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30 January 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Banff Funding Award

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the award of £500,000 to Banff in the latest round of Historic Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding Scotland’s historic environment. The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme awards funds to encourage local authorities to help spur economic regeneration through investment in their historic environments. Banff was previously awarded money in the first round of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am delighted to see the Scottish Government celebrating the value of beautiful, historic Banff in this way. The funds will help preserve the buildings of Banff while also bringing jobs to the area and boosting the local economy.

“I am always struck by the history, and architecture in Banff, and this funding award will help to ensure future generations can enjoy those sights as much as we do.”

For more information about the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, please visit http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/.

28 January 2013

MSP Comments on Rail Link Moves

Commenting on the proposal from Aberdeenshire SNP councillors which has received the backing of other parties to seek a feasibility study on the potential for re-opening the railway line to Ellon and Peterhead, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“Clearly, a feasibility study is a very necessary first step to determine whether or not such a move is possible and I’m delighted that the local transport partnership, NESTRANS, are being asked to take this forward.

“Since 2007, we have seen expansion of rail services along the existing lines in the North-east with more services to Glasgow and Edinburgh now starting and terminating at Inverurie, more trains at Portlethen, a new station at Laurencekirk and a proposed station at Kintore. It’s time to see if we can expand the network into some of Aberdeenshire’s largest communities.”

21 January 2013

MSP Highlights Quality Scottish Meat Assurance Schemes

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has said consumers can have confidence in quality-assured Scottish meat following the recent scandal surrounding Tesco supermarkets and other retailers and the content of burgers being sold by them.

Mr Stevenson has highlighted the work done by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the high standards demanded by their various quality assurance schemes which cover all aspects of the food production chain from farm to fork.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“The quality assurance schemes in Scotland guarantee Scotch Beef comes from cattle born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland. The industry, rightly, takes great pride in the world-leading traceability which it has in place.

“The recent publicity surrounding Tesco has unfairly tarnished the reputation of all farmers who provide high-quality meat which is traceable to source.

“The message to consumers should be that bodies such as Quality Meat Scotland have rigorous assurance schemes in place covering everything from animal welfare to haulage standards; from auction marts to processors. By supporting quality Scottish meat in general, and your local high street butcher in particular, the consumer can be assured that they are purchasing meat of the highest quality and traceability.”

18 January 2013

Local MSP Comments on Algeria Situation

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“I am watching this developing situation with concern and will monitor developments.

“My thoughts are obviously with the families of those affected at this time and who may be waiting anxiously for news.”

15 January 2013

Make 2013 Your Year of Community Volunteering - Stevenson

MSPs have joined forces with Focus Scotland Magazine to make promoting community based volunteering their New Year Resolution.

The campaign launched aims to get the Scottish public to embark on a volunteering journey in 2013 whilst raise awareness and promoting community volunteering in 2013.

Pledging to support the campaign the MSPs signed banners promoting the campaign, which aims to encourage more people in Scotland to volunteer within their community with the hope to see an increase in community involvement throughout the country in 2013.

Following a positive year for the image of volunteering with the successful summer of Games makers with the Olympic Games, Focus Scotland hope that individuals within Scotland continue to volunteer and hope that the campaign will act as a reminder for them of the impact they can have at community level.

Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast was one of the first to sign the campaign banner. Commenting afterward Mr Stevenson said:

“The importance of volunteers in our communities cannot be overstated and this campaign is an opportunity for us all to recognise the good work of volunteers across Scotland, and to encourage more people to get involved in activities in their community.

“Be it taking some time to help out our elderly neighbours, becoming involved in a charity or youth group or helping to organise the 2014 Commonwealth Games, there are endless ways people can help out in their local area, and have a great time, learn new skills and make new friends in the process.

“The profile of the voluntary sector is particularly high just now, and this is the perfect time for someone considering taking up a new voluntary activity to do so, and join in the good work of those already volunteering across the country.”

Focus Scotland Editor Selina Ross added:

“Volunteering has never been more in the news and we want to see 2013 be the year we put community volunteering in Scotland clearly on the map. Everyday people throughout Scotland make the lives of themselves and others better by contributing their time, skills and care in a wide variety of ways. We hope in 2013 even more will take the time to get involved.”

The last Scottish Household Survey showed that 30% of adults volunteer; this campaign hopes to add to that figure by encouraging everyone to kick off the New Year with a resolution to volunteer in their local community and make a difference.

