Answers demanded on Dundee council centre which remains open a year after decision to close it

Helen Meldrum

A trade union is demanding answers about the proposed closure of a council centre — agreed as part of last year’s budget savings.

A social work base at Claverhouse was earmarked as one of the local authority’s buildings to be closed in a bid to save money.

But the centre — where about 200 people still work — remains open.

Helen Meldrum, regional organiser of the GMB, will be part of a trade union deputation speaking at a meeting of Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee on Monday — and said she will be asking what is happening with the centre.

She said: “We are concerned about the ways the council plans to make almost £15 million of budget savings in the current year.

“This is particularly in light of our concerns that ways proposed to make savings in the last budget have not yet been fulfilled.

“One of the options proposed last year was to close city council buildings and transfer staff to Dundee House.

“The council’s social work centre at Claverhouse was one of these buildings.

“As far as I understand, while some staff have been moved out of the Claverhouse building there are still 200-plus people working from the centre.”

Ms Meldrum added: “This was meant to be a budget saving last year.

“My concern is that we are now only a couple of weeks away from the council’s next budget and supposed cost savings from last year have still not been met.

“This is going to end up as a situation that goes on and on.

“If the council forges ahead with proposals that will change the terms and conditions of council care workers, some of our lowest paid and most vulnerable female workers will be the hardest hit.

“We will be asking the council to look very carefully before making a final decision on what it plans to do.”

Stewart Fairweather, of Unite, said he also hoped to speak at the meeting on Monday.

He added: “Council workers and services have borne the brunt of council budget savings in recent years — this cannot be allowed to continue.”

A council spokeswoman said the Claverhouse centre was still programmed to close as part of its “operational asset management planning”.