This week in Parliament I urged the First Minister to do more to proactively help Aberdeen City Council fill empty retail units after Debenhams, which has been in Aberdeen for over 35 years and occupies one of its largest retail units said it would not be reopening. With another department store building, BHS, remaining empty five years after it closed and Arcadia also shutting several stores in the city, there is a serious risk that these units will remain empty for many years to come.
The response given by Nicola Sturgeon was a slap in the face to not just the council but the people of Aberdeen who want to see their city centre prosper. Rather than seriously engaging with this issue, the First Minister resorted to laughing in the chamber during my question.
People in Aberdeen certainly are not laughing at the fact our city centre risks becoming like a ghost town, and the SNP have shown themselves yet again completely incapable of listening to the concerns of the north east.