21 February 2019

Dundee Labour - protecting our future, saving jobs today’

Statement by Kevin Keenan, Leader of the Labour Group on Dundee City Council :

" The Labour Group on Dundee City Council tabled a wide-ranging amendment ahead of the Dundee City Council budget meeting..

"The amendment included major alterations to the proposals that the ruling administration has brought forward.

"Dundee Labour’s amendment would have:

" • halted all education cuts to protect the future of all our children and our city

" • stopped the attack on the terms and conditions of vital council workers

" • put money back into vital third sector services who work with our most vulnerable citizens

" • protected family budgets by freezing charges in our schools

" • created a Caring Dundee Fund to support vital work in social care to protect the elderly and vulnerable and to help stop the scandal of the revolving door at hospitals.

" How Dundee Labour would pay for it:

" • Maintain council reserves at the recent level of £5 million rather than increasing them to £7m

" • Take the full council tax rise available of 4.7% rather than the proposed 3%

" • Remove the second civic car

" • Cancel the second homes discount

" • Remove the funding for Police Scotland activities which should be funded from their £1.2bn annual budget "

On the budget settlement Kevin said:

“This is a truly dreadful SNP budget from a party that has let Dundee down yet again. Labour wants to protect our future and to save jobs today.

“Even the SNP Administration has given up pretending that the budget allocation from their SNP bosses in Edinburgh is anything other than a disaster for the City of Dundee. There is another option locally – the choices Labour is offering.

“The dismal decade of SNP incompetence has left us with a crumbling NHS, a broken train service, teachers balloting for industrial action as attainment plummets, a stagnant economy with soaring poverty and the true abhorrence of child poverty at levels unseen since the days of Thatcher.

“Now the SNP consumes itself in a civil war as the country spirals downwards.”

On education Kevin said:

“Protecting and enhancing education for all our children is the best chance of a better future for our city.

“The test of real leadership is to plant trees knowing that we will not see their fruit.

“To cut our schools and teaching workforce again and again and again as the SNP has done shows they only care about the short-term.

“To cut another 26 teachers from our primary schools is a terrible decision.

“To remove the support in secondary schools that keeps kids on the brink inside our classrooms is a dereliction of duty.

"To do all of this would be to declare in public that any attempt to close the gap between the poorest and the richest kids has been abandoned.

"Remember when we were told that education would be the defining mission of the SNP?

"We knew it was nonsense then, but every day we see the proof of what hollow words those were.

"We would scrap all of the SNP education cuts.”

On jobs Kevin said:

“Dundee currently faces a jobs crisis.

“The tragic closure of Michelin.

“The abandonment of McGill by the SNP - when they are pouring millions into failing businesses across Scotland they refuse to stand a short term loan to a Dundee firm with a massive order book.

“The SNP plan to cut 10% of the NHS Tayside workforce.

“When the time has come to lift us up the SNP have kicked us when we are down.

“For years now the people of Dundee have put trust in the SNP.

“That trust has been betrayed.

“Over recent years the SNP has cut 1400 jobs from our council.

“Good secure jobs.

“Now they are coming for the wages and conditions of the staff that remain.

“They are using the threat of compulsory redundancies to strike fear into staff. It has to stop.”

On presenting a balanced budget Kevin said:

“Labour is completely opposed to nationalist austerity cuts.

“We do not support any of the SNP cuts.

“These are wounds inflicted by the SNP and they are responsible for them.

“For a decade now Dundee has sent SNP MSPs to Holyrood and what they have sent back is cut after cut.

“The choice we face as a Labour Party is to play no part in this dreadful SNP budget or to try and make better choices for the City of Dundee.

“Over recent weeks we have listened to the anger in our communities, spoken to bewildered council workers, heard the despair of teachers in our schools, met with angry trade union colleagues and taken the counsel of clergy and the city at large.

“These cuts are much worse than anyone anticipated.

“The Lord Provost of Dundee Ian Borthwick has called this budget crisis the worst he has seen in over 50 years as a city councillor.

“So our choice is to invest for the future where we can and to protect jobs wherever possible.

