Proposed sale of the Belmont Estate
6 June 2013
Kevin Keenan , Labour group leader on Dundee City Council , has responded to moves that would see the Belmont Estate in Perthshire be put on the market for sale.
The estate was granted to the former Dundee Corporation in 1918 for the common good of its citizens.
Councillor Keenan said ,
“ Whilst I can appreciate the attractiveness of a large capital receipt, especially as the Finance Director, as recently as budget setting time, advised me that this current Administration had the general fund balances at an all time low.
“ I would also have to ask, what next?
“Is the disposal of any of our parks, Caird or Camperdown on the horizon?
“I doubt whether a proposal such as that would be acceptable to anyone in Dundee.
“Considering that Belmont was a gift to this City and should this sale go ahead, I would not wish to see any capital receipt frittered away by plugging any shortfall or gaps in the current capital plan.
“I would therefore appreciate your assistance in wording a Motion to Council that should the sale go ahead, any capital receipt should be re-invested in an asset that will deliver long term financial stability to the common good fund.
“I give the following as examples of what I hope could be achieved.
“We, as a Council, should use these funds to finance the complete or part of a building that would firstly deliver jobs for the City such as a speculative office block within the Waterfront Development or the planned hotel that will form part of the new Railway concourse.
“The office or hotel, whilst remaining a building belonging to the City as an asset, would also see a revenue stream returned from its operators.
“I do have some concerns about the proposal to dispose of Belmont Estate as it looks as if Dundee City Council, is promoting a development within one of our neighbouring authorities that will see their Council Tax base grow and could see Dundee City Council’s own Council Tax base diminish if people choose to move from the City to any new Belmont development.
“I wonder how this fits in with the current SNP Administration’s vision for the City and Dundee City Council’s Economic Development Strategy.
“I believe as a Council, we have invested heavily in areas such as the Western Gateway on infrastructure projects, as yet there has been no return on this level of investment.
“Actively promoting a development in a neighbouring authority will at best delay or perhaps postpone Dundee’s own opportunities.”
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