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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES SNP GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO REGIONAL MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed assurances from First Minister and local MP Alex Salmond that returning management of fishing grounds to regional control is at the core of what the Scottish Government believes should replace the Common Fisheries Policy.

In response to a question from North-east MSP Maureen Watt Mr Salmond confirmed that the SNP Government would work hard to bring control over historic fishing grounds to Scottish control and praised the Scottish fleet on their continued innovations.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“It is clear that the CFP’s top down, inflexible approach has been totally ineffective and I welcome the assurance that the SNP Government will seek to make management of fishing grounds more effective through regional control.

“The fishing industry itself has the most to gain from making fishing a sustainable, profitable industry and the Scottish fleet has been at the cutting edge of innovations to encourage this such as real time closures. As such, it is absolutely right that decisions over what the best measures are for Scottish fishing grounds should be taken in Scotland.

“I sincerely hope that the UK Government will follow Scotland’s lead and recognise that decentralising responsibility for historic fishing grounds must be at the heart of negotiations over what should replace the Common Fisheries Policy”
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EURO-ACCOLADE FOR BANFFSHIRE BAKERY

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Shortbread from a Portsoy bakery will be served in the European Parliament as part of events to mark St Andrew's Day this year thanks to SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton, who stopped off in Portsoy yesterday as part of his surgery tour.

Mr Hudghton is arranging for Donalds Bakers’ shortbread to be the ‘official’ shortbread of the European Parliament’s EFA (European Free Alliance) Group St Andrew’s Day celebrations and ‘sealed the deal’ whilst in Portsoy on Monday. The SNP MEP was accompanied by Banff & District councillor Ian Gray, who suggested Donalds for the accolade, and SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford.

Speaking in Portsoy, Ian Hudghton said:

“I am delighted to be able to assist the company in promoting their excellent products in this way.

“I firmly believe in giving local firms the opportunity to get their products into places where it may not always be possible to do so and I will be extremely proud to point out to guests and dignitaries in the European Parliament that the shortbread comes from my constituency.”

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford added:

"Donalds' has been a familiar feature in Portsoy for many years and is a traditional bakery. Ian is always looking for ways to promote North-east businesses and I was pleased to be able to accompany him as he toured Banff & Buchan holding surgeries and visiting local businesses."

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WHITEFORD PRAISES FRIENDS OF PITSLIGO CASTLE

Monday, 21 September 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has commended the Friends of Pitsligo Castle for their work after visiting Peathill Kirk as part of their ‘Doors Open day’ on Saturday.

Whilst there, the SNP candidate took the opportunity to view the historic Laird’s Loft and was shown around by Chairperson of the Friends of Pitsligo Castle, Therine Henderson.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The Laird’s Loft is widely considered to be one of Europe’s finest examples of Jacobean woodcarving and it was fascinating to see it and hear some of the history behind it from Therine.

“The Friends of Pitsligo Castle Trust have really done a power of work in recent years and they have exciting plans to establish a centre for Jacobite History and Scottish heraldry.

“Such a centre would be a tremendous asset to the North-east and also be a huge draw for tourists, particularly given the interest in local history and family history and I wish the ‘Friends’ every success with this venture.”

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EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TAKES THE BISCUIT

Friday, 18 September 2009

HUDGHTON VISITS PORTSOY BAKERS

SNP Member of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton will take time out from his surgery tour of Banffshire on Monday 21 September at 3.00pm when he visits local bakers Donalds Bakers, Seafield Street, Portsoy.

Mr Hudghton is arranging for Donalds Bakers’ shortbread to be the ‘official’ shortbread of the European Parliament’s EFA Group St Andrew’s Day celebrations and will ‘seal the deal’ whilst in Portsoy on Monday. The SNP MEP will be accompanied by Banff & District councillor Ian Gray, who suggested Donalds for the accolade, and SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford.

Mr Hudghton commented:

“I am delighted to be able to assist the company in promoting their excellent products in this way.

