Report to Lochee Ward constituents

Norma McGovern

31 August 2013

On 24 June, I attended the Menzieshill High School Prizegiving Ceremony in the Caird Hall.

It was a delight to see so many pupils receiving their well deserved awards and they are all a credit to their Head Teacher, Helen Gray.  

Throughout the ceremony, we were kept entertained by various ensembles, ranging from percussionists, wind section, etc and some delightful singing from some very talented young people.

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On 27th June I visited the new St Clement’s/Camperdown school shared campus in Charleston.  

The new schools look fantastic with state of the art classrooms, equipment and facilities. 

Many of the teachers were hard at work getting their classrooms organised for the opening of the new term. 

I do hope they all settle in to their new surroundings.

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The end of the month saw the start of Council Recess when all statutory meetings are suspended, although constituency work goes on as normal.

I reported earlier on my visit to the new  ASDA store at Myrekirk and I am delighted that ASDA  have kindly agreed to sponsor the cost of the commissioning of a bronze sculpture which will commemorate Dundee Weavers and Half-timers (Half-timers were young people who worked half a day, and then went to school for half a day).

Acknowledgement has to go to Stella Carrington of Charleston Tenants’ and Residents’ Association for all the hard work she has put in to seeing this project come to fruition.

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Once the sculpture is completed, it will be erected in one of the green areas in the new regenerated Highgate area, close to the new Bank Street.

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Recess ended on 12 August and surgeries and committee meetings recommenced.

One of my first meetings after recess was the Lochee Community Planning Partnership Meeting (LCPP). 

Link : Lochee Community Plan 2012 -2017 

The meeting opened with a short presentation on the Lochee Early Years Change Team/Early Year Pathfinder Project which aims to adopt a fully integrated service model based on a neighbourhood approach which puts children, their families and the communities in which they live at the heart of service development and delivery.

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Some of the items on the agenda were –

Highgate Update

 •        The clearing of the proposed site and formation of the new Bank Street will commence in November and hopefully be completed by summer 2014.

 •        Early discussions are taking place with Hillcrest Housing on the provision of new houses on the Coupar Angus Road part of the site.

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 •        Farmfoods now up and running and trading well.

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 Stack Development Update

 Things moving along nicely there with the first of the new shops now open.

 I visited the Home Bargains Store on a midweek afternoon and was pleased to see a brisk trade in the shop with plenty of cars in the car park. 

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All being well, Aldi propose to open one of their supermarkets and although concern was raised by some members of the forum that they were worried about the similarity of the proposed shops to existing shops in the area and the competition this will cause.

However, it is hopeful though that in time there will be a good mix of units. 

Plans are also afoot to provide a multi use games area, possibly on a site very close to Cox’s Stack.

Parking in Menzieshill

 There are on-going problems with the Residents’ Parking scheme in Menzieshill as there have been changes made to the eligibility criteria of the scheme which now means that only one parking permit per household can be issued and there are conditions attached to this. 

 An early meeting is to be arranged with the Menzieshill Residents’ Parking Association to discuss this issue.

 Play Areas

 Plans are in place, subject to appropriate funding being made available, for the provision of additional play areas at the South Road Multi Use Games Area adjacent to the Lynch Centre. 

 After consulting with young people in the area the proposals will include a Zip Line, Adult Gym adjacent to the children’s play area (helpful for parents so they can keep an eye on their children) and a skate park. 

The tennis courts in the area have also been refurbished.

Dundee Foodbank

On 21st August, I visited the Foodbank located within Menzieshill High School.  Foodbanks provide an essential service to the very many people in this country who, through no fault of their own, are finding it harder to feed themselves and their families because of low-level income, cuts in spending on social security and rising prices. 

This Foodbank provide three days emergency food supply and support to these people who are in financial difficulties that require help to put food on the family table.

I pay tribute to the members of the public who donate items of food to the Foodbank, to the members of staff and volunteers who administer it, and to the social workers and other front line staff who help to identify those who require assistance as they struggle to pay bills and pay for food through a period of crisis.

Link : Dundee Foodbank

Police Scotland

In conjunction with Police Scotland and the Community Police, the Lochee Community Planning Partnership aims to deliver on Community Safety 2012 – 2017 as follows:

•        To Review car parking provision to improve safety and to reduce congestion, particularly around schools and Ninewells Hospital.

•        To increase awareness and promote the role of Community Safety Wardens to better inform public perception of crime and personal safety

•        To increase public confidence to reassure communities that anti-social behaviour issues are being tackled effectively.

•        To develop an Open Space Improvement Programme in partnership with young people in order to provide good quality and safe open spaces.

•        To provide a range of diversionary activities and promote a positive image of the police.

Issues reported on by the police for the last three months reporting period for Lochee Ward were –

Youth Calls - 72 incidents involving youths, a slight increase on the previous 3 months.

Vandalism – There were 88 recorded crimes of vandalism, compared to 66 in the previous quarter. 

Hotspots for vandalism are around Brownhill Place/Brownhill Street/Buttars Road/Buttars Terrace and area around and the Young Persons Unit at South Road.

Assault – 69 petty assaults and 6 serious assaults were recorded. 

Hotspots being Elders Court and again the area around the Young Persons Unit.

Drugs Activity – 307 stop searches were carried out over the 3 month reporting period, with drugs being found on 29 occasions. 54 drug offences were recorded, with most offences being for possession.

Housebreaking – 11 house break-ins with 5 unsuccessful attempts.  3 commercial premises broken into, 2 where property was stolen.

Vehicle Crime – 28 thefts and attempted thefts, 9 in the Pitalpin area which occurred on 1st/2nd May.

Thefts – 55 recorded.

Link : Police Scotland – Policing Plan for Lochee Ward

 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Priorities are –

1.       To reduce casualties

2.       Reduce Primary Fires

3.       Maintain Fire-fighter Safety and Operational Preparedness

4.       Reduce Deliberate Fires

5.       Reduce Emergency Special Service Calls

6.       Reduce Unwanted Calls

7.       Increase Smoke Alarm Ownership

For the quarter ending June 2013, there were 4 fires in derelict properties, 3 of which were within the curtilage of the Pitalpin Mill site, 23 cases of deliberate secondary fires, again a large proportion in the area around Pitalpin Mill and 3 malicious fire call incidents recorded. 

Proposed action includes discussions with DCC and land owners to identify how the issue of regular fire setting and general anti social behaviour can be addressed. 

Malicious calls will continue to be monitored and steps taken to try to identify those responsible.

There have been incidents of fires in bin recesses and chutes in Whorterbank Multis, which is causing some concern.

However, regular checks are carried out in the Multis to check the fire doors, lifts and fire fighting equipment to ensure that the buildings are as safe as possible for residents in the event of a fire. 

Although deliberate secondary fire activity has seen a steady decrease in recent years, there are still on-going issues with discarded furniture being set alight.

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