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31 October 2016

Local MSP Hails Funding Boost for Rora Committee

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson has hailed Rora District Amenities and Public Hall Association on successfully applying to Awards for All Scotland.

Rora District Amenities and Public Hall Association have secured £5,909 and will use the funding towards roofing repairs. Rora District Amenities and Public Hall Association operate a well-used community building in rural Aberdeenshire.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“I welcome the £5,909 award from Awards for All Scotland to Rora District Amenities and Public Hall Association toward funding their roofing repairs. This funding is great news for an organisation that has worked very hard to maintain such an excellent community space.

“Awards for All Scotland is an excellent programme that gives groups across our country the opportunity to apply for grants of between £500 and £10,000 for various projects. I encourage all of our community groups to apply for funding.

“These projects bring communities together, improve local space and help communities become more active. This funding will allow Rora District Amenities and Public Hall Association to improve a great public space that delivers a range of activities – I’m sure the improvements will be very welcome by the community. I’m delighted to see their success and wish them luck in repairing the roof.”

Stevenson Applauds Funding Boost for Buchanhaven Harbour Committee

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson has commended Buchanhaven Harbour Committee on Awards for All Scotland funding success.

Buchanhaven Harbour Committee has secured £10,000 and will use the funding towards creating a new community space and boat shed on some recently acquired land. The Buchanhaven Harbour Committee is a charitable unincorporated association set up in Peterhead. The group provides and maintains facilities in the local area and raise money for local issues.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“I welcome the £10,000 award from Awards for All Scotland to Buchanhaven Harbour Committee for their new community space and boat shed. This is a boost for a very active local organisation that continues to make great contributions to our part of the world.

“Awards for All Scotland is an excellent programme that gives groups across our country the opportunity to apply for grants of between £500 and £10,000 for various projects. I encourage all of our community groups to apply for funding.

“These projects bring communities together, improve local space and help communities become more active. This funding will allow the Buchanhaven Harbour Committee to revitalise their facilities and create a fantastic new space for the community. I wish them luck with their project and I’m excited to see what they come up with.”

28 October 2016

Local MSP Urges 'Get Ready for Winter'

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has today called on his constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of free help and support with energy bills.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“It’s really important to be prepared for winter. I want everyone in the North-east to understand what help is available for them, and for their family and friends. Being energy efficient and keeping bills under control is really important, so I’d encourage people to get in touch with their energy supplier to find out what support is on offer.

“There are a number of simple steps that every constituent should take to make sure they’re doing all they can to keep their bills down and their home warm.”

Commenting, Sarwjit Sambhi, Managing Director of UK Home at Scottish Gas, said,

“Winter can be a challenging time for households and many people may be concerned about their winter energy bill. Help is available and we urge customers to get in touch so we can offer them advice and support.

“In the long term, energy efficiency is still the best way to save money on bills. Scottish Gas is proud to be leading the roll-out of smart meters across Britain, which enable you to see how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence and identify where savings can be made.”

Stevenson Calls for Maintaining Links to International Bodies on Climate and Environment

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson called for the UK to allow nations of UK to continue to work with international bodies on issues of climate change and the environment.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate where he called on the UK Government to ensure Scotland maintains a fully functional relationship with other countries in Europe on environment and climate issues. He stressed the benefits of international co-operation on environmental policy and criticised Tory interference.

Commenting, former Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“The Scottish Government continues to deliver on the environment, delivering in 2014 what should have taken us till 2020 - six years ahead of schedule. The UK Government meanwhile continues to interfere and hinder the Scottish Government’s environmental ambitions. Their interference on renewables is just one of several examples. It is ridiculous for the Tories to suggest otherwise.

“The suggestion by Nigel Farage and friends that the EU is restraining the UK with detrimental regulations is a joke. Out of 2,466 decisions on laws, the EU Council of Ministers overruled the UK 56 times – less than 1 per cent of the total decisions. The UK Government chose not to reject the overwhelming majority of regulation.

“The environment is an international issue – it affects people across Europe and beyond. International co-operation has encouraged our focus on environmental policy – this led to Scotland leading the way for countries across the continent. We must continue to have the highest possible standards and not allow the Tories to undermine our international agreements to support the environment.”

26 October 2016

Stevenson Backs Successful 'Adopt a Station' Programme and Borders Rail

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has backed the ‘Adopt a Station’ programme and its success along the new Borders Railway.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate where he backed the work of volunteers along the Borders Railway and emphasized its success as encouraging for the continued development of Scottish rail.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“The ‘Adopt a Station’ Programme has invigorated stations along the Borders Railway. The programme brings libraries, flowers and other welcome amenities. It’s been a great combined effort from volunteers and ScotRail – it shows how proud they are to have the Borders line.

“The Borders Railway itself has been a huge success – over a million passengers in its first year – well above predicted usage. There also appears to be a higher incidence of end to end travel – another encouraging sign. Hopefully any future assessments of extending rail in the North-east will consider that the Borders railway outperformed its own usage predictions.

“I congratulate all involved in making the Borders Railway so welcoming and successful. The railway has dramatically opened up rural communities and bestowed substantial economic benefits. There is far more potential to be opened up for Scotland’s rail and while I love the Borders Railway – I would love to adopt a station on a Buchan line even more.”

17 October 2016

Stevenson Supports Call to Scale Down Cancer

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, is backing Cancer Research UK’s new Scale Down Cancer campaign to help prevent obesity-related cancers across Scotland.
Scotland has one of the heaviest populations in Europe, with two in three adults in Scotland overweight or obese.

And according to new calculations by Cancer Research UK, almost 83,000 children have started primary school overweight or obese in Scotland over the last decade.

Given that obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, it is important that action is taken to tackle Scotland’s obesity challenges.

