Angus & Mearns Liberal DemocratsWorking Year Round for Angus, Mearns & Stonehaven

Apr/14

15

Montrose to benefit from Community grant funds

By David May

I am delighted that the committee today under the community grant allocated Montrose Playhouse Project a sum of up to £5,000 towards the appointment of a cinema consultant to help to prepare a business plan for a proposed cinema for Montrose. This is excellent news and as one of the committee who have been working hard to bring a cinema to Montrose we need to have a professional business plan as part of any application for external funding. This allocation will enable us to move forward even further with what we believe is a much need facility for the town as well as good for tourism.

I am also pleased to see that the a grant request of £4,534.94 from the Montrose Music Festival Group was passed, for Gazebos, Folding tables and radio system for the hugely successful annual festival. As I have been involved on one of their committees from when it started in 2008 and has expand each year and this allocation will help- to the event is even more attractive and help to improve safety issues. The Festival has been a huge success and all accommodation providers, eating establishments, local hostelries and shops great a massive boost from this.

The Montrose Air Heritage Centre have also succeeded in their bid for Community Grant Funding and their request is for £3,830 for holding a the “First in France 1914″ event in 2-3 August which is the centenary of the departure from Montrose of No 2 squadron. As this is without doubt a very high profile project both local and nationally within the wider commemorations of the FirstWorld War the allocation will help to commemorate a unique event in the town, and I also back this, as the volunteer staff at the centre have a wonderful record of working hard to make this a superb tourist attraction for Montrose and Angus.

From: David May

Apr/14

15

Backing for spending in Montrose

By David May

Cllr May is delighted that a much needed upgrading of the set of steps between Burnside Place and St Brioch Way in Ferryden was delighted to see in the Communities Committee report this week, was brought forward and is presently being done. I am aware that this will be appreciated by people in Ferryden as it has been raised with me in the past and I will welcoming this report at the committee. Furthermore, I am also pleased to see the spending on the provision of a new shared use footway/ cycleway in Provosts Reid Road, to link into existing shared facilities as in these times of increasing health and obesity concerns this is important.

I am also pleased to see that having raised with council officers concerns about the footpath within king George’s Field in Ferryden that the council are also committed to upgrading it from the Cycling, walking and Safer Street Fund.was brought forward and is presently being done. I am aware that this will be appreciated by people in Ferryden as it has been raised with me in the past and I will welcoming this report at the committee. Furthermore, I am also pleased to see the spending on the provision of a new shared use footway/ cycleway in Provosts Reid Road, to link into existing shared facilities as in these times of increasing health and obesity concerns this is important.

I am also pleased to see that having raised with council officers concerns about the footpath within king George’s Field in Ferryden that the council are also committed to upgrading it from the Cycling, walking and Safer Street Fund.

A further report in this week Communities Committee proposed that speed bumps are introduced into Blackfriars Street in Montrose. As a Montrose councillor I will be supporting this at the committee as this will help to reduce traffic speed along Blackfriars Street and make it safer for the youngsters from St Margarets School as well as local residents.

From: David May

By David May

At the meeting I attended with other representatives of the Montrose against Legal Highs Group our MSP Nigel Don said that he would “asking the Scottish Government what further actions can be taken to support the police to rid our communities of the effects of these substances” It is clear now that the Scottish Government are not doing enough and the Justice Minister must step in now to back up our police after the justice chiefs decided to ditch a case against against the Montrose legal highs shop.

I have now contacted the Justice Minister to explain why this case was dropped as this would have sent out a strong message by the Scottish Government against Legal Highs. I have also asked the SNP minister why we cannot have these shops licensed in the same way shops are licensed to sell alcohol as this would give our council a greater role with the police to make our communities safer against these substances.

Furthermore, I have been touch with the Liberal Democrat UK Minister of State for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker, who is leading a Home Office review to examine how other countries’ regimes differ from ours. I have informed him about the case being dropped in Angus and asked him what can be done to see in the UK as a whole what action can be taken as by working together across the UK it is possible to make more progress. Similarly I have been in contact with our MEP George Lyon to work across Europe to see what more can be done both with regard to these shops, as well as in respect to line purchasing of those substances.

From: David May

Apr/14

10

Action on dog fouling

By David May

photo

I was asked to get a new dog bin at the Baillie Norrie Crescent end of the path which starts at the Borrowfield Community Centre due to the mess. Delighted that the council have been able to get a new dog bin in place soon after the request from me, and there is no excuse now for dog owners leaving dog mess in that area now.

From: David May

Apr/14

10

Call for 20mph limit at Dubton Terrace

By David May

The council have indicated to me that they do not propose to provide physical traffic calming measures in Dubton Terrace as there is no evidence of significant speeding and an analysis of our accident records confirms that there is no accident history.

However, the local residents have real concerns about the fact that cars mirrors have been damaged and they are aware of many examples of drivers speeding past their houses. Furthermore, there are many children that not only live in the terrace, and have to cross the busy road to get to school and the facilities in Hillside but also others from the nearby village that make use of the playpark at the rear of housing. Consequently I have been back in touch with the roads department and I have asked for a 20 mph speed limit sign as well as a sign about children crossing.

