Willie Young land row legal threat ditched after apology

Willie Young has dropped a threat of legal action against a former councillor after receiving an apology.

The former Aberdeen City Council finance convener had been accused of owning land at the city’s Wellington Brae which was set to benefit from a £200,000 makeover from publicly-funded cycle pathway body Sustrans.

Allegations were made that Mr Young had a conflict of interest as the council had a role in approving the project.

However, it emerged he did not own the land and the council apologised as e-mails between Mr Young and council officers had been leaked.

He had threatened legal action against Graham Dickson, a former SNP councillor, accusing him of repeating the allegations Mr Young owned the land.

Now, Mr Dickson has written to Mr Young’s solicitor to apologise.

In the letter, Mr Dickson said: “Please pass on to your client my full and sincere apology for repeating the claims that your client owned the land at Wellington Brae. After your client refuted the ownership of the land, solicitors were requested to reconfirm the ownership of the land again.

“(They) then stated the owner was in fact David Young, your client’s father, rather than your client.

“Great efforts were then taken at the time to correct the public record and to ensure it was made clear the land was not owned by your client, but by his father.”

Mr Young today said: “I am happy to accept the apology from former councillor Graham Dickson.

“This matter was blown out of proportion given that I never owned the land and a simple check with the register of land owners would have confirmed that position.”

A spokesman for Mr Dickson said: “Due to Mr Dickson’s current employment, he is unable to comment.”

A spokesman for the council’s SNP group said: “This is a matter between two private individuals and we’ll be making no further comment.”

Audit Scotland is reviewing the Wellington Brae project and the council is set to publish a report later this year.