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:
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.
- 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.
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:
- we are hurting vulnerable individuals at places like Aye Can, Choices, The Cyrenians and the skilled disabled workers at Glencraft
- putting parents through the trauma of not knowing whether their children and young adults can continue to get the best possible education and support through places like Camphill, Linn Moor and Easter Anguston.
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.