22 May 2019

Stevenson Calls for Immigration Powers to Come to Holyrood

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has called on the Scottish Government to be given more powers over immigration.

It comes after Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development Ben Macpherson warned the proposed changes by the UK Government in their white paper on immigration would be “catastrophic” for Scotland.

Mr Stevenson has urged for changes to attract people to come and live and work in the North-East and for the Scottish Government to be given further powers.

The Confederation of British Industry recently warned of the detrimental impact exiting the European Union will have on employment in key industries.

Mr Stevenson echoed these sentiments and warned of the cost current proposals would have to sectors in his constituency including fishing, farming, hospitality and social care.

The Minister said:

“They would send our working-age population into decline and would have a significantly negative impact on many sectors, including those that have been mentioned by Stewart Stevenson, as well as local care, tourism, construction, financial services and several others.

“In opposing many of the proposals in the UK Government’s white paper on immigration, and considering Scotland’s distinct demographic challenges, we recognise that there is growing support for the Scottish Parliament to obtain additional powers

as part of a UK framework, in order to tailor migration policy to meet Scotland’s needs, so that Scotland remains attractive to migrants and so that we can deliver new solutions.”

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“The UK Government has shown complete disregard for the different needs from immigration in Scotland.

“We rely on migrants to help support the work in a number of industries and the changes proposed in the white paper will, as the Minister said, have a 'catastrophic' impact on industries across Scotland and in the North-East.

“I would urge the UK Government to think again and let the Scottish Government have the right to additional powers so that we can maintain our current workforce.”

21 May 2019

Stevenson Joins FM in North-East as Journey Times Cut after AWPR Opening

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and business chiefs in the North-East to celebrate the initial success of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).

It comes after the £745 million infrastructure project was completed earlier this year after investment by Transport Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a keynote speech at the event which marked the work of the GoNorthEast campaign which promoted the AWPR’s benefit to both communities and businesses.

Ms Sturgeon was also joined by Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie as well as other business leaders.

Data revealed by Transport Scotland has shown that travelling between Stonehaven and Dyce previously took around 47 minutes in the morning, and 42 minutes in the evening on the old A90 route. This has now been cut to approximately 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, Charleston to Dyce previously took around 33 minutes in the morning and 32 at night, however has also now shortened to only 16 minutes.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“The AWPR has been transformative for commuters in the North-East who have really benefited from the infrastructure improvements.

“Journey times and congestion have seen a marked change, and this will have huge benefits to both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and make it clear we are open for business.

“The AWPR is expected to generate an extra £6billion in economic benefits and create around 14,000 jobs over the next 30 years.

“I am pleased the First Minister was able to come to the North-East and recognise the early successes of the AWPR of which there will be many more to come."

17 May 2019

Stevenson Hails Infrastructure Investment in North-East

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has hailed figures which show billions of pounds of investment has been awarded to the North-East for transport infrastructure.

It comes after the Scottish Government was asked how much it had invested in transport infrastructure in the region over the last decade.

The figures reveal, in addition to the £745million spent on the AWPR and investment for the Balmedie project and the Inveramsay Bridge improvement, £3billion will be spent on the planned dualling of the A96.

Mr Stevenson welcomed the figures as well as the potential already being realised by the completion of the AWPR.

He cited recent evidence from Aberdein Considine which had shown a substantial increase in the number of views by potential customers of houses to the south of Aberdeen and in Stonehaven to the north.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said feedback on the AWPR had been “overwhelmingly positive” and an example of the economic benefits already being recognised since its completion.

Mr Matheson said:

“The AWPR is a demonstration of the Scottish Government’s determination to ensure that Scotland has a strong and robust economy, including in the north-east.

“We will continue to invest in major infrastructure projects, not just in the north-east but across the country, to support our communities and the Scottish economy.”

Additional figures show £7.8million has been awarded to local authorities in the North-East for cycling, walking and safer streets.

A total of £330million has also been awarded for improvement projects between Aberdeen and Inverness and the central belt, including a new station at Laurencekirk.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The Scottish Government continues to invest millions of pounds across the North-East in a range of infrastructure projects.

“The completion of the AWPR has already begun to create economic benefits as well as improving journey times for commuters.

“But the Scottish Government is not stopping there and continues to look at how to build on this colossal investment.

“From £745million to build the AWPR to work on the A96 dualling there is a commitment to make North-East residents more connected than ever.”

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