30/05/2014

Broughty Ferry Beach Awarded Prestigious Resort Flag 2014 by Keep Scotland Beautiful

Description of Broughty Ferry Beach
This morning, Keep Scotland Beautiful annnounced the 2014 list of 61 beaches in Scotland that had been judged to have met the standards for their Seaside Awards and once again Broughty Ferry beach is confirmed as having met the Resort Flag standard. In fact for over ten years, Broughty Ferry Beach has consistenly met this Resort Flag standard. According to Keep Scotland Beautiful:
"This award symbolises excellence in beach management and environmental best practice which ensures the maintenance of high standards so our beaches are clean, safer and sustainable for community use. Beaches are awarded either the Resort or Rural Seaside Award."

This award is in no small part due to the week in and week out collaborative work of all the partners involved in the Beach Management Group, especially the Environment Department of the City Council.


Scottish Beach Award Guide 2014

28/05/2014

Temporary Closure of Fort Street from Brook Street to Queen Street on Monday 2 June 2014

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 Section 14(1)
The Dundee City Council as Traffic Authority being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of loop cutting works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Fort Street (from Brook Street to Queen Street), Broughty Ferry, Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 2 June 2014 for one day.

A pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles will be available via Brook Street / Westfield Road / Queen Street.

For further information contact (01382) 433168

27/05/2014

Commenting on Growing Population Pressures on School Places in Dundee

Percentage change in population in Dundee City and Scotland, 2012-2037 (2012-based projections)
Click on graph to enlarge
The latest projection for population growth in Dundee over the next 25 years is good news for the economy of the city. It does however have a potential downside beacuse it will significantly increase pressure on school places. These government figures for Dundee published by the Council show a projected 20% + increase in the 0-15 population of the city by 2037.

The last report to the Education Committee about the demand for places and the capacity of  individual schools, has already identified that there are primary and secondary schools where demand either exceeds or is close to the places available in these schools. Craigowl Primary School in the Startmartine area is bursting at the seams and Barnhill, Eastern and Forthill Primary Schools and Grove Acdemy in The Ferry along with Morgan Academy in the Maryfield area are all working close to capacity.

In the light of new information about more sustained growth in the population of school and nursery age children, it's important that the Education Committee receive an update about how the City will respond to this long term challenge. We must avoid overcrowded schools or children not able to access their local primary and secondary schools.

Link to Population Projections for Dundee

26/05/2014

Hasty Planning for Additional Nursery Places in Dundee

Two year old child playing
On Monday evening 19 May 2014, the Education Committee considered a report on the introduction of additional nursery places in Dundee for two year old children where both parents and carers are unemployed.

While welcoming this enhancement to access to nursery education in the City, I had some reservations about the lack of details in the written proposal. When this new development had first been inroduced at the meeting of the City Development Committee on 21 April, I made it clear that I thought that that proposal had got the cart before the horse. That report baldly proposed spending money on the conversion of school buildings to create the appropriate facilities for the extra under three year old nursery places. But that investment in buildings had been brought forward for approval three weeks before the policy paper apppeared at the Education Committee. When that paper eventually came to the May meeting of the Education Committthee, the report was short on crucial detail.

In Paragraph 4.4 of the report the list of proposed locations to focus the additional places was different from the list of premises approved by the Development Committee Meeting of 21 April 2014. Why had Longhaugh Primary School been dropped off the list of schools?  At both meetings when the Council had considered this matter a school has been dropped off the list. At the City Development Committee in April it was Park Place Primary School which was excluded from teh already circulated list. At the Education Committee, it was Longhaugh Primary School. The short timescale for implementation has meant that the preparations have cleary been rather makeshift, based on assumptions about parents and carers who are unemployed and who have children aged two and the optimum locations for the early learning centres in our city where extra nursery places should be best located.

