Candidates for an upcoming Aberdeen by-election unveiled their visions for the city’s largest suburb at a special hustings event last night.
The event was arranged with just one week to go until two new councillors are voted in to represent Bridge of Don.
However, only three of the six candidates were present, with Independent Simon McLean, the SNP’s Jessica Mennie and Liberal Democrat Michael Skoczykloda appearing at the debate in person.
Labour’s Graeme Lawrence was represented by activist Jacob Campbell, Conservative Sarah Cross by council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, and Green Sylvia Hardie by Green co-convener Guy Ingerson.
Voters will elect two new councillors next Thursday following the resignation of Conservative Brett Hunt and the death of the SNP’s Sandy Stuart.
The candidates chosen could change the power make-up in the city with the ruling Conservative, Aberdeen Labour and Independent administration holding a slender single member majority.
Last night the candidates and their representatives made a pitch to voters in the hustings organised by Aberdeen City Youth Council, which was shown live online.
Mr Campbell pointed to Mr Lawrence’s history as a Labour councillor for Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone in the last administration and his years of work in youth organisations in the suburb.
Mr Lumsden said Mrs Cross was a long term resident of Bridge of Don and would look to improve the police presence in the area.
Mr Ingerson said that the party’s candidate would try and oust the Conservatives and form a new administration in the city on her first day in office.
Mr McLean vowed to tackle overspending and the “culture” at the townhouse. He vowed that, if elected, he would serve as a councillor as a full time job.
Meanwhile Ms Mennie, who served as office manager for Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald previously, said residents had told her not just of problems with buses travelling into the city centre – but also from Bridge of Don to Dyce where many of the population work.
Mr Skoczykloda, a businessman who moved from his native Poland 15 years ago, said he would be in favour of less housing expansion in the suburb, tackling potholes and scrapping the unpopular £30 brown bin charge.
All the candidates, except Mr Skoczykloda, expressed favourable opinions about some form of council-owned and operated bus service and all were against further use of dispersal zones for youths congregating in the city centre.
Red Party of Scotland candidate Max McKay was not present but made a special video to be shown at the meeting.
He said he would prioritise diversifying the city’s economy away from oil and gas.