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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Melville

Delivering for Monifieth and Sidlaw

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

Since my election in May 2022, I have been working hard with my colleagues to implement changes to how the Council operates - with the modernisation of civic posts, stabilisation of the Council's finances (in tough economic times), and re-training our priorities to fit the challenges we face now and in the future.

While working with my colleagues for the betterment of people across Angus (see scrapping of off-street car parking charges as just one example) - I have also been focused on keeping the promises we made to you during the election campaign. Below is a leaflet which went through every door in Monifieth and Sidlaw in the run up to May 5th 2022.

Leaflet from the 2022 Local Election Campaign for the Monifieth and Sidlaw Ward. The leaflet features five key pledges, which are addressed below.

I want to take a moment to assess how we are delivering on these promises, just over a year into office.

1. Transferring more decision-making to local communities, including expansion of participatory budgeting

The SNP Administration believes passionately in ensuring the people of Angus have a say on important local matters.

Our Climate Conversations enable people right across Angus to feed into our approach to tackling climate change. As Youth Engagement and Opportunities Spokesperson, I am working to embed meaningful engagement and empowerment into key aspects of the Council; including working with the Planning and Education Teams. Work is ongoing on the next round of participatory budgeting for Angus, which remains a key priority for me.

2. Prioritising the provision of good-quality, affordable housing; increasing the level of building, refurbishment and repairs

A warm, secure home is a right for every citizen - and in these tough economic times we are working to increase housing availability across Angus.

Our Local Housing Plan 2023-2028, steered through by Housing Spokesperson Cllr Kenny Braes, sets out what we will be able to do in the inflation whirlwind facing every Council, and individual, in the country. We will work with housing associations to deliver the new-build affordable housing supply target (76 units per annum) with 64 of those units for social rent. We are also focused on reducing the number of empty homes across Angus; through exploring compulsory purchase orders, and working with owners to bring these properties back into use. You can read the LHP 2023-2028 here.

I was pleased that, as part of our 2023/24 Budget, the SNP-led Administration will be examining increasing Council tax on long-term empty and second homes. I voted to endorse Angus Council's response to the Scottish Government's consultation on these measures. This response encouraged the Scottish Government to implement proportionate measures which enable us to free up housing stock - and raise additional revenue for the Council.

3. Improving and re-imagining our public transport, extending our active travel routes and maintaining our roads

We are taking action to improve our infrastructure, including public transport.

We are investing £37,000 in piloting a new, demand-led public transport solution in some of the rural communities of Sidlaw. This will replace the existing 137, 138 and 139 bus services in September 2023. The aim of this pilot is to provide communities with a more flexible service, which better meets their needs. A consultation has been undertaken with regard to this, and further details of this scheme will be published soon. I have engaged directly with Officers to ensure that communities will be well-served by this pilot; and have also attended engagement events. We will learn lessons from this new approach, and I am confident it can help inform our strategy for public transport going forward.

Active travel remains a key focus for me; and I was happy that Monifieth and Sidlaw's allocation for active travel totalled £229,000 in the 2022/23 financial year alone. This has enabled key projects like the Kellas - Murroes Primary School path to progress.

I am very aware that roads are a key issue for many constituents. As part of our 2023/24 Budget, we invested an additional £1 million in capital spend on roads, to ensure we continue to improve roads across Angus. Since my election, I have been pro-active in reporting potholes, and alerting officers to where more work needs to be done.

4. Delivering the new Monifieth High School Campus on time and on budget, with modern, accessible facilities for our whole ward

As a former pupil of Monifieth High School, I know first-hand how necessary a new school building is - for pupils, staff and the community.

Since my election, I have been a vocal proponent of this project, speaking in favour of it at every stage. I am delighted, therefore, that we are delivering it. The £66.5 million investment is the largest in the history of the Council; and will provide a Passivhaus standard building, with a larger capacity, and modern sports and learning facilities. It is our ambition that the community will have access to these facilities, and we are working hard to ensure this is the case.

I was honoured to attend the commencement of construction of the new Learning Campus at the end of June 2023, alongside Council Leader and local Councillor Beth Whiteside, and Convener of Children and Learning, Councillor Lynne Devine.

5. Securing the long-term future of Monifieth Library, improving our parks and supporting new community spaces

Libraries are a key facility in every community. We have approved the siting of the new library within the Monifieth Community Hub. This will provide a secure, long-term home for the library and enable residents of Monifieth to continue accessing its facilities. We have also allocated over £420,000 to the new Monifieth Community Hub, and legally committed to its construction. This will be transformational for Monifieth, and is yet another example of the positive development of the town.

We have used Scottish Government funding to improve play parks across Angus, and we will ensure whatever funding comes to us for this purpose is properly utilised. The Council's Parks Team also continues to work hard to improve our parks - and residents with suggestions or issues regarding parks should contact me.


Building a fairer, greener Angus

I am working hard with my colleagues to take Angus forward.

You can see more of my, and the SNP-led Administration's record here.

You can keep up to date with my work by following my social media.


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