Broughty Ferry Beach Gets its Blue Flag Back

On Wednesday Broughty Ferry beach was presented with its blue flag for 2012 by Keep Scotland Beautiful.
The prestigious blue flag is only awarded to a beach that provides high levels of cleanliness, good water quality and has top class facilities. The judges at Keep Scotland Beautiful believe that for the 2012 season, Broughty Ferry beach fits the bill.
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to only 3849 beaches and marinas in 46 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean; so clearly Broughty Ferry beach is in very select company.
It was a different story last year when unusually high levels of rainfall meant that pollutants were leeched into the water and these were present when the water quality was tested.


Premiere of OUR DUNDEE Short Film Steps Theatre Thursday 31 May at 6:30pm Free Entry

The world premiere of the short film made by young people from The Shore - supported by professional film maker Jonathan Charles of D Fie Foe - is taking place on Thursday evening 31st May.
The Our Dundee film will be shown at the Steps Theatre in the Central Library at The Wellgate on Thursday 31st May at 6.30pm.
Entry is free and no registration is required. You are welcome to bring friends and family.
Please use the Victoria Road (north) entrance to access the theatre.
Over the past two years the Dundee Wave of Change project has been engaging with communities across the city, encouraging and supporting them to create personal stories about their experiences today and their hopes for the future.

Broughty Ferry Station Signal Box Restoration

As the week progresses the contractor working at Broughty Ferry station will be putting the finishing touches to the conversion of the waiting room on the south 'down' platform to a restaurant. A feature of the new restaurant premises is the incorporation of the reconstructed and re-sited signal box.

Visitors and residents with long memories can decide how faithful the new signal box is to the original one (see above) that was dismantled in 2001 following the closure of the box in 1995. The old structure, mainly constructed in wood was a listed building. Timber boxes were few and far between and used only in special circumstances. The reason here was apparently that the stairs of the station footbridge passed right through the basement of the cabin.

Despite the best efforts of conservationists the woodwork was not properly protected when it 'went into storage'; effectively it was left to rot.
While this is not quite the restored and re-sited signal box that was originally envisaged and requested, I think it makes a fine focal point at the station.
Acknowledgement should be given to those who, over the years, have pressed this issue and refused to take 'no' for an answer. In particular, I would single out David Hewick, the Planning Secretary of the Broughty Ferry Council for an appreciative mention.


School Parking and Pupil Safety Working Group Meeting Monday 28 May

On Monsday afternoon, I attended the second meeting of the School Parking and Pupil Safety Working Group chaired by David Dorward, the Chief Executive of the Council.
This meeting considered actions arising from the observational visits of the working group to the five Primary Schools in the City assessed as having the highest multiple risk factors. Our visits were undertaken in the fortnightly prior to the election and were focused on the morning drop offs or afternoon pick ups at each of the five schools. In Broughty Ferry we visited Forthill Primary School which Is the largest Primary School by pupil numbers in the city with a projected combined Nursery and Primary school roll of 650 pupils in August 2012.
We also considered reports from Neil Gellatly, Head of Transportation and Caley McDowall on behalf of Dundee Travel Active.
The Chief Executive has a refreshing 'can do' attitude which leads to specific committed outcomes which should help tackle some of the issues we have identified on our visits. I left this meeting with reassurance for parents and carers that things are moving forward and, where feasible, some important changes will be made in time for the beginning of the new school year on Wednesday 15 August 2012.


Broughty Salon is Scottish Hair and Beauty Salon 2012

Picture features Pauline Davidson (Salon Partner) and internationally renowned hairdresser Trevor Sorbie MBE at the awards last night.
Partners Hair and Beauty, based in Broughty Ferry came up trumps at last night’s INAA Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards 2012. The award came about as a result of glowing customer testimonials and the salon was judged on its presence on web and social media, showing that in this day and age, nothing is left to chance.
Pauline Davidson and her business partner Laurie Simpson were delighted with the accolade and, of course, have taken the time to thank their wonderful team and guests: Pauline said today:
Laurie and I and the team were delighted to receive this award. We’ve worked really hard to make our business popular, constantly striving to deliver a high quality of service to our lovely guests. We invest a lot in our staff, especially with training them. In short – our team are everything!

