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scott.wright

Union Terrace Gardens

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Flash, what do you hope to do with this survey? i.e. what is yr next step?

The original consultation was ambiguous and open to spin. I'm sure I'm not alone in doubting that as much as 45% of the local population were in favour of the city slab. I speak to a lot of people and a very broad cross section of society, in my own experience the true figure is nearer 20%.

I also felt that the original consultation was nothing of the sort, as it didn't provide the PVA option or options for renovating the gardens or upgrading their facilities.

If a statistically important number of people respond to this survey then the results being increasingly harder to ignore, especially for elected officials who may have been duped by the perceived closeness of the original result or who simply chose to hide behind it. It would only take one to turn tail and believe me the floodgates would open.

If however there really is a silent majority in favour of the slab, then here is their chance to prove it once and for all, because I'm keeping this survey open until a point of no return is upon is one way or the other!

So please get as many people to fill this in as you can. Their choices are between them and their God, just so long as they are honest choices.

If anyone has any constructive criticism on how the survey can be improved then please let me know sooner rather than later.

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The REAL Public Consultation

I've tried to make this as scrupulously fair as possible, that way there can be no cries of foul from any side. All known views are represented. There is ample scope to comment on every option. Every time there is a council vote on the gardens I'll email them (and the press) the results of this consultation beforehand.

You can click back and forward through it changing your choices. If you have a fixed IP then it should be possible to renter and amend your choices at any time in the future.

Thanks Flash. Just completed it.

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Is it okay to post this around other social network sites Flash?

Cant seem to get a link to say anything but the surveymonkey stuff. I am however a doofuss after a certain time of night.

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Is it okay to post this around other social network sites Flash?

Please get it out as much as possible. It needs to get out to all parties in order to be judged as properly representative. If you know any city slab sites then please post it there too.

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That's the beta testing completed now, please feel free to revisit the survey. The only change I've made is to add a fairness section where you can rate the survey.

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When I try to post the link to the consultation from another site it doesn't recognise it and goes to Survey Monkey page. Am I missing summit?

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The latest Private Eye just landed on my doormat, and there's another nice wee mention in the 'Nooks and Corners' section.

privateeye.jpg

Say "thank you Mr Pirate" ;)

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Filled in the survey and stuck it up on my facebook page. I just hope I don't come back after four months to find a muddy hole where the gardens used to be.

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Anyone else having problems with the survey on Firefox? I think Internet Explorer is ok.

Just thought I'd mention it in case folk are being put off completing it.

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Anyone else having problems with the survey on Firefox? I think Internet Explorer is ok.

Just thought I'd mention it in case folk are being put off completing it.

Runs fine on firefox here.

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Anyone else having problems with the survey on Firefox? I think Internet Explorer is ok.

Just thought I'd mention it in case folk are being put off completing it.

It worked fine in my firefox browser :up:

The most shocking aspect of this for me has been that if the 'public consultation' did indeed cost the tax-payers minimum of 300,000 to fund (higher prices have been mooted) only 11,973 formal responses were collected. This equates to a cost of at least 25.12 per response and given that 8,505 of those were from a single (very basic) webpage there's definitely a spending issue there. Transparency, clarification or explanation of this should be demanded by as many people as possible.

I wrote to an MP this morning asking for suggestions of people they'd recommend engaging with; will publish the list of names when I get them back.

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Anyone else having problems with the survey on Firefox? I think Internet Explorer is ok.

Just thought I'd mention it in case folk are being put off completing it.

It also works just fine on Chrome!

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It worked fine in my firefox browser :up:

The most shocking aspect of this for me has been that if the 'public consultation' did indeed cost the tax-payers minimum of 300,000 to fund (higher prices have been mooted) only 11,973 formal responses were collected. This equates to a cost of at least 25.12 per response and given that 8,505 of those were from a single (very basic) webpage there's definitely a spending issue there. Transparency, clarification or explanation of this should be demanded by as many people as possible.

I wrote to an MP this morning asking for suggestions of people they'd recommend engaging with; will publish the list of names when I get them back.

Some good stats there min :

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Apparently my letter got published in today's P&J. I can't read it as I have boycotted them. Here is what it was meant to say:

Sir,

The civic square has not been granted planning permission, let alone been given the green light. ACSEF need to come up with a detailed design before they can even apply for this. Likewise PVA have not had their planning permission revoked.

All that has occurred is that the council have given ACSEF time to come up with a more detailed design, they will have many more opportunities to vote on this proposal and to reject it. The knock on effect is that PVA has lost it's funding due to time constraints out with everyone's control.

So this is nowhere near a done deal. The council could still choose to do nothing and leave the gardens as is, or renovate the gardens, or give PVA the go ahead assuming they could raise the funding again.

