Reading today’s Press and Journal
newspaper holds out hope and then dashes it. In the early pages is reference to moves to persuade the UK government to support the development of an appropriate infrastructure for Europe’s Energy Capital.
Then, on the letters page, is an example of the in-fighting that has hampered our progress for too long.
There can be little denial that Aberdeen City and Shire has had a raw deal from successive governments. It is the predominant base for the industry that propped up an ailing UK economy since the 1980s.
Yet, for all its economic importance, investment in infrastructure in the energy capital has been conspicuous by its absence.The road stops here: Europe’s Energy Capital remains 87 miles from the motorway network
Good reason, therefore, to applaud reports that local Liberal Democrat MP Malcolm Bruce has secured a promise from UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry to take part in “constructive talks about infrastructure constraints”.
In the report Malcolm Bruce rightly points out that: “Compared with other energy centres around the world, Aberdeen does not live up to its role as Europe’s Offshore Energy Capital”.
You can almost hear the hearty agreement from the combined population of the city and shire!
The problem is that the local authorities in this geographical area are unable to finance improvements locally, because the current spending cuts have come on top of a history of underfunding. For reasons best known to the Scottish Government, The City of Aberdeen is right at the bottom of the league table when it comes to per capita central government funding.
Now, turn to the letters pages and the row over ACSEF’s letter to the Labour party government officials is dredged up yet again!
The very body charged with developing the future of the economy of Aberdeen City and Shire is in the firing line in the name of party politics.
I have no desire or intention of taking sides, but it grieves me – and should grieve everyone else – that moves to get the future economy hereabouts on the right lines are being mired in public.
In terms of extending the life of the North Sea and securing future marine renewables business for Aberdeen City and Shire, a squabble over a letter pales into insignificance.