“I firmly believe in giving local firms the opportunity to get their products into places where it may not always be possible to do so and I will be extremely proud to point out to guests and dignitaries in the European Parliament that the shortbread comes from my constituency.”

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES MEP TO PETERHEAD

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford will welcome Euro-MP and SNP President Ian Hudghton to Peterhead on Monday 21 September at 10.00am at the Lido car park as part of his surgery tour of Banff & Buchan.

Although Mr Hudghton’s “constituency” now covers the whole of Scotland since the introduction of proportional representation for European elections, he has been a regular visitor to Peterhead with visits to Peterhead Port Authority in July and the Willowbank Centre in May of this year.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Ian is a tremendously hard-working Member of the European Parliament and stands up for our vital local industries in Europe.

“While it must be a bit of an impossible task trying to cover the whole of Scotland as an MEP, Ian is a regular visitor to Peterhead. Indeed this will be his third time in five months which I think underlines the importance of the key local industries of fishing and farming and the seriousness with which they are treated by the SNP.

“There is no other MEP makes himself available to constituents locally in the way Ian does and I think this is reflected in the high regard he is held locally. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming him back to the town.”

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WHITEFORD VISITS LEADING BUCHAN CATTLE BREEDER

CANDIDATE MEETS NEW CATTLE BREED, THE ‘BUCHAN BLACK’

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford visited West Knock Farms, Stuartfield, yesterday to hear about the opportunities and challenges facing the farming industry.

West Knock is owned and operated by leading cattle breeder Albert Howie, who is also an Independent member of Aberdeenshire Council for Central Buchan. During the visit, Eilidh Whiteford toured the cattle operation with Cllr Howie as well as his flock of Texel sheep.

Buchan has long had an enviable reputation as the home of the best of Scotch Beef and this was underlined with the ongoing breed development being carried out at West Knock with the ‘Buchan Black’, an Aberdeen Angus-Limousin cross.

Speaking after the visit, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I welcomed the opportunity to visit West Knock Farms to see the livestock and learn more about the challenges North-east farmers face on an on-going basis.

"I particularly enjoyed meeting Albert's ‘Buchan Blacks’ - an Aberdeen Angus-Limousin cross - from which he is aiming to develop a new breed of cattle. It's great to see that innovation is still a major part of Buchan farming."

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ENCOURAGING ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR SCOTLAND

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

SCOTLAND HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO WEATHER RECESSION

Commenting on a range of publications that indicate some encouraging factors in the Scottish economy SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said the statistics were grounds for hope and confidence that Scotland was well placed to come out the recession.

The following has been reported today by a range of organisations:

  • According to the latest survey data from Lloyds TSB, Scottish businesses are showing signs of coming out of recession by the end of the year. Whilst the private sector may still be shrinking, it is doing so at a slower pace, the bank's quarterly business monitor has found, and business bosses' expectations of activity over the next six months could move the economy back into growth.
  • A survey by the Scottish Retail Consortium found that Scotland’s retail sales continued to climb during August, with total sales increasing by 5.7%. This compares with total UK sales only up 3% compared to Scotland's 5.7%.
  • New Business Start-up Statistics from the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers show that the number of businesses opening up new accounts has actually increased from the previous quarter. This is following falls in the previous three quarters.

Commenting Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Whilst the news on unemployment is something that obviously cannot be welcomed, these indicators coming are something that can be welcomed and offers real hope that Scotland can weather this recession and come out stronger.

“I am convinced that the Scottish Government's recovery plan to support 15,000 jobs is adding to this confidence as is the fact we have higher employment, lower unemployment and higher rates of economic activity compared to the UK.

"Accelerating major infrastructure investment was vital in ensuring that Scotland is able to weather the recession.

“In essence these latest economic indicators show Scotland has what it takes to come out of this recession stronger. And it is important to remember that small businesses in Banff & Buchan have received a lifeline boost with the SNP Government’s small business bonus scheme which has seen business rates removed completely or dramatically reduced for thousands of businesses.