As a result, I brought forward a motion to the Education Committee that did not obstruct the extra places being available in August this year but which callled for a report back in 2015 when the Education Committee could review what had happened in our nurseries during the 2014/15 and how the Council might need to adapt its policy and practice  for nursery care and learning in order to enhance the impact of this service. For example, the geography of the premises selected have we got that right? Additionally, is the offer of a nursery place for a rigid schedule of three and a bit hours for five days a week the most approriate for the young child and their parent/carer?

I was pleased the Education Convener accepted my ammendment without a vote.

24/05/2014

Bannoch Rise - Temporary Road Closure During Road Resurfacing Work From Tuesday 27 May 2014

The Dundee City Council as Traffic Authority being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of carriageway resurfacing works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Bannoch Rise - at its northerly junction with Lawers Drive - Broughty Ferry, Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 27 May 2014 for 5 working days.


Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained. Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Lawers Drive / Bannoch Rise.

For further information contact (01382) 433168.

22/05/2014

European Elections Today Thursday 22 May 2014 - Polling Stations Open Until 10pm

Today, 22 May 2014, is the day to cast your vote in the Elections to the European Parliament. Polling stations will be open until 10pm tonight.

In the UK voters will elect 73 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of whom 6 MEPs will be from the Scotland Electoral Region.

The result of the Election cannot be announced until close of poll in all member states ie 9pm on Sunday 25 May.

The Regional Returning Officer has overall responsibility for the election but Local Returning Officers are responsible for the conduct of the poll in their local area. The Local Returning Officer for Dundee is the Chief Executive of Dundee City Council.

Ballot papers will be counted locally and the results sent to the Regional Returning Officer in Edinburgh who will then carry out the required calculations to determine the 6 Scottish MEP's. The result is likely to be announced on Monday 26 May.

Link to Scottish Labour Euro Election Video

21/05/2014

Next Meeting of the Broughty Ferry Local Community Planning Partnership 5:30 pm Thursday 22 June 2014

The Ferry (Broughty Ferry) Local Community Planning Partnership
The next meeting of The Ferry Community Planning Partnership will be held on Thursday 22 May at the Broughty Ferry Library on Queen Street, beginning at 5:30pm.

Local Community Planning Partnerships (LCPPs) have been established in each Dundee City Council Ward since 2008. 

The main purpose of these local planning partnerships is to ensure that Community Plans are devised and implemented in response to the locally identified needs in each Ward and to improve the co-ordination of Dundee City Council services with those of our other public and voluntary sector partners.

The meetings are open to members of the public where issues of community concern can be raised in relation to items on the agenda through the chair of meeting.

If you would like further information about the meeting or the Community Planning Partnership, please use the contact details shown below.

A G E N D A

1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES

2. PRESENTATIONS

ß Land Train – Scorpion Tyres

3. PREVIOUS MINUTE AND MATTERS ARISING

4. LCPP EVALUATION REVIEW AND FEEDBACK 

5. FUNDING ALLOCATION FOR BROUGHTY FERRY

6. COMMUNITY PLAN UPDATE (PLEASE SEE ATTACHED REPORT)

7. DEPARTMENT AGENCY OR ORGANISATION UPDATE

8 COMMUNITY ISSUED RAISED BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

9. DATES AND VENUES OF NEXT MEETING 

Thursday 21st August 2014 at Eastern Primary, Centenary Wing

Thursday 21st November 2014, venue to be confirmed.

Carole Jenkins, Communities Officercarole.jenkins@dundeecity.gov.uk  (01382) 436929

20/05/2014

Broughty Ferry Heritage Walk Leaflet Published

Dundee Heitage Walk in Broughty Ferry
Just before Easter, the Community Council announced the publication of the updated and extended Heritage Walk leaflet for The Ferry.

The sumptuous new leaflet in printed in colour and is available free from Broughty Ferry Library and many other outlets in The Ferry.

This heritage walking tour is mainly focused on central Broughty Ferry. The tour is divided into six sections, so that you can follow the entire route which might take more than a couple of hours or pick out a section or two that takes your interest.


