31/12/2011

Ferry Google Map Difficulty Should be a Laughing Matter no More


In Autumn 2009 I received some complaints about inaccuracies in Google online maps of Dundee Road in Broughty Ferry.  When residents like me checked our addresses on Google Maps, up came a map with Brook Street apparently extending past our front doors. No wonder drivers seeking directions on their sat navs or making deliveries were confused. 

In October 2009, I contacted Tele Atlas who produce maps for Google Maps and many Sat Nav sytems to let them know that there was this error on their mapping in central Broughty Ferry. 

When word about this appeared in the local press, some Councillors joked about whether I could find my way home after Council meetings without my sat nav. One Broughty Councillor even invited me to drive behind his car so he might guide me back to Broughty Ferry. 

Behind the jokes however there is a serious issue. So many of us rely on satellite navigation and online maps that when they contain inaccuracies this can have significant consequences such as getting lost or deliveries going astray.
So I was very pleased in May this year when I received news from Tele Atlas confirming that: 
'Based on a review of your report, we can now confirm that the change you suggested has been made. It will go out in the next release of our map database. .... Thanks again for your willingness to help keep Tele Atlas maps up-to-date and accurate!'

They did however explain that:
'Tele Atlas supplies maps to the companies that make devices or applications, not directly to the people who use them. We update the map we supply, so these companies can incorporate the map update in their own systems. When this process is complete, your change will be made available to you.'

After checking from time to time to see if the change had appeared online, I was delighted just before Christmas when I found that Google Maps had at last been updated.

If any other residents in The Ferry are experiencing difficulties with errors in online mapping in their area, they can contact me and I should be happy to take this up for them and I guarantee I won't treat it as a joke.

29/12/2011

Unexplained Absences in our Schools Need Explanation and Action


The publication of statistics about 'unexplained absences' of pupils in Dundee schools reveals a very varied picture. 

While the total number of these absences across the city has apparently reduced from previous years there are still huge differences between schools. But the total number of unexplained absences in our schools remains unacceptable.

I notice that Barnhill Primary School in The Ferry, has the lowest rate of unexplained absences. With 415 pupils it had 126 in the year.  This works out on average at much less than one unexplained absence per pupil per year. 

On the other hand, I notice that Rowantree Primary School, with 258 pupils and 4920 unexplained absences would appear to have the highest rate in the city. That works out on average at 19 unexplained absences per pupil per year - nearly two weeks schooling a year. 

Rowantree Primary School's rate of unexplained absences is 63 times the rate at Barnhill Primary School. Now how can differences like this be explained or tolerated?

It would be too easy to jump to the conclusion that this is all down to parents and carers and their attentiveness to notifying their child's primary school for their reason for an absence. Perhaps there are more reasons for such wide differences which I think merit some thorough investigation.

Since unexplained absences involve both teachers and administrative staff using a computer programme to record information about attendance, perhaps there are differences in how this is undertaken between staff and between schools? Have some of our schools had significant absences in their administrative staff that has affected their ability to accurately record what is going on? 

Whatever the explanation, every day of unexplained absence is a day of learning at school which is lost. When children return to school after an absence, their return may often mean that their teacher's time is diverted from the rest of the class so that they can bring the returning pupil up to speed. Of course no one minds if this absence is for a reason that is essential or could not be prevented. In the case of unexplained absences there is a suspicion that many of these may be unnecessary.

I hope these statistics will be raised with Head Teachers and also with Parent Councils to see how they think we can reduce the number of unexplained absences in all our schools to a more acceptable level.

24/12/2011

Santa Can Find Full Length of Dundee Road on Google Maps!

It is rumoured that Santa may be modernising his operation. If he is using Sat Nav to help guide his sleigh tonight, an update to online maps has come just in time time for a section of Dundee Road.

In October 2009, I contacted Tele Atlas who produce maps for Google Maps and many Sat Nav sytems to let them know that there was an error on their mapping in central Broughty Ferry. 


