Evening Telegraph

Folk in Dundee area largely content but unhappy with run-down roads

What does a typical Dundonian look like? What do they do each day and how do they feel about their area?

In the sixth of an eight-part series, we aim to paint an up-to-date picture of how the city’s people live, based on the results of a new survey.

Dundee’s most recent citizens’ survey was carried out last year and local area results are now available. Today, Jon Brady, Scott Duncan and Sarah Williamson look at Strathmartine, where locals were asked about their lifestyles.

Ardler Complex in the Strathmartine ward
Macalpine Road

A quick scan of the Strathmartine survey reveals that the area’s population stands out as one that is largely older but most definitely wiser.

More than a third of the area’s residents are 60 or over, nearly half have savings of more than £1,000 put away for a rainy day and more than eight in 10 have home contents insurance.

A total of 83% say they either manage “quite well” or “very well” when it comes to their personal finances.

Strathmartine’s population – from Downfield all the way over to Kirkton – are also a happy bunch, with 100% of residents either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of life in their area.

They’re also optimistic, with about two-thirds of locals saying they deal with problems well and feel good about the future.

But they’re not afraid to speak out about what needs to be done better – especially when it comes to the state of the area’s roads.

Those who said the area had got worse in the last five years pinned the blame on the poor availability of parking and the state of roads and pavements.

In all, 54% said the conditions of thoroughfares were getting worse – and the other 46% slated local parking facilities.

But by and large, locals like the services available to them, find them easy to access and rate their local parks and shops highly.

They also say the area is home to friendly people and that their neighbourhoods are quiet and peaceful.

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One in 10 Strathmartine residents likes to volunteer and almost half have been to the cinema at least once in the last year.

However, they are less likely than people in other parts of Dundee to get involved in organised social activities.

The majority of locals also feel they don’t have a say in how decisions are made where they live.

However, nine in 10 say they have a good network of friends and family around them for support.

Most people feel they are in at least “fair” health or better and have either quit smoking or have never smoked at all.

Two-thirds of the area’s locals also say they either never drink more than eight alcoholic beverages at one time, or only do so occasionally.

However, a third of locals say either they, or someone in their household, has a long-term illness, disability or condition such as mobility problems or difficulties with hearing.

And of those personally living with a long-term condition, 1% rely on the help of a young carer aged 18 or under to get by.

The locals we spoke to said they liked where they lived – but, much as the city council found, they’re not afraid to point out areas that need improvement.

Bob Guthrie

Bob Guthrie, 72, said: “I find the area quite peaceful. We have good neighbours and everyone gets on. The only downside is the trouble sometimes with school kids on lunch leaving rubbish.”

Michelle Cassidy

Full-time mum Michelle Cassidy, 45, said: “I think the area is convenient for shops.

“But it could do with more parks and things to do for the kids.”

Colin Rooney

Colin Rooney, 46, said: “I think the area’s great.

“I have lived here for five years and it’s very friendly.

“It’s got all the amenities and you can walk to places very easily.

“The people around here are happy.”

Sarah Jones

Full-time mum Sarah Jones, 33, said: “It is usually pretty quiet in the evenings and I know the area quite well.

“But the parks for the kids are full of broken bottles and sometimes discarded needles.”