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Willie Young confirms land at centre of row belongs to his dad

Wellington Brae
Wellington Brae

Finance convener Willie Young last night confirmed his father is the owner of land at the centre of a £200,000 repair bill row.

A major political row erupted last week after it emerged public money had been allocated for works, including the rebuilding of a wall, at Wellington Brae without ever being put to a council committee for approval.

Leaked e-mails showed council officers had approached Mr Young several times about the project, believing him to be the landowner, with the land lying near his Ferryhill home.

The Bridge of Don councillor denied any wrongdoing, and produced legal advice from the city council’s legal officer which suggested there had been no “conflict of interest” from what had been seen so far.

But yesterday, he confirmed reports that the land – though not necessarily the wall – belonged to his father.

He accused city council officials of a series of “errors” and said he had no part in decisions to seek a grant from Sustrans, accepting the grant or commissioning the repair works.

He said: “The story here is of errors made by council officers in dealing with proposed works by the council, affecting privately-owned land and a wholly unfounded smear campaign by the SNP at every level, in an attempt to influence the elections to the city council this Thursday.

“The land in question does not belong to me. I sold land at Wellington Brae to my father, David Young, in 1992, and land in this area remains in his ownership.

“Late last year, I was approached by officers of the council, who mistakenly believed that land at Wellington Brae belonged to me.

“I told them I would ask my solicitor to check the title… and I have since confirmed that none of this land belongs either to Deeview Homes or to me personally.

“All I actually did was to respond to council officers who mistakenly believed I owned land there, to say that I was not sure of the position, and that I would ask my solicitor’s advice on the matter.

“It is simply unacceptable to besmirch the name of a private citizen for party-political gain, and it adds insult to injury to attack me for seeking to protect the privacy of other members of my family.”

SNP group leader Stephen Flynn wrote this week to national watchdog Audit Scotland asking them to investigate the incident.

He said last night: “I don’t think that Councillor Young clarifying what was reported by the Press and Journal last week is that much of a revelation.

“What we do need now is complete transparency going forward with any investigation.”

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