Monday 23 January 2012

Tonight's City Council meetings

Tonight, after my weekly surgeries at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre, I attended City Council committee meetings at which:

* At the Education Committee, I welcomed the recommendation not to progress a 33 period model in Dundee's secondary schools.   I also queried why the council did not have the foresight to build the new Kingspark School  large enough to accommodate the proposed additional four classrooms, now being proposed at a cost of an additional £1.1 million.    Of course, if the school needs the additional rooms, they must be provided, but it is a real pity that a school that opened as recently as August 2010 is already requiring expansion.   It would have been less expensive to build the bigger school in the first place.

* At Policy and Resources Committee, I criticised the waste of public money and loss of accountability in the SNP's centralisation of police and fire services.    I also queried the robustness of land sales estimates in the five year Housing Capital Budget, but recognised the efforts made by the department to scale down likely land receipts in the current financial climate.   For the first time in a very long time, the SNP administration proposed sending no councillors to a conference at a cost to the council tax payer.  My goodness - anyone might have thought there was an election in the air.   The rest of us have opposed such expenditure for years!

* At the Development Management Committee, I spoke in favour of Section 75 agreements to limit Houses in Multiple Occupation.   The report before committee was the latest episode in a long running saga about properties in Larch Street.