Mar 022017
 

Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast has pledged to work with the Arrhythmia Alliance and its sister organisation, AF Association, to demand the creation of a national screening programme for people over 65 at risk of AF. Currently, one in three of all people with AF have not even been diagnosed and are at an increased risk of suffering an AF-related stroke.

Stewart Stevenson at the Arrhythmia Alliance event in the Scottish Parliament.

At a Know Your Pulse event held in Holyrood hosted by the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association, Stewart Stevenson MSP supported our call upon the Scottish Parliament to debate the need for an AF screening programme for people over 65 in Scotland.
This event raised awareness of the importance of a simple manual pulse check in helping to detect AF, Parliamentarians who attended had a pulse check and an ECG hand-held recording.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder & CEO, Arrhythmia Alliance, who hosted the event, said:

“Manual pulse rhythm checks are a simple, cost-effective way to identify people with irregular heart rhythms, such as AF, which is why we are calling for a debate in the Scottish parliament on the value of screening for AF.

“A manual pulse check, is so simple to do, takes less than a minute and does not cost the NHS – but the benefits in preventing AF-related strokes and unnecessary deaths are enormous. Everyone needs to be aware of their pulse and how to manually check for an irregular rhythm.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“I was shocked to hear about the numbers of people walking around today completely unaware that they have AF and who could be at risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke.

“I fully endorse the work of the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association and their call for a national debate on AF screening in Scotland. The pulse check I had taken showed just how simple and easy it is to identify someone who may have AF.”

AF is the most common heart rhythm abnormality, and is associated with a third of ischaemic strokes, which are typically more severe and debilitating for the patient. Data from stroke registries show that both unknown and untreated or under treated AF is responsible for most of these strokes.

The tragedy is that most could be prevented if efforts were directed towards detection of AF before stroke occurs, through screening or case finding, and the provision of oral anticoagulant medications to prevent clots being formed in the heart, dislodging to be carried to an artery of the brain, blocking the circulation and causing an AF-related stroke.

For more information about the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association, please go to: www.heartrhythmalliance.org

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Mar 022017
 

A landmark law to tackle violence against women passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Friday with an overwhelming majority of 138 in favour to just 1 against. With thanks to Banff & Buchan SNP.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP with campaigners and MPs after the vote.

Local MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford’s Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill 2017, requires the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention – a far-reaching new law that puts legal obligations on the state to prevent violence against women, protect
women and prosecute the perpetrators.

The Convention encompasses many forms of sexual violence and domestic abuse including stalking, harassment, sexual assault and rape, physical and psychological abuse by a partner, forced marriage, forced abortion or sterilisation and female genital mutilation.

The UK signed the treaty in 2012 but has yet to ratify it to make it part of UK law.

The SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, who is the party’s Westminster spokesperson for Social Justice, secured cross-party support for her Bill, which has been championed by women’s equality organisations including IC Change, Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, White Ribbon, End Violence Against Women, Scottish Women’s convention, NUS, Girlguiding, and the Fawcett Society.

The Bill also received strong support from the actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, who this week wrote to all MPs urging them to vote for the Bill.

Commenting after the Bill passed its Third Reading, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“I am delighted that this landmark legislation to combat gender-based violence has received such overwhelming cross-party support and now looks set to become UK law.

“This is a huge and historic step forward in efforts to tackle violence against women and has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of women right across the country.

“Women’s equality organisations and activists have been campaigning for the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention for many years now – so today’s vote is a cause for celebration and a testament to their sustained efforts.

“The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive and far-reaching framework that exists to tackle violence against women in its many forms and manifestations, and critically, it provides the legal apparatus to hold governments accountable for their progress. This is a powerful vehicle for improving policy, practices and services on an ongoing basis.

“Sexual violence and domestic abuse are neither natural nor inevitable. We can prevent it, we can challenge it and we can hold perpetrators to account. We need to do all these things if we are to end this systematic abuse of women’s basic human rights, and ratifying the Istanbul Convention is a big step in the right direction.

“We have travelled some distance in this struggle but we still have such long way still to go and we need to recognise that Ratification of the Istanbul Convention is a milestone on the journey to equality and justice for women, not an end point.”