As a resident of Dundee Road, I had received residents' complaints about this issue. When I checked our shared postcode on Google Maps, up came a map with Brook Street apparently extending past our front doors. No wonder drivers seeking directions on their sat navs or making deliveries were confused.  

In May this year there was promising news from Tele Atlas confirming that 
"Based on a review of your report, we can now confirm that the change you suggested has been made. It will go out in the next release of our map database. .... Thanks again for your willingness to help keep Tele Atlas maps up-to-date and accurate!"


They did however explain that:
"Tele Atlas supplies maps to the companies that make devices or applications, not directly to the people who use them. We update the map we supply, so these companies can incorporate the map update in their own systems. When this process is complete, your change will be made available to you."


After checking from time to time to see if the change had appeared online, I was delighted this week to find that Google Maps had at last been updated.


Those Councillors who jokingly wondered whether I could find my way home after Council meetings without my sat nav will be relieved to know that I won't need any more of their directions.


If any other residents in The Ferry are experiencing difficulties with errors in online mapping in their area, they can contact me and I should be happy to take this up for them. 


Let's get all of Broughty Ferry properly mapped online; we can't have Santa delayed by dodgy mapping.

23/12/2011

Quick Fix to Broken Panels on Fort Street Bridge


On Tuesday I noticed that there was a missing and a broken protective panel on the Fort Street bridge.   It looked as though the broken panel had been kicked in. 


I was worried that the absence of these panels might make it possible for someone to climb up the parapet of the bridge. The gaps were also unsightly.


I am relieved to be notified on Thursday that an Engineer had inspected the bridge on Wednesday and has instructed Dundee Contract Services to temporarily board up the damage to the parapet. They will then do a permanent repair and paint the parapet early next year.


A job promptly well done despite the staff of the same department being busy organising winter maintenance on our roads.




22/12/2011

Commenting on the Announcement that the Council is Seeking to Build Extra Classrooms at Kingspark School


I was utterly amazed to be notified on Tuesday that the Council has put in for planning permission for extra classrooms to be built as an extension to Kingspark School. My surprise is that there was no mention of this in the report on the School Estate (buildings and facilities)  to the Education Committee only ten days previously on Monday 12 December. 


More significantly, when that report was considered by the Education Committee, questions from opposition Councillors like me focused on the insufficiency of classroom accommodation in schools such as Craigowl and Barnhill Primary Schools and Morgan Academy. This was on the basis of the figures in the report. There are no such statistics about overcrowded or insufficient accommodation at Kingspark School in that report.

I want to make it clear that I shall be supporting this proposed spend at Kingspark School. If we need more classroom accommodation in the city for children with learning difficulties and many of those with additional physical disabilities, the Council should respond positively. But I think it is wrong that there is no previous reference at any Council Committee about what must amount to a spend of £1 million.

Doubts were raised at the Education Committee on 12 December about the competence of the report about the School Estate (buildings and facilities). This announcement about Kingspark School, does not give me confidence the Estate Review would be a sound basis to guide the future direction of investment in school buildings in Dundee. 

In addition, I think senior Council staff and the Education Convener have answers to provide about why they have have not brought this to the attention of the Education Committee before seeking planning consent. 

I  have asked the Director of Legal Services to investigate my concerns about whether this is an acceptable way for the Council to proceed.

21/12/2011

Popular Head Teacher at Eastern Primary School, Katherine Barclay, Retires Today


A teaching career of thirty five years, with the last twenty years at Eastern Primary School, will come to a close today when Head Teacher Katherine Barclay retires. Katherine will be remembered as an able and popular Head Teacher. 

HM Inspectors identified the following key strengths in Eastern PS in their last report on the school:
 Confident, well-behaved pupils.
• Pupils’ achievements in a wide range of activities.
• Inclusion of pupils with additional support needs in the school community.
• The quality of pastoral care.
• Positive relationships among pupils, parents and staff.

I think that sums up her leadership style striving for a happy school that promotes the attainment and achievement of all its pupils.

