Let's show Aberdeen has a heart

The rally yesterday - albeit organised by the Labour Party - cannot be dismissed as purely a political stunt. It shows the depth of anger in the city about the £27 million cuts and how they will impact on the most vulnerable members of Aberdeen's society. It matters not whether it is Aberdeen City Council who have brought this financial crisis on, or whether it is a desperately unfair system that means Aberdeen gets £320 less per head than any other local authority in Scotland.

All that matters is that we sort this mess out. Today's front page story in the Press and Journal which talks about the Downs Syndrome man sobbing his heart out at the closure of Aye Can, surely underlines in very real terms that these cuts must not happen.

Aberdeen is facing the gravest crisis I can remember. Our councillors, council officials, MSPs and MPs need to be given the message loud and clear. Regardless of party or political persuasion, one way or another, they must sort this out:

  • before our vulnerable citizens are hurt
  • and before our valuable services, like the ice rink, the Bon Accord Baths and, yes, Doonies Farm, close their doors.
It's time for politicians to stop pointing fingers and trying to apportion blame, or score political points. If our politicians are to show true leadership and statesmanship they must pull together and sort out this mess.

Apportioning blame can wait until this is sorted.

Aberdeen is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. We have a gross domestic product per head almost twice that of the UK average. In simple terms, each citizen creates, on average, twice as much wealth as the rest of the UK.

It is frankly ridiculous, therefore, that we find ourselves in a position where:

Let's show Aberdeen has a heart. Tell your councillors, MSPs and MPs that this must not happen in our name.

We elected them to ensure Aberdeen was a better, more competitive, more caring city. Now they must show their mettle in making it work.

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