26/12/2013

Pollution Warning as Cedar Road Flooding Returns

Flooding in Cedar Road, Broughty Ferry on 23 December.2013
Flooding at the southern end on Cedar Road returned after the rainfall on Monday 23 December. 

As you can see the flooding is quite extensive lapping over the footways and right across the road extending to a length of 30 metres.

In addition to the hazard the flood creates, especially for pedestrians, the murky water contains an unhealthy mixture of sewage and rainwater. When the water level eventually subsides, there is a disgusting residue of sewage. I have received complaints on behalf of the owners of properties on both sides of this section of Cedar Road. These include penetrating damp into the stonework of a house built into the boundary wall, water damage to a driveway and sewage residues deposited on garden ground. 

While Scottish Water organise a clean up of the mess when notified, they have no current plans to increase the capacity of the drainage system to cope with heavy downpours. They lamely say that their current investment plans rigidly focus on other priorities set by Ministers in the Scottish Government. I think it's time that Shona Robison, our MSP for Dundee City East and a Minister in the Scottish Government, used her influence to get these investment plans modified. There must be many other locations in other parts of the city and elsewhere which have similar problems that need a long term fix.

Acknowledgment that the photograph above was taken by David Hewick, a Broughty Ferry Community Councillor.

25/12/2013

Wishing all my Constituents a Very Happy Christmas

I very much hope that the Christmas Day will be a happy time for all my constituents with a chance to spend time with friends and family. 

Those of us enjoying our Christmas Day festivities are of course reliant on folk continuing to work in essential services, including the NHS, the Ambulance Service, the Police and the Fire Service. I thank all those staff for the work they do day in day out but especially on public holidays like today.

Wishing all my constituents a very happy Christmas.

20/12/2013

Welcome from Residents in Falkland Crescent for Driveway Improvements and Adoption

Councillor Laurie Bidwell and Bob Wilson, Falkland Crescent, Broughty FerryOver forty years after a row of fourteen houses were built by Bett Brothers in Falkland Crescent, the successor company, and the Dundee City Council have sorted out an issue that should have been resolved when the houses were first purchased. The section of residents’ driveways that runs between their private gardens and the edge of the road, a distance of four or five metres across a grassy verge, has been resurfaced prior to adoption by the City Council.

Resident, Bob Wilson, who first took up this issue, said:"I am very pleased that my driveway has been brought up to standard by Bett Homes so that it can now be adopted by the Council. I want to thank Senior Highways Engineer, Mike Giblin; Councillor Laurie Bidwell  and of course Bett Homes for working together to sort out this issue for me and the other residents who were in the same predicament. I am delighted with my upgraded driveway.'

I am pleased to have been able to support Bob Wilson's efforts to have this issue resolved. Bett Homes deserve recognition for their extraordinary customer service in remedying an issue from so many years ago. But the real thanks should go to Bob for taking up this issue in the first place, sticking with it over a number of years and recognising that the legal discrepancy that affected him and his driveway applied to his neighbours in the same street.

18/12/2013

Panmurefield Carol Service Attracts a Good Gathering



Carol service outside Panmurefield Village Church
Last night more than a hundred folk gathered outside Panmurefield Village Church for a service of Carols and Bible readings led by the Rev Brian Talbot.

Carol singing from choirs from two of our Ferry Primary Schools was enthusiastically applauded. This was especially evident for the children of Barnhill Primary School whose backing music failed and who then restarted singing with improvised accompaniment from one of the church's musicians. As well as community singing of carols and three bible readings, Rev Brian Talbot also delivered a short homily about the parallels between the social and political unheavals at the time of the birth of Jesus and just now and the meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ. After the service mince pies and tea were served outside. This was a most worthwhile community event.

Hedge in Claypotts Road Being Misused as a Rubbish Bin

Discarded rubbish in Claypotts Road
On Saturday lunchtime I was walking home having purchased a paper from the Coop in Claypotts Road.  This stretch of private garden ground seems to be used as an unofficial rubbish bin. 

I am sure the residents in Deepdale Place could do without this at the bottom of their garden. For those of us that walk along the street it's an unsightly mess. 

Cleaning up litter throughout Scotland costs close to £100 million every year. In Dundee that works out at £3-4 million per year. It's money I think most folk would prefer the Council to spend on schools and care for the elderly.

I have written to the helpful folk in the Environment Department to ask them to clean up this area and also requested more patrols to catch and to impose on the spot fines for those that are littering in this street. I have also written to Graham Hutton, the Head Teacher of Grove Academy, to ask that he reminds his pupils  to deposit their litter in the bins provided or to take it home.

