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20 March 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Peterhead Selection as CCS Preferred Bidder

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, today welcomed the announcement that the Peterhead Project had been selected as one of two preferred bidders for the £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition.

This funding will support the development of CCS technology, which if implemented at scale, could allow the safe removal and storage of harmful carbon emissions from coal and gas plant.

Peterhead Power Station was selected as a preferred bidder following a period of intensive commercial negotiations with four projects shortlisted from an original eight in October last year.

The UK Government will now undertake discussions with the two preferred bidders to agree terms by the summer for Front End Engineering Design studies, which will last approximately 18 months. A final investment decision will be taken by the Government in early 2015 on the construction of up to two projects.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Stevenson said

“This is wonderful news for the Peterhead Project, and another step towards establishing green technology as an important industry in Scotland. I congratulate the Peterhead Project on their hard work and effort which has led to this proud day.

“However, In light of the previous UK Government’s abandonment of the earlier Peterhead CCS project and the disappointment over Longannet, Westminster must clearly demonstrate its commitment to supporting commercial development of CCS, especially as the continued commitment from both industry and the Scottish Government is so clear."

Mr Stevenson continued

“In Scotland, we believe in the importance of a diverse and balanced energy portfolio to provide us with secure and affordable heat and electricity for decades to come. To that end, we are working to introduce CCS technology which could play an important role in that goal. 

Scotland is also ideally placed to develop this technology, with massive geological stores, high-value technological expertise and vast experience of working in deep waters offshore. We also have Scottish powers over emissions control and have taken important internationally recognised initiatives to streamline the planning processes for CCS projects.”

For more information, please visit http://www.shell.co.uk/gbr/environment-society/environment-tpkg/peterhead-ccs-project.html.

19 March 2013

Stevenson Encourages Applications for Coastal Communities Fund

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast is calling on all eligible organisations to apply for the latest round of Coastal Comunities Funding (CCF).

CCF is a UK-wide programme, delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, for projects which promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in tourism, fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

This year the focus is job creation and money is available to support coastal communities in achieving regeneration and economic growth through projects that create and maintain sustainable jobs.

Commenting Mr Stevenson said

“I am glad to see applications being accepted for this latest round of Coastal Communities Funding, which helps to support the fisheries and tourism industries.

“I would encourage any and all eligible groups in the area to apply for CCF and continue to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in the North-east.”

For outline information and enquiries contacts please see here http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

14 March 2013

SNP Welcomes Housing Progress in Forres and Buckie

SNP representatives have welcomed major progress on two new areas of council housing which will be constructed in Forres and Buckie. Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead, whose constituency includes Forres, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that nearly 3 million pounds of Scottish Government funding is enabling The Moray Council to take these projects forward and building much needed affordable housing in Forres and Buckie. 

“The SNP recognises the importance of tackling housing waiting lists and maintaining progress on building new council and housing association units after years of no building at all in mainland Scotland under previous administrations. 

“This investment not all helps to tackle affordable housing issues but also supports vital construction work and the positive impact that has on the Moray economy.”

Forres SNP Councillor Aaron McLean said:

“The new houses at Ferrylea in Forres will be very good news indeed both for construction and for helping people in the Forres area who are living in unsuitable accommodation due to a shortage of affordable housing. 

“It will take many years to recover from the under-investment in social housing by previous adminstrations but the SNP have invested very significant amounts of money over recent years recognising the importance of community and family.”

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, whose constituency includes Buckie, said:

“Investment in additional affordable housing is crucial for both boosting the construction sector and providing work and for tackling the long-term housing needs that we have. 

“Moray needs new housing to enable people to stay and work here in quality homes at a reasonable price and the SNP continues to support local government in maintaining investment in areas like Buckie.”

Buckie SNP Councillor Gordon McDonald said:

“The new housing in Barhill Road is a welcome addition to Buckie and will provide much needed additional affordable housing. Getting into a place of their has been difficult for young families in recent years and it is only by the construction of projects like this that we will get proper housing provision for future generations. 

“The SNP has consistently supported new affordable housing since being elected to government in 2007 and Moray has seen hundreds of new council house and housing association units being built in that time in complete contrast to the years previously when affordable housing numbers were dwindling away.”

13 March 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Construction of Fraserburgh Asda Outlet

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast has welcomed the beginning of construction of Asda’s new branch in Fraserburgh.

Asda are investing £11 million with the construction of a 25,000 square feet (sales area) supermarket, customer cafe and petrol station. The development will also see the creation of up to 200 new jobs.

As well as bringing significant employment opportunities to the town, the proposed store will expand consumer choice and provide a convenient major outlet for those in the surrounding area.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said

“I am delighted to see construction beginning on the new Asda store. This sort of investment in the community will eventually result in a significant number of new jobs for the people of the area, as well as bringing a diversity of choice for shoppers and a boost to the local economy.

“I am certain that those in Fraserburgh and the surrounding area will benefit greatly from the new store, and will be glad to see it completed”

10 March 2013

MSP Welcomes Sandhaven Lottery Award

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast has welcomed the news that Sandhaven and Pitullie Public Hall Association have received Awards for All Scotland funding from the Big Lottery Fund totalling £4,090.

Sandhaven and Pitullie Community Hall Committee have ambitious plans for the money. They will undertake improvements to their community facility and increase recreational usage by local residents and use the funds for architect costs, design costs and a business plan.

Awards for All Scotland is supported by the Creative Scotland, Sportscotland and the Big Lottery Fund and awards grants of between £500 and £10,000 to projects which promote education, the environment and health in the local community.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am delighted to see this local village hall, who are centres of activity in our communities, receiving these funds, which will serve to support them now and provide for their development in the future.

“I would encourage any and all eligible groups in the area to apply to Awards for All and state their case for a grant to help them in continuing their activities and improving their facilities.”

7 March 2013

“UK Government Papering Over Defence Cracks” says Stevenson

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast used the Scottish Parliament’s Ministerial Question time to highlight the bitterness among people in Moray at the UK Government’s closure of RAF Kinloss.

Mr Stevenson highlighted the damage the UK Government’s reckless defence cuts will do to Scottish Communities, and reiterated that small increases in personnel numbers take no account of the P45s being dished out by the UK Administration, which will negate any increases.

Keith Brown, Scottish Government Minister for Veterans answered

“That is the background against which the statement [was] made by the UK Government. We have seen a vast number of redundancies. We are told by the MOD that there will be 5,000 more redundancies across the UK—1,000 may perhaps come from Scotland.

“It is absolutely the case that Scotland will lose out badly, not least because, as Stewart Stevenson has mentioned, the cuts take money out of local communities. If you reduce a base that was supposed to have 1,500 personnel to 900, you are removing a huge chunk of finance from that local community. The decision will have an impact on Scotland socially and economically.”

Commenting afterward Mr Stevenson said

“I am grateful for the continued support of the Scottish Government amidst the swingeing defence cuts from Westminster. The UK Government are rapidly dismantling the armed services in Scotland and are papering over these cracks with meagre troops deployments which will not replace the importance of installations like Kinloss to communities and the local economy.

“Only a Yes vote in 2014 will allow the people of Scotland to take control of our own defence matters, and instead of wasting billions on nuclear weapons, we can properly invest in the servicemen and women who keep us safe.”
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