If you have any time to donate and would be interested you can find out more about volunteering by visiting the portal for all volunteering in Scotland www.volunteerscotland.org.uk or by contacting your local Volunteer Centre.

Notes
  • 30% of adults in Scotland volunteer through an organisation or group (Scottish Household Survey, 2009/10).
  • These volunteers give over 142m hours each year, equating to an economic value of £2.2bn.
  • 60% of people feel they have never been asked to volunteer (VDS, 2004).
  • An estimated 78% of young people do not associate volunteering with good citizenship (Being Young in Scotland, 2009).
  • Volunteering can deliver health benefits to volunteers (Volunteering England, 2008).
  • Volunteers report that their volunteering provides them with valuable skills and experience, and helps them find a job.
  • Volunteering can have major positive benefits, including skills development, health improvement, mental wellbeing, building confidence and self esteem.

10 January 2013

'Scotland Can Lead the Way in Carbon Capture' says Stevenson

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson this week used the Scottish Government’s debate on oil and gas in Parliament to highlight Scotland’s potential to remain at the cutting edge of future hydrocarbon generation.

With a long tradition of expertise in energy technology, Scotland is already providing for the future with the creation of the national Energy Skills Academy, which encompasses colleges in the Banffshire & Buchan Coast constituency.

The graduates of this industry-leading skills academy will be at the heart of the development of future technology such as carbon capture and storage – a pioneering example of which is based at Peterhead Power Station.

Speaking during the debate, Mr Stevenson said

We must map our transition not just in Scotland but across Europe and the world. A huge economic and environmental opportunity comes from the development of carbon capture and storage not simply for us, but as an exportable technology and a technology that we can use our engineers to support.

“For example, in Poland, 90 per cent to 95 per cent of the electricity comes from coal or lignite, which is not just CO2 polluting but is hugely sulphurous. We could play a key role in helping countries such as Poland to address their issues.  That is not simply a matter of economic imperative; it also has an environmental benefit.”

Commenting afterwards, Mr Stevenson highlighted the potential of independence for Scotland in maximising the economic benefit of fossil fuel resources, saying:

“After independence, not only would industry and the Scottish Government be just as motivated to continue development and support a long-term future for the energy industry, but they would have the necessary levers of power to ensure competition.

“This, combined with pioneering technologies such as carbon capture, as well as a booming renewables industry, spells huge economic benefits for communities in the North-east, Scotland and beyond.”

6 January 2013

MSP Backs Community Sport and Attends Jags Match

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson attended Buckie Thistle’s first game of the New Year yesterday [Saturday].

Buckie Jags player
Jordan Sutherland
receives his £500 prize from

Garry Farquhar BTFC President
and Stewart Stevenson
The Jags were at home to Fraserburgh and Mr Stevenson accepted an invitation from Buckie Thistle directors to attend and also draw the raffle at half-time.

Commenting after the match, Mr Stevenson said:

“I was delighted to see two of my constituency's teams engaged in such a hard-fought and entertaining match.  At the end of the day 3-1 for Fraserburgh was the outcome although I had been looking for a draw so that neither of my teams lost!

“I was pleased to draw the winning ticket for the Jags' £500 raffle and as luck would have it, a Buckie team player won it.  Perhaps a wee bit of compensation for the result.

“Altogether, it was an enjoyable afternoon and a reminder that the Highland League offers a really engrossing spectacle and represents real community sport.”

Robertson & Stevenson Welcome Seafood Investment in Buckie

Member of Parliament for Moray, Angus Robertson, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, have welcomed the announcement by Associated Seafoods of a multi-million pound investment in their businesses in Buckie.

Welcoming the news Angus Robertson MP said:

“This investment to upgrade the Moray Seafood site and locate the existing Lossie Seafoods business there is a vote of confidence in the fish processing sector in Buckie. With the aim of substantially boosting turnover and securing the current workforce it will help to bring a degree of certainty those employed by the business.

“The Moray Seafoods and Lossie Seafoods brands have international recognition for a high quality product and I am delighted to see Associated Seafoods investing in that excellent reputation.”


Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Fish processing provides significant employment across the north east and this investment in Buckie will cement the area’s reputation for producing some of the finest seafood products in the world.

“Given the wider economic circumstances the confidence of Associated Seafoods in their brands, their Buckie location and in the workforce that turns out such a high quality product is great to see.

“Not only does the investment help to secure their activity in Buckie but it will also be a boost for the construction sector during the building of the upgraded facilities.”
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