Lovely display at Victoria Park #dundeewestend

I recently highlighted the superb job the City Council has made of Seabraes planting again this year.    
Another real credit to the Neighbourhood Services Department is the lovely display at Victoria Park.   
The style of planting has been altered to make it less labour-intensive but the quality has definitely been maintained :


Victoria Park – new tennis courts #dundeewestend

Having updated residents over the past few years over the council’s proposals to improve the tennis courts at Victoria Park, it is great to see the new tennis courts now complete and looking great!
There’s been very positive feedback from constituents.   “Before” and “after” photos below :
I’m pictured a few years ago at the old tennis courts – above
The new tennis courts are a very substantial improvement

West End playpark improvements

Having long campaigned for an upgrade to the Victoria Park playpark, it is good to see the proposals for the impending improvements agreed by the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee – here’s a couple of images of the plans that should be completed before the end of March :


Last July, I raised with the council residents’ requests to make improvements at the playpark in Milnbank Road/Bankmill Road and I am pleased at the positive response to my request.   On Monday, the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee will consider the following proposal :

Milnbank Play Area – Improve all surfacing within the play area. This includes removing slabbed surface and replacing with rubber mulch safety surface and additional ground restoration works.

I am also pleased that the following proposal is also being considered on Monday :

Magdalen Green Play Area – Improve stability of the well-used banking by installation of a Scramble net to enhance play for users and additional restoration to safety surfacing.

Balgay Stakeholders’ Walkabout

Earlier this evening, I attended a walkabout round Greater Balgay by the Balgay Stakeholders’ Group, which brings together local councillors, council parks/Neighbourhood Services staff and representatives from the Friends of Balgay – to look at issues related to Balgay Park and its surrounds.
We had a very useful walk round Greater Balgay, and discussed proposals for improvements in the forthcoming year or so which include :
• Improved directional and road safety/vehicle speed limit signage
• Removal of the unused bowling green at Lochee Park to incorporate it into the main park (but maintaining the remaining bowling green)
• A welcome new overspill car park in Lochee Park and the lining of the main car park into bays
• Repair of the Serpentine steps in Balgay
• Significant upgrade and improvement to the Victoria Park tennis courts, hopefully taking place this summer
• Upgrade to the playpark in Victoria Park 
• Ask Community Payback to repaint the railings at the bandstand – see right
• Look at ways of improving areas like some of the hedgerows
• Some alteration to the Rose Garden to maintain its lovely appearance but improve its grass cutting regime
• Some solar lighting on paths
• Upgrading of Balgay Cemetery paths
These are very positive developments and I will continue to keep residents advised of progress.

Victoria Park Bowling Green – positive site visit

Further to my update at the end of last month about the future of Victoria Park Bowling Green, last night I took part in a site visit with local schools’ and community representatives, Environment Department staff and two of my ward colleagues to look at the green’s condition and that of the pavilion.
We had further very useful discussions about future schools and community use of the facility and we clearly now have a positive way forward for the former Bowling Green, which is really good news.
A couple of photos from last night :
The green is in good condition and has much to offer for schools and community use
The pavilion – needs some brightening up but good potential and has toilet facilities

Positive meeting about future use of Victoria Park Bowling Green

Victoria Park Bowling Green
Earlier this evening, along with representatives from the council’s Environment Department, Friends of Balgay, West End Community Council, Community Spirit Action Group, St Joseph’s Primary School, Victoria Park Primary School and fellow ward councillors, I took part in a meeting to discuss what can now be done with Victoria Park Bowling Green, following the council’s decision to close it.
I was critical of the closure decision, particularly after the council recently spent nearly £23 000 re-roofing the green’s pavilion, so I am anxious that positive alternative use is found for the bowling green and its pavilion.
We had a very positive meeting tonight and the upshot is that there’s now a proposal to give use of the facility to local schools to use for outdoor activities, school eco and gardening projects during the day, with community use in the evenings.    
Environment Department officers are now to draw up a paper outlining how the proposals could work in practice and a site visit will be undertaken after the school Easter holidays.

Council spent over £20 000 on Victoria Park bowling green pavilion – then shut it

Victoria Park Bowling Green
As reported in last night’s Evening Telegraph and today’s Courier, I have expressed concern about the City Council’s decision to close the Victoria Park Bowling Green, axed in the SNP administration’s budget, after it emerged that, only last year, the council had spent nearly £23 000 on repairs to the bowling green’s pavilion.
As residents are aware, I attempted at last month’s City Council Budget Meeting to save the Victoria Park Bowling Green and also the one at Baxter Park from the axe but unfortunately the SNP voted to close them and Labour also failed to support the bowling greens.   After my asking questions about the situation, it now emerges that the council spent £22 836 in 2014 repairing the pavilion at the Victoria Park green just a matter of months before closing it.
This rather made a nonsense of claiming closing the bowling greens saves money.    The total annual revenue budget saving from closing both bowling greens was claimed to be £30 000, so, as Victoria Park’s is the smaller of the two, I suspect the saving there would be under £15 000, which begs the question why council spent nearly £23 000 on the pavilion only to shut it months later.
The council claimed that these bowling greens could have been better used but the council itself has failed to properly promote the greens and their availability for local people to use.   If the council had been more proactive in advertising these bowling greens, they would been better used.
In the West End, we are lucky to have excellent private bowling clubs like Hillcrest and Balgay, but for people unable to afford an annual subscription or residents just wanting an occasional game without a recurring subscription, council bowling greens provide that facility.   The bowling green at Victoria Park has a lovely setting and it is a crying shame to see it dismantled.    
The Environment Director has said the council will consider possible alternative uses for the pavilion and green but so far there appears to be no proactivity to progress this.    I would like to see possible new community uses explored, but meantime I am simply scratching my head as to why anyone would think of spending nearly £23 000 of public money on a building and then shut it just months later.