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Sturgeon blinks first. Good luck Environmental Health Officers !

Well done Aberdeen City Council.


By standing up to the vindictive desire of Sturgeon to unnecessarily extend the Aberdeen lockdown and hold Aberdeen up as an example of how you might get punished if you don't do as you are told, especially if it was done in the name of enjoying yourself, the Council have freed Aberdeen City from the Sturgeon tyranny.


The main reason, of course, why Sturgeon backed down was because of the increasing number of infections in Coupar Angus (Tayside) and Dundee, and the last thing Sturgeon wanted to do, was lockdown these areas where the SNP has public support at the ballot box. She could no longer justify locking down only Aberdeen when the infection rate there was less than her favourite parts of Scotland. She of course, denies this, and maintains that the real reason she has not locked down areas such as Coupar Angus is because the infection there is within a workplace and has not started to spread in the community. Really? Do these workers spend their whole lives in the factory? Do they not go home at night like normal people and see their friends at weekends? Pull the other one Sturgeon, it has bells on it.


Nonetheless it was disappointing to see that the lockdown was only ended after Aberdeen City Council agreed that no pub, cafe or restaurant would open until it had been inspected by an Environmental Health Officer, and declared safe. Quite why Aberdeen has to make this commitment when no other city in Scotland is required to, seems quite an oversight on Sturgeon's part, and quite a concession on the Council's part. But Nicky was never going to lift the lockdown without extracting some sort of penance, was she?


However, the effort won't be wasted. Undoubtedly, pubs such as Soul will now have to adhere properly to social distancing requirements, and everyone will be watching! Even Aberdeen City Council and hopefully the police, both of whom washed their hands of this responsibility first time round. Safer practice means safer customers.


I have a concern though. I pity the Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) of Aberdeen who now have the massive burden on their shoulders of inspecting every pub, cafe and restaurant desperate to open by Wednesday 26 August.


It hardly seems fair. Aberdeen City Council, in keeping with many other local authorities in Scotland, has in recent years been dumping Council staff in areas such as Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Public Analyst laboratories over recent years. Suddenly, the handful of EHOs that remain in employment are meant to rise to the occasion and inspect hundreds of premises in a matter of days to solve the city's hospitality problem. How many EHOs are there in Aberdeen? Three? Four? Five? I don't know exactly but you can probably count them all on one hand.


Funny how you you suddenly become so necessary and indispensable, but only when there's an emergency.

"Help ma boab, how many establishments to check?"


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