In August this year, Katherine calmly led the school through the move from Whinny Brae to its new home in the converted 'old Grove Academy' buildings on the south side of Camperdown Street.

First appointed as Assistant Head Teacher at Eastern in 1991,  she brought a wealth of experience to her post having previously worked at Mossgiel, Kellyfield and Birkhill Primary Schools in the City. After a spell as Depute, she was appointed Head Teacher at Eastern in 2003.

I am sure I speak for many Eastern parents in The Ferry in thanking her for her leadership of Eastern Primary School and wishing her a long and happy retirement.

20/12/2011

Commenting on the Occasion of John Hamilton retiring from his thirty year involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Grove Academy


This week John Hamilton will be standing down after thirty years promoting and supporting the Duke of Edinburgh award at Grove Academy. 


I shouldn't like this occasion to go unrecognised outside the school. This is an extraordinary achievement. John undertook this extra mural work as a teacher at Grove Academy over many years. But he did not give up when he retired as a Teacher more than a few years ago; he continued as a volunteer.


This is not only appreciated by me as a parent of children who undertook the award with him but also now as a Ferry Councillor recognising John's positive impact on many hundreds of young people who attained awards under his guidance and with his support. 

It's no secret that John was a stickler for detail. I recall this became crystal clear to me at his detailed briefings about the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions for award participants and their parents and carers.  


I think we are indebted to him for instilling in so many young people an awareness of safety on the hills, an appreciation of the outdoors and a healthy sense of adventure.

I know that he is likely to be self effacing when he signs off at Grove Academy before Christmas; but I am publicising these achievements because his dedication deserves to more widely known. I think he should know how grateful we are for his positive contribution to the life of so many pupils at Grove Academy by promoting these worthwhile awards over thirty years.

Thank you John.


Laurie Bidwell
Parent of Grove FPs and Ferry Councillor

19/12/2011

Call to Put Dundee First at the Policy & Resources Committee Tonight


I am pleased that after my prompting last week, our Council will now be responding to the two consultations on the future of post 16 Education in Scotland. 


I notice that the draft response from our Education Director for consideration tonight refers to the many organisations that potentially contribute to developing and delivering vital educational opportunities in our city. These are vital for the potential students and vital for supporting the economic recovery of Dundee. 

I do however think that our Council's response should have a preface note about the disastrous consequences stemming from the huge reductions in the budget of our Further Education College in Dundee. 


Dundee College is the ninth largest employer in the city. If this were a private sector organisation of this scale anticipating shedding staff and reducing services in our City, I think our SNP Council would have been jumping up and down expressing their disappointment and calling for government action from Holyrood and Westminster. In this instance the axe is being swung by the SNP government in Edinburgh which has turned our SNP led Council into silent witnesses. 

Make no mistake, the scale of cuts announced will hold back the economic recovery in Dundee by reducing the capacity of one of the key organisations which can make a real difference to employers and learners. So tonight, let's hope all our Councillors stand up for Dundee first and foremost.

18/12/2011

Carol Singing Sunday

Today I have enjoyed singing familiar Christmas Carols in two contrasting venues. 

At 3pm I attended the service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Mary's Episcopal Church in Brought Ferry. It was good to have some choristers to lead the singing and embroider the melody with a descant or two.

At 6pm I joined staff and pupils from Baldragon Academy who were singing carols unaccompanied in the entrance hall of Mecca Bingo at Douglasfield. Under the leadership of Alice Rhynd, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages, we were carolling the Bingo players as they arrived hoping to attract donations in support of the Brown Street Kennels. The patrons were very generous and appreciative of our efforts.

17/12/2011

Commenting on Grove Academy's Top 20 Finish


I congratulate staff and pupils of Grove Academy for once again achieving a top twenty place from more than 300 State Secondary Schools in Scotland. 

The recent publication by the government of the league tables for schools in Scotland shows that Grove is not only the top performing school in Dundee but also within Tayside.

