Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Monday, 10 September 2012 14:08 UK

Members' business: Aberdeen city centre

Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, told MSPs that the decision by the Labour led Aberdeen City Council to ignore the result of the referendum on the proposed City Gardens project was "completely and utterly anti-democratic", during his member's debate on 11 September 2012.

Mr Stewart's motion said he understands that £55 million of private sector money was offered for the City Garden Project, and believes that Aberdeen city centre needs transformational change in order to thrive.

A referendum was held earlier this year where people were asked if they wanted to retain the historic gardens in Aberdeen or back the £140m City Garden Project redevelopment.

45,301 voted in favour of the project and 41,175 voted against it.

However the project was narrowly rejected after a council debate in August 2012.

Labour MSP for the North East, Richard Baker hit back saying Labour won the most councillors at the last election which was why they led the coalition and thier electoral mandate was not to proeceed with the City Gardens Project.

Mr Baker said the project was "massively risky" and added "we need development, but it must be development that works".

He called on the Scottish government rather than seek to punish Aberdeen, to accept the council's decision and to invest in Aberdeen.

Closing the debate, Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay said it was Labour who had "pulled the plug" on the project and urged the party to U-turn and bring back a prioirty case which included plans to develop the city gardens.


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