Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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31 March 2020

North-East MSP Urges People to "Stay Local" When Exercising

Stewart Stevenson MSP has urged constituents in Banffshire and Buchan Coast to 'stay local' when exercising and walking dogs, and avoid any unnecessary travel that could help spread coronavirus.

Official advice from the Scottish and UK governments warns that people in the North-east should not be driving somewhere with the intent of doing exercise or walking their dog – with new powers granted to police to enforce these regulations.

To protect yourself and others from illness and save lives, people in Banffshire and Buchan Coast should also avoid driving to beauty spots. 

Stewart Stevenson MSP said:


"Of course, exercise is extremely important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so it's important to note that people in the North-east can leave their homes for exercise once a day, with members of their own household. 


"However, you should only be outside for a reasonable purpose – buying food or essential household or medical supplies; travelling to or carrying out essential work; exercising once a day; or providing care or assistance to others.


"I’d urge the public to make use of gardens - if they can - and stay local when exercising or walking dogs, to ensure that we stop the spread of coronavirus.


"This is about saving lives and protecting our NHS. We all recognise how unusual these regulations are, and the Scottish Government will act to remove these restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so."

30 March 2020

Stevenson Calls for Healthy Scottish Volunteers

Stewart Stevenson MSP has urged healthy people in Scotland to volunteer to support vulnerable people in the North-east during the coronavirus pandemic.

People are being asked to go to the Ready Scotland website if they wish to provide practical or emotional help.

The drive is the focus of the Scottish government's new Scotland Cares campaign.
While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need.

Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options which are signposted from the Ready Scotland website:
  • returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland
  • people wishing to offer their support to our public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site coordinated by the British Red Cross
  • those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast said:

“The last few weeks have been challenging for us all, yet the community spirit and desire of local people to help has in itself been unprecedented and once again shows our heart as a nation.

“Today the Scottish Government have launched a campaign calling on ordinary people who want to share their kindness with others to register as a Community Reserve Volunteer (CRV) and be part of Scotland-wide preparations to protect the NHS, support people in need and help save lives.

“While not everyone will be able to volunteer, through the website, we can connect people to where their contribution is most needed locally.

“It is important to remember that the most helpful thing many of us can continue to do to help the NHS is to stay at home and follow all COVID-19 guidance.”

MSP Welcomes Measures to Protect Renters from Eviction

Scottish Government Announces Six-Month Ban on Evictions

Stewart Stevenson MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement that private and social tenants in the North-east are to be given increased protection from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emergency legislation will increase the minimum notice period for private and social tenants to up to six months depending on the grounds used, helping to protect them from eviction.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, which contains substantial further powers and measures to ensure essential public services can continue throughout the coronavirus outbreak, will be introduced in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday).

Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, said:

“We must all work together to meet this challenge, which is why I am pleased that measures have been introduced to prevent evictions and relieve some of the financial pressure people in the North-east may be facing due to the coronavirus crisis.

“The Scottish Government has encouraged all landlords to be as flexible as possible during this unprecedented time, and I would urge them to also seek assistance if necessary by speaking to their lenders about mortgage breaks.

“No-one should face losing their home as a result of this coronavirus pandemic. The move to ban evictions during this crisis will bring security to people's lives when they need it most.”

25 March 2020

MSP Makes Urgent Appeal for Retired Health Professionals to Support the NHS

Stewart Stevenson MSP has made an urgent appeal to constituents who can volunteer their time to fight coronavirus as the NHS launches targeted calls for volunteers.

NHS Scotland announced last week their plans to recruit volunteers with relevant skills and experience to support front line staff as demand and needs increase.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP has now urged anyone who has left the professional register within the last three years as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, paramedic, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, diagnostic or therapeutic radiographer, biomedical scientist, pharmacist or pharmacy technician or medical practitioner is being urged to return to the NHS in their professional capacity.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“In its hour of need, I want to add my plea to any recently retired NHS staff who could return to work and offer their skills and support to help deal with the current demands on our health service.