Without taking away from Grove's success, I do think that we should also be looking at the added value which can be attributed to the efforts of schools rather than just comparing their end of school exam results.

16/12/2011

Ferry Automated Public Convenience is Finally Open - But Who Pays for the Delays?

After a series of disappointing delays, the Automated Public Convenience in Queen Street Car Park in Broughty Ferry was finally open for 'spending a penny' on Tuesday 13 December.


This leased public toilet was a 'replacement' for the award winning Queen Street staffed toilets which were closed as part of the budget savings for this financial year. Ken Guild also a Ferry Councillor and Leader of the Council, promised that when our award winning  staffed toilets closed at the end of March, the replacement would be installed and operational before the summer holidays. Well the Automated Public Convenience has been standing in the car park for months but with no connection to water and sewerage.


As well as the public inconvenience from this eight month gap in provision, there is disappointment about Ferry Council Tax being wasted on charges for a leased public convenience that has not been operational for three months.


Let's hope that this disappointing start can be put behind us and visitors and residents alike find the 24 hour access to an Automated Public Convenience a satisfactory alternative to the former staffed toilets.

15/12/2011

Commenting on the Online Availability of the 2011 SQA Examination Results

The availability of the summer 2011 Examination results online earlier today provides an important snapshot of the performance of young people at the end of their school days in each of our nine secondary schools in Dundee.

While it is interesting to note which schools had the highest number of passes, these figures are on there own deceptive. They do not measure 'added value' or 'distance travelled'; that is the progress made by each pupil between their test scores awarded on entering their secondary school and their SQA examinations results 4-6 years later. Calculations like that would tell a different story.

Overall the figures published indicate to me that there is still an important job to be done in improving the overall performance of all our pupils in our schools so that each one achieves her or his potential.  I know that is what are teachers are striving for. 

We can't however be content with any results that put the city overall below the national average. I refuse to believe or accept that young people in our city are less talented than young people elsewhere in Scotland.


Find about more about the performance of your local Primary and Secondary school at Scottish Schools Online.

14/12/2011

Cuts in Dundee College and Concerns for the Effects on Opportunities for Young People Leaving School


At the Policy and Resources Committee on Monday evening I spoke to an item that had been placed on the Agenda at my request:

Item 12 Budgetary Cuts in Further Education at Dundee College

This is what I said to the members of the Policy and Resources Committee:

"I have placed this item on the agenda because I am very concerned about the effects of current and future cuts in the budget of our further education college - Dundee College. I think the current year cuts of £4 million and projected reductions over the next three years will amount to a reduction approaching 30% of their budget. Cuts of that magnitude in an organisation that spends most of its cash on teaching staff can only lead to a reduction in the range of courses and programmes on offer and a reduction in the number of places available. 

Dundee College is the destination of choice of many of our school leavers. In fact progression rates of pupils moving into further education from our nine secondary schools is amongst the highest in Scotland and is to be commended.

Dundee College also provides vocational courses for some of our existing secondary school pupils alongside their school based subject choices.

Additionally, Dundee College also provides the rehearsal space for Dundee Schools' Music Theatre which has widespread community and political support.

Dundee College's valued collaboration and partnership with the Education Department is featured in the College's current Strategic Plan where they list as a significant achievement:
  • 'Partnership with DCC Education Department at both strategic and operational levels is very well developed. Joint activity includes data sharing in order to better support transition from school to college ....'
Dundee College is also an important place to return to study or undertake an access course prior to going to University or taking an advanced course at the College. 

Furthermore, Dundee College is crucial to city employers and potential new employers. 

Crucially Dundee College it is also itself an important employer; in fact the 9th largest employer in the city.

Given rising levels of unemployment in our City and an expectation that too many of our young people will not be leaving school to move to a positive destination such as paid employment or a place at further education college or at University, we need Dundee College and the range and depth of what it does now. Conversely we don't need the College distracted from its mission by a costly and lengthy merger negotiations with Angus College. We also don't want Dundee College's vital training and educational work undermined or curtailed by swingeing cuts from the Scottish Government.

