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11/05/2017

Thank You

In the local government elections on 4 May 2017, I stood down from Dundee City Council, after two consecutive terms as a Councillor for The Ferry ward.

It has been a privilege to serve for ten years as a city Councillor representing the wide range of issues that constituents have brought forward for resolution.

Thank you for putting your trust in me and supporting me with your votes at the elections in May 2007 and May 2012.

If you need to contact a Ferry Councillor from 5 May 2017, please follow this link to the City Council website or ring 01382 434000

01/05/2017

Push the Boat Out 2017 at Royal Tay Yacht Club Saturday 13th May 1-4pm

Push the Boat Out 2017 

Come along and join us to Sail or Row


Taster sessions are available once you register on the day for Sailing and Rowing. We will be happy to show you around our fantastic facilities too. Refreshments will be available from the beach café at very reasonable prices. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 13th May.


Saturday 13th May – Grassy Beach, Broughty Ferry 1pm – 4pm

Contact

email – sailing@royaltay.org

call – 01382 477516

24/04/2017

Dundee Screening at DCA of New Film on the Lifelong Impacts of Child Trauma Saturday 3rd June 2017

Resilience Documentary Film PosterAs the Director of the Dundee-based organisation connected baby, Suzanne Zeedyk writes:

"I am co-hosting (along with the organisations NHS Health Scotland and ReAttachment) a Dundee screening of a new documentary film - 'Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope'.

 The film has won awards for its ability to explain the insights of scientific discoveries over the past 20 years about the lifelong impact of child trauma on adult mental and physical health.

Dundee has one of the highest rates of school exclusion, and poor health outcomes in the country. This film helps us to better understand why that is – and more importantly, what we can do about it."
Saturday, 3rd June: 11.00 – 13.00 Cinema @ Dundee Contemporary Arts
£7.50 - Includes film screening and Discussion Panel

Booking early is recommended.

Links to the trailer and a clip from the film.
https://vimeo.com/137282528
https://vimeo.com/214183672

14/04/2017

Broughty Ferry Post Office Has Re-opened

Broughty Ferry Post Office Reopens 12 April 2017
Positive news! Our Broughty Ferry Post Office has reopened. It's back where it was before in the former NISA store at the corner of Gray Street and Queen Street. It closed without warning to the staff and the public nearly three months ago on Wednesday 25 January when the NISA stores in the Perth Road and in The Ferry went into administration.

The Post Office is now operating on a temporary basis where it was before at the back of the otherwise 
empty NISA shop until new more permanent premises can be found. It's operating six days a week on the same Post Office operating hours as before Monday - Friday and Saturday mornings.

I am sure the many customers that previously relied on this Post Office will be relieved to know that their local Post Office is up and running again.

I will be writing again to the Post Office management to emphasise that while they evaluate options for the future, particular consideration should be given to selecting a better more central location in The Ferry and and a more suitable linked business such as stationery rather than a grocery store.

13/04/2017

Temporary Closure of Panmure Street

Road Ahead Closed street signDundee 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 ten days from 15 May 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Panmure Street from the north side of its junction with Monifieth Road to the south side of its junction with Camphill Road.Pedestrian access and vehicular access to premises will be maintained where possible.

An alternative route will be available via Monifieth Road, Reres Road, Bughties Road and reverse.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to Andy Scrimgeour, 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 Scrimgeour on 01382 433168.

12/04/2017

Poverty and Obesity - Breaking the Link: Workers' Memorial Day Lecture Friday 28 April 2017

workers' Memorial Day 2017 Lecture in Dundee
International Workers Memorial Day is the day throughout the world on which all those killed, injured or made ill through work are remembered.

As one of the major events in Scotland, Dundee City Council and Workplace Chaplaincy Scotland organise a free lecture in Dundee. This year we are pleased to have Dr Drew Walker, Director of Public Health for NHS Tayside giving a lecture on the topic of ‘Poverty and Obesity-Breaking the Link’.

The lecture will take place in the Steeple Church, Nethergate, Dundee on Friday 28 April 2017 and will start at 12.30 pm followed by a free finger buffet lunch. Please enter by the west door at the tower.

