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City Council calls on Scottish Secretary to respond to independence White Paper

19/12/13

Aberdeen City Council has agreed to invite the Secretary of State for Scotland to provide written response to the Scottish Government's White Paper on independence.

A meeting of the Full Council voted in favour of a motion from the Leaders of the three coalition Administration parties to instruct City Council Chief Executive Valerie Watts to write to the Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, asking him to respond in writing to the White Paper which the Scottish Government published last month.

Labour group leader Councillor Barney Crockett, Independent Alliance group leader Councillor Marie Boulton and Conservative group leader Councillor Fraser Forsyth moved in their motion that Council:

  •  notes Scotland's future will be determined by a public referendum on 18 September 2014;

  •  notes the Smarter Aberdeen vision adopted by Council, which recognises that Aberdeen is stronger now and will grow even stronger in the future – economically, politically, and socially - as a partner within the United Kingdom;

  •  agrees that the United Kingdom has served Scotland and its people well for over 300 years and that Scotland enjoys the best of both worlds - a parliament making decisions over health and education, plus strength of being part of a wider United Kingdom with real economic clout and the most professional armed forces in the world;

  •  agrees that the 670 page White Paper issued by the SNP Scottish Government fails to provide the facts and answers promised to the Scottish people and instead produces the usual assertion, assumption and uncosted promises which fail to address the needs, aspirations and central questions of hard working Scottish people;

  •  agrees that it is disappointing that there are pledges made in the White Paper which the Scottish Government already has the power to implement, such as childcare provision;

  •  agrees that there is nothing in the White Paper to justify the break up of a country that has been built up over 300 years of shared endeavour and that Aberdeen City Council should actively engage with the local residents it represents to ensure they are fully informed of the potential impact on Council services which many local people depend on before the referendum on 18 September;

  •  instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Scotland inviting him to provide a written response to the Scottish Government's White Paper and thereafter make a copy of the Secretary of State for Scotland's response to the White Paper available to the public.