Aberdeen man asks council to fix broken fence amid drug addict worries

Robert Cowie

An Aberdeen man today pleaded with the council to fix a fence that has been broken for more than four years.

Cornhill resident Robert Cowie claims the damage has meant teenagers and drug users are congregating around the communal area.

The broken barrier in Cornhill Gardens is partly owned by Aberdeen City Council.

Robert, 50, whose house is next to the fence, has spoken to politicians, including Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman, about the issue, but still nothing has been done.

Robert, who is currently jobless, recently found syringes in the communal drying area – and believes the lack of fence is attracting drug users.

He said: “The council has said the house owners in the area have to pay for it.

“At this point, it’s just two poles coming out of the ground.

“I found drug paraphernalia in the area and had to get rid of it myself as kids are using the area as a shortcut to get to school at Cornhill Primary.”

A mixed recycling bin in the area has also attracted antisocial behaviour.

Robert, who lives in the council property with his wife Anna and 15-year-old stepson Lewis Napier, said: “It’s not safe at all – it’s in an inappropriate place.

“Teenagers have torched the bin and are using the area to congregate.”

He added: “The council has told me to keep taking notes, but really I just feel like I’m wasting my time.

“When I saw the drugs in the area last month, it was the final straw.”

Kirsty Blackman MP confirmed she has been trying to get the fence fixed.

She said: “I understand there are a number of private owners who have responsibility for the area, in addition to the council.

“The space is a real mess and city wardens have been involved in working with local children to try to stop them cutting through the area.

“This highlights an issue we see across the city, particularly in tenement blocks, where repairs can not be done as private owners are not willing to sanction the work.

“I would encourage everyone who owns a property to consider their responsibilities and how their lack of action might affect other owners and the amenity of an area.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “These areas are now under multiple ownership, whereas previously they were owned by the city council.  As such, to resolve these matters, requires all owners to agree.  Unfortunately this has not happened as yet..”