Opposition Comment on Aberdeenshire Budget

>> 18 March 2020

Aberdeenshire Council’s SNP/Labour and Communities opposition group presented their budget at today’s meeting of the Full Council.

Among the funding priorities announced by the Partnership Group were an additional £850,000 for community resilience to tackle poverty and hunger; to combat social isolation; to improve health and well-being and focus on suicide prevention; and to support small business start-ups.

A further £850,000 was budgeted to help tackle climate change through the development of innovative local schemes with community involvement - including community-led energy-efficient housing schemes; green space projects/tree planting; community composting; renewable energy projects and the sharing of best practice.

Over £280,000 was earmarked for participatory budgeting to support the development of community transport and active travel and initial work on transport hubs. Amounts were also included to introduce decriminalised parking enforcement, restoring the Area Committee budgets for local initiatives to £104,000, and also becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.

Introducing the budget proposals, Cllr Alison Evison said:

“We find ourselves in unprecedented and highly uncertain times, and so we proposed our opposition budget today knowing that the Council may be forced to stop doing some things, and start to work in a totally new way. Flexibility will be key in the coming days, weeks and months.

“The budget which we have today proposed is one which promotes equality and social justice, seeks to tackle poverty, develops connectivity, promotes local businesses, protects our workforce with a living wage accreditation, provides the security of no compulsory redundancies, helps to close the attainment gap, and supports the vulnerable.

“Running through our priorities is a strong commitment to participatory budgeting – ensuring that communities can have a direct say in some of the spending of the local authority and putting an emphasis on the importance of the priorities of the communities we serve.”

Cllr Richard Thomson, Leader of the Opposition, added:

“It has become increasingly clear over the last few days that there will be no ‘business as usual’ for the Council, and our priority in these difficult times must be to protect our most vulnerable.

“Our budget represents strongly our priorities and the direction we believe that Aberdeenshire Council must take once business returns to normal. We have been clear in our commitments to protecting our communities, our workforce, and the climate. Today was not the day to argue these points, but we must – and will – return to these issues as soon as we are able.”


Coronavirus Update from Stewart Stevenson MSP

>> 17 March 2020

Statement and Q&A from the First Minister of Scotland

In line with advice provided by scientists to the Chief Medical Officer and the First Minister, as someone over 70 years of age, I am obliged to restrict my physical contact with others. I have been asked to stay at home and not attend Parliament for the time being.

This does not mean that I will be distancing myself from providing assistance to my constituents but does mean that for the time being we are not scheduling face to face surgeries and I shall not be attending public events.

The over 70s and vulnerable groups are also advised not to use public transport. However, I have concluded that with trains now running very empty it will be reasonably proper for me to travel offpeak home to Banffshire. Although I shall be in isolation at home I remain in contact with my staff and available by phone, text and email to them and to my constituents. is the first port of call for anyone who feels unwell or needs advice. In relation to the Cororavirus they are currently saying:
If you've developed a cough or fever in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms started.
Only phone your GP or 111 if your symptoms are severe.
Visit the coronavirus (COVID-19) page on NHS inform for the latest advice or phone 0800 028 2816.
I will update this page as required but as I am not qualified to provide medical advice. I shall assist you to find assistance or advice relevant to your personal situation.

In relation to social media comment, be careful! On Twitter trust only accounts which are marked as being verified. That is indicated by a blue spiky circle with a white tick which immediately follows the Account Name. Here's an example:
Be cautious where you do not immediately recognise the individual or organisation. It may even be a scam. Simply do not give any information away to false sites or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or emails.

**Message updated at 15:19 hrs, Tuesday, 17th March**


Local MP Challenged to Disown Racist Comments by Party Chairman

>> 2 March 2020

Conrad Ritchie (right) and
David Duguid MP (left)
Conservative MP David Duguid has been challenged to disown a racist outburst on social media by his Constituency Party Chairman.

Conrad Ritchie made the comments hours after being re-elected as the Chairman of Banff and Buchan Conservatives.

Mr Ritchie was responding to a tweet from former SNP Member of the European Parliament Christian Allard where he was highlighting online abuse he had received. The local Tory Chairman told the French-born SNP member if he wasn’t happy to “go back to your country of birth”.

Vice-Convener of Banffshire and Buchan Coast SNP and anti-racism campaigner Cllr Ross Cassie has branded the remarks as racist and unacceptable and called on local MP David Duguid to condemn the comments and state whether he feels Mr Ritchie should continue in his position.

Commenting, Cllr Cassie said:

“It is possible to hold different political views from other people online without resorting to racist abuse. At a time when the focus is increasingly on toning down the rhetoric and abuse online, this outburst is particularly disappointing on many levels.

“Not only is Mr Ritchie the Chairman of the local MP’s constituency party, but he is a businessman in a town with a large number of residents who have come here from overseas to make their home and contribute to the local economy. Comments like these send a very poor message.

“Mr Ritchie has been endorsed just last Friday as the Chairman of Banff and Buchan Conservatives. He features in the latest Tory newsletter with David Duguid MP in Westminster Hall. David Duguid must do the right thing and condemn these totally unacceptable comments and tell us whether he continues to think it appropriate for Mr Ritchie to hold a top position in the local Tory Party. The views of our local MP on this matter will be keenly awaited by his constituents who want no truck with such vile sentiments.”


MSP & Local Councillor Welcome Council Reversal on Bridges Closure

>> 24 January 2020

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson and Troup councillor Ross Cassie have welcomed Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to explore options for funding and replacing the road bridges in the King Edward area which were washed away in September 2019.

Roads officials had recommended to councillors on the Infrastructure Services Committee that the bridges not be replaced, but this recommendation was pulled just prior to the start of yesterday’s meeting.

Commenting on the decision, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

"I welcome this change of heart on the part of the council to not take a formal decision to close the affected roads and leave the bridges unbuilt.

"I wrote to Aberdeenshire Council in the days after the flood event last September offering to support any applications they may make for support from the Scottish Government and I will be reiterating that offer again following this decision.”

Local councillor Ross Cassie added:

"This decision is a testament to the strength of feeling within the local communities affected and the representations made by myself and others.

"Going forward, this is the start of a process and we need to work to maintain the connectivity of the area so it doesn't impact on school catchments, emergency and other services.”


Article Archive (click on down arrow)

The editors of this web site do not gather,
use or retain any cookie data.
© 2008-2020
Scottish National Party

Contact admin @
for permission to use material from here
There is no cost to the public purse arising from the preparation and publishing of this web site which is hosted without charge by

  © Blogger template Werd by 2009

Back to TOP