Big Noise Douglas

Cllrs Kevin Keenan & Richard McCready making their way into
Dundee City Chambers to support El Sistema
I was delighted to see the Big Noise Dundee launched on Thursday.  This version of the El Sistema programme is to welcomed and I hope that it will make a real difference in the Douglas area.

I was particularly pleased to see this happen as I had made clear my support for this project several times in the council chamber.  Indeed I spoke in favour of it long before the council's administration was prepared to support it.  I first mentioned that we should support it when I was paying tribute to the life and legacy of the singer Michael Marra.  This should be a lasting memorial to Michael Marra.

I have heard about the great work that the Big Noise has made in Raploch and indeed in the area of Glasgow where I was born, Govanhill.

I hope that the Big Noise Douglas will be a great success.


Community Spirit Action Group

I was at the regular meeting of the Community Spirit Action Group in the north of the West End ward on Wednesday evening.  It was an interesting meeting.  It was good to listen to local people's concerns.  Their concerns included road safety, buses, bin collections and trees amongst other things.

It is always good to listen to the views of local residents and I was very happy to get a number of constituent cases to chase up.

It was good to get the chance to talk about changes to the bus services which will impact on this area.  Xplore Dundee are to introduce a new service 4 which will serve the Logie Estate.  This service will be an off-peak day time service but it is a start.  I am pleased that Xplore Dundee have listened to the case which I am the Community Spirit committee have been making over a number of years.

One World Centre AGM

On Wednesday I was pleased to be able to get along to the Annual General Meeting of the One World Centre.  I was pleased to be able to support this excellent organisation.

It was good to hear about work which they have been involved in which has helped the integration of refugees in our community.

Our city was built on international trade and it is important that we understand that we are truly part of one world and that we should act accordingly.

I want to pay tribute to the work of Ann Gammack who has served as Convener of the One World Centre for the last five years.  In the annual report she says 'In our globalised world we can no longer build a wall around ourselves and shut out the rest of the world.'  I could not agree more.  My neighbours are the people of Dundee but they are also people around the whole world.

I will continue to campaign for change in the economic situation here is Dundee and around the world.


Basque Refugee Children Exhibition

As regular readers will know one area of history which fascinates me is the Spanish Civil War and reactions to it in Scotland and the UK.  I have been pleased to mark the sacrifice of the volunteers of the International Brigade at the memorial outside the McManus Galleries.

This week there is an exhibition in the Central Library of the story of the Basque Refugee Children who came to Britain in 1937 to escape the Civil War and bombing in the Basque Country.  In Dundee there was a great deal of support for these children and the Dundee Free Breakfast Mission made their home in Montrose available for these children to stay there.  There was a great deal of support for this including from the local co-operative societies, political parties and trades unions.

If you want to know more about the history of these children please visit the website of Basque Children of 37 website. The website includes a number of  articles about the so-called Montrose colony.  In the 80th anniversary of this refugee crisis we need to look at what we would do today to support those suffering throughout the world.

Dundee Rep - August: Osage County

 Amongst the many organisations which I am associated and which I support is Dundee Rep Theatre.  I was appointed by the council as a Director of Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre.  As part of this role I attended a performance of August: Osage County. This was the first production directed by the new artistic director Andrew Panton.

I did not know the play before I attended it but I was pleasantly surprised.  This is an excellent production and well worth going to see.  The production was really good with a striking set.  It was funny and challenging at the same time.  An excellent performance by the Dundee Rep ensemble.

It is on at the Rep until 16 September, get along if you can.