ancrum, Pentland and Tullideph areas. Following my approach to the bus company earlier this week, a meeting with their Director, Lawrence Davie, has now been agreed to specifically discuss the 11/12 service. The meeting will take place on 11th August, in order to give all residents a little while longer to sign Community Spirit’s petition – available in local shops and on-line – the total signatures now amounting to over 500.

Community Spirit representatives, fellow local councillors and I will be meeting Lawrence Davie to hand over the petition and discuss ways that the service could be improved.


We are anxious to get back a bus service for Pentland, Tullideph and Ancrum that is fit for purpose.

11/12 bus service petition – photocall

Last week, I highlighted the campaign by Community Spirit, local residents’ group for Ancrum, Pentland, Tullideph and the Cleghorn area, to seek improvements to the 11/12 bus service. I have since spoken with many local residents who rightly believe that a bus service that doesn’t run after 3pm on weekdays and has no service at all at the weekend is a really poor service and not fit for purpose.

At lunchtime today, at Ninewells Hospital, I joined with Community Spirit representatives and my ward colleague Cllr Richard McCready at a photocall to highlight the excellent response to the petition – already around 500 signatures (including nearly 50 on the on-line version available at http://tiny.cc/communityspirit). We chose Ninewells Hospital for a good reason – it is impossible for residents who rely on the 11/12 to get to the hospital to visit friends and relatives in hospital using this bus service – as visiting hours start at 3pm.   We are grateful to “The Courier” for covering the photocall – to appear in tomorrow’s edition.

Local councillors and Community Spirit wish to present the petition to National Express Dundee during August – and at the same time discuss the concerns with the bus company.
 

Latest on West End buses …

As I have previously updated, residents in the Pentland, Ancrum and Tullideph areas are strongly against the National Express Dundee bus service changes in the area as these are highly detrimental to the local community.
The residents’ group for the area – Community Spirit Action Group – has raised a petition that is being distributed to local shops and I have set up an on-line petition in support of Community Spirit’s campaign. The on-line petition is available at : http://tiny.cc/communityspirit.

The revised 11/12 service poorly serves the area, with no buses before 9am or after around 3pm and absolutely nothing at the weekends. It is simply not a service that is fit for purpose – particularly for the elderly community. There are no buses to Ninewells Hospital during visiting hours and no weekend bus service at all.

I have been in correspondence with Lawrence Davie, Managing Director of National Express Dundee, who has promised that the bus company will monitor the situation and review the service in the coming months, but action to improve the service is needed promptly, given the concerns from residents – of which the following is typical :

“I am 77 years old and live in the Pentland area and am already missing the regular bus service we did have. I do, like many others in the area, have difficulties when walking any distance. There is now no bus between Ninewells Hospital and Pentland after 3pm when visiting hours start at 3pm”

Elsewhere in the West End, I welcome news from National Express Dundee that it has applied to the Traffic Commissioner to alter the 5A bus service timetable on its eastern leg to Broughty Ferry, to improve timetable reliability across the route. In the Perth Road area, the 5A has been really unreliable in terms of timetable so I welcome the bus company’s steps to address this, hopefully in the very near future.

Bus service concerns

As reported in today’s Courier, I have raised constituents’ concerns about the changes to bus services covering parts of the West End Ward from tomorrow.

These affect the 9/10/11/12 “Outer Circle” service and I have received numerous representations from residents in the Ancrum, Tullideph and Pentland areas, who feel that the removal of that service is detrimental particularly for elderly residents who used it and that the revised 11/12 service not adequate.

Across the West End, the bus changes are a mixed bag in that, in all fairness to National Express Dundee, there is an improvement in part of the ward with the replacement for the 9X – the new 5A service – being generally more frequent.   This is to be welcomed.

However, the people in other parts of the West End such as Pentland, Ancrum and Tullideph are rightly concerned at the revised 11/12 service that will only run from approximately 9am to 3pm on weekdays. People are naturally concerned about the loss of service outwith these times. In addition Service Number 2 is only hourly and often runs full.

I recently wrote on behalf of constituents to Lawrence Davie, Managing Director of National Express Dundee and specifically asked if the frequency of the new 11/12 service could be looked at again after it has been in operation and the demand can be quantified and hopefully increased if usage is good.

Mr Davie replied, “We have reduced the level of service to match the usage. The position will be reviewed in three and six months after commencement. I hope the 6, 11/12 in their new formats are used and that we can retain these in the future.”

It is important that the 11/12 and the new 6 service gets good usage in the months ahead and I will be continuing to argue for an improved service for the areas covered by these services.

