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Aberdeen City Deal


Jagerdeen

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Got to admit I'm with jagerdeen on this one.  Dont get me wrong the oil industry needs support, especially the people struggling for work due to the downturn in the industry but it shouldn't have come from the city deal.  I do believe that the centre will benefit the industry, it's definitely a good thing but it shouldn't have been done like this.

 

The city deal could have done so many wonderful things to make the city a better place for all, to splash 70%+ on this centre is such a shame.

 

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I believe the remainder is being spent on parking wardens.

 

You make some good points Jagerdeen, I'm pretty much in agreement. They could at least have created an "Energy" centre, rather than O&G specific. I'm still struggling to see how we reconcile the giant elephant in the room that is screaming "due to thon deal you signed in Paris, you can only burn 80% of the reserves you currently have" with the continued push for exploration. It's the topic that can't be discussed it seems. That's not the environmentalist in me talking, just logic. I'm surprised that a guy with strong links to an oil service company would promote the idea of a technology centre funded by the public purse that said service company will ultimately profit from in the future. When are we going to stop the British tradition of fawning over cunts with lots of money before showering them with more of it for no logical reason? Ian Wood is just a North East Richard Branson, isn't he?

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Having never worked in oil and gas, never wanted to and successfully encouraged my kids not to, I'm intrigued about your opinions of Ian Wood, which will be much more qualified than mine.

 

Comparisons to Branson are surely invalid given their starts, daddy's company v. nothing. All I know about him is that he's big into philanthropy and seems to speak a lot of sense in his very many interviews. I've never got why the cooncil couldn't take his £50m for UTG. Is this simply age-old jealously and resentment, a particular human condition sickness that we do very well as Jock Tamson's bairns or is there poison of which I'm unaware in Wood's history?

 

I can hardly see him in the same bracket as Sir Philip Green and other establishment crooks although that may well be naivety on my part. The only thing I'm wary of is his awful idiosyncrasy of shutting his eyes when he speaks. Not having a big enough database nor enough experience of others who do this, I'm not sure what it means but my instinct says it's not good.

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Comparisons to Branson are surely invalid given their starts, daddy's company v. nothing. All I know about him is that he's big into philanthropy and seems to speak a lot of sense in his very many interviews. I've never got why the cooncil couldn't take his £50m for UTG. Is this simply age-old jealously and resentment, a particular human condition sickness that we do very well as Jock Tamson's bairns or is there poison of which I'm unaware in Wood's history?

 

I have no problem with Ian Wood at all, and I think the statement about jealousy is pretty lazy and typical of the type of accusation made when discussing his propositions - basically shutting down rational debate (I'm not accusing you of this on this occasion). I've met him and he seems like a nice chap, I have met a couple of his sons and they also seem like nice guys.

 

The council could have taken his £50M - and indeed would have if he could have provided further guarantees - but it would have involved building his vision for UTG and spending a further £90M of public funds and passing a common good into private ownership (no problem with this per se). Indeed from what I remember the council agreed to go ahead if a further £20M of funds could be secured and that cost over-runs would not be covered by public funds. Donsdaft uses the term rail-roaded, and I agree to an extent. As soon as the £50M was put on the table, the onus was on the council to make the additional funds available. The local press dived on it with it's usual biased hysteria. The £50M was dangled above the masses who in turn became unable to see beyond it. The question was never about £50M, it was entirely irrelevant to anything. The only question that the public had to answer was "do you want to spend £90M (plus overruns) on the granite web development in UTG". Instead, the £50M was placed front and centre, with hysterical promises to send the money to Africa (that still hasn't happened) in less it's taken up immediately. That type of monetary intimidation I find repulsive. However, not as repulsive as I found the classless, uninspiring, unnatural and destructive design that was proposed (indeed, it didn't even win the public vote, which was ignored because the public picked the most sympathetic option as opposed to the one with maist shops). The questions that should have been asked, such as: what is the £90M+ of public spending going to be diverted from; what sort of chaos will be caused by transporting such huge volumes of concrete into the city centre; how likely are cost overruns; does the city centre need more vehicles coming into it (there was a car park in the design); does the city have capacity for more shops; what will be the effects on existing shopping centres; could we develop the whole of union st, st nicholas house area and beyond with the money; how much would a sympathetic enhancement of UTG cost and what would that look like. I could go on for days with unasked - thus unanswered - questions. It was boiled down to "£50M min, progress min" and that's where the debate didn't begin and then ended.

