Kevin Keenan

Labour Group Leader , Dundee City Council

Tay Cities Deal

8 February 2017

I welcome the launch of the Tay Cities Deal.

It is something that the Labour Group has been pushing for, for a number of years now, given that we made the approach to the former Chief Executive when Glasgow’s bid was in its infancy.

The Leader of Glasgow Council had realised the benefits, having witnessed for himself what the Cities Deal had delivered in Manchester.

The Nationalist Government were less than supportive originally, given that at that time, they were building their case for Scotland to separate from the UK.

Dundee’s Cities Deal Bid is to be submitted and I am pleased that the City has reached this stage submitting a bid to work in Partnership with the UK Government and the Scottish Government to bring economic growth to this area.

Given that Scotland was a net beneficiary as part of the European Union and that we now have BREXIT looming, there is a big financial gap to be filled, along with the economic uncertainty, topped with Scotland’s poor economic growth compared to the rest of the UK, this Tay Cities Deal is, in my opinion, what Dundee needs to boost its economy and deliver for the City and deliver jobs for its people.

No doubt there will be risks.

However, I look forward to jobs being delivered in particular areas such as the Oil Industry Decommissioning.

I would also like to see a strong commitment from the Scottish Government as part of the Cities Deal Partnership to deliver their new Benefits Agency to Dundee and the jobs that go along with it.

The potential for our economy to grow through this Partnership is an opportunity that we cannot miss out on.

I would have, of course, liked to have seen more openness and transparency in relation to the bid, however, I do appreciate that the Bid is moving forward.

Dundee should never have been at the back of the queue, let’s hope it’s last but not least when it comes to the financial support.