Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Last meeting of the City Council term

Yesterday saw the last meeting of the City Council take place before next week's council elections.    A number of my colleagues who are not seeking re-election gave their final speeches, including my LibDem colleague and sister in law Cllr Helen Dick, who is standing down as councillor for Strathmartine Ward after nine years, given her ill-health through MS.    

I have huge admiration for how Helen has coped with her illness but continued to be a hugely active councillor for her constituents.     Helen & I are pictured (right) at a visit Nicol Stephen (then Scottish LibDem leader) made with us and colleagues to St John's High School in 2007.   I simply remember this as a very sunny and happy day and I am extremely grateful for Helen's support over her years on Dundee City Council.

Helen gave a moving speech - as did others - including my ward colleague Jim Barrie, who has been a valued colleague over my 11 years on Dundee City Council, and also Lord Provost John Letford.   John has enthusiastically accepted every invitation I have made to attend West End events - he's been to every West End Christmas Week since 2001 - and he has been an excellent Lord Provost.   All retiring colleagues will be missed.

During last night's committees I :

* At Education Committee, expressed disappointment at the loss of visiting PE and music specialist posts.   The SNP administration could have retained these - my own budget proposals and the proposals from Labour and the Conservatives would all have managed to do so.   I feel strongly that a new administration after 3rd May should reinstate these vital posts.

* Sought assurances at Environment Committee over the length of time gas management works at the Riverside Nature Park will take.

* Also sought assurances - at the City Development Committee - that the work to improve Dundee rail station will be completed before the V&A at Dundee opens.