To reserve your place please complete and return the booking form on the back of the flyer or fax (01382) 431557 or email iwml@dundeecity.gov.uk

Broughty Ferry Post Office Reopening

Post Office Central Broughty Ferry Spring 2017
On Tuesday, Post Office Limited in Glasgow advised me that after a great deal of work their field team have managed to secure a temporary short term arrangement that will allow them to restore a Post Office service in central Broughty Ferry in the recently closed former NISA premises.  The opening is imminent with the possibility that a service can be resumed within the next couple of days.

This is positive news for residents and local businesses inconvenienced by the sudden closure of our local Post Office at the corner of Gray Street and Queen Street. I hope the staff who lost their jobs back in January will have the opportunity to be re-employed.

It is also positive to know that the Post Office field team continue to work with interested local retailers to seek a longer term solution and will do everything they can to progress this as soon as possible.

11/04/2017

Libraries in Scotland Busiest in UK - Broughty Ferry Library Busiest Branch in Dundee

Broughty Ferry Library, Dundee, Scotland, UKA study recently published by the Carnegie UK Trust has found 50% of respondents in Scotland have used a library in the past year, the highest rate in the UK.  

The five-year study involved 1000 participants in Scotland. It discovered more than three-quarters (77%) of people said library facilities are important for their communities and 37% said they are important for them personally.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of families with children aged five to 11 visited libraries last year, up 3% on 2011.

In recent surveys of library users in Dundee, our library in Broughty Ferry consistently comes out as the busiest branch library in the city, second only to the Central Library in the Wellgate.

10/04/2017

Cycle Counter to be installed in Broughty Ferry

Cycle Counter in Coatbridge Scotland
A continental-style cycle counter is set to be installed in Broughty Ferry following approval by Dundee City Council.

The “high-visiblity” cycle counter will be installed at the east end of the Douglas Terrace walkway along the waterfront and will provide a visual counter of the number of cyclists using the route.

A network of counters, inspired by those in countries such as Denmark, is being established across Scotland by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and Transport Scotland with the co-operation of local authorities. They gather data about cyclists that is used to plan new routes.

At present, Dundee and Aberdeen are the only cities in the country not to have a cycle counter, with Aberdeen’s set to be installed in the next few months.

Claire Daly, spokeswoman for Sustrans, said the idea behind cycle counters was to promote sustainable transport such as walking and cycling instead of driving.

In general, cycle counters have been shown to be motivational for cyclists and provide data that assists planning for cycling infrastructure.

08/04/2017

Help to Protect Ground Nesting Birds at Riverside Nature Park Dundee

Riverside Nature Reserve Dundee - Logo
Visitors to one of the Dundee's best places to see internationally important birds are being asked to help protect ground nesting species.

Dundee City Council is calling on visitors to Take Pride in Riverside Nature Park by sticking to surfaced paths and making sure dogs are on the lead.

Council officers have been monitoring numbers of such birds since the park was opened six years ago and despite improvements to their habitat, there has been a decline in some species. Lapwings and skylarks in particular are known to be sensitive to disturbance, and don’t breed if people or dogs get too close to the nest site.

Working with the Friends of Riverside Nature Park, comparing work at other local nature sites and following guidance from Scottish Natural Heritage, Dundee City Council is asking all visitors to keep to surfaced paths and keep dogs on the lead throughout most of the park from April to July.

Riverside Nature Park was opened in 2011, created out of the city’s landfill. Habitats have been created including the largest wildflower meadows in Dundee and bird watchers have identified more than 130 species visiting the park and the adjacent estuary.

Find out more about the park at www.dundeecity.gov.uk/environment/riversidenature

06/04/2017

Dundee Cycle Map 2017 Bigger and Better than Ever

Dundee Cycle Map 2017
Dundee City Council have recently launched the new look Dundee Cycle Map 2017. The map has been extensively updated to include new routes and to update locations of destinations.

The map is free and is available from all libraries and cycle shops across the city and has been funded through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places fund from the Scottish Government.

The map features the Green Circular which circumnavigates the city, linking some of Dundee’s best green places, and Greenways routes which link other areas. The Green Circular was opened in 1995. Recent improvements include resurfacing at Riverside near the Nature Park and upgrading to tarmac surface at Trottick Ponds. The launch took place at a new Toucan Crossing at Whalers Lane in the Central Waterfront, part of efforts to connect the City to the Tay.

