“We strive for equality, to make sure everyone has the opportunity to progress in life, to make things the best that they can be. But inequality is rife in all societies and we have a duty to address that and to ensure that everyone, not just those who are already well off, can benefit from investment and development in our cities. As local government leaders, tackling inequalities is an absolute priority because poverty is insidious. It represents not only a shortage of money, but also a lack of support network, food shortages and debt; it threatens people’s physical and mental well-being, shortens lives, limits access to education, training, and jobs, and puts communities at risk. We have to provide the opportunities for everybody to prosper, which is why mutual exchange and inspiration-sharing programmes, such as the OECD Champion Mayor’s initiative are so valuable.”
– Co-Council Leader, Jenny Laing
Jenny Laing is a Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council. She was elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2007 and represents the Mid Stocket / Rosemount Ward.
Jenny became the Convener of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee in 2012, the Council Leader in May 2014 and Co-Leader in 2017. Jenny is the Vice-Chair of Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee, Convener of the Strategic Commissioning Committee, Convener of the Urgent Business Committee and Convener of the Community Planning Aberdeen Board. She is a member of the Aberdeen Inspired Board, a member of the VisitAberdeenshire Board, and a member of the Scottish Cities Alliance.
Jenny was named the Scottish Local Politician of the Year 2017.
Jenny graduated from Aberdeen University with an honours degree in Economic History and spent 25 years as a Customs Officer with HM Customs and Excise; at Aberdeen Airport and Dundee Port; and throughout the North East as a VAT Inspector and Compliance Officer; latterly she was a Business Education Support Officer throughout Scotland with HM Revenue and Customs.
Aberdeen City Council aims to make Aberdeen a climate positive city, and is investing £100 million in measures to safeguard and enhance the environment, with commitments to improve air quality and introduce more greenery. The 2020/21 budget included: £5 million for alternative fuel powered council fleet vehicles to help deliver a Low Emission Zone within the city centre; £15m for an environmentally friendly heat network in Torry; £1m for cycling and walking infrastructure; £3m to tackle fuel poverty by investing in council housing stock; and £2.4m for the digital network to further improve services and reduce travel needs.
The city also has a Net Zero City Vision that aims to deliver environmental and economic benefits for Aberdeen. The plan will position Aberdeen as a city committed to climate action, while supporting the global energy transition.
Powering Aberdeen is the city’s sustainable energy action plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city has committed to greater use of alternative energy, implementing new technologies to reduce resource use, improve energy efficiency, and increase sustainable transport use. To meet these goals, Aberdeen is developing a new waste facility that will generate heat and power, adding hydrogen diesel and hydrogen electric buses to its existing bus fleet, replacing street lights with LEDs, which is predicted will save 4,300 tonnes of carbon per year.
The Aberdeen City Region Deal aims to attract investment and jobs to the area. The deal is part of a long-term improvement programme that aims to boost the local economy, regional competitiveness, connectivity, infrastructure, housing, employment and lifestyle, all of which are key elements in attracting and retaining the workforce we will continue to need to power and support the energy sector.
Aberdeen’s Board of Community Planning works with public sector agencies to deliver improved outcomes for those who live, work, visit and do business in Aberdeen, by working with communities to develop the services they need. Community Planning Aberdeen developed the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) that outlines projects that aim to improve outcomes for citizens, particularly those in the city’s most disadvantaged areas or facing additional challenges.
The Local Housing Strategy 2018-2023 aims to enable people in Aberdeen to live in good quality sustainable homes, which they can afford and that meet their needs. It is a five-year strategy covering all types and tenures of housing including social rented, private rented and owner-occupied accommodation. By 2023, the plan aims to deliver 385 affordable homes, 2,000 council homes, prevent homelessness, provide increased support for those who need it to live independently, reduce fuel poverty, and improve standards of housing generally.