Further reading:

 Emma Watson backs SNP MP’s bid to combat domestic abuse.
 Theresa May urges MPs to back Whiteford bill and stamp out violence against women.

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May 272016
 

Eilidh and Gillian2With thanks to Kenneth Hutchison, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eilidh Whiteford

SNP representatives have met with senior staff at NHS Grampian to discuss ongoing recruitment challenges in the north east.

Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford and Gordon MSP Gillian Martin met with managers on Friday, while Stewart Stevenson MSP has scheduled a meeting with senior representatives for next month.

Speaking after the event, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This was a very constructive meeting, which gave NHS representatives an opportunity to brief MPs and MSPs on the progress NHS Grampian is making to deliver integrated health and social care services, new investments across the North-east, and efforts to tackle the GP shortages in some rural areas.

“I was reassured to see NHS Grampian taking the recruitment shortfalls so seriously at senior levels.

“Although there’s no quick fix overnight solution to what is a complex problem, lots of options are being pursued, including working with the universities to do more to encourage young medics to see General Practice as an attractive career, and casting the net wide to encourage GPs to move to the area.”

Gordon MSP Gillian Martin added:

“Today was very useful for me to meet all the members of NHS Grampian’s leadership team and to be able to put some questions to them about health related issues in Aberdeenshire East. We were able to have a very constructive dialogue about issues surrounding GP recruitment and new models of primary care, and I look forward to working more closely with them as we go forward “

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Apr 292016
 

Dennis Robertson, Bill DeanWith thanks to Paul Robertson.

Two renowned Huntly business​men have given their backing to the SNP’s Dennis Robertson to be re-elected as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeenshire West.

Dennis, 59, was elected to represent the Aberdeenshire constituency in the Scottish Parliament in 2011.

He has campaigned passionately for local small businesses, most recently the businesses that have been affected by the flooding in Ballater.

​Visiting local businesses on the campaign trail with local MP Alex Salmond, Dennis has now received the backing of two well known local businessmen.

Bill Dean is Managing Director of Dean’s of Huntly, who have been baking traditional shortbread since 1975 and now export to over 30 countries around the world. Bill Dean is backing Dennis to be re-elected as MSP for Aberdeenshire West.

He said:

“Over the last 5 years, Dennis has shown himself to be dedicated and passionate about making our communities a better place to live and work. 

“He has always been prepared to listen to me as a local business owner and on a number of occasions, has stepped in to help and support our business.

“That’s the kind of dedicated local MSP that Aberdeenshire West needs, and I am pleased to give Dennis my support.”

James and Irene Shearer together run the Huntly Vehicle Care Centre on Old Toll Road. The owners of the family-run​ garage and coach hire ​business are also supporting Dennis Robertson’s campaign to be re-elected as MSP.

​James Shearer said:

“​The SNP in Government has done so m​uch for small businesses like our own. The Small Business Bonus Scheme has taken pressure off our business and the money saved has enabled us to invest and expand. 

“We are also a family owned business – and it is really important to us that the future of our business – our son, Alan –  benefitted from a free university education. Our daughter had to pay the graduate endowment and I know that only the SNP will ensure that there is no return to fees for university education which places such a burden on families and our young people.”

​Welcoming the support, SNP Candidate for Aberdeenshire West Dennis Robertson said:

“I am delighted to have the support of Bill Dean and the Shearer family. ​These businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and that’s why the SNP has prioritised support for small and medium businesses. 

“If re-elected, I pledge to work just as hard for small businesses in communities across Aberdeenshire West to help them grow and expand.”

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Mar 172016
 

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

AmbulanceEilidh

(L-R) Bryan Milne, Area Service Manager, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, Ewan Esslemont, Head of Service Grampian, Robert Buchan, Ambulance Care Assistant.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, and Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, have welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of increased emergency ambulance cover for the Peterhead area, which will see an additional full-time ambulance 24/7 based at Peterhead.

The announcement follows a sustained campaign by the MSP and MP for enhanced ambulance provision in the north of Aberdeenshire, and builds on earlier commitments to increased provision and a recruitment drive.

As a result of today’s announcement, the Scottish Ambulance Service stands to benefit from a £5 million injection from the Scottish Government.

The new Peterhead ambulance will be available 24/7, with new crew being trained to get the vehicle on the road as soon as possible.

