Monday, 9 March 2015

Frank's Law supported by Dundee City Council

This morning I had a very useful and productive meeting with the new West End police sergeant about local policing matters and later today I held my weekly Monday ward surgeries at the West Park and Mitchell Street Centres.

Tonight, I participated in City Council committees.

At Policy and Resources Committee, I was delighted that the City Council unanimously supported my motion to call for the adoption of "Frank's Law" following a very moving address to committee by Amanda Kopel, wife of the late Frank Kopel.

Following Angus Council unanimously agreeing to back “Frank’s Law” to recognise the need for free personal care to dementia suffers aged under 65, my friend and colleague, Montrose councillor David May, had contacted me to suggest it would be highly appropriate for Dundee City Council to also back the campaign, given Frank’s long association with the city and the importance of this issue.

Having spoken with Amanda, I was pleased to support her tireless campaign for proper recognition of the personal care needs of dementia suffers aged under 65, and it was excellent to see the strong support support across Dundee City Council tonight, similar to that in Angus Council recently.

I have the upmost respect for Amanda’s work to highlight this hugely important issue.   She has raised the profile of the campaign to improve access to care for people under age 65 who are battling dementia.  Amanda has made her case to the Scottish Parliament petitions committee and to the previous and present Scottish Health Minister.

This is a question of equality, fairness and an end to age discrimination of younger dementia sufferers.   My motion read as follows:
Policy and Resources Committee notes that, currently, legislation enables personal care to be provided free for people in Scotland aged over 65, provided they are assessed as needing it. 
Of the 85,807 dementia sufferers in Scotland, 3,201 are under the age of 65 and therefore not entitled to the help.
Committee commends the campaign by Mrs Amanda Kopel – “Frank’s Law” – to request that Scottish Government extend free personal care to under-65s with dementia.
Committee therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the First Minister requesting her to consider the introduction of a ‘Frank’s Law’ so that free personal care is extended to under-65s with dementia.
Amanda, David & I are pictured below just before tonight's committee meeting:
Also, at Environment Committee, I welcomed new regulations that should assist the City Council tackle wheelie bins left permanently on pavements and also welcomed the proposed new South Road skatepark that will benefit Lochee and the wider area including the West End.

At Housing Commitee, a report was considered on the future of council owned lock-ups, which included the recommendation to demolish the Glenagnes Street ones.    

Residents will recall the survey on their future I helped to promote last year.    The lock-ups have almost half the units unoccupied, are in a poor state of repair and the survey indicated little future demand.   

Tonight, I sought assurances that efforts would be made to find alternatives for existing lock-up tenants and also that the Logie community will be consulted on the future of the site - eg possible parking or other possible uses.