Last couple of days …

On Tuesday evening, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH) that took place at the Riverside Pavilion.   We had a hugely productive meeting, discussing future management of the pavilion and further improvements to assist sporting activity in the West End.
Yesterday afternoon, I firstly had a site meeting in Wilkie’s Lane with Rev Leszek Wiecaszek, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, the Chair of St Josephs Parish Pastoral Council and two representatives of the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership.   I recently raised concerns from residents including members of the church about the state of the footpath at the south end of the lane.   We had a useful discussion about the need to improve the state of the path.
 
Later yesterday afternoon, I chaired a meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge with residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street.   Around 40 residents attended and we had a good discussion about numerous local issues.   Judith Clark of Solar Cities Scotland was guest speaker and gave a very interesting presentation on carbon reduction and steps to reduce your heating bill.
 
And, talking of well-attended meetings, last night I attended the AGM of WestFest, that took place at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   It was a great night with an informative and interesting talk by Stewart Murdoch, City Council Director of Leisure and Communities, on the Dundee bid for UK City of Culture 2017.   Co-chair of WestFest, Paola McClure, gave a comprehensive and entertaining resume of WestFest’s past year and a new committee was elected.
 
With thanks to Peter Menzies at the Vine for hosting the AGM and the photography on the Facebook page, here’s a photo (right) from last night with me pictured bottom right in the photo!

West End Community and Sports Hub committee meeting

Last night, I had the pleasure of taking part in the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub, that took place at the now greatly upgraded Riverside Pavilion.
 
The Community Payback Fund upgrade is almost complete and the pavilion is looking so much better.   WECSH has great plans for the pavilion in terms of creating greater capacity and services for West End sport and the pavilion improvements represent a great start.  
 
We were all delighted to learn that our Vice Chair, Steve McSwiggan of the Dundee Saturday Morning Football League has won the Sunday Mail Volunteer of Year Award for the East region and he will get presented with the award at half time during Dundee United v St Johnstone at Tannadice Park on 24th August.  Congratulations to Steve for this very well deserved recognition.
 
Here’s a few photos of the newly installed signage at the pavilion:
New entrance signage
Another new entrance sign
New noticeboard
The 12 changing rooms have been named – see above and below

West End Community and Sports Hub – latest committee meeting

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH)
 
We had a very productive meeting and we are finalising plans for an official re-opening of the Riverside Pavilion following its recent improvement work.    We are aiming to have the opening immediately after the school holidays.
 
For more information about WECSH go to www.wecsh.com.

West End Community and Sports Hub – Pavilion car park

Further to my update last month about the improvements at the Riverside Pavilion, on behalf of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH), can we pass on our thanks and appreciation to Tayside Contracts who have, at my request, laid new bottoming and rolled it across the car park.   
 
The car park is now far better for access – see above right – the bad potholes have gone!
 
Longer term, WECSH hopes to obtain funding for a fully surfaced car park but meantime the car park is a whole lot more usable, so thank you Tayside Contracts!

West End Community and Sports Hub – Pavilion progress

Back in February, along with other committee members of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH, formerly WESHA), we toured the Riverside Pavilion to view the commencement of the improvement works provided by a Community Payback Scheme project.
 
Last night, we held another tour to view progress with the works that are nearing completion and these are looking great.   Here’s a few photographs from the visit last night:
New kitchen equipment installed
Repainted changing rooms
Repainted corridors – the floor is to be repainted after the football season ends
New showers are hugely better than the old ones!

West End Community and Sports Hub

Last night, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (formerly WESHA).
 
We had a very productive night discussing a “walk, jog and run” initiative that will be based at the Riverside Pavilion and heard about the latest news from Balgay Bowling Club.
 
The improvements at the Riverside Pavilion are nearing completion and we discussed finishing touches such as signage, entrance mats and a brick fundraising idea.
 
We are making really good progress with sporting improvements for the West End and a official opening of the refurbished pavilion later in the spring.

WESHA committee meeting – and Riverside Drive speed limit good news

Later this evening, I took part in the latest WESHA committee meeting at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road. WESHA – now known as the West End Community and Sports Hub – is making excellent progress in moving sport forward across the West End.
 