“I am under no illusions of how big an ask this is, but I want to be clear that we need many more staff.

“The whole country needs the NHS right now and so I want to appeal to you if you're a recently retired healthcare professional then your NHS needs you.”

24 March 2020

Stevenson's Call for Action to Help the Self-Employed

Stewart Stevenson MSP is demanding more support from the UK Government to help self-employed workers and freelancers impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The North East MSP is calling for the Jobs Retention Scheme announced last week to be expanded to include the self-employed. He also appealed for a change in the rules to enable more people to access statutory sick pay.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast representative has welcomed the funding commitments from both the Scottish and UK Government to support local businesses during these extremely challenging times, however, he’s been in touch with many self-employed constituents who are concerned at the lack of support for them.
Commenting Mr Stevenson said:

“Action must be taken to provide more support for the self-employed and the current measures in place do not go far enough. There are 330,000 self-employed workers in Scotland, who are critical to our economy, and they must not be left behind in the response to this crisis.

“This is an anxious time for thousands of self-employed workers in the North-east, many of whom have contacted me raising legitimate concerns about their individual needs.

“They are extremely worried about their income given that, in many cases, orders and events have been cancelled and customers are staying at home and opting not to spend money.

“I know that UK Ministers are being lobbied hard to build on the welcome support already announced for employees and businesses, but we can’t afford to leave the self-employed behind as they are fundamental to our economy and will face ruin if similar help is not forthcoming.”

23 March 2020

'Our Actions Matter': Stevenson's Plea to Over 70's

Stewart Stevenson MSP has this week launched a new diary sharing his experience as an over 70 in self-isolation due to the spread of COVID-19.

Following advice to minimise social contact as much as possible Mr Stevenson has begun recording his experience on in the hope that it will help others in a similar situation feeling lonely or anxious.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP launched the blog to emphasise the important and positive contribution the over 70s can make to reducing the current strain on the NHS and counter the idea that anyone over a certain age is in any way a burden.

While the North-east MSP is in self-isolation he has reassured constituents he stands ready to help anyone in need of support and is working online and conducting meetings by telephone as his constituency and parliamentary offices are closed.
Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“For many folk my age this is a stressful and anxious time, having lived through many major events I truly have never seen anything like this and so I want to share my journey from beyond the 70-year barrier.

“My experience cannot and indeed must not, be unique. If over 70’s are to stay healthy and not overwhelm the NHS, we've got a significant role to play. Our actions matter. Our actions can set an example for other age groups.

“Just last week I was in Peterhead Academy meeting a modern studies class for a lively, even robust, set of exchanges with students. And it was the usual great fun.

“However in just one week my circumstances have changed significantly and it is now sensible, and community duty, that I distance from others. I hope my diary will be a real encouragement to others in the same situation knowing while they may be physically isolated they are far from alone.”

20 March 2020

Stevenson Praises ASDA's Approach to COVID-19 as They "Lead by Example"

Stewart Stevenson MSP has praised the approach taken by supermarket chain ASDA in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as workers in Peterhead and Fraserburgh are offered financial support.

ASDA has confirmed that all staff in self-isolation will receive full pay for the duration of their time off work, while the store is also working with more than 20 other companies to offer quick-start employment to those who have lost their job due to the virus.

The supermarket has also announced plans to offer a three month rent holiday for around 250 small business tenants in ASDA stores, pay smaller goods suppliers immediately to help them keep their business operating and offer local cafes and restaurants the opportunity to take on additional catering services for colleagues to stay afloat.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP has lauded ASDA bosses – who are also prioritising elderly and vulnerable customers with adjusted opening hours – calling on other large businesses to “lead by example”.
ASDA, Fraserburgh
[courtesy of Google Maps]
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government announced a £2.2 billion ‘lifeline’ package of support for businesses.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“In times of crisis, we all need to step up and do what we can to help.

