The top leadership team of the Scottish Government was in Aberdeen, on Monday of this week, bringing democracy to everyone who lives in the great ‘Granite City.’
Hundreds turned out to meet the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her cabinet in the evening, and during the day they visited projects and areas that have been supported by Scottish Government funding.
I was delighted that I could join the Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe Fitzpatrick, when he visited Portlethen’s Jubilee Hall, to see how the £60,000 from the Scottish Government has been used to re-roof and repair the building and install new toilet facilities.
It was also a fantastic achievement to see the First Minister cut the first sod for the AWPR – the £745 million road scheme which will bring jobs, investment and traffic congestion relief to Aberdeen.
Around six months ahead of schedule, the project is due to be completed in winter 2017.
As a result it will bring an estimated £6 billion investment in the north-east over the next 30 years.
Ministers were given the chance to get a real insight into local issues as part of the First Minister’s mission for the Scottish Government to be open and accessible in a way that has never been seen before.
I joined Communities Secretary Alex Neil at the site of the former Craiginches Prison, as somewhere that I had campaigned for more housing to benefit public sector workers.
The 120 new homes will be built after the site is sold to Sanctuary Housing Association, who will transform it into mid-market rent houses with the help of Affordable Housing Supply Programme funding.
In the evening, it was my pleasure to meet those who came along to the Question and Answer session with the Cabinet at the Music Hall.
There was a fantastic reception and it was a very proud moment to be able to join my colleagues on the stage as we explained our vision for Aberdeen.