In response to my letter to my local Councillors at PKC I have had a phone
call from Cllr Hayton who is deputy leader of the Council.
He has spoken with various councillors and officers and confirms what Liz
Connacher told us that at the present time there is no intention In Perth
Council to implement the license requirement for Free arts events.
He did of course conceded that he couldn’t speak for the Councillors who
might be elected at the May elections. However, his view is that there would
not be change to Licensing in Perth without a full consultation of
interested parties. He did hope that Perth would continue to take a
reasoned and fair approach. He said he is willing to make the issue a
personal election pledge.
This is very re-assuring as far as it goes, but I would urge artists not to
be complacent and make sure that at any opportunity you ask any local
election candidates where they stand on the issue to make sure that any
incoming Councillors are fully aware of its impact if implemented.
If this does get implemented – and Ayrshire Council have reportedly already
declared that they intend to – the effect on all of us will be huge. I
also urge artists in other counties to approach their own Councillors to
make them aware of the situation. The petition set up in Edinburgh reached
11,000 signatures in about 3 days which shows the amount of concern there
is right across all the arts.
Hidden away in the grounds of Murray Royal Hospital is a walled garden. Admission is free and there’s a café where you can enjoy delicious soup made from home-grown vegetables and desserts made from home-grown fruits. You can also buy plants which have been propagated in the garden as well as fruit and veg, and spend a good hour or more admiring the garden itself, which has many secluded areas where you can sit and eat your lunch.
What makes this walled garden all the more interesting is that it is partly run by people with mental ill health – the residents themselves – and is one of the many therapeutic gardening projects in Scotland supported by Trellis. My partner Genie, who works for Trellis, was keen to show me this garden and the perfect opportunity arose last Saturday during the annual open day. The theme this year was, of course, Alice in Wonderland. There was a “find the rabbits” quest for the kids and a hat parade for all the folk that had gone to the trouble of making their own crazy hats, art projects, and much more. We also had great weather.
Visit the Walled Garden at Murray Royal Hospital between 10am and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays. For more information about the charity Trellis, please visit their website, and/or check out the video below.
Yesterday the Encounters with Time PVAF exhibition saw its official opening at Perth Theatre. Phil and I are both exhibiting there so please do pop in if you find yourself in the High Street and let us know what you think. The exhibition is free and you can pick up a free guide at the box office. Here are a few of the photos taken at the opening: