Dundee City Council Budget Statement
13 February 2014
The Labour Group will be proposing the following budget amendments, having taken the full level of savings collectively offered by all Opposition Councillors, totalling £401.3k.
This will allow us to make a considerable difference in areas such as Social Work and Education.
Our Education spokesperson, Cllr Laurie Bidwell, states:
“The combined savings we have identified will allow us to amend the budget brought forward by the SNP Administration of the Council.
“I am delighted that we have found a way to stop the removal of the Early Years Practitioners who work in 22 of our Primary Schools in the City.
“These practitioners, many educated to degree level, make an important contribution to pupils learning by, for example, taking reading and maths groups in P1-3 classes.
"I hope that the SNP Administration will accept our amendment at the budget meeting on Thursday afternoon.
"Since the SNP took over the administration of the Council they have removed staff from our Primary Schools year after year.
"In successive budgets they have cut a Deputy Head Teacher from each of our Primary Schools removed the team of visiting teachers of PE from working in all our primary schools and increased class sizes.
"This time I hope they will step back from imposing a damaging further cutback in our Primary Schools which we have shown can be avoided."
Our Social Work Spokesperson, Bailie Helen Wright, has made a strong case for the Council to do what it can to address some of the issues within Social Work.
She is therefore delighted that we will be putting forward proposals which will see no increase in Social Work charges this year.
Although we have had a Council Tax freeze for many years, those paying for services have continued to see substantial increases in charges for services year on year under the SNP.
For at least one year, we will stop these increases in Social Work charges.
This is particularly important considering that many of these individuals will have seen their benefits attacked by the Con/Dem Westminster Government.
In the other areas within the voluntary sector who also deliver social care, we have been able to find the funds which will see damage limitation for 20 of the 26 organisations as we have found the funds to deliver a 2% as opposed to the 3% cut imposed by the SNP Administration.
Again, these are organisations that deliver services to some of the most vulnerable in our City, and the SNP owe these individuals more than the apology they have received from the Chief Executive.
Another area that we hope to support is the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) as we are well aware of the increased footfall they have seen with people looking for advice due to Welfare Reform.
We believe that they are an organisation held in the greatest of respect by the citizens of Dundee and we must be there to support them.