Speaking following the announcement, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said the news was ‘fantastic’.

He said:

“Eilidh and I have been working closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service in recent months, following concerns from constituents that the service was being too thinly spread in the north-east, and response times were below target.

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents recently regarding the provision of Ambulance services in the North-east. I fully expect the increase in capacity, which has been funded by the Scottish Government, will improve the ability of the service to respond to calls in the town and surrounding area.

“This new ambulance won’t only benefit Peterhead. The surrounding towns and villages will benefit from the knock on effect of the new vehicle, which will take pressure off the neighbouring stations.”

Westminster MP, Eilidh Whiteford, added:

“It is great to hear that the Scottish Ambulance Service has allocated an additional Ambulance to Peterhead. I want to pay tribute to the local crews and members of the public who drew attention to the challenges facing the service, and who worked with us to make the case for additional resources.“

The funding from the Scottish Government will also provide 50 Specialist Paramedics with enhanced clinical skills to allow them to work more autonomously with an extended range of medicines, offering more treatments in communities alongside GPs and other health professionals.

The initiative will also see more than 60 new staff recruited and trained for deployment in Ambulance Control Centres across Scotland.

Health Secretary, Shona Robison said:

“Our ambulance workers provide a first class service, often under challenging circumstance and we value their dedication extremely highly. This recruitment drive will enhance the service on offer, and ensure that staff are equipped with the appropriate skills, training and clinical support to be able to deliver even more care in the community.

“Through the 2016/17 budget we are investing an additional £11.4 million in the Scottish Ambulance Service, which will assist with the recruitment and training of more staff over the next five years. This will allow the ambulance service to be better prepared to meet future needs and demands.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“The continued investment in more frontline resources is fundamental to delivering our ‘Towards 2020’ strategy which aims to provide the most appropriate care to every patient, whether at home or in the hospital. This year’s recruitment plan is the first phase of a 5 year programme that will enhance the clinical skills mix of our staff and introduce new ways of working to best meet the needs of patients in all of our communities.”

The Service currently employs around 1300 Paramedics, 1100 Ambulance Technicians and 350 control room staff on frontline emergency operations.

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Jan 282016
 
Immigration What's the story

Christian Allard at the launch of ‘Immigration: What’s the Story?’ at the Scottish Parliament with (left) Nicola Hay, Campaign Manager and (right) Gillian Eunson, Educational worker.

With thanks to Sarah Masson.

North East MSP Christian Allard praised the ‘tremendous’ work of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) on their 20th Anniversary. Mr Allard made the comments after viewing ‘Immigration: What’s the Story?’ film by SRtRC at the Scottish Parliament today.

SRtRC is an anti-racism educational charity which was established in January 1996. The charity aims to combat racism through enabling role models to present an anti-racist message to young people and others.

Over the last 20 years, SRtRC has worked extensively across Scotland and the rest of the UK delivering training to more than 50,000 individuals per year.

In response to negative attitudes expressed towards migrant communities, SRtRC developed a UK wide educational film, elevating the voices of people who have moved from one country to another, to dispel some of the popular myths and provide an alternative view.

Christian, along with colleagues, saw the film at an event in the Scottish Parliament last night. The North East MSP looks forward to Show Racism the Red Card Scotland’s visit to Pittodrie this year.

Commenting, Christian Allard MSP said:

“’Immigration: What’s the Story?’ is another great educational film from Show Racism the Red Card.

“They have achieved a tremendous amount in the last 20 years making sure everyone’s voice is heard and challenging attitudes in our society.

“As an Aberdeen FC Supporter I am delighted to see the initiative making its way up to the North East to work with schools across the city.

“I was delighted to speak to all the team at Show Racism the Red Card and the footballers and wish them all the best for the next 20 years.”

Mr Allard submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament celebrating Show Racism the Red Card’s twentieth anniversary and the work that they have done.

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Jan 202016
 

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

Suzanne Kelly fights her way through the hordes.

Trump Ban Petitioner, Suzanne Kelly.

Suzanne Kelly launched the petition requesting that Donald Trump be banned from the UK for his hate speech, as so many others have before. An unprecedented number of signatures – 570,000 – triggered the Westminster debate.

