The Aberdeen public have taken to social media to voice their thoughts on the news Union Street is to be given a £100,000 “deep-clean”.
On Tuesday Aberdeen City Council’s city growth and resources committee approved the “intensive” project, which is due to begin in the coming days.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour after funding was identified due to a surplus in the city’s Common Good fund.
Ryan Houghton, the local authority’s city growth and resources convener, said he had proposed the motion in light of public perception of the city centre.
Mixed response to council call
However, when we broke the news, the reaction was mixed.
Many readers branded the project “too little, too late”, while others claimed £100,000 was not enough.
Andy Forrest said the sum would not be enough to make a difference, and added: “They wouldn’t clean the pavements for that, let alone the buildings.”
Barry Sim described the city centre as “depressing” and said the current state of Union Street – which has more than 30 empty retail units – was the result of “years of neglect”.
David Taylor said the money put forward would “barely get the chewing gum” off the pavements, while Patrice Ord claimed the Granite Mile is “beyond repair”.
Others were more welcoming of the news, with Kathleen Johnstone claiming the deep clean was “not before time”.
Catriona May McAllister suggested property owners could do their bit by “cleaning up their own buildings”.
And Frank Davidson also questioned whether it was the right thing to do.
He said: “This solution again? Wheel out the chewing gum sprayer, a big fanfare in the press and that will solve something?”
However, other readers suggested more should be done to attract businesses back into the city centre.
Mary Grant claimed that was the “only way” to get people back onto Union Street, while Barbara and Mike Henderson said there would be “no point cleaning if there is nothing to go into town for”.
Meanwhile Maisie Cheyne called for the city’s remaining Spaces for People measures to be removed.
She said the deep-clean was “long overdue” and added: “Hope they remove all these massive flower pots. They look so out of place and open it up to traffic again back to normal.”
Council ‘listening to public’
Speaking after the meeting where the plans were approved, Mr Houghton said the cleanup would complement the £150 million city centre and beach masterplan.
“When I took over as finance convenor in May I said I recognised the urgency of pressures facing the city centre,” he added.
“Most of the challenges such as business rates and high rents are outside the council’s control but where we can implement measures the administration will listen to the public and act accordingly.”