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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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Partnership Group Comment on Waste Funding Announcement

>> 2 April 2019

The SNP and Labour/Communities Partnership Group on Aberdeenshire Council have reacted to today’s announcement that Aberdeenshire Council’s bid for funding from Zero Waste Scotland to roll-out its controversial changes to household waste uplifts has been refused.

It is understood the decision relates to the review of Scotland’s Household Waste Recycling Charter, which is to be undertaken once the full implications of the proposed Deposit Return Scheme are known.

Commenting, Infrastructure Services Committee member Cllr Stephen Smith (SNP-Peterhead South & Cruden) said:

"It might not seem like it at the moment but this is probably a blessing in disguise. The proposals for three bins which the council administration voted through would have meant households moving from 120l/week to 60l/week waste for household refuse and proved hugely unpopular. As I said at the time, that risked trying to go too far too soon and risked alienating householders who were already trying to do their best to recycle.

"This 'setback' gives an opportunity to come up with something more realistic and which is more in line with emerging thinking on the circular economy. I hope the Administration will take opportunity to think again about how we can improve recycling rates in Aberdeenshire in a way which works with public goodwill and support."

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Cllr Thomson Welcomes Foveran School Speed Sign Repairs

Ellon & District SNP Councillor Richard Thomson has welcomed the repair of the flashing speed warning signs on the old A90 outside of Foveran School.

The signs – which flash to warn drivers of a 20mph limit during times when pupils are going in and out of school – had not been working properly for some time, despite several attempts at repair. Now, thanks to a new transformer being installed, the signs – which operate on the old A90 north and southbound as well as on the Old Mill Road – should be fully operational again for pupils returning after the Easter Holidays.

Commenting, Cllr Thomson said:

“I've been asking for these flashing lights to be fixed for a while and although repairs have been carried out at various points, none solved the problem of the lights either not working as they should or on occasion not working at all. I'm glad that the root cause seems to have been found, so that drivers can be properly warned of the need to slow down as they pass the school.

“While that is to be very much welcomed, right now there is also some confusion over the speed limit which normally applies on the road, with a number of speed limit signs contradicting each other by indicating restrictions ranging from 40-60 mph in the space of just a few hundred yards.

“That's a legacy of the restrictions from the construction of the new A90. However, now that all major works are completed, there's no need to have this 'fruit salad' of speed limit signs which must make the actual limit of 40mph nearly impossible to enforce.

“I've raised this matter in ward meetings with the council's road service and Police Scotland. In the interests of safety, drivers need clarity and that starts with having accurate signs.”

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Peterhead Focus at Towns Partnership Event in Parliament

>> 28 March 2019

Scotland’s Towns Partnership held a networking event in Parliament this week where Peterhead was well-represented. Rediscover Peterhead held a showcase of local products and local SNP councillor Stephen Smith and Stewart Stevenson MSP were both in attendance, with Cllr Smith taking the opportunity to brief Communities and Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP on regeneration efforts in Peterhead.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“This was a very useful event with a range of towns from across the country present to highlight what they were doing to help protect our High Streets and foster regeneration.

“It was good to see Peterhead represented at this national event with John Pascoe and Clair Harwood from Rediscover Peterhead on hand to promote our town and the businesses within it.

“I was pleased to be able to meet with Communities and Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP and update her on progress. Aberdeenshire is to receive £3.2 million from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund and I’m keen that some good ideas come forward from Peterhead as to how our share of that can be used locally.”

Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP said:

“Communities across Scotland are doing fantastic work in our towns. Whether it’s residents, businesses or local groups, it is communities who hold the knowledge and understanding of how their towns work and who have a long-term vested interest in getting things right. Their dedication, ambition and hard work has led to significant improvements in many of our towns.

“We continue to invest in community empowerment through a wide range of funds which support the regeneration of our towns. The Scottish Government is providing £50 million through the new Town Centre Fund 2019/20, set up in partnership with COSLA to enable local authorities to stimulate and support a wide range of investments to help our town centres diversify and flourish.”

Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer, Phil Prentice, said:

“The recent Scottish budget announcement providing £50 million for Town Centres to drive local economic activity and to stimulate and support place based economic improvements was a welcome respite against the challenging backdrop of ongoing retail closures and public sector shrinkage. We want our high streets and town centres across Scotland to be vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible. These centres are at the heart of our communities and the lifeblood of our country so it is essential that we support them to become more diverse and sustainable.

“It is crucial that local and national Government continues to support the transition and evolution of Scotland’s small and rural towns given the challenges we face in business demographics and rural depopulation. As such, it is critical that a vision for our small and rural towns is at the centre of any Scottish economic strategy.”

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