Dundee's New Year Challenge in 2012

6 January 2012

Kevin Keenan, Labour group leader on Dundee City Council, has called on the Council to bring forward " a capital plan with vision and ambition and one that will deliver jobs for the people of Dundee."

Calling this his "New Year Challenge for 2012"

In his statement, Councillor Kennan said,

"I refer to the challenge by Iain McMillan, Director of CBI Scotland to the Scottish Government to focus its "entire energy" on rebuilding the economy.

"I agree with Mr McMillan in that the suppression of public spending is resulting in Scotland coming out of the economic downturn at a slower rate than the rest of the UK.

"Therefore my New Year challenge for 2012 will be directed to the Chief Executive of Dundee City Council.

"I will call upon him to bring forward an affordable capital plan for the City of Dundee - a capital plan with vision and ambition and one that will deliver jobs for the people of Dundee.

"Dundee City Council should set out a plan to improve the infrastructure within the City in preparation for the renewable energy jobs promised by the First Minister as detailed within the Memorandum of Understanding he signed along with the Council Leader, Fort Ports, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish and Southern Energy to bring 700 jobs to Dundee.

"This City should look to develop a not for profit renewable energy co-operative that would deliver long term benefits to the Council Tax payers of Dundee, securing and safeguarding low cost energy for this City's long term future.

"This would send a very strong message to any future investors that we, as a City, are committed to renewables.

"As a City we need to develop further the concept of community schools so we can maximise the use of all of our City's assets as we look to rebuild and refurbish our City's school estate.

"The Dundee Partnership must further grow and expand across all sectors of civic life.

"Partnerships need to be fostered.

Partnership Agreements need to be made with local business so contracts are awarded within the City.

"These business arrangements need to focus on best value for the taxpayer, whilst ensuring that every penny spent is a penny spent in Dundee to safeguard our City's wider economy.

"A small team must be established within the City with membership from a cross-section of people from civic life with a business knowledge.

"This team's remit will be to leaver investment into Dundee and to maximise Dundee's share of any European and housing investment funding.

"However, everyone in Dundee needs to be committed to helping Dundee drive forward in these difficult times.

"Although the Scottish Government is cutting the City's capital allocation over the next two years, the City Council can still borrow funds at very competitive rates via the public works lending board.

"We should not fear spending our monies on ambitious plans that will deliver maximum economic growth and long term benefits to the City.

"A strong business case must be presented to the City for every project, and every project spend must be a spend to save or to grow a strong sustainable economy for Dundee.

"A strong economic framework is vital if businesses are to prosper and deliver the jobs this City needs."

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