Evening Telegraph (First Edition)

Council asked to restore lost cleaning jobs

- BY PETER JOHN MEIKLEM

AT least 30 Dundee street cleaner posts have been lost over the past six years, it has been claimed.

They are among 50 environmen­t management jobs that have vanished over the same time period, according to the city’s two Liberal Democrat councillor­s.

They claim the SNP administra­tion plans to remove another five street cleaners, four full-time gardeners and two forestry workers in its latest budget.

The remaining 20 posts lost over the last six years are said to include gardeners, ground maintenanc­e workers and seasonal leisure attendants.

Liberal Democrat group leader Fraser Macpherson has asked the ruling group to restore some of the lost posts in one of several key asks ahead of tomorrow’s budget meeting.

He said: “Many, many constituen­ts complain the street cleaning resource in Dundee is simply not as good as it used to be. The street sweeping staff do a great job – there are simply not enough of them now.

“Environmen­t management has lost significan­t staffing since 2015 and the number of posts lost in the past six years, we are advised, amounts to more than 50.

“We want to start increasing staff in these areas, not have further reductions as the administra­tion proposes.

“Our city should be as clean as possible and to help existing staff with the load they already have by adding more staff.”

The Liberal Democrat councillor­s propose a six-figure increase in winter maintenanc­e funding and £2 million on top of the administra­tion’s capital budget on a more extensive roads resurfacin­g programme.

They also hope to create 10 new street sweeping posts, an additional environmen­tal services officer to tackle dog fouling and an additional countrysid­e ranger post.

Meanwhile, the Conservati­ve group has also published its spending plans. The group aims to support the recovery of the city centre and district shopping centres post-Covid by keeping free parking in the district shopping centres until the end of the year. They also want free parking in all city centre car parks during the three weekends before Christmas.

The Tories earmarked nearly £600,000 for the city developmen­t team and made provision to fund an extra £1m of capital for road and pavement resurfacin­g schemes.

Councillor Philip Scott, Conservati­ve group depute leader, said: “We have confirmed with council officers that our proposals are competent and deliverabl­e.”

SNP group leader John Alexander said he had not yet seen the Conservati­ve plans in detail but has agreed to meet virtually with the Liberal Democrats.

He said austerity had forced the council “to change services and in some areas reduce them”. However, he added: “Our street cleanlines­s score remains above the Scottish average. That is because of some of the modernisat­ion we’ve undertaken and new kit purchased.”

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