Feb 242017
 

With thanks to Martin Ford.

Aberdeenshire Council should not hand public money to billionaire Donald Trump to reduce his tax bill.

That is the view of Aberdeenshire Green candidate Richard Openshaw (pictured), who is standing in the West Garioch ward at the Council election on 4 May.

Mr Openshaw is concerned because, following rates revaluation, Aberdeenshire Council has set aside up to £3 million for a business rates transitional relief scheme, and the ‘hospitality sector’ has been identified as particularly in need of assistance.

Although he no longer administers it, President Trump, self-proclaimed billionaire, has retained ownership of Trump International Golf Links and the associated hotel at Menie, a business that could potentially receive some of this relief .

“I strongly support the proposal for a business rates transitional relief scheme for Aberdeenshire,” said Mr Openshaw.

“There is certainly a need for a scheme of this kind. But the Council must target its help towards those genuinely in need, the cases where the revaluation is resulting in hardship.

“It would surely be completely inappropriate for Aberdeenshire Council to distribute public money to Mr Trump, who certainly doesn’t need or deserve it,” said Mr Openshaw.

No details of Aberdeenshire’s rates relief scheme are yet available so it is not known what criteria will be used to decide the distribution of funds, nor which Aberdeenshire businesses might benefit. Council officers are working up proposals to put before the full council meeting on 9 March.

“Whatever scheme Aberdeenshire comes up with, the Council should not be helping out Mr Trump with his tax bill,” Mr Openshaw said.

“I do not believe public money should be used to subsidise a billionaire, especially given that paying business rates is one of the very few economic benefits the UK has ever got from Mr Trump.”

Mr Trump’s dislike of paying taxes is well known. During a presidential campaign debate with his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton in September 2016, he claimed that not paying federal taxes “makes me smart”. Indeed, Mr Trump does not pay corporation tax on his businesses in Scotland.

“Very few people would see Mr Trump as a deserving recipient of public money from Aberdeenshire Council,” said Aberdeenshire Green councillor Martin Ford.

The Sunday Herald newspaper reported its view that Mr Trump is unlikely to benefit from the rates relief scheme which it says Aberdeenshire Council is designing to target assistance to small businesses.

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Aug 212015
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP

Gillian Martin (1)Gillian Martin (SNP Holyrood candidate for Aberdeenshire East) and Alex Salmond MP (Gordon) MSP (Aberdeenshire East) have welcomed the announcement of the second phase of the £100 million Attainment Scotland Fund. The Fund, which was launched earlier this year, supports schools, parents and pupils, which will improve attainment levels for all children.

This follows the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s keynote speech delivered at Wester Hailes Education Centre today (Tuesday 18th August).

During her speech, the First Minister set out the Scottish Government’s fresh approach to ensure every one of Scotland’s children has an equal chance to succeed in their school education.

Commenting, Gillian Martin said:

“I welcome the First Minister’s commitment to education. Here in Aberdeenshire, we have seen the results of the Scottish Government’s investment in new schools.

“I was recently visited the new Ellon Academy, which is a fantastic modern educational facility and a shining example of how education should work.

“The project was funded by the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council and designed in partnership with the school. At every turn the school’s management, staff and pupils were involved in this design.

“The result is a fit for purpose, future-proof education facility and makes Ellon Academy a flagship school for our area.

“As a former Ellon Academy pupil, I am proud to see my old school leading the way in progressive education provision in the area. With inclusiveness and aspiration at its heart, the new Ellon Academy will make the transition from secondary to further education seamless.”

Alex Salmond MP (Gordon) MSP (Aberdeenshire East) said:

“It am very pleased to hear that the First Minister and the Scottish Government are staying committed to investment in education.

“The new Ellon Academy is just one of more than 500 new schools that have been rebuilt or refurbished since the SNP entered government in 2007.  It is a perfect example of what we can achieve when we focus on education.”

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Apr 062012
 

In response to Suzanne Kelly’s article in this week’s issue The Scottish Green Party, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Branch have issued the following statement.

Suzanne Kelly’s article is factually inaccurate and misleading.