 

I don't have an issue with Ian Wood's offer, indeed I can only take it at face value as a genuinely nice gesture as I have no evidence to the contrary. As I said in my post - and where it compares to Richard Branson to a tee - is that a person's monetary status has been thrust into a debate where it wasn't required and given undeserved weight over the idea itself. The classic "well he didnae become a billionaire by being stupid, so he must be right" that is pervasive in UK society. He was putting in £50M because he happens to have £50M, thus excluding others (not necessarily deliberately mind) from the opportunity to have their say. I don't like Ian Wood's taste in garden design might be a simpler way to put it. That often resulted in accusations of jealousy, or being backward looking, but it never resulted in someone telling me why building shops was forward looking or progressive (because it fuckin isn't). That our local tabloids can't do nuance, and are beholden to money (especially when said money is heavily relied on through advertising revenue - see Trump golf course) is of far greater concern then anything Ian Wood could ever do. They deliberately misled the public into believing it was Wood's design or nothing, which was never the case. Again, that isn't Ian Wood's fault, just us putting too much faith in money.

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I also seem to remember every independent surveyor/contractor that was asked saying that the proposal would cost GBP 250m minimum to build and the fact the council would be borrowing the money from some dodgy scheme (I can't remember what it was called) linked to council tax increases that would likely financially cripple the city for decades.

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I would change the word "promises" to "threats" but apart from that, I agree.

 

 

I don't know Ian Wood but his sister was my Primary 1 & 2 teacher.

 

Apart from a tendency to smack my hands with a ruler and force the triangle on me at music (after only 1 session with the drum) she was really nice.

 

I definitely don't hold the triangle affair against her brother.

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I have no problem with Ian Wood at all, and I think the statement about jealousy is pretty lazy and typical of the type of accusation made when discussing his propositions - basically shutting down rational debate (I'm not accusing you of this on this occasion). I've met him and he seems like a nice chap, I have met a couple of his sons and they also seem like nice guys.

 

The council could have taken his £50M - and indeed would have if he could have provided further guarantees - but it would have involved building his vision for UTG and spending a further £90M of public funds and passing a common good into private ownership (no problem with this per se). Indeed from what I remember the council agreed to go ahead if a further £20M of funds could be secured and that cost over-runs would not be covered by public funds. Donsdaft uses the term rail-roaded, and I agree to an extent. As soon as the £50M was put on the table, the onus was on the council to make the additional funds available. The local press dived on it with it's usual biased hysteria. The £50M was dangled above the masses who in turn became unable to see beyond it. The question was never about £50M, it was entirely irrelevant to anything. The only question that the public had to answer was "do you want to spend £90M (plus overruns) on the granite web development in UTG". Instead, the £50M was placed front and centre, with hysterical promises to send the money to Africa (that still hasn't happened) in less it's taken up immediately. That type of monetary intimidation I find repulsive. However, not as repulsive as I found the classless, uninspiring, unnatural and destructive design that was proposed (indeed, it didn't even win the public vote, which was ignored because the public picked the most sympathetic option as opposed to the one with maist shops). The questions that should have been asked, such as: what is the £90M+ of public spending going to be diverted from; what sort of chaos will be caused by transporting such huge volumes of concrete into the city centre; how likely are cost overruns; does the city centre need more vehicles coming into it (there was a car park in the design); does the city have capacity for more shops; what will be the effects on existing shopping centres; could we develop the whole of union st, st nicholas house area and beyond with the money; how much would a sympathetic enhancement of UTG cost and what would that look like. I could go on for days with unasked - thus unanswered - questions. It was boiled down to "£50M min, progress min" and that's where the debate didn't begin and then ended.

 

I don't have an issue with Ian Wood's offer, indeed I can only take it at face value as a genuinely nice gesture as I have no evidence to the contrary. As I said in my post - and where it compares to Richard Branson to a tee - is that a person's monetary status has been thrust into a debate where it wasn't required and given undeserved weight over the idea itself. The classic "well he didnae become a billionaire by being stupid, so he must be right" that is pervasive in UK society. He was putting in £50M because he happens to have £50M, thus excluding others (not necessarily deliberately mind) from the opportunity to have their say. I don't like Ian Wood's taste in garden design might be a simpler way to put it. That often resulted in accusations of jealousy, or being backward looking, but it never resulted in someone telling me why building shops was forward looking or progressive (because it fuckin isn't). That our local tabloids can't do nuance, and are beholden to money (especially when said money is heavily relied on through advertising revenue - see Trump golf course) is of far greater concern then anything Ian Wood could ever do. They deliberately misled the public into believing it was Wood's design or nothing, which was never the case. Again, that isn't Ian Wood's fault, just us putting too much faith in money.

