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Opposition Councillors Comment on £2.7 million Town Centre Improvement Projects Approval

>> 16 May 2019

Commenting on the approval of the first £2.7 million of grants for town centre improvement projects within Aberdeenshire from a multimillion pound Scottish Government fund set up as part of this year’s budget settlement, Opposition Spokesperson for Infrastructure Services, Cllr David Aitchison (SNP – Westhill & District) said:

“This is an important milestone. With a total £3.28 million allocation out of a £50m pot nationwide, Aberdeenshire has received a significantly above population share of this Scottish Government fund, of which only a portion has been approved today.

“The investment that this will unlock has the potential to make a lasting difference to our local town centres. It’s important that we now make progress on these projects and in identifying the best use of the remaining funds available to us.”

Cllr Alison Evison (Labour - North Kincardine) said:

“This money gives an opportunity to invest in town centres across the whole of Aberdeenshire and to support their economic development. It shows the importance of communities coming together to set out a vision for their area, so that they are ready with ideas should money becomes available.”

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Opposition Comment on Changes to Shire Waste & Recycling Plans

Commenting following changes to the kerbside collection of recycling and waste which were agreed at today’s meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Stephen Smith (SNP – Peterhead South & Cruden) said:

“While the withdrawal of the funding offer from Zero Waste Scotland was disappointing, residents will be breathing a sigh of relief that the rethink this prompted hasn’t been combined with the reduction in bin size that was planned originally.

“We need to take residents with us as we improve recycling rates. This is a pragmatic way forward which allows households to make the necessary changes at a more steady pace.

“The Scottish Government’s planned deposit return scheme will have a very positive impact. We now have the chance to design an alternative scheme which better fits around that initiative while allowing for a wider range of recyclable materials to be collected locally.”

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Council Hears Renewed Plea Not To Split Methlick

>> 30 April 2019

Boundary Commission Plan Sees Village Placed In Two Constituencies

Local SNP councillor Alastair Forsyth has criticised proposals from the Boundary Commission for Scotland which would see Methlick split in half and placed in two different constituencies for Westminster elections.

The Boundary Commission have drawn-up proposals for Westminster constituencies as a result of the London Government’s intention to reduce the number of Scottish MPs from 59 to 53. For the North-east, this means an expanded Banff & Buchan constituency taking in Ellon and Newburgh, and a new Gordon & Deeside constituency covering much of Garioch and West Aberdeenshire.

Under the new proposals, the boundary between the two new constituencies would see Methlick being divided along the River Ythan, resulting in houses along the B9005 and B9170 roads to New Deer and Fyvie remaining in Banff & Buchan, while the bulk of the village transfers into Gordon & Deeside.

At a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on Thursday, councillors were asked to agree new polling districts in anticipation of the Boundary Commission’s proposals being implemented by the London Government at some point before the next UK election. Methlick SNP councillor Alastair Forsyth, who made a submission against the plans when they were first mooted back in 2017, spoke out against the new boundaries at the meeting.

Commenting, Cllr Alastair Forsyth said:

“The proposals for Methlick simply demonstrate the absurdity of the Boundary Commission's plans.

“I feel that the voters have been subjected to enough confusion over boundaries and for the time-being these should be left until significant changes in population make the case for the sheer expense of boundary changes.

“I understand, of course, the desire to save public money by having less MPs at Westminster. If Scotland’s MPs must be reduced in number, then let’s reduce that number to zero and transfer the powers to the Scottish Parliament, thereby eliminating an unnecessary layer of government.

“I stand by my submission to the Boundary Commission that Methlick should remain intact as a whole community. These plans make no sense at all.”

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Macduff Councillor Ross Cassie Welcomes Nightwatch Extension at Town's Harbour

>> 14 April 2019

A local councillor who has been pressing for enhanced safety cover at Macduff Harbour has welcomed the formal announcement that weekend cover will now be provided. Macduff SNP councillor Ross Cassie said this will create a safe environment for all harbour users.

Fish landings significantly increased from 2016/17 to 2017/18 by more than 100%, bringing an additional £18,000 to the harbour as a result of the relaxation of Designated Port Status by the Scottish Government in December 2016.

Cllr Cassie commented:

“I am delighted that there is to be this additional cover for the weekend creating a safe environment for all harbour users all of the time.

“With the addition of the ice plant, the chill room and future infrastructure improvement at Macduff Harbour it is to be a busy place going forward and now it can be a busy and safe place for all harbour users.”

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