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scott.wright

Union Terrace Gardens

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So...

Aberdeen City Councillors voted 20-17 for the City Square scheme, with 12 abstentions.

Hopefully now the people of Aberdeen can do to Ian Wood, his square, and the councillors who voted for it what they did to PVA. Use any means necessary to keep the bulldozers at bay until the next election, and don't vote for any candidate who doesn't make a solemn promise to cancel the scheme.

That's my plan. Can anyone think of a better one?

works for me Dave

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I genuinely felt really hurt when the psts were coming up on Facebook earlier. I'm still in there ranting as I can't get my head around the sense of betrayal. I know my rhetoric is somewhat romantic by I am gobsmacked that this is even being considered and that culture in Aberdeen is denied 4.5 million therefore shouting even more loudly that we really done care about the arts up here.

I'm for a protest gig!

Let the fuckers know how you feel WriteToThem - Email or fax your Councillor, MP, MEP, MSP or Welsh, NI, London Assembly Member for free

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My preferred option is that they rip up the gardens and begin pouring concrete in and then run out of money almost immediately. We can keep it as a testament to human folly. It'll be ace.

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How did Tv Tanned vote? I want to rep him accordingly.

Fucking disgraceful decision. I dunno why I always keep on hoping that politicians will do the right thing instead of grabbing the cash, it inevitably leads to disappointment.

I voted to go to the design comp.

I'm not anti-Peacock, and if the vote had gone the other way I would not have been distraught, in fact I would have worked to help deliver it.

I took the decision that the CSP proposals were more likely to deliver long term benefit to the region.

However, I realise nobody will care, so I will take my leave of this place so you can all hurl abuse at me to your hearts content.

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I genuinely felt really hurt when the psts were coming up on Facebook earlier. I'm still in there ranting as I can't get my head around the sense of betrayal. I know my rhetoric is somewhat romantic by I am gobsmacked that this is even being considered and that culture in Aberdeen is denied 4.5 million therefore shouting even more loudly that we really done care about the arts up here.

I'm for a protest gig!

Let the fuckers know how you feel WriteToThem - Email or fax your Councillor, MP, MEP, MSP or Welsh, NI, London Assembly Member for free

I've never been a fan of the council for various reasons, but this more than anything just made me feel genuinely sickened. Anyone who knows anything at all about what's being going on can see what an obscenely stupid, crass, and blatantly immoral decision this is. And that just makes it worse, because we know that these councillors must surely know how stupid it is, but did it anyway. We need to know why they voted the way they did. There are 20 people in this city who should be thoroughly ashamed tonight.

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I voted to go to the design comp.

I'm not anti-Peacock, and if the vote had gone the other way I would not have been distraught, in fact I would have worked to help deliver it.

I took the decision that the CSP proposals were more likely to deliver long term benefit to the region.

However, I realise nobody will care, so I will take my leave of this place so you can all hurl abuse at me to your hearts content.

Well, I'm not going to be personally abusive, and I will moderate this site as always against any personal abuse. But I just can't believe that you genuinely felt that the CSP is a good idea. Can you confirm that you really do, and can you explain why?

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I voted to go to the design comp.

I'm not anti-Peacock, and if the vote had gone the other way I would not have been distraught, in fact I would have worked to help deliver it.

I took the decision that the CSP proposals were more likely to deliver long term benefit to the region.

However, I realise nobody will care, so I will take my leave of this place so you can all hurl abuse at me to your hearts content.

Is this for real?o_O

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I voted to go to the design comp.

I'm not anti-Peacock, and if the vote had gone the other way I would not have been distraught, in fact I would have worked to help deliver it.

I took the decision that the CSP proposals were more likely to deliver long term benefit to the region.

However, I realise nobody will care, so I will take my leave of this place so you can all hurl abuse at me to your hearts content.

Can you answer how you feel long term economic benefit will come of a plan (my bad, there is no plan just a very rough guesstimate of what could be) that could cause economic chaos in itself? This is the infuriating unfounded nonsene that has been trundled out by Tom Smith since day one. Yet not one piece of factual evidence to back it up just spin that the council have clearly fallen for. Suckered and misled by money and folly promise. Be ashamed be very ashamed! A disgrace

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Well, I'm not going to be personally abusive, and I will moderate this site as always against any personal abuse. But I just can't believe that you genuinely felt that the CSP is a good idea. Can you confirm that you really do, and can you explain why?