 

Hits the nail on the head, top post  :thumbsup:

 

It was a phenomenally generous offer, he should be applauded for that (along with the new parking at ARI which I believe he's funded) but the UTG plan wasn't very good at all, even ignoring the massive costs. Had the money been available for the peacock visual arts gallery as well as other projects to make a real difference in the city centre then it would have surely been accepted.

 

It's a real shame it didn't happen really as it'd have been a game changer in the city centre and would have been a great legacy for wood.

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I have no problem with Ian Wood at all, and I think the statement about jealousy is pretty lazy and typical of the type of accusation made when discussing his propositions - basically shutting down rational debate (I'm not accusing you of this on this occasion). I've met him and he seems like a nice chap, I have met a couple of his sons and they also seem like nice guys.

 

It wasn't a statement. It was a question. I know you said you weren't accusing me of it but what or who are you referring to? Who is lazy? Who is trying to shut down rational debate? I personally knew nothing of the debate at the time but now having invested 10 minutes reading through some of the stuff given in the links, I'm getting the impression that dd was 100% spot on. Ok, you're opening by saying he seems like a nice chap. Not sure dd would agree with you.

 

 

The council could have taken his £50M - and indeed would have if he could have provided further guarantees - but it would have involved building his vision for UTG and spending a further £90M of public funds and passing a common good into private ownership (no problem with this per se).

 

I think I do have a problem with this public project being privately owned but now we're getting into the meat. It was his vision.

 

 

Indeed from what I remember the council agreed to go ahead if a further £20M of funds could be secured and that cost over-runs would not be covered by public funds. Donsdaft uses the term rail-roaded, and I agree to an extent. As soon as the £50M was put on the table, the onus was on the council to make the additional funds available. The local press dived on it with it's usual biased hysteria. The £50M was dangled above the masses who in turn became unable to see beyond it. The question was never about £50M, it was entirely irrelevant to anything. The only question that the public had to answer was "do you want to spend £90M (plus overruns) on the granite web development in UTG". Instead, the £50M was placed front and centre, with hysterical promises to send the money to Africa (that still hasn't happened) in less it's taken up immediately. That type of monetary intimidation I find repulsive.

 

Putting aside what you seem to remember about what the local press did and your statement that the North East "masses" are so stupid that we couldn't see beyond something - which the facts don't support as the electorate voted AGAINST Wood - does this bit not include contradictions? How can you open with he seems like a good guy and yet find him repulsive? I think from what I'm reading that he has been quite repulsive over all this. He's been "railroading" exactly like dd said. It was his way or the highway. This was like him building a folly, an act of a rampant egomaniac, surely?

 

 

However, not as repulsive as I found the classless, uninspiring, unnatural and destructive design that was proposed (indeed, it didn't even win the public vote, which was ignored because the public picked the most sympathetic option as opposed to the one with maist shops).

 

So you agreed with the electorate? So the masses aren't as stupid as you say?

 

 

The questions that should have been asked, such as: what is the £90M+ of public spending going to be diverted from; what sort of chaos will be caused by transporting such huge volumes of concrete into the city centre; how likely are cost overruns; does the city centre need more vehicles coming into it (there was a car park in the design); does the city have capacity for more shops; what will be the effects on existing shopping centres; could we develop the whole of union st, st nicholas house area and beyond with the money; how much would a sympathetic enhancement of UTG cost and what would that look like. I could go on for days with unasked - thus unanswered - questions. It was boiled down to "£50M min, progress min" and that's where the debate didn't begin and then ended.

 

These questions are good and obvious but I don't understand your last sentence. The public rejected Ian Wood's vision. They were NOT blinded by "£50m min" and quite evidently did NOT go "progress min".

 

 

I don't have an issue with Ian Wood's offer, indeed I can only take it at face value as a genuinely nice gesture as I have no evidence to the contrary.

 

How can you possibly describe it as a genuinely nice gesture? It came with heavy conditions. His attempted railroading (which the masses rejected) de-railed what would have been an obvious benefit, the vision by Peacock. It was a fucking appalling "gesture".

