30/12/2016

Jobs Available Now with Dundee City Council

Jobs available with Dundee City Council - Apply Now
Here at Dundee City Council recruitment doesn't stop over the festive period. The Council currently has over 20 jobs advertised; could there be one for you? 

As part of Dundee City Council's equal opportunity policy, applications are welcome from persons regardless of disability, marital status, race or sex. Unless stated otherwise, posts are open to job sharing.

Click on this link to see the full range of jobs currently available

29/12/2016

Broughty Ferry Dook Sunday 1st January 2017

Broughty Ferry Dook
The Broughty Ferry Dook — which is organised by Ye Amphibious Ancients' Bathing Association — gets under way at 11:00 on Sunday. The detailed programme is as follows:
11:00 Arrival Music by Bruce Whamond
12:00 noon Horn's Carnival Start
13:00 Boath Highland Dancers
13:20 Discovery Twirlers
13:50 Boath Highland Dancers. Fancy Dress Parade/Competition

14:30pm Welcome from YeAABA President Joyce McIntosh, Dook Sponsor Steve James of John James Roofing and Lord Provost Cllr Bob Duncan
14:45 Pipes and Drums of the 44th Boy's Brigade
15:00 Dook Start via Hooter
16:00 New Year's Day Raffle Draw at the Fort Hotel, Fort Street, Broughty Ferry. 

All Welcome.

28/12/2016

Consultation on Not Just A Roof - A Housing Options and Homelessness Strategic Plan for Dundee 2016 -2021.

Homelessness: Far From Fixed

The Dundee Housing Options and Homelessness Strategic Partnership is seeking your views on Not Just A Roof - A Housing Options and Homelessness Strategic Plan 2016 -2021.

You can provide your views by:
  
1) Completing a survey via the following link http://consult.dundeecity.gov.uk/limesurvey/index.php/229523/lang-en by 30th January 2017.

27/12/2016

Temporary Road Closures in Broughty Ferry on Monday 1st January 2017 Between 08:00 and 18:00 for The Dook

Road Closure
THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL
AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY
being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of the Broughty Ferry “New Year Dook” Event

HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in:


  1. Beach Crescent (between St.Vincent Street and Gray Street) Broughty Ferry;
  2. Gray Street (between Beach Crescent and King Street), Broughty Ferry;
  3. St.Vincent Street (between Beach Crescent and King Street). Broughty Ferry and
  4. Castle Approach for its entire length.


This notice comes into effect on the 1st January 2017 between 08:00 and 18:00 hours.

The event will be controlled by Stewards and Police Scotland Officers will be in attendance.

Local diversion routes are available.

Access to premises (for businesses and residents only) will be maintained under the control of the Stewards.

For further information contact (01382) 433275.
Mike P Galloway
Executive Director of City Development
Dundeee City Council

26/12/2016

Dundee City Council Bin Collection and Recycling Over the Festive Period

Dundee City Council Service Arrangements Over Festive Period Household bin and trade waste collections from Monday 19th to Saturday 24th December 2016, Monday 26th to Saturday 31st December 2016 and Monday 2nd to Saturday 7th January 2017 will be carried out as normal.

All domestic recycling collections during the festive period will be carried out as scheduled. Please consult your collection calendar.

The Household Waste Recycling Centres at Riverside and Baldovie will be closed on Sunday 25th & Monday 26th December 2016 and Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd January 2017.  The centres will be open 9am - 4.15pm on all other days.

There will be no special collection / bulky uplift service from 23rd December 2016 until 4th January 2017.

If you have an item that could be re-used by someone else, please call The Community Re-Use Hub on 07565 811823.

13/12/2016

Westbay Court Residents Await Promised Improvements to Road Markings in Albert Road

Westbay Coiurt residents with Councillor Laurie Bidwell standing outside the entrance driveway that is regularly obstructed
Photo courtesy of Evening Telegraph 2016
Last Thursday I met two of the residents from Westbay Court to tell them about the improvements to road markings that the Council had offered to provide outside their block of apartments on Albert Road. This follows many months of campaigning about their entrance drive being obstructed by inconsiderately parked cars on the road outside.

Their concern has not just about their own convenience of being able to gain access to their driveway to their off street parking but also the safety of pedestrians walking along their street. They are especially concerned about the safety of young pupils from Eastern Primary School whose parents and carers use Albert Road as a street to park before walking their children into school. When cars and vans obstruct their driveway, the sight lines of Westbay Court residents are restricted when they are driving in and out. They need to see clearly that there are not approaching pedestrians as they approach crossing the pavement.