The leaflet was revised and updated under the auspices of the Broughty Ferry Community Council. The text of the leaflet was written by local historian Nancy Davey. It has been published in hard copy by Dundee City Council. 

Click on this link to read the leaflet online 

My Councillor Expenses for 2013-14

Councillor Laurie Bidwell Annual Return for Allowances and Expenses 2013-14
Click on image to enlarge
The Local Government (Allowances and Expenses) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 as amended, require the Council to keep a record of payments made to Elected Members (Councillors) and to publish the information for the preceding financial year (1 April to 31 March) by 1 June.

Above you will find a copy of my annual return for 2013-14. I was notified today by the City Council that this will circulated to the press and published on the Council's website very shortly. In the interests of transparency, I am also publishing it on my blog today.

You will see that I have taken the basic nationally agreed salary for Councillors of £16,395.96. In addition the council has supplied and paid for a mobile phone amounting to £135.26 throughout the year and £40 towards the cost of my home landline and internet. As you can see, I do not claim travel expenses for attending any community or council meetings in Dundee.

If you have any questions about my expenses please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.  You also have the right to inspect copies of any claims made by me or any other elected member at the City Council Offices.

16/05/2014

Push the Boat Out - Free Sailing Taster - Grassy Beach Saturday 17 May 2014 11am-4pm

Push the Boat Out Poster at Dundee Sailing Club at Grassy Beach
Push the Boat Out is a national weekend of sailing and windsurfing with open days taking place across the UK.
As part of the Push the Boat Out  in our city, Dundee Sailing Club are running an open day at their Club House on Grassy Beach in Broughty Ferry.
This is a free event which is suitable for adults and children(who must be accompanied by an adult). You will be free to see the Club facilities and boats, and get out onto the on Silvery Tay for a taste of dinghy sailing under the guidance of experienced Club sailors.
Dundee Sailing Club at Grassy Beach, Broughty FerryYou will need to wear warm clothing that may get wet. Spares shoes are a must as your feet will get wet when boarding and leaving boats.
The club has a wide range of buoyancy aids & waterproofs. There are changing rooms & showers which you are welcome to use.

North Sea Pro Cricket at Forthill Sunday 18 and Monday 19 May 2014

Two great days of cricket are in store when matches are played at Forthill this Sunday and Monday (18/19th May 2014) as part of the new North Sea Pro Series competition.

Spectators are encouraged to come along to Forthill to support the Highlanders when they face the North Holland Hurricanes. 

Admission is free, and the BBQ and bar will be open.

Play starts at 3.30pm (T20) on Sunday 18 May and at 10.30am (50 overs) on Monday 19 May.

On Monday, if your are driving to the match, please take extra care approaching the ground as its situated next door to Forthill Primary School. 

Fresh from back-to-back victories over the Reivers at Arbroath, the Highlanders feature several players who started their cricket careers in the Strathmore & Perthshire Cricket Union such as Calvin Burnett, Craig Wallace, Matthew Parker, Aman Bailwal and Michael Leask.

14/05/2014

Sunset View from Barnhill Primary School and the Parent Council Meeting

Sunset view from Barnill Primary School in Broughty Ferry 13 May 2014
Click on image to enlarge
Last night I attended a meeting of the Parent Council of Barnhill Primary School which concluded at about 9pm. When I emerged from the school, looking north down the school driveway onto Falkland Crescent, the setting sun was slipping behind the Sidlaw Hills and illuminating the clouds in the sky.

The meeting was well attended by parents and carers as well as Teachers from the school including Acting Head Teacher, Sharon McQuillan. Also in attendance were Pam Nesbitt, (Head Teacher), who is currently on secondment from the school as a Quality Improvement Officer in the Education Department, Mike Quinn who manages the School Crossing Patrollers and Carol Jenkins, the Communities Officer for Broughty Ferry.

