15/09/2016

Commercial Waste Recycling - No Increase in Fly-Tipping

At Monday night's Neighbourhood Services Committee there was a proposal put forward which was designed to make sure that commercial operators do not use the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Riverside and Baldovie.

I support making commercial operators pay the appropriate rate for the disposal of waste.  I had some concerns about the way in which this will be implemented though.

I was very concerned that there appeared to have been little thought about the lay-out of the sitesand about how council employees are empowered to be able to challenge anyone who should not be using the centres.

The council was proposing to use new digital resources and some works to help implement the policy, yet there was no evidence that funding was available for this.  It was suggested in the report that this policy would lead to an increase in income.  I want to see that the council delivers on what officers and the SNP Administration say they can deliver.  So I was pleased to be told that the council will report back in around eight months on its performance against increasing income from commercial waste.

I also want to see more items that otherwise might end up in one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres either reused or recycled.  We must do more to prevent resources which could be re-used being binned.

However my main concern would be that this policy ends up creating an unintended consequence which is a rise in fly-tipping.  I think people who shouldn't be using the Household Recycling Centres at the moment know that they shouldn't be using them.  Business ethics might not be their strong point.  I wonder if it is naive to think that these people will accept that they cannot use these sites and then register as commercial operators and pay to dump their rubbish.  I hope they do but I fear a rise in fly-tipping.  This would would be bad for the environment and the amenity of the city and also bad for the finances of the council.  I received reassurances that this would not be the case but I do worry that this policy is counter-productive.

14/09/2016

Promoting the Living Wage

On Monday evening Dundee City Council agreed to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.  I welcomed the report on Monday evening,  I think that many people thought that the council had signed up to this quite a while ago.  However, it is good that the council will be a fully accredited Living Wage employer.

I have been calling on Dundee City Council to pay the Living Wage since 2010 and I am pleased that we are making progress.

It is good that the council is leading the way on this.  We should value our staff and pay them the real Living Wage. 

The council should also use its financial power to make contractors and sub-contractors pay the Living Wage.  The public sector should not be shy about using its procurement power to ensure that people are treated fairly.  We should be saying clearly that Dundee should be a Living Wage economy.  Whilst I accept that is appears to be a challenge for some firms in Dundee, we should also be saying that people should be valued in their workplace. 

I want to know what the council will do to lead a campaign to make Dundee a Living Wage City.  The Dundee Fairness Commission recommended that Dundee become a Living Wage City.  We need to use the Fairness Commission report as a blueprint for action, it should not be kept secret.  I asked what are Dundee City Council and the Dundee Partnership doing to make this happen?

I am glad to see some progress being made here tonight but it is crucial that the Fairness Commission report doesn’t go the way of so many other worthy reports and collect dust of a shelve.  Tonight is a good start but we need to see sustained efforts to ensure that all of the recommendations of the Fairness Commission are implemented in full.

Getting Scottish Living Wage Accreditation is an important first step but the council must lead a campaign to make Dundee a Living Wage city.

I was pleased to get some reassurances that Dundee City Council and the Dundee Partnership will be leading the way and delivering a Living Wage City.

13/09/2016

Ryehill Police Station

At Tuesday evening's West End Community Council meeting Police Scotland officers reported that Police Scotland intends to consult on closing Ryehill Police Station just off the Perth Road.

I have huge concerns about this proposal.  I think that we need a public facing police station at Ryehill and we have not had that for some time.  I think that local people in the West End want to know that there is a local police presence on the Perth Road.

I am calling for Police Scotland to make clear what their proposals are and also to provide clarity about the consultation process.  I am concerned that we have been told that we are in an informal consultation process.  This is unsatisfactory.  We need to know the detail of the proposal and how the formal consultation will take place.  If this proposal has been put in the public domain then we need to know how to formally respond.

I also want to hear from local people about their views on this proposal to close our local police station.  Please email on richard.mccready@dundeecity.gov.uk with your views.