The people of Aberdeen and it's councillors must not lose sight of the truth. The civic slab is not yet cast in concrete, far from it.

Yours Sincerely

Craig Adams

My point being that we need to ignore this propaganda that the council have given it the go ahead - they haven't.

EDIT - here is what they printed. Took out my best line :(

SIR, The civic square for Aberdeens Union Terrace Gardens has not been granted planning permission, let alone been given the green light. Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef) needs to come up with a detailed design before it can even apply for this. Likewise, Peacock Visual Arts has not had its planning permission revoked.

All that has occurred is that the council has given Acsef time to come up with a more-detailed design. There will be many more opportunities for councillors to vote on this proposal and to reject it.

The knock-on effect is that Peacock Visual Arts has lost its funding due to time constraints outwith everyone's control.

So this is nowhere near a done deal.

The council could still choose to do nothing and leave the gardens as is, or renovate them, or give Peacock Visual Arts the go-ahead, assuming the funding could be raised again.

Craig Adams

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I've made small tweaks to the wording of certain questions in response to comments, just to remove any traces of my personal bias which snuck in there. Also added an intro page.

If you've already completed the survey then please check back now and let me know whether you feel it has improved. I've endeavoured to be as even handed as possible. It's not easy doing this without the luxury of a team to bounce ideas back and forth, but it certainly doesn't require a 300K spend either.

I think a really good effort could have been produced for 5K (yes FIVE) with perhaps another 20K max spent on full page adverts in the press to circulate the link. Throw in another 5K to process the results and turn them into a report, and the electronic side of the exercise could have been easily achieved for 30K. If someone really wanted to splash out then they could conceivable have spent 50K on advertising but that would be running what two full page adverts 6 days a week for a month, after discount???

In terms of polling the public in person they should have engaged an organisation like gallup which would have accurately solicited the views of a statistically relevant sample of the population. In all honesty 2,000 people would have been more than ample. They can predict the outcome of a general election on a sample of that size! That many people could have been canvassed in only a few days and would have cost less than 10K including the analyses and report.

Now if they really wanted to spend 300K then they could have spent some money making computer renditions of the various options features in 3D, put this online in high bandwidth, devoted TV airtime to showcasing them, and exhibited them somewhere in the city, perhaps even using some of the current 3D technology. And to top it all off every single councillor could have organised simultaneous meetings and votes in their constituencies. If they'd gone to that trouble then they could have burned through 300K on something useful rather than lining the pockets of Webber Shandwick.

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Folks,

I realised there was a flaw in the survey relating to car parking. Only those that branched down the redevelopment of the Denburn Valley option were asked about car parking.

Underground car parking would appear to be a major part of the agenda behind the ACSEF proposal, therefore I think it is EXTREMELY important to solicit everyone's views on that issue.

I've added a question to each of the other branch points asking about car parking should the redevelopment proceed. If you have already completed the survey then you may wish to go back and provide an answer to this question. The survey logs your IP and will recall your the details of your prior response.

Thanks.

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12th June protest - any details ?

4631675100_d9f49966dd.jpg

Union Terrace Gardens on a summers day David Officer Photography

Here's the pictures i took at the gardens yesterday, chris henderson came up with a cracking idea of pooling as much images and video of the gardens and holding an exhibition. so hopefully we can re-engage the public who don't feel they're worth saving by showing them what's there. all you have to do is look a bit closer, it might not have exotic wildlife or be an example of contemporary landscape gardening but i'm happy with flowers, ladybirds and dandelions in the city centre.

Great blog Dave. You mention a protest on 12th June - any details anyone can provide on here as I can't see anything on the UTG site (and am allergic to Facebook ;-)

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And why was City Square at any cost not in the initial vote? Why did it get a "by" into the final so to speak?

Where's TV Tanned to explain this?

Hi. Sorry for not being around, busy with other casework etc.

Basically, 5 amendments were put forward, and they were taken in the order that they were received by officials.

Each amendment was voted against the one preceding it, with the successful amendment going forward.

So amendment 5v4, 5v3, 3v2, 2v1.

Because the amendment at no cost was the first one put forward, it was the last amendment to be voted on.

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All

Sorry for not being on here to defend what you all see as the indefensible, or at least try and put my points across. I have been busy with council work, family life and other stuff.

If folk wish to PM me to discuss anything, or email me at the council, then feel free, but I think the time has come for me to bow out of this thread. I came in here to respond to a request to reveal how I voted and why, I have done that, so I best bow out and allow you all to get on with things.

In response to an earlier query around where to complain about us councillors. The place to go would be here:

Standards Commission for Scotland - Integrity in Public Life

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