26/09/2011

City Council Committee Meetings

Monday evening saw meetings of Dundee City Council's Education, City Development, Social Work and Health and Policy and Resources Committees.

The Education Committee discussed proposals for a consultation on proposed changes to the secondary school timetable across the city. The idea is that there should be a common timetable across all of Dundee's schools. These are interesting proposals but, as ever, the devil will be in the detail. I hope that parents, staff and pupils will make their views heard on this important issue. Among the plans would be two different school days, three days on one timetable and two on another. I am concerned that this will create problems for parents. I also raised concerns that if problems can happen in getting public transport to St John's High School, as happens at the moment, will there be effective consultation with public transport providers and the City Development Department to ensure that bus services work with schools after any changes. The Convener seemed to think that this was an outrageous suggestion despite the fact that the Director had included discussing with National Express Dundee and Strathtay Buses in his report. The Catholic Church's representative on the Education Committee was ruled out of order for having the temerity to raise his concerns about public transport to St John's High School and St Paul's Academy. There is some merit in these proposals and it is clear that everyone involved in education in the city should make their views known. It is also incredibly clear that the City Council should be looking at what it can do to deliver an effective bus service for West End pupils attending St John's High School.

At the City Development Committee I was pleased to welcome news that the council is making progress towards building a bridge which will link the West End with the waterfront close to the former Homebase site. This is good news but is still quite some way off in terms delivery.

The City Development Committee also agreed changed priorities in terms of winter maintenance which I discussed last week.