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17 November 2010

Stevenson Hails Continued Funding For New Prison In Peterhead And AWPR In Budget

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the fact that funding for a replacement prison in Peterhead and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been protected in the SNP Government’s budget. The Scottish Government has been forced to make previously unprecedented levels of spending reductions as a result of Westminster cutting Scotland’s budget for next year by £1.3 billion.

Despite this, however, funding for HMP Grampian in Peterhead and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been maintained, reflecting the overwhelming need for these projects in the North East.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This budget has forced some extremely tough decisions upon the Scottish Government as a result of the savage cut of £1.3 billion in this year alone imposed by Westminster. Nobody relishes having to make these hard choices, but our hands are tied by the continued lack of real financial powers for the Scottish Parliament.

“Yet despite these difficult times, I am delighted that the SNP Government has been able to keep the funding for a new prison in Peterhead and the construction of the AWPR in place. We understand just how important these projects are to people in the North East and know that their construction must go ahead.

“The recent publication of the inspection report into Peterhead Prison again underlined the fact that its facilities are simply not acceptable as part of a modern prison system. The need for a new prison in Peterhead is unquestionable and I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is standing by the decision to construct a replacement.

“Meanwhile the AWPR, which was beset by delays and prevarication under previous administrations, remains a key priority for the economy of the region. The continuation of funding for its construction is a clear statement that the SNP understands just how much people in the North East are crying out for the AWPR to be built.

“Today’s budget announcements have seen the Scottish Government face up to the difficult choices that have been forced upon us. Yet with the continuation of funding for Peterhead Prison and the AWPR, I believe it is a budget that demonstrates that the Scottish Government is committed to delivering for people in Banff & Buchan and throughout the North East.”
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