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Readers’ letters: Gardens are still work in progress

Union Terrace Gardens pictured by reader Dr Michael Taylor.
Union Terrace Gardens pictured by reader Dr Michael Taylor.

Sir, – I ventured into the centre of town yesterday for the first time this year.

I parked beside Union Terrace Gardens, while trying to avoid bus gates.

Someone said that “they” have spent almost £28 million on the gardens to date.

There was a recent opening postponed so I expected an impressive result.

I am astounded by the current state of the gardens.

How much more will it cost to fix the mess, who has ultimate responsibility for this project and what safeguards are in place to audit the politicians and contractors responsible for the public funds utilised?

Surely Aberdonians should demand more accountability.

Dr Michael Taylor, Newlands Crescent, Aberdeen.

New harbour could be sunk by transport infrastructure delay

Sir, – This week I had a wonderful visit to the Port of Aberdeen as it is now called, with the purpose of viewing the progression of the South Harbour development.

I was certainly not disappointed, a massive undertaking by the executive board of the UK’s oldest company investing in excess of £400 million (very little government funding)to provide facilities for the huge modern shipping of today.

Their vision is truly inspiring, open for all types of business, bidding in conjunction with Peterhead to become a freeport, supplying sustainable energy to ships while in port to reduce pollution and ready to welcome cruise ships with their passengers eagerly awaiting the beauty of the north-east.

The most exciting part is that the South Harbour will be ready to operate on a smaller scale from July and the project is due to be finished by the end of next year.

Sounds great but there is one thing missing – the roads infrastructure has still to be started by Aberdeen Council.

We have a new herd of councillors, show us you are true leaders and get this infrastructure in place to allow Aberdonians and the north-east to benefit from the true vision of the Port of Aberdeen executive.

Ian Bartlet, Ellon Rotary Club, Ellon.

Pandemic fought by all key workers

Sir, – The good news about the job I do is being able to deliver groceries around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire during this pandemic without great interference from politicians of any political party and being able to meet a wide range of people while doing the job. There is also the satisfaction of feeling that you have made a contribution, as a key worker, to the county while doing so.

Sadly, many of those I speak to on nightshift feel, according to what they have seen of politicians and the general public and heard in the news, as if this pandemic has been all about the NHS.

Thankfully, despite impressions to the contrary, I don’t think that is the way it is.

While the NHS and adult social care have been very important, the contribution made by everyone including supermarket staff has helped us through this pandemic.

Similarly, despite impressions to the contrary from some people, as someone who voted for Scottish independence in 2014 I don’t believe the Union is all about unionists, and that those of us who voted for Scottish independence are as much part of the Union as those that voted to stay within it.

That is why I am glad that both a federalist party and one that supports Scottish independence have managed to get together to run Aberdeen City Council for the next five years – local government is about providing good local services, not narrow constitutional arguments.

That is surely why the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Alba Party failed to make any great gains in the local elections.

Until the Scottish Labour Party stops being a slightly left-wing version of the Tory Party, as I believe it has become, and actually starts to understand that is supposed to be a socialist party, it will continue to struggle electorally, in my opinion.

My eldest daughter will reach the age at which she can vote in Scottish elections exactly a week before the eight years have passed since the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and surely now is the time to stop classing voters by which way they voted way back then?

Peter Ovenstone, Orchard Grove, Peterhead.

Global warming is storm in a teacup

Sir, – The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has published an annual review of official weather data by climate researcher Paul Homewood which shows that UK weather trends have changed very little in recent decades, have become less extreme and there is no evidence for any worsening weather trends.

These disclosures will not please all those on the climate change gravy train.

The GWPF invited the Royal Society and the Met Office to review and respond to this paper and stated that their comments would be published as an addendum.

It is very telling that this invitation was not taken up.

The monotonous cry from the climate brigade that “the science is settled” is unravelling.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Agree to disagree over city politics

Sir, – I agree with Joe Churcher’s excellent, timely article – more people should write letters to The P&J. Especially those who agree with me.

But you have to be prepared for your letter not to be published or, if it is, your views not accepted.

Last Thursday and Friday the P&J printed versions of my letter about the Lib Dems’ likely alliance with the SNP – and still they went ahead.

To quote your esteemed art critic, Fergus Lamont, “I wept.” And I won’t be the only one come the next elections in 2027.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

No comparison between trips

Sir, – In a pathetic attempt to deflect criticism of the first minister’s pointless trip to America, Pete Wishart seeks to compare it with the attendance of Murdo Fraser at the Europa final.

The first minister was not “promoting Scotland” but shamelessly promoting the SNP agenda.

Mr Fraser was – I imagine – paying his own costs in getting to Seville, whereas the first minister’s ego trip was being paid for by the hard-pressed taxpayers.

Perhaps your newspaper could make an FOI request regarding the cost of this trip?

David Burnside, Albert Terrace, Aberdeen.

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