Now there is a constructive way to defend Dundee College and what it does by responding to the Scottish Government's consultation, 
which has a deadline for submissions on Friday 23rd December. Now Convener if you tell me that there is not staff time to respond to my suggestion in such a short timescale, then I offer myself to provide a first draft for the Council's consideration."

I am pleased that the members of the Policy & Resources Committee agreed to ask the Director of Education to prepare a response and bring this to the already scheduled additional meeting of the Committee on Monday 19 December.

13/12/2011

Disappointing Review of School Estate in Dundee Leaves Many Questions


At Monday's Education Committee meeting, the committee were asked to consider the Review of the School Estate in Dundee. 

In comments and questions last night I and my Labour Colleagues raised the following issues:


"The important achievements in this report are as a direct result of the ambitious capital school building and school refurbishment programmes that Labour led councils between 2003 - 2009 brought forward. Unfortunately the new SNP administration have dawdled since they took over leading the council in April 2009 and this shows up in this report.

Looking forward this report makes for disappointing reading. It also is raises a number of questions and issues that I will be pursuing before and at the Education Committee on Monday.

This review is disappointing because its ambitions are so limited. 
A vision of new or refurbished schools fit for the 21st century has been a mantra repeated by the former Director of Education and the Education Convener at every opening of a new school in the city since 2007. Disappointingly, no priorities for new or refurbished schools are identified in this review. That is put off for another year. This review focuses on cyclical maintenance such as heating system replacement and auditing schools rolls where schools are running well under capacity. With no immediate extension of the capital building programme, that I brought forward when I was Education Convener, we will soon find the Council's school building programme slowing down which will take years to crank up again.

It's disappointing therefore if you are a pupil or a teacher in a school which is waiting for a major refurbishment or replacement, apart from Harris Academy, because future plans are on hold.

It's disappointing news for parents and carers with children at the stand alone nursery schools because clearly the Council plans to downgrade them to nursery classes and move them into existing schools with space available.

It will be disappointing if you work in the building industry because as it stands this review won't sustain nearly as many construction jobs in the city as has been the case as the Labour commissioned schools have been built.

As to questions, here are my major ones:
While parent and carers would of course expect that a school would be be in a reasonable physical condition and it would not be overcrowded, are square metres and school condition the only factors the Council should take into account? For example, what about facilities such as access to a games hall?

While the report addresses under occupancy of school buildings, it does not identify over occupancy as an issue in the City. Yet, Craigowl Primary School at 106.9% and Morgan Academy at 103.9% stand out. Is this acceptable? How will this be managed?

Barnhill Primary School in my ward is at 95.6% which is also busting at the seams. Schools are not like hotels because a rising number of school age children in an area will take time to work their way up through a school. More children wanting to enter at P1 can't be shoe horned into spare places in P7. We need more information about the P1 entry figures over a period than this report provides. The only answer provided in this report is to redraw catchment areas. In March this year, I submitted a motion to ask that the £5 million pounds in the capital programme earmarked for the extension and refurbishment of Barnhill Primary School was brought forward and a feasibility study prepared. That seems to have been forgotten and no figures are produced in relation to development pressures in the North East in Barnhill Primary School's catchment area where new housing developments are underway or have been planned.

So for marks out of 10, I would give this report five and a summary comment, 'Incomplete work, you should try harder to respond to all the questions. You also need a positive conclusion to your report'."

