Union Street and new housing office official opening

Following my earlier article about the new West District Housing Office (click on headline above to view), I attended the official opening on Friday. Much improved facilities – for both the public and staff – compared to the previous offices.
I had recently received a complaint about the bus facilities in Union Street. I have now received a response from the Planning & Transportation Department saying that the facilities in Union Street (full length) are to be renewed but as part of the improvement programme for the street, which is some time off. Therefore, meantime, the officer advises – “I will investigate the costs of providing a bench.”
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Week thus far …

Had a very busy week thus far with constituents’ queries and issues. At Council committees on Monday night, I spoke on a couple of matters:
  • The summary of the 2006 Air Quality Updating and Screening Assessment for Dundee was on the Environmental Services and Sustainability Committee. The particulate matter concentrations in Union Street were above average. The report to committee indicated this will have been adversely affected by major construction projects in the vicinity. However, I sought assurances that this will be closely monitored and this assurance was given.
  • The Communities Committee included detail of a consultation process on the future of Community Councils, given the new ward arrangements. This is to be welcomed, although I stressed that a “one size fits all” approach would not be appropriate. In some places it may be an exiting Community Council will comfortably ‘fit’ into the new STV ward area. However, in others, a combination of different Community Councils in an STV ward (or other representative organisations) may be the more appropriate way forward.

The Blackness Area Residents’ Association AGM takes place tonight (with bingo afterwards) in the Corso Street sheltered lounge at 6.30pm. The West District Housing Manager is the speaker – on local housing issues.

Union Street

Pleased to note that Union Street has now reopened three and a half weeks early – following completion of a £170 000 gas mains project by Scotland Gas Networks.

A few residents had asked why it looked like it was complete just before it actually reopened – part of e-mail from the City Council explains why :

“…some road markings needed done for a few days, and they had to finish the connection at bottom of Union Street and test the gas pressures (otherwise, they would have been back to Union St to re-open for faults) hence it looked as if they had finished. At the end they finished about 3.5 weeks ahead of schedule thanks to Scotland Gas Networks.”

Good to see normality restored to Union Street.

Dumfries, Tait’s Lane, Thomson Street, Gas Main Works …

No sooner back from Belfast, caught up with e-mails etc, then off Thursday/Friday to Dumfries – again the day job and the infamous annual Chinese Karaoke Night! Err, the photo is blurred (I wonder why?) but it was a great night! Janet’s on the far left of the photo but let’s just say its not the best photograph I have ever taken!
On return, not pleased to learn from two constituents that the work by the electricity supplier necessary to allow Tayside Contracts to finish off the last part of the Tait’s Lane resurfacing (and promised for last week) hasn’t happened – have e-mailed the City Council asking that the supplier concerned is contacted on Monday to get this sorted.
Was out delivering the West End Christmas Week Flyer (more details available by following the headline above) this morning & concerned to learn from local resident about difficulties an ambulance had getting down Thomson Street yesterday. Reinforces the necessity to improve the parking situation – but good the City Council is seeking a solution.
And lastly tonight (I have 150 e-mails to get through after being away two days – oh, and the X Factor is on …) – received this from the City Centre Manager on the impending works to replace the gas main in Nethergate and Union Street :
“I attended a meeting yesterday with Planning & Transportation and Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) regarding the main replacement scheme in Nethergate and Union Street.
Phase 1 Nethergate: Excavations in the taxi rank (end of previous Marketgait scheme), two excavations in the Nethergate (at top of Union Street) and an excavation in Union Street (at top,east side) – timeline 08 January ’07 – 04 February ’07 (4 weeks)
Phase 2 Union Street: excavations the whole length down the east side – timeline 05 February ’07 – 30 March ’07 (8 weeks)
Temporary Traffic Management
i) Diversion Routes
Phase 1 Nethergate: Full closure between Union Street and Whitehall Street
East-bound closure between West Marketgait and Union Street
South-bound closure of whole length of Union Street Diversion route – West Marketgait/South Marketgait/Yeamans Shore/Whitehall Crescent/Whitehall Street.
Dates 08/01/2008 – 04/02/2007
Phase 2 Union Street: Full closure whole length Diversion Route Whitehall Crescent/Whitehall Street/High Street Dates 05/02/2007 – 30/03/2007
ii) Advance Signing
Information boards will be set out two weeks prior to the start of Phase 1 (approx. 27 December 2006)
Access to Union Street/Signing
SGN/Turriff will liaise with affected traders regards deliveries and access prior to work starting and agree suitable arrangements and to avoid any illegal through traffic for Phase 2.
Bus-Stop Changes
Phase 1 Nethergate: 2no. Bus-stop in High Street will relocate to Whitehall Crescent Phase 2 Union Street: All bus stops will be taken out and the public directed to bus stops in Nethergate.
These are the preliminary details, however note that SGN will be doing letter drops and visits to businesses from 4th December.”