The debate took place on Monday 18 January, which also happened to be Martin Luther King Day.

Suzanne said afterwards:

“It was a pleasure to see so many of the speakers condemn Mr. Trump and his hate speech.  Some of those who spoke helpfully referred to the cases in the United States where people have committed violent acts or intended to, where Donald Trump’s speech had been the clear source of inspiration.”

“Teresa May still has it in her power to put the ban on Donald Trump; The Public Order Act 1986 has been used to ban over 80 people so far, and to me Mr. Trump’s words put him squarely in that category in my opinion, and in the opinions of some of the MPs.”

“It was surprising and disappointing to see that MP Paul Flynn, tasked with introducing the debate, decided to go to the media in advance of the debate and announce he was against the ban. I found that unethical, even though Flynn and the Petitions Committee apparently have no issue with it. I believe this sent a message to his party members and others to follow suit. 

“Moreover, if the member of the Petitions Committee charged with introducing my petition and my points did not support them, how robust a job could he be expected to do? Initially Flynn told me not to contact him when I wrote to him with the details of the arguments in favour of the ban. He did not believe he should communicate with me because of his role on the committee. The Petitions Committee disagreed with him. 

“What I found improper was his comments against any ban coming less than 24 hours before the debate. He hadn’t done me the basic courtesy of letting me know he was speaking out about the petition in advance. Therefore I lost an opportunity to counter him. Flynn’s amazingly idealistic concept of convincing Trump that multiculturalism works by taking Trump out to meet people is ridiculous. 

“If Flynn has that little handle on Trump’s  make-up, then he was not the person to lead the discussions. While he made some of my points, I hardly thought his presentation looked or sounded robust. Perhaps the Petitions Committee might reconsider how a petition is introduced in future.

“Flynn’s position was also that to ban Trump might potentially advantage him / make him seem a ‘martyr’ to some of his followers. I would have thought upholding British law would have come first to an MP. However it seems that second-guessing any potential outcomes of applying the law of the land overrides any duty to uphold the law for some.

“Thankfully some speakers were aware of the difference between hate speech and free speech. There were excellent points made by those who supported the petition. Others chose, somewhat disingenuously I thought, to decide that the requested ban on Trump was somehow an assault on Freedom of Speech. I wonder where those impassioned speakers were when it came to the 80+ people the UK has previously banned, and if they will now seek to overturn the historic bans against hate preachers.

“Some MPs seemed to fear that banning Trump was an attack on the US / that we should not meddle in US politics. How they came to the conclusion that this matter of UK law was less important than taking a stand against hate speech would be interesting to hear.

“However, virtually everyone who spoke had the harshest of words for Trump. ‘Buffoon’ seemed the word of the hour. It was good to see that there is a widespread condemnation of Trump’s policies.

“Sarah Malone-Bates, Trump’s spokesperson issued a statement which was to me feeble as well as hypocritical. She bemoaned the cost of this exercise to taxpayers, saying we were wasting valuable Parliamentary time. Perhaps it’s a case of amnesia or ignorance, but with her employer dragging the Scottish taxpayer through every court in the land in his selfish desire to scupper an important offshore wind farm project, I think Malone-Bates would find that Trump has cost far more money and time than the debate did.

I think the desire of 570,000 people to have the debate is just a bit more important than Trump costing Aberdeenshire money, time, clean energy and work in the clean energy sector.  She’s claimed that ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ are being ‘pumped’ by Trump into the Scottish economy. 

“I’ve asked for sight of the proof of this wild claim; it’s not forthcoming, nor is a response to my request to have a live debate with her on the issues, which still stands.”

“I would like to thank the Petitions Committee administrators, who were very helpful throughout. Thanks too to the media for their interest and support. Thanks to Aberdeen Voice especially Fred Wilkinson, editor, and Julie Thompson who has worked on a number of stories with me. Gratitude goes to the MPs who understood the law and the purpose of the petition and who spoke eloquently; gratitude to those MPs opposed who nevertheless in some cases made useful comments.

“Finally, thanks very much to the people who took the time to sign this petition.

“Sometimes the system works. I see this petition and the debate as huge victories. Trump has lost his Global Scot status, his business is apparently no longer wanted in much of the Middle East; his honorary degree from Robert Gordon University was withdrawn, and Trump branded goods are being axed from shops.  If this is a defeat for me, I’ll live with it.”

