Delighted Biomass Plant Binned

I welcome the news that plans for a Biomass Plant in Dundee appear to have been scrapped.  I led the opposition to the plan in the City Chambers and was delighted when the majority of the council followed his lead on this matter.

I welcome the decision not to progress with the Biomass plant. In some respects I am disappointed that it looks like there will not now be a public inquiry. It would have been good to ensure that these plans are dead in the water. I would worry that this would mean that the plans which I opposed could be resurrected at some point in the future.

I remain clear that these plans were bad for the people of Dundee and that there would have been a detrimental impact on air quality. I also remain very sceptical about claims made for jobs around this plan.

I am sure that the thousands of people who objected to the plan will be pleased to see that it will not come forward now. We need to ensure that we remain vigilant and that as a council and as a city we work hard to improve air quality and the environment right across the city.

Dundee City Council also needs to redouble its effort to bring real renewable energy jobs to Dundee. The time for bluff and bluster is over it is now time for delivery, where are the renewable energy jobs?

***Update on 28 March, there is now confimration that the plans have been withdrawn.


El Sistema

I was pleased to support the motion put forward by my colleague, Labour Group Leader Councillor Kevin Keenan which means that the council will look towards helping to develop the El Sistema scheme in Dundee.

I am very supportive of El Sistema.  I have seen what has been achieved in Raploch in Stirling after El Sistema and the Big Noise worked there.  I am also delighted to see the work going on in Govanhill in Glasgow.  I was born in Glasgow and brought up in Govanhill for the first few years of my life.  Govanhill is an area which I know well and has many problems and in terms of deprivation it is similar to places in Dundee.

El Sistema is about empowering people in communities, and about raising expectations and saying to young people that they can achieve things with the right support and hard work.  There is a lot of great work going on in our schools with regard to music education.  I know that our schools are doing a great job and are doing what they can to combat poverty and social exclusion.  The El Sistema project focuses on alleviating poverty and will empower young people in some of our poorest communities.

I have raised the possibilities of El Sistema in the council chamber in the past and I have also said that if it came to Dundee it would be a fitting tribute to the memory of the late Michael Marra.

I would like to pay tribute to the work of Optimistic Sound on this issue and wish them all the very best for the future.


Bishop Vincent Logan

Recently, I was pleased to be able to attend the Mass at St Andrew's Cathedral to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the ordination of Bishop Vincent Logan to the priesthood.  The Mass,  as ever, was very beautiful and there was some lovely singing.

It was good to see Bishop Vincent in good health and good spirits at the Mass.  It was good to have the opportunity to thank Bishop Vincent for his work on behalf Catholic community and the broader community in Dundee and across the entire Diocese of Dunkeld

The new Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Stephen Robson, gave a very interesting sermon.  It was good to be able to help the community at St Andrew's Cathedral mark the fifty years of service given by Bishop Vincent.