Address to the Scottish Labour Party Conference in Dundee
Kevin Keenan Labour group leader Dundee City Council
2 March 2012
Conference I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all.
Welcome to the City of Dundee, city of many discoveries.
I hope that you will be able to take the time to visit the see the sights and meet the people of Dundee who I am sure will also extend a welcome and a hand of friendship to you.
Here at conference in this city of discovery, I hope that we will be able to share with each other our vision for Scotland.
I look forward to hearing about your manifestos that will deliver the services to suit the needs of your communities - things like the fuel subsidy introduced by Labour in Glasgow making a real difference to those in most need.
I also look forward to talking with Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire council about the scheme that he and his Labour team of North Lanarkshire are delivering giving opportunities for young people - training that will lead to meaningful jobs affording them the best start possible in the workplace.
As the Labour team in Dundee, we will be asking the people of Dundee to support Labour as Labour is the only party that will put local people first.
We will not have to consult with anyone in Edinburgh before making any decision in the best interests of Dundee.
The SNP in Dundee have cut education in every budget since taking over the council.
Last year, they cut £4.2 m with their education convenor saying it will make things better - 99 teachers cut -the equivalent to 2 in every school in Dundee.
Again, this year having made an agreement with their own Goverment to maintain teacher numbers, they looked for the loop-hole and cut teachers again.
Labour in Dundee would be different :
Education is a priority - it's heading for a car crash with exam accreditation not yet in place for the curriculum for excellence (this will affect around 1500 young people in Dundee if the Scottish Goverment get it wrong).
Labour would look to form an energy co-op that would secure energy to meet the future needs of the city - delivering energy for council facilities, and lower energy bills to our citizens.
We also look to stimulate our local economy by using the councils capital spend - spending the money locally to deliver local jobs for local people.
The capital spend will be lower than we would have liked over the next 2 years with the SNP Scottish Goverment taking £220m away from local goverment for their own capital projects - and we all know they have used this to buy steel from China for the Forth Road crossing - this type of procurement adds no value to the Scottish economy.
Any smart thinking patriotic Scots man or woman I hope would agree with me this was a bad decision by the SNP Scottish Goverment that should be putting our people first.
We in Dundee need jobs - it's not good enough for the Scottish worker to continue to stay at home and write CVs.
Like many places in Scotland, Dundee has a skilled workforce that need jobs and the opportunity of employment.
Team Labour in Dundee will find innovative ways to deliver what our city needs - as there will be little help from the UK or the Scottish Goverment.
Conference again welcome to Dundee, and thanks for affording me the time by listening to me and I look forward to listening to you over the weekend.
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