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Jan 142016
 

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

Alex Salmond has responded to the latest comments from Donald Trump. Referring to Mr Salmond as ‘an embarrassment to Scotland’ and a ‘stupid man’, Trump defended his purchase of Turnberry golf course and issued scathing criticism of Salmond pertaining to his support of windfarms, and the early release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Mr Salmond said:

“The problem for Mr Trump lies not with his golf courses, but with him. The golf courses are excellent. ‘The Donald’ isn’t.
 
“Unfortunately, his claims of the level of future investment in Scotland bear no resemblance to the reality of the last eight years. His ownership of Turnburry places it effectively out of The Open Championship circuit at a cost of £100 million to the Scottish economy. His legal objections to wind demonstrators in Aberdeen have thus far deprived the North East of Scotland of a vital £200 million diversification into offshore wind technology at a time of great difficulty in oil and gas.
 
“However, the real difficulty is his recent statements on Mexicans and Muslims, which go beyond the pale of acceptable comment and an association with him is increasingly damaging to Scotland. That is why over half a million people have signed the parliamentary petition seeking to ban him from the country!
 
“As far as his remarks to me are concerned, I have fought and won nine elections. Mr Trump has yet to win one.
 
“On his remarks about Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, he is out of date. Megrahi’s release was in 2009. Since then, the SNP has won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament and 56 seats out of 59 in a UK General Election. On Megrahi, Trump is like a cracked gramophone record playing in a digital age.
 
“Although, I have to admit it is very easy to issue statement after statement, tit for tat. I suggest instead Mr Trump calls into LBC next Wednesday at 16:00 (GMT), where he can ask me anything he likes. The number is +44 (0)345 60 60 973. If he has a beef I’ll be happy to take his call. We’ll see if debating here is as easy as debating over there!”

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Jan 142016
 

Suzanne Kelly fights her way through the hordes.

Suzanne Kelly, the woman behind the petition to the UK government to ban Trump, has released a summary statement supporting the requested ban. Her petition asks that Donald Trump be banned from the UK for hate speech, as has happened to some 80 people previously.

The petition will be debated on 18th January, along with a counter-petition. Kelly wants to ensure that everyone is aware of all the details.

The actual petition is limited to only a certain number of words by the Petitions Committee. Kelly understands the need for this, but is keen to get further details widely known before the debate.

Kelly is calling David Gladwin out, asking him to debate his pro-Trump petition with her prior to the Parliamentary debate. His petition reads:

“There are proposals to ban Donald Trump from the United Kingdom. At least, there’s a petition on the topic. This is totally illogical.” 

Kelly says:

“I’ve no idea who David Gladwin is, but I asked the UK Petitions Committee to ask him to get in touch. If his only argument is that the petition I started, signed now by an unprecedented 570,000 people, is ‘totally illogical’, let’s get him to say why. I also understood that a large number of his petition’s signatures were discounted, and I would like to know what he says about that, too.
 
“Trump’s hate speech has visible, violent outcomes in America. A homeless Hispanic man was badly beaten in Boston; those who were arrested said words to the effect ‘Donald Trump is right, we have too many immigrants.’ William Celli is accused of trying to make pipe bombs and attack Muslims; he is a Trump supporter who said he would follow Trump ‘to the end of the world.’ 
 
“I am particularly worried by Trump’s statement that relatives of terrorists should be ‘taken out’. He says nothing of trial, due process – he just calls for taking people out.  Is this an incitement to violence? I believe so. It is as dangerous as his call – made after my petition went live – to ban all Muslims from ENTERING the USA. The US has between 3  to 7 million Muslim citizens.

“He has lumped every follower of this religion into a group he wants to monitor and control, and in so doing tars peaceful people with the same brush as the dangerous terrorist fanatic, I of course condemn terrorism. This is hate speech. This is not free speech. Free speech carries responsibilities; Mr Trump seems completely unaware of this.
 
“The UK Government now has 570,000 people wanting this ban. They have evidence that Trump’s words have caused injury. They also have the unprecedented condemnation of Trump’s Islamophobic statements by no less than the US Secretary of State and top Pentagon officials. We must ban him. I see  no reason to treat a billionaire differently than we have treated those we have already banned.
 
