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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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STRICHEN CELEBRATES £135,000 LOTTERY AWARD

Friday, 28 May 2010

MP HAILS MASSIVE FUNDING BOOST FOR COMMUNITY PROJECT

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has hailed a £135,000 lottery award to Strichen Community Park as a massive boost for the community.

The new MP has been working with the Directors of the Community Park for some time now to assist in the lottery funding bid. The application also received the support of local MSP Stewart Stevenson.

The Strichen Community Park Company will save the gateside lodge of the estate, where author Lorna Moon was inspired to write her most famous novel Dark Star, with their grant of £135,000 transforming it into a community cafe and providing locals with a much needed community run and owned venue.

Strichen Community Park Company Director Hebbie Fowlie said:

“For a small village like ours this news is a huge thing. This is the final piece of the jigsaw as we will now have a fantastic building and park for both locals and tourists to enjoy. The lodge restoration will be a place for people to meet up, have a coffee and a snack and hear about the history of Strichen. On behalf of the Strichen Community Park Committee, our fantastic volunteers and all the residents of the village, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Big Lottery Fund for their help.”

The parents of author Lorna Moon were employed by the Strichen Estate. Born Nora Helen Wilson Low in Strichen in 1886 s died in New Mexico in 1930 from tuberculosis and her ashes were returned to Scotland to be scattered on Mormond Hill beyond Strichen. Scottish Director Alison Peebles is currently writing the script for Dark Star to the epic story to the big screen.

The group who have overwhelming local support worked with their new local MP Eilidh Whiteford to gather support for their project, welcoming news of the grant she said:

“This is good news for Strichen as the Lodge will be a great new amenity for the village. I’m delighted that the hard work of the volunteers who run the Community Park has been rewarded, and I was very glad to be able to offer them support during the application process.”

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson added:

"My congratulations go to the Strichen Community Park directors for their hard work in successfully landing this huge lottery award. I wish them the very best for the future in developing what will undoubtedly be a huge asset for the Central Buchan area."

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LOCAL SNP MP SPONSORS FIRST MOTION IN HOUSE OF COMMONS

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford this week sponsored her first 'Early Day Motion' in the House of Commons.

Dr Whiteford chose support for carers as the subject for her first Motion which also highlights Carers' Week 2010. The new MP for Banff & Buchan is one of six primary sponsors of the motion. The six MPs who jointly tabled the Motion represent constituencies across Scotland, England and Wales and also represent the four main parties.

Speaking from Westminster, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"There are nearly half a million people in Scotland who are looking after elderly, sick or disabled family members or friends at home, many of them for over 50 hours a week.

"Our health and community care services simply couldn’t cope without the unpaid care they provide. Yet people who look after others often compromise their own health – too many end up suffering from exhaustion and stress, or injure themselves through heavy lifting.

"The theme of Carers’ Week 2010 is ‘A Life of My Own’ and it’s intended to highlight the need for carers to do normal everyday things that can be difficult if they can’t get a break from caring, like going shopping, going to the dentist or hairdresser, or even enjoying an evening out. Those who provide unpaid care for frail or disabled relatives and friends make a very valuable contribution to our communities, and I’m keen to see they get the support they need to continue to care – and the support they need to have a ‘life of their own’ too."


Note: The text of the Parliamentary Motion reads as follows:

CARERS' WEEK 2010

That this House expresses its respect for the six million people of all ages in the UK who provide unpaid help, care and support to a relative or friend who, because of frailty, illness or disability, would not otherwise be able to manage; notes that despite the huge contribution carers make to society, many carers continue to remain unsupported in their caring roles without the chance of a break or respite; is concerned that many carers are hidden, unheard and unable to access relevant and practical advice, information and services; further notes that Carers Week, a partnership of national charities, takes place this year from 14 to 20 June, with the theme A life of my own; and believes that without significant reform of the care and support system carers will not be able to access support at times of crisis, will not be able to work, which has a lasting impact on the economy, and will not have the chance of a life of their own that they deserve.

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NEWLY-ELECTED MP TO HOLD FIRST BANFF SURGERY

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Newly-elected SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford will be holding her first Banff surgery on Saturday 5 June.

The SNP MP will be supporting the trustees of Banff Castle by choosing it as the venue.

In order to minimise waiting times, an appointment system will be in place. Appointments can be booked by telephoning 01779 470444.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"I've already been dealing with casework in these first few weeks on behalf of constituents but I'm looking forward to holding my first Banff surgery and working for the people of Banffshire.

