Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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24 April 2003

Stevenson Welcomes Stuartfield Post Office Progress

In an e-mail to SNP Scottish Parliament candidate Stewart Stevenson, Royal Mail have advised that they are to advertise for a sub-postmaster to provide post office services in Stuartfield. Welcoming the news as progress towards restoration of the village Post Office, Mr Stevenson - who as MSP met with Post Office management in the Scottish Parliament on the issue - commented:

“People in Stuartfield have been left without a post office service for far too long and I welcome the fact that some progress is now being made towards re-establishing that service.

“However, Royal Mail have taken far too long to resolve this matter which has been deeply frustrating for the local community and those involved. Everyone’s preference would have been to see the service re-opened in the existing premises long before now.

“We must move on now and I would urge anyone in the village who may be interested in applying for this position to contact either myself or Royal Mail directly for further information.”

Local councillor Denis McHugh (SNP; Mintlaw-Old Deer) - who has also been pressing for the re-establishment of a post office counter service - added:

“My main concern has been the inconvenience suffered by those in the village who have to travel to Mintlaw to collect their pensions or benefits as a result of the closure.

“I hope that we are now nearing the end and I will be doing what I can to find someone willing to take on this very important position for the village. Indeed, I will be meeting next week with the Royal Mail relocation manager to discuss this and I have already been approached by interested individuals. More expressions of interest will be most welcome and people should feel free to contact me in this regard.”

16 April 2003

Stevenson Warns Run Down Of Postal Service May Hit Prospects Of e-Business

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has warned that a further run down of postal services could seriously jeopardise the chances of establishing internet based businesses in rural Scotland, and could damage those established businesses attempting to expand onto the internet.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Scottish Enterprise Grampian have advised me that they have assisted 130 businesses set up internet marketing. That is very welcome, but I am concerned that many of these developments could be at risk if there is a run down of postal services in rural areas.

“Whilst knowledge and information based businesses can thrive purely over the internet, those selling goods rely on the post or couriers to physically move their goods to their customers. For many businesses in rural Scotland the only courier is effectively the Post Office since the cost of courier services is too high, even if they will go to more remote areas. It is ironic, perhaps, that many twenty-first century electronic businesses can only survive with the good ‘old fashioned’ postal services.

“It is essential, therefore, that there is a reliable and consistent postal service in all parts of Scotland. That service is being seriously jeopardised by Postcomm’s privatisation proposals, which will inevitably lead to the end of the universal service obligation and universal tariff.”

Stevenson Solves Bus Turning Circle Problems At St Combs

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a response from Aberdeenshire Council stating that the council is to agree to his suggestion to re-align the grassed area at the St Combs bus turning circle.

Mr Stevenson raised the matter with the council on behalf of Elaine Ward, SNP canidate for Lonmay-St Fergus after she received representations on the issue from residents. Difficulties were arising when buses were unable to manoevre out of the turning circle due to parked cars and had to mount the pavement.

Welcoming the news, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am pleased to learn that the council have responded positively to the concerns passed to Elaine Ward by local residents.

“My solution will ensure that the buses using the turning circle will not be forced into driving over the kerb, as sometimes happens at present. More importantly, this solution will enable local residents to retain their on-street parking.”

SNP council candidate Elaine Ward added:

“I am very pleased that action will be taken in this regard. Since the recent by-election last year, I have been out talking with people and the problem of the bus turning circle has came up on quite a few occasions. It’s great news to hear that the council will be taking on board Stewart Stevenson’s proposal as a solution to the problem.”

15 April 2003

Stevenson Highlights Help Available To Parents Of Disabled Or Seriously Ill Children

SNP Scottish Parliament Candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has announced details of the Family Fund, a scheme that offers advice and help to families with disabled or seriously ill children under the age of 16. The Family Fund provides parents with information on a wide range of topics and can also give monetary grants to assist families in looking after their children and improving their quality of life.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Family Fund is a registered charity that helps low income families with disabled or seriously ill children by offering them advice and providing them with some financial assistance. I understand that grants can be given to parents who perhaps want to take their family on holiday and enjoy some leisure activities together or even buy new laundry equipment for the home.

“I believe that the overall aim of this charity is to help improve the family situation of disabled and ill children. For example, if a mother of a disabled child cannot drive, it obviously makes life very difficult for that family. The Family Fund will therefore pay for the mother’s driving lessons, so that the child’s circumstances will be made easier.

“I think that the help that is on offer from the Family Fund is of a very practical nature and I would encourage anyone who feels that they could benefit from this charity’s services to contact them on 0845 130 45 42, or visit their website at Families who have a combined income of less than £21,500 may also apply for a monetary grant provided they meet the Family Fund’s stipulated requirements.”

