23/05/2013

Roseangle Play Park

There is a meeting this evening set up by a group of local people who want to improve the Roseangle Play Park.  Unfortunately, I have a family commitment and cannot make the meeting this evening but I am fully supportive of their work.  The meeting this evening is in Brae's Below on the Perth Road at 7.30 pm.

On their Facebook page the group say that what they are about is this:

Our local park has an amazing location by Magdalen Green, the Tay River and famous Tay Rail Bridge…but the park is in a sorry state and needs significant improvement. We’re a community group determined to make this happen…come join us!
 
I have met with members of the group and I have told them that I am more than happy to support their work.
 
I have spoken to the City Council's Environment Department about this and I am looking for them to be as supportive as they can be.  It is important that the council works closely with local people to improve and maintain our parks right across the city.
 
If you are on Facebook you can like the Roseangle Play- Park Dundee page to be kept up to date with the campaign.  I wish them the very best of luck in their campaign.

Blackness Primary School Parent Council

On Tuesday evening along with some of my ward colleagues I was happy to attend the latest meeting of the Blackness Primary School Parent Council.  It was good to hear about the great work that goes on at the school.  There are plans for a summer fair early in June and I am sure that parents and friends will hear about the details once they are finalised.

I will be looking for more detail on works planned by the City Council at the school so that I can pass this on to parents.  As a local councillor attending parent council meetings is a really good way to keep in touch with what is going on and to hear about the concerns of local parents.  It is also good to hear about the reality of the decisions which are made at the Education Committee.

Balgay Stakeholders Meeting

On Monday of this week I was pleased to attend the regular meeting of the Balgay Stakeholders Group. Balgay Park is marvellous resource for the West End and beyond.  It was great to see the playpark at Lochee Park  packed on Monday afternoon and to see the bowling green at Lochee Park being used,  Of course this was before the thunder storm came along later in the afternoon but that is summer in Scotland for you.

It was good to hear about the work that is going on between the council and local people.  The Friends of Balgay do a great job promoting the park.  They have recently launched their own website which is well worth looking at.

21/05/2013

Dundee City Council and Committees 20 May 2013

Monday evening witnessed the May meeting of the City Council and its committees.  The meetings opened up with the Lord Provost paying tribute to the work of the Dundee Libraries who have won UK Library of the Year, I have previously brought attention to this great achievement.

At the Education Committee I welcomed progress on the replacement of Harris Academy.  I am looking forward to work starting before too long on this important project. I note that there are still some issues to be ironed out with the Scottish Futures Trust about funding.  But I hope that this project will provide jobs for many local people.  Most importantly I hope that this will provide an excellent school for young people in the West End and beyond.

I sought and received some assurance  that organisations which currently use Harris Academy for community activities will be accommodated elsewhere.  I was pleased to hear from the Director of Education that this was being done.

I also asked about the economic impact of Harris Academy being located at Rockwell for the next three years.  I have concerns about the future of the Perth Road shopping area.  I asked the Chief Executive whether he would ensure that the City Development Department will look to support the Perth Road shops and possibly work with the Perth Road traders association which is being formed.  The Chief Executive told me that he thought that the pupils and staff at Harris will be replaced by construction staff and that this will not have a severe impact on the shops in the area.  I hope that he is correct but I will be keeping a close eye on this issue.

At the Environment Committee I welcomed the report on promoting bowling in the city.  I think that the council provides some very good facilities for bowling I do have some concerns that the council needs to improve the locker rooms that go along with council bowling greens to make them more attractive.  I also said that I felt that we should not just assume that bowling is for older people and I wondered why Leisure & Culture Dundee's Sports Development Section or the Active Schools section of the Education Department didn't promote bowling.

I was pleased to see that Dundee City Council had reacted to pressure from Labour in Dundee and was going to bring forward plans to improve tennis facilities in Dundee.  We should be doing all that we can to ensure that if the next Andy Murray is from Dundee that we are doing all we can to assist him or her to achieve their potential in sport.

At the Policy and Resources Committee I spoke on a couple of items.  Firstly on the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 - Dundee's Pre Games, Games Delivery and Legacy Plans. I think that this is an important report and celebrating the Commonwealth Games being in Scotland is to be welcomed.

The reaction to the torch relay for last year’s Olympics demonstrated that the people of Dundee were enthusiastic about sport and these important national events.

I am sure that the Queen’s Baton Relay event will be popular in the city.  I also welcome the Support a Second Team initiative.  Dundee has strong links with South Africa with Nelson Mandela being a Freeman of the City.  I am sure that we will develop better links with South Africa and also with Belize.

It is also excellent that Dundee will be a host city, I hope that we make  a real effort to promote our city as a result of this.

On the report on the use of the Common Good Fund I was pleased to speak in support of how the money will be spent, I was also pleased to hear that the council will be looking for other ways to support the Foodbank.

I welcome the proposals here for the Common Good Fund.  The Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial is an initiative which I support and which I hope to see come to fruition before too long, the work at Verdant Works is important in maintaining the heritage of our city, the Tayforth Veterans Project is also important working with veterans and ensuring that their contribution to society is recognised and that they receive the support they deserve..

I want to highlight the work of Discovery Credit Union.  In these difficult financial times we should be supporting an ethical financial institution like the credit union.  We have previously highlighted our concerns about pay day loans and I want us to go some way to creating a level playing field for the credit union.  I am pleased that they will be promoting the Credit Union through the common good funds.

I am a long-term supporter of the work of the One World Centre and I welcome the assistance that they are getting here.  In light of the report on the Commonwealth Games there is scope for work from the One World Centre to build better links with South Africa and Belize.