Jan 272017

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson.

With thanks to Banffshire & Buchan Coast SNP.

The UK Government spent around £100 million on a competition for developing ground-breaking carbon capture and storage technology before scrapping the plans, a report from the National Audit Office has revealed.
The scheme would have seen emissions from heavy industry stored permanently underground, with Peterhead widely expected to win the £1 billion contract, which would have brought 600 jobs to the area.

It was scrapped at the eleventh hour by former Chancellor George Osborne – betraying the party’s explicit manifesto promise on the technology. 

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has said the latest revelations show how little the Tories care about investment in green energy technology and jobs in the North-east.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“These latest revelations from the National Audit Office are extraordinary, and show how that the Tory betrayal of the North East has not just cost jobs but has cost a fortune to deliver nothing.

“Just yesterday, the Scottish Government launched its climate action plan, setting ambitious targets to further reduce our carbon emissions and to tackle climate change. But today we are given yet another reminder that the Tories are happy to put the development of innovative, ground-breaking technologies to waste.

“CCS technology has great potential to play a leading role in tackling climate change, yet the Tories are complicit in stifling investment to develop this technology, as well as showing their complete lack of interest in developing and protecting jobs in the North-East of Scotland.”

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Dec 162016

With thanks to Kenneth Hutchison, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eilidh Whiteford.

Eilidh Whiteford and Stewart Stevenson with Broch Postal Staff Dec 2016.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP and Stewart Stevenson MSP visited the Fraserburgh Delivery Office on Friday morning to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on season’s greetings to its hardworking staff.
Dr Whiteford and Mr Stevenson were shown around the office by Delivery Office Manager, Chris Share, and were introduced to the postmen and women, who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in the Fraserburgh area over the Christmas period.

The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts and send Christmas cards and parcels.

As Royal Mail’s 500th anniversary draws to a close, this Christmas provides an opportunity to reflect on the centuries of hard work  delivering to every single address in the UK.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“At no other time is the hard work and dedication of postmen and women clearer than during the festive period.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“I thank them for the extraordinary lengths they go to ensure Christmas cards and presents are delivered to loved ones on time, and for all they do year-round.”

Chris Share, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager, said:

“It was a pleasure to show Dr Whiteford and Mr Stevenson our Christmas operation and to hear their kind words of encouragement and support.”

“We are extremely proud of our postmen and women for all their hard work during the Festive Season and for continuing our proud history of delivering Christmas mail.”

The last recommend posting dates for Christmas are:

Second Class – Tuesday 20 December 2016
First Class – Wednesday 21 December 2016
Special Delivery – Thursday 22 December 2016

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Feb 042016

Alex-Salmond-MP-MSPthm-Credit-SNP-AberdeenshireWith thanks to Tom Collins, Press Officer, Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MP MSP

MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Alex Salmond, has welcomed a response from Transport Minister Derek Mackay MSP on Monday (1 February 2016) informing him that Network Rail are progressing well with rail improvements between Aberdeen and Inverness.

The 108-mile route is set to benefit from a £170 million upgrade which will include platform extensions, signalling enhancements and the re-doubling of the line between Aberdeen and Inverurie.

Mr Salmond had also raised the issue of the need to mitigate for flooding along the line, to reduce the risk of disruption to services.

In his response, Mr Mackay said:

“The project remains on target for completion by March 2019, and within the spending cap.

“With regard to flood mitigation, Network Rail is working with industry partners to make Scotland’s rail infrastructure more resilient to the current and predicted weather and climate change impacts across the network. This should help to ensure that efficient and reliable train services are maintained, including those between Aberdeen and Inverness.”

Mr Salmond said:

“The upgrading of this service is good news for the people of the North East and will ensure that the full potential of the corridor of prosperity between Aberdeen and Inverness will be realised quickly and efficiently. I met with representatives of Network Rail last month, and I am pleased that their work remains on schedule.

“The redoubling of the line between Inverurie and Aberdeen, alongside the new station at Kintore will only serve to enhance these benefits of this essential transport link and help bring new people and opportunities to our local communities and what they offer.”

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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.]

Sep 182015

With thanks to Gavin Mowat, Constituency Assistant to Christian Allard MSP.

Christian Allard MSP debating at the Scottish Parliament

Christian Allard MSP debating at the Scottish Parliament

Whilst debating the Global Refugee Crisis today, Christian Allard MSP has highlighted that our Word Choice Matters.

Speaking today in the Scottish Parliament, he encouraged accuracy in terminology used and commended those who are currently discussing the Refugee Crisis with appropriate terms.

The North East MSP has recognised that when discussing the Refugee Crisis there must be clarity between the terms ‘Migrant’ and ‘Refugee’.

Christian Allard MSP explains that by ensuring the separation of the two terms it will protect the refugees from implications that the ‘M’ word can carry and, we can support the current crisis through truthful, informative discussions.

The North East MSP recognises that there has been a positive change of tone surrounding the situation but continues to urge that we all must continue to watch our language.

