Aberdeen Futures: Whose Community Planning?

New Report: Aberdeen TGWU ACTS Branch commissioned the European Services Strategy Unit to undertake a critical evaluation of Aberdeen Futures and the city’s community planning participation framework. The objective was to assess the extent to which the scope of participation had resulted in a shift of power in the decision making process and to identify the extent to which Aberdeen Futures has involved trade unions and community organisations in its activities.

The study examined the structure of the community planning framework – The Aberdeen City Alliance (TACA), the Challenge Forums, Aberdeen Civic Forum and the City Assembly. Most of the interviewees reported that there had been no shift or re-alignment of power in the city to community organisations. Trade unions have no formal representation on the Alliance, the Civic Forum or the Challenge Forums. Trade unions failed to challenge exclusion from community planning organisations. Yet the City Council’s 10,000 employees are also service users, as are the many thousands of other trade unionists in the public and private sector in Aberdeen. They have the right, like all citizens, to be represented and organised in the community and at work and by more than one organisation. The city’s trade unions also have an analysis and views about the causes of current problems and ideas and policies to enhance Aberdeen’s economy.

The report recommended that the TGWU should, possibly in cooperation with other public sector trade unions, set up a working group to map out a trade union perspective on the city’s community planning process and recommend appropriate strategies. If the City Council, TACA and the Civic Forum are not responsive to trade union involvement then the TGWU should consider establishing a Commission to draw together a trade union perspective and policy agenda and/or establish a Public Service Alliance, a city-wide coalition of trade unions and community organisations. Download the report.