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23 July 2015

Stevenson and Whiteford Comment on Young's Seafood Meeting

In the light of the prospective job losses at Young's factory in Fraserburgh, Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan and Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast participated in a stakeholder event which sought to identify a way forward.

At the meeting today Young's Chief Executive Pete Ward announced that the company was developing a proposal which would leave their Fraserburgh factory operating but with fewer employees.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Stevenson said,

"The news that Young's are now focussed finding a way to retain the plant is very welcome. The position remains serious but there are some positives from today.

"I shall continue to work with employees, company, the Councils and the Scottish Government to achieve the best available outcome."

Eilidh Whiteford added,

"It is clear that the Scottish Government is taking this situation very seriously. I heard that the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had a telephone conference yesterday with the union and management at Young's.

"And the attendance of two ministers today aided a collaborative discussion which has provided a way forward.

"I will continue to support the workers at this difficult time."

22 July 2015

Stevenson Calls for More Effective Relationship with Fishing Industry

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has contacted Members of the Scottish Parliament to establish whether there would be support for a formal Cross-Party Group on the Fishing Industry.

Speaking today, Mr Stevenson said:

“It is clear from my conversations with individual fishermen that there is concern about how the introduction of Marine Protected Areas is proceeding.

“To date many fishermen's organisations have yet to brief MSPs on their preferred way forward while environmental interests are actively seeking to lobby parliamentarians.

“It may now be time to have a more effective forum for ensuring that Scottish Parliamentarians are better informed about issues that matter to the fishing industry."

Stewart Stevenson visiting Peterhead Fish Market
Cross Party Groups in the Scottish Parliament have to demonstrate the support of almost all political parties before they may be recognised as formal bodies. Groups have to have strong standards of openness and accountability before the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee will grant recognition.

Stevenson added:

“If there is sufficient interest among colleagues in other political parties, we should be able to meet informally in the autumn to plan for the establishment of this new group after the 2016 election.

“Fishing needs strong links to Parliament and we have been missing out on hearing the industry's voice. It is not only about current issues, but also about ensuring that the fishing industry and communities who depend on fishing, have a forum where they can voice their concerns at the highest level.

“I hope we can see a group established early in the next Parliament.”

Stevenson Delighted as Scotland Scores in the Top Two European Countries for Women's Employment

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed the latest Eurostat figures showing that Scotland is in the top two European countries for women’s employment.

For the three months from January to March 2015, Scotland’s female employment rate stood at 71.1 per cent, only beaten by Sweden at 72.4 per cent. The UK rate is four places behind at 67.4 per cent.

Scotland also had the second-lowest female unemployment rate among the 28 EU countries, at 5.2 per cent, behind Germany at 4.5 per cent.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Improvements across women’s employment, unemployment, activity rates and closing the gender gap have been steady and consistent in Scotland. North of the border continues to be a better place to be a working woman than anywhere else in the UK, and these latest figures confirm that we are performing better than the majority of the 28 EU countries.

“I am delighted at these new statistics from Eurostat and they reflect the commitment of the Scottish Government to lead the way on 50:50 gender representation on boards, give young people real hope and prospects for employment and a career, and champion a true living wage.

“Breaking down traditional barriers takes time but measures that ensure the playing field becomes more truly equal over time is essential for a Scottish workforce.

“Attitudes and business practices are changing for the better and Scotland continues to be among the best countries in Europe to be a woman in work.”
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