Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Row breaks out over Aberdeen masterplan as new posts queried

Takki Sulaiman wrote the report
Takki Sulaiman wrote the report

A row broke out yesterday over plans to spend £3million on staff linked to the Granite City masterplan.

Members of the finance, policy and resources committee had been asked to approve plans to hire a new city centre director, programme manager and public relations officer.

The posts would cost Aberdeen City Council £3million over 10 years.

But yesterday, opposition councillors argued the posts could be combined or handled by existing council staff and said the public would be “aghast” at the cost.

In a report, officers tell members the new director’s salary would be up to £112,035, while the manger would get £63,297, and the communications officer could receive a maximum of £51,352.

The masterplan includes 49 projects for the city centre, including the pedestrianisation of part of Union Street and expansion of Union Terrace Gardens, and was approved unanimously by city councillors to much fanfare in June.

But SNP councillor David Cameron put forward an amendment to reinstate the director of economic development post to oversee a number of city projects, and not just the masterplan.

Other members asked if some of the roles could be combined or handled by existing council staff.

And SNP group secretary Graham Dickson said: “From our point of view a number of the elements involved in the director’s role cut across a number of different city projects.”

He added that hiring a new “spin doctor” in the form of a communications officer for the masterplan was “odd” after “happiness tsar” and council PR chief Takki Sulaiman was appointed with a salary of £80,000 just last November.

Mr Dickson said: “These three posts are only to oversee one project. The general public will be aghast when they see we are paying £50,000 for another communications officer.”

But the motion came under fire from administration councillors and was narrowly defeated in the chamber.

Labour councillor Ramsay Milne said: “The average wage in the north sea is £74,000… the masterplan is a multi-faceted step change for the city and it’s important we hire the right people.”

Committee vice-convener Ross Thomson added: “The public are fed up of political procrastination, which is why the administration have taken decisive action to ensure city centre regeneration is a reality.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]