This is the largest Dundee Cycle Map ever, with more information, including a bigger City Centre insert, information on the locations of 20mph zones and suggestions for leisure rides to the north, south, east and west of the city.

Improvements to the map have prepared by the council’s City Development and Neighbourhood Services. Dundee Cycling Forum have provided significant information into routes they use, barriers and text suggestions.

The ancestor of the modern bicycle, the Velocipede is 200 years old in 2017. Isn’t it time you gave it a go!

04/04/2017

Easter Fun Day in Camperdown Park Sunday 16 April 2017

Easter Fun Day in Camperdown Park in Dundee 16 April 2017 A great day out for all the family!
Camperdown Country Park

Sunday 16 April 2017
Event: Free - Car Park: £3
12 noon to 4pm

Free Attractions
Wave 102 Road Show
Gleadhraich (local Celtic rock band)
Street Dance from Showcase the Street
Billy Mitchell (Dundee Guitarist / Singer / Songwriter)
Easter Bonnet Competition
Fishing Rod Challenge
Cluck like a Chicken
Easter Egg Eating Competition
Easter Egg Hunt in the Park
Easter Bunny in Costume
Fun on the stage and in the park

Chargeable Attractions
Full funfair
Hot food stalls
Hot beverages

02/04/2017

Local Elections 4 May 2017 - Register to Vote no later than Monday 17 April 2017.

Register to Vote Online
IF YOU ARE ALREADY REGISTERED TO VOTE YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING

If you are not registered to vote, you must register by no later than Monday 17 April 2017 if you want to vote in the City Council local elections on Thursday 4 May 2017.

The way you register to vote has changed. The new system is called Individual Electoral Registration.

You can now register to vote online.
Register to Vote

You are now responsible for registering yourself to vote.

You will need to provide more details to register, which will make the electoral register more secure. You will need your date of birth and your national insurance number to hand.

More details on Postal or Proxy Voting

30/03/2017

Change of Polling Places in Broughty Ferry for Elections in May 2017

Polling Place UK
Voters in the forthcoming Dundee City Council elections are being urged to check their poll cards carefully as some polling places have changed.

Poll cards for the local authority election have recently been delivered through letter boxes in the city and these direct people to the right polling place for their address.

Voters in parts of The Ferry, will have a different place to vote on May 4 2017 than in recent elections.

In The Ferry, anyone who previously used the Broughty Ferry Baptist Centre in Panmurefield will now cast their vote at Grange Primary School in Grange Road.

This move is not permanent and when the current refurbishment of the Baptist Centre is complete it will again be used as a polling place.

28/03/2017

Grove Academy Awarded Prize as Most Creative School by SQA and VandA Dundee

VandA Dundee
The five shortlisted pupils for a major national design challenge run by Jaguar, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and VandA Museum of Design Dundee were announced earlier this month and amongst them was Grove Academy senior pupil Ruben Hann (teacher - Mairi Harper).

Pupils studying the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s Higher Design and Manufacture course this school year were challenged to design a time capsule to celebrate the construction of VandA Dundee. 

The five shortlisted pupils were:
Luisa Geddes, The Community School of Auchterarder (teacher - Will Rich)
Ruben Hann, Grove Academy, Dundee (teacher - Mairi Harper)
Phoebe Simpson, Woodmill High School, Fife (teacher - Kirsty McDermid)
William Chan, Liberton High School, Edinburgh (teacher - Jim Henneghan)
Ruaridh Smith, St Columba's High School, Gourock (teacher - Greg Starling)

While Ruben was just pipped for the top award, Grove Academy was awarded the prize of Most Creative School.

The finished time capsule will be installed at the new VandA Dundee museum ahead of its opening in 2018. It will be filled with items created by Scottish primary school pupils, and opened in 50 years.

Senior school pupils across the country were able to get involved, as the design challenge for the capsule itself formed an accredited module that counts towards the students’ Design and Manufacture Higher qualification.

VandA Dundee worked in partnership with SQA, with the design challenge forming an accredited module that counts towards the students’ Design and Manufacture Higher qualification.

The Scottish pupils studying the Higher Design and Manufacture course received a design brief for the time capsule last year, with all of their work for the competition counting as credit towards their Higher qualification.

