Opposition councillors in Dundee have unveiled their alternative budget proposals which they say would improve drug services and “put the city first”.
Councillor Kevin Keenan, who leads the city’s Labour group, claims the SNP administration is “passing on Tory austerity from Westminster” with its plans to cut school crossing patrollers, reduce residual waste collections and examine whether to close the city’s bowling greens.
Labour’s alternative budget would, he said, support 10 new nurse practitioner posts, five apiece for drug issues and mental health, to address the city’s problems in both areas.
Mr Keenan further claims the move to three-weekly collections would only encourage flytipping – with that and plans to increase burial costs across the board by 5% scrapped.
He has also rubbished the administration’s plans to include proposed reforms to special education in the budget when they are, as yet, uncosted.
The Labour leader said: “Our budget proposals make clear that our priorities are education and improving the life chances of every young person in our city along with dealing with the crisis in mental health and drugs.
“We need an administration which will put Dundee first and deliver the policies that Dundee needs rather than meekly do the bidding of their political masters, that is why we are calling for a cross-party campaign to get a fair settlement for Dundee to deliver investment in our communities.”
The SNP’s finance spokesman Willie Sawers last week unveiled a 4.84% council tax hike and £5 million of proposed savings which he says would cover a £7.5m funding gap.
Labour’s full set of proposals, together with the Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups’ plans, will be presented at a special council meeting tomorrow afternoon.