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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD & HUDGHTON TO VISIT HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT

Monday, 29 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and European Election victor Ian Hudghton MEP will meet with Peterhead Port Authority Chief Executive John Wallace on Monday 29 June at 2.00pm at the Harbour Office, West Pier, Peterhead, where they will discuss current issues.

After a briefing on the Port Authority’s multi-million pound Smith Embankment Project, Ian Hudghton and Eilidh Whiteford will also be given a tour of the site.

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WHITEFORD & HUDGHTON VISIT KEENAN RECYCLING

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and Euro-MP Ian Hudghton toured Keenan Recycling at New Deer today, meeting with Director Grant Keenan and staff.

Ian Hudghton's visit to Banff & Buchan at the invitation of Eilidh Whiteford comes just three weeks to the day after he was re-elected as an MEP representing the whole of Scotland and his visit re-affirms his commitment to the North-east, which Mr Hudghton represented prior to the merging of all the Scottish Euro-Constituencies into one.

Commenting following the visit, Ian Hudghton said:

"An interesting fact which emerged during my visit was that this is the biggest facility of its kind in Europe. If you had asked me prior to today where I thought the biggest such facility like this would be, I would not have said New Deer.

"This just goes to show what can be achieved with a positive 'can do' attitude and the business enterprise for which the North-east is renowned.

"It was a fascinating visit and I certainly learned a lot about the issues involved in recycling organic matter and I wish Grant Keenan and his team continued success in the future."

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said:

"I was very impressed with what I saw at Keenan Recycling. This is a state of the art recycling facility that deals with organic household waste from the North-east and beyond in an environmentally responsible way, turning it into affordable fertiliser for our farmers, and creating local jobs. It's a win-win situation.

"Keenan's initiative in New Deer shows how sustainable development can generate economic activity while bringing social and environmental benefits to the whole community."

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WHITEFORD TO OFFICIATE AT BANFFSHIRE MARITIME & HERITAGE EXHIBITION

Thursday, 25 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford will present the prizes for the painting and poetry competitions at the Banffshire Maritime & Heritage Exhibition from 6.30pm on Friday 26 June at the Town Hall, Macduff.

The Banffshire Maritime & Heritage Association is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers. It was formed in 2003 to promote the local fishing heritage. Exhibitions are held annually and Banff & Buchan MP officiated at the event in 2006.

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WHITEFORD CALLS ON POST OFFICE TO IMPLEMENT CONSUMER FOCUS RECOMMENDATIONS

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

SNP CANDIDATE HIGHLIGHTS CUMINESTOWN PROBLEMS TO POST OFFICE BOSSES

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford today (Wednesday) welcomed the publication of a report by Consumer Focus on customers’ experience of Post Office Ltd’s new outreach services.

The report makes a number of recommendations including improvements to reliability of remote services, the need to advertise services and any changes to them more widely and the importance of providing contingency cover for holidays, sick leave and the like.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This is a comprehensive report of customers’ experiences of the Post Office’s new services and it makes a considerable number of recommendations which I hope the Post Office will implement.

“From my discussions on this with local councillor Sandy Duncan and when I’ve been in Cuminestown attending local events recently, it has become quite clear to me that there have been a lot of difficulties with the new outreach service, particularly the computer equipment.

“I have therefore written to Post Office Ltd’s Director of Scottish Affairs, Ian McKay, to ask what commitment he can give that the Post Office will act on the recommendations from Consumer Focus and to emphasise to him that people in rural communities need to be assured of the company’s ongoing commitment to serving their needs.”

Banff & Buchan MP Alex Salmond added:

“Many people said to me during the Post Office closures that they feared this was the tip of the iceberg and that sooner or later their communities would be left without any Post Office services at all. If the Post Office is serious about its commitment to rural communities it needs to demonstrate that commitment by implementing Consumer Focus’ recommendations.”

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES TURRIFF INVESTMENT AS SALMOND OFFICIALLY RE-OPENS WOODHEAD BROTHERS’ FACILITY

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford welcomed the multi-million pound investment in Turriff’s Woodhead Brothers abattoir by parent company Morrisons as local MP Alex Salmond performed the official re-opening of the plant.

The facility – which supplies all of Morrisons’ UK stores with Scotch Beef and Lamb in season was ravaged by fire in April 2008 resulting in the destruction of its lamb and cattle slaughter lines.

It was particularly appropriate for Mr Salmond to have been asked to re-open the facility as he was instrumental in the successful campaign back in 1996 to save the plan – then Buchan Meat Producers – from closure.