SNP MSP Christian Allard said:

“The damaging effects of using an incorrect term is very relevant and will influence our own perception and attitude towards refugees. Accuracy is key, Word Choice Matters.”

“The careless use of our words won’t help, calling people names is not the solution, helping them is.”

“They are not migrants …I am a migrant and I am no refugee.”

“Let’s remember where we all come from because, in Scotland’s Story, we are all worth the same.”

Commenting on the difference between migrants and refugees, a spokesman for EUHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) said:

“Yes, there is a difference, and it does matter.

“The two terms have distinct and different meanings, and confusing them leads to problems for both populations”

Note: A video of the debate will be available on the Scottish Parliament website in due course.

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Aug 072015

With thanks to With thanks to Lee Robb, Caseworker to Christian Allard MSP.

Christian Allard MSP at Holyrood2French-born MSP, Christian Allard (North-East Scotland), has submitted a motion calling for politicians and media commentators alike to “watch their language” with regards to referring to the situation in Calais and the people involved.

The call comes in response to recent coverage of the refugee situation in Calais.

Mr Allard has expressed his disappointment towards the derogatory terms used to refer to what he describes as “desperate people in desperate need of a new life”.

Commenting, Christian Allard said:

“We have a UK Government that callously responds to desperate people who are desperately seeking a new start in life by calling for higher security fences and more police dogs. David Cameron does not recognise that the people he is neglecting are human beings.

“I am disgusted by the response of the UK Government so far. Not only does the UK fall far short of meeting its quota on refugees, but its government reacts in such a manner of contempt.”

In response to the increased attempts of refugees to cross the Mediterranean, proposals from the European Union was that member-states would increase their asylum seeker quotas to 40,000 – a proposal that the UK Government has dismissed.

In 2014, the UK had 31,000 refugees applying for asylum. In contrast, France had 62,000 applicants, and Germany had 202,000.

Mr. Allard added:

“This negative attitude is reflected in the language used when referring to these refugees. They are not migrants; they are refugees fleeing their homeland. Many of them are from Syria – the alternative is to stay in a country that UK allies are bombing.

“To hear a Prime Minister refer to these people as a ‘swarm’ was totally unacceptable. The derogatory rhetoric from some government officials and media channels alike has got to stop. That is why I submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament calling for those commenting to watch their language.”


David Cameron remarks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33714282
EU proposals: theguardian-40000-asylum-seekers-migration-quota-syria-uk
Europa asylum statitstics: http://ec.europa.eu/index.php/Asylum_statistics

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Feb 052015

Alex-Salmond-cropWith thanks to Ann-Marie Parry, Parliamentary Assistant, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond has welcomed the announcement that Scottish Government Ministers will be coming to the North East of Scotland this month where they will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from local people in a public discussion meeting.

The Cabinet will meet on Monday 16th February and anyone interested is welcome to attend the “town hall meeting” style event taking place in the Music Hall from 19:00 to 20:30 that evening.

Attendees must pre-register online or by phoning 0300 244 2138.

Welcoming the news, Alex Salmond said:

“One of the most effective ways we brought government closer to the people during my time as First Minister was to take the Scottish Cabinet to every corner of the country, to hear first-hand about issues affecting local areas.

“I’m delighted that this initiative is being continued and that the people of the North East of Scotland will have a chance to put their questions to Nicola Sturgeon and her government colleagues at the Music Hall on 16th February.

“I would encourage anyone who is able to head along for what should be a fun and interesting evening, as well as a great opportunity to make your views known on a variety of issues – local and national.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The government I lead intends to be open, listening, and available in a way we have not seen before – the most open and accessible government that Scotland has ever had.

“That is why we are making sure that the business of government is open to everyone who wants to be involved, and why we are taking cabinet meetings to all parts of the country. I’m hugely looking forward to meeting up with members of the public and hearing their views when we come to Aberdeen later this month – and those views will not only be head, but will also result in real action.

“Our strongest focus is on growing our economy, protecting public services, tackling inequality and empowering our communities. But we must be united in the business of making Scotland a better place to live and work. Together we can build a fairer and more prosperous country.

“If you are in Aberdeen and you want to raise an issue or have something you would like us to see then get in touch through @scotgovFM using #ABcab, our Facebook page or give us a call.”

Info – pre-register for the event at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ministers-touring-scotland-tickets-15598395220.

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Oct 182013

Aberdeen and District CND 174With thanks to Gavin Mowat Constituency Assistant to Christian Allard MSP

Commenting on an interview by American investigative journalist and author Eric Schlosser in which he warned that the Trident nuclear weapons system had inherited design faults and safety flaws, Christian Allard, MSP for the North East, said:

“Scotland is a peaceful, progressive country and one where nuclear weapons have no place.

“Mr Schlosser’s comments highlight the safety concerns around Trident, the nuclear weapons system in Scottish waters, and add weight to calls for the unpopular weapons of mass destruction not to be renewed.”

In an interview for Channel 4 Mr Schlosser said that the Trident missile system, which is the principal nuclear weapon that Great Britain has, has safety issues that were revealed in a report to Congress more than 20 years ago – I hope in Scotland they’re very careful when loading and unloading the missiles.