For the record, while Ms Kelly has now decided she wants to be an independent candidate, in 2010 it was her wish to stand as the Green Party’s candidate for the Torry/Ferryhill ward.
The local Green Party branch agreed to support her candidature.

In June 2011, Ms Kelly advised the Green Party branch that she was resigning as candidate, with great regret, due to a change in personal circumstances. In her resignation e-mail, she expressed great admiration for the help and support she had received as a candidate and offered to help distribute another Green candidate’s leaflets.

She remained a party member. Early this year, it became known Ms Kelly now again wished to stand in the Torry/Ferryhill ward, but as an independent. She was advised that Green Party rules meant she would need the Party’s consent to stand as an independent and this would not be given to stand against a duly selected Green Party candidate. Ms Kelly then wrote to say ‘sadly’ she had decided to resign from the Scottish Green Party.

Ms Kelly is now campaigning for her own election. In her article for Aberdeen Voice, referring to events in the early part of 2011, Ms Kelly claims,

“There was no way I was going to stay in the Green Party after this.”

Not true. She did stay in the Green Party after that, for nearly a year. She offered to help with Green Party campaigning. She resigned from the Party, expressing regret at doing so, in January 2012. The claims Ms Kelly is making now about the Green Party cannot be reconciled with her statements at the time.

We do not know why Ms Kelly took her successive decisions about standing and not standing for the Council. We do know her claims in respect of her dealings with the Green Party are not consistent with the facts.

Campaign For Recognition Of Battle Of Nechtansmere Site

 Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Articles, Community, Featured, Information, Opinion  Comments Off on Campaign For Recognition Of Battle Of Nechtansmere Site
Mar 082011
 

With thanks to Kevin Hutchens.

Kevin Hutchens, Scottish Labour’s Scottish Parliament Candidate for Angus North and the Mearns and William Campbell, their candidate in Angus South have united behind the call for formal recognition of the importance of the Battle of Nechtansmere site near Dunnichen in Angus.

According to Kevin Hutchens :

“First indications are that the site of the battle may be near Letham which is clearly in Angus South, however the exact site is unclear, and it is almost certain that skirmishes will have taken place in the Forfar area before and after the main battle and that the battle took place around the area.

What is clear is that at present no archaeological evidence has been found to indicate exactly where the battle site was.  So both of us as candidates could lay claim to having the site of this important historical battle in our constituency “.

William Campbell stated:

“Angus is widely known as Scotland’s Birthplace because of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.  The Battle of Nechtansmere was arguably even more significant because it established more than six centuries earlier that the Northumbrian forces could not successfully challenge the Picts in their own territories.

It was a defining moment in Scottish history, and Kevin Hutchens and I are therefore issuing a joint call to Fiona Hyslop MSP to ensure that the battle, with its contribution to Scottish history and culture, is fully recognised.”

Kevin Hutchens adds:

“Such recognition is long overdue for this important event that helped shape much of the built landscape and place names of Scotland as we know them today “

Footnote by Fred Wilkinson.

The Battle of Nectansmere is recorded as having taken place on 21st may 685AD and is regarded as a key event which assured Scotlands future as a Nation. The Northumbrian Angles, led by King Ecgfrith sought to expand their territory further at the expense of the Picts led by King Bridei Mac Bili.

It is believed that the Picts  tricked the Angles by splitting their force into two armies – one cohort fleeing, only to lead them into an ambush  by both cohorts, and overwhelming them with ” a hail of stone and spear, as the Pictish army attacked from both sides.” ( source – http://www.information-britain.co.uk/famdates.php?id=172 )

King Ecgfrith died in the battle, as did the vast majority of the Angles, either as a direct result of conflict, or being drowned in the loch in their attempts to retreat. Of the relatively few survivors, many were enslaved by the Picts.

Previous to the battle of Nechansmere, the Northumbrian Angles had for thirty years steadily expanded their territory North at the expense of the Picts.

The Northumbrian Angles numbers were so decimated in The Battle of Nectansmere that they never again recovered the capacity to  advance their territory beyond The Firth Of Forth.