The meeting discussed a number of pupil safety issues including:
  • the need for additional measures to restrict access to the school driveway and car parking at the top of the driveway;
  • the availability of School Crossing Patrollers and
  • the need for either flashing road traffic signs on Balgillo Road or a Puffin crossing to make the crossing of this road safer, especially when the Crossing Patroller is not in attendance.
The parents and carers also received a detailed Head Teacher's report from, Sharon McQuillan, which included staffing changes and insights into the latest focus of the School Improvement Plan. Pam Nesbitt answered questions about progress with the £2m+ extension to he school.  She reported that she was unable to arrange a site visit for Parent Council members until the early part of the Summer Vacation.

13/05/2014

More Details of Internet Safety Briefing for Parents, Carers, Family Members and Staff 19 and 21 May 2014

Internet Safety Briefing for Parents and Carers in Dundee - Event Programme
An Internet Safety Briefing for Parents and Carers with nursery and primary school age children will be held on Monday 19 May at Claypotts Castle Primary School and Wednesday 21 May at St Andrew;s Primary School with both beginning at 6:30.

Come alsong to find out how to keep youerself and young people safe.
These briefings have been arranged by the Community Safety Team in Dundee for parents and carers throughout the city.

There is no charge for taking part.

Internet Safety Briefing Monday 19th May
beginning at 6.30pm
Claypotts Castle Primary School
9 Balloch Place Dundee DD4 8TB

Internet Safety Briefing Wednesday 21st May
beginning at 6.30pm
St. Andrew's Primary School
45 St Leonard Pl, Dundee, DD3 9HD

School Placing Request Appeals Toolkit - A Free Resource for Parents and Carers in Dundee

School Placing Request Appeals Toolkit (Mainstream Schools)
In April 2014, The Education Law Unit at Govan Law Centre published a 'Placing Request Appeal Toolkit' as a free self-help guide for parents, carers and young people in Scotland who are not happy with a decision from their local council in relation to a school placing request. 

The GLC self-help toolkit provides a step-by-step guide on how to challenge a council's decision, how to make an appeal to a local authority Education Appeal Committee, how the procedure operates, and explains the different types of arguments, providing an illustrative appeal letter, and where to go for additional legal help. 

Please note GLC does not have the resources to undertake mainstream placing request appeals, as its Educational Law Unit is focused on cases involving children and young people with additional support needs. 

The guide was written by GLC's education law solicitors Iain Nisbet and Sarah-Jane Kissock. 

'Placing Request Appeal Toolkit' 
Click on this link to read the toolkit or print out a copy - 12 pages.

This posting draws significantly on a briefing from Govan Law Centre dated 24 April 2014

12/05/2014

Find Out about TAYplan Main Issues Report at Drop-In Consultations in Dundee 15 May and 7 June 2014

Everywhere in the country is covered by plans that say how land should be used in the future. Around Dundee and Perth, there are two levels of plans:the Strategic Development Plan – called TAYplan – and
more detailed Local Development Plans.

TAYplan sets the overall planning vision for the next 20 years for the whole of the Dundee and Perth area, including North Fife and parts of Angus and Perth and Kinross. What TAYplan says will affect all our futures – where we live, work and play, where businesses and the public sector invest, and what our towns and countryside will look like in the future.


TAYplan Main Issues Report Spring 2014 - Projected deamond for new housing
Click on maps to enlarge
TAYplan is being reviewed and updated. They have produced a Main Issues Report which they are now consulting on. For example two options are proposed for the demand for new housing. Within the boundaries of Dundee City, both options propose 480 new houses each year so not much choice there. 

There are two consultation events in Dundee over the next month. These events provide opportunities for interested parties to find out more about the Main Issues Report (2014) (MIR) consultation and to speak with planning officers.