Yes I can confirm that I do.

I have never considered UTG to be the green utopia that many people seem to believe it to be. I have spent time there, and the grass area is starved of sunlight for large amounts of time, the trees (which were initially planted to prevent large sections of the gardens from sliding into the Denburn valley|) have in many cases become unwieldy, and a number have grown without being planned.

The balustrades are getting to the stage of being dangerously unsafe, and whatever option was selected there would have been a need for expenditure in this area.

I simply disagree with the argument that, somehow, big business is profiteering. There is no plan for retail development within the proposals, and the revised vision post-consultation is for at least 2.5 acres of greenspace. The topography of the area rules out any prospect of a flat square.

The fact that the site has always had the provision of an arts centre is, for me, a further plus. I am afraid that the comments earlier on in the thread which insinuated that the Peacock development was ready to cut turf were not accurate. Peacock, even if they had been given the go-ahead, had still to find 4.3million (the conditions which the council were placing on the progression of the scheme to design competition stated that Peacock should receive 8.2million from the development) and there was still a need to negotiate a lease for the site and provide a business plan. Planning permission can be obtained by anybody for any site anywhere.

As I said, I am not intrinsically or diametrically opposed to Peacock, or indeed the concept of a contemporary arts centre, but I felt on balance that there was a bigger opportunity for economic development presented by taking the concept of the city square (which, frankly, is a misleading title as far as I am concerned because it won't be a flat square, but there's been plenty of mistakes made which, with hindisight, ought to have been handled differently) to the next stage.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the last step in the process, and it may well be that the design comp fails to produce anything, but in my opinion to say no to the project at the concept stage would have been an error.

I abhor the notion that politics and politicians should always be driven by short-termism on the basis that if you take an unpopular decision which you perceive to have long term benefits you will be turfed out, so instead you take a decision which benefits you personally or politically in the short term, but does nothing to benefit the city in the long term.

The reason the city has found itself in so much difficulty in recent times is because there has been too much short-termism and not enough long term planning.

So, if folk on here get there wish, and I end up on the dole queue in 2012, then so be it, that's democracy.

I could not, however, in all honesty say that I would have been voting for the benefit of the city if I had taken a decision which would have been designed to benefit me politically in the short term.

Them's the breaks. I mailed Neil after reading some of the remarks on here to ask for my account to be deleted. I thought that I could continue to have interests and pursuits outside of the council but it's fairly clear that my vote on this will pretty much signal that I'm no longer welcome on here, so I think it's better if I exit stage left and let y'all get on with things.

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I mailed Neil after reading some of the remarks on here to ask for my account to be deleted. I thought that I could continue to have interests and pursuits outside of the council but it's fairly clear that my vote on this will pretty much signal that I'm no longer welcome on here, so I think it's better if I exit stage left and let y'all get on with things.

What remarks? Don't do that.

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Yes I can confirm that I do.

Then I genuinely commend you for at least having the guts to come on here to explain. I suspect some of your colleagues may not be as forthcoming.

I have never considered UTG to be the green utopia that many people seem to believe it to be. I have spent time there, and the grass area is starved of sunlight for large amounts of time, the trees (which were initially planted to prevent large sections of the gardens from sliding into the Denburn valley|) have in many cases become unwieldy, and a number have grown without being planned.

The balustrades are getting to the stage of being dangerously unsafe, and whatever option was selected there would have been a need for expenditure in this area.

There has been a need for expenditure in the gardens since they were formed. As there would be for any such feature, they don't look after themselves. That's the council's job. And it has not been a problem until the last few years. I'm sorry, but "a number (of trees) have grown without being planned"? The bastards...Years of neglect are not a valid justification for destruction. If someone trashes their council house, do they get extra points for a move to another one?
I simply disagree with the argument that, somehow, big business is profiteering.

No-one is saying that big business per se equals profiteering...