12/12/2011

Beginning Today Timetable of Additional Trains Running to and from Broughty Ferry - Monday 12 December 2011


Broughty Ferry Station

New Timetable

Beginning
Monday 12 December 2011

(Monday to Saturday unless otherwise specified)

Northbound Trains
06:31 to Inverurie
09:45 to Inverurie
11:07 to Aberdeen
15:09 to Aberdeen
17:47 to Inverurie
19:00 to Carnoustie
23:10 to Aberdeen
Southbound Trains
06:29 to Dundee
07:41 to Glasgow
10:43 to Glasgow
15:09 to Edinburgh
17:11 to Edinburgh
23:38 to Perth (Monday to Thursday)

11/12/2011

Parlour Cafe Cookbook Booksigning at Broughty Ferry’s greengrocer, Clementine Saturday 17 December 2011 2:30pm



On Saturday 17 December at 2.30pm, for just half an hour, Gillian Veal is making a guest appearance at Broughty Ferry’s greengrocer, Clementine, to sign copies of her incredibly popular Parlour Cafe Cookbook. 
With mulled wine supplied by Clementine’s neighbour and local wine merchant, Aitkens Wines, this event will make Christmas food and gift shopping a positively pleasant experience. 
Clementine has already sold dozens of copies of the book which encourages people to create tasty dishes using many of the ingredients available in the shop. Since the book first came out at the end of October, the first print run has sold out and the second run is in the shops now. 
Clementine owners Jan McTaggart and Carole Sommerville have enjoyed talking to customers about the book. Carole Sommerville said: 
‘We both love eating at the Parlour Cafe and I’ve cooked several of the dishes from the book. The recipes are easy to follow and I’ve been treating family and friends to some delicious meals.’ 
This event is a celebration of all things local to Dundee. The book is published by new Dundee publishing house, Kitchen Press, illustrated by local artist Jen Collins and Gillian herself is from Dundee. 
Clementine of Broughty Ferry, 103 Gray St, DD5 2DN
Open Mon – Sat 9.30am to 5.30pm 

10/12/2011

Dundee Choral Union Christmas Concert 11 December 2011 Caird Hall City Square Dundee

Dundee Choral Union Christmas Concert
Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee 
7pm Sunday 11 December 2011


Tickets will be available from the City Square Box Office or at the door on Sunday evening.


Programme 

  • Poulenc - Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noel Faure - Requiem 
  • Finzi - In Terra Pax 
  • Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on Christmas Carols 
  • Christmas Carols from 100 Carols for Choirs 

Performers

  • Libby Crabtree, Soprano 
  • Stewart Kempster, Baritone 
  • Morley Whitehead, Organist 
  • Derek Clark, Conductor

09/12/2011

Declining Teacher Numbers and Increasing Pupil - Teacher Ratios in Dundee


On Tuesday 7 December, the Scottish Government published their Statistical Bulletin: 

The Bulletin shows the number of primary school teachers in Dundee is now at its lowest level since 2005. The numbers fell again in the last year to 639 at the census point.

In secondary schools, the number of teachers in Dundee is also at its lowest level since 2005. The numbers decreased over the last year to 716 at the census point.
The tables showing Pupil/Teacher ratios also show a noticeable adverse increase from 11.7 pupils to 1 teacher in 2009 to 12.1 pupils to 1 teacher in 2011.
Having promised the earth four and a half years ago, the SNP Government in Holyrood still refuses to face up to the truth that they have not reduced average class sizes.
They, and their SNP controlled Council in Dundee, are responsible for the decline in teacher numbers and an adverse rise in the pupil/teacher ratios in our City.
The SNP made unprecedented promises about improvements in education, none of which have ever been properly or fully funded.

In Dundee the Education Convener, Councillor Liz Fordyce, claims her cuts haven't removed teachers from the classroom but the growth in the number of pupils to each teacher (the Pupil / Teacher ratio)  paints a different picture.

We can't go on reducing the number of teachers in our schools in Dundee without having a negative effect on the attainment and achievement of our pupils. Dundee deserves better.

The Pupil - Teacher ratios have been extracted from from Table 2.2 on page 9 of the Statistical Bulletin

The comparative information on teacher numbers is taken from tables in the supplementary datasets which were also released on Wednesday 7 December 2011 by the Scottish Government.

08/12/2011

No Extra New Schools for Dundee in SNP Investment Plan

The SNP Government's Infrastructure Investment Plan 2011 was published on Tuesday. The section that deals with school buildings is entitled Scotland’s Schools for the Future. 