“It’s heartening that huge business chains like ASDA are choosing to back their workers, protect their customers and support smaller firms to stay afloat.

“We can’t avoid the fact that this pandemic will disrupt lives like never before and cause financial hardship across Scotland – but if businesses can take the time to reassure their staff it will make it that much easier for households to get through the next few months.

“Of course not all firms are in as fortunate a position as ASDA, and that’s why the Scottish Government has announced a massive £2.2 billion package of support to help businesses get through this pandemic.

“I hope now we’ll see other large scale businesses lead by example and support their staff.”

19 March 2020

Stewart Stevenson MSP Comments on Exam Cancellation

“The decision to cancel school exams is a measure of the seriousness of the situation we face.

“I know it has been no easy decision, but I hope that this announcement today will provide some clarity to parents and children in the North-east.

“If anyone has specific concerns please get in touch with me or my office- we stand ready to help anyone affected. Help and advice is also available for parents and carers concerned with Children’s 1st offering an online and telephone support at 08000 282233 or”

18 March 2020

Stewart Stevenson MSP Calls for Energy Bill Amnesty

A North-east MSP is calling on energy companies to keep customers’ lights on as coronavirus threatens the closure of businesses across Scotland.

Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast wants energy suppliers to ensure a “a humane and consistent approach” if customers cannot get out to top up their gas and electricity meters.

Mr Stevenson is urging suppliers to offer support to customers and ensure those on top-up meters are not left in the cold and dark if pay points begin to close or they are self-isolating.

Commenting Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The scale and seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic demands a collective response across all sectors, and this unprecedented time requires unprecedented levels of support.

“Faced with this emergency, it is now more important than ever that we practically and effectively work together to protect and support the most vulnerable in our society.

“I hope that energy companies will take the lead by recognising the unique situation facing those on top-up energy meters.

“Many of my constituents have raised their concerns with me about the impact of not being able to leave their homes, not least those who depend on local shops being open to ensure they have access to gas and electricity.

“For the most vulnerable in society, I hope that energy companies will offer them reassurances that they will be protected now but also that they won’t be burdened with debt once the crisis ends.”

17 March 2020


Statement and Q&A from the First Minister of Scotland

In line with advice provided by scientists to the Chief Medical Officer and the First Minister, as someone over 70 years of age, I am obliged to restrict my physical contact with others. I have been asked to stay at home and not attend Parliament for the time being.

This does not mean that I will be distancing myself from providing assistance to my constituents but does mean that for the time being we are not scheduling face to face surgeries and I shall not be attending public events.

The over 70s and vulnerable groups are also advised not to use public transport. However, I have concluded that with trains now running very empty it will be reasonably proper for me to travel offpeak home to Banffshire. Although I shall be in isolation at home I remain in contact with my staff and available by phone, text and email to them and to my constituents. is the first port of call for anyone who feels unwell or needs advice. In relation to the Cororavirus they are currently saying:
If you've developed a cough or fever in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms started.
Only phone your GP or 111 if your symptoms are severe.
Visit the coronavirus (COVID-19) page on NHS inform for the latest advice or phone 0800 028 2816.
I will update this page as required but I am not qualified to provide medical advice. I shall assist you to find assistance or advice relevant to your personal situation.

In relation to social media comment, be careful! On Twitter trust only accounts which are marked as being verified. That is indicated by a blue spiky circle with a white tick which immediately follows the Account Name. Here's an example:

Be cautious where you do not immediately recognise the individual or organisation. It may even be a scam. Simply do not give any information away to false sites or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or emails.

**Message updated at 15:19 hrs, Tuesday, 17th March**

16 March 2020

Stewart Stevenson MSP Backs Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal

Stewart Stevenson MSP lent his support to Marie Curie’s big fundraising appeal, the Great Daffodil Appeal, in the Scottish Parliament last week.

Meeting with staff from Marie Curie, Mr Stevenson was interested to hear about the care and support provided to people living with a terminal illness in Scotland.