There is no plan for retail development within the proposals, and the revised vision post-consultation is for at least 2.5 acres of greenspace. The topography of the area rules out any prospect of a flat square.

Please tell me you don't actually believe that this plan is all about recreating the gardens, but a bit higher up...

Aside from the fact that you can't get trees to grow on a platform not actually directly connected to the ground, this plan was always about what goes underneath, not on top of the 'square'. You may not call it 'retail', but it is 'commercial'. This is to make money, (quote) "not to spruce up the city centre"

The fact that the site has always had the provision of an arts centre

Check the history of the plans, it has not.

is, for me, a further plus. I am afraid that the comments earlier on in the thread which insinuated that the Peacock development was ready to cut turf were not accurate. Peacock, even if they had been given the go-ahead, had still to find 4.3million (the conditions which the council were placing on the progression of the scheme to design competition stated that Peacock should receive 8.2million from the development) and there was still a need to negotiate a lease for the site and provide a business plan. Planning permission can be obtained by anybody for any site anywhere.

You know that the Peacock plan would have gone ahead. Yes, you do.

As I said, I am not intrinsically or diametrically opposed to Peacock, or indeed the concept of a contemporary arts centre, but I felt on balance that there was a bigger opportunity for economic development presented by taking the concept of the city square (which, frankly, is a misleading title as far as I am concerned because it won't be a flat square, but there's been plenty of mistakes made which, with hindisight, ought to have been handled differently) to the next stage.

You really have to explain to us, as no-one has managed yet, how this plan will bring any economic benefit at all. "Hey Mr Jobs, why don't we build our new headquarters in Aberdeen Scaatland? They have a square!!!" Tomintoul has a square.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the last step in the process, and it may well be that the design comp fails to produce anything
Do you not think this was always the intention? The design comp could not possibly produce anything within the current parameters. But it will stop Peacock, therefore leaving the door open for Surrian once he's thought of what he really wants.
, but in my opinion to say no to the project at the concept stage would have been an error.

I abhor the notion that politics and politicians should always be driven by short-termism on the basis that if you take an unpopular decision which you perceive to have long term benefits you will be turfed out, so instead you take a decision which benefits you personally or politically in the short term, but does nothing to benefit the city in the long term.

The reason the city has found itself in so much difficulty in recent times is because there has been too much short-termism and not enough long term planning.

So, if folk on here get there wish, and I end up on the dole queue in 2012, then so be it, that's democracy.

I could not, however, in all honesty say that I would have been voting for the benefit of the city if I had taken a decision which would have been designed to benefit me politically in the short term.

I actually find that admirable. And I wish more thought that way.

Them's the breaks. I mailed Neil after reading some of the remarks on here to ask for my account to be deleted. I thought that I could continue to have interests and pursuits outside of the council but it's fairly clear that my vote on this will pretty much signal that I'm no longer welcome on here, so I think it's better if I exit stage left and let y'all get on with things.

I think you should have more faith. A lot of people genuinely find this decision completely unfathomable, and I'm impressed that you were willing to come on here, state your position and explain your views. "I may not agree with your views, but I'll fight to the death your etc etc...' Feel free to report any posts you're not happy with, as anyone can do, we will be closely watching these discussions, and normal rules will apply.

To then ask for your account to be deleted, just spoils that. Nobody expects you to be "Wood's representative on Earth" but as an elected member, you do have a responsibility to account for your actions. 'With great power comes great responsibility'. Thems the breaks.

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Well how bitter the taste of corruption. It was always going to be the case though, anyone recall the "public consultation" on the Robert Bruce statue!? Public don't agree, so we find a way to get our way. Disgusting. A notable highlight for me was the claim that the gardens mature trees were diseased. A mere coincidence that this happened after public concern for their welfare.

And how? How can this be good for Aberdeen? How is this good for the economy? It's insane at this point, that basic questions have not been answered. Just a cycle of regurgitation. Tackle the simple, obvious questions before even considering the financing. An absolute joke, which will deter me from Aberdeen City.

A mass occupation of the gardens sounds like an excellent idea.

