Tonight saw the last meeting for this session of the City Council and its various committees. The meeting started with those who have chosen not to come back making their valedictory speeches. I was sorry that my colleague Bailie George Regan was not able to attend, but it is important to remember George's years of service to the people of Dundee and the Labour Party.
My ward colleague Jim Barrie is also standing down, whilst I do not agree with Jim politically it has been good to work with him over the last five years. As a local resident I have always thought that Jim has the best interests of the West End at heart. The SNP candidates to replace him face an uphill task in being as good local candidates as Jim , not least because unlike Jim they are not local residents.
At the Environment Committee I sought a reassurance that constituents are safe from the possibility of gas problems caused by Riverside Landfill site. I was pleased that the officers were able to offer some reassurance on this issue.
I welcome investment in the Howff Graveyard, this is an important historic landmark in the city and it is should be protected.
I spoke about the continuation of the scambusters team. There is a review of the funding arrangements for this important service. I highlighted how constituents had highlighted how they had been impressed by the Scambusters Service. They do a great job helping people be aware scams, there is also a lot of work to be done against loan sharks and even 'legal loan sharks' in my opinion. I was pleased to be given an assurance that this service will be maintained.
At the Policy and Resources Committee I spoke about the proposed new concourse at Dundee Rail Station. I welcome the proposals for the rail station, there is a real need for the investment. I hope that the people of Dundee will get involved in the formal planning process which will be brought forward now. It is important that they make their views known about the design, just as they did for the V & A.
With regard to funding for the project, there is funding gap of £2.2 million. The council hopes to convince Network Rail to close this funding gap. The report states that this is not the type of project that Network Rail usually pays for. As someone who regularly uses the rail network it seems to me that Network Rail has invested elsewhere in places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. Given that Network Rail belongs to the people of the UK I wonder whether we should not have been making a stronger representation on behalf of the city of Dundee to Network Rail demanding that this funding is committed from Network Rail.
It doesn't seem like five years since I was first elected to the City Council; I hope that the people of the West End will re-elect me on May 3rd.