Three senior SNP members of Dundee City Council, Liz Fordyce, Jim Barrie and Andy Dawson attended their final Council meeting on Tuesday evening as they are stepping down before May’s election.
Prior to the meeting, the SNP Group held a presentation for the trio with speeches and tributes paid for their endeavours over the years, each being presented with gifts and cards.
Group Leader Ken Guild and colleagues praised the outstanding work of all three who had helped to build the SNP into a strong Administration team to move Dundee forward.
Liz Fordyce, ward member for Maryfield and presently Education Convenor of Dundee City Council, first joined SNP in 1965 on her 21st birthday was elected in 1999 and was appointed Education Convenor in March 2009 when the SNP became the Administration of Dundee City Council.
Speaking of her decision, she said: “I am standing down as a Councillor because I feel the time is right and I am leaving on a positive note.
“I would like to thank the constituents of Baxter Park and Maryfield Wards for allowing me the privilege of serving them, all the Council Officers and in particular those in the Education Department, all the teachers for the sterling work they do, the Schools Music Theatre for brilliant entertainment over the years and my fellow Councillors.
“Since 1999, I have seen many changes in Baxter Park Ward including restoration of Baxter Park and regeneration of Stobswell area – 2001 the Morgan Fire – 2004 highlight was re-opening of Morgan Academy.
“As Education Convener, I have visited every primary and secondary school in Dundee and I have met thousands of very nice pupils: hundreds of inspiring dedicated teachers and support staff.
“I have enjoyed the work and I am confident that I am leaving behind a school estate that is one of the best in Scotland. It does have areas that are poor but this is being addressed with new builds at West End, Whitfield and Balgarthno Road.
“We also have one of the best teacher to pupil ratios in Scotland and since taking over as Convener, I have witnessed attainment improving in our Schools.”
Liz, married for 48 years to Doug, a football referee, has three sons Philip, Christopher and Joseph and a daughter Lisa, also an SNP activist and five grandchildren. Prior to her election, she had been “a weaver, a bookie and a College lecturer.”
Jim Barrie, Convenor of the SNP Group on Dundee City Council and presently serving as Social Work and Health Convenor, was first elected for Logie Ward in a by-election in August 2000 when he ousted Labour. He represented the West End since 2007 and was selected as parliamentary candidate for Dundee West in the General Election of 2010.
Commenting on his decision, Jim said: “As Convenor of the SNP Group and Convenor of Social Work and Health I have enjoyed my 12 years as a Councillor for firstly Logie then the enlarged West End ward, and am sure the City will continue to benefit from an SNP run Council.
“Over the years there have been many successes but in particular I would like to say one of the highlights for me was the opening of Riverside Nature Reserve, something I had strived for over the years and I was delighted that it was during an SNP administration that it finally opened.
“Also, as a former pupil of Harris Academy, the long overdue commitment to rebuild the school, on the Perth Road site, has been accomplished by the SNP, working with our MSP’s and the Scottish Government.
“Harris will be the most modern and state of the art school in the city, along with the nearly finished West End Primary and Nursery School in Blackness Road to replace the outdated Park Place and St.Joseph’s.
“I believe that the SNP has the vision and enthusiasm to continue to move Dundee forward and although I am sad to be leaving, I will continue to be active in my local community and look forward to the West End being represented by Bill Campbell and Vari McDonald.”
Andy Dawson, an SNP veteran and SNP Group Whip who has been involved since the 1970s, is standing down as member for North East Ward.
Andy was first elected in 1999 after taking early retirement from Michelin, he had first become involved in the SNP in the campaigns to elect Gordon Wilson as MP for Dundee East.
Andy, who is married to Helen, has two sons, Will who is SNP Councillor for East End ward and presently Convenor of City Development and Andy (jnr).
Andy said: “I am honoured to have represent the constituents of the North East Ward for 13 years and to take an active part in a number of community organisations in the area.
“I will be sad to step down, which is mainly on doctor’s advice, but I am delighted with the improvements and direction that the Council is taking with the SNP running the Administration.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all my colleagues and my constituents for their support and for putting their faith in me during the past 13 years.”