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Councillors Welcome A90 Hatton Speed Limit Review & Stirling Village Safety Measures

>> 24 April 2017

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith has welcomed commitments from BEAR Scotland that the speed limit on the A90 through Hatton will be reviewed. BEAR have also said they intend commence design works this summer on increased pedestrian safety measures at Stirling Village for installation in the autumn.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“These commitments from BEAR Scotland are very welcome. I am aware that the speed limit on the A90 going through Hatton has been an issue for quite some time and has been raised with me on many occasions by local residents. I am pleased that BEAR have now committed to a review of the speed limit and I look forward to this being done swiftly.

“The safety of pedestrians crossing the A90 at Stirling Village has been another cause for concern and myself and my Ward colleague Cllr Stuart Pratt have been pleased to support Boddam Community Council in their efforts to get improvements.

“This is now in the works plan and BEAR have committed to starting the design scheme for safety enhancements for pedestrians.”

Cllr Stuart Pratt added:

“These are very welcome developments in the short term. Longer term, I want to see the A90 upgraded from north of Ellon through to Peterhead with particular attention to the Toll of Birness junction being made safer. I believe this is achievable with the study being done by NESTRANS and will continue to campaign for better transport links, both road and rail, north from Aberdeen and Ellon to Peterhead.”

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Commitment to Dalrymple Hall Welcomed

>> 21 April 2017

Fraserburgh SNP councillors Charles Buchan and Brian Topping, and local council candidate David Donn, have welcomed the commitment made at yesterday’s meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Business Services Committee to the town’s Dalrymple Hall.

            
Commenting, Cllr Charles Buchan said:

"We are delighted that the Council has agreed to retain the Dalrymple Hall and that the need for investment in the building has been identified. The hall, as well as being Fraserburgh’s Town Hall, is one of Aberdeenshire’s best known arts centres.

“We are aware that the building has been neglected by the previous Tory, Independent, and LibDem administrations, and have asked for badly-needed repairs and enhancements to the fabric of the building, to improve the auditorium, interior decoration, and accessibility. We hope that hall users will engage with us to make sure their views are heard. These improvements could greatly enhance our provision for arts and culture.

“Along with the other multi-million pounds investments in the town in the last two years, and the proposals for Fraserburgh in the 2017 local SNP manifesto, this shows that we have worked hard for the interests of the people of Fraserburgh, and should go a long way to satisfy the ambitions of our young people, and the arts community, and will enhance our high reputation for the arts.”

Cllr Charles Buchan, as vice-chair of the Education Committee, has successfully worked for the past two years to bring the northern hub of the world-famous Royal Conservatoire to Fraserburgh, and arrangements are being made to work with local schools, and groups to benefit our youth.

Cllr Brian Topping, as chair of the Fraserburgh Regeneration Group is working to use arts involvement as a regeneration vehicle for Fraserburgh and the villages.

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Candidates Back Call for New Bridge on A939

>> 16 April 2017

Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside SNP councillor Geva Blackett has written to Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Stephen Archer, requesting that the cost of a functional bridge on the A939 at Gairnshiel is built into the council’s Capital Plan as a matter of urgency to save the Grade 1 listed bridge currently in use.

In her letter, Cllr Blackett says

“Almost exactly five years ago, this beautiful bridge was closed for some weeks to allow extensive – and expensive repairs – to take place and not for the first time. The resulting 40-mile detour caused chaos for motorists and had a severe impact on the fragile economies of Braemar, Ballater, Strathdon and Tomintoul.

Now we find that despite the 18 ton weight limit imposed, even more expensive and extensive repairs are required in the near future and as traffic increases with the Snow Road linking Grantown to Blairgowrie gains in popularity, so too will the need for major repairs as the bridge is no longer fit for purpose”

Cllr Blackett’s letter points out that when the current bridge was built after the 1745 Jacobite uprising to form part of the Military Road, cars, coaches and 38 ton lorries did not exist.

“Imagine for one moment a Chippendale chair” continues Cllr Blackett’s letter “You would not allow the public to continually sit on it and break it; you would say that people can look at it and admire it but if they want to sit down they should use the functional chair placed alongside. The same argument should be applied to this bridge which plays an important part of our built heritage, is of historical importance and could be a tourist attraction with picnic tables and proper parking”

Cllr Blackett’s case for an adjacent bridge is supported by a candidate from Perth & Kinross and by a candidate from Moray, both of whom have written to Aberdeenshire Council.

Alison Mullholland standing for Blairgowrie & the Glens Ward in Perth & Kinross said:

“I understand that historically, repair work necessitated by previous damage, took some weeks to be completed. During which time, the resulting forty mile diversion curtailed the number of tourists travelling along the A93 through Glenshee to Blairgowrie and west to Kirkmichael and beyond.

Therefore I would strongly support consideration of an adjacent replacement bridge, thus facilitating the repair and subsequent preservation of the beautiful and historical Gairnshiel Bridge, whilst allowing all forms of traffic access via the new bridge.”

Angus Anderson standing for Moray’s Speyside Glenlivet ward said:

“The purpose of my writing to you today is to make you fully aware of the significant financial impact businesses in Tomintoul and beyond will suffer should the bridge have to continually close for repairs. One business owner advised me that over one hundred and fifty coaches visit his shop each year and virtually all of them arrive via the A939 from Aberdeenshire.

There is also obviously a preservation and historical concern given the bridge’s age and status and I would urge you to consider that too.

I support Councillor Blackett’s request that a new bridge be factored into the Capital Plan and thus reassure the businesses in Tomintoul and beyond that Aberdeenshire Council is taking a long term and pragmatic approach to the importance of this bridge to the Snow Road route.”

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Swinney Launches SNP Mini Manifesto for Education

>> 15 April 2017

John Swinney has underlined five key education pledges for SNP councils as he unveiled a mini manifesto for education.

The online document outlines the priorities that SNP councillors will work tirelessly to achieve for children and young people across Scotland.

These priorities are:

  • A transformation in early learning and childcare.
  • Investing in and empowering our schools to give every child in Scotland the best start in life.
  • Maintaining teacher numbers and pupil-teacher ratios.
  • Better schools in better buildings.
  • Improving outcomes for looked after children and young people.
 Click picture for online manifesto 
Mr Swinney said:

“A good education is an investment – not just in our children, but in our society and our economy too.

"A vote for the SNP in the council elections is a vote to elect councillors who are dedicated to protecting and improving our education system.

“The SNP believes from the early years through to adulthood, everyone should be given the very best chance of success in life.

“We’re expanding and transforming early learning and childcare, nearly doubling free childcare hours to 30 hours a week.

“We are investing £120 million in our schools to close the attainment gap, whilst putting power into headteachers’ hands and empowering schools.

“SNP councils will work with the Scottish Government to build or refurbish 112 schools by 2020 - covering every local authority area.

“And is vital we maintain teacher numbers and pupil-teacher ratios, as well as improving outcomes for looked after children and young people.

“These policies are a firm building block in helping us deliver our vision for a Scotland where every child has every chance to succeed.

“That is what you are voting for when you vote SNP – cast-iron commitments to continue our hard work in improving our education system.

“A good education is the best gift we can give our young people and SNP councillors will work tirelessly to ensure this is something that is available to all of our children in every community across Scotland.”

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