It is great to see progress with the planting of the new memorial garden at the Western Cemetery, with the first phase now completed :
This afternoon, staff from Barclays Bank volunteered to join with members of the Western Cemetery Association and Dundee City Council Officers to plant the area along the west wall backing on to the new urn field – see photos right and below:
|Memorial Rail now in situ|
All looking good for the launch for the 2011 West End Christmas Week, our 11th year …
|All set up at Dundee West Church!|
|The super artwork winners from the West End Christmas Week schools’ competition, with thanks to Park Place, Ancrum Road, St Joseph’s and Blackness Primary Schools|
In addition to the launch of Barney’s Fund that I mentioned last night, yesterday :
* The Courier covered the background to the motion I intend to bring to the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee on 13th June. This surrounds the plight of the people of Palestine, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the issue of the boycott of Israeli goods. I am hoping that cross-party discussions prior to 13th June will achieve a cross-party consensus on this matter.
* The Courier also highlighted my view on the forthcoming Scottish Liberal Democrat leadership election.
After my two Monday surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended City Council committee meetings yesterday evening at which :
* I sought assurances that local suppliers in Dundee would benefit from a new Housing Department Decoration Card Scheme.
* I welcomed a new food waste collection pilot scheme, but asked how the number of separate collections to households can be avoided by collecting different collections at the same time. As things now stand, there is potential for some households to have 5 separate collections – general waste, blue bin (paper/cardboard), brown bin (garden waste), green box (plastics, bottles etc) and now the new food collection. It is clear from the reply given that the Waste Management Department has given thought to rationalising the number of collections, which is to be welcomed. Given the likely requirements on local authorities by 2013 to collect food waste, it is good that the City Council is moving this pilot forward now.
* I questioned the Chief Executive about progress on shared services, during discussion of a report on an overview of local government, undertaken by the Accounts Commission.
* I sought assurances that the City Council will work with residents across the city who are keen to form new Community Councils.
* I welcomed a report that will result in a new cremated remains section in Western Cemetery. Having worked with the Western Cemetery Association to move this forward, I paid tribute to the Director of Leisure & Communities and his staff for all the work done with the design proposal.
Was delighted to attend an event organised by the Western Cemetery Association (WCA) yesterday – Primary Six pupils from Blackness Primary School helped the Association’s work in encouraging biodiversity by helping to plant bulbs in the cemetery – see photo of the pupils busy with the bulb planting effort (right).
Western Cemetery is part of the Tayside Green Kirk and Graveyard Initiative. Already the WCA has planted a long lavender hedge and beds of fuchsias at the entrance, which have been attracting bees and butterflies all summer. The children added crocuses in front of the hedge to brighten the area next Spring.
Also yesterday, I helped the effort to organise West End Christmas Week by delivering flyers to local shops giving details of how local businesses can participate in the forthcoming Christmas Week’s events.
Apart from a whole load of ‘day job’ activities today, I had the pleasure of attending the fascinating guided walk at Western Cemetery, ably led by Ann Prescott of the Western Cemetery Association and Iain Flett, Dundee City Council Archivist. An excellent turnout – here’s a couple of photos (above).
Later I attended the City Council Housing Working Group, of which I am a member. Good presentations and discussion on tenant participation and housing investment.
Tonight, I attended the Harris Academy Parent Council – both interesting and informative.
And … now home to recordings of ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘The Restaurant’!
The Angus & Dundee Roots Festival takes place from 6th to 13th September and gives a great opportunity for people whose ancestors came from Dundee and Angus to visit the area to find out more about their ancestral homeland giving them a flavour of what life was like for ancestors in days gone by.
You can read more about the week by following this link :
I’m delighted that Ann Prescott, leading member of the Western Cemetery Association and Minutes Secretary of West End Community Council, is – as part of the week – giving a talk about the Western Cemetery. It takes place on Thursday 4th September at 1.00pm in the Glasite Hall (by St Andrew’s Parish Church at the bottom of King Street).
Ann tells me, “The talk is on the development of the Western as a private cemetery company from the point of view of the people and the place. Time permitting I’ll try to put it into the context of today’s Eco-graveyard movement.”
The Western Cemetery Association has its public launch meeting next Tuesday 18th September at 12 noon at Harris Academy (click on headline above to view more) – you can join the Association free of charge by going to http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/dundeewca/
The next public meeting of Friends of Magdalen Green will take place on Wednesday 19th September at 7pm at Dundee West Church – you can read more at : http://magdalengreen.blogspot.com/2007/08/next-meeting-of-friends-of-magdalen.html for further details. Unfortunately I’ll miss the meeting as I’ll be in Northern Ireland, but I do hope it goes well.
The steering group of the proposed Western Cemetery Association met yesterday. They are planning a public launch event at West Park on Tuesday 18th September – a lunchtime event, followed by a cemetery walk and talk by Iain Flett, Dundee City Archivist. More details later and seehttp://westerncemetery.blogspot.com/ for more details of the Cemetery.
I also had a meeting yesterday at the Botanic Gardens to discuss the long-term future of the Gardens. I am anxious that the Gardens are given a long-term sustainable future by the University of Dundee and keen the City Council plays its part in this. I have also discussed the issue with the Council Leader and the Convener of Economic Development.
I have also had useful meetings with the Director of Planning & Transportation, the Council Leader and the Head of Waste Management; the latter about the graffiti issue. I am keen that this issue is given prominence, with innovative ways of addressing the problem. Click on the headline above, for example, to see the innovative way Bisbane City Council in Australia has tackled graffiti on its utility and similar boxes.