Concern over services - Support for Royal Mail

I have met with Royal Mail Officials to hear about changes to their services in Dundee West.  I was particularly interested to hear about any lessons which have been learnt after similar changes in Dundee East which caused a lot of problems in that area.
I was pleased to listen to officials from Royal Mail.  I raised my concerns about the changes which took place previously in Dundee East and resulted in many problems with mail deliveries there.  I wanted to be sure that these changes are properly resourced and that proper consultation has taken place with the workforce and their trade unions.  I was reassured by the answers which I was given although, as ever, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.  If anyone is having problems with their mail deliveries it would be good to hear from them.  I will also be speaking to the trade union in this case the CWU to get their views on the changes.'
I support the Royal Mail and think that we should do all that we can to protect it.  The changes being brought in in Dundee West are in part a response to changes in the market and the growth of the number of parcels being delivered as we move towards more and more internet shopping.  I think we should recognise that the Royal Mail has the Universal Service Obligation and that it is not a level playing field if other competitors can cherry-pick the profitable parts of the business.  This is why I was opposed to Dundee City Council giving its mail contract to TNT. We should be supporting local jobs and services.  It is also why I support the campaign supported by among others the CWU to Save Our Royal Mail.


Action needed on air quality at Lochee Road

I'm calling for co-ordinated action to deal with air quality issues in my ward.  I met with council officials and my ward colleague Councillor Fraser Macpherson to discuss concerns about air quality issues at the junction of Lochee Road/Rankine Street/Cleghorn Street.  I am concerned that time after time air quality issues are raised at this location but the problem appears to remain.

I was very concerned to see figures which Friends of the Earth recently highlighted which put this area in the top ten of the most polluted in Scotland. I was also approached by a considerable number of local people who were worried about this situation. That is why I sought to bring together council officers concerned with air quality and transport issues to try and find a solution to this problem.

There may be no easy solution, but we must be concerned that our city features on this list of the most polluted streets. I know that a lot of hard work has gone on in Dundee to try and deal with issues about pollution and the environment. The problems at this junction come about for a variety of reasons; partly to do with the height of the buildings and partly to do with the road lay-out and the stop/start nature of the traffic in the area.

I was glad to hear that council officers shared my concerns, and the concerns of the many local people who have spoken to me about this issue, and that they were prepared to look at what could be done to deal with this issue. Changes will be made to the traffic lights that will allow for a freer flow of traffic when pollution levels are high. Officers will also look at the traffic in the area and see if there is anything that can be done to change traffic patterns in the area.

I want to do all that I can to improve and protect the environment in Dundee. I hope that by standing up for local people in this area there will be real changes which improve air quality in this part of the city.