World Aids Day

The End of AIDS? from Stop AIDS Campaign on Vimeo.

Today is World Aids Day. I think that it is crucial that we do all we can to prevent and hopefully cure or eradicate this terrible disease. I have emailed David Cameron today asking the UK Government to give finding a cure for AIDS a top priority. This campaign was brought to my attention by ACTSA, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, ACTSA are part of the Stop AIDS Campaign. It is also important to do all we can to prevent AIDS in the UK.

Pensions Day of Action

On Wednesday I was pleased to be joined by thousands of others to march through the streets of Dundee to show my opposition to the changes to many public sector workers pensions. It was good to see so many people on the demonstration. It was disappointing that the demonstration was necessary.

Dundee West Constituency Labour Party unanimously made their views known about this issue. You can see the statement which they supported here, you can read more about the unions together campaigns here.

I am sure that there were people present yesterday who were taking part in their first demonstration. It is clear that right across the country people were supporting this campaign. The Prime Minister described Wednesday as a 'damp squib', I beg to differ. I hope that there is a negotiated settlement which allows all workers dignity in retirement. I support a fair pension and dignity in retirement for all workers, whether in the public or private sector. I hope that the Tory-led UK Government and the SNP-led Scottish Government, along with local government recognise that dignity in retirement and a fair pension are important.

The video here shows the extent of the march which takes 12 minutes to pass a given point, you can see the Dundee Labour Party banner at around 10 minutes into the video.


Surgery Cancelled

On Wednesday 30th November my regular surgery at Blackness Library will not take place due to industrial action by staff at Leisure and Culture Dundee.


Dundee Rep Board Meeting

Tonight I was at a meeting of the board of Dundee Rep. It was really good to hear about the plans for the spring programme which will include amongst other things, Scottish Dance Theatre, Steel Magnolias, and The Tempest.

The Christmas Show Cinderella starts this week and I am sure that it will be well worth a visit. The Christmas production is always worth going to and is a real treat for all the family. Click on the video to see a trailer, unfortunately too late to book and get a free ice cream as promised in the trailer.

Olympia Project Board

Today I attended a meeting of the Project Board for the new Olympia Swimming Pool. It was good to hear about progress on delivering this important project. I look forward to this project started under Labour being delivered.


National Football Academy

I was delighted that the City Council put party divisions to one side tonight and supported plans to work towards bringing the National Football Academy to Dundee at the Policy and Resources Committee. The case for bringing this to Dundee is strong and it is important that the Scottish Government distributes facilities across the country.

My colleague Jenny Marra has led the way with her campaign to bring the National Football Academy, you can sign the petition here. It was great that politicians put party differences to one side and supported this petition which calls on the Scottish Government to bring the National Football Academy to Dundee. Like my Labour colleagues I am prepared to work with anyone to ensure that this facility comes to Dundee.

It is important that from time to time elected representatives in Dundee put the interests of city first and leave party labels behind and join together to put Dundee first.

Council Committee Meetings

Tonight saw meetings of the Education, City Development and Policy and Resources Committees.

At the City Development Committee there were some interesting reports but I was disappointed that the report which proposed reduced speed limits on various roads including Riverside Drive was withdrawn. I am led to believe that this report will be re-submitted to the committee in the near future. I hope that this is case and I hope that road safety is the top priority in this policy. I have raised my concerns about the proposals for Riverside Drive and I was worried that the police had raised concerns about their ability to effectively police a reduced speed limit. I am seeking further briefings on this important issue.

At the Policy and Resources Committee I was pleased that the council has been able to offer at least a year of support for the Whitehall Theatre. The Whitehall Theatre provides a great venue for a wide range of performers from comedians to amateur dramatic societies. I will be keeping a close eye on progress and hoping that this sets the Whitehall Theatre up on a more secure footing for the future.