22 August 2014

Stevenson Welcomes Over £250K for Avenue Confidential

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast is delighted that Avenue Confidential which works across his constituency has been granted £281,410 from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Investing in Communities programme.

The funding will be channelled into the Avenue Confidential Child Contact North East Scotland project, which will enhance the provision of existing child contact centres across Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I am absolutely delighted that this very worthwhile organisation has been given the recognition it deserves, and the ability to expand its services. I hope this extra funding will mean that individuals and families in our local community with the greatest need will be helped, and that improvements will be made that last a lifetime.”

New family support workers will provide an improved service at the beginning of family interventions, and will work to establish and improve relationships with a contact plan.

The local project will work with around 204 families each year, with an estimated 50 families making use of the Family Support Workers. More intensive support will be provided to those families with particularly challenging needs.

The Avenue Confidential project is just one of 11 projects across Scotland sharing in a total of £6,270,034 from Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Investing in Communities programme. The Investing in Communities fund focuses on tackling disadvantage and addressing inequalities, with three investment areas including Growing Community Assets, Life Transitions and Supporting 21st Century Life.

21 August 2014

Stevenson Praises New Development Plan for the Beef Industry

Industry experts have released a 23 point action plan designed to re-invigorate Scotland’s beef production over the next few years.

The recommendations published in the Beef 2020 final report yesterday (Wednesday) call for action in both the industry and the Scottish Government that will support sustainability and long term growth in beef production in Scotland.

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast said:

“I would like to thank the Beef 2020 group for their report on improving such an important part of Scotland’s industry. Beef production is our single biggest farming sector, which is why it is so essential that Government, industry organisations and beef producers work together to create a strong market in a global economy.”

Also included in the plan is a focus on Scotland’s climate change goals with a commitment to substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of beef produced, while maintaining growth in cattle numbers.

Mr Stevenson added:

“This focus on climate-healthy progress and expansion strengthens Scotland’s industry and further proves our standing as a global force.”

The Beef 2020 final report was produced by short life industry group, chaired by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, at the request of Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

Jim McLaren, chairman of the Beef 2020 group, said:

“The recommendations set out in the report, which are designed to be owned and adopted by the Scottish beef industry, aim to facilitate collaboration, profitability, confidence and investment at every stage of the Scottish red meat supply chain – factors which are key in ensuring a future marked by sustainable, profitable growth.”

20 August 2014

Stevenson Emphasises Dignity for Disabled People Through New Bill

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast spoke yesterday (Tuesday) in support of new legislation that aims to tackle the misuse of the Blue Badge scheme.

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The Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Bill aims to improve the quality of life for disabled people by freeing up parking spaces for legitimate Blue Badge users.

Mr Stevenson explained that for disabled drivers this change will mean more than simply a place to park, but rather an increase in dignity.

He said:

“The core of the Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Bill is to improve life for people with some disability that requires them to have help with parking. We need to think in terms of the dignity of the people who have a disability.

“When we ensure that there is…an actual parking place for someone who needs it because they are disabled, we confer upon that person the dignity that we are all entitled to expect. I think that the bill is excellent because it ensures that we share more widely the dignity to which we are all entitled.”

Mr Stevenson also recognised the importance of carefully enforcing the new legislation.

He added:

“Quite properly, Inclusion Scotland has focused on the potential for enforcement officers, traffic wardens and policemen to confiscate blue badges unnecessarily and inappropriately. I think that Inclusion Scotland has a valid point. That is why, in the introduction of an enforcement regime that will contribute enormously to people with disabilities, we need to be careful how we do it.”
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