Dundee was for many years in the doldrums and there were many reasons for that. Most of the years of Dundee’s decline were presided over by Labour administrations and Dundee was blighted by a militancy unlike most Cities of Scotland, and you only need to look at the Ford debacle to understand what I am saying.
There is at present, a controversy raging regarding the lack of local labour used on the project. The work on the V and A was no doubt put out to tender and I am sure Dundee companies were able, and in fact did, tender for the work. It is a large project and by the looks of it quite specialised work.
When the contract was awarded, I am sure it would have been done on a cost and ability basis. The contractor would have then looked at the manning options. Now I am sure one of the considerations would have been continuity of work and perhaps the labour history of Dundee would have been taken into consideration. In other words, Dundee’s history of militancy has come back to bite it.
So perhaps, in the apportioning of blame for the possible lack of Dundee local labour being used on this project. One might want to look at the legacy of militant left wing short sightedness.
Now yes indeed there is an upsurge in the building of hotels etc in Dundee and the reason for this is in part the very project under discussion here, The V and A. I would imagine the people building these hotels are in the main using local labour. Now these hotels being part of very large companies will not just service the upsurge in visitors here to view the V and A but will also service the results of the efficient marketing infrastructure that these hotel chains will have.
I made the same arguments many years ago when there was a hotel development envisaged along riverside drive near the university sports grounds. Unfortunately, at that time the West end community council were against this project on the basis of “not on my doorstep” and at that time we had an anti-business Labour council who were ready to agree with this argument.
I have been a critic of the SNP administration in the past and to be honest I do not have a lot of faith in many of their councillor’s abilities, but I do see the need to apportion responsibility fairly and I see the V and A project as necessary to the regeneration of Dundee’s commercial future. The operation and administration of the council’s responsibilities in the costing and commissioning of the project could be another issue, but one thing is certain and that is the V and A will immensely assist in the regeneration of the city centre and that is sorely needed.
Local council elections are in the offing and the V and A project will figure prominently, I would expect, in the campaigning leading up to these elections. If candidates in these elections hope to make headway I would advise a half way rout between hard right and far left.
Dundee has had its share of the far left and it did not work, literally, so time for a change. Let’s see a good honest debate on the future of this wonderful City.
Let’s make it work for a change