The brief specified the design and engineering requirements for the time capsule, including being weatherproof for 50 years, guaranteeing consistent environment conditions for the objects placed inside the capsule, occupying a space of no more than 1.5 cubic metres, and being a creative design inspired by Jaguar and the VandA Dundee building.

24/03/2017

Kids Go for 20p on Bus Journeys in Dundee From Saturday 1st April to Sunday 16th April 2017

Discover Dundee this Easter with Special 20p Bus Tickets for Children
Click on Image to Enlarge
From Saturday 1st April to Sunday 16th April 2017, enjoy a family day out and discover the Dundee by bus. 

Kids can travel for just 20p each when they board accompanied by an adult or concession!

Up to 3 kids per paying adult, available within the ABC Dundee ticket zone.

1st - 16th April 2017

Includes adults with season tickets and weekly passes.

21/03/2017

Dundee Africa Research Network Presents - Illustrated Talk by Writer and Broadcaster Billy Kay - Fri 31st March

Dundee Africa Research Network- Illustrated Talk by Writer and Broadcaster Billy Kay - Fri 31st March 2017
Dundee Africa Research Network (DARN) proudly presents an illustrated talk by Writer and Broadcaster Billy Kay:

Billy Kay is the author of The Scottish World, and the producer and presenter of several series of radio documentaries about the global effects of the Scottish diaspora. Here Billy will place Dundee’s Calabar Missionary Mary Slessor in the context of this diaspora and look at the profound effects of the Scottish missionary effort in Malawi. He will also comment on other places where presbyterianism was planted from South Africa to Russia to Brazil. The talk will be illustrated with audio from Billy’s BBC Radio Scotland programmes and will include music from Mary Slessor’s Duketown Parish Church in Calabar, and the voices of the daughters of Daniel Slessor, one of the children saved and adopted by Mary.  

Date - Friday 31st March, 2017
Venue - Lecture Theatre 4, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill Dundee DD1 4HB
Time - 6:00 PM
Tickets - Free to book
Follow the link to book your place

13/03/2017

Information Sessions about Controversial Changes to Recycling Collections

Recycling Information Sessions March 2017
Click on poster to enlarge
Many constituents have contacted me over the last week to complain about the new recycling arrangements to be introduced in The Ferry. 

The issue which has been most often raised with me is the removal of the collection service for glass in the Green Boxes. In future residents will be encouraged to take their glass bottles and jars to "Bring Sites" after the Green Box glass collections are withdrawn.

Hard pressed householders coping with substantial increases in Council Tax are unhappy that the existing service is being cut back. I don't blame them and share their reservations.

I am particularly unhappy that frail elderly residents will be expected to carry their glass recycling to a "Bring Site". Sheltered Housing residents in Forthill Drive raised this with me a potential hazard for older residents, especially if they were to fall over with glass in a shopping bag.

On Tuesday and Friday evening this week there are "Information Sessions" at Forthill and Craigiebarns Primary Schools. I hope residents will take the opportunity to try to get these issues resolved street by street.

12/03/2017

All the Residents of Broughty Ferry Should be Able to Access the Doctors in The Ferry

At its meeting last week, Broughty Ferry Community Council agreed to send a written objection to NHS Tayside about the proposed changes to the GP Practice boundary of Broughty Ferry Family Healthcare GP Practice in Brown Street. 

This busy GP practice has has applied to NHS Tayside to redraw their practice boundary and cut a significant number of streets in The Ferry from the area they cover. 
If the proposed new boundary were adopted, new residents in Clearwater Park, Ferryfields, Balmossie Brae, Panmurefield and Wyvis would not be able to register with the Doctors in Brown Street. As these areas already fall outside the approved boundary for the Grove Health Centre GP Practice, new residents of the 700-800 households living in these neighbourhoods would not be able to access any of the GP services in Broughty Ferry but would have to go further afield. 


Having heard from Angela Lyall about the reservations and concerns of residents and more than 200 petitioners against the changes, the Community Councillors agreed that the proposal from NHS Tayside was not acceptable. 

Recognising that the responsibility for Health is devolved to the Scottish Government, the Community Council also agreed to write to MSPs including the Cabinet Secretary for Health, local MSP Shona Robison.

