Politicians have dubbed Aberdeen council’s decision to spend cash repairing its staff car park “bizarre” while other roads are neglected.
Aberdeen City Council shut its Town House car park at the weekend for repairs to the entrance.
As reported in the Evening Express, the move has drawn criticism from opponents who say the cash should have been spent repairing pothole-stricken roads.
The local authority said the work cost £600 and was not funded by the roads maintenance budget – but the issue has sparked a wider row about council priorities and whether councillors should have to pay to park for meetings.
The row began on December 13 when a council manager wrote to councillors about the work.
The manager said he hoped the works would be supported by all “due to the long-standing requirement for repairs and the potential consequences of not having them undertaken.”
SNP Councillor Alex Nicoll questioned why the council was not spending more on repairing roads with potholes, such as Spring Garden and King George VI Bridge in Aberdeen.
He added: “It’s obvious the Town House ramp is a bit of a mess but it’s hardly the worst road you’ll ever drive on, particularly given you’re supposed to do so at very low speed.
“It seems bizarre that it is deemed a priority but, given the administration continues to reject our proposals to ask councillors to pay a minimal charge to use the car park, it’s hardly surprising.
“There are a number of roads across Aberdeen in need of repair.”
Council co-leader, Conservative Douglas Lumsden said: “The work being done is to stop further deterioration and further cost.
“This was discussed at the recent elected members’ working group by SNP’s Councillor McLellan and he did not voice any concerns during the meeting.”
Mr McLellan replied: “Rather than bump their gums about what wasn’t raised at a meeting, which has no decision-making powers, they should reflect on the choices they have made in the council chamber to reject a councillor parking charge and additional spend on repairing our streets.”
He added: “For a number of years the SNP group have proposed charging councillors for using the car park. This year alone, that would have raised £16,000.
A council spokesperson said: “Essential maintenance of council properties is budgeted for. This work, at a cost of £600, will ensure safe access to the car park is maintained.”