Marie Curie supported over 7,500 people in Scotland last year through their hospices, nursing care and support services. In North-east Scotland last year, 89% of patients cared for by Marie Curie died in their place of choice.

Everyone donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March helps Marie Curie provide vital care for people living with a terminal illness and support for their families. Marie Curie hopes to raise £700,000 this Great Daffodil Appeal.

Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Marie Curie has 56 nurses and 110 volunteers in NHS Grampian who provides care and support to people living with a terminal illness across the North-east.

“The work carried out by Marie Curie nurses is exceptional, and the Great Daffodil Appeal is vital to generate the funds needed to carry out the work that they do.

“I hope everyone in Scotland will get behind the daffodil and join me in supporting people living with a terminal illness by donating and wearing a daffodil pin. Your support will help them provide more free hands-on care and emotional support to people living with a terminal illness and their families.”

Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland at Marie Curie said:

“Thank you to Stewart Stevenson MSP for his support.

“Whether you wear a daffodil pin in celebration, in solidarity or in memory of a loved one, you are joining with millions of others to help make sure all dying people get the care and support they deserve.”

Donate and wear your daffodil now. Visit, SEARCH ‘Marie Curie Daffodil’ or text DAFF to 70099 to donate £5*. *Texts cost £5 plus your standard network rate. Marie Curie receives 98% of your donation.

14 March 2020

Primary Kids Receiving Free School Meals Triples in Last Decade

Working Families Saving £450 per Child
Thanks to SNP Flagship Policy

The number of primary-aged pupils receiving free schools meals has tripled in the last decade, saving working families hundreds of pounds a year, according to a new analysis.

The latest figures, released by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe), show that over 53% of primary pupils were registered for free school meals in 2019 – a substantial jump from 2009 when just 16.7% of kids were registered.

The SPICe analysis has also estimated that families are saving £450 a year for each child, thanks to the SNP’s commitment to extend free school meals for more pupils across Scotland.

In 2015, the SNP Government introduced free school meals for all pupils in primary 1 to 3 – with evidence showing initiatives like this can help close the education attainment gap while improving the performance of children from low-income backgrounds.

The number of secondary pupils registered for free school meals has also steadily increased in the last decade – rising from 12.3% in 2009 to 15% in 2019.
Welcoming the news, Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, said

“Free school meals are an important part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life.

“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day helps them to learn – but it’s also a huge financial help to working families.

“This policy has been a huge relief for many families at a time where household budgets are tight – saving parents over £450 a year for each child.

“The evidence is clear that free school meals can help close the attainment gap in education, and that’s why this SNP Government has put this policy at the heart of our ambition to build a better Scotland.

“There’s still a lot to do in reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland – but universal benefits like free school meals for our youngest pupils, free prescriptions and free higher education are helping keep more money in the pockets of hard-working families.”

10 March 2020

371 New Homes Built in Moray Council Last Year

Stewart Stevenson MSP has welcomed new figures that show 371 of new build homes were completed in Moray Council last year.

The latest statistics from the Scottish Government show that over 9,300 affordable homes were delivered in 2019 across the country, an increase of more than 25% since 2016

Meanwhile, the number of homes for social rent in Moray Council hit 184 last year – of which 102 were new council homes and 82 were housing association properties.

Welcoming the news, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson said:

“Having a home to call your own really matters – that’s why the SNP Government has made the delivery of thousands of new affordable homes a priority.

“Just last year alone, we’ve seen 371 new homes completed in Moray Council, 184 of which are for social rent.

“On top of our commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, we’re helping first-time buyers here in Banffshire and Buchan Coast get on the property ladder by lending them a chunk of their deposit.

“I’m proud that this SNP Government is getting on with the day-job, and is quite literally, building for the future of Scotland.”

