Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Last night, after my ward surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended the first batch of Dundee City Council main committee meetings since the recent council election, at which :
* At Environment Committee, I acknowledged the good start made by the council's relatively new Environment Department and the commitment of its team of staff and questioned progress on achieving effective and efficient use of the council's fleet of vehicles across council departments.
* At the Housing Committee, I queried the level of rent arrears and how the department was tackling this issue.
* And at the Policy and Resources Committee, I queried proposed scrutiny arrangements as part of the proposed single Scottish police force pathfinder arrangements, welcomed the progress made in child protection in the city as evidenced by the recent Care Inspectorate Report, and opposed the decision by SNP and Labour councillors to send two councillors to a social work conference at a cost to the Dundee Council Taxpayer of £399 per delegate, plus travel expenses.
Immediately prior to the recent election, SNP and Labour councillors (along with other parties) opposed this sort of unnecessary expenditure, but last night only myself, the Conservative councillor and the Independent councillor voted against the decision to send councillors to this event. My own view is that, given that the Director of Social Work was attending the event anyway, he could have briefed councillors on the salient issues arising from the event afterwards, without the need for the best part of £1000 being spent on councillors attending.