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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Scotland Needs Additional Levers To Improve Economy

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

MOORE DITCHES HIS LIB DEM DEMANDS FOR TORY DESIRES

The SNP said the Liberal Democrats have “lost their way” ahead of a speech by Scotland Secretary Michael Moore in which he is expected to argue against devolution of key economic powers for the Scottish Parliament - including powers previously supported by the LibDems.

The speech contradicts the previous position of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland who called for the powers of the Scottish Parliament to be extended even further than had been initially suggested by the Calman Commission.

Previous Scottish LibDem leaders – Nicol Stephen and Tavish Scott – have spoken in favour of more power for the Scottish Parliament and against the return of powers to Westminster.

Commenting, SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, a Member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, said:

“The Liberal Democrats have totally lost their way. Instead of obsessing about the SNP, Michael Moore should focus on delivering the additional levers Scotland needs to improve the economy.

“Michael Moore’s position is all the more ridiculous given that delivery of these powers was previously supported by the Liberal Democrats in Scotland.

“In evidence to the Calman Commission, outgoing Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott called for the powers of the Scottish Parliament to be extended but now Michael Moore is calling for the opposite.

“Why is Michael Moore talking down the Scottish Government when he should be speaking up for Scotland? And if Michael Moore has forgotten his party’s policy, why isn’t Willie Rennie reminding him?

“The Liberal Democrats have well and truly lost their way and it is worrying they are looking to the Tories for guidance. As senior figure in a federal party, surely Michael Moore should work with the SNP to deliver the progress in the constitution that people want to see – not doing what he is told by the Tories. It’s no wonder that their former voters are deserting in droves and their councillors in squads to the SNP.”

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Local MP Takes “Time Out” In Strichen

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford took up an invitation to visit Strichen Town House on Saturday. Members of the public had the opportunity to see inside the historic building and find out about its history and heritage as part of an Open Day.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP with
Strichen Community Council secretary Andy Sturdy
Whilst there, the MP took ‘time out’ to climb up to the clock tower with local Community Council secretary Andy Sturdy and see the historic bell tower and the clock mechanism. The wall of the bell tower is covered in the signatures of those who have wound the clock and cared for the timepiece over the past centuries and the MP was given the opportunity to add her name to the wall.

Commenting afterwards, Eilidh said:

“Strichen Town House is clearly a magnificent building with a prominent position in the heart of the village. However, a lot of refurbishment work will be needed to bring it up to standard.

“I was keen to drop into the Open Day to hear some of the ideas which were being put forward by members of the community as to the future of the building. It was clear to me that there is a lot of enthusiasm for developing the Town House into more of a community facility and I’ve offered the organisers any assistance I can provide to help them progress matters.”

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MP Welcomes Balanced Decision On Cheques

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed a decision by the Payments Council to cancel plans to close the cheque clearing system by 2018.

Concerns had been raised about the proposals by the millions of individuals and groups that still rely on cheques as a principal form of payment.

Locally, the SNP’s Dr Whiteford had received correspondence from various people who were unhappy at the proposals and believed the option to use cheques should be retained.

Alternative payment systems are particularly difficult for people and groups using accounts where more than one signatory is required.

Welcoming the decision, Eilidh said:

“The basic issue with the proposed closure of the cheque clearing system was what would replace it. The Payments Council had already acknowledged that there is an important place for a paper based payment system but there is really no obvious alternative.

“I suspect that the biggest reason for dropping the plan was a recognition of that if the current system ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it. Introducing a new alternative could have proved complex and costly when cheques are tried and tested.

“It may of course be the case that the system should be reviewed further down the line as people’s banking habits change and the technology underpinning the banking system progresses but the current plans are basically now ended, which will be a relief for those who were concerned by the proposals.”

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Whiteford Congratulates Invercairn Gala Organisers

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford has congratulated the organisers of Invercairn Gala. The SNP MP officially opened proceedings on Saturday afternoon in Inverallochy.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“Congratulations need to go to the gala organisers for a tremendous effort this year.

“There seemed to be a real buzz about the event and people seemed to be very much enjoying themselves.

“It takes a lot of effort to plan, arrange, organise and manage an event like this and Inverallochy and Cairnbulg are fortunate to have the community spirit and people working very hard to make this a success, which it undoubtedly was.”

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Deveron Cruse Fundraiser Bags Over £700

Friday, 5 August 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has expressed her delight that the supermarket bag-pack fundraiser for the Deveron Branch of Cruse has raised over £700. The MP was invited to lend a hand last Saturday at a Turriff supermarket.

All the counsellors give their time and dedication to Cruse in a voluntary capacity, and twice a year they hold fund raising functions for the Deveron Branch (based in Turriff). This year, one of those events was to seek donations by offering to pack shoppers’ bags at the Turriff Tesco checkouts.

All the funds raised stay locally, and will be used to buy new books for their library, and finance the ongoing training required to keep volunteers up to the high standards required by Cruse Scotland. The Deveron Branch of Cruse covers Fraserburgh, Memsie, New Pitsligo, Huntly, Oldmeldrum, Banff, Macduff and anywhere else within that area, and the counsellors are kept busy with many referrals coming from GP’s and other health professionals.

Dr Whiteford commented:

Turriff's Alan Scott having his bag packed
by Eilidh Whiteford MP
while Rae Gibbs (l) and Jane Pirie (r) look on
“I was delighted to support the Deveron Branch of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland at their fund-raising bag-pack.

“As an MP, I am very much aware of the excellent job which Cruse counsellors do in providing comfort, sympathy and very practical advice for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Their support has proved invaluable for many individuals and helped them through what, for many, has been the most traumatic and distressing time of their lives.

“I am delighted that local people responded so generously to Cruse’s efforts resulting in the magnificent sum of £722.87 being raised on the day.“

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