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Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town House. View directions

Contact: Mark Masson, email  mmasson@aberdeencity.gov.uk, or telephone 01224 522989 

Items
No. Item

The agenda and reports associated with this minute can be found here.

 

Please note that if any changes are made to this minute at the point of approval, these will be outlined in the subsequent minute and this document will not be retrospectively altered.

1.

Determination of Exempt Business

Minutes:

The Convener proposed that the Committee consider item 8.1 (Combined City and Beach - Exempt Appendices) with the press and public excluded from the meeting.

 

The Committee resolved:-

in terms of Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the above item so as to avoid disclosure of information of the classes described in paragraph 8 of Schedule 7(A) to the Act. (Article 5 of this minute refers).

2.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Minutes:

Members were requested to intimate any declarations of interest in respect of the items on today’s agenda, thereafter the following were intimated:-

(1)      Councillor Cooke declared an interest in item 7.1 (Combined City and Beach Covering Report) by virtue of him being an Aberdeen City Council appointed Director of Sport Aberdeen and indicated that a specific exclusion applied in terms of section 5.18.2 (i) of the Councillors Code of Conduct; and also as the owner of a vehicle which did not comply with the emission standards of the Low Emission Zone. He considered that the nature of his interest did not require him to leave the meeting, therefore he remained in the meeting throughout;

(2)      the Vice Convener considered her interest in item 7.1 (Combined City and Beach Covering Report) by virtue of her being an Aberdeen City Council appointed Director of Aberdeen Inspired. She considered that the nature of her interest did not require her to leave the meeting, therefore she remained in the meeting throughout; and

(3)      Councillor Yuill declared an interest in item 7.1 (Combined City and Beach Covering Report) by virtue of him being an Aberdeen City Council member of Robert Gordon’s College Board of Governors and as an owner of a vehicle which did not comply with the emission standards of the Low Emission Zone. He considered that the nature of his interest did not require him to leave the meeting, therefore he remained in the meeting throughout.

3.

Deputations pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a deputation from (1) Mr Hussein Patwa, on behalf of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Aberdeen City Disability Equity Partnership; and (2) Mr Frank Whitaker, Chair of Aberdeen City and Shire Hotel Association in relation to item 7.1 (Combined City and Beach Covering Report).

 

Deputation by Mr Patwa

 

The Committee firstly heard Mr Patwa advise that the Chair and Vice Chair had grave concerns over one (amongst many) of the key principles within the proposed Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan namely, the recommended pedestrianisation of Union Street.

 

He intimated that parties were broadly in favour of the Masterplan and indeed supported many of its intended outcomes, for example improved footpaths, the wider pavements, the Market, Union Terrace Gardens (the improvements will enable people with mobility difficulties to enjoy the space and participate in events taking place there), improved surfaces and connectivity from Union Street to the Beach via the Castlegate.

 

He intimated that they also had serious concerns, shared by many sectors of our society, which had not been addressed through the preparatory scoping and initial designs, justifications and recommendations laid before members for today’s critical considerations, namely the pedestrianisation of Union Street.

 

He explained that the proposal as stated would have a devastating effect on people with disabilities, the elderly, young families, those who rely on public transport and people experiencing mobility difficulties because of life limiting conditions, menopause, illness, accident, or injury by effectively engineering them out of the heart of the city.

 

Mr Patwa referred to section 2.1.4 of the report dealing with accessible parking and advised that it failed to provide any detail on the location, number, or scope of these spaces. In addition, it failed to recognise the qualifying principle of Blue Badge spaces or the impact of extended walking distances on people experiencing mobility challenges, or hurdles posed by rolling surfaces, gradients, kerb heights, prevailing winds, or weather.

 

He explained that at present, Union Street facilitated near door-to-door connectivity with all premises on or near it, offering a lifeline to many who wish to use these resources and it should be understood that for many people, both with visible and hidden disabilities, who are unable to use public transport, to cycle, walk or drive conventional vehicles, their only option to access these venues was a direct drop off or to use adapted vehicles with appropriate parking provision. For some, any walking distance at all was an impossibility and direct access to a location was a requirement, not a consideration.     

