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CORONAVIRUS

My staff and I remain available to assist constituents in any way we can.

However, for the time being, we are not undertaking face to face contact.

We are regularly checking voicemails and emails and are receiving physical mail addressed to our office at a staff member's home address.

Please do not use social media as a channel to make requests to us as these personal accounts are monitored less frequently.

Understand that the pandemic may mean that we take a little longer to respond than we would normally.

Please DO NOT visit the office as we are all working from home.


19 October 2020

Stevenson Urges Constituents in Need to Call Support line

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson is encouraging constituents in need of support to use a free coronavirus support line.

The Scotland Cares Initiative has been launched by the Red Cross with volunteers trained in psychological support for anyone who needs practical or emotional support, advice and guidance on food provision, or support with loneliness.

The number is open daily 10am to 6pm and the support service also works with food banks to help deliver essentials to those who rely on support.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The Red Cross is providing vital support for those who need it most at this difficult time.

“I would encourage anyone who may need support to call the helpline, which is being manned by lots of volunteers, to help anyone who may be isolated or need support or help accessing a food bank.

“Services like this are essential in providing assistance to the local community which is now more important than ever, particularly as we head into the winter months.”

The support service line number is 0808 196 3651 and is available from 10am to 6pm.

North-East MSPs Encourage Applications for Town Centres Fund

North-east MSPs are calling on businesses and projects to apply for a new £1million fund to help promote town centres and online businesses and encourage people to shop locally.

The Scottish Government fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5000 will be given out as part of the Scotland Loves Local Scheme.

The move has been welcomed by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.

Funding is aimed at supporting small scale improvement which will help people to shop whilst also ensuring public health safety and the cash can be used for protective screens, physical distancing markers, hand sanitising equipment and PPE.
 
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said:

“We all have a role to play in Scotland’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s now more important than ever to consider shopping locally and supporting the brilliant local businesses in the north-east.

“The Scotland Loves Local campaign - which will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 - encourages people to think how they can safely support people to shop, eat and relax within their community whilst ensuring public health safety.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“This £1million fund, delivered by the Scottish Government, is an exciting opportunity for local projects and locally-based online businesses to support town centres and promote their local community.

"I have no doubt this new fund will be a real boost for communities across the north-east.”

12 October 2020

Stevenson Welcomes Start of Bowel Screening Programme

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed plans by the NHS to resume its Bowel Screening Programme after it was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screening kits will begin to be posted out again, and people who were sent a screening kit before the pause in March, are now being asked to complete and return them.

The programme was suspended after careful consideration of the risks, including for people asked to attend follow-up investigations, such as colonoscopy appointments, as a result of their bowel screening.

Bowel screening colonoscopies have also resumed for those whose test results need further investigation.

A range of additional safety measures have been put in place to allow staff and patients to adhere to physical distancing, staff will wear necessary personal protective equipment and there will be staggered appointments to ensure quieter waiting areas.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I am pleased the Bowel Screening Programme will now resume.

“The temporary pause of the programme was one of a number of difficult decisions which was made in response to the impact of COVID-19.

“I would encourage constituents who received a bowel screening kit in March to return it and anyone who is sent one in the coming months.”


Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said:

“Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer but it’s treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed early.

“While we all clearly understand the massive impact, the pandemic has had on the NHS, getting back on track with screening now will help to save lives, and we urge all over 50s to complete it."

5 October 2020

North-East MSPs Welcome Broadband Upgrade

Households in Aberdeenshire can now upgrade to faster fibre broadband as part of the £463 million broadband rollout.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson have welcomed the announcement by DSSB (Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband).

It means more than 88,000 homes and businesses can now connect through the DSSB programme.

Engineers from Openreach have connected more homes in Lonmay and Methlick to superfast broadband.

Across Scotland more than 950,000 premises have now been passed by the programme – with 5,078 new fibre street cabinets now live, offering broadband services at speeds up to 80Mbps. More than 16,730km of cable has been laid – including 400km of subsea cable.

More than 67 per cent of properties reached by the programme have now switched to faster fibre broadband.
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said:

“As we continue to work from home it is more important than ever to ensure we can connect to superfast broadband.

“I would urge constituents to check what faster speeds could be available to them as we make progress as a digital nation.”

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“This is a big leap forward in full-fibre technology and is more important than ever in what has been a turbulent year.

“It is particularly important that this technology has been expanded to more rural areas across the north-east.”

Delivered through two projects - led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland - funding partners also include the UK Government through Building Digital UK (BDUK), BT

Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund, with Openreach leading the build on the ground.

Fibre technology offers fast and reliable connections at a range of speeds1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Local people can check if the new fibre services are available to them at www.scotlandsuperfast.com/yourstreet.

Stewart Stevenson
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