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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

I was really concerned to read the recent report of the Commission on Social Mobility.

The report highlighted that unfortunately Dundee still lags behind in terms of the life chances of the young people in our city.

There are still huge discrepancies between the educational performance of the poorest and the most well-off in our city for example.

This report should be a wake-up call to all of us in Dundee.

A lot of good work has been done, for example, in the Fairness Commission, but it is clear that we need to do much more.

We must make Dundee a real Living Wage City.

That means that we should be saying that companies will not get any public contracts unless they pay the Living Wage including to sub-contractors.

Dundee City Council should be leading a city-wide campaign to make all employers Living Wage employers.

The education statistics are very concerning.

We should be doing all that we can to even up the playing field, so that every child in Dundee has the right to achieve their potential.

Far too often the life chances of young people in our city are determined at a very early age; this is unacceptable.

All of us in the city should want the very best for every child in the city.

I accept that many of these problems have been around for a long time but we cannot allow this situation to continue.

Policy should be directed at improving the life chances of every young person in Dundee.

Every child in Dundee should have the ability to reach their potential.

When it comes to the council's budget I hope that every elected member will reflect on these statistics.

Collectively every party represented on the City Council has failed some of the young people of Dundee.

We should remember that when the council makes cuts it has a real impact on the lives of real people.

The young people of Dundee deserve the best chance in life the council should work together to make sure that we are investing in education, especially in early years, to make a real difference to the life chances of every young person in Dundee.

 

 Richard McCready is the Labour group spokesperson on City Development on Dundee City Council
 

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