“I would also suggest that people should go back and look at the Panorama programme ‘The Trouble with Trump.’ The BBC’s investigations certainly seemed to link Donald Trump to an American underworld figure. Trump’s position as I recall was that he couldn’t always know who he was doing deals with. This adds to the ever-growing list of reasons I hope that America will not make him its next president.”
 
“David Gladwin – or any Trump spokesperson, particularly local Sarah Malone-Bates at the Trump Menie Estate course, I challenge you to a debate before this petition. Let’s hear your views on Trump’s ‘freedom’ to ban travel based on religion, to ‘take people out’ for being related to terrorists (does this apply to William Celli’s family I wonder?) and his ‘freedom’ to continuously, unrepentantly insult people based on race, religion or sex. I really cannot wait to hear your defence of the man.”

Kelly has received a threat – someone wrote to Aberdeen Voice where she is a contributing writer, suggesting she should never leave the UK again as people want to get their hands on her – and that she could be put to work in a cotton field. Of the reaction to the petition Kelly says:

“I started this petition for my neighbours who were targets because of their religion and national origins, for my friends who were insulted because of their race, and my sisters, denigrated for being women. The huge number of signatures signals to me that people are weary of speech designed to drive wedges through communities.  There have been far more kind words than threats.

“Donald Trump was stripped of his honorary degree at Robert Gordon University following a petition I started; their values did not match his. On the occasion of losing this degree, Trump said words to the effect he will be a ‘smart and strong’ president. I personally feel that the man has confused ‘smart and strong’ with manipulative and brutishly bullying.”

Kelly has asked Aberdeenshire Council and the Trump International Golf Links Scotland to fix all outstanding planning breaches. This includes removing a giant bund of earth near Leyton Farm Cottage where it blocks the former views to the sea, Kelly finds it ironic that an organisation that wants to stop an offshore clean energy wind project for its visual impact would treat its neighbour in such a manner.

The bund now seems strongly implicated in the flood damage to the road and area by the cottage. Kelly also asked for immediate restoration of fishing access for farmer Michael Forbes. In the BBC Panorama programme ‘the Trouble with Trump’ Donald Trump Jr mocks Forbes for not fishing – his access to fish had long since been blocked by the Trump organisation.

Kelly expects a reply from the council on 13th January. The Trump organisation has refused to reply to date, or take requested remedial actions.

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Jan 072016
 

Paul Johnston Martin FordWith thanks to Martin Ford and Paul Johnston.

Two Aberdeenshire councillors are dismissing Mr Donald Trump’s latest threat to cancel investment in his Scottish golf courses. Mr Trump was reacting to the petition calling on the Westminster government to ban him from the UK signed by over 570,000 people.

Democratic Independent and Green councillors Paul Johnston and Martin Ford are questioning the likelihood of the investment going ahead whether Mr Trump is banned from the UK or not.

Said Cllr Martin Ford,

“Mr Trump has been promising hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment in Aberdeenshire for ten years. He has also been threatening not to make the investment ever since he announced it.

“Mr Trump routinely uses threats to try to get his own way, to attempt to exert leverage over Aberdeenshire Council or Scottish Government decisions.

“Back in 2007, Mr Trump’s threat not to invest if he didn’t get everything he wanted clearly had the Council and the Scottish Government dancing to his tune.

“Surely, no-one is going to fall for this meaningless threat now. After ten years of promising an investment that has yet to materialise, the sensible working assumption has to be it’s not going to happen. The rational response to Mr Trump’s pronouncements is to ignore them.”

On Wednesday (6 January), Mr Trump said he would not invest £500 million in his Menie development nor £200 million at Turnberry if he was banned from the UK by the UK government. In 2007, Mr Trump promised to invest £1 billion at Menie – a claim repeated regularly over the following years. Mr Trump’s actual spend at Menie is believed to be less than £30 million.

Last year, Mr Trump announced his intention to apply for planning permission for housing and other further development at Menie. No corresponding planning applications have been submitted.

Cllr Paul Johnston said:

“We should deal in facts, not Mr Trump’s media comments. Mr Trump has invested less than £30 million at Menie and makes an operating loss on the course. All else is speculation.”

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