Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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20 November 2003

Local Surgeries For NE A Step Closer

Following his approach to the Community Fund to hold ‘lottery surgeries’ in the North-east, local MSP Stewart Stevenson has received a positive response to the idea.

Mr Stevenson had written to the Community Fund requesting that they arrange local events for voluntary and community groups as part of his ongoing efforts to secure a larger share of lottery funding for the North-east.

Now, the Community Fund have agreed to organise such events where there is sufficient local demand.

Welcoming the news, Mr Stevenson said:

“This is very good news from the Community Fund and I am pleased that they have responded positively to my request.

“What we need now are for local groups to come forward who feel they would benefit from a session with a lottery adviser.

“I would therefore urge local groups to contact my office on 01779 470444 or e-mail me at to register their interest and be kept informed of arrangements.”

7 November 2003

Stevenson Welcomes Fall In Energy Transfer Errors

Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson welcomed new figures from the energy regulator, Ofgem, showing a sharp decrease in the number of consumers having their energy supply switched in error. The SNP MSP has been a vociferous campaigner against unauthorised transfers since being contacted by numerous constituents on the issue.

The Ofgem report showed that the number of customers having their supplier of gas or electricity switched by mistake had more than halved over the last year. It follows the introduction of a Customer Charter, which set tough targets for improved performance by energy companies.

Mr Stevenson, who met with Ofgem officials last week, said:

“I have had numerous approaches from constituents on this very distressing matter, many of which were elderly. With the unacceptable situation of unrequested transfers, this may well have an impact on any customer’s wish to change energy supplier in the future in order to get a better deal.

“Fortunately, the Ofgem report demonstrates that finally some progress in the matter is beginning to happen and that a lesser amount of mistaken transfers are occuring.

“However, although the number of mistakes are decreasing there is still some way to go in this matter which Ofgem identifies. Some companies have been more successful than others in dealing with these mistakes. The companies which have failed to meet Ofgem’s targets must be reined in, and in some cases, fines may need to be issued to ensure that next year, these figures are even lower."

Notes: The Report by Ofgem shows that in August 2003, the rate of mistakes 1.14% of gas transfers and 1.35% of electricity transfers. This compares to 2.5% in gas and 3.9% in electricity reported in August 2002.

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