Employee Rights Stop Employment Wrongs

I am happy to support the campaign launched by the TUC  to defend employee rights.  The Tory-led Government recently published the Beecroft report.  This report suggested that there should be cuts in the protections given to workers.

The TUC have pointed out that employment rights actually aid the economy.  I just cannot see how removing rights for workers is the way forward for the UK economy.  You can find out more about the campaign and sign the petition in support of the TUC Campaign Employee Rights Stop Employment Wrongs.  The videos here give an idea about the campaign and about the proposals.


Councillors' Expenses

This weekend the City Council has published Councillors' Expenses for the year 2011/12.  I have claimed the nationally agreed and independently set salary for being a councillor.  I also use a mobile phone provided by the council this has cost an extra £169.34, this bill is paid by the council.  I think that it is important to be open and transparent with these costs and I would be happy to answer any questions about my expenses from any constituent.

Dundee Rep

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a performance in the Inspire Programme at Dundee Rep, the performance was by pupils from St Joseph's Primary School.  I should declare an interest as a proud parent of one of the participants, but it was great to see the excellent work of the pupils, the teachers, and staff at Dundee Rep.  I think that Creative Learning at the Rep do a great job.

I was pleased to see that the Rep has appointed two new artistic directors in Jemina Levick and Philip Howard, with Philip also being Chief Executive.  I would like to wish them all the very best in their new roles.

Local Community Planning in the West End

This week I attended the launch of the Local Community Plans for every ward in the city.  I also attended the West End Local Community Planning Partnership.  It is important that the council is responsive to the needs of local people.  I would argue that the Local Community Planning Partnership should have a budget which would allow it to deliver on the communities priorities.  This would be for small scale initiatives for example dealing with graffiti or potholes.

The West End Local Community Plan can be found here and is well worth reading.  Thursday's meeting was very interesting, firstly we got a presentation from a 10 year-old West End resident who was looking for action to deliver a skate-park in the West End, perhaps in Lochee Park.  This was very interesting and I will certainly be supporting this and asking the various council departments to discuss how possible this is.  There was also a presentation on the council's pilot scheme to look at extending the types of material which can be recycled.  This pilot will not include the West End and I would say that it is important it includes the types of housing that we have in the West End.  I will be following this pilot closely.  It is important that the council finds ways of developing appropriate recycling facilities for tenements.

Memorial Stone at Balgay Cemetery

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the unveiling ceremony for a memorial stone for those buried in the common poor ground at Balgay Cemetery.  This initiative is largely down to the hard-work of Bernard Malone who has campaigned for this and raised money for the stone.

I was pleased to see this project come to fruition and I was pleased to see that those people who were buried in the common ground are being commemorated.