May 2008 Update to the West End Community Council

I have today launched my May update to West End Community Council.
Issues covered include:
* Perth Road – gas main replacement works
* Youth football
* Dundee airport – helicopter noise
* Homebase site – update
* Riverside Approach – site visit with Network Rail

Click on the headline above to read the update.

The Community Council meets this Tuesday at 7pm – location : Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.

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A few other things from last week…

Firstly, football. Last Wednesday, one of the West End Community Council members and I had a really productive meeting with the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise and the City Council Leisure & Communities Department to progress a proposal to establish an Under 11s junior football team for the West End.
The Community Council member has good experience of this prior to moving to the West End and we’re confident of the support of others in the local community including local primary schools, but for this to succeed, access to facilities is vital and we were very pleased with the positive co-operation of the University and City Council. I am now on the trail on a local business to sponsor things like football strips, etc!
Although the Mitchell Street Centre and Blackness Library, for example, are excellent local facilities, it is important to build up the amount of organised popular activities for the area’s young people and this proposal is an excellent one and, I’m pleased to say, one the West End Community Council has been keen to support us with.
Another West End activity I attended last week was the first get-together of the West End Local Community Planning Partnership on Thursday, which started with an initial induction session. Local Community Planning Partnerships are being set up across the eight wards in Dundee to support the development of the Local Community Plans, help address local problems, bring together representatives from local organisations and the City Council and hopefully improve community involvement.
Lastly, yesterday’s Courier also featured an article about moving forward proposals for a Park and Ride facility on the south side of the Tay. You can read the full article by clicking on the headline above. JMP Consulting has been commissioned to do a cross-Tay study by SEStran, the statutory transport partnership of eight councils—Fife, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Midlothian, Borders and West Lothian. As Chair of TACTRAN, the transport partnership for Tayside and Stirling, I was pleased that we have contributed to the project, as the proposal would not just assist communities in North East Fife but would also bring benefits to relieving traffic congestion in Dundee. As I said,

“I am well aware, as a ward councillor in the west end, of the significant problems caused by vehicles parking in residential areas and a number of local employers, particularly Ninewells Hospital and the University of Dundee, have a lot of staff coming over from Fife.
“Clearly, having a park-and-ride system is something we would greatly welcome.”

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Spent all of yesterday at the Tay Rope Works Public Inquiry as the City Council’s witness in defending the decision to refuse planning approval. We will know the outcome in a few weeks but I would like to place on record my thanks to the Council’s solicitor and to the local residents and Community Council representatives who contributed.
On Monday evening at Council committees, I was very pleased to see a report be approved which will give tenants, especially elderly and disabled residents, the possibility of obtaining a shower where (normally because they live upstairs or their house cannot be ramped) the occupational therapist has been unable to recommend installation. This is an issue that has affected a number of constituents and I am pleased the Council has grasped the nettle. I am anxious, too, that similar arrangements are discussed with the local Housing Associations.
I have raised the issue of the lack of a lollipop person in Hawkhill (due to the postholder’s long-term absence through illness) and am pleased to learn from the Education Department that efforts are being made to try to have a solution in time for the start of the new term at Blackness Primary in August.
I’ve also raised the issue of youth facilities in the West End. The Leisure & Communities Department has told me that the Youth Team has been working with the Harris-based Pupil Support Workers and others from the Youth Work Providers Group to develop a programme for the first four weeks of the school holidays. This will focus on activities in The Shore, Dudhope Park and Ancrum. This group will continue to meet to develop further programme ideas.

I’m also told that staff are keen to encourage young people to use Dudhope Park and the MUGGA facility that now exists there. There’s now access to the Pavilion and the department is looking to develop opportunities from there.
Other facilities in the area that are routinely used by young people from the West End include the weekly Youth Information drop-in at Harris Academy, The Shore and Hot Chocolate at the Steeple Church. In addition, a number of young people from that area are involved with Duke of Edinburgh through the Open Award Centre currently based at Menzieshill.
There are also two Children’s Clubs (5-8s and 9-11s) operating on a Thursday in Blackness Library. I’ve raised with the department the possibility of other activities and would welcome views from residents (and thanks to those residents who have already contacted me about this following the article I had in the recent FOCUS newsletter).