"It is crucial that no action is taken to disrupt recovery. That is why we are urging the UK Government to use their pre-Budget report to ensure a further acceleration of capital spending into 2010-11, just as was done this year. It is vital to ensure the support for thousands of jobs across Scotland."

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WHITEFORD CONGRATULATES JAGS ON CUP WIN

Sunday, 13 September 2009

SNP CANDIDATE SEES BUCKIE THISTLE TRIUMPH AT THE HAUGHS

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has congratulated Buckie Thistle after they triumphed in the Aberdeenshire Cup final over rivals Cove Rangers at The Haughs in Turriff on Saturday.

The SNP candidate was accompanying Banff & Buchan MP Alex Salmond who officially opened Turriff United FC's new stand and presented the Man of the Match Award to Buckie Thistle striker Steve Bruce.

Commenting after the game, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"It was a very good game and I thoroughly enjoyed it but as a Banffshire quine I must confess to being delighted for Buckie Thistle and send my congratulations to the team and management.

"To beat the current Highland League leaders in the final of the Aberdeenshire Cup is a tremendous achievement, which bodes well for the rest of the season. It will be a real boost for Banffshire in general and Buckie in particular.

"I was also very impressed with the new stand that Turriff United have built which is an excellent facility and a real asset to the town."

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WHITEFORD GETS TO GRIPS WITH BITES

Thursday, 3 September 2009

MAUD E-LEARNING CENTRE PRAISED BY SNP CANDIDATE

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford paid a visit to BITES – Buchan IT & E-Learning Service – at the Community Service Centre at Maud yesterday.

General Manager Denise Belshaw briefed Eilidh on the facilities on offer at BITES and introduced her to staff and service users on a tour of the premises.

Commenting after the visit, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"BITES is providing a very useful and flexible service in the community.

“It was great to meet the staff and some of the clients, who range from first time computer users, to those working towards professional qualifications, and those simply wanting to improve their existing skills.

"There's a very friendly and supportive atmosphere, which helps build clients' confidence, even if they've never used a computer before. Many of the training courses on offer are now ILA certified which means they are a great way for local people to improve their career prospects at very low cost. I wish Denise and her team all the best for the future."

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HUDGHTON ANNOUNCES NORTH-EAST SURGERY TOUR

SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton will be embarking on his annual surgery tour of North-east communities next month. Mr Hudghton will be visiting local towns in his mobile office to allow constituents who may wish to raise any European-related issues direct access to him.

Mr Hudghton’s surgery tour is now an established fixture and in previous years many people have taken up the opportunity to quiz their Euro-MP on various topics.

Previewing the tour, Ian Hudghton commented:

“I was very pleased with the success of last year’s tour which resulted in quite a number of enquiries and casework being picked up and I am looking forward to getting out and about in the North-east during September.

“Having represented only the North-east previously, it is now quite a challenge under the new system where I share responsibility for the whole of Scotland, which is now one electoral “region”. However, I am determined that this should not mean that Euro-MPs become more remote from the public and this surgery tour is an excellent way of giving people direct access to me in their own community.”

Note: Ian Hudghton will be available in his mobile office and will be calling at:

Monday, 21 September

PETERHEAD, Lido car park - 10.00am
FRASERBURGH, Hanover Street car park - 11.00am
MACDUFF, Knowes Hotel car park - 1.50pm
PORTSOY, Church Street - 2.55pm
TURRIFF, Victoria Terrace - 3.45pm
FYVIE, Main Street - 5.00pm

Wednesday, 23 September

HUNTLY, The Square - 10.00am
INVERURIE, North Street - 11.00am
KINTORE, The Local Hub, The Square - 11.45am
NEWMACHAR, Hall car park - 3.45pm
OLDMELDRUM, Library car park, Colpy Rd - 4.20pm
ELLON, Somerfield car park, Ythan Terrace - 4.50pm

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