"The £1.25 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future (SSF) school building programme was announced in June 2009. The Government will provide £800 million funding support, from 2010-11 to 2017-18, with the balance coming from local authorities. The programme is being co-ordinated, managed and facilitated by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT)."
(Infrastructure Investment Plans 2011 December 2011 page 77)

Disappointingly, no additional school building programme has been announced for Dundee in this plan. The plan merely re-announces the rather modest sized national school building programme that was first launched in June 1999. In September 1999 when the government announced some of the specifics, it promised two thirds of the funding for a replacement school for Harris Academy in Dundee. Dundee West MSP, Joe Fitzpatrick, went on Newsnight Scotland to defend his government's record and claimed that work on these new schools would start on site before the next election which was in May 2011. The last report to the City Council on the progress of Harris Academy predicts no start on site before 2013.

Based on their over four and half years in government, the SNP have been strong on bluster about their school building programme and announcing and re-announcing it but weak on action. Unfortunately, this plan comes with the same health warning in relation to the prospects for actual new school building funded by the Scottish Government.

07/12/2011

Ferry Juvenile Crime Wave Summit on Wednesday 7 December

Tag on a BT Box in Strathmore Avenue
Tayside Police, Tayside Fire and Rescue, Dundee Community Wardens as well as Ferry Councillors, have all recently received numerous complaints from members of the public about graffiti, vandalism, fire setting and littering by young people in the Ferry. The unusual intensity of these incidents has led to the Team Leader of the Community Safety Wardens to convene an inter-agency "Summit" on Wednesday 7 December at Blackness Fire Station.


There seem to be a gang of young people who are regularly out on our streets defacing public and private property with spray paint. The repetitive appearance of their 'signature' painted tags suggest that many of the acts of vandalism have been perpetrated by a small number of young people. There has also been a number of deliberately started fires and many examples of inconsiderate behaviours such as deliberately littering the streets and damaging public property such as street signs. 


For the folk on the receiving end of this juvenile delinquency, this has been a very tiresome time. For Council clean up squads, it is also a discouraging picture because as fast as they remove or paint over graffiti, the tags appear again like a virus. There are clearly questions about a lack of parental supervision when it is alleged that some of the vandals are surprisingly young.


I hope the agencies at the meeting on Wednesday afternoon are able to plan and then coordinate effective and lasting responses against the perpetrators.

06/12/2011

Broughty Ferry Train Timetable from 12 December 2011 - 8 December 2012


Click on this image to read or download
Broughty train times.
The new timetable for the improved train services from Broughty Ferry begins on Monday 12 December 2011. 


A handy separate leaflet for services to and from Broughty Ferry has been helpfully produced by TACTRAN and SCOTRAIL. 


This is an improved set of services that provide more through and connecting trains between Broughty Ferry and Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.


Click on this link to read or download the new separate timetable for trains to and from Broughty Ferry: 12 December 2011 -  8 December 2012.

05/12/2011

Broughty Lifeboat Carol Concert St James Parish Church Fort Street Monday 19 December at 7:30pm

The annual Lifeboat Carol Concert will be held in St James Parish Church (the Lifeboat Church) on Monday 19 December beginning at 7:30pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to join in carol singing, remember the work of our brave and dedicated volunteer lifeboat crews and donate to the Lifeboat via the offertory.

01/12/2011

World AIDS Day 1 December 2011


Today is World AIDS Day.




This year the focus of World AIDS Day is about “Getting to Zero.” 

  • Zero New HIV Infections. 
  • Zero Discrimination and 
  • Zero AIDS Related Deaths.

Backed by the United Nations the “Getting to Zero” campaign runs until 2015.

Test your knowledge and take a quiz
Only 24% of young people have adequate knowledge about HIV. 
Do you? 
Take the UNAIDS test of your knowledge at 
http://www.crowdoutaids.org/hivknowledge/