Commenting on the fight to save Buchan Meat and local jobs, Alex Salmond said:

“Without that campaign, we would not be here today.”

Mr Salmond went on to pay tribute to Grampian Fire and Rescue Service for their efforts last April, adding:

“The firefighters saved the majority of the facility, allowing Morrisons to operate through the last year without any loss of employment. Thanks have to go to the fire service for their sterling efforts.”

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford commented:

“This is a huge investment on the part of Morrisons and a big vote of confidence in the Turriff workforce.

“It really underlines the resilience of the employees there and the importance of the Turriff plant to the Scottish economy that it has bounced back now from two major blows in the space of just over a decade.

“I am delighted with this further vote of confidence in Turriff and the support that this investment will give to the North-east farming community.”

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WHITEFORD & HUDGHTON TO VISIT KEENAN RECYCLING

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton will visit local firm Keenan Recycling Limited, Hillhead of Auchreddie, New Deer, on Monday 29 June at 4.00pm.

Keenan Recycling Limited specialises in the manufacture of soil improvers by recycling organic materials through composting. Operations have been designed to provide eco-friendly and cost effective solutions to the challenges of organics recycling.

The company’s new food waste recycling system was officially launched in April by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure & Climate Change Stewart Stevenson.

Director Grant Keenan will be on hand to brief Ian and Eilidh on the business and its contribution towards a greener Scotland and will also provide a tour of the facility.

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WHITEFORD HIGHLIGHTS POSITIVE WELCOME FOR SNP AGRICULTURE SUPPORT PACKAGE

Friday, 12 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford today (Friday) welcomed the positive response that the announcement of the Scottish Government’s Agriculture Support Package has received from NFU Scotland, whose president Jim McLaren hailed the new measures as “a smart and strategic package”.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The package that Richard Lochhead has announced contains some valuable measures to protect and support farming interests including the retention of the Scottish Beef Calf scheme, a 19% increase in LFASS payments for fragile and very fragile areas and no further top-slicing of the Single Farm Payment.

“All of these measures were the subject of lobbying by both the NFUS and individual farmers and the Scottish Government has clearly listened and responded to those representations.

“Agriculture is a vital industry for Banff & Buchan and has already seen more than its fair share of hard times. Indeed, it could be said that farmers were better prepared for the economic downturn than most through learning the hard way how to survive.

“The measures announced by the Cabinet Secretary will be welcomed by the industry as a whole as well as by NFUS and will be recognised as a real and ongoing commitment to the industry.”

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SALMOND AND WHITEFORD HELP POPULAR NEW PITSLIGO BUSINESS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Local MP Alex Salmond and SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan, Eilidh Whiteford called into the Gold ‘n’ Crispy fish and chip shop and restaurant in New Pitsligo to celebrate help celebrate their 10th anniversary of trading at the weekend.

The popular local business, run by Lorraine Miller and Eddie Bruce, held a fun day on Saturday with children’s entertainment, face painting and a prize draw.

Speaking in New Pitsligo Alex Salmond said:

“I would like to wish Lorraine and Eddie and the staff all the very best on their tenth anniversary in business.

“The Gold’n’Crispy has served New Pitsligo and the surrounding area for the last 10 years with fantastic food and service. Their enthusiasm and dedication is reflected in the success of the business.

“Here’s to another 10 years and more for the Gold’n’Crispy!”

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan, Eilidh Whiteford added:

“It was clear from the steady flow of people taking part in the various activities at the fun day that the Gold’n’Crispy is held in very high regard by everyone locally.

“The owners have obviously gone to great lengths to create a successful and sustainable business, promoting the best of local produce and fish, whilst providing a warm welcome to everyone who comes to the Gold’n’Crispy.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the Gold’n’Crispy and I look forward to popping in again very soon.”

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WHITEFORD HAILS 'SPECTACULAR' LOCAL EURO RESULTS FOR SNP AS TORIES LOSE SEAT

Monday, 8 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has hailed the local results in last week's European Elections as spectacular for the SNP.

Across Aberdeenshire, the SNP vote was up around 10% on the last Euro Elections in 2004 taking the total SNP vote to a massive 35.5%. Nationally, in a bad night for the Conservatives, they saw their representation halved when they lost one of their Scottish seats in the European Parliament.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"These are truly spectacular results for the SNP. The hard work of our supporters has paid off and, nationally, this is the first time the SNP has won in a UK-wide election and continues our good results from winning the Scottish Parliament elections in 2007.

"Going around the Polling Stations on Thursday many people said to me that the SNP was the only party they had heard from or seen taking its message to the doors during this campaign.

