18/04/2012

Scrutiny Committee

This afternoon I attended a meeting of the City Council's Scrutiny Committee. There was a very good report on community learning in the area covered by the catchment area of Braeview Academy. The report raised a slight concern about involving young people in representative structures. For example, the average of a Community Councillor is apparently 63 years old. I know that the council has done a lot of work with young people such as through the Youth Council.

I asked a question about the report on Braeview Academy. The report talked about Curriculum for Excellence and the school working with partners on this issue. The headteacher spoke about the various partnerships the school was involved in, teaching young people subjects like hairdressing and car mechanics. Curriculum for Excellence is an important change in the education sector, the City Council's Education Department are confident that Dundee's schools are prepared I hope that they are correct in this assertion.

There was a report on the corporate performance of council with regard to the visitor numbers to council supported museums. The refurbishment of the McManus Galleries has been an outstanding success. After an initial spike in numbers in the year 2010-11 number have fallen back a bit in 2011-12. I asked if numbers were up on the position prior to the closure of the McManus Galleries. I was pleased to hear that visitor numbers are up from the period pre-closure. I also asked about how Leisure & Culture Dundee were working in partnership with the V & A, I knew that everyone in the committee is looking forward to this world-class British institution opening in Dundee but it is important that the V & A should not be to detriment of our other cultural attractions. I was reassured that work is underway which will build partnerships with the V & A. The recent exhibition of Cecil Beaton photographs of the Queen was a start of this process and more is on the way.