From: David May

Apr/14

3

Angus Schools and Legal ( Lethal) Highs

By David May

I met the Head of Children and Learning ( Education) and one of her senior officers, about what our schools did to educate our youngsters and their parents about the so called legal or lethal highs, and heard about not only what presently our schools did through their Personal and Social Education Programme but also what the authority are planning to do in the future. It was clear to me that the council have been very active in working with our schools and key school staff on this, both in regard to ensuring not only that this is covered but also how this is covered to have the greatest effect about highlighting the dangers of these drugs.

From: David May

Apr/14

3

Child care support

By David May

Willie Rennie

I support the comments by Willie Rennie on the need to expand child care in Scotland as the implications for Angus is that our council will not be able to benefit as many of our youngsters as they could. TheUK government have allocated sufficient funds but the Scottish Government are only enabling 27% to be helped yet in England 40% benefit. When are Angus and Scotland’s child care arrangements going to be as good as those in England .

Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie have pressed the Scottish Government to set out when they will expand free childcare provision even further.

The call came after the Finance Secretary failed to use additional funds from the UK Government’s Budget to bring Scotland’s childcare provision for two year olds in line with that of England’s.

During a budget statement by Finance Secretary, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume pressed the Finance Secretary to explain why the expansion had not been included.

Currently the SNP Government has committed to deliver free childcare to 27 percent of two year olds, beginning with those from poorer backgrounds. This is still short of the 40 percent of two year olds who benefit from free childcare provision in England thanks to Liberal Democrats in the UK government.

“It is disappointing that the expansion of childcare was a no show in the Finance Secretary’s budget announcement. I want to bring childcare provision in line with that of England’s where 40 percent of two year olds, beginning with those from poorer backgrounds, benefit from free childcare. Two year olds cannot wait forever. John Swinney must tell parents when he will listen to my calls to build a fairer society and expand free childcare so that more children are given the best start in life.”

From: David May

Apr/14

3

Backing for clamp down on illegal parking

By David May

I fully back the recent initiative by the police on drivers who have been illegally parking outside the schools in the Montrose area. I certainly hope that the issuing of the fixed penally notice will have the effect of stopping the illegal parking outside our schools, as this will help to make these areas much safer especially for the youngsters as they enter and leave the schools.

I have been in touch with the roads department to ask that where the lines are faded that they are repainted, so that the drivers have no excuses. Safety of our youngsters must be the priority.

From: David May

Mar/14

29

The menace of Legal Highs

By David May

Having had increasing contact of late from people in the Montrose and Angus area about their family members who have taken the so called legal high substances or as others know them New Psychoactive Substances, it is clear that this has led to some of them being hospitalised. Nationally many have died from taking those substances and I have heard about one who now needs 24 hour care. I know that these substances can also be bought on line but we now have shops in Angus that sells these drugs and I am keen to do all I can do to close these shops down and education people about the dangers of these drugs.

As well as supporting the motion at Angus Council to put pressure on both the UK and Scottish Government I have been taking further action by

1. Joining and working with the Montrose Against Legal Highs Group and we will meet the local MSP

2. Arranging to see the head of education at Angus Council later this week to discuss what our Angus schools do in informing our youngsters about the so called legal highs and ensuring they realise how dangerous these substances are.

3. Contacting Alison McInnes Lib Dem MSP about the fact that Ireland had passed a law in 2010which makes it a criminal offence to advertise, sell or supply, for human consumption, psychoactive substances not specifically controlled under existing legislation. Alison has contacted the relevant Scottish minister about this and will chase this up.

4. I have also been in touch with the local police about the event in Aberdeen , organised by Police Scotland and Transition Extreme which has been arranged to educate people about the dangers of New Psychoactive Substances in order to see how to organise it in our area.

From: David May

By David May

A constituent got in touch with me about Hillside Tennis Courts, as they had not been in use last summer so I contacted the council about the state of the courts and it was clear that not only was the surface needing work done on them the fencing round the courts was badly needing replaced. The council told me that they did not have the funds to replace the fencing so in order to save the courts from total closure I tried to get interest from people by calling a meeting in Hillside Bowling Club.

This led to the first meeting and those present were keen not to lose a good community facility, and many ideas were put forward and possible sources of funding and they agreed to meet again.

At the most recent meeting I am delighted that there was a very good turnout about those interested in saving Hillside Tennis Courts, as in my view the more we can provide facilities for people, especially young folk, to keep them occupied in a healthy way, the better it will be.

Thos present discussed various ideas such as running it as a multi-sports complex with an all weather surface. There was a representative from the Links Community Trust, people from the Parents/Teachers assn. of Rosemount Primary school, local scout group along with other interested members of the public and with Cllr David May temporarily chairing the meeting.

We heard at the meeting how funding was being looked into, possible surfaces for the facility and discussed a survey being carried out to ascertain people’s need for the court and what they want from it.

Most of those present were willing to be on the committee and the different tasks will be allocated at our next meeting on Monday 21st April at 6.30pm to which there will be a welcome to all those interested. Phone David May on (01674) 830673 or e-mail him on cllrmay@angus.gov.uk for further information.

From: David May

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