TAYPlan Main Issues Report Consultation Drop-In Events - Dundee
Thursday May 15th, 2014
Times 3pm till 7pm
Falcon Scott Suite
1st floor Discovery Point
Discovery Quay, Dundee  DD1 4XA

Saturday June 7th, 2014
Times 11:30am till 4:30pm
Marryat Hall, Caird Hall
City Square, Dundee  DD1 3BB

Read/Download Main Issues Report or Summary

Comments have been invited the Main Issues Report between 15th April and 12 noon on 27 June 2014. To comment online go to www.tayplan-sdpa.gov.uk/mir2014. You will need to register and login in order to comment online. 

11/05/2014

Commenting on Reports Broughty Ferry Level Crossing has Highest Number of Recorded Offences

Broughty Ferry Station Copyright Dundee Courier
Picture copyright Dundee Courier
Click on image to enlarge
I am alarmed to hear that statistics revealed by British Transport Police show that the Broughty Ferry Level Crossing has the highest number of recorded offences in Scotland. I understand that most of these offences have arisen because drivers and pedestrians have been ignoring the flashing warning lights and dodging the barriers at the Gray Street Level Crossing. This is reckless and endangers life and limb of the pedestrians and drivers involved and of course rail passengers, railway staff as well as other road users.

British Transport Police have increased their number of mobile vans with CCTV and I have previously welcomed their more intensive surveillance of our level crossing.  I had hoped that that more visits by the mobile monitoring units would eventually ensure more compliance with the Highway Code and safety first.

In the interests of health and safety at the level crossing I support zero tolerance of the kinds of incidents that have been recorded of folk trying to 'beat the crossing barriers' as they fall.

I am concerned that continuing irresponsible and careless behaviour by drivers and pedestrians may lead Network Rail to apply to close the level crossing. What might solve their concerns would have serious consequences for the future of central Broughty Ferry. Bearing in mind that all the other entry points to our central area are over bridges or under the railway at St Vincent Street, if the level crossing were closed it would be more difficult to drive into and out of our shopping centre. As a result, trading conditions for shops and services might become even more challenging.

So I hope that reckless drivers and pedestrians should take heed of the warnings from British Transport Police about the dangers of trying to beat the barrier. This is not only for the sake of their own safety and others whose life and limb is put at risk but also for retaining the historic public access over the railway at the level crossing.

09/05/2014

Successful Litter Pick on Broughty Ferry Beach

Litter Pick on Broughty Ferry Beach Friday 9 May 2014
At lunch time today I joined a group of volunteers undertaking a litter pick on the Broughty Ferry sandy beach. We focused our attention on the stretch of beach running from the Dighty Burn towards Broughty Ferry Castle.

Whilst the volume of rubbish we collected over a period of an hour looks considerable, some of the waste materials appeared to have come from the weather damaged sand dunes. When the Esplanade was widened many years ago, some of the rubble that was deposited apparently contained rubbish.

Other rubbish collected included glass and plastic drinks bottles which had been carelessly left on the beach or thrown iinto the water and washed up on our beach.

08/05/2014

Internet Safety Briefing for Parents and Carers Monday 19 May 2014 Repeated Wednesday 21 May 2014

An Internet Safety Briefing for Parents and Carers with nursery and primary school age children will be held on Monday 19 May at Claypotts Castle Primary School and Wednesday 21 May at St Andrew;s Primary School with both beginning at 6:30.

These briefings have been arranged by the Community Safety Team in Dundee for parents and carers throughout the city.

There is no charge for taking part.

Internet Safety Briefing Monday 19th May
beginning at 6.30pm
Claypotts Castle Primary School
9 Balloch Place Dundee DD4 8TB

Internet Safety Briefing Wednesday 21st May
beginning at 6.30pm
St. Andrew's Primary School
45 St Leonard Pl, Dundee, DD3 9HD

06/05/2014

Barnhill After School Care Club Receives Very Good Grades from Care Inspectorate

Barnhill After School Care Club - Care Inspectorate Report 2014
Following an inspection in March 2014, the Care Inspectorate have recently published their report on the Barnhill After School Care Club. 

