Kevin Keenan

Labour Group Leader , Dundee City Council

Dundee Is Crying Out for Jobs

25 August 2016

Dundee has had a particularly bad summer in relation to the number of job losses.

Everyone will be well aware of the previous First Ministerís commitment to the City by way of a Memorandum of Understanding that gave a commitment to bring jobs to our City.

I personally feel that Dundee has been let down badly by this commitment not being fulfilled.

I know that we continue to have discussions with the Scottish Government and I wonder if there is some way we can deliver a more binding commitment from them to deliver jobs for Dundee.

For example, it would be very useful to have the Scottish Governmentís firm commitment to deliver their future civil service jobs and give a meaningful commitment to bring North Sea decommissioning work to our City.

Business Rate Incentive Schemes (BRIS) and the Growth Accelerator Models (GAM) would be opportunities to bring economic growth to the City.

However, when I talk with the Economic Development section of the Council, they tell me that there have been occasions where we have lost out on potential call centre jobs because we canít offer the type of modern day office that suits todayís flexible working environment.

Itís time for the City Council to take decisive action.

I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to have Officers look at the business case for us, as a Council, to finance a speculative office development trusting that we can deliver a meaningful, shared commitment between Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government to deliver jobs to the City.

This City needs a massive investment to secure new jobs.

I therefore hope that our Officers are successful in attracting North Sea de-commissioning work as I believe we have the engineering skills in this City to deliver these projects extremely successfully.

There is said to be in excess of £40bn of de-commissioning work currently sitting in the North Sea.

It would be complacent of the Scottish Government if they were to allow this to be towed through Scottish waters and dismantled in Scandinavian countries.

This proposal for office accommodation would also be useful for oil decommissioning as a large proportion of the employees required for de-commissioning will be office based, engineering, planning, risk assessing, environmental protection and health and safety along with the individuals dealing with the logistics and income maximisation from any recovered, recyclable materials.

Although we are a Council that is cash-strapped, there is no better time to be borrowing money as the interest rates via the Public Works Lending Board are at an all time low.

I know that we will have to find the revenue cost but we must get our City working.

I look forward to Officers bringing forward proposals.

Dundee is crying out for jobs and we need to come up with a solution for Dundee.

The icing on the cake would be to tie the Scottish Government into delivering jobs along with us as itís time to move from promises to taking action.

The Scottish Government and the City Council need to support the Portís own investment with some serious Government investment in infrastructure and grant aid to win the work.