While I am sure residents in Broughty Ferry, epsecially in the areas affected by this consultation will be pleased to hear how their views from the petition have been represented to the Community Council, they will await the response from NHS Tayside with some trepidation. 

There must be a better way of responding to pressure on our GP practices than just sending residents elsewhere to surgeries in other parts of Dundee. If it lack of space or lack of staff, surely its preferable that this is tackled now.

All the residents of Broughty Ferry should be able to access the Doctors in The Ferry.

11/03/2017

Complaints about Delays in Installation of Street Lighting

Replacement Street Lighting installation incomplete
In my blog posting on the 21 of January, I welcomed the start of the work to upgrade the street lighting in Home Street in The Ferry.

Three or four weeks ago, the pavements were dug up to connect the electricity supply to each of the new lamp posts. Loose yellow and orange covers were laid over the holes not yet filled in and resurfaced.

A number of residents have contacted me to complain about the time it's taking to fill in the holes in the pavements and complete the installation. One resident in particular has complained of the late night disturbance caused by the clattering of the yellow and orange covers when pedestrians walk over these.

On behalf of the residents, I have written to the Street Lighting Partnership to urge the early completion of the job. I have also asked for an explanation as to why the installation has taken so long.

12/02/2017

Headteachers Fear Pupils Are Being Held Back by Lack of Resources

Teacher in the classroomAccording to evidence in the international PISA survey:


"Scotland’s headteachers fear pupils are being held back by a lack of resources. Almost half (45%) believe they do not have enough teachers, and a third say there are not enough support staff and materials."
The Scotsman 6 February 2017

The shortage of teachers in Dundee schools won't be eased just by providing more cash to our Headteachers. Too many of our schools in Dundee report difficulties attracting suitably qualified teachers to fill their current vacancies. This is chiefly because there are not enough training places for teachers in our Universities. 

The responsibility for this Teacher shortage, lies with the Scottish Government. Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney MSP, and his predecessor SNP colleagues have failed in their workforce planning. It's not good when the political leadership of Education in Scotland are clearly so poor at maths.

05/02/2017

Replacement Post Office for Central Broughty Ferry One Step Nearer

Run A Post Office
I am pleased to see that the Post Office have lost little time in advertising Broughty Ferry Post Office. I am sure that many constituents will be relieved to know that steps are being taken for a Post Office to reopen in central Broughty Ferry.

It was a shock for customers and the staff  when the Gray Street Post Office shut without warning recently. I understand that the Post Office is looking for a like for like replacement and not downgrading the range of services that might be on offer. 

This time, when the franchise is granted, I hope care will be taken in choosing a more central location on one of the main streets south of the railway line. This would, I think, be mutually advantageous for the health of the Post Office business as well as for customers shopping in central Broughty Ferry."

Link to Franchise Advertisement


03/02/2017

Dispute Over Abrupt Changes to School Crossing Patrol on Forthill Road

Forthill Crossing Patrol Campaign 
Last week a Crossing Patroller was abruptly removed from her stance crossing school children over Forthill Road close to its junction with Balgillo Road. The well regarded Lollipop Lady had an outstanding record of crossing children at this road junction, over Forthill Road as well as Balgillo Road. At her post for close to twenty years, a single complaint led to her being moved to a crossing point at another school and the crossing of Forthill Road hastily removed as a crossing point. 

The staff of Tayside Contracts, who supply and manage this service for the Council should have red faces. They claim that the crossing over Forthill Road was not an official crossing point but apparently did not notice the dual crossing in practice when they undertook a comprehensive risk assessment and review of every school crossing control point in the city before they took over the contract in 2016?

Angela Lyall, one of the parents whose children's routes to school is affected has been gathering signatures to have the well loved Crossing Patroller reinstated to her crossing control point and the crossing over Forthill Road reinstated. She and seven other parents have gathered more than 300 hundred signatures. It seems the Crossing Patroller is paying for the lapses in supervision by others. The dedication of our crossing patrollers is impressive in return for earning a little over the minimum wage and turning out whatever the weather week in week out.

I strongly requested a meeting about this which will be taking place at Forthill Primary School this morning. If Tayside Contracts want to remove a crossing patrol point, there is an agreed consultative procedure and they are not following it. The continuing safety of our children is paramount. 