6 March 2020

Stewart Stevenson MSP Backs Budget to Deliver for Scotland

Budget Secures Funding Boost
for Banffshire and Buchan Coast
in Face of Westminster Chaos

Stewart Stevenson MSP has voted to pass the Scottish Government’s budget for 2020/21– securing a cash boost for NHS Grampian, investment in vital public services in the North-east and a more progressive tax system.
The amended budget delivers on key issues raised by all parties in the parliament – and will see the SNP Government take the radical step of introducing free bus travel for those aged 18 and under, benefitting an estimated 12,000 young people in Banffshire and Buchan Coast.

The agreement builds on key Scottish Government commitments to invest £15bn in health and care services – with NHS Grampian benefitting from a cash boost of £55.6million an increase of 5.84% since 2019/20.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“In the face of massive Westminster cuts - the SNP has always taken a different, fairer approach to give people living in Scotland the best deal in the UK.

“I’m proud to have voted for a progressive budget which protects our cherished health service, supports our schools and allows us to play our part in tackling the climate emergency.

“Despite being set a backdrop of heightened uncertainty and risk, created by the UK government’s decision to delay their own budget – the SNP government’s budget delivers certainty and stability for our economy, industry and businesses in Banffshire and Buchan Coast.

“These figures speak for themselves. This budget is a good deal for the North-east and a good deal for Scotland – and I’m delighted it has now received the support of the Scottish Parliament.”

MSP's Delight as More Homes in Peterhead go Digital

Stewart Stevenson MSP has welcomed figures that more than 2,200 homes and businesses in Peterhead can now access fibre broadband through the £463 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) rollout - and nearly two in three have already connected.

They’re among 86,000 homes and businesses reached by the DSSB programme in Aberdeenshire, where take-up of services across the new network now stands at more than 60 per cent.

Openreach engineers have used a mix of technologies in the town, offering residents mainly superfast and some ultrafast broadband speeds. Local people can check what services are now available to them at

Across Aberdeenshire, the DSSB rollout has recently reached more homes in places like King Edward, Fyvie, Portsoy and Turriff. Some of the latest premises passed in Peterhead can now connect to the most reliable and fastest residential broadband available as engineers build more full-fibre networks to harder-to-reach homes.

Welcoming the news Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“It is great news that the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme has reached more places including Peterhead.

“Faster broadband is great news for both residents and businesses alike who use the internet during day-to-day work or for pleasure after the working day is finished.

“It’s fantastic that 60 per cent of the homes and businesses which are eligible for an upgrade have chosen to do so, and I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet made the move to check if they could get a faster service.”

Sara Budge, DSSB Programme Director, said:

“Thanks to the £463 million programme more businesses and homes are able to access fibre broadband technology, resulting in a better online experience.

“Just remember upgrades are not automatic, so do shop around for the best deal which suits your needs at

Aberdeenshire Council’s Suzanne Robertson said: “Aberdeenshire Council is proud to have supported the roll-out of broadband connectivity across the area, contributing £16 million to the Digital Scotland programme which has now enabled more than 86,000 homes and businesses in Aberdeenshire to access fibre services.

“We are continuing to invest in improving digital connections and resilience through the City Region Deal Full Fibre programme and through our support for initiatives to bring 5G mobile services to more rural parts of Aberdeenshire. All of this supports our wider goals to make Aberdeenshire a great location for businesses to invest and thrive.”

Robert Thorburn, Partnership Director for Openreach in Scotland, added:

“It’s great to visit somewhere steeped in Peterhead’s maritime past to celebrate its digital future.

“The Digital Scotland rollout, coupled with commercial investment, means that the vast majority of local homes and businesses are now within reach of a fast fibre broadband service. I’d encourage residents and business people to make sure they’re up to speed.

“Organisations can use better connections to increase online audiences, sell services and generate bookings while businesses can manage day-to-day operations more efficiently using cloud services.

“Take-up rates in Peterhead and across Aberdeenshire are healthy, but there’s still plenty of capacity available in the local network. People have nothing to lose by upgrading – and may have a lot to gain.”