This is just the latest award for this friendly salon, which has won the ‘Best of Dundee and Angus’ Most Popular Small Business for the last three years. Partners has been delivering excellent services in Broughty Ferry for nearly 14 years on the same site.

Councillor Laurie Bidwell, congratulated Pauline and her team and said:
This is a presigous award which brings great credit to the team of staff at Partners Hair and Beauty. It is also another example of the outstanding excellence of shops and local services in Broughty Ferry; it's the third such national award this year for Ferry retail businesses. This is one of the reasons why central Broughty Ferry is such an attractive place to access shops and local services.

Partners Hair and Beauty, 128 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry
Open Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat 9am - 5.30pm, Wed & Thur 9am – 10pm
Tel 01382 732 737


Launch of The Ferry Community Plan 2012-2017

On Tuesday morning, 22 May 2012, the Council launched the Local Community Plans for each of the eight electoral areas in Dundee. This event took place in the Marryat Hall in Dundee.
Our Local Community Plan for Broughty Ferry lists the changes, developments and improvements local residents would like to see happen. In order to do this the views of residents were gathered. There have been many opportunities for local people to state how they feel about living in The Ferry area, and to express how they think the area can be improved. 
Although it is not possible to consult with everyone, Communities staff have gathered information on the priorities many residents feel are important. This information was gathered in a number of ways including:
  • 300 postal surveys were delivered to Forthill and Balgillo areas;
  • Round Table event held at Castle Green;
  • Community Safety survey analysed by Tayside Police;
  • Focused discussions with Community, Council, Traders, Broughty Ferry Development Trust and Forthill Tenants' Association;
  • Focused Facebook consultation with young people at Grove Academy;
  • Consultation through “Glow” with primary School children asking their views about living in Broughty Ferry;
  • Over 500 people spoke to Local Community Planning Partners at Gala Day event and
  • Local workers and Local Community Planning Partnership partners were asked to provide information and view on local priorities.

BioBlitz Events to Enjoy at Riverside Nature Park 1pm - 6pm Sunday 27 May 2012

This Sunday, 27 May 2012, between 1pm and 6 pm the Ranger Service are running a BioBlitz Event at Riverside Nature Park .
It looks like the sun might be out so why not go explore Dundee's newest green space! 
Find out who has already made their home at the at new nature park and get great views of the Tay Estuary and it's internationally important bird population.
Local Experts will be on hand to help you find as many species as you can throughout the day and this will help to continue to mange the site for biodiversity in the years to come.Riverside Nature Park, Wright Avenue, Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD2 1UR

Programme of Events Sunday 27 May 2012 1pm - 6pm

  • Guided walks to look for birds and plants at 1.30pm and 3.30pm;
  • Wildflower planting at 2.30pm and 4.30pm and
  • Children's activities and recording going on all afternoon.

More information in advance contact:
Alison Cairnie
Countryside Ranger
01382 431848
More information on the day contact Alison at the marquee next to the main car park.

Successful Spring Fair at Eastern Primary School

Mrs Skea announces
the results of the raffle.
On Saturday morning 19 May, Eastern Primary School held it's Spring Fair. This major fundraiser was organised by a sub-group of the parent Council under the leadership of Chairperson, Elaine Smith. For the first time the school used the Games Hall in their 'new' building where they re-located last year. This provided a large covered area for the stalls and many activities including face painting while some of the sporting activities took place outside such as the climbing wall. It was good to see so many parents and carers, children and teachers enjoying the attractions; it had the buzz of a busy covered market. The top raffle prize of an iPad2 drew a high level of interest in the draw. Depute Head Mrs Skea announced the winners at the end of the morning.  
As well as the fun of the fair, there was a wall chart inviting post-it comments from parents about what the school should 'Keep Doing', 'Stop Doing' and 'Start Doing'. This should provide a useful additional channel for feedback to the staff under the leadership of new Head Teacher Mrs Knox.


Adding a Pupil and Parental Voice on the Education Committee

I have written to Leader of the Administration, Ken Guild, whose position was confirmed at the Council meeting on Monday night 21st March 2012. While all eyes at the meeting were on which Councillors were made Lord Provost  and Committee Conveners, the Council was also invited to approve the two trade union and three religious representatives that are also members of the Education Committee. 

Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that children and young people have a right to have their views taken into account in decisions made about matters that affect them. At a time when the voice of our young people in decision making in our City is facilitated through the Dundee Youth Council and the City wide Pupil Council, is it not time we took one more step further by inviting a nominee from our senior school pupils to join us in the Education Committee?

Scottish Labour in Dundee were convinced of the merit of this idea and put this in our manifesto for the local government elections. We proposed that the Education Committee should co-opt a parent representing the citywide group of Chairpersons of Parent Councils together with a senior pupil nominated by the City wide Pupil Council.

I would think there should be cross party support for this because two senior pupils were invited to join the Education Review Group by the last Education Convener and of course the SNP have been arguing for the inclusion of 16 year old voters in the forthcoming referendum on the  proposed separation of Scotland from the UK. Likewise there are compelling reasons for a stronger parental voice on the Education Committee. I have already checked with the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on the Council and he has confirmed that there is no legal impediment to what I have proposed.

I didn't want to be divisive so I  wrote to Ken Guild to propose this and invite him to bring forward a proposal to the Council meeting yesterday or the next Education Committee on 25 June.

In his reply to me Councillor Guild thanked me for my email and said:

"I am not hostile to the proposals which I think could be looked at as a review of the business of the Education Committee.  I have asked officers to gather information concerning non-elected membership of Education Committees or their equivalent in other Scottish local authorities."


Christian Aid Week 2012 in The Ferry

As part of Christian Aid Week 2012 in the Ferry, Broughty Churches are coming together to run a number of events.
A Flower Festival will run on Thursday 17, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May between 10 am and 4pm at St Luke's and Queen Street Church, 5 West Queen Street, Broughty Ferry DD5 1AU.
Admission £3 (including Tea). All proceeds to Christian Aid.
Volunteers, from Broughty Ferry Churches, will also conduct a house to house collection this week dropping off and collecting Christian Aid envelopes for donations.

Christian Aid Week 13-19 May 2012

This week, 13-19 May 2012, is Christian Aid Week
Christian Aid is a organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.
They work globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. They are part of a wider movement for social justice.
They provide urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.
For more information about Christian Aid in Scotland and how you can be more involved, visit or contact your local church.


Temporary Closure of Claypotts Road (between Balgillo Road and Duntrune Terrace) this Sunday

This Sunday expect delays in and around the northern section of Claypotts Road which is subject to temporary closure for the day in order to allow water main repairs by Scottish Water. Here is the text of the formal notice from the council:

being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water repair works being carried out
HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Claypotts Road (between Balgillo Road and Duntrune Terrace), Broughty Ferry.
This notice comes into effect on Sunday 13 May 2012 for
one day.
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Balgillo Road/Ballinard Road/Claypotts Road.
For further information contact (01382) 433168.
Mike P Galloway
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council


Wishbone Day - Sunday 6 May 2012

Today is Wishbone Day which is an international awareness raising day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as 'brittle bones'.

The Brittle Bone Society is the only UK charity supporting people who have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). The Brittle Bone Society, Grant-Paterson House, 30 Guthrie Street, Dundee DD1 5BS
Registered Charity, England & Wales 272100. Scotland SCO10951
Tel: (01382) 204446 | Fax: (01382) 206771 | Email:



Re-election - Commitment to All my Constituents

Earlier this afternoon, after all the votes had been counted, I was declared elected to serve as one of the four councillors to represent The Ferry ward. 
I am delighted that constituents have had the confidence to re-elect me.
I wish to acknowledge the help and support of my energetic campaign team, especially my agent Kevin Findlay.
After an exhausting campaign, I am sure constituents will not begrudge me the holiday weekend to recuperate and get accustomed to coping with a broken wrist which came from a tripping up on a constituent's driveway when I was out delivering leaflets on Tuesday afternoon.
I look forward to working for all of my constituents in the coming weeks and months of the new five year term of office.


Evening Telegraph Profile - The Uncut Version

Name: Councillor Laurie Bidwell

Party: Scottish Labour Party

Age: 65

Day job: Working full time as a Councillor for The Ferry. I was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee.

Home area: Over 30 years ago, we moved into our family home, which is on the main street in central Broughty Ferry.

Personal aim: To maintain and make improvements to the public services on which our community relies and to use my influence to support good quality developments and initiatives. I will strenuously oppose changes that are detrimental to constituents or would undermine the distinct identity of Broughty Ferry.