Monday, April 09, 2012

Dundee's Bright Future

Dundee Liberal Democrats today launch their local election manifesto – “Dundee’s Bright Future” – for the Dundee City Council elections on 3rd May.    The document has detailed policies for all areas of local authority responsibility.

Leading the Dundee Liberal Democrat team of 10 candidates – 2 more than in 2007 – I have pointed out that 2012 sees the largest Liberal Democrat local election campaign in Dundee in a generation.      The more Liberal Democrat candidates, who are elected, the more we will be able to influence decisions of the Council and press for the adoption of our policies.

We pledge to work constructively with others elected to the City Council, and will oppose the ‘political dog-fight’ that has been a feature of much of the city’s local government in the past.

Key Liberal Democrat policies include :

- ACTION ON JOBS – with an enhanced role for the City Council’s Local Economy Monitoring Group in terms of bringing together all relevant organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions/Job Centre Plus, Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and others to tackle long term unemployment in the city and consider how to enhance provision of placements and training.
- AGAINST THE BIOMASS – Liberal Democrats are completely opposed to the Dundee Biomass proposal and call on the SNP government to ensure it does not progress further.   They say that a new City Council administration should seek to overturn the SNP administration’s refusal to support a Public Inquiry into the biomass project.
- AGAINST SECRECY - Abolishing the SNP’s secretive so-called “Changing for the Future” Board and transferring its responsibilities to the publicly accountable Policy and Resources Committee of the City Council that does not meet in secret.
- SCHOOLS NOT COUNCIL OFFICES – The Liberal Democrats say the planned new offices and depots for the Environment Department of the council should be shelved, in favour of increased investment in the seven primary schools targeted for improvements.   This will increase their funding from £250 000 each to £1 million each.
- ABOLISH SNP EDUCATION CUTS -  Liberal Democrats will reverse the SNP cuts to PE and music visiting instructor posts in Dundee primary schools.
- BETTER PLAYPARKS -  The LibDems wish to see a higher standard of maintenance of parks, amenity areas and public open spaces.   They want to see a real improvement in the city’s playparks over the next five years.
- BETTER PARKING - The Liberal Democrats say the SNP administration has failed to progress consultation on possible residents’ parking schemes in parts of Dundee where there is real difficulty for residents getting parked near their home.    They see this consultation as a key early task for the new council administration after 3rd May 2012.    They also believe resource should be directed towards improved parking facilities in Dundee’s council estates.
- ACTION ON EYESORES – The LibDems want action on derelict buildings across Dundee.    There’s concern that empty buildings are an eyesore and a potential danger.  
- BETTER ROADS AND FOOTPATHS - The LibDems say that the roads and pavements in Dundee need a speedier and more effective system of maintenance and repair than exists at the moment.     Additionally, they will support the continuance of funding a programme of upgrading unadopted pavements, looking at increasing its funding as finance allows.   They also wish to see an unadopted roads programme established.
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT IMPROVED – The Liberal Democrats are very critical of the lack of progress by the SNP administration of Demand Responsive Transport and this must be a key priority for the next administration.   This will be best achieved by tendering for a commercial operator to run Dundee’s DRT service.   Meantime, the City Council must improve the frequency of its subsidised bus services (202, 204, 206, 208) and introduce Sunday services.

You can download the manifesto at http://tinyurl.com/dundeelibdems.