GMB Political Forum

Today I attended a meting of GMB Scotland's political forum. I am a member of the GMB (the General Municipal and Boilermakers Union) and they supported my candidacy for City Council. I believe that the link between the trade unions and the Labour Party is a good thing. The Labour Party was created by the trade unions and the trade union link is something which I support.

The Trade Union link ensures that Labour contiunes to represent working people.

For someone in local government it is good to get the opportunity to listen to the views of local government employees. There were members who worked in the whisky industry at today's meeting and it was good to hear about the need to ensure that Scottish whisky has to be both produced and bottled in Scotland.

Training and apprenticeships were also discussed at length and it is clear that government should be doing all it can to promote these.


Road Safety in the West End

Today I had a very productive meeting with officers from the City Council's City Development department to discuss road safety issues across the city and particularly in the West End. Please see the statement which I issued after the meeting.

Road Safety Issues raised

West End Councillor Richard McCready today received a briefing about road safety from officers of Dundee City Council's City Development Department. Councillor McCready used the opportunity to raise concerns which had been raised with him by constituents about a number of roads and junctions in the West End.

Councillor Richard McCready said, 'I was very pleased to speak to officers and to hear about the work that they do to promote road safety in the city. It was reassuring to listen to dedicated people who are doing their best to keep us all safe. Recent reports to the City Development Committee highlighted the work that needs to be done in the city. A significant proportion of these works is in the West End ward and I wanted to hear about progress.'

'A number of the areas where work is to be targeted are ones which constituents have raised with me. I look forward to work taking place over the course of the next year to improve safety across the city. I am particularly keen for there to be work on the West Port roundabout, there appears to be a lot of confusion about lanes at this roundabout. I am also keen to see what action can be taken to improve safety at the junction of Tullideph Road and Ancrum Drive.'

'I felt that my discussions today were productive and I look forward to progress throughout the city in the course of the next year. Fundamentally though road users and pedestrians all have a duty to ensure that they behave in as safe a manner as possible.'

The recent reports to the City Development Committee can be found here
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/reports/agendas/cd240809pub.pdf the relevant pages are p. 12-29

Roadworks alert

Major roadworks will start in Dundee next week, these will be the South Marketgait, East Dock Street, Broughty Ferry Road reconstruction. Some of the diversions will have traffic coming through the West End ward, it is likely that these works will have a major impact on the city and it is important that journeys are planned in advance.

For more information take a look at the leaflet which has been produced.


Digital Switchover

This morning I had a very productive meeting with a representative of Digital UK to discuss the TV switchover to digital which will happen in August 2010 for the STV North area (formerly Grampian TV area).
This is an important issue because right now many people in the West End, like me, do not have access to digital freeview services. This will change but it is unlikley that the West End will get the full range of stations available elsewhere.

It is important that people make themselves aware of the issues here. There are a range of actions which people can take to ensure that they continue to receive TV signals after August 2010. It is best to consult the Digital UK website for details. If you know of someone who will have difficulty in making arrangements to change because they are aged 75 or over, have lived in care home for six months or more, or get (or could get) certain disability benefits, or are registered blind and partially sighted, they can get help through the Switchover Help Scheme.

A Dundee Legacy of the Commonwealth Games

Today I called for efforts to be made to ensure that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 have an impact on Dundee and indeed the whole of Scotland. I was responding to a Scottish Government announcement on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

I put out the statement below:

A Dundee Legacy of the Commonwealth Games

Councillor Richard McCready, the Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Leisure, Arts and Communities on Dundee City Council today called on Dundee City Council to examine the ways of delivering a legacy to Dundee from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Councillor McCready was speaking after the Scottish Government announced its Commonwealth Games legacy plan.

Councillor Richard McCready said, 'I supported Glasgow's bid to host the Commonwealth Games and I hope that it will be a great success. It is important that the Commonwealth Games have an impact right across Scotland. The Scottish Government has announced finding for legacy proposals. The funding is £23.5 million and while this will not go very far when shared across 32 local authorities in Scotland it is important that Dundee gets its share.'

'One of the ideas for using the funding is to create a network of community sports hubs across Scotland. These community sports hubs should raise the profile of sport and physical activity and hopefully lead to increased participation across Scotland. I have written to the Leisure and Communities department of Dundee City Council asking them to get involved in promoting sports hubs in Dundee and to ensure that they are doing all they can to achieve appropriate levels of funding for these projects.'

'The Olympics in London followed by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow provide an excellent opportunity to promote sport across the country and especially in Dundee. This is one of the reasons why I brought forward proposals for a replacement for the Olympia Centre when I was Convener of Leisure, Arts and Communities. There is more we can do and I want Dundee to be at the forefront of promoting sport.'

The Scottish Government news release can be found here


Community Spirit Meeting

Tonight I attended a meeting of the Community Spirit Action Group which is a community group in the north of the West End ward. It is great to see local people working together to make their area a better place to live.

There were discussions about graffiti and vandalism (I've arranged to meet with council officers to see if the Council is doing all it can to combat graffiti.) There were also issues raised about allotments and bins. I will be making contact with council officers and reporting back to the next meeting of the group about these issues.


Dundee United Centenary

Copyright B MCPherson www.dundeehibernian.co.uk

Tonight I attended a civic reception in honour of the centenary of Dundee United FC. United were formed in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian and they were discussed in my PhD thesis on the influence of Irish migrants in Dundee, in 1923 they changed their name to Dundee United. On the left is the old Dundee Hibernian badge and on the right is the Dundee United badge. There is a range of interesting centenary related information on the Dundee United website.
It was good to see some old United players at the event such as David Narey and Paul Hegarty who were great players I remember from the 1980s and the current team was there as well. United deserve to enjoy their centenary, I'm not actually a United supporter but as Labour's spokesperson for Leisure, Arts and Communities I felt it was important to support this event. United have over the years done an excellent job in promoting Dundee across the world.
I was also delighted to speak to members of the ArabTrust the supporters trust for Dundee United at tonight's event. As a Labour and Co-operative Councillor I support supporters' trusts and think that the fans should have a greater say in running football teams. To find out more about supporters' trusts visit the Supporters' Direct website.

University of Dundee

This afternoon I had a very productive meeting with Dr Jim McGeorge, the recently appointed Secretary of the University of Dundee. It was very interesting to touch base with him and get an idea of where the University is going over the next few years. I am a graduate of Dundee University and I have fond memories of my time as student there. The university has a major impact on the West End ward, it is a major employer, its brings thousands of students to live in the West End, it provides excellent services which can also be used by local residents. I thought it was good to discuss all the issues that this brings to me as a local councillor and also to the university.


Training for the Fire Board

Today I attended a very interesting training day for my role as a member of Tayside Fire and Rescue Board. The day allowed myself and my colleagues to get an insight into some of the issues which are facing the Fire and Rescue service in Tayside.

The role of Tayside Fire and Rescue is now so much more than fighting fires. They have to be prepared for water rescues, road traffic accidents, chemical and biological incidents. It was very useful to get an insight into these issues.