We had very positive reports on further progress with the improvements at the Riverside Sports Pavilion (pictured right) – new kitchen completed, new lighting – both internal and external, new toilets and basins are examples.
 
We also discussed progress with charitable status, lease negotiations and the football pitches at Riverside.   The committee welcomed the news I mentioned yesterday about the speed limit cut on Riverside Drive.   The City Council announced today that the new 40mph limit will apply from next Monday.    
 
Crucially, not only will it lower speeds, it will also allow for the possibility of future pedestrian crossings – for example at the playing fields and at Riverside Nature Park.   These would be a boon for pedestrians who currently have a real challenge trying to get across this very busy road and, as pointed out at WESHA tonight, a great step forward for sporting access to the playing fields on both sides of the road.

WESHA committee view Riverside Pavilion improvement work

This morning, along with fellow members of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WESHA) committee, we toured the Riverside Pavilion and changing rooms on Riverside Drive to view the improvement works that have now commenced thanks to a Community Payback funding bid that WESHA and three other sports hubs across Dundee successfully bid for last year.
 
We were pleased to note the initial progress, although much of the work remains to be completed.    There are also other works in and around the pavilion that we would like to see take place in addition to the current bid and are discussion possible funding options.
 
Here are some photographs from this morning’s visit:
Riverside Pavilion
Jim, Rhoda and Angela from the WESHA committee
Me with Rhoda and Angela
Work has started on the showers
Work has also started on repainting the changing rooms
We looked at the large loft space and were pleased to note it appears basically sound.    We have managed to obtain funding for loft insulation that is badly needed

 

The car park is in real need of improvement – we have some ideas about hopefully effecting some minor improvements in the near future to at least get rid of the worst of the potholes and rutting of the surface

Tuesday meetings …

Earlier today, along with two councillor colleagues, I took part in a meeting with representatives of Living Streets about the need to progress 20 mph safer speed limits in highly residential streets across the city, as part of the GO20 campaign.
 
This is an issue I have highlighted on numerous occasions and it was agreed today that engagement and consultation should take place with Community Councils, residents’ groups and other community organisations to gauge support for 20 mph zones in residential areas in Dundee.
Earlier this evening, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (formerly WESHA).   There is good progress with the Community Payback funding to improve the Riverside Pavilion, with work having commenced on-site.   We also discussed progress with WESHA taking a lease of the pavilion from the council and progress towards WESHA’s charitable status.

Recycling, Perth Road Traders and a name change for WESHA!

Yesterday, I attended the City Council’s Waste to Energy Working Group at which the situation regarding the facility at Baldovie and progress towards its re-opening was further discussed.     As a councillor who has continually campaigned for improved recycling facilities for West End constituents, it was good to hear that an increase in the network of neighbourhood recycling facilities is now planned.
 
Last night, I had the pleasure of taking part in the latest meeting of the Perth Road business community, a most productive meeting – and it is now planned to formally launch the Perth Road Traders’ Association at a first AGM on 19th February 2013.
 
Later yesterday evening, I also attended the latest meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA).   There is good progress with the plans to improve the pavilion at Riverside and promoting sport in the West End.   In light of this progress and to focus on our key objectives, we agreed to rename WESHA – it will henceforth be known as the West End Community and Sports Hub.

West End Sports and Heritage Association

Also last night, I took part in the latest committee meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association at The Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.
 
Amongst the many items discussed was recent good news about WESHA’s success (along with three other Dundee sports hubs) in gaining funding through a Community Payback bid for significant improvements to the Riverside Pavilion/Changing Rooms on Riverside Drive.    It looks like the works to improve the changing facilities will take place early in the new year and will greatly improve the quality of changing facilities.
 
We also discussed progress on WESHA’s lease negotiations at the site and progress towards WESHA becoming a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).
 
WESHA has a very active and enthusiastic committee that is making real progress in sporting improvements for the West End.   You can read more about WESHA’s activities at its new website at www.wesha.org.

WESHA’s website launched!

I’m delighted to advise that the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) has just launched its new website at www.wesha.org – and it is a really professional site, designed and hosted by Dundee web designers MTC Media.
 
