Monday, 26 March 2012

City Council meetings

Tonight, following my ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and at Harris Academy, I attended City Council meetings at which :

  • I joined colleagues in thanking both Patricia McIlquham, the council's Depute Chief Executive, and Rory Malone of UNISON, both of whom are soon to retire.
  • I spoke in a debate on Education Committee about Curriculum for Excellence.  The committee report was detailed and well-written and we heard from two very experienced Head Teachers.   The Labour Group put forward an amendment that I could not in all conscience support - the suggestion of offering Intermediate 1 and 2 examinations that Labour suggested is not remotely credible;  opposition for the sake of opposition is not helpful.    The Director of Education gave assurances that any concerns about progress that come from teaching staff, pupils and parents will be listened to and addressed and it is important that this happens.
  • I sought assurances at City Development Committee that, in introducing Enterprise Areas, 'facilitating' the planning process will not mean any loss of rights of objectors to controversial planning applications. I quoted a West End constituent concerned about the proposed Biomass Plant - something that many of us strongly oppose.   All has gone quiet on the Biomass Plant.  Call me a cynic but I think we can safely conclude that the issue will be resurrected immediately after the council elections are out of the way on 3rd May.
  • I also raised the need for 20 mph speed zones in residential areas where there is demand from local residents for this.   There is real demand for safe speed limits in residential areas in the West End for this - Logie, Tullideph, Clovis Duveau Drive, River Crescent, the Hillside area and the Perth Road lanes are some examples in the West End where residents have indicated to me that they would welcome such an initiative.