by Ruby Earle Feb 1st, 2018
More than two-thirds of Scots want Donald Trump to be stopped from building a second golf course near Aberdeen according to a poll commissioned by 38 Degrees.
Polling carried out by Survation for the campaign organisation found that, of those who expressed an opinion 68% said the course’s planning application should be rejected by Aberdeenshire Council. (When Don’t Knows are included the figures are 53% opposed to the course, 25% supported it and 22% don’t know.)
The Trump Organization want to build a second course at Balmedie, ten years after a bitter battle over the first one. Last year, environment experts objected to the new plans, which are being considered by the council. And 26,725 people people have signed a 38 Degrees petition calling on Aberdeenshire Council to stop Trump’s course.
Now, nearly three-quarters of respondents who expressed an opinion (71%) believe the Trump Organization’s plans will not bring economic benefits to Aberdeenshire. (Including “Don’t Knows”, the figures were 55% did not believe there would be economic benefits, 22% believed there would be and 23% didn’t know.)
Ten years ago, when Trump was pushing to be allowed to build his first course in the area, there were promises of £1 billion investment and 6,000 new jobs. But, a decade on it’s claimed that only a small part of this investment has materialised and the resort only employs the equivalent of 95 full-time people.
The Aberdeenshire Council leader, Jim Gifford, who supported the previous Trump course in the area has said it wasn’t worth it as “the economic development hasn’t come through”.
The poll also found that 66% of respondents who expressed an opinion felt the original Trump course in Aberdeenshire should not have been given the go-ahead in 2008. (Including Don’t Knows, the figures were 51% did not believe it should have been given permission, 27% believed it should, and 22% didn’t know.)
Stewart Kirkpatrick, Head of Scotland for 38 Degrees, said: “This poll shows the growing public opposition to Donald Trump’s golf course. More than 26,000 38 Degrees members in Scotland have signed a petition against it, and donated the cash to pay for a poll that shows they’re not alone 38 Degrees members across Scotland will be contacting councillors and handing in the petition next week.
“This is clear evidence of strong public opposition to the Trump Organization’s plans for a new course. After the first course failed to deliver the promised investment and jobs bonanza, Scots now feel the new plan just won’t bring economic benefits to the area. They don’t think the first course should have gone ahead and they certainly don’t feel this one should.
“Does Aberdeenshire Council really want to give a vote of confidence to this man?”
The poll of 1,029 Scottish respondents was undertaken online by Survation on behalf of 38 Degrees on 24-28 January. (Tables attached.)
As of 1 February, 2017, 26,725 people people have signed the 38 Degrees petition calling on Aberdeenshire Council to Stop Trump’s Golf course.