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Eilidh Whiteford is MP for Banff & Buchan

Whiteford Welcomes Signing of Memorandum of Understanding at Fraserburgh Harbour

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed a deal for Fraserburgh Harbour which could potentially lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners on Friday, which will allow the harbour to compete as a support site for the 186-turbine project in the Moray Firth.

MORL received planning permission from the Scottish Government in March to construct the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl windfarms 13.5 miles off the North-east coast. The firm anticipates that the project will generate around 1,116 megawatts of electricity – contributing significantly towards the Scottish Government’s ambition to generate the equivalent of Scotland’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I was delighted to witness the signing of the Memorandum at Fraserburgh Harbour today. The Harbour is a first class facility that is extremely well-placed to service renewable developments off the coast of the North of Scotland. The town more widely is positioning itself well to benefit from the renewables revolution – with the local college heavily involved in equipping future generations with the engineering skills that will be required by companies like EDRP.

“The signing of the Memorandum today acknowledges Fraserburgh’s competitiveness and the expertise that is harboured here. I hope that on this basis, the two parties can now explore the potential of Fraserburgh Harbour as a base for first-class servicing of offshore renewable developments.”

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First Minister Opens 167th New Deer Show

Monday, 21 July 2014

WHITEFORD PRAISES SHOW ORGANISERS ON SUCCESSFUL EVENT

East Aberdeenshire MSP and First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened the annual New Deer Show at the weekend and announced £17,500 Scottish Government funding to support the staging of the event in the Year of Homecoming.

The event was also attended by Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, who praised the organisers on another excellent show, despite some inclement weather on the Saturday morning.

During his opening remarks, Mr Salmond went on to praise rural events such as the New Deer Show for the role they play in enriching community spirit and supporting local businesses, such as the regional food and drink sector.

Alex Salmond said:

“The New Deer Show is a much loved and eagerly anticipated local event that the whole wider community loyally turn up for year in year out and thoroughly enjoy. The competition element – be it best of class, shearing, or the young farmers’ programme – not only encourages healthy rivalry but more importantly, a sense of community solidarity.

“Rural events the length and breadth of Scotland are the jewel in the Year of Homecoming crown, the unsung heroes promoting our heritage and traditional way of life. They also support many regional business who come along to sell their produce, such as our exceptional local food and drink entrepreneurs. That is why the Scottish Government has granted New Deer £17,500 to help stage the 2014 event.

“More specifically, as part of the Homecoming 2014 programme, we have also allocated up to £250,000 to enhance the food and drink element at a number of events across the year. Our magnificent natural larder continues to attract huge interest abroad and helps to market Scotland to the world as a Land of Food and Drink - an important ingredient as we encourage people to celebrate their Scottish heritage during Homecoming.

"Our local communities play an integral part in the food and drink industry and it’s great to be able to support them by bringing events to their areas. This is especially important as we look ahead to our 2015 Year of Food & Drink when we will build on the activity taking place during the Homecoming Year to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s quality produce to our people and visitors alike.”

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

“New Deer Show is a great local event with a long tradition. It is one of the highlights of the North-east calendar and attracts a huge crowd.

“I’m delighted for Drew Wilson and his committee that year’s show was a great success once again and that a short cloudburst on the Saturday morning didn’t last long and certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.”

Drew Wilson, New Deer Show President, said:

"2014 is the 167th year of the New Deer Show and we have the very best of the region on display here this weekend. Aberdeenshire produces some of the finest livestock in Scotland that is enjoyed both locally and internationally - from farm to fork.

"There is huge community support for the New Deer Show and the funding from the Scottish Government will help us make it even better.

"We're not even finished with the 2014 programme yet but we're already thinking ahead to 2015 and the Year of Food and Drink - and where better to showcase Aberdeenshire's excellent produce than right here at the New Deer Show."

As well as showcasing the best of Scottish produce at the events, the £250,000 fund is providing event organisers with expert support in developing their food and drink offering through a series of one-to-one sessions and workshops, delivered by food and drink consultants, Experiencing Scotland.

These workshops, took place in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh, will ensure organisers benefit from expert advice and ideas for including fresh, local and seasonal produce from quality Scottish suppliers.

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Parliamentarians Secure Review of Demand for Ambulance Services

MP & MSP RECEIVE ASSURANCES ON RESPONSE TIMES

Following on a recent report that ambulances were failing to meet call-out target times in North Aberdeenshire, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP and Stewart Stevenson MSP met last week with regional Scottish Ambulance Service chiefs.

The parliamentarians were told that the Service is currently re-examining its practices and processes as part of an already-ongoing national review - but secured assurances that more immediate action will be taken to address the shortcomings in North Aberdeenshire identified in the report.

The parliamentarians heard that an additional driver is being recruited in Peterhead and shift patterns adjusted to extend coverage, which should relieve pressure on neighbouring stations.

An undertaking was also secured by the parliamentarians that the Scottish Ambulance Service will undertake a detailed review of the demand profile in North Aberdeenshire forthwith, to assess whether any additional resources might also be required to ensure appropriate standards of performance are met.

Commenting on the meeting, Banff & Buchan MP, Eilidh Whiteford, said:

“Having studied the performance statistics and met with various constituents and community representatives over recent weeks, I very much share the concerns that have been expressed. I am therefore very pleased that the Scottish Ambulance Service is now taking action to ensure that they are addressed effectively.

“We all very much value the work done by our hard working ambulance crews, in what can be extremely demanding circumstances. I am therefore absolutely committed to ensuring that they have the support and resources required to provide the quality of service which patients have the right to expect.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“The population of North Aberdeenshire is growing due to our economic success, but that brings with it challenges for the Ambulance Service which is seeing demand increase by 3% year on year.

“We need to get this right, and I welcome the commitment we received from the Scottish Ambulance Service for a full review of the demand profile in North Aberdeenshire. I also welcome the steps which they are already taking to increase provision in the area.”

A further meeting is to be convened in twelve weeks’ time to discuss the content of that report, and identify what substantive measures need be taken to ensure that the response time targets are appropriate, and met with on a consistent basis.

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Whiteford Praises Local Business Following 'Best Bar None' Award

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has congratulated a Fraserburgh business, after it received a prestigious award for innovation.

http://cheersbarfraserburgh.com/
The local MP visited Cheers Café and Bar in Fraserburgh after the venue was awarded a ‘Best Bar None’ Award for Innovation. The latest award comes in the wake of more than a dozen similar awards and nominations in recent years, which have established the café and bar as a major attraction in the town.

Owner Dennis Forsyth welcomed Dr Whiteford, along with Troup councillor Hamish Partridge, to learn more about his business and its success. The visit was also an opportunity for Dr Whiteford to meet staff, and offer her congratulations on the venue’s recent award.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Whiteford said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to visit Cheers, and to see for myself the good work that Dennis and his staff are undertaking on the site. The astonishing number of awards and nominations Cheers has received from national bodies indicates the quality of the service being offered, and the business is a credit to Fraserburgh and the surrounding area.

“I look forward to congratulating Dennis on further awards in future.”

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