Problem Gambling

At Monday evening's Policy and Resources Committee I was pleased to see the Administration respond to my demand for action on problem gambling.  I believe that there is a need to revisit the current legislation to ensure that effective action can be taken over this issue. In recent years there has been a proliferation of bookies shops on our High Streets and an ever increasing number of events which can be gambled on.  We saw this recently in a bookmaker's sick advertisement about betting around the issue of the sad death of a young women in South Africa.

I am not opposed to people having a flutter on the horses but it is clear that for many people gambling becomes a much greater problem than that.

We need greater regulation of betting shops and to allow councils to refuse permission for betting shops either through licensing or the planning process on the grounds of over provision.

It is clear that the phenomenon of online gambling and gambling on mobile devices needs to be more regulated

I was pleased to hear that the Council will be looking to see how it can assist some of our own employees who have gambling problems. I think that it is important that the council takes a lead in the city and shows other employers how they should behave.

We should be clear that in many instances problem gambling allows big businesses to profit from the misery of others and especially the misery of the families of those with a gambling problem.

Responsible Dog Ownership in Scotland

At the City Council's Environment Committee meeting there was a report on the council's response to the Scottish Government's Consultation on Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership.

I welcomed the council's response on this consultation as it is clear to me that responsible dog owners and the wider public in Dundee agree with the broad thrust of these proposals.  For example I support the compulsory microchipping of dogs and I also agree with the muzzling of aggressive dogs.

I am particularly glad that the response recognises that there are problems with regard to dog fouling in the city.  Dog fouling on our streets and in our open spaces is something that disgusts a great number of people in the city and is a public health issue which we must take seriously. 

We must ask whether Dundee City Council is doing enough to combat dog fouling?  Are there enough officers trying to catch the culprits of  dog fouling?  We need government to give more legislative power to the Fixed Penalty Notices issued to those guilty of allowing their dog to foul pavements or open spaces.  Currently it is difficult to force people to pay these penalty notices due to a lack of legislative teeth.


And Then There Were None - Dundee Rep

As part of my role on the City Council I am a member of the board of Directors of Dundee Rep Theatre.  The Rep is a great resource for the city.  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is currently being staged at the Rep.

This is a beautifully staged production, well acted by the ensemble.  Trying to work out who is the murderer is great fun and keeps you engaged in the story.  As ever this is a great show.  If you are able please get along and catch the play which is on until 29 March.  You can visit the Dundee Rep website to see the wide range of shows and other activities on at the Rep.