27/08/2010

Consultative Meetings - Proposed Relocation of Eastern Primary School

In the coming week there are two important opportunities for public consultation in Broughty Ferry about the proposed permanent relocation of Eastern Primary School. The City Council's Education Department propose to move Eastern Primary School from its present site in Whinny Brae to the buildings previously used by Grove Academy on the south side of Camperdown Street with effect from August 2011.These buildings were previously earmarked for conversion into office accommodation for Council staff.

The two meetings are as follows:
Monday 30th August beginning at 7pm at Eastern Primary School
Tuesday 31st August beginning at 7pm at Grove Academy

Parents and any interested member of the community may attend either or both meetings. Jim Collins, Director of Education will be on hand to explain the proposals and answer questions. Plans for the proposed rooms and facilities in the old Grove buildings will be available for inspection.

Click on this link to read or download the full proposal.

Written responses to these proposals should be sent to
Mrs Lina Waghorn
Head of Primary and Early Years Education
Floor 8, Tayside House
28 Crichton Street,
Dundee, DD1 3RJ
lina.waghorn@dundeecity.gov.uk
by the close of consultation on Tuesday 28 September 2010

22/08/2010

Will SNP Keep Dundee Schools Music Theatre?

On Friday evening I attended the Dundee Rep to see 'Return to the Hidden Planet' which is the latest lively and thoroughly entertaining musical from Dundee Schools' Music Theatre (DSMT). The show loosely draws on Shakespeare's The Tempest and inserts some well known pop songs and dancing. These song and dance routines were led by some outstanding singers and dancers. It was brilliant.

DMST uniquely draws its performers from all of Dundee's nine secondary schools. This particular performance featured the Back to Back company of young people whom I recognised from some of the previous shows. There are three other DMST companies that feature
pupils from first year pupils in Secondary School to the fifth and sixth formers. Each of the four groups rehearse for an annual production whose quality and professionalism we have come to appreciate and celebrate. Next week (25-28 August 2010) it's the turn of S3 and S4 pupils who will be performing Godspell at The Space at the Kingsway Campus of Dundee College.

I am very proud of our Dundee Schools' Music Theatre, particularly the way it fosters and showcases learning through dance, singing, acting and stage management. It has proved to be a tremendous vehicle for building the confidence and skills of many of our secondary school pupils from across the city.

I hope that at the Education Committee on Monday evening, the Convener, Liz Fordyce, will confirm that our celebrated Dundee Schools' Music Theatre is not on her list of proposed cuts in Education in the City.

20/08/2010

Ed Balls Supports 'Keep The Post Public' Campaign in Dundee











Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls was visiting Dundee this morning with a message of Keep the Post Public.

Ed Balls was visiting the Crown post office at Meadowside in Dundee with the Communication Workers' Union, adding his weight to the cause to keep Royal Mail in public hands.

John Brown, CWU Scotland regional secretary, said: "We're very happy that Ed joined us in this campaign to keep the post public. Postal services are vital to local communities and businesses in Scotland and the threat of privatisation by the coalition government would be devastating for jobs and services.

Councillor Laurie Bidwell said: "I am delighted to support the CWU campaign. I hope that the people of Dundee will demonstrate their support for this campaign and write to their MPs to let them know they want a successful public postal service."

16/08/2010

How Will The Ferry Benefit from Sale of Eastern Primary School Site?

There is currently a consultation with parents, teachers and the community about the Council's proposal to move Eastern Primary School to the old Grove Academy buildings on the south side of Camperdown Street. If this proposal is approved, the City Council have made it clear they will be selling off the current Eastern Primary School buildings and land.

What will happen to the cash raised from this sale? The Chief Executive of the Council has confirmed to me that,
"The Director of City Developments has carried out a detailed investigation into the use of the building, and the estimated capital receipt. For commercial reasons I cannot advise you on what that sum is, but I can say that the figure is significant."

Based on the capital receipt raised from the sale of the former Linlathen High School site to Morrisons, I think £2 million might be raised from selling off the Eastern Primary School site for conversion of the existing building into other uses such as apartments. How much of this "significant" cash sum will be earmarked for spending on Education or other front line services in The Ferry?

Can Ken Guild, Leader of the Council, reassure constituents in the Ferry that cash raised from this sale will not be siphoned off by his administration to pay for services in other parts of the City? How much of this cash will benefit pupils at Eastern Primary School?

13/08/2010

Commenting on the call for Car Exclusion Zones next to Schools

Commenting on the call by Living Streets for car exclusion zones next to schools:

"I welcome the campaign by Living Streets just before the start of the new Education Session next week. They remind us of the potential dangers for our children as they travel to and from school; especially from inconsiderate parking and unnecessary traffic movements; much of this caused by relatively short car journey's to drop off children at school. They also remind us of the health consequences from our school children having a less active life style.

It is for reasons like this that, in my time as Education Convener, I promoted an initiative to improve dropping off and parking around our primary schools. Following successful pilots at Eastern and Park Place Primary Schools this is being extended to all of our primary schools in Dundee by the current Administration with all party support. While car exclusion zones around every school is not going to be practicable, it is an issue for new schools that are currently at the design stage. I shall ask the Director of Education and the Convener to take this on board."

12/08/2010

Big Issues at Ferry Meeting Wed 18 August

At the next meeting of the Ferry Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP), on Wednesday 18 August, members of the public will be able to hear more about two big issues in Broughty Ferry. Judging by my contacts with constituents, both are controversial.

