I am calling on Dundee City Council to listen to Liz McColgan. Liz McColgan called on the council to do more to build on the legacy of the Olympics in the Courier last week. I read Liz McColgan's concerns in the Courier last week and have met with her to see what can be done to improve the situation in Dundee. I've raised her concerns with the City Council and will look for action from the council and others.
I was delighted to meet with Liz McColgan and listen to her concerns. I think that it is important for local councillors and indeed all politicians to listen to the views of local people and experts; in this case Liz is both a Dundonian and an expert.
I am clear that politics and sport is not always a good mix but I am also clear that politicians should be doing all that they can to improve the sporting facilities in the city. The Olympics were clearly very popular in Dundee, as elsewhere, and it was good to hear from Liz that this has led to more young people attending Hawkhill Harriers training at the Caird Park Stadium. Liz raised a number of specific issues about Caird Park Stadium and I will be looking for answers on things like drinking facilities there, floodlighting and access issues.
There are bigger issues about sports facilities in the city. I am pleased to have been at the forefront of bringing the New Olympia Swimming Pool to the city, and also promoting the regional gymnastics centre in the city. I am aware that times are tough and that there isn't a lot of money around in local government or elsewhere. I do think that we need to be ambitious for the city though and look at ways of making sure that our sporting facilities are as good as they can be. What is required is an attitude that looks to get things done rather than looking for reasons not to do things. I also think that it may well be the case that there are things that could be done differently that wouldn't cost a lot of money but could lead to a significant improvement.
My aim is to improve participation in sport in Dundee and to look at ways of supporting elite athletes in Dundee; I think that this should be the City Council's aim as well.
I was pleased to meet with Liz McColgan I think that we should at the very least listen to the views of one of Dundee's most successful athletes, I hope that the Council will listen as well.