“In order to do so we would stop the increase in council reserves.

“There is no point salting away cash for a rainy day.

“This is the rainy day.

“It is the worst our Lord Provost, the longest serving politician in the country, has ever seen.

“The increase in council tax brings a little more money to the budget.

“We know that will be difficult. Hard working people are struggling too.

“But our schools desperately need the resources to ensure we have a better future for everybody.

On the budget process, Kevin said,

“Labour Councillors have met with council officers for detailed discussions.

“We have engaged with the process whole-heartedly and used all of the resources at our disposal.

“We have met with community groups, with trade unions and with service providers.

“I have sat with the Leader of the Administration to discuss his cuts and try to understand why he is putting our city’s future at risk.

“We will be sharing our proposals with all parties ahead of budget day.

“Our proposals have been accepted by legal services and the relevant officers and I hope there will be a constructive debate from all parties on Thursday.”

Our proposals are detailed here, in the narrative we have set out thinking about each proposal.

“In the face of the refusal of the Scottish Parliament to use all of its powers to deliver a better settlement for Dundee, Dundee City Council has to use all of its powers to deliver a fairer budget designed to protect jobs and services.





I now formally move that this Committee:

1 Notes the contents of Report 72-2019 by the Executive Director of Corporate Services, together with the estimates of revenue expenditure for the year from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, as contained in the Provisional 2019-2022 Revenue Budget Volume.

2 Approves the 2019/20 Revenue Budget as detailed in the Budget Volume, subject to the adjustments outlined in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 below.

3 Approves the 2019/20 Review of Charges as detailed in the Review of Charges document totalling £317,000 which is already included in the Budget Volume, subject to the following adjustments:

Children & Families – remove all proposed increases, recognising that many parents already struggle with the cost of the school day and other costs associated with bringing up children such as school meal charges and extended hours in nursery provision. These increases are in-appropriate at this time resulting in a reduction in income for Council Tax purposes of £28,000 and a revised total for Review of Charges of £289,000.

4 Approves the budget savings totalling £5,992,000 as shown in Appendix 1 to this motion.

5 Approves the additional expenditure totalling £83,000 as shown in Appendix 1 to this motion.

6 Approves the calculation of the Council Tax for 2019/20, as detailed in Appendix 2 to this motion.

7 Approves that the 2019/20 Band D Council Tax be increased to £1,339 and the Council Tax for each band be set as follows:-


Children & Families

Delete all savings proposed by the Administration in Children & Families Services recognising the importance of Education to the future of our City and its young people.

Restore School Budgets, access to School Breakfast Clubs as well as retaining the number of instrumental specialists in Schools.

Retain the Kick It Kick Off (KIKO) Service.

Recognise and value the work of support staff in our schools and retain Early Primary & Early Years Assistants, Pupil Support Workers and Education Resource Workers.

Budgets Delegated to Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership

1. u>Budget Allocation 2019/20

The final budget allocation to DHSCP for 2018/19 was £73.7m.

The total provisional budget allocation to DHSCP for 2019/20 is £79.2m, this includes new monies of £3.6m (with further new monies still to be allocated by the Scottish Government for Free Personal Care for Under 65s (Franks Law) and School Counselling).

Also included is £1.8m which is held in central contingencies for pay-award and inflationary increases.

It is proposed to pass over new monies of £3.6m and the further new monies once distributed and monies held in contingencies for pay and inflation and then to reduce the budget by £2.3m giving a 2019/20 budget of £76.9m.

Whilst recognising that the Budget Settlement is inadequate for Dundee, the Labour Group wishes to add £678k over and above the Administration's proposals to Health & Social Care Partnership.

Within the proposed budget we would propose to see an amount targeted at reducing hospital re-admissions and issues around trips and falls in the City.

This would utilise Social Care Workers more efficiently and prevent any proposals for split shifts amongst these essential workers.

City Development

1. Review of Passenger Transport Services (see report 71-2019)

It is proposed to reduce the on-going revenue support to the local bus network and instead develop and expand the provision of in-house transport services for elderly and disabled passengers.