17/12/2013

Commenting on Dundee Schools Having the Highest Absence Rate in Scotland

Official statistics published last week by the Scottish Government include figures for the attendance and absence of school pupils. 

In 2012/13 the percentage attendance in Scottish local authority schools ranged from the highest 95.5 per cent (East Renfrewshire) to the lowest 92.3 per cent (Dundee City). This means Dundee has the highest pupil absence rate in Scotland in the last complete school year. A 3.2% difference may not seem much but translated into days missed over a year it stacks up. In fact it means that on average, every pupil in Dundee misses more than one week more than pupils in East Renfrewshire. No wonder the exam results are better in East Renfrewshire.

Looking more closely at the figures for Dundee, it means that on average each pupil in Dundee misses fifteen days or three weeks of schooling a year. This adds up to almost one year of schooling lost by every pupil during their 5-16 compulsory school years.

It is very disappointing that Dundee Schools are at the bottom of the national league table for their absence rate. Any day of absence from school is a day of missed learning opportunities. If we want to increase the attainment of our pupils, we need to reduce the number of days at school that are lost through absence for reasons that are avoidable.

Right now we need some explanation of what is going wrong and why the absence rate has been increasing in Dundee but decreasing elsewhere.

I have written to the Council's Committee Clerk to ask that this issue is discussed at the next meeting of the Education Committee. This can't be allowed to be brushed under the carpet. The Education Directorate need to explain how they intend to bring down the number of lost days of learning in our schools.

16/12/2013

Panmurefield Torchlit Community Carol Service Lawers Drive Tuesday 17 December 2013

The dramatic Panmurefield Torchlit Community Carol Service will be held on Tuesday 17 December at the grass/car park outside Panmurefield Church in Lawers Drive beginning at 6.00pm 

Was Bob Servant correct? Should dogs be banned from Dawson Park?

Dog mess collected from football pitches in Dawson Park
On Saturday I received this letter in an email from a constituent. He is part of the Ferry Athletic Youth Football Club whose young players play regularly on the pitches at Dawson Park. The letter is self explanatory. 
In response the same day, I contacted the Animal Control Team to ask them to police this area much more rigorously. I have also asked the Environment Department to clean up this area. I am also appealing to all dog owners to be responsible and pick up their dog's excrement by using the free bags available from the Library and depositing these in the dog bins available in this park.
Dear Sir,
Was Bob Servant correct?
Should all dogs be banned from Dawson Park?
I agree, this is an unreasonable suggestion. However something has to be done.
As one involved in youth and adult sports groups that use Dawson Park on a regular basis I am absolutely disgusted at the amount of dog excrement left by irresponsible dog owners.
Today one of our coaches collected 9 bags of this vile excrement from the area towards the east of the park near the cricket pitch. We regularly remind our coaches and players to collect any rubbish at the end of training sessions and games.  A plastic juice bottle left behind might not degrade through time and look unsightly. But it doesn’t carry dangerous toxins or leave your shoes, car mat, carpet or child’s clothing smelling vile. With all the publicity recently with the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow and the promotion of activities to keep children active this situation is simply unacceptable.  They would be safer at home playing on a games console!
We pay a substantial amount of money to Dundee City Council each year to use these facilities and every week without fail we have to spend time collecting dog mess. If any driver on Arbroath Road passing by notices marker cones in random positions around the park, they are the ones covering up dog waste.
There are several dog waste bins at each entrance to the park and I thank responsible dog owners for cleaning up their animal’s mess. Of course it is the minority of irresponsible owners who are giving all dog walkers a bad name.
I look forward to Dundee City Council proposing a solution to this unhygienic and unsightly mess.
Regards,
Finbarr McCarthy
Ferry Athletic Youth Football Club

15/12/2013

Broughty Lifeboat Carol Concert St James Parish Church Monday 16 December 2013 at 7:30pm

Broughty Ferry LifeboatThe annual Lifeboat Carol Concert will be held in St James Parish Church (the Lifeboat Church) on Monday 16 December 213 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.

St James’ Parish Church, Fort Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 2AD

Baldragon Academy Carol Singers Fundraise at the Bingo

Customers arriving at the Mecca Bingo in Douglasfield on Saturday night were greeted at the door by a group of carol singers from Baldragon Academy. I was pleased to join staff and pupils from the school for their Christmas fundraising in aid of the Brown Street Kennels in Dundee. The carollers also brought along their dogs who were  all on their best behaviour.

The Bingo players arriving for their party night provided appreciative feedback and were very generous with their donations. Thanks are also due to Mecca staff for their help.

14/12/2013

Road Traffic Accident Close to Forthill Primary School

Ambulance
On Wednesday afternoon a man was knocked down at the end of Marlee Road in Broughty Ferry. An ambulance was called and took the person involved  to Ninewells hospital. This occurred close to the leaving time for pupils at the nearby Forthill Primary School. 

