Public Meeting Friday 7 October 2016 for Folk Concerned About Recent Changes to Bus Routes

Xplore Dundee bus with new livery 2016
A public meeting has been called on Friday 7 October 2016 to allow people to ask questions about the recent changes to bus routes in the city.

The meeting will be attended by Elsie Turbyne from the bus operator Xplore Dundee. Councillors and Council Officials have also been invited.

This is a meeting open to the public, please share the details with all those interested.

Venue - Caird Hall (Ashton Hall), City Square
Date and Time - Friday 7th October 2016 beginning at 12.30pm 


City Council Approves Annual Grant to BERA

Broughty Ferry Education and Recreation Association (BERA) logo
On Monday 12 September, The Neighbourhood Services Committee of the City Council approved the annual administration grants for Adult Education Associations in Dundee. Broughty Ferry Education Association (BERA) were awarded £3000.

This will help Broughty Ferry Education and Recreation Association (BERA) to continue to develop good quality evening classes at Grove Academy and Forthill Primary School.

Link to BERA's website
Link to BERA's Facebook Page


Bus Travel Throughout Dundee with ABC Joint Ticketing

Councillor Laurie Bidwell at the launch of the ABC joint bus ticketing in City Square Dundee 15 September 2016
On Thursday lunchtime, I was at the launch of ABC. This is a innovative multi operator scheme for bus travel throughout Dundee. A new one day adult ticket, which costs £4:20, allows you to travel on All Bus Companies (ABC) across Dundee with one smart ticket. An equivalent Adult seven day ticket costs £14:50.

ABC day and ABC week tickets are also available as a child version, which is available for under 16s. 

You may be asked to provide proof of age when buying or using a child version. Children aged under five travel for free when accompanied by an adult.

The scheme is a partnership involving bus operators Xplore Dundee, Stagecoach and Moffat & Williamson as well as Dundee City Council and Angus Council.

This is I think a worthwhile step towards developing an 'Oyster' style travel card for the whole of Scotland. If London can run the Oyster Card scheme, why can't we in Scotland?

Link to Xplore Dundee Publicity about the ABC Scheme


Commenting on the West Ferry Boundary Decision

This is indeed a moment to celebrate. 

Clearly the Scottish Government's decision to overturn the recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland was based on the breadth and number of residents' objections. 

Thanks to the West Ferry Action Group for ably leading the campaign to keep all of West Ferry in The Ferry ward for local elections.

Residents' concerns were underpinned by a strong sense of identity with Broughty Ferry. 

That was the same positive sense of place and togetherness that supported crowd funding £10,000+ in a fortnight to fund the purchase of the Oor Wully Lifesaver at the auction on Tuesday evening.


Are you Joining in National Cycle to Work Day on Wednesday 14 September 2016

2016 Cycle to Work Day Logo
Are you taking to two wheels on Wednesday 14 September which is the 2016 National Cycle to Work Day?

This is a UK event promoted by:

Cyclescheme UK, Cyclescheme Ireland and Halfords.

It aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels on September 14th, 2016.

Link to UK Cycle to Work Day

National Cycle to Work Day - local event in Dundee City centre 8-9:30am on Wednesday 14 Sepemeber, 2016  
If you are cycling to work in Dundee City Centre on Wednesday morning pop into Henry's Coffee House in the City Square to get a free hot drink and pastry from 8am - 9:30am.

Commenting on Serious Lapse in Council's Duty of Care When Nursery School Pupil Was Left Stranded on School Bus

National Care Standards - A safe environment
I was very concerned by the news that last week a three year old nursery pupil with additional support needs, who attends the Francis Wright Nursery, had been left unattended on their school bus. Apparently this young boy was left alone on a minibus which had delivered the other children to the nursery and then was returned to the contractor's garage. The wee lad apparently remained strapped into his seat and undetected for a number of hours until a driver returned to take the bus back to the nursery for the return journeys.

This was a very serious lapse in the Council's duty of care to one of our youngest children at nursery.

I have been in immediate contact with, Michael Wood, The Director of Children and Families' Service, who has assured me that an inquiry has already been launched. I made it clear that we need to know how it was that this child was left on the bus and how he was not missed when he did not turn up at the nursery. Clearly parents and carers and Councillors, who are corporate parents, need to be reassured that such a serious lapse in child protection procedures will be avoided in the future.


Temporary Closure of Drumsturdy Road from Monday 19 September 2016 for 10 Days

Road Closed Traffic Sign
Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating carriageway resurfacing works.  The Order is expected to be in force for 10 days from 19 September 2016.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Drumsturdy Road between Kellas Road and Lammerton Bridge.

Pedestrian access and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.

An alternative route will be available via B978 Kellas Road, South Kingennie Road and B961 Drumsturdy Road.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to Mark Cobb, Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.  If you have any queries please contact Mr Cobb on 01382 433082.