Mr Allard, French-born member of the Scottish Parliament has joined the international group of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), and he is also a member of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The North East MSP said:

“I have always maintained that nuclear weapons and in particular Trident, are unsafe and that plans to spend £100 billion on their renewal would be folly. “

Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament added:

“Nuclear weapons and Nuclear Power will always have the potential for accidents.

“Worryingly, on July 29th last year, there was a failure of both the primary and secondary sources of coolant for Nuclear reactors at the nuclear repair and refuelling facility at Devonport, Plymouth which could have led to a disaster on the scale of the one at Fukushima.”

Mr Allard added:

“The government and people of Scotland deserve the right to decide their own defence priorities, particularly as Westminster has already spent billions to renew the UK nuclear weapons system – despite the findings of Eric Schlosser.

“A Yes vote in 2014 is a vote for a nuclear weapons free Scotland, a safe Scotland.”

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Sep 192013

Aberdeen and District CNDWith thanks to Jonathan Russell.

NE Regional MSP Christian Allard will attend an evening of music and poetry to commemorate UN International Peace Day on Sunday 22 September.

The Blue Lamp event’s organisers are Aberdeen and District CND.

Mr Allard said:

I have been a member of Aberdeen and District CND for years, so I am delighted to attend the celebrations on Sunday.

“With uplifting music and poetry from a number of performers I am looking forward to joining others in promoting the ideas of peace, constructive aid and conflict resolution.

“Donations are welcome and people will be urged to join the movement for peace and for nuclear disarmament.

We in Scotland can be a strong voice for peace in the world.

“While International Peace Day is on Saturday, the event takes place on Sunday to allow members to join Scottish CND in the Rally and March for Independence.”

The MSP has submitted a Parliamentary motion of congratulation to the group.

Sunday’s events begin at 10am at Camphill,  Murtle Estate at Bieldside, with yoga teacher, Karina Stewart leading a moving meditation of 108 sun salutations. This will be followed by a light lunch and meditation, music and dance with the Kirtan Scotland band.

In the evening Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will be holding  a concert of uplifting music and poetry at the Blue Lamp.

Evening of song and poetry
Sunday, September 22
Blue Lamp,

Contact: Jonathan Russell

108 Sun Salutations, and Kirtan
Sunday, Septemer 22
From 10am
Contact: Karina Stewart

More details:

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Aug 152013

With thanks to Liam Yeats, Newly appointed Press Officer, Aberdeen City Youth Council.

Chairman Struan King took the opportunity to look back on the previous two years of Aberdeen City Youth Council (ACYC) as it announced that its new office bearers.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing officers who have done an amazing job and wish them all the best for the future.
“The Youth Council has come on leaps and bounds over the last two years and as an organisation will be looking to continue making a positive impact in our city.”

The full team comprises:

Chairman: Struan King ( Pictured above, Studying in the Oil & Gas Sector)

Vice-Chair: Dainius Balcytis (University of Aberdeen)

Secretary: Taylor Legge (S5, Oldmachar Academy)

Press Officer: Liam Yeats (S6, Northfield Academy)

Treasurer: Piotr Teodorowski (University of Aberdeen)

Recruitment Officer: Scott Bremner (University of Aberdeen)

Equality and Diversity Officer: Shelly Butler.

The Chairman added:

The Youth Council has become a stronger organisation and we have a really enthusiastic team. Right now we are planning our activities for the months ahead.

Next year will be one of the biggest years for young people in Scotland. With the Independence referendum and votes at 16 it is clear the Aberdeen City Youth Council will have a big role to play in engaging, informing and campaigning for the Youth Voice.”

The ACYC is currently discussing the content of its 2013-14 annual campaign and looking to hold a city youth consultation to form the basis of its manifesto and campaigning over the next two years.

The new team is looking forward to working with the six local Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs),

Struan King and Michael Hutchinson (Aberdeen Central),

Jamie Ross and Braden Davy (Aberdeen Donside), and

Kris Chapman and Megan Lukins (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine).

ACYC welcomed Christian Allard, Regional MSP for NE Scotland to its most recent meeting in July. There were two motions discussed, the first of which looked at whether or not payday loans were having a devastating effect on the most vulnerable in society. The second looked at whether or not Aberdeen City Council should supply all meat from Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.

Aberdeen City Youth Council meets on the last Tuesday of every month


Jun 032013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Two senior youth councillors took part in a Donside tour, handing out leaflets to every secondary school, community centre and library in the constituency ahead of the group’s hustings on Thursday 6th June.

Struan King (Vice-chair, pictured) and Kenneth Watt (Press Officer) visited over 25 venues distributing 1500 leaflets.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons the youth council will be leafleting young people outside Marks and Spencers, with a further 1000 leaflets ready to be handed out.

The hustings on Thursday 6th June is the only one to feature all five candidates from parties with representation at Holyrood which is open to the public. A free ticket is required and can be downloaded from http://donside.eventbrite.com. People of all ages are invited, with half of all tickets guaranteed for young Donside electors.

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