SNP Publishes Most Accessible Manifesto Ever


SNP Candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson said the SNP’s manifesto not only detailed the policies that could make Scotland the best country possible but was also presented in the most accessible formats ever used by a political party in Scotland. Mr Stevenson said:

“The SNP’s manifesto details policies that can make Scotland not just a place to live but a place to thrive. It shows that we are the only party that can deliver the policies to turn Scotland around under devolution but with Independence we could release Scotland’s potential.

“We have also produced our manifesto in many formats so that it is accessible to the widest audience possible. A CD-Rom comes with every print version which takes the viewer through various policies using text and video. In addition the manifesto is available in Braille, Gaelic, Cantonese, Urdu, and Punjabi, as well as in audio format, and large print. These different versions are all available via the CD-Rom and a dedicated website or our own website

“In addition, Sir Sean Connery has recorded an audio message specifically for our manifesto CD-Rom and website. He talks about areas close to his heart – about how Scotland could be so much more than it is now with independence and the SNP and how Labour have let us down on health, education and crime.”

“Time’s up for Labour. It’s time for the SNP and our manifesto shows why.”

Stevenson To Speak At National Farmers Union Hustings

SNP candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson is to speak the NFU hustings tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at 7.30pm at the Thainstone Agricultural Centre.

Mr Stevenson – who was invited to speak by the National Farmers Union – commented:

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to put the SNP’s case in front of the farming community once again.

“In recent weeks, I have been pressing Ministers on the retention of the Scottish Agricultural College at Craibstone, raised local complaints regarding the British Cattle Movement Service, and lobbied the Scottish Executive on grant aid for farmers in NVZ areas.

“There is much going on in the agricultural sector that MSPs can play their part to influence for the better and I look forward to continuing to stand up for my farming constituents.”

14 April 2003

Icing On Cake For Local SNP Candidates

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson and Raymond Matthew, council candidate for Boddam-Inverugie, toured Murdoch Allan & Sons’ bakery at Hatton earlier today. The two candidates were presented with an SNP cake made specially for the occasion.

Mr Stevenson was part of the Simmers Working Group which successfully saved the Hatton factory from closure last year preserving local jobs and over a century of baking tradition in the Buchan village.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Stevenson said:

“I was delighted to pay a visit to Hatton and tour the bakery under much happier circumstances than when I last toured with United Biscuits management.

“The workers at Hatton are all very committed to doing a quality job and I was greatly impressed by the wide range of goods I saw being produced and the obvious dedication of the staff.”

Raymond Matthew added:

“Allan’s are clearly a very go-ahead company and I wish them every success in their future plans.

“It was an important boost to the local economy last year to retain a bakery of this scale in Buchan and if we can replicate elsewhere the commitment of those involved in the working group, we can truly release Buchan’s potential.”

9 April 2003

Stevenson In Call For Fish Jobs For The North-East

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the review of civil service jobs dispersal programme announced today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr Stevenson has written to Sir Michael Lyons, who is heading the review, demanding that UK civil service fisheries jobs should be transferred to Buchan.

Speaking in Peterhead today, Mr Stevenson said:

“Sixty per cent of Europe’s white fish is in Scottish waters. The civil service staff working with our industry should be located close to them. Only then will informed and realistic recommendations on the future of our fishing industry be made.

“The disastrous EU Common Fisheries Policy comes from Austrian Franz Fischler who represents a country with no fishing interests. We can do better in Scotland by linking fishing activity to fishing decisions.

“I have therefore asked Sir Michael Lyons to visit the North-east in early course and ensure that the benefits of such a relocation are reflected in his report.”

Stevenson Receives Assurance From Finnie On SAC Proposals


SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has received an assurance from Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie in response to his concerns stating that he has asked the Scottish Agricultural College to come back to the Scottish Executive with revised proposals.

In his letter, the Minister also advises Mr Stevenson that he has asked for a review of the services which could continue to be provided at Craibstone and Auchencruive.

Commenting on the Minister’s reply, Mr Stevenson said:

“This is a welcome response from the Minister and I am pleased that he has acted on pressure from MSPs, students and staff.

“There is no doubt that the proposals to centre the SAC in Edinburgh and move away from the agricultural heartlands of the North-east and Ayrshire is a completely ridiculous proposition and the Minister goes some way to recognising this when he states that the proposals also run counter to the Executive’s relocation policy.

“I raised concerns in the Rural Development Committee of the Parliament and the Committee agreed unamimously that centralising the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh was not the way forward. In addition, a number of flaws were identified in the assumptions made in the report which recommends centralisation which I think the Minister also accepts if I read him correctly.

“Staff and students willI welcome this letter which shows that Ross Finnie is clearly moving onside as the campaign to save Craibstone and Auchencruive gathers pace.”

