13/06/2014

Commenting on the Operational Difficulties in the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network (DUN.CA.N.)

Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network (DUN.CA.N.)
The revelations in the Courier on Wednesday 11 June about regular staff shortages in the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network (DUN.CA.N.) are very alarming.  It is clear that chronic shortages of Police Scotland civilian staff have impacted negatively on the effectiveness of this service. As a result, the 7x24 CCTV coverage in the city centre has been undermined. In addition, a lack of intelligence sharing was not just been a one off but a regular occurrence. No wonder some of the city centre traders and businesses are quetioning whether their subscriptions to DUN.CA.N is money well spent.

In the report to the Council's Policy and Resources Committee (Police, Fire and Community Safety) on Monday night we received a report about the Community Safety Hub and were asked to approve the inclusion of the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network as part of the Hub. In that report from the Chief Executive there was no mention of these operational weaknesses caused by significant reductions in the complement of Police Scotland non-uniformed staff. The report did draw attention to financial savings gained and operational improvements achieved in co-locating Police Scotland and Council staff concerned with community safety but contained no misgivings about cuts having gone too far.

Clearly the scale of the SNP government's imposed budget cuts on Policing are already having a very negative effect in our city centre streets and businesses. These latest revelations demonstrate that the shedding of many non-uniformed Police staff by Police Scotland is undermining the effectiveness of policing of our city centre. We can't allow this to continue or the positive achievements over a number of years will be lost. 

I have asked the Chief Executive to intervene with our partners in Police Scotland. I have also sought reassurance from him that the Council's 'efficiency savings' that impact on the Dundee Co-ordinated Anti-crime Network are not a contributory factor to the operational shortcomings that have been widely reported in the press.

12/06/2014

Baldragon Academy Pupils and Staff Entertain With Hairspray - The Musical

Poster for Amateur Performance of Hairspray at Baldragon Academy, Dundee,
Click on image to enlarge
Last night I enjoyed a very entertaining and accomplished performance of Hairpsray the musical by the pupils and staff of Baldragon Academy.

Set in Baltimore in the early 1960s, the singing and dancing had me tapping my feet to the musical score, which was reminiscent of Motown rhythm and blues. 

The pupils, who were joined on stage by several of their teachers, sang and danced their hearts out.  

Produced and directed by staff from the outstanding Music Department, Baldragon Academy has staged another school show of which it should be proud.

This performance of "Hairspray is as sweet as a show can be without promoting tooth decay."

Catch this show if you can with two more performances on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 June 2014. Tickets @ £7 from the school.
telephone: 01382 436170 
email: baldragon@dundeecity.gov.uk

06/06/2014

Unfortunate Timing of Maintenance of Wastewater Pumping Station and Storage Tank Beneath Car Park at Bferry Beach

On Thursday 5 June 2014, Scottish Water circulated an email advising that from Sunday 8 June they would be undertaking some major maintenance work on the wastewater pumping station and storage tank sitting below the car park at Broughty Ferry Beach. As the map show this is located below ground level in Windmill Car Park at the beginning of the Esplanade.

The pumping station and storage tank, which is invisible at ground level has an underlying structure which is around 26 metres in diameter and 10 meters deep. In the interests of protecting their staff, the public and the environment during this work and to maintain safe working areas and allow access for plant and equipment, they will set up 2 small compounds within the car park which will unfortunately restrict parking for a short period of time. Details are shown in the aeriel view above. 

Scottish Water wrote:"The work can be summarised as emptying, cleaning and maintaining the storage tank. The work will commence Sunday 8th June 2014 and is expected to take around 6-7 days to complete. The work won’t affect drainage of the Broughty Ferry sewer network and won’t cause any harm to the water environment. With open manhole covers and cleaning units being used, there may be some localised odour from time to time but this will be monitored and mitigated wherever possible. There will be some overnight working to empty the storage tank but this will be done using specialist low noise pumps." 

"We appreciate that this work will cause a short term disruption to the car park so are keen to let as many people and organisations know of the activity and that it is being carefully planned and managed. We are aware of the planning that goes into the Broughty Ferry Gala Week so are aiming to have all work completed as soon as possible. In addition to nearby residents, we have also advised Dundee City Council Ward Councillors, City Engineer, Roads, Parks & Leisure, Environmental Health and Beach Management teams. We have also notified SEPA, Broughty Ferry Community Council, Broughty Ferry Traders Association, Broughty Ferry Beach Management Group, Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association, a local fitness group who regularly use the beach and operators of the new tourist Land Train."

While Scottish Water are aware of the forthcoming Gala they do not seem to be aware that their major maintenance work will overlap with the official start of the bathing season on Saturday 14 June 2014 which will not be enhanced by what they euphemistically refer to as, "some localised odour".

If you require any further information then please call Scottish Water’s 24hr Customer Helpline on 0845 601 8855 or email customer.services@scottishwater.co.uk

04/06/2014

Balmossie Fire Station Inviting Folk to join them for the Big Lunch 11am-3pm Sunday 8 June 2014

Balmossie Fire Station, Broughty Ferry - Big Lunch Poster 2014
Local Senior Officer for Scottish Fire and Rescue in Dundee Dave Stapley has announced that Balmossie Fire Station will be hosting a Big Lunch this coming weekend.

He said: "It’s an excellent and worthwhile initiative which encourages our communities to get closer together and it is also a fantastic opportunity for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to engage with members of the public in a positive, meaningful way.  We would encourage as many people from the local community to attend.”

Big Lunch events help build community bonds and represent a simple day of food, friendship and fun.