Research has suggested that every £1 of public investment in fibre broadband in Scotland is delivering almost £12 of benefits to the Scottish economy. The independent report commissioned by DSSB and undertaken by consultants Analysys Mason estimates the total benefit from the investment as £2.76 billion over 15 years.

5 March 2020

Tory Immigration Plans "Disastrous", says Leading Seafood Firm

SNP MSP: UK Government Proposals will
"Inflict Lasting Harm" on North East

Stewart Stevenson MSP has echoed warnings raised by a key Scottish firm that the Tories’ post-Brexit immigration plans would be “disastrous” for businesses, “devastating” for communities, and “catastrophic” for Scotland and the UK’s economy.

Christopher Leigh, the chief executive of award-winning Scottish seafood processor John Ross Jr (Aberdeen), added that the Tory government’s proposed immigration system highlighted “just how out of touch” UK government ministers are with businesses.

This comes after Boris Johnson unveiled plans last week to block most European workers from entering the UK.

The MSP also condemned the UK government for disregarding the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals for a tailored Scottish visa system to address Scotland’s distinct immigration needs.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The chief executive of John Ross clearly has profound concerns that the Tories’ restrictive visa plans will have on businesses in the UK.

“John Ross is just one of many seafood firms where the overwhelming majority of the workforce are migrant workers who are contributing to the economic success of Scotland.

“It is vital that the UK government takes action before it is too late. Boris Johnson's proposed immigration system will inflict lasting harm and cause catastrophic damage for businesses in Aberdeen, and across Scotland.

“In stark contrast, the SNP Scottish Government submitted detailed proposals for a devolved Scottish visa system to meet Scotland’s specific employment challenges.

“These sensible proposals were welcomed by the business and third sector community, but ignored by the Tories.

"The Tories simply don’t care about the future prosperity of Scotland – the people of Scotland must have the choice of a better future as an independent country.”

2 March 2020

Scots Tories Must Condemn Anti-Farming & Fishing Comments

Top Adviser's Remarks a Prelude to
"Biggest Betrayal in Scottish Political History"

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has today called on Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw to publicly dissociate himself and the party from the remarks of a senior Treasury adviser who said that Scottish agriculture and fishing “certainly isn’t” important.

Dr Tim Leunig, an adviser to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, has been condemned for the remarks - in which he also said the “food sector isn't critically important”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“The Scottish Tories must publicly condemn these comments, which are a huge embarrassment for Jackson Carlaw and his MSPs.

“The remarks, from the heart of the UK Government, expose how little the Tories actually care about Scotland’s farming and fishing industries.

"They sold out our fishing fleet on the way into Europe when they said it was ‘expendable’, and now they are gearing up to sell it out again on the way out of the EU.

“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s farming and fishing industries. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clearer by the day that the Tories are lining up a sell-out of fishing, which will be the biggest betrayal in Scottish political history, while Scotland Office Ministers seem to think allowing sub-standard meat imports into the country is the way forward.

“Either they will fold in trade talks and break their promise to Scottish skippers, by allowing free access to Scottish waters for other EU fleets – or they will allow huge tariffs and red tape to be slapped on our seafood products, which would devastate the sector.”

Mr Stevenson added:

“Successive Westminster governments, Labour, Tory and Lib Dems in coalition, have consistently failed to stand up for Scotland’s fishing industry.

“When they’ve had the chance to fight the sector’s corner in Brussels, they’ve actively decided not to bother.

"Brexit now threatens to be utterly catastrophic for our fishing industry and the wider seafood sector – and every single Scottish Tory politician who repeated the bogus 'sea of opportunity' pledge must now be held to account for misleading the public."

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Announces Retirement at 2021 Election After 20 Years of Service to Constituents

After twenty years of service as an MSP Stewart Stevenson has announced he won’t be seeking re-election in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

Mr Stevenson was first elected to the Banff and Buchan Constituency in 2001 which was later re-boundaried to Banffshire and Buchan Coast. He served in the Scottish Government as Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change and Minister for Environment and Climate Change taking through Scotland’s world-leading Climate Change Act in 2009.