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I think you should have more faith. A lot of people genuinely find this decision completely unfathomable, and I'm impressed that you were willing to come on here, state your position and explain your views. "I may not agree with your views, but I'll fight to the death your etc etc...' Feel free to report any posts you're not happy with, as anyone can do, we will be closely watching these discussions, and normal rules will apply.

To then ask for your account to be deleted, just spoils that. Nobody expects you to be "Wood's representative on Earth" but as an elected member, you do have a responsibility to account for your actions. 'With great power comes great responsibility'. Thems the breaks.

Maybe I was a bit hasty, I just felt like the tone and tamber of the discussion, which I had been looking at, seemed to suggest that anyone who supported something beyond either - (a) doing nothing with the gardens and leaving as is or (b) the Peacock plans - and I never said they wouldn't go ahead, if you look at what I said in my earlier post, I wouldn't have been unhappy if they had, I had a preference towards something different, that doesn't mean I was opposed to the alternative - would be run out of town, and the fact I actually had a vote on it probably meant not being run out of town, but nailed to a cross, set on fire and placed in the Castlegate as a warning to others.

If this is the only issue on which people will vote at next local elections then fair doos, I like to think that I have done a number of things within my local patch which have helped folk, but I guess the proof of the pudding will come in a couple of years.

I will retract my, admittedly rash, PM which I sent to Neil.

How about that, a politician performing a u-turn...

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Oh, and since I've been asked about the economic benefit thing, it isn't necessarily the fact that the square will be there, it is the fact that the raising of the level will allow for much more fluency in the city centre, a fluency that, frankly, has been disrupted and destroyed in some respects by the short termism I referred to earlier, but also has been prevented and precluded by the landscape as it presently exists.

I believe this will greatly assist the businesses which currently exist to attract more trade as folk will find it easier to go from one area to another, but it will also allow for folk visiting the city to have a much more pleasant experience on arrival and might attract more folk here. Try getting off at the bus or train station and walking into town, usually involves a ridiculous detour rather than a pleasant and speedy connection.

Of course, I cannot absolutely prove that the economic benefit will arrive and say here's how much money de da de da de da, but that is the same of any proposal that is ever put forward.

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Fucking great. Public opinion is the best when it comes to local elections, but apart from appointing a head honcho, our collective word is bloody useless.

Disappointed that tv tanned is so unconfident in his decision that he wishes to wuss out and avoid the impending backlash. Really disappointed.

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Fucking great. Public opinion is the best when it comes to local elections, but apart from appointing a head honcho, our collective word is bloody useless.

Disappointed that tv tanned is so unconfident in his decision that he wishes to wuss out and avoid the impending backlash. Really disappointed.

Like all good politicians, and most bad ones, I realised I was a bit rash and changed my mind, so feel free to hit me with both barrels. I can't guarantee I will be on here at all times to reply to everything, I have constituency work to be getting on with, but I will stick it out until you all get sick of me and tell me to sling it.

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Maybe I was a bit hasty - I just felt like the tone and timbre of the discussion which I had been looking at seemed to suggest that anyone who supported something beyond either -

(a) doing nothing with the gardens and leaving as is

or

(b) the Peacock plans( and I never said they wouldn't go ahead -if you look at what I said in my earlier post, I wouldn't have been unhappy if they had, I had a preference towards something different, that doesn't mean I was opposed to the alternative)

would be run out of town, and the fact I actually had a vote on it probably meant not being run out of town but nailed to a cross, set on fire and placed in the Castlegate as a warning to others.

If this is the only issue on which people will vote at next local elections then fair doos, I like to think that I have done a number of things within my local patch which have helped folk, but I guess the proof of the pudding will come in a couple of years.

I will retract my, admittedly rash, PM which I sent to Neil.

How about that, a politician performing a u-turn...

Good man yourself. But do you realise that whether unhappy or not, voting the way you did, does actually mean the Peacock plans won't go ahead?

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Good man yourself. But do you realise that whether unhappy or not, voting the way you did, does actually mean the Peacock plans won't go ahead?

Yes, I still hold out hope that there is potential for a compromise, because things have been said privately (but not publicly) which give an indication.