If there isn't reasonable progress at the meeting tomorrow, I will refer this to the next meeting of Children and Families' Service Committee.

02/02/2017

Pupil Equity Funding for Dundee Schools

Pupils in Scottish Primary School
The Scottish government has announced details of how much money each school in Scotland will receive to close the attainment gap in 2017-18.

It was Scottish Labour which first put closing the attainment gap with extra funding onto the agenda in the Scottish Parliament – but we would have paid for it by asking the richest 1 per cent to pay a little more with a 50p top rate of tax. Instead, the SNP is taking it by perversely cutting the pre-existing schools budget.

The SNP sums simply don’t add up on schools funding. Ministers cannot cut the gap between the richest and the rest while they slash £327 million from Council budgets across Scotland.

Head teachers will see this new funding alongside shrinking budgets, so it’s simply SNP spin after £1.4 billion of cuts since 2011.

Labour has a better plan to close the attainment gap – our MSPs will table amendments to the Scottish budget to use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop these cuts and invest in education instead.

Allocation of Pupil Equity Funds for Dundee Schools 2017-18

Primary Schools
Ancrum Road Primary School £116,400
Ardler Primary School £79,200
Ballumbie Primary School £193,200
Barnhill Primary School £31,200
Blackness Primary School £57,600
Camperdown Primary School £147,600
Claypotts Castle Primary School £200,400
Clepington Primary School £165,600
Craigiebarns Primary School £76,800
Craigowl Primary School £159,600
Dens Road Primary School £130,800
Downfield Primary School £150,000
Eastern Primary School £60,000
Fintry Primary School £152,400
Forthill Primary School £44,400
Glebelands Primary School £82,800
Gowriehill Primary School £49,200
Hillside Primary School £76,800
Longhaugh Primary £154,800
Mill Of Mains Primary School £81,600
Our Lady's RC Primary School £54,000
Rosebank Primary School £57,600
Rowantree Primary School £205,200
Sidlaw View Primary School £120,000
St Andrew's RC Primary School £108,000
St Clement's RC Primary School £88,800
St Fergus' R C Primary School £57,600
St Joseph's RC Primary School £60,000
St Luke's and St Matthew's RC Primary School £135,600
St Mary's RC Primary School £118,800
St Ninian's RC Primary School £62,400
St Peter and Paul RC School Primary £142,800
St Pius' RC Primary School £102,000
St Vincent's RC Primary School £126,000
Victoria Park Primary School £76,800

Secondary Schools
Baldragon Academy £122,400
Braeview Academy £117,600
Craigie High School £126,000
Grove Academy £70,800
Harris Academy £182,400
Morgan Academy £182,400
St John's RC High School £175,200
St Paul’s RC Academy £201,600


01/02/2017

Resurfacing of Shopping Centre Car Parks in The Ferry

Resurfacing work at Sainsbury's, Dundee January 2017Yesterday I went up to Sainsbury's supermarket for some shopping and couldn't help but notice that the car park was being resurfaced section by section. The lines for the parking bays were also being neatly repainted.

It reminded me that when new owners took over the Campfield Square shopping centre, they promised to undertake work to upgrade the car park which is rutted and the parking lines are badly worn. 

A constituent complained to me last week about the traffic direction arrows painted on the car park surface which are now so badly obscured. She has noticed that in the absence of clear signage, cars are being driven around the car park in a clockwise and anti clock wise direction and this is an increased hazard for pedestrians.

I have written to the management company in Glasgow to urge them to get on with upgrading their Campfield Square Shopping Centre Car Park.

31/01/2017

Craigowl Communities Recruiting 16-24 year olds for Hospitality Academy Beginning Monday 20th February

Craigowl Communities Hospitality Academy 1
Craigowl Communities Hospitality Academy 2
Craigowl Communities reports that, "we have already had a great group of learners through our training centre doors this year." 

"They've learned lots of skills from gaining new qualifications to using our Barista machine to make delicious Lattes and Cappuccino's to experiencing what excellent service looks like at a local restaurant."

"Our next Hospitality Academy starts on Monday 20th February and we are welcoming applications for this now.  Please find attached information flyer and application form. The course is open to all 16-24 year olds who have an interest in learning more about what it takes to work in the Hospitality industry."

