26 January 2015

Stevenson Welcomes Success of Concessionary Travel Scheme in Banffshire and Buchan Coast

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s continuing investment in concessionary travel after new research showed that a total of 56,856 people in Aberdeenshire are benefiting from the scheme.

The research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that 53,539 people over the age of 60 and 3317 disabled people in Aberdeenshire benefited from the policy.

Mr Stevenson said:

“The SNP Government’s deal to ensure that concessionary bus travel continues in coming years is hugely significant – and this new research shows just how important this investment is to the thousands of older and disabled people in Aberdeenshire who are benefiting from this scheme.

“Concessionary bus travel gives people who might otherwise be restricted a greater sense of independence and helps them remain in contact with their friends and family. Funding for the scheme has increased every year since its introduction and with the scheme helping older people, disabled people – and now injured armed services veterans - to make almost 147 million journeys last year, it is vital the scheme continues.

“The Scottish Government’s continued investment in this vital lifeline service is excellent news for everyone who benefits from this service – and I am delighted that people across Aberdeenshire will continue to do so.”

Last week it was announced that a deal had been struck between Transport Scotland and the bus industry which will see £414m invested over the next two years to ensure the scheme continues to provide free bus travels for over 60s, injured service veterans and people with disabilities.

22 January 2015

Stevenson delighted at over £9k for Buckie Organisation

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, is delighted that Buckie based Hanover Social Club Constitution has secured £9,735 from Awards for All Scotland.

The community organisation which is based in Hanover Court will use the funding to upgrade the sheltered housing garden area that they run, and to organise a bus outing and Christmas party.

Hanover Social Club Constitution was established in August 2014, and it is responsible for organising social activities and events for the Hanover sheltered housing development.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I am delighted that this community group have been awarded this grant from Awards For All Scotland, and I wish them all the best with their plans to upgrade the garden area at the sheltered housing to the benefit for all those who live there, and to ease the financial burden that comes with outings and a Christmas party, that add immeasurable value to the lives of those that stay there.”

Awards For All Scotland is a partnership by sportscotland and Big Lottery Fund, and gives groups a chance to apply for a grant of between £500 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need.

An Awards for All spokesperson, added:

“We have announced over £1 million that will help communities from across Scotland set up and develop projects run for and by local people. What is clear is the smallest amount of funding can often make the biggest difference to people’s lives. All of these grants are a great way to show the variety of projects that can be funded through Awards for All.”

20 January 2015

Stevenson Welcomes Task Force in Wake of Peterhead Fire

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has highlighted the plight of local businesses in Peterhead following the disastrous fire at the Northbay Pelagic processing factory last weekend.

At Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday) Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead confirmed that a multi-agency task force will convene in Aberdeen this Friday to establish the level of support required from the public sector.

Mr Stevenson asked whether any contact had been made with other businesses in Peterhead and beyond to establish the knock on effects of the fire and what could be done to assist in the aftermath.

Mr Lochhead said:

“I assure Stewart Stevenson that that is one of the issues that will be discussed at this week’s meeting of the task force. We are aware not only that the fire is an issue for the factory, which is a significant employer in Peterhead, but that many suppliers rely on the company for their business, so there will indeed be a knock-on impact – we will pay close attention to this.”

Mr Lochhead also thanked other local pelagic businesses who have been in contact with Northbay to offer support. He also credited the local community for rallying around the staff, Northbay Pelagic and all the other businesses affected.

Mr Stevenson added:

“I very much welcome the formation of a multi-agency taskforce so that everything possible can be done to help the company, employees and other local businesses that have been devastated by this fire.

“Northbay Pelagic is one of the largest fish factories in Scotland and the company employs around 120 full time staff and 100 temporary staff. As the fire has destroyed the processing plant and production line many people will have found themselves out of work and they need to know that they are being supported as effectively as possible.”
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