The Cherry Orchard

On Thursday night I attended a performance of the Cherry Orchard at Dundee Rep . I enjoyed the performance. It is on until the end of next week for details of this and other performances at the Rep take a look at their website.


Scrutiny Committee

This afternoon saw the second meeting of the City Council's Scrutiny Committee. You can read the agenda on the City Council's website or by clicking above.

A range of interesting reports came forward. I asked a number of questions about these reports. The Scrutiny Committee is still finding its feet but it is clear that it should be a forum for constructive discussion about the delivery of council services.

I was most interested in a report about East Port House, which is a facility which is a probation/parole service. This was a very positive report and I sought to learn what lessons we could from this good performance. One area which I think requires further investigation is partnership working. Councils are encouraged, even compelled, to undertake partnership working sometimes I think that these partnership can be unwieldy and unfocused. In the case of East Port House a variety of councils pay for the service but all the staff work for Dundee City Council. This gives clear lines of leadership and accountability and I think that we should reflect on this.

No luck Scotland!

I managed to see the Scotland match, like everyone else I was hugely disappointed with the result. The team did really well and I think that they were really unlucky.

As a local councillor and as Scottish Labour's Leisure, Arts and Communities spokesperson in Dundee I think that it is important that we look at what the council, the football authorities and the community can do to improve football in Dundee and hopefully bring on new internationalists for Scotland.

West End Community Council

Tuesday night saw the monthly meeting of the West End Community Council. This is a good opportunity for City Councillors, like me, to listen to the concerns of local residents.

Issues raised last night included the ongoing spate of vandalism in the West End, the proposals for a West End festival and the ongoing concerns of local residents about the proposals for new schools in the West End.


Vandalism on Magdalen Green

I was hugely disappointed to receive an email from the Friends of Magdalen Green saying that there had been vandalism to lamp posts on the Green. Please see the photograph above to see the vandalism which has been carried out.

I have raised the issue with the Head of Parks, Sport and Leisure at Dundee City Council. I am looking for repairs and to see if there is anything that can be done to improve security.

Magdalen Green is an excellent resource for the West End and for the whole city. I am really disappointed that there are people who would want to waste it for others.

Road works and bus changes

The major roadworks which I mentioned last week came into effect today. It is too early to tell what impact they will have but there will be disruption.

National Express Dundee (who used to be Travel Dundee and a lot of other things for older readers!) have issued the statement below which includes some useful information about changes to services as a result of the roadworks.


BEAR Scotland will be carrying out essential road maintenance works on the A92 between East Marketgait and Greendykes Road, Dundee from 8 September for approximately 10 weeks.

As a result National Express Dundee services 8X, 98a and 98b will be temporarily re-routed as follows:

Service 8X
Normal route to Riverside Drive. From Riverside Drive buses will run via West Marketgait, Yeaman’s Shore, Union Street, Whitehall Crescent then normal route from Shore Terrace
( Dock Street). Buses towards Barnhill are not affected

Service 98A
Normal route to Shore Terrace (Dock Street). From Shore Terrace buses will run via Commercial Street, Seagate, East Marketgait, back into Dock Street and then normal route.

Service 98B
Normal route to Commercial Street. Buses will then run via Seagate, East Marketgait to Dock Street to join normal route.

Affected bus stops will display details of the diversions.

All other National Express Dundee services will operate as normal. However, due to changes in traffic flow around Dundee as a result of the road closure between East Marketgait and Greendykes Road, bus services may be subject to delays, particularly at peak times.

Lawrence Davie, Director National Express Dundee, said: “National Express Dundee will be working with Bear Scotland and Dundee City Council to keep bus services running as smoothly as possible, while the essential road works are taking place on the A92 East Dock Street. However, we are advising passengers to allow extra time for their journey, particularly if travelling during the morning or afternoon peak times as there may be changes to traffic flow around Dundee. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and ask passengers to please bear with us whilst BEAR Scotland carry out necessary resurfacing and reconstruction work on the A92 trunk road.”

Full details of service changes are available on
www.nationalexpress.com/dundee on the ‘service changes’ pages.


Illegal Adverts in the West End

An issue which I have had to raise on a number of occasions is the issue of illegal adverts. These adverts disfigure our communities and they also disadvantage those businesses which take their responsibilities seriously. A picture of the advert is displayed here, below is the statement which I issued yesterday.

Illegal Adverts in the West End

West End Councillor Richard McCready has today written to Dundee City Council's City Development department seeking action on an illegal advert which has appeared at the Sinderins junction in the West End ward. Councillor McCready is concerned that illegal adverts disadvantage companies who operate within the rules. Councillor McCready is seeking a reassurance that companies within Dundee understand that there are rules and that they should stick to them.

Councillor Richard McCready said, 'I was disappointed to see yet another illegal advert appear at the Sinderins junction. This advert is for a take-away restaurant, there are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars and take-aways offering food to customers in Dundee if they all behaved like this there wouldn't be a space in the city without an advert. I have raised the issue with the City Development department and asked them to take appropriate action to ensure that this company removes this advert. I also want reassurance that the City Council has told business bodies within Dundee that this is unacceptable.'

'I understand that this is a tough time for businesses but such illegal adverts discriminate against those businesses which stick by the rules. I want to promote business in Dundee but that requires fairness. It is not fair to turn a blind eye to some organisations flouting the rules.'

'Businesses have a duty to behave in a responsible manner. I would call on all of Dundee's businesses to act responsibly.'


Well done Scotland - here's hoping!

After my visit to Glasgow for a trade union meeting on Saturday I made it home in time to watch the Scotland match on the TV. I watched more in hope than expectation but I was delighted with the result. The team only has to beat the Netherlands now to have a chance of progressing!

I hope that we do it on Wednesday night. I'd like to wish the team the best of luck.

As a politician with some responsibility for sports provision in Dundee it is important that we do all we can to ensure that the correct resources are there to allow football to develop in Scotland. Success in sport is good in many ways, it encourages more participation in sport and leads to improved health.

But enough politics - Come on Scotland!

Dundee Flower and Food Festival

I visited the Dundee Flower and Food Festival at Camperdown Park today. As always it was a great event. When I was the Convener of Leisure, Arts and Communities this was one of the events which I looked forward to. It is a day out for all the family and I hope that it continues to go from strength to strength.

The festival was unlucky this year with the weather and unfortunately the show was cancelled on Friday. I am looking forward to next year's event and hope that it is a bit luckier with the weather.

I met lots of people at Camperdown Park today and it was clear that most people were having a great time.