Any queries please don't hesitate to get in touch with:

Jacqueline Gray, Academy Coach, Craigowl Communities, 
The Learning Place, 235-237 Hilltown, Dundee, DD3 7AN
Tel Office 01382 200744 Mob 07841782421
Email JacquelineGray@craigowl.com Web www.hillcrest.org.uk

28/01/2017

Successful Launch of Broughty Ferry Men's Shed

Launch of Broughty Ferry Men's Shed Saturday 28 January 2017Earlier today, I attended the launch of Broughty Ferry Men's Shed in a building to the rear of the Broughty Ferry YMCA.

Despite the drizzly rain, a good number of men turned up to find out more about what a Men's Shed might be and to take the opportunity to sign up to get involved.

If you are interested in getting in on the ground floor establishing the first Men's Shed in The Ferry, please contact Nick Toner at the YMCA.

26/01/2017

Broughty Ferry Post Office Closed Yesterday

Broughty Ferry Post Office closed with effect from Wednesday 25 March 2017 On Wednesday morning I became aware that the Post Office hosted in the NISA Local store at the corner of Queen Street and Gray Street in Broughty Ferry had abruptly closed.

I went round there to discover that the only information about the closure was a printed sign directing folk, 'Your nearest Post Office is Barnhill at Campfield Square'.

Clearly this will be very inconvenient for the many customers that use and rely on this Post Office and turn up to find that inexplicably the doors are shut.

Later, I contacted the Post Office who confirmed the closure but as yet could not confirm the timescale for the advertisement of the franchise. I had hoped that the existing post office staff and counter might be temporarily relocated to another premises in the central Broughty Ferry shopping area to preserve the post office service and the jobs of the staff. 

I will continue to pursue the Post Office management to try to ensure there is a replacement full service post office in central Broughty Ferry and minimise the time for this to be established.

21/01/2017

Replacement Street Lights for Home Street


Installation of new street lights in ppHome Street, Broughty Ferry,

This week work began in Home Street to replace the street lights. 

The Tayside Street Lighting Partnership are installing more energy efficient LCD lights which are also predicted to reduce maintenance costs because of the longevity of the 'bulbs'. This is part of a 'spend to save' programme.

If you have any concerns about the adequacy of Street Lighting in your Street please let me know. 

Faults in existing street lights should be reported directly to the Street Lighting Partnership 
Dundee City Council - Street Lighting Partnership

17/01/2017

New Sunday Bookbug Session for Broughty Ferry

Bookbug
New weekend Bookbug Session coming soon to Broughty Ferry!

Start date: Sunday January 29th at 4.00pm. Thereafter every last Sunday of the month.

Location: St Mary's Episcopal Church, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry DD5 1AJ (just up the hill from the Post Office Bar).

Bookbug Sessions are free, fun and friendly events for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families to enjoy together

Each session lasts around 30 minutes and includes songs, stories and rhymes. There's no need to book and they take place in a very relaxed environment.

Going along to a session is a great way to meet other mums, dads, carers and children.  They also have lots of benefits for your child, such as building up their confidence and social skills, and will give their speech and language development a real boost!

Come and join us - you'll be warmly welcomed to the session.

16/01/2017

Sign Up Day at Mens Shed at Broughty YMCA

Sign Up Day for Broughty Ferry Men's Shed
On Saturday 28th January, from 11am, YMCA Brougthy Ferry, Broughty Ferry Timebank and Rosendael Veteran's Association will be pleased to welcome the local community into the workshop-in-progress in the grounds of the YMCA.

Those with an interest in making and creating, skilled or unskilled, are all invited to sample and shape the Men's Shed at YMCA Broughty Ferry.
YMCA Broughty Ferry 
151 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, DD5 1DJ

14/01/2017

Commenting on Additional Attainment Challenge Funding for Dundee Schools

The Scottish Attainment Challenge Logo
Earlier this week, I welcomed the news that Dundee Schools will share an additional £5m of government funding for financial Year 2017/18 to help to close the attainment gap. I am advised that every one of our schools will gain some of the funding which will be shared out according to to the number of pupils in each school entitled to free schools meals. This was originally a Scottish Labour proposal in early 2015 which has since gained all party support. But the original proposal was for additional funding rather than funding to partly compensate for cuts to main stream budgets for our schools.

