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14 August 2018

Local MSP Welcomes Public Defibrillator Map

British Heart Foundation, Microsoft and NHS Joining Forces to Save Lives

Efforts from the British Heart Foundation, Microsoft and NHS Scotland to create a new public map of defibrillators across the country will be vital in saving lives, local SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has said, after plans for the public map were announced.

With many communities across the North-east taking the initiative to raise funds to install a public-access defibrillator, Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the news that proposals for public mapping of the defibrillator network are being taken forward.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“I welcome this development and initiative and I am pleased that Scotland will be included in the initial trial phase.

“This proposal has the possibility to help save more lives which we can all welcome. I look forward to the delivery of a concerted public information campaign to raise more awareness of the importance of Public Access Defibrillators and their accessibility.”

13 August 2018

Stevenson Slams Royal Bank For Dividend Payout After Closing Branches

Banffshire & Buchan Coast SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has condemned Royal Bank of Scotland bosses for announcing they will be paying out a dividend to shareholders – its first for ten years – after axing a string of local branches.

The Royal Bank, which is still substantially-owned by the taxpayer, axed branches in Buckie, Banff and Turriff, as well as removing the Mobile Bank service from Cullen and Aberchirder last year.

The Conservative UK Government still owns around 62 per cent of the shares in RBS but repeatedly refused to intervene to save any of the branches earmarked for closure.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“The announcement that RBS is to pay out a dividend after another brutal round of branch closures will come as a slap in the face to customers.

“As I have highlighted recently, one solution to the problems created by bank closures is a community banking hub as proposed in a recent study for Highlands and Islands Enterprise. If just half of the planned dividend payout of 2p per share had instead been put towards that and matched by the other banks, that relatively small sum would have seen a transformation across our now ‘unbanked’ communities.

“It seems clear to me from my inbox and postbag that many people still need or prefer to do their banking in a branch setting. Community banking hubs are an idea worthy of serious consideration.”

7 August 2018

MSP Encourages Farmers to Share Their Views on Rural Funding

Farmers are being encouraged to share their views on the future of rural funding in the event of the UK leaving the European Union.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said with the UK government continuing to progress plans to leave the EU the Scottish Government is making preparations for the impact of Brexit on key sectors such as agriculture.

The First Minister has previously said Scotland’s interests are best served by the UK remaining in  the single market and customs union.

In June, the Scottish Government launched a consultation which set out proposals to stabilise and simplify income support for rural communities in Scotland during the period immediately after Brexit.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The rural economy is vital to Scotland’s economic prosperity but Brexit remains the biggest threat to the industry.

“At the moment, farmers in the North-East and across Scotland, receive valuable support from the EU.

“The paper produced suggests that in the short term there should be support schemes for active farming, food production, environments improvements, forestry and rural development.

“That’s why it is so important we hear directly from those working in the rural sector so they can get the right support to go through the transition period after the UK leaves the EU.”
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