"I'll be arranging more surgeries in other communities in the coming weeks and details will be advertised in the local press. Even in this age of e-mail and instant communications, I feel that it is still vitally important for people to be able to access their MP face-to-face in their own community."

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MP DROPS IN ON ST COMBS ICE CREAM SHOP TO BACK POST OFFICE RE-OPENING PLAN

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford visited the famous Buchan's Ice Cream shop in St Combs last week to lend her support to moves to have St Combs Post Office re-opened.

Dr Whiteford previously met with former sub-postmistress Anne Pirie when she announced in February that she would be retiring in April and urged the Post Office to ensure that there was no undue delay in setting up the new service. The Post Office is currently consulting on re-establishing Post Office services in St Combs at Buchan's Ices in Mid Street.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:

"It's very good news for the village that a local business has stepped forward and said they are prepared to host the Post Office in their premises. There have been too many examples of late of North-east Post Offices closing and I am confident that branches such as St Combs can have a viable future with the support of the local community.

"It is therefore very important that St Combs residents respond to the consultation exercise making it clear to Post Office bosses that this is a valued service and they want to see it back operating in the village as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, I am delighted that Buchan's Ices have stepped forward to help the local community and wish Fiona Thomson and her team every success."


Constituents wishing to respond to the consultation should write to: Kenny Lamont, Post Office Ltd, National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW.

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BUDGET MUST BRING FUEL PRICE ACTION SAYS WHITEFORD

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

FUEL DEAL MISSING FROM COALITION AGREEMENT

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has called on the new UK Government to ensure a fair fuel regulator and cuts in fuel duty for rural areas are included in the upcoming budget and raised concerns that the vital issue of fuel prices was missing from the coalition agreement between the Tories and Lib Dems.

The call comes as prices reach new highs and as research by the AA shows prices have not fallen, despite a fall in oil prices.

Despite repeatedly failing to back SNP proposals at Westminster for a fair fuel regulator and duty cuts both the Lib Dems and Tories claimed to support such measures during the election.

Speaking from Westminster, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The new coalition must live up to the word of both parties and take immediate action to bring down fuel prices.

“A fair fuel regulator is the only way to ensure that Scotland’s essential industries and our hard pressed families are not continually hit by rising prices.

"I am deeply concerned that fair fuel prices are not a feature of the coalition agreement - despite claims by both parties to support this measure.

“Prices in Scotland are well above the £1.21 highlighted by the AA. This has a crippling effect on family budgets and on all our industries.

"Labour repeatedly used Scotland's motorists as a cash cow. It is time drivers were given a break. Action on fuel prices is a key test of the new Government's intentions.”

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES EQUITABLE COMPENSATION PLAN

Reports that an enhanced compensation scheme for over one million Equitable Life members has been agreed by the UK coalition government have been ‘cautiously welcomed’ by Banff & Buchan’s MP Eilidh Whiteford.

The document outlining the agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats suggests Equitable members will be compensated for their "relative loss".

The SNP’s Westminster Group of MPs have long campaigned to secure compensation for policy holders with former local MP Alex Salmond raising the issue at Westminster on behalf of constituents.

Commenting from Westminster, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“This commitment appears to go considerably further than the limited scheme devised by the previous Labour Government and is being cautiously welcomed by policyholders.

“The Equitable Life saga has dragged on for more than ten years and I am keen to see a resolution for the policyholders affected. What those policyholders deserve now is a clear deadline for the delivery of a compensation scheme.

“It is disgraceful that policyholders have had to go through so much. Tens of thousands of policyholders have died since this process began, and it is good news that we may finally see the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

“Many hundreds of people in the North-east alone have been affected and hopefully this is real light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.”

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MP HOLDS FIRST SURGERY IN FRASERBURGH

Monday, 17 May 2010

Newly-elected SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford held her first surgery at the weekend and chose Fraserburgh as the location.

The Broch's Public Library was the venue for the event, which was well-attended with constituents seeking to raise a range of issues with their Member of Parliament.

The honour of being the first constituent to have a consultation with the new MP went to Mrs Therine Henderson of Rosehearty, who presented Eilidh with a book – Forbes of Pitsligo – on behalf of the Friends of Pitsligo Castle Trust. Eilidh had previously attended the Annual General Meeting of the 'Friends' as well as the 'Doors Open Day' held last year where the historic Laird's Loft could be viewed by the public.

