Sour grapes leave a bad taste

So we had the referendum that was intended to decide once and for all whether Aberdeen should go ahead with the City Garden project. The result was a majority of more than 4,000 votes in favour of the new city centre park.

So that’s the decision made and the focus should now move to delivering the project to a high standard, on time, within budget? You would think so, but apparently others have different ideas.

City Garden design

Some people are now planning to overturn the will of the people, as expressed through an extremely well-supported public referendum.



Among those planning to flout the majority opinion of the people are the Labour Party. They have declared that they will make the City Garden an election issue for the local government elections in May.

You can see why. The thought of adding some of the 47% who voted against the project to their vote in May, must seem appealing, regardless of what it says about democracy. The incentive for disaffected referendum voters to rally behind Labour is the party’s vow to overturn the referendum decision if they regain control of Aberdeen City Council. The fact that this would fly in the face of the expressed will of the majority seems not to be an issue.

In other corners there are dark mutterings of legal action to confound those who voted for the City Garden.

This raises the spectre of expensive and time-wasting legal battles of the type that have dogged the Aberdeen by-pass in recent months.

As one Aberdonian wearily commented recently “I am fed up of living in ‘Aberdon’t’!

We should take a leaf out of our Victorian predecessors who – in the face of considerable opposition according to records of the time – took bold decisions to build Union Street and develop the Granite City. Without their forward thinking, where would Aberdeen be today?




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