International Literacy Day 2016

International Literacy Day 2016

In the graphic prepared by Education Scotland (see above), there is an admission that the UK has one of the lowest literacy rates in the developed world with one adult in six living with poor literacy. This statistic challenges us to think about what goes on in our schools and what we can offer adults that want to improve their literacy.

It is positive then, that as part of the Attainment Challenge programme of work in our primary schools, literacy has a very prominent place. This includes the citywide introduction of a common phonics based approach, Read Write Inc., to teaching reading. Initial observations about pupil progress have been promising.

Help for adults in Dundee wanting to improve their basic skills is available through Discover Learning 
Tel 01382 666665

Talk to Grove Academy S4 Modern Studies Classes

Grove Academy, Brpoughty Ferry, Dundee, Modern Studies
Yesterday I gave a talk about the role of a City Councillor to a class of S4 pupils at Grove Academy who are studying for their SQA qualification in Modern Studies. 

I am repeating this presentation to a parallel class later today, Thursday 8 September 2016.

After my presentation, the pupils asked me a number of probing questions including:
  • Why I had not claimed any expenses in 2015/16
  • Why the 33 period week was approved because they did not appreciate the later lunch breaks on Monday to Wednesdays and
  • Why I had joined the Labour party?
I finished by encouraging them to engage in local politics because proportionately young adults 18-30 and women are under represented as Councillors. 

I enjoyed meeting these well motivated learners and responding to their thoughtful questions. I wish them all the best when they take their N4/5 examinations.


Help to Keep Oor Oor Wullie Lifesaver in The Ferry

Oor Wullie Lifesaver, Pilot Pier Broughty Ferry Summer 2016During the Oor Wullie Bucket Challenge over the summer many folk have admired the "Life Boatman Wullie" down at the pier as part of the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail. All 70 of the braw statues have now been withdrawn from their various locations and are coming up for auction.
In response, a save Oor Lifesaver Wullie campaign has begun in The Ferry with a JustGiving crowd funding page being set up by Ewan Philp who is both one of the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Crew as well as a very active member of Broughty Ferry Traders' Association. 
Hopefully, the crowd funding will provide the cash to successfully bid for the "Life Boatman Wullie" when it comes up for auction on Tuesday 13th September at the Dundee Rep. All of the money raised to pay for the sculpture will go to The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Children’s Hospital Appeal. Any surplus funds will be split evenly between The ARCHIE Foundation and the RNLI. 

So far £5,292 has been raised, which is just over half the target. Please help to raise tthe remainder by next Tuesday.


Trip Hazard on Beach Steps - Watch Your Step

Defect on Beach Steps Broughty Ferry 1Defect on Beach Steps Broughty Ferry 2
On Wednesday a constituent brought to my attention a defect at the top of the set of concrete steps between the Esplanade and the Beach.

As you can see, one of the tiles at the top of the steps has become detached and is sitting at a crooked angle. The seating of some of the tiles in the same row has also become exposed.

As these steps are relatively new, I hope that the original contractor can be deployed to refix these tiles during what would amount to the defects liability period.

I trust that now that I have reported this, whomsoever is responsible can remove this potential trip hazard speedily. 

In the meanwhile, please watch your step!


Dundee Flower and Food Festival Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September 2016

Dundee Flower and Food Festival is on Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September 2016 in Camperdown Park, Coupar Angus Road, Dundee DD2 4TF

Guests include

  • Carole Baxter from BBC’s Beechgrove Garden will be at the Festival on Friday 2 September
  • Jak O’Donnell from STV’S cookery show Jak and Eddie’s Best of Scottish Food will be demonstrating in the Scotch Lamb PGI Cookery Theatre on Friday 2 September
  • Jean-Christophe Novelli will be demonstrating in the Scotch Lamb PGI Cookery Theatre on Saturday 3 September
  • The Incredible Spice Men (Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh) will be demonstrating in the Scotch Lamb PGI Cookery Theatre on Sunday 4 September.


  • The Scottish Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Show will be held at the Festival for a second year attracting growers from The North of England and Scotland.
  • The Garden Design Showcase will again feature a garden constructed by apprentices from the Council’s Neighbourhood Services.  Visitors to the Festival will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite garden, in the Peoples Choice Awards.
  • Competitions include, The Dundee Cake Competition, Scotch Broth Competition, the World Potato and Gladioli Championships.  Competitors can still enter these and other competitions being held at the Festival, details on the website.

Music Stage and Showground Entertainment

  • Musical entertainment on Friday is provided by a variety of Dundee school bands and community groups
  • Irish musician Sharon Shannon, will be playing at the Festival on Sunday, she is best known for her work with the accordion and for her fiddle technique.  Her 1991 album Sharon Shannon is the best selling traditional Irish music album ever released there.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, The Clann who are ‘Scotland’s premier Highland Warriors‘ will be appearing at the Festival. Saturday and Sunday also feature exciting falconry displays.
  • Scottish Highland Dancing features in the showground on Sunday.