In January 2011 a group of people met to discuss and review the position of our City relative to others in Scotland.
The group were to represent the whole of Aberdeen and all citizens of Aberdeen in trying to develop a safer, cleaner city where people are happy to invest, live, and work.
The concern of the group related to the negativity shown in articles about Aberdeen and their aim was to change this situation by emphasising the positives. There are so many positive stories about Aberdeen that a trick was being missed and therefore the group wished to tackle this matter.
The people of Aberdeen have never blown their own trumpet about success and though we are the Energy Capital of Europe we must work to maintain and keep this acknowledgement. There are some spectacular successes by Aberdeen based companies in this sector and these include the Wood Group, Craig Group, and many others recognised not only in European terms but globally.
Of course the importance of the people should never be underestimated and it is true to say Aberdonians are found in all parts of the world particularly where oil and gas exploration is undertaken and the subsea excellence derived from the north sea experience ensures our businesses are busy in many locations throughout the world.
Other positives include the student economy which brings significant contribution to local businesses and the group agreed we needed to shout about the major developments at Village Sports Centre, the new Library at the University of Aberdeen, and the new Swimming Pool which is in the plan. There will be many other good news stories to publicise.
But then Aberdeen is 1st for shopping with the Union Square development being added to the other developments and it was felt some work is required on promoting this to people in other Cities which is all part of the plan.
Of course there were issues mentioned about tidying up the City which was not new to anyone and involvement of the citizens could make things happen.
Without going over the top the group agreed that discussions would take place with local press to address this picture and also to work in partnership with other organisations for the benefit of the citizens of Aberdeen.
The original group then called a meeting with more people coming forward to engage in a wider group.
The Lord Provost took the chair at these meetings.