8 April 2003

SNP Candidate Signs Up To Citizens Advice Charter

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson will be attending the launch of the Citizens Advice Charter on Wednesday 9 April at 11.00am ay the CAB, 47 Market Street, Aberdeen.

Mr Stevenson will be adding his name to the Citizens Advice Charter that seeks to underline the commonality between the work of both MSPs and Citizens Advice Bureaux, as experience shows that many of the problems of CAB clients are the same problems faced by MSPs constituents.

Chief Executive of Citizen’s Advice Scotland Kaliani Lyle will be in attendance and will outline why it is important for MSPs to work closely with the CAB.

Stevenson Discusses Local Concerns With Water Authority


SNP Scottish Parliament candidate Stewart Stevenson and Buchan North councillor Mitchell Burnett have visited the Scottish Water waste water treatment plant at Phingask, Fraserburgh, following a meeting with Sandhaven & Pitullie Community Council last night.

The Community Council had expressed concern over recent emissions of foul odours from the treatment plant.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Stevenson said:

“Clearly there has been a lot of money invested in leading-edge technology for the treatment of waste water. I was very impressed by the steps taken by the water authority to ensure safety and a clean environment.

“It is disappointing that there has been an incident resulting in an emissions release recently and I hope that there will be no recurrence.

“I encouraged management to engage with the local community to ensure that they had the opportunity as I had to understand the efforts being made at the plant. I will be monitoring the situation to ensure that there is no repeat of the recent incident but I am confident that Scottish Water staff are doing all they can to keep this risk to an absolute minimum.”

5 April 2003

Stevenson Receives Assurance On Stuartfield Post Office Future

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has received an assurance from Royal Mail Group on the future of Stuartfield Post Office.

The village’s Post Office has been closed for around six weeks now while an internal investigation is conducted. Meanwhile, villages are having to use Mintlaw Post Office some miles away to receive pensions and benefits.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“I have been pressing postal management on this issue for some weeks and met with senior officials of Royal Mail in the Scottish Parliament recently.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Post Office has remained closed for such a long period without alternative arrangements being out in place.

“I am disappointed that no timescale for re-opening has been given but Royal Mail manager Bob King has assured me that it is their aim to resume services in Stuartfield just as soon as possible and I will continue to urge that this be done sooner rather than later.”

2 April 2003

Stevenson Slams Continuing Cattle Movement Errors

SNP candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has slammed continuing delays faced by local farmers in receiving support payments. The delays are being caused by the Scottish Executive having to cross check information supplied by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

Mr Stevenson raised this matter in a Parliamentary debate at the end of January following meetings with affected farmers.

Speaking in Cruden Bay today, Mr Stevenson said:

“I find it quite incredible that two months on from when the Minister assured me in Parliament that everything possible was being done to deal with the situation and minimise the delay that this is still causing problems for farmers.

“Of course we need accurate records of cattle movements, but the system must not add to the heavy burdens that farmers have had in recent years. Farmers say that the book should be thrown at anyone who is cheating, but the farmers who are affected by this problem are not cheating; they are being cheated. The current system is not sustainable, fair or equitable.

“It is quite simply not acceptable to me that my constituents should be disadvantaged by errors which are mainly the fault of the BCMS and I call on the Scottish Executive to take urgent action to ensure that payments can be made as quickly as possible.”

Stevenson Welcomes Dec ision On Pharmacy Report

SNP Scottish Parliamentary candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement by the Deputy Health Minister that the Scottish Executive is to reject the recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading report on pharmacies.

Mr Stevenson – who has met with many community pharmacists in Banff & Buchan in recent weeks as part of the campaign of opposition - commented:

“I am aware that there has been a high level of worry amongst many rural pharmacies with regards to their future in light of the recommendations within the recent OFT report on the pharmacy industry. The report had suggested that the prescription drug selling market should be opened up completely to incorporate supermarkets, and it was widely thought that this would result in a negative affect on community pharmacies.

“However, the Deputy Health Minister, Frank McAveety, has declared that he will be rejecting the OFT’s recommendation to scrap present rules which limit both the number and location of prescribing chemists. Except the subject has not been completely determined, and the government has not likewise overruled the proposed deregulation of the pharmacy industry.

“I understand that this has been a very distressing period for rural pharmacies, but I am certain that Frank McAveety’s declaration has, no doubt, brought a great deal of relief. I view the U-turn made by the Scottish Executive over the OFT report as a triumph for the numerous local pharmacies who have campaigned against these changes. However, my existing fear is that the U-turn announced may result in being a meaningless promise. On this basis, I shall therefore be seeking a guarantee from the Executive that they have no ambition in the slightest of implementing the OFT recommendations.

“I am certain that the many pharmacies within Banff and Buchan provide an essential service to their local communities, and it is this service which must be continued to benefit us all.”

Stewart Stevenson
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However Google who publish for us, may do.
fiosZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

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