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Macduff Councillor's Delight at Harbour Watch Decision

>> 14 April 2017

Macduff SNP councillor Ross Cassie has expressed his delight at the change of mind by Aberdeenshire Council officials to not now withdraw the night watchman provision at the town’s harbour.

The council has announced that the Harbour Staffing Review at Macduff is being suspended until after the next meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee in June.

Commenting, Cllr Cassie, who has been working assiduously to reverse the plans since they first came to light over a year ago, said:

“The night watchman provision at the harbour and the threat of their removal has repeatedly been opposed by all harbour users, particularly when taken in the context of the extra fish landing at the harbour due to the relaxation of the landing legislation at the end of last year.

“To support this legislation relaxation Aberdeenshire Council are this year investing considerably in the infrastructure at the harbour. £600,000 will be invested in repairs to the fish market roof and doors, road improvements, ice machines, pontoons in the West Basin and electricity points on the North Pier. All of this is in addition to the chilled store to keep the fish landed at optimum temperature prior to transportation to market.

“The expectation with this investment is for the activity at the harbour to increase considerably and we are already starting to see this happen as landings are increasing. With that in mind, the removal of the night watchman facility would have been a backwards step and would have undermined this progress to regenerate the harbour.”

Cllr Cassie also highlighted the extra investment in Macduff Harbour as a result of the council’s Budget Meeting in February, saying:

“This extra investment is only possible due to the decision taken on 9 February this year at the budget setting meeting of Aberdeenshire Council. The SNP-led Administration’s budget was accepted. Had the Tory-led Alliance budget been accepted the £150,000 of additional savings would have been taken from the Harbours budget. This would have had a devastating effect on the fortunes of Macduff Harbour and Macduff as a whole.

The SNP budget demonstrated support for our communities, investment in our infrastructure to enable future economic growth thus aiding the regeneration of Macduff and not cuts in service as would be the case under the Tory Alliance proposals.”

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