Aberdeenshire Campaign Against RBS Closures Continues in Huntly

>> 10 March 2018

The local campaign against the RBS closures continued this weekend in Huntly, with campaigners out to collect more signatures for the petition.

The campaign has been underway for several months, and has gathered significant numbers of signatures from Banff, Turriff, Stonehaven, Ellon and Huntly.

Following pressure from the SNP group at Westminster, RBS announced that some of the branches earmarked for closure would remain open, however none of those in Aberdeenshire were included in this list. The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee at the Scottish Parliament will now also consider this matter.

The Aberdeenshire Councillors who are campaigning on this issue plan to be in Edinburgh during the RBS AGM in May to campaing outside, and to hand over the petitions.

Commenting, SNP Councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Gwyneth Petrie, said:

“There continues to be significant concern locally about the planned closure of the RBS. Not only does it mean that customers of the bank will now have to travel a significant distance when they require banking services, but it will also add to the continuing decline of our town centre.

“RBS have said that the mobile banking van will visit the town twice a week, but will park on the outskirts, instead of travelling in to the town centre. The van already has accessibility issues – these will only be exacerbated by it being parked so far out of the town centre.

“Today we seen even more people queueing to sign the petition – I hope RBS listen to the voice of their customers.”

SNP Councillor Dr Glen Reynolds, who represents Banff and District, added:

“The number of people who have signed the petition is increasing. People realise that if they lose their bank branches, the town centres will be all the poorer and the impact will have a negative effect on not only the look of our High Streets but on the local economy.”

SNP Councillor for the Troup Ward Ross Cassie said:

“The RBS banks have been at the heart of our communities for many a decade. Our communities rely on the service they provide, yet in the name of profit that heart is to be ripped out.

“It is incomprehensible that at a time when the top executives receive millions of pounds in bonus’ each and sport receives millions in sponsorship from RBS, a fraction of that cost is to be saved depriving our communities of a banking service that the community has been loyal to and rely on.

“Hundreds of skilled and loyal workers are to be thrown out of work. We should not forget that those workers and us, the tax payer, own in the region of 70% of RBS. The UK Government holding the shares on our behalf should not abdicate their responsibility claiming the closure programme to be a commercial decision but should step In and halt this damaging programme immediately.”

Former RBS employee, SNP Councillor Alastair Forsyth, who represents Turriff & District said:

“The branch in Turriff is central to the High Street, and will be sadly missed. Businesses will find it increasingly difficult to bank with RBS if they are forced to travel significant distances to do so.”


MSP & Peterhead Councillors Urge Residents to Make Their Views Known on Minor Injuries Units Consultation

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson is urging constituents to make their views known as part of a consultation on Minor Injuries Units at local hospitals across Aberdeenshire.

Stewart Stevenson MSP with Cllr Anne Allan and Cllr Stephen Smith
at Peterhead Hospital
The review has been instigated by the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership, a joint NHS Grampian/Aberdeenshire Council body and will take into consideration “location, demand, activity, practitioner competency and ongoing sustainability”.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I know from feedback that our local NHS facilities are greatly valued by constituents. I understand the need for the authorities to review the services they provide from time to time and I appreciate the opportunity to put forward my views and those of my constituents.

“My concern would be that any diminution in the service provided at local Minor Injuries Units would lead to further demands on the ambulance service or, indeed, local GPs. Clearly, we have a number of villages at the moment where provision of a GP service is a major issue. In addition, I am keen that nothing is done which would increase the pressure on the local ambulance service, who may be called upon to step in if access to the Minor Injuries Units was curtailed.

“I will be making my views known to the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership and I urge constituents to do likewise.”

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith added:

"All the feedback I’ve had tells me that the Minor Injuries Unit is a valued facility and an essential service.

“It means that there is less pressure on services elsewhere and undoubtedly means that fewer ambulance call-outs are needed as a result of it being local and accessible.”

Peterhead North & Rattray SNP councillor Anne Allan said:

“We’re in the fortunate position of having our own ambulance service in the town and any reduction in service at the Minor Injuries Unit might lead to increased demand on other services. I would urge local residents to make their views known at the drop-in being held on 14 March.”

Information events are being held at Peterhead Football Club on 14 March, and Fraserburgh Sports & Community Centre on 21 March, all between 3.00pm and 7.00pm.

Further information can be obtained from Aberdeenshire Council on 03456 081203 or by e-mailing


Peterhead Councillors Welcome Academy Progress

>> 26 February 2018

Peterhead SNP councillors Stephen Smith and Anne Allan have welcomed further progress on a new Academy Campus for Peterhead.

Following the change of council Administration in 2015, the new SNP/Labour Partnership committed Aberdeenshire Council to a new academy for Peterhead. Now, the council has confirmed its commitment to ongoing investment and regeneration in Peterhead by agreeing in principle for a multimillion pound community campus to be built in the town.

Councillors approved including costs for the £71 million community campus in the council’s capital plan for 2023 – 2028 when they agreed the budget on 8 February; meaning a primary one pupil enrolling at Peterhead Central School for the next school year will be among the first intake of the new school.

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said:

“This is the next logical step in the process initiated by the previous Administration and I am pleased the council’s commitment to a new Peterhead Academy has been maintained and is being progressed.”

Peterhead North & Rattray SNP councillor Anne Allan added:

"I welcome this further information about Peterhead Academy. However, the actual design will be the subject of much consultation with pupils, staff and the wider community to ensure we get a school that everyone in Peterhead can be proud of.”

To date the council has carried out an assessment to determine the best solution. Public consultations on ideal locations have been held but further consultation will follow.


Aberdeenshire Opposition Councillors Renew Calls for Free Sanitary Products

>> 13 January 2018

Opposition Councillors at Aberdeenshire Council have today expressed concern that the administration are dragging their heels with plans to provide sanitary products at no cost to all school pupils.

The provision was agreed at a meeting of the Education and Children’s Services Committee on the 31st August 2017, however despite there being two further Committee meetings since, no definite plans are yet in place.

Following continued pressure from Opposition Councillors, costings have been provided which, following investigations across Scotland, would appear to be over-inflated.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Cllr Alison Evison said:

“We raised the issue of period poverty in Aberdeenshire because we wanted to remove all barriers to pupil attainment and to maintain the dignity of all girls. The slow rate of progress by the Administration is therefore very disappointing.

“We seem to be having endless delays with this vital project, which is having a real impact on pupils across our schools. What should be a relatively simple scheme to implement is being over complicated leading to unnecessary delays.

“We have asked officers to make contact with other local authorities who are already implementing this scheme to find out how they are doing so at a much lesser cost.”

SNP Cllr Victoria Harper added:

“From August 2018, a Scottish Government scheme will ensure that sanitary products are provided free of charge in all schools, colleges and universities.

“All we are asking is that support is given from now until August. Girls in our schools deserve to have free and easy access to sanitary products, and it’s very disappointing that we are nearly four months on from the original decision, and obstacles are still being put in the way.”

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said:

“The North East has led the way in the past year, using Scottish Government funding to create a pilot project led by C-Fine on period poverty.

“Local authorities such as North Lanarkshire have also shown brilliant initiative in providing sanitary products in schools costing around £25,000.

“I am disappointed that Aberdeenshire Council has been dragging their feet on this issue, particularly at a time when people in the North East have been struggling. Many mothers have admitted going without, just to afford tampons and sanitary towels.

“Aberdeenshire Council could be a leading example of support for girls and young women. This delay must not go any further.”


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