I am keen that the plans for a new operator at the Baldovie Waste-to-Energy plant succeed. It is important that Dundee City Council finds a long-term solution for the problems faced at the plant and that solution must not be an open-cheque from Dundee's hard-pressed council-taxpayers. Everyone on the council is very keen that this new deal works for the people of Dundee.
There have been a few false dawns at Baldovie in terms of what has happened previously. I would hope that this is a model that would work. It needs to be clear what is expected from the taxpayers and that the new operator won’t be coming back for more on a regular basis, which is effectively what has happened in the past.
Dundee needs to improve its recycling rate and I hope that these plans add to potential for improving recycling rates. I am not opposed to joint working with other councils but I do have some worries that these joint-working relationships often operate with a democratic deficit. It is important that openness and transparency remains a key part of the governance structure. When we are talking about spending public money there should be no question of hiding behind legal structures to restrict openness and transparency.
I am appalled by reports in the Evening Telegraph that there have been extensive thefts of lead from the roof of Camperdown House. It is disgraceful that this theft from Camperdown House has taken place. I hope that whoever did this is caught and I would urge anyone with information about this theft to contact the police.
It is also disgraceful that there is no long-term sustainable use for Camperdown House. I have said before that I think it falls between several stools and what is needed is a concerted effort to get a sustainable, long-term use for Camperdown House. This is an item that has been crying out for action by the City Council for a number of years and I think that now is the time for action. I will be trying to bring all the interested parties together in a meeting to try and get a clear route forward for Camperdown House.