Tuesday 25 January 2011

City Council meetings

A very lengthy series of City Council meetings last night (as I write this, just after midnight!) - some four and a half hours - with a lengthy discussion on the proposal by Forth Energy for a biomass plant.  

A report on the biomass proposal was discussed at Policy and Resources Committee in relation to the City Council's response as a statutory consultee.    There were well-argued presentations from the deputations and, after questions, I seconded an amendment by Bailie Derek Scott to oppose the application on the adverse impact on air quality, the impact of the plant on visual amenity and the effect of heavy goods vehicles passing through residential areas to service the facility.    The Council Leader's motion was simply to defer consideration pending more information on air quality.   This was, in my view, an unsatisfactory response, but was narrowly carried.

Also tonight :

* I attempted, at the Housing Committee, to stop the 4.5% council house rent increase the SNP was proposing and replace it with a lower 3.5% increase.   The SNP Convener ruled this out of order because he said this should have been moved at the Policy and Resources Committee earlier in the evening.   However, the housing revenue budget report to Policy and Resources reads : "The setting of rent levels is a matter for the Housing, Dundee Contract Services and Environment Services Committee" and I am making a complaint to the Chief Executive that, as a result, there has been no proper discussion on the rents setting decision.    The bottom line is that the SNP administration has imposed an unreasonable increase in rents that will hit hard-pressed tenants hard.

* I supported a proposal at City Development Committee to support the campaign to back RAF Leuchars and requested that a letter of support for the RAF base to the Secretary of State for Defence be signed by all political group leaders, plus the Lord Provost and Depute Lord Provost.   This was agreed.