“The Conservatives took a beating across Scotland and lost one of their MEPs when the final results were announced. However, what must be even more galling for them is that even under the current circumstances, the Labour Party still managed to beat them into third place. It speaks volumes for the state of the Tory Party in Scotland that Gordon Brown can still beat them.

"I would like to thank all those who took the time last week to come out and vote SNP for a party which fought a positive campaign about how we as a nation have got what it takes to have our own voice at the top table in Europe."

Results declared last night at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre for the Aberdeenshire Council area – comprising the Banff & Buchan, Gordon and West Aberdeenshire constituencies - were:

SNP 18,698 35.5%
Con 12,125 23.0%
Lib Dem 7,657 14.6%
Lab 3,767 7.0%
UKIP 3,252 6.0%
Green 3,190 6.0%

Turnout was 29.11%.

Final results for the allocation of seats across Scotland – which sends 6 representatives in total to the European Parliament – are expected at lunchtime today.

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WHITEFORD PRAISES CUMINESTOWN ART EXHIBITION

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and local SNP councillor Sandy Duncan visited the exhibition held by the Cuminestown Art Group at the weekend and praised the quality of the exhibits.

Commenting after touring the exhibition, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This was an excellent exhibition with a very high standard of work. The exhibitors and members of the Cuminestown Art Group can be rightly proud of themselves for putting on such a tremendous show.

“There was clearly a lot of hard work had gone into the paintings, photographs and other exhibits to produce such a worthwhile show so I congratulate everyone involved in making the event such a success.”

Local councillor Sandy Duncan added:

“I was very impressed with the work on show. The quality of the work was outstanding and it’s really good to have something like this to attract people into a small community like Cuminestown.”

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ROTHIENORMAN GALA ORGANISERS PRAISED

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and local councillor Sandy Duncan have praised the organisers of Rothienorman Gala after attending the event on Sunday.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I was pleased to see that the organisers were rewarded with a good turnout of people for their efforts. The magnificent weather on Sunday also played a part I am sure!

“I know from chatting to local people that there is a real community spirit in Rothie when it comes to events such as this and fundraising for good causes and the annual gala is a vital component of that.”

Councillor Sandy Duncan added:

“This was another great event for Rothienorman and what a magnificent sunny day to get for it as well. I am delighted for the organisers for getting such a healthy attendance and wish them continued success in future years.”

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GOOD NEWS ON COST OF FARM FERTILISER

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the news that the UK’s only fertiliser manufacturer, GrowHow, has announced fertiliser prices for July of £175-£178 per tonne on-farm for Nitram.

Mr Stevenson had previously called for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the UK fertiliser market following meetings with concerned farmers in his constituency who highlighted a 200 percent increase in profits of fertiliser companies such as Yara. Fertiliser prices peaked at over £400 per tonne at the end of 2008 and today’s announcement puts prices back at 2007 average prices.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“Mergers and acquisitions in recent years have left the UK fertiliser market dominated by one or two major players, reducing choice and competition for the customer.

“As a result of that and also global factors, fertiliser prices rocketed, putting real pressure on North-east farmers.

“I’m therefore very pleased at today’s news from GrowHow on their pricing structure which also seems to have met with approval from NFUS.”

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford added:

“This is good news for customers of GrowHow and I recognise the good work done by the NFUS in building a constructive dialogue with the company.

“I hope that other fertiliser companies will follow this lead. If GrowHow can achieve this price reduction then there’s no reason why other companies cannot do the same to support Scottish farming.”

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WHITEFORD BACKS PIONEERING SCHEME FOR NE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PEOPLE

Monday, 1 June 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford attended the launch of a pioneering two-year pilot scheme in Elgin today (Monday) to help blind and partially sighted people find work.

'Work Focus', a project managed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland and supported locally by Grampian Society for the Blind, has already helped over 40 local people with sight loss find work, go into further education or develop new skills.

Operating in Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Moray, 'Work Focus' offers one-to-one support to clients by brokering job-placements with employers, providing motivational and job-search skills, and mentoring on the job.

RNIB Scotland plans to provide similar services nationally once the lessons of the pilot have been analysed.

At today's launch, Eilidh Whiteford met with Work Focus staff and clients alongside Moray MSP and Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"75 per cent of people in Scotland of working age with sight loss are unemployed - a figure that hasn't improved in a decade, although the employment rate for people with other disabilities has.

"That's why it is so encouraging to find an initiative in our area that is actually pioneering new approaches. Work Focus can support people in making that first step into work or further education, and in doing so help end the exclusion of blind and partially sighted people in the labour market."

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