There are however a number of details yet to be announced which I think Head Teachers, Parent Council members and members of the Children and Families' Service Committee will want to know.

For example how long is the funding likely to last? Will the money be distributed direct to schools or via the Council? How will the spending be monitored and will the schools or the Council be held responsible for this investment? What can our Directorate and Children and Families' Service Committee members do to support our schools?

Notifying head teachers with only a matter of weeks before the spending can commence is potentially a recipe for rushed planning and delayed spending. We saw the latter in the City with the delayed appointments to new posts created by the first tranche of Attainment Challenge projects. Although the Council received approval for its scheme in late August 2015 some staff were still to be appointed in April 2016.

Finally, the Convener of the Children and Families' Service Committee should also clarify the scale of the Council cuts to the mainstream schools budget for 2017/18. If I were a Head Teacher, before I celebrated the additional funding coming from one hand, I should want to also know what funding my school might be losing from the other.

11/01/2017

Commenting on Weapons Confiscated from Pupils in Dundee Primary and Secondary Schools 2011-16

Knife confiscated at school
The five year figures from Dundee City Council, of school pupils having an offensive weapon in School show a worrying increase in these incidents from none recorded in school year 2011-12. Additionally, Police Scotland have revealed that between 2013 and 2015, there were 11 incidents recorded across nine high schools in the city where Police had been been informed of a dangerous weapon at school.

Children should not be carrying weapons anywhere — let alone into schools. Even one occasion is too many as the the tragic death of the Aberdeen schoolboy Bailey Gwynne has demonstrated.

When the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Death of Bailey Gwynne was issued in October last year, I wrote to Michael Wood, the Executive Director of Family and Children's Service,  asking when he would be coming forward with a report to Committee mapping out how best we should respond in Dundee to the recommendations in the Inquiry Report in order to try to prevent such a fatality in our schools.  He confirmed that the Directorate were in the process of considering the various recommendations in full discussion with headteachers.  He also committed to bring a report to committee.

I think parents and carers as well as City Councillors need to know more about how our schools are responding to the Independent Inquiry into the Death of Bailey Gwynne and the incidents behind these statistics about pupils, albeit a very small minority, who have been found taking potentially offensive weapons into our schools. We have all been kept waiting long enough for this report to appear. I am calling on the Executive Director and the Convener of the Children and Families' Service Committee to make sure this report appears before the end of this month.

Link to my earlier posting about the Independent Inquiry into the Death of Bailey Gwynne which was issued in October 2016

10/01/2017

Maintenance in Play Areas and Open Spaces

Children's Play Area Castle Green Broughty Ferry
At the Neighbourhood Services Committee last night, maintenance work in play areas and open spaces throughout Dundee was agreed. In The Ferry, this includes:

Castle Green Children's Play Area
Replacement of steel framed suspension rope in the children's play area

and

Claypotts Park
Part replacement of North side existing chain link fence.

I am sure residents who make regular use of these open spaces will appreciate this investment, when work gets underway in the next few weeks.

07/01/2017

Community Feedback and Planning Event for Broughty Ferry

Engage Broughty Ferry Event January 2017 The event is to highlight the findings of the recent Engage Broughty Ferry Consultation and to look at how individuals and groups can help deliver solutions to the issues raised.

This is also an opportunity for local organisations and partners to bring information which highlights the range of opportunities already available in the Ferry.

Please confirm with our Communities Officer, Carole Jenkins, whether you or your organisation will be able to attend on Wednesday 25 January and if you are bringing information with you. 

A snack lunch will be available from 1pm.

Carole Jenkins - Communities Officer
e-mail carole.jenkins@dundeecity.gov.uk
telephone 01382 436929

06/01/2017

Nominations Open for Young Scot Awards 2017

Young Scot Award 2017
There are many outstanding young people in our area - please nominate one for the Young Scot Awards 2017:

The Young Scot Awards is Scotland’s biggest celebration of young people and shines the spotlight on the outstanding contribution of young people and groups aged 11-26, who have made a difference to the lives of others. 

There are 12 categories including health, community, the arts and diversity. Nominations close on 27th February 2017.