The leader of Dundee City Council has been slammed by opposition members after hitting out at the state of the streets, despite presiding over cuts to cleaning and maintenance jobs.
John Alexander took to social media last week to blast revellers at Dundee Dance Event after several areas, including Hawkhill, were left strewn with plastic cups and fast food wrappers the following morning.
The Strathmartine councillor spoke out again after interrupting a day out with his family at Camperdown Country Park last weekend to tidy up rubbish left behind by “inconsiderate” litter louts.
Mr Alexander has come in for criticism after remarking on the duty of individuals to “take pride, show respect and make this city the best it can be”.
West End councillor Richard McCready said Mr Alexander’s administration had “stripped its own assets to deal with litter” and criticised job cuts to street cleaning and grounds maintenance.
He said: “I am glad that John Alexander recognises that litter is unacceptable in our city – I agree with him on this.
“Everyone must take responsibility for their own actions and there is no excuse for littering our city.
“We do also have to recognise that Dundee City Council has a role to play.
“After 45 job cuts were pushed through in street cleaning and grounds maintenance, is it really a surprise that litter is becoming a problem?
“All of us have a duty to do what we can to stop litter and to make our city as clean as it can be. Those of us who are councillors have a duty to be aware that our decisions have consequences.”
Mr Alexander hit back at Mr McCready over the job cuts, which council officials confirmed was 26, rather than 45.
And he said he would make “no excuses or apologies for criticising those that show a blatant disregard for their neighbourhoods and their city, or for the decisions we’ve had to make to balance the books”.
He said: “Let’s be clear, people should be held responsible for their own actions and using council resources to pick up other peoples mess is not the best use of public resources, I hope we can all agree.
“I make no excuses or apologies for criticising those that show a blatant disregard for their neighbourhoods and their city or for the decisions we’ve had to make to balance the books, build nine brand new schools, new communities centres, a regional performance centre for sport and 1000 new social homes.
“Unfortunately, as has become par for the course for the Labour Party, they criticise every decision which was made to protect frontline services as a result of continued Tory austerity, but yet they offer no way of paying to reverse it.
“Where was Labour’s budget in Holyrood promising hundreds of millions for councils? I could easily sit in my office typing out press releases but instead, I’m focussing on delivering results in this city, maybe Labour should do the same.
“To date, the reduction in posts is 26. If Councillor McCready and his colleagues spent half as much time doing their research, working with us and focussing on the route cause of our financial pressures – Tory austerity – they’d perhaps gather a bit more respect.
“The public won’t forget Labour’s woeful response to Tory austerity, such as the abstentions during the Welfare Reform and Work Bill or the fact they had no costed alternative budget at Holyrood.
“It must be great to be able to criticise when you have little to no alternatives.”