Mrs Henderson briefed Eilidh on the current activities of the 'Friends' and outlined their ambitions for a Jacobite Centre and Heraldic Museum.

Commenting afterwards, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"I was pleased to hold my first surgery in Fraserburgh and was very happy with how things went. There were quite a number of constituents who came to see me – some to introduce themselves and the organisations they represent, others with problems which will require my attention, so there was quite a range of subjects covered.

"I am very grateful to Therine Henderson and the Friends of Pitsligo Castle for their very kind gift on the occasion of my first surgery. The book tells a fascinating story about the history of the area and I can highly recommend it.

"I will be holding more surgeries in the other main centres of the constituency first of all before working up a schedule to get around the villages over the course of the summer. Details will be advertised in the local press."

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NEWLY-ELECTED MP TO HOLD FIRST PETERHEAD SURGERY

Friday, 14 May 2010

Newly-elected SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford will be holding her first Peterhead surgery on Saturday, 22nd May.

The SNP MP has chosen popular community facility The Hot Spot in the town’s Kirk Street as the venue.

In order to minimise waiting times, an appointment system will be in place. Appointments can be booked by telephoning 01779 470444.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"I've already been dealing with casework in these first few days on behalf of constituents but I'm looking forward to holding my first Peterhead surgery and working for the people of Buchan.

"I'll be arranging more surgeries in other communities in the coming weeks and details will be advertised in the local press. Even in this age of e-mail and instant communications, I feel that it is still vitally important for people to be able to access their MP face-to-face in their own community."

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NEWLY-ELECTED MP TO HOLD FIRST SURGERY IN FRASERBURGH

Monday, 10 May 2010

Newly-elected SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has arranged her first surgery for constituents on Saturday, 15th May and has chosen Fraserburgh as the venue.

The meeting room in the town's Public Library in King Edward Street will host the surgery and to minimise waiting times, an appointment system will be in place. Appointments can be booked by telephoning 01779 470444.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"I've already been dealing with casework in these first few days on behalf of constituents but I'm looking forward to holding my first surgery and working for the people of Fraserburgh and district.

"I'll be arranging more surgeries in other communities in the coming weeks and details will be advertised in the local press. Even in this age of e-mail and instant communications, I feel that it is still vitally important for people to be able to access their MP face-to-face in their own community."

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NEWLY-ELECTED MP's FIRST ENGAGEMENT IN TURRIFF

Newly-elected SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford had her first engagement in Turriff on Saturday, a little more than 24 hours after being declared elected at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, where the count was held.

Eilidh dropped in on the 2 nd Turriff Company Boys' Brigade fundraising soup and sweet at Dawson Court on Saturday afternoon. As SNP candidate, Eilidh had previously accompanied local MSP Alex Salmond to the BB's annual display at Turriff Academy last year and was keen to support their fundraising event and catch up with them again.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"I very much enjoyed attending this event, which was my first public event as Turriff's new MP.

"The Boys' Brigade put in a great effort and raised a fantastic amount of money for their funds on the day and I am delighted for them."

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WHITEFORD COMMENTS ON DAYS-AT-SEA FEARS

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Commenting on media reports that a summer tie-up is being considered in order to conserve days-at-sea, SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said:

"The problems being experienced by the whitefish fleet and processors sum up why we urgently need an end to the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The SNP has consistently said that decision making needs to be returned to fishing nations, instead of the 'one size fits nobody' approach of the CFP, which is bad for fishermen, bad for conservation and has been a disaster for our coastal towns and villages. The most wasteful aspect of the CFP is that tonnes of good, marketable fish is being thrown back into the sea, instead of landed and sold. We need urgent action to end the scandal of discards by allowing fishermen to land more of what they catch.

"The review of the Common Fisheries Policy is a chance for a radical overhaul. The SNP will continue to press at Westminster and in Brussels for decisions to be delegated to Member States. A regionalised framework would offer greater autonomy for fishing nations to balance their economic and conservation needs, and support coastal communities that depend on the fishing and processing sectors. But we must be wary of those who plan to sell out our historic fishing rights. Both Labour and the Tories have said that access should no longer be based solely on historical catches. Scottish fishing communities have most to lose from moves to abandon this principle of 'relative stability' and we must fight to protect our interests.

"The prospect of a balanced parliament at Westminster with a strong SNP team gives us the best opportunity in a generation to press the case for the Scottish fishing industry. I'm determined to fight for a sustainable and profitable future for the industry."

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