The North-east MSP has made over 820 parliamentary speeches, will have attended over 1,000 Parliamentary Committee meetings before retirement and held almost 1,200 advice surgeries for constituents.

During his time as an MSP he campaigned for a new prison in Peterhead, protecting local jobs; championed the rebuilding of Chalmers Hospital and lobbied for significant investments to be made in Fraserburgh and Peterhead harbours.
Commenting on his announcement Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“After joining the SNP in 1961 and being elected in 2001 it has been my honour and privilege to serve the people of Banffshire and Buchan Coast as their MSP for the last twenty years. I am incredibly proud over that time to have been a part of many positive changes, both large and small.

“I will miss working with, and for, so many people in the Constituency, but for the year next I shall continue to work hard to represent the people of the North-east and I hope to say a personal thank you to the many people who have been part of my life over the years in both the Constituency and at Holyrood.

“My leaving Parliament does not mean that I shall be leaving politics. Until Scotland can make its own decisions as a normal independent country, co-operating with friendly neighbours for moral causes, I shall continue to lend my efforts wherever and whenever I can.”

Mr Stevenson’s letter to his constituency party members:

Dear Friends,

By the end of this Parliamentary Session in 2021, I will be in my twentieth year of service for my constituents and will pass my 75th birthday in that year.

No one is indispensable and I know that there is a breadth of talent in the SNP ready to fight for the people of Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency. I will therefore not be putting my name forward to contest the Parliamentary elections in 2021.

After joining the Party in 1961 I spent 40 years working for Scotland’s cause as a volunteer and have participated in over forty Parliamentary Elections and by-elections as well as in more local contests than I can count.

But the highlight of my involvement in politics has been my approaching 20 years in Parliament and especially my five years as a Government Minister.

My leaving Parliament does not mean that I shall be leaving politics. Until Scotland can make its own decisions as a normal independent country, co-operating with friendly neighbours for moral causes, I shall continue to lend my efforts wherever and whenever I can. I came into the SNP as a volunteer and expect to depart it, and eventually life itself, as one.

In Banff & Buchan Constituency, which became re-boundaried to become Banffshire and Buchan Coast in 2011, I am happy to have been part of many positive changes, large and small.

The community rallied around to keep the £15 plus million that prison jobs contribute annually in Peterhead. The partners of the prison staff fought in an exemplary fashion and I was happy to play my part.

We saw the Chalmers Hospital rebuilt in Banff and significant investments made in Fraserburgh and Peterhead harbours. And 50% more people have signed up with NHS dentists in the area.

I have always felt it important to engage with my constituents and have held 1,181 surgeries. My diary has been filled with about twenty-five thousand various entries related to my work as an MSP.

And in Parliament, I have made over 820 speeches so far, and expect to have attended over 1,000 Parliamentary Committee meetings before I retire.

As a Minister and MSP, I was responsible for 5 Parliamentary Acts and for 132 pieces of other legislation.

My taking our world-leading Climate Change Act through Parliament in 2009 I regard as the most important. I have represented the Scottish Government, and on a number of occasions, the UK Government, in many countries and have met climate activists from across the globe.

I am now down to working between 50 and 60 hours a week. Others are waiting for a little more of my time.

People in the constituency, with a bare handful of exceptions, have been polite and friendly even when they have disagreed with me, or I with them.

Politicians must be tested by challenge. And develop reasoned responses that serve a common good.

For the year next I shall continue to work hard to represent the people of Banffshire and Buchan Coast in what can only be described as particularly challenging times.

My annual summer tour of my mobile surgery will enable me to meet many rural constituents again in 2020. I also plan to visit as many of my constituents as I can who live at the very edge of our large constituency over the summer - significantly stepping up my engagement with the people and issues which confront us.

And to my successor as SNP candidate in 2021 - whoever they may be - you will have my full support.

Thanks to you all for your encouragement and engagement. I have enjoyed working with you..

Stewart Stevenson MSP

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