 

 

As I said in my post - and where it compares to Richard Branson to a tee - is that a person's monetary status has been thrust into a debate where it wasn't required and given undeserved weight over the idea itself. The classic "well he didnae become a billionaire by being stupid, so he must be right" that is pervasive in UK society.

 

But you said there was no debate because the proper questions weren't asked? I don't understand this bit. He wasn't assumed to be right. He was rejected. He was telt to go shove it. Quite correctly. I'm not aware of this assumption that rich people are always right. Sir Philip Green in the news this week wasn't assumed to be right. The banker billionaires have also been exposed in the last decade and whilst Goldman Sachs et al continue to fight their dirty fights, Lehman Brothers and others have been scapegoated. There is no public assumption that the rich are right and if there were, how could it possibly apply here when Aberdonians voted that this billionaire was wrong (assuming he is, I don't know his net worth nor do I give a fuck).

 

 

He was putting in £50M because he happens to have £50M, thus excluding others (not necessarily deliberately mind) from the opportunity to have their say. I don't like Ian Wood's taste in garden design might be a simpler way to put it. That often resulted in accusations of jealousy, or being backward looking, but it never resulted in someone telling me why building shops was forward looking or progressive (because it fuckin isn't). That our local tabloids can't do nuance, and are beholden to money (especially when said money is heavily relied on through advertising revenue - see Trump golf course) is of far greater concern then anything Ian Wood could ever do. They deliberately misled the public into believing it was Wood's design or nothing, which was never the case. Again, that isn't Ian Wood's fault, just us putting too much faith in money.

 

I'm unaware of what the local tabloids wrote. I stopped getting the P & J delivered well before this "debate" or not arose and stopped reading the EE 25/30 years ago. I have no idea what the relevance is of Trump International. I think you're saying that Aberdeen Journals tried to mislead the public. Well if they did try, they failed.

 

As I say, donsdaft's courage of his convictions is the one ringing very true to me. And if Annie Lennox supports his view, that's good enough for me: -

 

In the letter - which is posted on the musician's website - Lennox said to continue with the project, which was rejected in a public consultation, would be “an act of civic vandalism and abandonment of democracy”.

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It's the nicest bit of the city center (sadly neglected) so if you want to build a civic square, pick a run down site.

 

I admit that I loved the "Trainie Park" when I was a kid so I felt the proposed destruction personally.

 

Even if I had no interest in the city at all I would have been against the project, if only for the appalling bias shown by the local journals (now not so local)

 

The article that sticks in my memory promised that no trees would be removed from the gardens.

Instead, they were going to be "repurposed"

 

Woodchips were the plan if I remember correctly.

 

Anyway, I'm surprised the trees are still there because they were rotten with disease and a danger to the public.

 

 

Talking of civic squares.

 

Despite dire warnings from Mrs. Donsdaft I just can't help talking politics in the shop, and I have to admit that the Trainie Park debates were split about 50/50 ( based, I would claim, on the amount of propaganda. The thought of all that money going to "the darkies" seemed to upset my older customers terribly )

 

However, nobody....and I mean NOBODY has a kind word to say about that monstrosity they are building opposite Marchial College.

 

If someone built an extension to their house without the relevant planning permission then the council would make them demolish it.

 

They have no mandate to build that eyesore, the public have made it perfectly clear what they think.

They should be made to take it down, preferably by hand themselves and fuck the cost.

 

 

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Mrs rocket and I can't understand where the occupants are going to come from for the glass boxes at the Capitol and opposite Marishal College. Unfortunately, there's some deal where we are going to pay for the non-occupancy. If the builders/contractors could see the way the wind was blowing, why can't our elected representatives? What did they personally get out of it? How else can this monstrous building have been given the go ahead?

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No doubt the council will "save us" by using the offices themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemmin, Rocket min,  I'm catching up with you on the durrant front.

At this rate, I'll probably pass you before Monday ends.

 

Don't worry about it, it's nae sair. It's the preserve of cowards. Like you and I give a fuck. Like it affects our lives.

 

You're a shopkeeper? I can understand if you don't want to say publicly but I'll easy spend money with you than ony ither cunt. PM me your details.

 

BM or B & M opened in Portlethen today or very recently anyway. The wife reports that it's so much cheaper than Asda etc. for cat food, dog food and other basics stuff.

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It's nae secret min.

 

Opticians, on Rosemount Place.

 

Nae that I'm an optician mind, I only got o level " looking oot the windae" at school.

 

42 years in optics, 21 of them working for myself.

 

Give us a shout next time you have an eyetest due.

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