The Labour Group on Dundee City Council are supportive of CoSLA’s call for fair funding for Scottish Local Government and call upon the Westminster and Scottish Governments to make adequate provision within their forthcoming budgets.
I believe that every political group on the Council will be supportive of this call given that CoSLA is a Members organisation made up of members from every political party with the SNP holding the largest political group and therefore has the largest influence within the organisation.
This call is an acknowledgement that they are recognising the financial difficulties facing Local Government.
The services delivered by Councils are vital for our communities and cannot continue to be eroded as they have been over the last 8 years with a real terms budget cut of over 8% at a time where demands on services is growing and continues to grow.
Councils deliver many vital services such as education, children’s services, welfare support, adult social care, youth and criminal justice, sports and culture and housing to name but a few.
Councils must see fair funding if we are to continue to deliver effective front line services.
I have no doubt that people are starting to notice some services already diminishing.
Almost every area within the city in a recent survey mentioned how poorly our streets were cleaned, in particular the amount of dog fouling – an issue that
the council had resolved some years back.
As councillors, we would not have to reflect much further than the surveys carried out within our local communities to see that the cracks are starting to show and people are noticing.
The workforce of the council, over the years, has been particularly badly affected through insecurity, job losses, voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes.
Those remaining loyal employees have also seen a wage cap delivering a cut to their living standards.
Given that Governments from both Westminster and Holyrood have said that cap has now been lifted, they must provide adequate funds as they in turn, have raised workforce expectations, I suspect, way beyond what the current Administration are likely to build in to their budget proposals.
These are just a few reasons why the Labour Group is supportive of CoSLA’s call for fair funding for essential services required for the citizens of Dundee.
Kevin Keenan is the Labour group leader on Dundee City Council
McCready is the Labour group spokesperson on City
Development on Dundee City Council