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Dundee Labour News Digest Week ending 23rd. February 2013

Kevin Keenan Labour group leader, Dundee City Council

Dundee unemployment rises : Job Seekers Allowance claimant rate remains highest of the Scottish cities. 21 February 2013

Unemployment in Dundee as measured by the claimant rate rose last month to 5,604 (5.8 %) , according to official figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

Dundee's rate remains the highest of the Scottish cities. Commenting on the figures, Councillor Kevin Keenan, Labour group leader on Dundee City Council, said, “These figures quite clearly demonstrate the need to raise the level of employment in Dundee to the same level as more prosperous areas of Scotland through government action. “The UK chancellor made £360m funds available to the Scottish Government for capital projects within his autumn statement. "He will be making his next statement in March before the Scottish Government get this fund distributed. "This is too slow. "Dundee and its people should be a priority for the Scottish Government. "We need additional support and real jobs, not worthless memorandums of understanding. "The first minister’s signature needs to be used to approve funding for Dundee. “We need to restore our local economy to raise the standard of living in our city “Dundee should be playing a very important role in the overall Scottish economy. “However our city can only do so if both Scottish and UK governments regard the creation of jobs here as a priority, not an option. “

Figures for January 2013

Dundee overall by area of Dundee Adler Balgay Balgillo Balgowan Barnhill Baxter Park Bowbridge Brackens Broughty Ferry Camperdown Claverhouse Craigiebank Douglas East Port Fairmuir Hilltown Law Lochee East Lochee West Logie Longhaugh Ninewells Pitkerro Riverside Stobswell Strathmartine Tay Bridges West Ferry Whitfield

number 5,604 174 124 70 246 48 181 226 189 73 295 158 117 296 274 215 302 222 186 305 166 300 196 367 48 350 109 178 25 164

% male % female % rate rate rate 5.8 8.8 3.1 7.8 3.9 1.7 7 1.6 5.5 7.5 5.2 2.4 9 5 5 8.9 8.2 7.6 8.1 6.2 6.9 11.5 5.3 8.1 5.9 10.5 1.3 11.6 3.5 3.3 0.9 6.9

12.4 5.9 2.4 10.1 2.5 8 10.8 8.1 3.4 13.5 7.8 6.7 14 11.8 12.1 12.1 9.5 11.1 18.9 7.5 12.6 8.9 15.2 1.8 17.6 5.2 4.9 1.5 10.9

3.5 2.1 1 4.4 0.8 3.1 3.9 2.7 1.4 5 2.4 3.4 4.5 4.5 3.4 4.3 2.9 2.5 4.9 3.5 4.3 3.3 6.4 0.9 5.8 2 1.7 0.3 3.1

Web link : Kevin Keenan

Jenny Marra MSP Motion on the Launch of Barnardo’s Scotland’s Growing Up Project in Dundee 21 February 2013

The text of the motion tabled by Jenny reads : Launch of Barnardo’s Scotland’s Growing Up Project in Dundee That the Parliament welcomes the launch of Barnardo’s Scotland’s Growing Up project in Dundee; notes that this new project provides horticultural training for young people with learning difficulties in Dundee; recognises the difficulties often faced by young people with learning difficulties in entering the labour market; congratulates the Dundee Growing Up project on seeking to address this problem by equipping people aged between 18 and 25 with learning difficulties with horticulturespecific skills to help them overcome these barriers; understands that, through this project, young people will be given the opportunity to achieve an industry qualification in horticulture as well as valuable work experience; commends the involvement of

Trellis, the horticultural therapy charity, and its commitment to promoting gardening as a way to better individual wellbeing; recognises the contribution of the Big Lottery Fund and the support of Dobbies Garden World Dundee in the implementation of this project; celebrates the commitment of the young people participating in the project; acknowledges what it considers the invaluable work of the project volunteers and support staff, and believes that this programme and other such employability programmes for young people with learning disabilities will help provide these young people with the kind of life chances and opportunities that will see them thrive.

Web link : Jenny Marra MSP :

Councillor Lesley Brennan The End Child Poverty campaign 23 February 2013

The “We are the 99 per cent� movement has already focused our attention on the 1-99 divide of the wealth in society This month, children who live in poverty in Scotland are in focus as terrible, obstinately high numbers show how many of them are disadvantaged, revealed by the End Child Poverty campaign (link ) This is not about absolute poverty where there is no money. The poverty we are discussing here is relative poverty where the family is so impoverished that its resources are well below those needed to participate fully in everyday life.

And that includes the working poor. Many of these people who are struggling just to get by are people who are in work. The previous Labour government had made progress in reducing levels of child poverty, taking 1 million of out of poverty. In contrast, changes by the Tory-led UK Government to the welfare system as from April will reverse that progress to the extent that the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimate that the number of children in poverty will increase by some 400,000 over this current UK parliamentary term. The Tories are seeking to divert attention from the harsh effect of their unfair welfare cuts by searching for re-definitions of poverty, away from an income-based definition to include issues such as family breakdown, drug addiction and education results. Child Poverty Action Group offer more direct routes to reducing child poverty than new ways of measuring it . They call for the building of more affordable homes and reducing childcare costs as essential elements in tackling child poverty. Returning to an overview of daily life well away from the closed circle of the 1 per cent in 1-99 divide, poverty hurts. Poverty lowers the prospect of employment opportunities, healthy lifestyles, good educational qualifications and life expectancy.

Poverty is expensive, costing the wider UK society at least ÂŁ25 billion a year, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. ( link ) Poverty is the agony of parents trying to ensure that their children do not miss out on holidays, special occasions and community events. A caring society has as its first concern the ending of child poverty. The best way out of poverty for these children is a good well-paid job for their parents. End Child Poverty data Dundee figures for each council ward > UK figures by council > UK Poverty Map

Web link : Lesley Brennan :

Councillor Laurie Bidwell Education Department Got Their Maths Wrong Counting up 30 Consultation Days 20 February 2013

Earlier this month the Director of Education advised Councillors that the official date for the end of the formal consultation on the proposals for new schools in Menzieshill and Coldside had been extended. It is clear that the original date that had been notified in letters last month had been miscalculated. Apparently staff had not taken account of the closure days for the half term holiday and Continuous Professional Development

days when calculating the exact minimum period for the legally defined period of consultation. Getting the maths wrong on a simple calculation is an embarrassing mistake for the Education Department to make. "The Director of Education's separate letter for each of the three clusters of schools very formally reads: 'Addendum Please note that the closing date for the consultation period is Thursday 14 March 2013. This will ensure full compliance with the 30 day term period in line with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.' This is also an expensive mistake. To comply with government regulations, I understand that every parent and carer in each of the schools affected will have had to have been written to again by letter. As a second class tamp costs 50p this will cost hundreds of pounds. This is a most unwelcome waste of cash from the budget for schools which should have been avoided. Finally, given that the letter had to be sent out, I think the space left on the page could have been usefully used to remind parents and carers and others consulted that they had more time to send in their views to the Education Department and how to do this.

Clarity in communication should be the hallmark of letters and reports from the Education Department and these letters are not a good example. Clearly the Education Department's Report Card should read, 'must do better'.

Web link : Laurie Bidwell

Dundee Labour  

Articles for the week ending 23/02/13

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