As WESHA’s Secretary, I’d like to thank all colleagues who contributed to the site’s content and, in particular, Daryl McKenzie, Community Sport Hubs Officer, at Leisure & Culture Dundee, whose hard work and enthusiasm in this project and in generally supporting WESHA and Dundee’s other sports hubs is greatly appreciated.
 
WESHA is doing great work in promoting sport and improving sporting facilities in the West End.   If you are interested in WESHA’s activities, please e-mail us at WESHA@frasermacpherson.org.uk

Supporting West End sport

As reported in today’s Courier, I have said it is vital that the City Council supports sport across the city in the wake of the success of the Olympics and said the City Council must support for specific community sports initiatives across Dundee.
 
I have pointed to a number of ways the City Council can support sporting initiatives in the West End including :
 
•  Supporting the West End Sports and Heritage Association’s (WESHA) bid to move forward sport in the West End.    WESHA is looking to take a lease of the Riverside changing rooms and build up their use and the council’s support for moving this forward urgently is vital, as are similar initiatives in other parts of Dundee.   As WESHA’s Secretary, I was delighted to hear earlier this week that a joint bid by four Dundee Sports Hubs for funding through a Community Payback Scheme to allow changing rooms and other improvements to take place has been successful.   This is really good news for the West End Sports and Heritage Association’s work to improve sport across the West End and we are delighted.  I am sure this news will also be welcomed by the other three sports hubs in Dundee who bid for the funding and I am grateful to Community Payback and Sports Development staff for all their hard work supporting the sports hubs.
 
•  I have been in correspondence this week with the City Council’s Chief Executive and Director of Education about the need for the City Council to support a hockey initiative at Harris Academy, particularly during the school’s decant to the Rockwell site during the school rebuilding project.
 
•  There is a real need for investment in the parts of the city’s sports infrastructure – an example I’d point to is my long-standing concern about the state of tennis facilities at Victoria Park.
 
West End Sports and Heritage Association is working hard to improve sports across the West End, in partnership with various sports clubs including junior football, amateur football, bowling, boxing, judo and aquatics.  Its good to see other sports hub initiatives in other parts of Dundee but the City Council must closely support them.

On Wave 102 news – good news for West End sport

I am on Wave 102 news this morning about good news for West End sport as the West End Sports and Heritage Association, along with three other Dundee sports hubs, has successfully obtained funding through a Community Payback funding bid.   This will see improvements to the Riverside changing facilities in the coming months and is great news for West End sport.
 
Click ‘play’ below to listen:

West End Sports and Heritage Association meeting

Last night I attended a very positive West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) committee meeting.   
 
We discussed progress with numerous projects including our Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) application for charitable status, our funding bid to improve the changing facilities at Riverside, lease arrangements with Dundee City Council and our web/social networking arrangements.
 
There’s huge interest in sport at the moment with the Team GB superb success at the Olympics and WESHA is well placed to capitalise on this for the benefit of the West End.

Riverside Community Sports Club Family BBQ

I was delighted to be invited to the Riverside Community Sports Club Family BBQ yesterday – at the Elliot Road playing fields, complete with disco, bouncy castles BBQ and other fun activities.
 
Riverside Community Sports Club ran the BBQ to celebrate its first-ever summer football camp for both Riverside CSC boys and girls and in recognition of their being awarded the SFA Community Quality Mark at the end of last year.
 
And a good time was had by all – see above right!

West End Sports and Heritage Association

Last Wednesday, I was minute-taker at the latest committee meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association that is continuing its work to improve sport facilities and the environment across the West End.

We had a useful discussion with the Dundee scheme co-ordinator of the Walking for Health Scheme about providing healthy short walks in the West End.

It was also good to hear from the representative of the Hillcrest Bowling Club who attended the meeting that 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the club.   We are keen to work with local bowling clubs and other sporting groups in the West End to promote their activities and encourage new membership.

We also had an update on football pitches condition at Riverside, in advance of the new season commencing.

Friends of Magdalen Green and WESHA at Big Sunday!

Last week, I was “minute-taker” at the latest committee meeting of the Friends of Magdalen Green at which we discussed the Friends’ stall at WestFest’s Big Sunday.

We are teaming up with the other groups (mainly sporting – such as football, bowling, taekwondo and boxing) that are members of the West End Sports and Heritage Association to have a WESHA stand, covering the activities of WESHA and its partner organisations.