Roof improvements for the Tullideph area

A roof repair programme for parts of City Road, Tullideph Road and Tullideph Place starts on Monday (21st June), with work on Tullideph Road starting first, City Road second and concluding with Tullideph Place.

The programme should complete by September.

The Housing Department has written to tenants with full details and I am also happy to speak with any tenant who may have any questions about the forthcoming work.

Monday activities

Yesterday, along with other city councillors, I attended a very informative briefing on human trafficking and steps that are being taken to combat this extremely concerning matter.

After two surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy, I attended City Council committee meetings at which I asked a question about Dundee population projections contained within a report on main issues facing the TAYplan strategic development planning authority, commented on and asked a question about the HMIe interim follow through inspection report on child protection services in the city, and sought assurances that the outcomes of a proposal to introduce an e-book and e-audio book service by the Leisure and Communities Department would be reported back to committee after a period in order that its success can be gauged.

At the City Council meeting, the proposal to temporarily move the polling station for voters in the Tullideph area to Morven Terrace during renovation work on the Tullideph sheltered lounge (that I mention last week) was approved. I sought – and was given – assurances from the Chief Executive that the change of polling station would be well-publicised for residents in the area.

Yesterday, I also received an update from the Housing Department on the work currently taking place at the lounge in Tullideph Place :

“Following on from a Health and Safety Report and also an Accessibility Audit it was noted that there was some items at the complex which needed attention.

As well as items in these reports it was also noted that users of the facility were having great difficulty accessing the rear patio area and even falling so it was agreed that we should upgrade the access to this area. We are forming a decking area with easy access to the patio and seating area so the clients can use this area during the better weather.

The access to the front, which is on a slope, also proves difficult for some of the clients, particullarly anyone in a wheelchair. There is a door which is quite heavy and a wheelchair user had previously fallen from his chair whilst leaving the building. We are going to make level the access at the front of the building, make the threshold level and fit an automatic door.


The fire exit to the side of the building also needed upgrading as this did not allow anyone in a wheelchair to use this exit if needed so this is being upgraded.

We are also making one of the wc’s fully accessible for a wheelchair user.

This work started on Thurs 11/02/10 and it was hoped to be finished by end of March 2010. However there has been a slight delay in the external works due to the extremely cold weather but the internal works will be completed and the complex opened again by the end of March 2010.”

Tullideph sheltered lounge – latest

The sheltered lounge in Tullideph Place is currently undergoing renovations and I recently asked the City Council Housing Department about progress with the works.

I was advised by the City Council yesterday that, because of the works at the lounge, residents who normally vote there will instead vote at the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge at the forthcoming General Election.

Tullideph area – railings

I have been in touch with the City Council’s Housing Department regarding the state of the garden railings in the Tullideph area, following tenants in the area contacting me to ask when the railings will next be painted/repaired through the External Cyclical Maintenance (ECM) programme as it is now 9 years since they were last done.
I paste below the response I have received and have asked to be kept updated on the matter as I wish to see the work undertaken as soon as possible :
“Unfortunately this development is not included in the current year’s External Cyclical Maintenance programme as we are still working on developments were the length of time since the last ECM programme was undertaken exceeds that of Tullideph tenements (eg Logie Flatted Development). However our records indicate that Tullideph Tenements last benefitted from ECM work in February 2000 and therefore will need to be included in the programme within the near future.
 
The ECM programme is currently being reviewed to try and achieve improved value for money and more efficient allocation of labour between developments across the city. This is expected to have a slight effect on the traditional date order used for the identification of work. Despite this I would anticipate Tullideph Tenements being included in the programme for 2010/11.
This year’s programme has also been affected by recent financial constraints as a result of spend predicitions for Repairs and Maintenance budgets. This is likely to impact on the amount of railing repairs carried out as work focuses on more essential maintenance such as gutter and door repairs. At the moment the impact of this is being monitored and every effort will be made to avoid major slippage in the overall ECM programme.”

"Community Spirit" launch

“Community Spirit” – a new community group for the “north” part of West End Ward, covering Ancrum, Pentland and the Cleghorn area launches tonight (Thursday 13th March) at the Mitchell Street Centre (6pm for 6.15pm). All local residents are invited.
A number of local residents in the area have been involved in developing a community group, assisted by Dundee City Council staff and local councillors. Following a successful initial public meeting at Balgay Church Hall last October, tonight’s meeting will see the group formally established.

I have produced an update newsletter for the meeting covering various local issues – you can download a copy of this by clicking on the headline above.