While what they have been offered is not all they had originally requested, they they have indicated they were willing to give this a try and hope that it works.

In the light of this meeting, I wrote to the Council to indicate that I was deferring my item from the agenda of the meeting of the City Development Committee last night and that the residents need not come forward for their deputation to the Committee. However, the residents have assured me that if there is any back sliding by the Council, they will not hesitate to resume their campaign with me.

11/12/2016

Carol Service on Tuesday 13 December 6pm Panmurefield Baptist Centre

Panmurefiled Community Carol Service 18 December 2013
Panmurefield Baptist Centre will be holding their Community Carol Service on Tuesday 13th December beginng at 6pm in the grounds of Panmurefield Baptist Centre, Lawers Drive.

They recommend you bring a torch, wrap up warmly and promise a warm welcome and hot chocolate.

Grove Pupils Make Short Films Premiered at DCA

Grove Academy Pupils involved in Discovery Fim School in Dundee 2016
Congratulations to Grove S6 pupils Teodora Yarkova and Rebecca McCulloch who applied, and were selected, to join the British Film Institute sponsored Discovery Film School held at Dundee Contemporary Arts this year. 

Teodora and Rebecca gave up a week of their October holidays and subsequent Thursday evenings to learn and gain cempetence in making films. They worked with ten other 16-19 year olds in two teams, each with a film tutor. Both teams wrote, cast, filmed and edited a short film which was shot on location in Dundee. 

Congratulations too for Isaac Gilbert from S3 who was cast for an important role in 'Little Sister'. 

These entertaining films were premiered in the DCA cinema yesterday. I was really impressed by the professionalism of the end result from the opening titles and music to the final credits. I particularly enjoyed the chase scenes in 'Little Sister' around the narrow wynds off the Nethergate and South Tay Street. 

I hope that it will be possible to arrange a screening of the films in school. 

Pupils in the senior phase who would like to gain experience behind the camera and will be 16 or over in October 2017 should be ready to fill in the application forms for the 2017 film school when these are available in the Summer Term 2017. No experience of practical filmmaking is required to take part, but applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in film and a real commitment to the project.

09/12/2016

Broughty Ferry Electric Vehicle Rechargng Leads the Way

Electic vehicle charging hub in Queen Street Car Park, Broughty Ferry
At the Broughty Ferry Community Council meeting on Tuesday 6 December, the members received a presentation from Gary McRae from the Dundee City Council's City Development. He and a colleague came to consult our Community Councillors about their proposals for the Electric Vehicle Charging Hub at Queen Street car park.

The proposed new layout is pictured in the top left and bottom images. These proposals are described in more detail in a previous blog posting.

What Gary was able to reveal is how Dundee and Broughty Ferry are in the forefront of encouraging and facilitating switching to electric vehicles.

For example, the current rapid e-car charger in the Queen Street Car Park, pictured top right, is the most frequently used in Scotland. Hopefully the switch to low emission vehicles will help improve air quality in the City in general and Broughty Ferry.

08/12/2016

Broughty Ferry Flood Defences Further Consultation Tuesday 13th December at the Castle Green Leisure Centre from 11am to 7pm

Sample Panel of Proposed Flood Wall for Consultation Broughty Ferry December 2016
Have your say in the further consultation about the design of the proposed flood defences for Broughty Ferry. These defences will run from the Stannergate to Broughty Ferry Castle via Grassy Beach, Douglas Terrace, James Place, Fisher Street and Beach Crescent. 

The drop in consultation event will be held on Tuesday 13th December 2016 at the Castle Green Leisure Centre from 11am to 7pm.

This event will provide an update on the project and seek opinion on the latest design proposal. A sample panel of the proposed flood protection wall is already on display at the notice board at Castle Pier and comments on the material and colour will also be welcomed. 

On the day members of the city council’s design team will be available from 11am to 7pm to help answer questions, explain technical details and the thinking behind the plans at this stage.

More information can be found on the regularly updated webpage at: http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/BroughtyFerryFloodProtection

07/12/2016

Official Opening of Harris Academy - This is Their New Beginning

Earlier today I attended the official opening of Harris Academy. The ceremony was led by senior pupils from the school and the unveiling of a commorative plaque was undertaken by John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

We were piped into the school and also enjoyed several well chosen and beautifully performed musical pieces by the school orchestra and bands. I was particularly impressed by Beth Wood, a senior pupil, and her song "New Beginnings". She had recorded her song and it was used as the soundtrack for the video tour of the school. Beth's chorus line "This is our new building, this is our new beginning" struck just the right chord.

It was clear from staff and pupils who worked through the three year decant to Rockwell that they were relieved to be back on the Perth Road enjoying their new school buildings and facilities. 