In addition to information about the activities of Friends of Magdalen Green, the Friends will also have details of healthy walks around the West End that Dundee City Council has produced on-line and paper versions of healthy walks around the West End and surrounding areas will be available at Big Sunday for residents to take away free of charge.

West End Sports and Heritage Association – and WestFest update!

Last night, I attended a really productive and positive committee meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) that is doing great work to improve sport facilities and the environment across the West End.

It was great to welcome new groups to the latest meeting – Hillcrest Bowling Club and Dundee City Aquatics – and to also learn that the West End Tennis Association is getting involved.

We spent most of the evening planning our contribution to Dundee WestFest’s Big Sunday.    WestFest’s programme was just back from the printers and looks superb!   You can read the on-line details at www.dundeewestfest.com. 

West End Sports and Heritage Association

This evening, I attended the latest Committee Meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   As the Chair and Vice Chair were unable to attend, as Secretary, I (sort of!) chaired the meeting!

WESHA is going from strength to strength in terms of moving forward sport in the West End.   Our new website will be launched as part of “Big Sunday” at WestFest on 10th June when WESHA will be participating in what will be a great community event.

And … our new banners have arrived!    See below.

WESHA meeting – and an update on the Riverside pitches stones problem

Riverside pitches
Following concerns about the unplayable football pitches at Riverside after seven players sustained injuries because of stones hidden in the soil (as I reported earlier this month), at  the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) committee meeting last night, I was pleased to indicate that, after extensive work by Dundee City Council’s Environment Department to tackle the problem, the pitches will be back in action next weekend.

As WESHA Secretary and along with Vice-Chair Steve McSwiggan, who is a leading member of the Riverside Saturday morning football league, we reported back to WESHA’s committee following a meeting we have had with senior officers in the council’s Environment Department about the issue.

The six pitches to the south side of Riverside Drive are on reclaimed land and settlement of the ground has lead stones to the top of the soil, causing the safety problem.   The Environment Department has extensively verti-drained all six pitches and given particular attention to the two pitches nearest the road where the greatest concentration of stones was found.   Verti-draining is a process that both flicks out any stones and also helps with drainage too.

The council is taking a cautious approach to ensure that the issue was fully resolved before allowing playing to resume on the pitches.    

We were advised that at the very least four pitches will be back on at the weekend, although the council will continue with the verti-draining process in coming weeks to ensure there are no further incidents.   There will also be weekly spiking of the pitches and full weekly inspections of the pitches where Environment Department staff will walk each of the pitches to ensure they are safe for football.

The Saturday Morning League is a vital part of the WESHA project to improve sporting facilities at Riverside for the benefit of the West End and the wider community.  We are therefore relieved that football activity at Riverside can re-start at the weekend.

The WESHA committee last night also had a presentation from the Scottish Ramblers’ Association about Medal Routes – walking hubs to encourage active walking – and also discussed was WESHA’s new social network presence – on Facebook and Twitter.

WESHA meeting

Earlier tonight, after my ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) committee meeting at the West End Community Base in the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.
WESHA is making great progress and we are planning an Open Event later in the spring for sporting and other community groups.
If you are interested in WESHA’s work to improve sporting and environmental facilities in the West End, please contact us – wesha@frasermacpherson.org.uk.

Tuesday activities

Yesterday :

* I attended the latest meeting of the West End Schools’ Project Board, the group overseeing the construction of the new facilities for Park Place Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School and Park Place Nursery School, currently being built on the former Logie Secondary School site.    It was good to hear of progress with the project and the autumn 2012 opening date on course.

* Thereafter, I attended the latest committee meeting of the Sinderins and Pennycook Courts Residents’ Association, taking place at Pennycook Court.  We discussed various issues including progress with the new seating and environment improvements in Pennycook Lane, roads and pavements issues and bin collection.

* Yesterday evening, I took part in the latest West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) committee meeting.   WESHA is making good progress in terms of sporting improvements for the West End including planned improvements to the Riverside sports’ changing rooms.

Monday …

After my surgeries late this afternoon at the Mitchell Street Centre and at Harris Academy, I attended tonight’s City Council meetings.

