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ABERDEEN TO EMPLOY HOLYROOD LOBBYIST TO FIGHT ITS CORNER

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Aberdeen City Council has become the first local authority to employ a lobbyist to fight for its cause in the new S...
Aberdeen City Council has become the first local authority to employ a lobbyist to fight for its cause in the new Scottish parliament, reported The Scotsman (26 July, p6).

Len Ironside, chief executive of the council, said: 'Aberdeen has lost out on a lot of money, particularly over the past four years, in terms of projects for social inclusion and development.

'We suffer because everyone thinks of Aberdeen as being an oil-rich area. However, if you are not well-off in a city where there is a lot of wealth, you suffering is 10 times worse.'

Mr Ironside said the fact that the council was seeking a lobbyist was no reflection on the abilities and persuasive powers of the Aberdeen-based MSPs.

He said: 'We are well represented at the political level of the Scottish parliament but we are not represented on a level of officialdom. We need someone to act as our eyes and ears, who will tell us when to move and who we need to talk to.'

Access to the lobby service would be provided by the council free of charge. Mr Ironside said: 'We felt incredibly remote from Westminster and we are determined not to feel the same about the new parliament.'

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