I hope the individual involved was not seriously injured in this accident and that that they make a speedy recovery.

According to a resident, who lives near the street end in the vicinity of Marlee Court, the road was, as usual, congested with cars coming and going as parents and carers were picking up their children from Forthill Primary School.

Since more traffic controls were put in place directly outside Forthill Primary School, some of the traffic has been been displaced into surrounding streets such as Marlee Road. Children can walk or be accompanied on a pathway that leads from the road end  through the play park to Forthill Primary School.

Residents have complained that twice a day their otherwise quiet street is overwhelmed with traffic. Their inconvenience would be reduced if some of the car drivers were more considerate with their parking and avoided blocking residents wanting to drive on or off their their own driveways. 

They are worried  that the level of congestion poses dangers to pupils at the school and their own children as well as other road users. They are convinced that, ''this was 'an accident waiting to happen'.

Since I was informed about this accident, I have been in touch with Police Scotland, and the Community Safety Team to ask that they step up their presence in the area. I have also written to Neil Gellatly the Head of Transportation at the City Council to ask him to assess what can be be put in place to prevent a similar  incident occurring and to minimise parking disruption for the residents. I have also contacted the Headteacher.

13/12/2013

Santa Claus is Coming to Broughty Ferry Library on Saturday 14 December 10-12 noon

Santa is coming to Broughty Ferry Library December 2013
Santa Claus is taking time out from his busy schedule for a flying visit to Broughty Ferry Library between 10am and 12noon on Saturday 14 December 2013.

Children of all ages are welcome.

Entry is free. 

There will also be festive crafts - make a Christmas card or decoration.

Broughty Ferry Library
Queen Street Broughty Ferry DD5 2HN 

broughty.library@leisureandculturedundee.com
telephone  01382 636919 

Consultation Begins on Draft Broughty Ferry Conservation Area Appraisal

Broughty Ferry Conservation Area Appraisal December 2013
The City Council Planning Department, invites comments on the proposed Broughty Ferry Conservation Area Appraisal.

This appraisal covers the central part of Broughty Ferry from the junction of Douglas Terrace with Dundee Road in the West to Rugby Terrace on the Esplanade in the East. 

The appraisal proposes a number of significant changes from the existing Conservation Area, especially extensions to the boundary of the Conservation Area. 

At this stage they invite comments from members of the public and all interested people on the terms and content of the draft Conservation Area Appraisal.  

All comments must be received by 24th January 2014. 

Once comments have been received they will be used to improve and finalise the proposal.  It is anticipated that the revised proposal and results of the consultation exercise will then be reported to the City Development Committee for approval as a material planning consideration.

The proposal also includes extending the current Article 4 Directions to include the boundary alterations as outlined within the Appraisal document. 

Copies of the Broughty Ferry Conservation Area Appraisal document can also be viewed at the Broughty Ferry Community Library - Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2HN, Central Library - The Wellgate Shopping Centre and the Reception of Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street.

Please send your comments in writing to; City Development Department, Development Management, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee, DD1 1LS, marked “Consultation Response – Central Conservation Area Appraisal” or alternately emailed to conservationareas@dundeecity.gov.uk in advance of the deadline on 24th January 2014.  

Should you wish to discuss the content of the draft proposal please contact Gary Knox, Conservation Officer, Tel 01382 433414.

12/12/2013

Royal Mail Post Box On Camphill Road Corner Closed

Post Box at junction of Camphill Road and Bughties Road
At the December meeting of Broughty Ferry Community Council, I reported residents' concerns about a damaged stone wall at the junction of Camphill Road and Bughties Road. Holes and cracks in the stone work had been apparently caused by a car crashing into it. The Conservation Officer of the Council had confirmed that the owners of the property were pursuing an insurance claim and repairs to the wall would be forthcoming.

At the same location, right on the corner of these two roads, there is a Royal Mail Post Box. It currently remains difficult to access behind some temporary barriers keeping the public away from the falling masonry. Now residents have noticed that the box has had its letter slot covered. It is rumoured that this is not just a temporary measure. 

Two resident's approached me concerned that a temporary suspension of collections by Royal Mail might turn into a long term closure of this letter box. They pointed out out that there are a significant number of older people in the area and that it is a much longer walk to the next nearest letters boxes in the wider area.

I have written to Royal Mail to request reassurance that this is merely a temporary suspension of collections until the wall is repaired and the public can access to this letter box again.

Joining the Board of Dundee Contemporary Arts

Dundee Contemporary Arts
At the full Council meeting on Monday evening, I was nominated to fill a vacancy as a Council representative on the Board of Dundee Contemporary Arts.

