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26 May 2006

Loss Of Grampian TV Brand Blow To NE Identity - Stevenson

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has said that the loss of the Grampian Television on-screen brand will be a blow to the iduentity and culture of the North-east.

The Grampian Television name will disappear on Monday and be replaced by a generic STV brand which will cover both the Grampian and Scottish ITV regions. It will bring to an end 45 years of the Aberdeen-based broadcaster which, thanks to it’s audience figures for its local programmes, was once able to proudly boast that it was ‘Britain’s most popular TV station’.

Mr Stevenson – who was a guest at a celebration to mark Grampian TV’s 40th anniversary - commented:

For as long as there has been commercial television in the North of Scotland, there has been Grampian Television. Since the takeover of Grampian by STV owners Scottish Media Group in 1998, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of local programmes being produced in the North-east and a gradual erosion of the Grampian identity.

Now we are saying goodbye to the very name ‘Grampian Television’ which for so long has been synonymous with good quality local programmes produced for North-east audiences.

In many ways, this is about much more than simply the station ident and channel name. While I welcome the fact that the channel’s news programmes will contain more localised news thanks to splitting the transmission area, the fact remains that less local programmes are produced for the North now than at any time in the station’s history. That is a concern to many people who don’t complain but simply find something better to do with their time instead.

At a time when Scotland is developing its own political and news agenda, this is particularly concerning. This further strengthens the case that broadcasting should be subject to regulation by the Scottish Parliament.”


25 May 2006

MSP To Open Cornhill Highland Games

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson will perform the official opening of Cornhill Highland Games at the The Playing Field, Cornhill on Saturday 3 June.

Cornhill resident Mr Stevenson will open the ninth games at 1.00pm. Events start at 11.00am and the Compere for the day is Robbie Shepherd.and there is a full programme of events including track and field, Tug O’War, heavyweight championships and Highland dancing culminating at 5.00pm with the gruelling 8½ mile Knock Hill race.

Local MSP To Attend Association Of Scottish Community Councils Meeting

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson will be one of the guests at an MSPs’ ‘Question Time’ event at the Aberdeen meeting of the Association of Scottish Community Councils.

The event takes place on Saturday 27 May at 1.30pm in the Town House, Aberdeen.

Commenting ahead of the event, Mr Stevenson said:

“Community Councils perform a very valuable role and I am therefore delighted to lend my support to this event.

“These bodies provide a useful conduit for the expression of local feel ing on issues of concern and I look forward to continuing my dialogue with them.”

19 May 2006

Stevenson Highlights Importance Of Adult Learners' Week

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has highlighted the importance of Adult Learners’ Week, which takes place from 20th – 26th May.

Commenting on the event, Mr Stevenson said:

Adult Learners’ Week is an annual national campaign to encourage adults to participate in learning, whether informal or formal with the first UK Adult Learners' Week taking place in 1992. It is now a national institution and has similar initiatives in almost 50 countries across the world and has had a very positive impact upon the people who matter most, the learners. It’s an ideal time to celebrate adult learning and a great opportunity to turn lifelong ambitions into reality.

The main impact has been to encourage people across the UK to sign up for a course, as surveys year after year have confirmed. Typically, in 2000, 52% of respondents declared their intention to enrol, and of these 44% had already done so. A disproportionate number of them were unemployed, suggesting that the reminder of the helpline telephone number sent out with postal payments to unemployed people really works.

As many as 100,000 people can take part with many more being reached through the hundreds of press articles, radio and TV features or the half-million pieces of publicity distributed by national and local organisers. Twenty thousand enquiries to learndirect and routinely around 2,000 press articles appearing in national, regional and local press testify to the success of the campaign. Thousands of people of all ages will be getting the chance to learn something new – whether to get a better job, to improve earnings, to make new friends, gain qualifications, or simply to get more out of life.

”The combination of media support, national and local awards ceremonies and the massive national helpline operation makes the event inescapable for and attractive to politicians and policymakers. For those wishing to obtain further information, they should call the learndirect helpline on
0800 100 900.”

11 May 2006

Stevenson Marks RCN Nurses' Day With Local Nurses In Parliament

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has marked International Nurses’ Day by supporting a Motion to Parliament recognising the hard work that nurses from Scotland and across the world do and the vital role they play in the health service.

In addition, the SNP MSP met with a delegation of school nurses from Banff & Buchan to discuss the changing role of the school nursing service.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am using today, Nurses’ Day, to not only celebrate the incredible work that nurses across the country do, but also to support a call for a recruitment drive to increase the number of school nurses.

“The Royal College of Nursing has noted that Scottish Executive statistics show there is only 305 whole time equivalent qualified nurses in Scotland. 

“Quite simply nurses do not have the time to provide the full range of services that a child needs.

“But if we double the number of nurses in our schools it will make great head way into preventing ill health in areas of deprivation.

“The SNP wants children to have a health programme throughout their school lives so that they grow up into healthy, happy and successful adults.

“Already, obesity is prevalent amongst one-in-five 12 year-olds which is a figure intrinsically linked to the one in four children currently in poverty.  These figures are an abomination and need to be reversed.  The SNP’s policy is designed to be a proactive measure to do this.

“School nurses will work with parents, teachers, and children and they will be the key in delivering this policy.  That is why I was particularly pleased to be able to meet with a delegation of nurses from Peterhead and Fraserburgh in parliament today to hear their concerns at first hand and I have undertaken to raise these with the appropriate authorities.”

4 May 2006

Stevenson Comments On Arrest Of Foreign Criminal

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has today (Thursday) welcomed the news today that a foreign criminal living in Scotland, who should have been considered for deportation after prison release, has been arrested in the Aberdeenshire area.

The news follows the revelations that the London Home Office made no attempt to warn their colleagues in Edinburgh that dangerous criminals, who should have been deported, had been allowed to stay in the country.

Speaking from his Scottish Parliament Office, Mr Stevenson said:

“I congratulate Grampian Police on making a rapid arrest so soon after being notified of this person’s presence in our area.

“This illustrates how vital it is that local police forces such as Grampian and the North Aberdeenshire Command are kept fully informed of any risks on their patch and also the importance of ensuring that we have adequate police resources on the ground.”
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