Neighbourhood Services

1 Garden Waste Collection (see report 49-2019)

It is proposed to introduce a charge for garden waste collection service of £10 per bin commencing on 1st March 2020, the feasibility and options of a concessions scheme are to be investigated.

Any charges for garden waste collection should be set at £10 and any money brought in should be utilised working with public transport providers to develop effective transport routes to get workers to their place of work on time and ensure that they are never caught out by the Scottish Government’s proposed tax on work place parking.

2 Contribution to Police Scotland re Community Safety

Given that there is a National Police Service in Scotland, it is inappropriate for Dundee City Council to continue subsidising that service at a time of drastic cuts to Dundee City Council’s Budget

Chief Executive/b>

Recognising the important work of Cultural organisations in our City. Restore proposed cuts to Budgets giving:-

Dundee Heritage Trust (DHT) £57,456

Dundee Science Centre £42,636

Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) £260,570

Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre £360,809

V & A Dundee £350,000

Leisure and Culture Dundee

1. Management Fee 2019/20

It is proposed that LACD should receive an increase in management fee of £50,000 for 2019/20 when compared to the 2018/19 management fee.

An amount of £250,000 is currently held within central contingencies to cover the estimated cost of the 2019 pay award for LACD staff.

In light of the £50,000 increase, savings of £200,000 can now be taken.

Corporate Services

1. Loans Fund Savings (see report 96-2019)

It is proposed to re-profile the repayment of existing loans funs advances to better reflect the consumption of the underlying assets.


1. Annual Surplus

To off-set cuts an additional £150k should be taken from the Construction Surplus.

Corporate Items

Remove Third Party Payments saving of £252,000.

Delete these proposed savings to support the excellent work of many statutory and voluntary organisations in the City assisting in the provision of services to some of the most vulnerable people in our City.

Terms and Conditions - delete Report 86-2019. Dundee City Council should not attempt to bring in major changes to the Terms and Conditions of workers by the back door. Any attempt to change Terms and Conditions needs to be done in consultation with the workforce and their recognised Trade Unions.

1. Dundee House Sale & Leaseback Proposal (see report 95-2019) It is proposed to sell Dundee House to Tayside Pension Fund and then enter into a leaseback agreement, thereby generating a net capital receipt of £2m and a revenue budget saving of £433,000.

2. Lairs Fund

Release of remaining balance of deferred income as existing grounds maintenance budgets are sufficient going forward to provide required cemetery upkeep.

3. Civic Vehicle

Terminate lease of second Civic Car and do not replace.

4. Hospitality Budgets Due to the lack of an adequate Budget settlement remove hospitality budgets across Council Services.

5. Council Tax Discount on Second Homes

Removal of remaining 10% Council Tax discount on second homes.

6. Staff Training

Reduction in budget.


Advertising £5k, Other supplies £2k, TACTRAN £27k, Info systems £5k, Contract car hire – subsidy £0.5k, Equipment & furniture £1k, Other supplies £5k, Printing, stationery et al


Neighbourhood Services

1 Removal of Burial Charges for Children under 18 years old
In June 2018, Policy and Resources Committee agreed that the interment fees for children under the age of 18 be revoked and that there would be no charges other than the cost of purchasing a lair and its associated fees.

It is now proposed to remove lair costs (including headstone inspection fees), compulsory maintenance cost and title costs for children under 18 years old with immediate effect.

Chief Executive

1 Grants to Cultural Organisations

Further recognising the importance of Culture to the future of our City providing additional funding for Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre to enhance their Community Programme serving all the communities of Dundee.

Capital Financing Costs>

1 Revenue to support £500k capital expenditure on roads/pavements

It is proposed to increase the 2019/20 capital budget on roads/pavements by £500,000

* In the face of funding cuts, it is not the time to build up reserves and it is proposed to maintain reserves at a level at which they have been maintained for a number of years.

** In the face of the refusal to use all the powers of the Scottish Parliament to deliver a better settlement for Dundee City Council, the Council has to use all its powers to make up the short-fall in funding for Dundee City Council in order to protect jobs and services.


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