MP & Councillor Welcome £15,000 Boost for Huntly Sports Trust from People's Postcode Lottery

>> 5 December 2023

Gordon MP Richard Thomson and councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford Councillor Gwyneth Petrie have welcomed the announcement that Huntly Sports Trust have successfully gained a grant of £15,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL).

PPL held an online funding roadshow earlier this year at the request of SNP MP Mr Thomson and over 50 organisations and individuals from across Gordon Constituency took part.

Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:

“I’m delighted for Huntly Sports Trust that their application has been successful and wish them well in their efforts for the future. It does underline though that while times are tough financially for many organisations at the moment, there is still money out there and if you put in the effort to apply for funding and make your case you can ultimately be successful.

“Players of PPL have now raised over £1 billion for good causes – a massive figure that has made a world of difference to charities across Gordon and elsewhere.

“Both myself and my party have been strongly supportive of the charity lottery sector, and we have been pushing the UK Government to reform the legislation that is forcing charity lotteries to operate in a very bureaucratic way which, ultimately, reduces the amount of money available for good causes.”

Local SNP councillor Gwyneth Petrie added:

“This is excellent news for Huntly Sports Trust, and for those living here and using these facilities. It’s great to see more charity lottery money coming Huntly’s direction because of the pre-planning and commitment from our many varied organisations throughout the town, and I wish the Trust well in their future endeavours as they continue to deliver for the area.”


Local Councillors Comment on Withdrawal of Bank of Scotland Mobile Branch

>> 4 December 2023

Turriff and District councillor Alastair Forsyth and Central Buchan councillor Geoff Crowson have criticised the planned withdrawal of the Bank of Scotland’s mobile branch from local communities.

The bank has announced that the service will stop calling at communities including Turriff and New Pitsligo with effect from May 2024.

Commenting, Cllr Alastair Forsyth said:

“It’s not that long ago since the physical Bank of Scotland Branch in Turriff closed and we were assured that customers would be able to continue to access banking services locally through the introduction of the Mobile Branch.

“Now it seems this, too, is being withdrawn from next May. It’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that the Mobile Branch was just cover at the time to make it easier to close the Branch.”

Councillor for Central Buchan Geoff Crowson added:

“Bank of Scotland now need to step up and inform the communities affected how it intends to support vulnerable customers in servicing their bank accounts. It’s great that the Post Office is still there in most communities to pick up where the banks are leaving off, but not everyone will be able to go online or service their needs through the Post Office.”


Councillor Welcomes Improvements to Formartine & Buchan Way

Central Buchan SNP councillor Geoff Crowson has welcomed improvements to the historic and popular Formartine and Buchan Way. The works, which form a major realignment of the existing National Cycle Network (NCN), will enable even more people to walk, wheel and cycle, along with equestrian use, from Newmachar to Auchnagatt and beyond.

The improvement works are being supported by funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Network Development Fund, delivered in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council.

Commenting, Cllr Geoff Crowson (SNP-Central Buchan) said:

“The Formartine and Buchan Way is extremely popular with local people and visitors alike as a safe and accessible route and is great at drawing people into the various communities along the route.

“I’m delighted the Scottish Government is providing funding to upgrade and improve the route which will include things like upgrading path surfaces in key areas so that they are suitable for all users, widening paths where possible to ensure that anyone regardless of ability can share them, and removing unnecessary barriers which prevent people using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, adapted bikes and buggies from accessing the path.”

Disruption to route users will be kept to a minimum as much as possible as the works are undertaken. It will result in the temporary closure of sections of the route at times. These will be sign posted locally along with diversions where possible, and publicised on Aberdeenshire Council’s website.

Local communities and groups are being asked to help identify additional access points or enhancements which will further widen the appeal of the route.


Gordon MP and Huntly Councillor Comment on Withdrawal of Bank of Scotland Mobile Branch

>> 1 December 2023

Gordon MP Richard Thomson has expressed disappointment at the decision by the Bank of Scotland to withdraw its Mobile Branch from Aberdeenshire.

The bank has announced that the service will stop calling at communities such as Insch, Huntly, Alford, Turriff and New Pitsligo with effect from May 2024.

Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:

“This is obviously very disappointing, especially for those communities such as Insch and, in particular, Huntly who were given the mobile service after losing their physical Bank of Scotland branch just over three years ago.

“It is, however, the inevitable outcome when banks try to replace a high street presence with something that’s intermittent and can’t replicate the same range of services that could be accessed previously.”

Councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford Gwyneth Petrie added:

“Huntly was still considered viable for a physical Bank of Scotland branch up until 2020 so this represents quite a turnaround from that time.

“I appreciate that more and more people are using online banking but most people still have an occasional need to service their account face-to-face and the Mobile Branch seemed to me to be a cost-effective way of reaching as many communities as possible.”


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