My only regret is that, from the feasability study completed in March 2009 that I had instructed in my time as Education Convener, it has taken seven years to realise our ambitions for a new Harris Academy. It is clear, however, that Councillors made the right decision to rebuild the school from scratch rather than refurbish the existing buildings from the 1930's and 1960's.

06/12/2016

Scotland Falls in PISA International Rankings for Maths, Reading and Science

Earlier today the 2015 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) study was published. This is a worldwide study based on the testing of samples of 15 year old pupils in each country. The results are organised into international league tables. 

The 2015 PISA results show: Scotland declining in reading; Scotland declining in mathematics; Scotland declining in science; falling behind more countries across the world. 

  • In reading, Scotland’s OECD rank has gone from 6th in 2000 to 23rd in 2015. 
  • In mathematics Scotland has gone from 9th in 2003 to 24th in 2015 and 
  • In science Scotland is now 19th, compared to 10th in 2006. 
These are very poor and disappointing results. 

Responsibility for Education in Scotland is fully devolved to the Scottish Government. After ten years of SNP government at Holyrood they must take some responsibility for this decline. They should wake up to the fact that their year-on-year cuts to Council budgets for schools, their failure to train sufficient numbers of Teachers and Early Years Practitioners is damaging the life chances of our children. 

The SNP government in Edinburgh should halt their damaging plans to restructure and instead use the parliament’s powers to invest, through our Councils, in our teachers. Improving the quality of teaching and learning in our classrooms is the best determinant for improving pupil attainment.

05/12/2016

Shock News That Dundee City Council Operates Paupers Funerals

Scottish Councils in Sared Graves Shame: Final Insult for the Poorest
This morning my attention was drawn to an article published yesterday in the Sunday Express entitled "Scottish Councils in Shared Graves Shame - Final Insult for the Poorest". 

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn, that the problem of what is described as Funeral Poverty was widespread in Scotland. However, I was surprised and very disappointed that it was reported that our Council, operates a policy of burying in unmarked common graves those that need a 'Public Health Funeral'. 

If this is our practice, it is truly Dickensian. As former Vice Chairperson of the Dundee Fairness Commission, this is the kind of unfairness that our citizens, who gave evidence to the Commission, would expect us to review. In fact, in my nine and a half years as a City Councillor, I don't recall a review or debate about this. I shall be pressing for an opportunity for this to happen.

03/12/2016

Ferryfields Roads and Pavements Now Adopted

Adoption of roads and paths in Ferryfields in Broughty Ferry, Dundee
On Friday I received the following positive. news for the residents of Ferryfields:

"The roads within the Ferryfields area have, with immediate effect, become the maintenance responsibility of Dundee City Council.

The roads covered are:
Strathyre Avenue, Strathyre Walk, Strathyre Green, Strathyre Place, Midmar Place and Midmar Walk.

This means as well as the above, all roads within this development are now maintained by the Roads Authority."

I am pleased to have to have been able to support the Ferryfields Residents' Association in pushing this to a successful conclusion.

02/12/2016

Grove Swimming Pool Sunday Closure

Grove Academy Swimming Pool shut on Sundays
Leisure and Culture Dundee announced in a Facebook posting last Friday that Sunday swimming at Grove Academy has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. I was concerned when I heard about this from a constituent. It was clear that a service was being denied for members of Leisure and Culture Dundee as well as for those who turn up for an occasional swim on a Sunday. It is all very well directing swimmers to other pools in the city but that is not necessarily a feasible nor convenient option. I contacted Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Culture Dundee. He clarified that the closure had been necessitated by a lack of qualified life guards. A number had left at the same time and it would take a while to recruit replacements. In many cases the potential life guards would need to be put through the qualifying training programmes before they were available to start work. Clearly Leisure and Culture Dundee have been caught unprepared at a time when they should have been working towards an expansion of their pool of qualified life guards. Leisure and Culture Dundee are soon to assume responsibility for managing the swimming pool at the new Harris Academy but right now can't quite keep all their current pools open. I have asked for a date when Sunday opening of the Grove Academy pool resumes.

01/12/2016

Obscured Street Light in Cedar Road Reported

Obscured street light in Cedar Road in Broughty Ferry
Now the nights are drawing in, a constituent noticed that some of the street lights in Cedar Road had their light obscured by overgrown trees and shrubs. 

As a result of their reporting this to me, I had a site meeting yesterday with a manager from the Environment Department. It was agreed that the relevant private owners would be contacted by the Council to request that pruning was undertaken so that the street lights could more effectively illuminate the road and pavement.