I don't understand why some of the things which I have been told by Peacock have not been said publicly, but if they don't want to make public statements then that's their decision.

What it means, of course, is that people read what is printed, read what I am saying, and automatically think "bullshit" and for me that has been a problem throughout.

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Yes, I still hold out hope that there is potential for a compromise, because things have been said privately (but not publicly) which give an indication.

I don't understand why some of the things which I have been told by Peacock have not been said publicly, but if they don't want to make public statements then that's their decision.

What it means, of course, is that people read what is printed, read what I am saying, and automatically think "bullshit" and for me that has been a problem throughout.

I think this has always been a problem, as it usually is with these type of things, the general public at large just do not get the whole story. In this instance the main problem has been the misinformation, propaganda and, yes, lies, that Aberdeen Journals have printed, in particular in the Evening Express. If there has been any possibility of any kind of compromise on the 'Wood' side, it's the first I've heard of it. And I assume that goes for anyone else among the populace. So if that heretofore unheard of possibility has truly been a factor in your decision, you can surely see why the public has concerns?

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Like all good politicians, and most bad ones, I realised I was a bit rash and changed my mind, so feel free to hit me with both barrels. I can't guarantee I will be on here at all times to reply to everything, I have constituency work to be getting on with, but I will stick it out until you all get sick of me and tell me to sling it.

Can't say fairer than that. Although please don't seek pity with the whole 'both barrels' talk. As a community, we got off our arses and made our feelings known through a survey that was extremely flawed in the CSP's favour. We have every right to be extremely pissed off, and its your job to pay attention to it.

I'm sure you'll find the time to reply to everyone. That job must be a piece of cake when you don't have to take notice of public opinion.

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Trust me, I've been in this gig long enough now to realise that pity is an emotion that nobody reserves for politicians.

Folk have every right to be annoyed, and given I had a large number of emails supportive of the square, and a large number opposed to both the square and Peacock, there would have been folk annoyed with whatever I decided.

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I think this has always been a problem, as it usually is with these type of things, the general public at large just do not get the whole story. In this instance the main problem has been the misinformation, propaganda and, yes, lies, that Aberdeen Journals have printed, in particular in the Evening Express. If there has been any possibility of any kind of compromise on the 'Wood' side, it's the first I've heard of it. And I assume that goes for anyone else among the populace. So if that heretofore unheard of possibility has truly been a factor in your decision, you can surely see why the public has concerns?

Yup, absolutely understand, but at the end of the day it is not for me to disclose what folk are saying, it is as frustrating for me as for anyone that the public are not being given the complete picture, but that is for the folk who are involved in discussions to deal with, not me.

Got to turn in now, my son will be waking me up in about four and a half hours, so I better at least get something which could be interpreted as sleep.

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Trust me, I've been in this gig long enough now to realise that pity is an emotion that nobody reserves for politicians.

Folk have every right to be annoyed, and given I had a large number of emails supportive of the square, and a large number opposed to both the square and Peacock, there would have been folk annoyed with whatever I decided.

44% would have been annoyed if I recall correctly, as opposed to the 55% that are now.

Although I hear that the ol' silent majority can give you some real mean evils.

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Kudos to tv tanned for coming on here and justifying his decision in the face of hostility, particularly at 2 in the morning after he'd spent all day in the council chamber arguing it out already.

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Well how bitter the taste of corruption. It was always going to be the case though, anyone recall the "public consultation" on the Robert Bruce statue!? Public don't agree, so we find a way to get our way.

You'll have to enlighten me on this one. I do remember that in my opinion the public chose the wrong statue - it should have been the American's model instead of the comical design that proved most popular. Sadly no-one in the council over-ruled that public consultation as far as I remember.

As for the abuse directed at TV Tanned, quite frankly, it's out of order. Don't be fooled by the Aug 2008 sign up date; The guy has been a long time contributor to these boards and deserves better.

I'd ask people not to chase down the argument/conversation with personal attacks and accusations. Venting is just not helpful or interesting in any way and just drives folk away.

Anyway, I'll leave my comments at that because for once I actually have more important stuff to do today.

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