 

He referred to the proposed taxi and drop-off facilities on Union Terrace, but intimated that it failed to provide detail to allow scrutiny and for interested parties and stakeholders to offer meaningful comment or counterproposals to ensure they were fit for purpose. Further, should pedestrianisation occur, he indicated that the report failed to identify any other locations for similar facilities within practical distance of other points of Union Street and the surrounding area.

 

Mr Patwa referred to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Combined City and Beach Covering Report - RES/21/297 pdf icon PDF 530 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With reference to articles 14, 15 and 19 of the minute of meeting of 25 August 2021, the Committee had before it a report by the Director of Resources which presented new reports in relation to the following:-

·       City Centre Masterplan Update;

·       Aberdeen Market;

·       Queen Street;

·       Beach;

·       Combined City and Beach Covering Report (this report); and

·       Financial Appendix (Exempt).

 

The report (1) progressed the above strategic work streams setting out the suite of recommendations and programme of works going forward recognising the interdependencies and phasing required and (2) provided a strong programme approach which allowed officers to maximise current and future external funding opportunities for projects.

 

The report recommended:-

that the Committee –

(A)      Transport and Connectivity

 

City Centre, Castlegate, Beach Boulevard and Beach

(a)      note the City Growth & Resources Committee on 24 June 2021 approved the Low Emission Zone within the City Centre;

(b)      note the Council were formally notified of the success of the Partnership bid in the latter half of June 2021, confirming that up to £12,030,000 had been awarded, the full amount that the Partnership had bid for;

(c)      note the outcomes of Phase 1 of the Traffic Management Plan in respect of Union Street Central (CCMP report Appendices A, B and C) and agree:-

(1)    the option to fully pedestrianise Union Street Central, except for cyclists and time limited servicing; and

(2)    that in order to do so, bus, taxi (and private hire) and cycle priority, will require to be implemented on Bridge Street, Market Street and Guild Street, Schoolhill/Upperkirkgate will require to be pedestrianised between Harriet Street and Flourmill Lane, and right turns prohibited except for buses, taxis (and private hire) and cycles from Union Terrace into Rosemount Viaduct, all as identified in Appendices A and B; and, pending Committee approval of (c)(1) and (c)(2) above;

(3)    instruct the Chief Officer – Operations and Protective Services to progress with the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders; and

(4)    approve the detailed design principles for Union Street Central (Appendix D) and instruct the Director of Resources to proceed to the next stage of works including detailed design, stakeholder engagement, contractor engagement and applications for statutory consents;

(d)      note the outcomes of stakeholder engagement to date with regards accessible parking, cycle facilities, bus stops and routing, taxi ranks and servicing arrangements, and traffic management in the City Centre and Beach areas and instruct the Chief Officer Strategic Place Planning to continue to engage with stakeholders to finalise Phase 2 of the Traffic Management Plan in tandem with the evolving streetscape design for the priority intervention areas, connectivity to the Beach and Beach Boulevard and report progress back to this Committee in June 2022; and

(e)      instruct the Director of Resources to progress design works for public realm improvements from Aberdeen Market to Guild Street in association with ongoing design work for Aberdeen Market (recommendations (E) below) and report progress to this Committee in February 2022.

 

(B)      Spaces for People

 

(f)       subject to approval of the various design work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

In accordance with the decision recorded under article 1 of this minute, the following item of business was considered with the press and public excluded.

5.

Combined City and Beach - Exempt Appendices

Minutes:

The Committee had before it exempt appendices relating to item 7.1 (Combined City and Beach Covering Report). Article 4 of this minute refers.

 

The Committee resolved:-

to note the information provided within the exempt appendices.

-         COUNCILLOR RYAN HOUGHTON, Convener