City Council Rejects Recommendations from Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

At the City Council meeting last night I was pleased to support the motion brought forward by the leader of the Administration, Councillor Ken Guild. His motion instructed the Chief Executive to write to the Minister for Local Government in the Scottish Parliament and urge him to reject proposals to increase Councillor numbers and change ward boundaries in Dundee. These discredited proposals are contained in the report to Scottish Government Ministers from the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.

Here is the statement of support I made to the Council:

"Lord Provost since we last discussed this issue, as we all know, the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has reported to Scottish Government Ministers. Very disappointingly they appear to have completely disregarded the most recent communication from the City Council about retaining the existing number of Councillors and Ward Boundaries in the City.

In fact, it would appear by the date recorded in the Boundary Commissioners' Report that this was in advance of the meeting of the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee when we considered and responded almost immediately to their enquiry to the Council. A significant number of my constituents are aggrieved that their representations, like those of the Council at our last meeting, have been brushed aside.

Clearly however, the decision is now with Ministers in the Scottish Government and by law they are able to adopt, reject or amend the recommendations from the Local Government Boundary Commission as well as instruct the Commission to undertake a local inquiry.

Accordingly, I am supportive of the Motion to communicate to the Minister for Local Government in the Scottish Government in the strongest possible terms that he should reject the recommendations from the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland that apply to our City  and retain the status quo in relation to the number of Elected Members on the Council and the current Ward Boundaries. The huge number of objections from residents in the Ferry Ward especially in the West Ferry sector demonstrate how important community identity in Broughty Ferry is and should be respected."

The motion was supported unanimously. It is good that the Council is now speaking with one voice on this issue.

My constituents in West Ferry who are determined they want to stay in Ward 8 The Ferry should not however assume that the Council's letter will do the trick on its own. I recommend that they also communicate their point of view to the Minister for Local Government and Housing in the Scottish Government, Kevin Stewart MSP, and copy in Shona Robison the MSP for Dundee City East and also a member of the Cabinet. 

Any comments on the report or the recommendations must be submitted to the Kevin Stewart by 7th July, 2016. 

Kevin Stewart MSP
Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Tel: 0300 244 4000

Shona Robison MSP
Constituency Office
8 Old Glamis Road
Phone: 01382 903210