Gosh, free parking in the city centre after 5pm, what a brilliant idea to boost the heart of Aberdeen.
No, seriously it is. And Aberdeen Inspired and the Chamber of Commerce deserve a big “woo-ha” for suggesting it.
They even have a shining example with Newcastle, which has its “Alive After Five” drive and is seeing new restaurants open, not shut down, and jobs being created, not lost.
But in the outpouring of support for ending the post 5pm charges and giving the night-time economy of boost there’s been a fair few “best idea to come out of the council in years” comments.
So, let’s be in no doubt here. This idea has not come from our cooncillors. It is has come from people with a real sense of what the city centre needs.
It was the cooncillors who brought the charge in, albeit in a previous administration but with barely a murmur of dissent from any of them.
No doubt they were all rubbing their hands in glee at the fleecing of the drivers who had the temerity to want to go to restaurants, visit the theatre or generally hang about spending money in town.
And these late night charges didn’t arrive in the dim and distant past, a foible of history.
They were foisted on us barely six years ago.
Even then that was against a backdrop of protest from the likes of restaurant owners and Aberdeen Performing Arts all predicting it was going to hurt them. But still the cooncillors ploughed on.
So, far from being a lightbulb “isn’t this a great idea” moment, it is more about correcting a mistake made by the political class – one they haven’t bothered to address since 2010 as drivers and businesses pay the cost.
It speaks volumes that, to date, the cooncil is only saying it will look at the idea as part of a parking review rather than embracing it wholeheartedly.
Which makes me think the wrong people are running the show around here. Can’t we have a bit more common sense, a la Aberdeen Inspired and the Chamber and most people you talk to in the street.
If only we had a chance to put those sort of people into office.
Oh, wait a minute. What’s happening in May again?
Gosh, a council election you say? Really?
There’s food for thought. As in thinking about who we really want in the Townhouse driving Aberdeen’s future.
Daft new weather word just left me storming
Before we get any further into this winter can we get one thing out of the way.
Thundersnow is not a word. It’s not even a thing. It’s a daft conflation which appears to have sprung into being for dramatic effect about fairly undramatic weather.
It turned up last week to describe the prospect of snow showers with thunder. Which is how to describe it. Not Thundersnow. What next? Rainwind? Coldfog? Warmsun – not that we’d see that around here too often.
Climate change is bad enough without language change creeping in.
Please can we have a bit of world-beating swagger?
My usual bafflement over sport was ramped up while listening to our national broadcaster’s Scottish branch office talking about Andy Murray’s chances in the Australian Open.
Apparently the draw has been kind because he won’t be up against some of the top players in the world early doors in the tournament.
Wait a minute. Isn’t Sir Andy THE number one tennis player on the planet? Shouldn’t others worry about facing him? I was left with the impression his top ranking has been some sort of lucky fluke.
It’s the Scottish cringe write large. For pity’s sake, can we please have a bit of swagger when one of us does well … like world-beatingly well!