* At the Environment Committee, I welcomed proposed playground improvements across the City, including at Lochee Park, Milnbank and the Roseangle car park.    I sought and received assurances that the City Council will work with Friends Groups like Friends of Magdalen Green that wish to work in partnership with the council to see further improvements to play equipment in their local area.   Its an obvious point that this should not be at the expense of the council providing resources for improvements, but the work of Friends Groups that flourish in the West End Ward and across the city should be encouraged, not discouraged, and its good that the council’s senior officers recognise that.

* At the Housing Committee, I welcomed a sensible proposal to improve a block of flats in Charleston with a view to sale on the open market.   Given the background, this is a sensible way forward.

* At the Policy and Resources Committee, I asked questions about the doubling of the City Council’s Credit Card bill between 2009/10 and 2010/11 and sought assurances about best value of goods procured.  This follows the highlighting of the council’s credit card costs.

After City Council meetings, I took part in a very useful training session at Number 10 (Dundee Voluntary Action) on setting up a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.    A number of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) team attended and we found this evening’s training event to be extremely helpful.

WESHA committee meeting

Last night, I attended the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) committee meeting at the West End Community Base in the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.

There was a useful update on the Sports Facility Payback Fund application that WESHA and other sports community hubs in the city have applied to – in our case to see real improvements to the changing rooms and adjacent car park at Riverside.

I’ve suggested – and the committee has agreed – to an ‘open day’ type event for sports groups in the West End during Spring 2012.

WESHA is a really dynamic group for sports and environmental improvements in the West End – for more details, please e-mail wesha@frasermacpherson.org.uk.  

WESHA ‘visioning’ evening!

Back in June, the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA) was formed, to progress sports and environment improvements at Riverside and at Magdalen Green.

Its a great, dynamic group that will make a real difference towards improved sporting provision at Riverside and facilities at Magdalen Green.

Last night, I took part in a “visioning exercise” led by the West End Communities Officer, at which we looked at the group’s priorities and challenges.    It was a very useful evening and we welcome the involvement of all interested local residents and community and sports groups.

WESHA meeting

Further to my recent update about progress with sports improvements for the West End, I attended a very useful meeting of the West End Sports and Heritage Association committee last night at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.

We discussed the first WESHA funding bid.  It is looking good (thanks particularly to Steve McSwiggan and Matthew Miller who have written the content) – a step towards improving the facilities at Riverside, for the benefit of sport in the West End.

Progress with sports improvements for the West End

Following the launch of the West End Sports and Heritage Association back in June, WESHA has hit the ground  running and, last night, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting at the Riverside Sports Pavilion (see right), to discuss a possible funding bid – along with Dundee’s other sports hubs and with assistance from the Community Justice Authority – that would see substantial improvements to the changing facilities at Riverside.

This bid is very much the first phase of an ambitious project to improve sporting facilities and the environment around Magdalen Green but represents an important step along the road towards improved, high quality sporting facilities in the West End.

West End Monday

Today, immediately before my weekly surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I took part in a very productive meeting with the Western Cemetery Association and the City Council’s Environment Department to move forward the decision of the City Council from May to create a new cremated remains section in Western Cemetery.    It is planned that the new remains section will open later in the autumn.

After my surgeries, I attended a committee meeting of WESHA, the West End Sports and Heritage Association, at which we discussed ways the project will improve sports and environmental facilities in the West End.   WESHA is intending to discuss with the City Council taking a lease of the Riverside changing facilities and is investigating funding sources for improvements.   It was an extremely positive meeting and good that there is real momentum with the initiative.

WESHA news …

Residents will recall that, back in June, we had a successful launch of the West End Sports and Heritage Association (WESHA), aimed at achieving environmental and sports improvements in the West End in the months and years ahead.

Last night, along with representatives of the Riverside Community Sports Club, Friends of Magdalen Green and City Council officers, we had a visit to the council-owned sports changing rooms on Riverside Drive (see above right) to look at its condition and what needs done to improve the facility for the benefit of local sporting groups and the wider community.

The changing rooms are not exactly “this year’s model” but in better shape than many expected.    They are roomy and there is much potential.   It was a very useful visit.   WESHA would welcome residents’ involvement – just e-mail us at WESHA@frasermacpherson.org.uk.