The new Cancer Research UK campaign asks politicians to support a call to ensure cancer is scaled down to size in Scotland.

Cancer Research UK wants to see a comprehensive strategy for tackling obesity in Scotland, including measures that focus on tackling the wider factors that lead to the overconsumption of unhealthy foods – such as restricting the advertising of unhealthy food to children and curbing multi-buy discounts.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“Four in ten cancers are preventable, yet not enough of us know that obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Given the devastating impact that cancer has on families in Banffshire & Buchan Coast, it’s vital we take action on obesity.

“We mustn’t let obesity continue to be the new normal in Scotland, and that’s why I’m joining forces with Cancer Research UK and the Scale Down Cancer campaign.”

Join the conversation on twitter via
@CRUKScotland and #ScaleDownCancer

Stewart Stevenson Demands Protection of Scottish Fishing Interests

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has demanded the Westminster Government protect the Scottish fishing sector and coastal communities.

Mr Stevenson spoke at SNP Conference where he proposed the resolution on the future of Scotland’s fishing interests. He spoke on the Common Fisheries Policy as a policy that diverts economic benefits away from Scottish coastal communities, and the need to maintain access to labour and non-tariff access to the European single market for fish processing.

Mr Stevenson slated Westminster for their failure to provide any certainty for Scottish fishing and demanded they not sell-out the industry again. He made clear that Scotland’s only Tory MP, David Mundell, has no relationship to fishing interests, is out of his depth, and called for a Scottish Minister to lead post-Brexit fisheries negotiations.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland- that includes Scottish fishing. We’ve always been opposed to the CFP and will do whatever it takes to get the best deal for Scottish fishing. It is not acceptable that the majority of fish caught in our waters are loaded into foreign vessels, nor is it acceptable that Scottish vessels are stopped from fishing active spawning grounds while vessels from other countries continue to fish them.

“If we are to protect our coastal communities, we need to make sure we protect our fishing communities as a whole. That also means protecting the single market and the free movement of people. We need tariff-free access to the biggest single fisheries market in the world, and we need the many hard working Europeans that help drive the processing industry.

“David Mundell has said he doesn’t think control of our own fishing is ‘realistic.’ Meanwhile, George Eustice has changed his mind from ‘automatically’ devolving fishing, to needing a ‘UK-wide framework.’ It’s vital we ensure the Tories can’t turn that kind of flimsy thinking into policy. The only way to do that- let a Scottish Minister lead on fishing negotiations.”

11 October 2016

Local MSP Calls for BBC to Reflect Cultural Nuance

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson called for the BBC to better reflect the nuanced experience of those living in Scotland and other parts of the UK.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate where he called for the BBC to better report, explain, and reflect issues faced by people across the nations of the UK.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“The BBC produces some of the best current affairs programmes around- “Eòrpa” for instance is a Gaelic programme, that allows us to see current events in Europe from a Scottish perspective. It is one of many great programmes that only the BBC could produce.

“But there are coverage issues. Radio 4 did a piece on Sunday trading where the comments were all from an English perspective. They made no reference to the fact that Scotland has had Sunday trading for years. Critically, the situation wasn't explained for those listening in Scotland.”

“These mistakes fail to represent Scotland to England and vice-versa. They fail to represent the nations of the UK to one another. While I agree, the BBC is a vital public service, it should better embody the different perspectives and cultural nuance between the nations of the UK.”

10 October 2016

Stevenson Condemns Hate Crimes Against Polish People Living in UK

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has condemned the recent rise in hate crimes in the UK.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate where he condemned attacks against Polish people and highlighted the positive relationship between Scotland and Poland throughout history.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“There is no place for this kind of behaviour in the 21st century. These are people who have chosen to make their lives here. They contribute to our society and have every right to expect and demand safety.

“The people of Scotland have a deeply positive relationship with Poland. For centuries Scottish people have travelled there to live and work. There are still places in Poland that reflect this – like areas of Gdańsk, called Nowe Szkoty­ – New Scots, and Stare Szkoty – Old Scots.

“Our cultural exchange is to be celebrated. Polish people have enriched Scotland just as Scottish people have enriched Poland. There is no place for this racism, ill-treatment or violence. In Scotland we have a message for our Polish friends – We are with you; stay with us.”

2 October 2016

Scot Lib dems Signal Surrender on Scotland in EU

Rumbles Also Sells Out on Farm Cash

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie has been challenged to renew his party’s support for keeping Scotland within the EU after one of his MSPs suggested leaving the EU was inevitable.

In an interview on Sunday Politics Scotland, MSP Mike Rumbles let his guard down stating “WHEN Scotland leaves the EU” rather than "IF" — contrasting sharply with the commitment given by his party leader to back the Scottish Government in negotiations to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.

Mr Rumbles also suggested that he was in favour of scrapping EU support for farmers which currently injects around a billion Euros of subsidies and development funding into Scotland’s rural economy.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“These are staggering revelations from Mike Rumbles who appears to be unilaterally repositioning the Scottish LibDems alongside the Tories as a party of born-again Brexiteers — resigned to Scotland being dragged out of the EU despite our overwhelming vote to remain.

“Willie Rennie should urgently renew his party’s commitment to the Scottish Government’s efforts in working to secure our place within the EU. And he needs to rein in those in his party who would seek to undermine those efforts in the course of political sniping.

"Aligning themselves with the Tories in 2010 and the independence referendum is what lost the LibDems hundreds of thousands of votes. Are they about to do the same again?

“Farmers across Scotland will also be dismayed by LibDem calls for vital CAP and rural development support to be scrapped — we’re talking about people’s livelihoods. It’s utterly reckless for Mike Rumbles to be fanning the flames of uncertainty rather than working with the SNP to protect the interests of Scottish farmers.”
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