Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden is irate at what he perceives to be the double standards by Holyrood in administering local lockdowns.
Conservative Councillor Lumsden said he is “convinced” Glasgow didn’t receive the same measures as Aberdeen because the SNP feared a backlash against shutting hospitality in the capital.
After a cluster of covid cases were identified at a bar in Aberdeen City Centre at the beginning of August, the SNP ordered all hospitality in the city to close for two weeks and put a travel ban on the area.
Earlier this month it was identified that cases of covid were increasing due to households meeting up in Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire.
Because of this the SNP put a ban on families meeting at their homes, but still allowed households to meet in bars, pubs and restaurants.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden believes the SNP feared putting more stringent measures on Glasgow.
Mr Lumsden told The Reporter: “I think it’s a disgrace the double standards we have seen from the Scottish Government. There was an issue with an outbreak in Aberdeen and we went into a lockdown. When there was an outbreak in Glasgow the First Minister chose not to implement the same restrictions.
“I am convinced that Glasgow did not face the same restrictions because the SNP were concerned with the potential backlash from closing hospitality venues in the capital.”
Lord Provost’s suspicions
Labour member and Lord Provost of Aberdeen Mr Barney Crockett told this publication there was a “long tale” when asked whether he thought rules between Aberdeen and Glasgow were often different.
Mr Crockett said: “I think any Aberdonian would always be suspicious if Aberdeen is picked out. There’s an injustice to that because we are used to being treated less well than other parts of Scotland.
“We do stand out. We’re a very different city from the rest of Scotland and you always feel the central decision making counts against you and that people would be more reluctant to take more action against Edinburgh and Glasgow.”
SNP: Each case assessed in isolation
SNP representative at Holyrood for Aberdeen South Ms Maureen Watt rubbished claims there were double standards involved in the way lockdown measures were decided in central government.
Ms Watt said: “Each cluster is assessed in isolation. In Aberdeen the increase in numbers was related to the hospitality industry. In the Greater Glasgow area it was based on interactions among households.
“Regrettably, as a result of clusters in Aberdeen and then in Glasgow, this resulted in local lockdowns being implemented.”
Independent: No consistancy
Ms Marie Boulton, an Independent in Aberdeen City Council who represents the ward of Lower Deeside, offered some political balance to the debate by saying she accepted that, at the time, Aberdeen needed to be locked down due to a rise in cases, however she is confused by what she perceives a lack of consistency in deciding lockdown rules for each area.
Ms Boulton said: “What makes no sense is that there continues to be significant outbreaks/clusters in various locations around Scotland, higher than Aberdeen, yet the measures imposed have been random.”
Ms Boulton also believes the measures in Aberdeen in August went beyond where the source of the outbreak originated.
Ms Boulton continued: “The Aberdeen clusters started in hospitality, but the lockdown encompassed a 5 mile travel restriction for non-essential journeys, no indoor visits with other households and visiting suspended for most hospitals, so it went beyond the places identified as the source of the outbreaks.”
Do you think Glasgow is getting preferential treatment in the administering of local lockdowns compared to Aberdeen? Leave a comment below and let us know.