Time for ac­tion on Union Street mess

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FEATURES -

SIR, – At last the P&J gives Union Street’s woes the front page at­ten­tion they de­serve.

Few would dis­agree that the city’s his­toric heart is a mere shadow of its for­mer glory with iconic build­ings in need of clean­ing and re­pair.

Sadly, the Sil­ver City has lost its sparkle, and sad­der still, we are deaf­ened by the si­lence of our elected coun­cil­lors, who ap­pear to be un­able to of­fer any so­lu­tion to this prob­lem, apart from a mas­ter­plan which, if it does de­liver, will not be com­pleted un­til 2025 at the ear­li­est and does not ad­dress the prob­lems Union Street is fac­ing to­day.

We also await the fi­nal plan for Union Ter­race gar­dens af­ter the gen­er­ous of­fer of Sir Ian Wood was re­jected.

For the past 50 years Aberdeen has been the oil cap­i­tal of Europe awash with money, and per­haps the City Coun­cil dur­ing that pe­riod was not as proac­tive as it might have been in putting in place plan­ning schemes that would have taken ad­van­tage of oil in­vest­ment in the years of plenty, thereby se­cur­ing a sus­tain­able, golden fu­ture for the City. But that’s his­tory.

The de­mand for tra­di­tional shop­ping stores are in de­cline na­tion­wide. How­ever, it is not be­yond the abil­ity of de­vel­op­ers and plan­ners to come up with an imag­i­na­tive plan to re-en­er­gise the Union Street area of Aberdeen.

I would sug­gest the es­tab­lish­ment of a “City Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Fo­rum” to ad­vise the coun­cil on such is­sues as the re­de­vel­op­ment of Union Street. This fo­rum would be in the main drawn from lo­cal busi­ness­men and women.

This body would be free from the po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy that some­times neg­a­tively af­fects de­ci­sions taken by po­lit­i­cally elected mem­bers, although any fi­nal de­ci­sions would be taken by the elected coun­cil­lors of the city. John Young, Hol­burn Street Aberdeen

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