City Council Meeting

10 January 2012

Monday evening saw the first meeting of the year of the City Council and its committees.

My colleague Kevin Keenan raised the widespread concern amongst councillors that the report to the last Education Committee and that it should have been corrected and brought back to committee rather than railroaded through the committee.

The report to the council made no mention of plans to extend Kingspark School, yet since this report was accepted the council has submitted a planning application for an extension to that very school.

The Chief Executive did have the good grace to admit that this was not how this should have happened and that the planning application should not have been submitted without council approval at least in principal that the work should take place.

That's fine and we can assume that it won't happen again but it does rather beg the question; who is in charge?

At the Environment Committee I spoke on a number of items.

Firstly, I spoke on the issue of Camperdown Park.

I welcomed the plans to update the Camperdown Park Development Plan.

I am proud of the work which went on under previous administrations which resulted in the Development Plan and in the development of things such as the new Visitor Centre at the Wildlife Centre.

The picture shows me outside the new Visitor Centre.

I think that it is essential that a long-term sustainable use is found for Camperdown House.

I was delighted to join the crowds visiting the house during this year's Flower and Food Festival and I called for a way of opening up the house to the public to be found.

I think that this could be the final piece in the jigsaw which allows Camperdown Park to remain a really attractive place to visit.
I am delighted that works are to go ahead on the sensory garden and the inclusive play area. The inclusive play area is a great place for children to enjoy a great day out and I think it is fabulous that it is inclusive and that children of all abilities can play together at this excellent facility.

On the issue of recycling I welcomed the moves to improve recycling and I hope that it will be successful.

Dundee has previously been at the forefront of recycling, particularly thanks to the efforts of the late Julie Sturrock, it is important that we continue to aim high with our ambition, and aim towards zero waste for Scotland and for Dundee.

I welcome the plans to extend the number of properties covered by recycling collections and the expansion in the number of Neighbourhood Recycling Points.

It is important that the council facilitates easy recycling for every resident in Dundee and I will be looking for the council to continue to find ways of increasing the reach of its recycling efforts.

I think, if it's not too late, that everyone in Dundee could make a New Year's resolution to increase the amount which they recycle.