Dundee City Council Budget Briefings Sought

Our quest to try to understand the cuts which were announced by the City Council's Administration on Monday continues. I have written to the Convener of Leisure, Arts and Communities asking for a briefing. My colleague Kevin Keenan has made the statement below.

Labour Group Leader, Councillor Kevin Keenan said, 'I read in the press this morning that answers were not forthcoming from the Administration in relation to detail of their proposed budget cuts. I hope, as I am writing this Press Release, that this has been resolved, as I would not like to think that the Leader of the Administration, Mr Ken Guild, was in any way trying to mislead Councillors and the citizens of Dundee as he and his other colleagues went to great lengths to explain that every detail of these proposals had been looked into and they were well aware of the impact.'

'On Monday evening, I was very disappointed in the Administration as they looked to have been revelling in the thoughts of the cuts that they are proposing. This looked to me to be somewhat irresponsible.'

'Each of the Labour Group's Shadow Spokespersons will write directly to the Conveners of their respective Departments to hold them accountable. We shall be asking for a detailed report, an explanation of each of the bullet points mentioned in the 20+ page document that the SNP issued as their policy for the City's future.'

'We shall be expecting a very detailed explanation and we would be wishing to be re-assured that every aspect of these policies has been fully impact assessed and a full explanation be given as to how they will, at minimum maintain services, in particular Education and Social Work.'

'In Education, over £4.5million worth of cuts on top of John Swinney's proposals that I believe will harm the Education Service in our City and therefore look forward to receiving every re-assurance from Cllr Fordyce, Convener of Education.'

'In Social Work's proposals it mentions a re-design of Adolescent Services, this is a terminology that, to my knowledge, has not been used by Dundee City Council before. Therefore, I wonder what they are trying to hide? We only have to look at the additional funds that have gone into Children's Services from Dundee City Council and its Partners, NHS Tayside and Tayside Police in the aftermath of the very poor HMI(e) Report to wonder how any credible saving can be taken from any area of Social Work. Again, we await the detailed response from Cllr Barrie.'

'The Administration needs to give the citizens of Dundee full details of what these one liners are, as these one liners, in normal circumstances, would be ruled incompetent.'

'We will firstly seek this information from the respective Conveners as it is their political policy that now drives this City. Should be be unhappy, we will take this up directly with the Officers that the Administration will expect to jump through hoops and deliver these cuts on their behalf with so many less of a workforce to make it happen with.'