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Donside: Regeneration Money Must be Ring-Fenced for Middlefield Community

>> 3 June 2013

SNP candidate for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald has called on the Labour-Tory administration of Aberdeen City Council to guarantee that money for regenerating Middlefield is ring-fenced for the local community.

Planned improvements at the Haudagain roundabout will see over 300 homes and the site of both the Middlefield Project and the Healthy Hoose demolished, meaning new facilities and homes must be found before work can begin. Despite calling for work on the Haudagain to begin immediately, the current Labour-led administration does not have detailed plans in place for moving residents and regenerating Middlefield.

The previous SNP administration had given a cast-iron commitment to ring-fence funds generated from the sale of land at the Haudagain for the regeneration of Middlefield, however the Labour-led administration has refused to promise the same ring fencing, creating huge uncertainty for residents in the community.

The SNP Government has committed to fully funding improvements to the Haudagain roundabout, including the necessary compulsory purchase of properties in the area.

Commenting, SNP candidate for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald said:

“Despite claiming they want work to begin immediately, the Labour-led administration have not got plans in place to rehouse people living in Middlefield or to find new premises for the Middlefield Project or the Healthy Hoose.

“That just isn't good enough and the council must commit itself to matching the previous SNP administration by ring-fencing funds for regenerating Middlefield as part of work in the area.

“The fact that they have watered down their commitment is causing significant concern in Middlefield and I have written to residents in the area promising to stand up for them and ensure that they are not forgotten.

“If we are supposed to take Labour at their word then it can only mean that they do not care about the traffic chaos that building the Haudagain before the AWPR would create, they do not care that homes have not been found for the residents of Middlefield and they do not care that vital community projects have not been found new buildings.

“I think that such a callous approach is completely unacceptable. Middlefield must not simply be treated as an afterthought

“The work at the Haudagain needs to happen when the AWPR is in place and when proper solutions are in place for residents of Middlefield.

“That is the right way to proceed and no amount of empty rhetoric will change that fact.”

At a meeting of the Housing and Environment Committee of Aberdeen City Council on 14 May 2013, Labour councillors refused to back an SNP call for a cast iron commitment that 100% of funding generated from the Haudagain would be ring-fenced for the regeneration of Middlefield.

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