DUNDEE DECIDES: Community involvement will benefit Coldside

The cash could be used to improve Coldside Library

Dundee Decides could inspire scores of Coldside residents to get involved in their community.

That’s according to Murray Webster, from the Coldside Regeneration Forum, who thinks the scheme could be pivotal to building links in the ward.

About 1,300 residents have already cast their votes, which will see £150,000 allocated to projects voted on by locals.

More than £1.2 million of Dundee City Council money will be spread across every ward as part of the Community Infrastructure Fund.

Locals and organisations throughout Coldside, including the forum, have been in regular consultation with council officers about the plans.

Mr Webster, treasurer of the forum, said: “We always welcome any opportunity for local people to be involved in the decision-making process.

“This is definitely something we’re very supportive of.

“Obviously it’s a pilot project but we feel the projects which have been picked are all worthwhile.

“We would like more in the future but you’ve got to start somewhere.

“It seems to me it’s been a success because we’ve had about 1,300 votes in the Coldside ward.

“It’s good that they have been trying different ways to get people involved.”

Proposals in Coldside include lighting for Dudhope Park, an astroturf pitch at the DPM Park, disabled access for the playpark at Dens Road and a new playpark at Alexander Street.

Both large and small improvements could potentially be carried out at Coldside Library, along with more dropped kerbs across the ward and a new pedestrian crossing in Clepington Road.

The results will be announced at a special event at the Steeple Church on Thursday March 29.

If any funds are left over after winning projects have been selected they will be allocated to enhance those projects in each ward.

Voting opened on January 29 and closes this Friday.

Mr Webster added: “People are more interested in being involved in projects that they care about and have a say in.

“That’s the way we’ll be able to keep them involved in the process and that’s why this is so important. It’s about keeping them involved.

“The feeling is that going forward there should be more ideas rolled out and provide a range of projects so people can be more involved.

“The principle of getting people to vote for them is very much welcome.”

Councillor George McIrvine said he was looking forward to seeing the results of the Dundee Decides participatory budgeting process.

He said: “The hard work that council staff have carried out over the consultation period has actively involved a wide variety of the community from children over the age of 11 to the elderly and local community groups.

“With about 1,300 local people, who have voted so far, it is testimony to their efforts.

“It’s also important to note that not everyone is as keen to involve themselves, as many see that choosing one project over another creates an element of divide when it is recognised that all projects suggested via the Engage Dundee consultation are needed to improve infrastructure for the local community.”