The first big issue is ab
out the proposed relocation of Eastern Primary School to the former Grove Academy site on the south side of Camperdown Street (item 2 on the Agenda). Director of Education, Jim Collins, will be present. I presume he will explain the proposal, the consultation process that he has been launched and respond to questions. Click of this link to read the questions that I think the Director needs to answer.

The second big issue is Travel Dundee/
National Express Dundee bus services that serve Broughty Ferry residents (Item 3 on the Agenda). Lawrence Davie, Director of National Express Dundee will be on hand to hear issues arising from the introduction of the new bus timetables and service changes in late June and the further changes to the 5A and 5B services last week. My post bag has included numerous complaints from residents inconvenienced by the new timetables and withdrawal of some services.

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Ferry LCPP.

The agenda for the meeting appears below: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Ferry Local Community Planning Partnership Meeting
Wednesday 18 August 2010

In Castle Green Leisure Centre beginning at 5.30 pm

AGENDA
1. Welcome and Apologies

2. Director of Education Jim Collins Re Proposal to Relocate Eastern Primary School to Grove

3. Lawrence Davie, National Express Re Changes To Bus Services

4. Previous Minutes and matters Arising
5. Local Community Plan Update

5.1 Working Groups
a) Community Facilities and Open Spaces b) Community Safety/Youth Issues c) Mental Wellbeing d) Beach Management Group
5.2 New Developments Update a) Friends of Sandy Park b) Broughty Ferry Development Trust c) Shanwell Wildlife Rescue proposal for Rugby Terrace
6. Department/Agency/Organisation Update
7. Open Forum on Community Issues
8. AOCB

9. Date and Time of Next Meeting

11/08/2010

SQA Exam Results August 2010

Commenting on Dundee City Council's statement about their preliminary analysis of the 2010 SQA results, following the issue of certificates to pupils last week.

"Without seeing any of the figures, it is difficult to make detailed comments about the 2010 SQA results in the City. I do however welcome the reported improvements in the S5 higher results; no doubt the result of sustained commitment to learning by our pupils and inspired teaching in our schools.

The results by the cluster of pupils involved in the new Science Baccalaureate qualification for S6 students is impressive and promising for the future, when I hope more pupils will enter for these examinations.

I am interested to know more about the number of pupils in S4 not gaining a minimum pass in Standard grade Maths and English. At a time of rising unemployment in our city, it is worrying if this figure has not shown significant improvement."

Dismay at Rising Unemployment in Scotland

Scottish Labour’s Andy Kerr has expressed his dismay that unemployment in Scotland is still rising, while in the rest of the UK it is falling. Scotland’s
unemployment rate now stands at 8.4 per cent, higher than the rate for the UK as a whole.

The latest figures showing that 223,000 people in Scotland are out of work. This is 7,000 up on the previous figures.

Shadow Finance Secretary Andy Kerr said:

“Unemployment is a devastating experience. It is very worrying that unemployment in Scotland is rising, while in the rest of the UK it is falling.

"Today’s figures highlight the fact that Scotland is suffering more in the recession due to the Salmond Slump. We are lagging behind the rest of the UK in employment rates, business start-ups and economic recovery.

"The SNP have cancelled essential infrastructure projects, such as the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, and over £2bn in investment has been lost along with 30,000 construction jobs because of their ideological objection to private finance.

"The unnecessary cuts being imposed by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, coupled with the rise in VAT, are making the situation even worse and putting the recovery at risk."

05/08/2010

Strathern Road & Abercromby Street Temporary Closure

Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway reconstruction works. The Order is expected to be in force for ten days from 9 August 2010. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Abercromby Street from Dalhousie Road to Panmure Terrace.

Access for residents will be maintained. The junction of Abercromby Street with Invermark Terrace will be closed for the duration of the works.

An alternative route will be available via Dalhousie Road , Abertay Street and Panmure Terrace .

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Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway resurfacing works . The Order is expected to be in force for two weeks from 9 August 2010. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Strathern Road from Claypotts Road to Caenlochan Road.

Access for residents will be maintained. The junctions of Strathern Road with Caenlochan Road , Grove Road , Duntrune Terrace and Victoria Road will be closed for the duration of the works.

An alternative route will be available via Claypotts Road, West Queen Street, Dundee Road and Fairfield Road.

03/08/2010

Titian's Diana and Actaeon @ McManus Galleries 6 Aug - 5 Sept

The McManus Galleries in Dundee is hosting Titian's Diana and Actaeon on its special Scottish tour, marking the first anniversary of the nation's acquisition of this magnificent painting.

Titian is one of the most influential artists of all time. His exceptional handling of paint, bold use of colour and original approach to subject matter had a huge impact on generations of painters. This is a unique opportunity to see this masterpiece of European painting in Dundee. It is part of the National Galleries of Scotland's commitment to bring great art to as many people as possible across the country.

It will be on show at the McManus Galleries from Friday 6 August - Sunday 5 September (both dates inclusive). There are no admission charges to the Gallery for this exhibition and booking is not necessary.

The painting was acquired for the nation by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery in London in February 2009 following a large scale public and private fundraising campaign. Diana and Actaeon was bought for £50m with generous contributions from the Scottish Government, The National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and through public appeal, 2009.