I write this on Wednesday, 30th June 2010, the day when Aberdeen City Council meet to discuss their next steps in the City Square Project. Looking through the document, the first thing that I find striking is that while the Council plan to freeze staff wages they are seeking to – among other things – commit £900,000 for staff on their new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). What’s an SPV ? I hear you ask … do we need to know more than that it was something favoured by that beacon of private enterprise Enron – and they were “the smartest guys in the room“, right?
Now it might be called the City Development Corporation and the word doing the rounds is that it is expected to be given choice civic assets, the Aberdeen Civic Society gives a good rundown on what it involves and they claim in their latest news that the assets involved are :
- Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC)
- Bon Accord Baths
- Chapel Street Car Park
- Denburn Health Centre & Car Park
- Land At Carnie
- Land At Haudagain Roundabout
- St Nicholas House
- Summerhill Education Centre
- Union Terrace Gardens
- Westburn Park and House
I’m beginning to think that the whole city square is just a smokescreen for a land grab that targets prize civic assets many of which have been allowed to run down under successive city administrations.
A new voice
An interesting new development is the emergence of a new weekly e-zine, The Aberdeen Voice which, to quote their first edition is “an independent online news and information source. It promotes Citizen Journalism in Aberdeen and the North East and is not affiliated to any Political Party or the interests of any private company, lobby or third party organisation. Its focus is to give a voice to the general public in the North East and to promote inclusion in affairs affecting the region.“
Do you ever wonder how much money ACSEF, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Wood Group, Trump Organisation etc. etc. spend on advertising in Aberdeen Journals publications ? Does this money influence the editorial stance of these publications in relation to developments like Trumpton or CitySquare ? Points to ponder dear reader, points to ponder.
In my opinion, the emergence of this new voice is to be applauded and I wish them every success.
The act of a civic-minded gentleman ?
I will simply provide a link and let you make up your own mind.
Let me start by stating that contrary to popular misconception, The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention being held in Aberdeen next month is a musical event and NOT a meeting of Donald Trump, Ian Wood, ACSEF, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council.
Saw a nice advert for NAFCo on the frontage of The Cistern House on Union Street today – some excellent fiddlers will be in town – and in addition to all the main gigs there will be some free lunchtime / afternoon gigs at various venues on 14th – 18th July.