King Edward Councillor Cassie Hails Community Pressure in Bridge Success

>> 10 February 2021

Local SNP councillor Ross Cassie has hailed pressure from the local community in King Edward as a contributory factor to Aberdeenshire Council confirming that Bridge of Fortrie is to be replaced.

The structure is one of the six bridges in the King Edward area damaged by flooding in late September 2019. Bridge of Fortrie carries the C9S Road from Mains of Fisherie westward to join the A947 at Keilhill.

SNP Councillor for Troup Ward Ross Cassie said:

“The confirmation that funding for the Bridge of Fortrie replacement is very welcome. This being one of the 6 bridges washed away in the King Edward in September 2019.

“The replacement when completed will enable greater connectivity for the residents who have been disadvantaged since that weather event.

“I would also like to thank the local community for keeping up the pressure for this solution to be found. Their perseverance shows that working together solutions that benefit all can be found.”


Relief After Rural Bus Service Reinstated

>> 28 January 2021

Peterhead South and Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith has welcomed the reinstatement of an early-morning bus linking Cruden Bay and Hatton to Peterhead.

Cllr Smith contacted senior management at bus operator Stagecoach after concerns from constituents at the withdrawal of early morning services between Hatton/Cruden Bay and Peterhead. Local residents, some of whom were key workers reliant on public transport, raised concerns with the councillor after they were no longer able to get to Peterhead before 9.00am, the 6.30am and 7.30am services having been withdrawn.

Now, Cllr Smith has received confirmation that an additional service will depart Hatton and Cruden Bay in time to arrive in Peterhead at 7.55am, commencing immediately.

Commenting, Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said:

“I am grateful to Stagecoach for taking on board the concerns raised with me by local bus users and the assistance of the council’s Public Transport Unit in securing swift action to put this in place.

“Several of those affected were key workers so this action is very much to be welcomed.”


Councillor Smith Pushes for Reinstatement of Cruden Bay Bus Service

>> 26 January 2021

Local SNP councillor Stephen Smith has contacted senior management at bus operator Stagecoach after concerns from constituents at the withdrawal of early morning services between Hatton/Cruden Bay and Peterhead.

Cllr Smith has received concerns from several local residents who are now no longer able to get to Peterhead by public transport before 9.00am. 6.30am and 7.30am services have been withdrawn and the earliest service to Peterhead now leaves Cruden Bay at 8.44am.

Commenting, Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said:

“I appreciate that with lockdown, less people are using public transport and Stagecoach must adjust its services accordingly.

“However, the feedback I have received indicates that there is a need for an earlier service into Peterhead serving Cruden Bay and Hatton than this new timetable provides.

“Stagecoach have been responsive over the past 10 months in ensuring such needs are fulfilled in other situations so I would be hopeful they will respond positively to the concerns expressed by local residents through myself.”


Council Moves to Address Brexit Threat to Seafood Exports Welcomed

>> 2 October 2020

Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to vary the fees on export health certificates for food producers when they begin exporting to the EU from January 1, 2021.

The greatest volume of both processed and unprocessed food exports from Aberdeenshire is to the European Economic Area. With the end of the EU Transition Deal expected to occur on January 1, the United Kingdom will be considered by Europe as a third country for trade, irrespective of the outcome of ongoing negotiations to agree a Free Trade Agreement.

That will mean businesses exporting animal products to the EU in these circumstances will need to apply for an export health certificate (EHC) in order to clear border controls.

An EHC confirms that exports meet the health requirements of the destination country. The council is providing advice and support to the business sector as the UK nears the end of the EU transition period.

Yesterday (Thursday), the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee agreed that EHC fees may need to be reduced for export certificates to the EU and Northern Ireland to support the North-east fishing industry.

Councillors were told it was anticipated that up to 1,000 export health certificates may have to be issued in Aberdeenshire each week.

The committee also heard that the Scottish Government has requested that Food Standards Scotland take on the responsibility of coordinating national logistics hubs to relieve the burden on local authorities.

These hubs would provide the necessary staffing resources to issue EHCs - located in transportation hubs in central Scotland - and would relieve some of the pressure on Aberdeenshire Council officials.

Commenting, SNP spokesperson on Infrastructure Services Cllr David Aitchison said:

“The need for our high-quality seafood to reach markets in France, Spain, Italy, etc within short timescales is crucial. Any delays in the supply chain are potentially devastating. While it is clear that the council, COSLA and Scottish Government are doing everything in their power to address the challenges faced by the North-East seafood sector, the UK's exit from the EU and failure to reach an exit deal continues to cause huge uncertainty for these exports.

“Aberdeenshire Council’s role in Export Health Certification requires significant resourcing and I welcome the First Minister's confirmation that resources would be made available for greater resourcing for environmental health to the tune of £1.2million this year and £1.9million next year."

Head of Economic Development and Protective Services, Belinda Miller, said afterwards:

“We do, however, anticipate that several North-east fish processing companies, especially the larger ones, who do not use transportation hubs or need to share loads will still expect the council to provide them with EHCs. Our Environmental Health teams are looking into the option of creating a trial base in Peterhead Fish Market which would enable us to issue EHCs 12 hours-a-day, six days-a-week.”


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