The club provides wrap around care and learning for children before and after the school day and during the school holidays. This vital service enables parents and carers with primary school age children to go to work or engage in further education and training.  

The Inspector's report is very positive with the service being awarded the following consistently high "Very Good" grades:
  • Quality of Care and Support grade 5 - Very Good
  • Quality of Environment grade 5 - Very Good
  • Quality of Staffing grade 5 - Very Good
  • Quality of Management and Leadership grade 5 - Very Good
Parents as well as children were talked to by the Inspector.
"Six parents were talked to during the inspection and all were very happy with the 
club, which they thought was very well run. They all commented on how much their child enjoyed coming and sometimes how reluctant they could be to leave. The parents were aware they could be on the Committee and were happy with the information they were given and sent by email. All the responses were positive about all aspects of the club."

Bearing in mind that the Club has had to move premises within the school during the current building works, I think the parents' comments and Inspector's report are a testament to the quality and commitment of staff and management. 

Looking to the future, when the School's extension is completed in the early summer, the Club anticipates moving into the portable classroom unit currently used by the Nursery. With exclusive use of this facility and access to additional accommodation in the school, it hopes to be able to create more places for children on the waiting list.

Read or download Barnhill After School Care Club's Care Inspectorate Reports

05/05/2014

Road Safety Fears Because 30mph Sign on Dundee Road is Invisible


Dundee Road Broughty Ferry looking towards Dundee
Can you spot the 30 mph extension warning?
Click on image to enlarge
Constituents have complained that a road traffic sign by the Broughty Ferry Yacht Club is virtually invisible. This is particularly crucial because it is the only sign which alerts drivers of the extension to the 30mph limit from that point as far as Margaret Crescent where the 40 mph speed limit begins. 

I can attest to it being difficult to read until almost standing in front of it. This readability challenge is exacerbated by the unusual shape and colouring of the sign. It is therefore easy to miss. Perhaps as a result of this some drivers seem to be driving in an aggressive manner when they encounter a driver sticking to the extended 30 mph speed limit. 



Can you read this road sign on Dundee Road Broughty Ferry?
Can you read this Road Sign up close?
Click on image to enlarge
One resident complained to me that as she drove to wards Dundee, a driver in a following car tailgated her and then pulled out and passed her car just as they drove past Ravenscraig narrowly missing a car coming in the opposite direction.

I have written to the head of Transportation, Neil Gellatly to ask him to replace this sign with one that is readable from a distance and commands the attention of drivers. 

02/05/2014

Sewer Leak on Stony Beach in The Ferry to be Repaired Permanently and Beach Reinstated

Click on map to enlarge
Since 2011, I have been passing on complaints to Scottish Water about recurring leaks to the manhole on the stony beach close to the end of the coastal pathway at Douglas Terrace - see map. 

On Friday 25 April, I was informed by Scottish Water that a contractor had been appointed to undertake the comprehensive repair works which should eliminate the leak at the manhole. Scottish Water are also responsible for reinstating the original condition of the beach which has been disfigured by layers of concrete which have been applied, one on top of the other, over the leaks in the manhole and some of the connecting pipework.

In the letter form Scottish Water, I was advised that:
"Work will commence on Monday 28th April and will see the contractor set up a site compound at the West Ferry Pumping Station with a linked working area on to the foreshore. This area will be fenced off in line with normal construction site practices. Demolition of the manhole will then take place over a number of days and into the following week. There will be some localised noise associated with this work but the activity will only take place during daylight hours, tidal conditions permitting. One of the key aspects of the works will be the management of wastewater flows during the reconstruction works. In agreement with Dundee City Council, during the week commencing 12th May, wastewater flows will temporarily be pumped from Broughty Ferry Road into West Ferry Pumping Station. This will require a closure of Douglas Terrace at the railway bridge. A Traffic Management Plan has been agreed with the Council and will ensure access to property is maintained. We expect all works to be completed during the week commencing 19th May. We would like apologise for any temporary disruption that may be caused during these essential works."