I am pleased to have been appointed to take on this role.

I am looking forward to attending my first board meeting in the new year.

09/12/2013

Environment Committee Approves Play Area Improvements at Castle Green and Orchar Park

Castle Green Play Area in Broughty Ferry
At the Environment Committee on Monday evening 9th December, improvements were agreed to play areas across the city. For The Ferry these included play areas at Castle Green and Orchar Park. 

These proposals had been developed to address existing health and safety concerns and to enhance the amenity of facilities in each location. They should also help reduce the future maintenance burden on the Council Tax.

More specifically, these are the improvements that will be coming our way in Broughty Ferry:

Castle Green 
Install climbing nets and sand play equipment to enhance the site, replacing equipment that is beyond economic repair.

Orchar Park

Improve woodchip safety surfacing under play equipment.

05/12/2013

The Memory of Broughty Ferry Book is Published

The Memory of Broughty Ferry publication Front Cover 2013
5th November 2013 was the centenary of Broughty Ferry becoming part of Dundee. A series of community led events during the year have taken place to recognise the end of Broughty Ferry as a separate Burgh.

Very close to the anniversary of annexation, Hugh Begg, Chris Davey and Nancy Davey have published an absorbing volume of local history, 'The Memory of Broughty Ferry'. The handsome cover features in the background the 1801 Plan of the 'New Town at the North Ferry' featuring the distinctive grid of roads which is still recognisable today.

The publication is now on sale for £6 in the The Ferry at Mcdonalds the Stationers in Brook Street and the Eduardo Alessandro Studios in Gray Street. In Dundee you will find it on sale at Waterstones in Commercial Street. There is also a reference copy available at the Broughty Ferry Library. 

The book contains 100 pages featuring nine separate chapters including:
  • Broughty Ferry before 1913
  • Salmon Fishing in Broughty Ferry
  • The Mansion House Murder Mystery
  • Fisher Street Graveyard
  • The End of the Burgh of Broughty Ferry
Interestingly, the title, 'The Memory of Broughty Ferry' is the toast proposed by Provost Lindsay just prior to midnight on 4 November 1913, before he removed his chain of office for the last time. While it was the end of the Broughty Ferry Burgh as he knew it,  I think he would have been impressed with the enduring distinctiveness of the identity of Ferry folk and the continuing pride of place of its citizens wanting to record and celebrate its history as well as engage in planning its future.

04/12/2013

Report to Broughty Ferry Community Council December 2013 Meeting

Broughty Ferry Community Council Logo
On Tuesday night 3 December 2013, I attended the monthly meeting of Broughty Ferry Community Council. 

Here some extracts from my report to the Community Council:

Damaged Stone Wall Corner of Bughties and Camphill Roads
A stone wall at the corner of Bughties and Camphill Road was damaged by a vehicle crashing into it during the early autumn. A resident had contacted me to express concern that if this wall was not repaired soon the weather might get into the wall. I contacted Gary Knox, the Council's Conservation Officer, who contacted the relevant Planning Officer who has reassured me that the owners of the wall are pursuing an insurance claim and hope the wall be repaired soon..

Barnhill Primary School
The steel frame for the extension has now been erected providing a clearer illustration of the external dimensions of the extesnion currently under construction. 

I have asked the Director of Education to investigate plans that seem to indicate that the changing rooms for the new Games Hall will neither have wash hand brains nor toilets. This does not seem right.

Barnhill Primary school has insufficient storage racks for scooters and bicycles, for the children who scoot or cycle to school, I have asked the Director of Education whether any potential underspend in the contract for the extension of the school can be used for installing more bike and scooter racks.

Eastern Primary School/Grove Academy
After meeting of the School Parking and Pupil Safety working group and a further meeting with the Head of Transportation, Neil Gellatly. I can report that his engineers are investigating the feasibility of installing a lights controlled crossing on Queen Street close to its junction with Church Street.

Dundee Port Authority
I have mentioned previously (to the Community Council) the potential proposals for the expansion of port land from the Stannergate towards Broughty Ferry. In an article in the local press this week, the Manager of the Dundee Port indicated that this was to be pursued.

Changing Policy for School Placing Requests for Session from 2015/16
The Director of Education has produced a report to the Education Committee on Monday 9 December 2013 asking for permission to consult citywide on changing the policy for Placing Requests for schools with effect from school session 2015/16. A consultation meeting about this has been arranged at Grove Academy on Monday 3 February 2014.


Broughty Ferry Community Council meets on the first Tuesday of every month(excluding August and January) in the Community Library, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry Dundee DD5 2HN. Community Council meetings begin at 7pm and are open to the public.