Saturday, 8 February 2014
I am pleased to say that I have identified alternative savings that can be made to Dundee City Council’s proposed revenue budget that would to save Early Year Practitioner Posts in Dundee Primary Schools.
My alternative budget savings proposal has been approved by Chief Officers as financially and legally competent and I am now calling for all parties on the council to work together to save these posts that he says provide vital work in Dundee’s primary schools.
The SNP administration has proposed moving these staff to nursery schools in order that the salary costs can be funded from Dundee’s share of the funding Scottish Government is making available to fund extra nursery hours.
The extra hours in nurseries is a good thing and, indeed, my party leader Willie Rennie MSP has been campaigning for this over a long period of time, but it is hugely disappointing that the SNP council administration in Dundee is aiming to provide these hours by taking away a much-valued and needed resource for Primary One children. Why do they think it is acceptable that Primary One pupils in Dundee should lose out?
My proposals will allow for the continuation of Early Years Practitioners in Primary Schools and the increased nursery hours and I urge all parties on the council to work together to achieve that. It can be paid for by taking quite modest savings over a variety of areas including hospitality budgets, some furniture and equipment budgets reductions in subscriptions, a reduction in waste funds, advertising, catering and printing.
I hope there will be cross-party agreement to accept my proposal for the benefit of the young people in the city’s primary schools.