Eilidh Whiteford


MP Visits Woodhead Bros. Turriff Plant

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has visited Morrisons Supermarkets’ subsidiary, Woodhead Brothers of Turriff, at the invitation of General Manager, Michael Tough. The SNP MP was given a presentation on the history of the facility, before making a tour of the premises to meet with the staff and observe the factory processes in full production.

Commenting on her visit, Dr Whiteford said:

Fr (l-r) :  Michael Tough, Dr. Eilidh Whiteford MP,  Lesley Dalgarno
Back: Ricardo Da Rocha, Euan Irvine, Gordon Taylor,
Malcolm Baillie, Lenny Grant and Roy Stuart
“I was very pleased to visit Woodhead Brothers in Turriff and see the facilities for myself. Apart from its status as a major employer in Turriff, Woodhead Brothers also fulfils a vital service to the agricultural industry across Scotland, and makes a valuable contribution to the economy.

“I was very impressed by the high standards of efficiency and hygiene throughout the production line, and the pride and interest which the staff and management have in both their produce and their work.

“I was particularly interested by the quality and care which goes in to the manufacturing of ‘own brand’ produce for Morrison’s Supermarkets. While ‘own brand’ goods in many supermarkets are marketed as economy lines, it is clear that both Morrisons and Woodhead Brothers regard theirs as a premium product - manufactured to the highest standards.”

The MP’s tour of the factory ended with a round-the-table discussion with the management team on the future of the food industry in the North-east of Scotland.

General Manager for Woodhead Brothers Michael Tough added:

“It was a pleasure to show Eilidh around our site in Turriff and demonstrate the high standards we set ourselves as well as telling her about the history of the site and the company.

“Her visit allowed us to show her one of the things that makes us different as a supermarket – controlling the sites where our food is produced and working closely with farmers.

“We look forward to developing a relationship with Eilidh and working closely with her in the future.”


Passport Question Reveals Computer Costs Tripled

Friday, 23 September 2011



Just days after UK Ministers revealed they were to axe Labour’s disastrous £12 billion NHS computer scheme, a parliamentary question obtained by the SNP has found that the cost of another IT system, purchased for the Passport Agency, has more than tripled to £365 million.

The question tabled by Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford revealed that the original Siemens contract had been estimated at between £80 and £100 million over a ten year period, however, the final cost totalled £365 million.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:

“At a time when household budgets are under real pressure, revelations over how wasteful Westminster has been with taxpayers’ money are an absolute scandal.

“Serious questions must be asked about how the cost of the Passport Agency computer system was able to more than treble – and the first of those questions should be raised with the former Ministers who signed the contracts.

“As Labour meet for their conference it is incredible that, as the people responsible for pouring this money down the drain, they now try and convince us that they have a credible plan for the economy. People will not be fooled.

“This week alone we have learnt that hospitals in England could close as a result of Labour’s crippling PFI legacy, that a £12 billion NHS computer scheme has had to be scrapped and now that another IT projects costs have trebled.

“Westminster needs to take a leaf out of the Scottish Government’s book on efficiency. The SNP Government has pursued a vigorous programme of efficiency and public sector reform that is delivering results and driving improvements. In the first two years of the programme, it has exceeded its targets by 300 million pounds and 400 million pounds. Last year, 2.276 billion pounds of efficiency savings were made - 673 million pounds above the target - through new ways of using resources, collaborating across public services or improving procurement.

“That money is being reinvested in the public sector to deliver frontline services or lever in new efficiencies. This is an impressive level of delivery that Westminster should learn from.”

Dr Whiteford’s question to the Home Office:

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the original estimate, at current prices, was for the cost to the public purse of the Siemens IT system for the Passport Agency; what the final cost, at current prices, was at the time of completion; and whether additional costs have been incurred since completion. [65627]

Damian Green: At the time of contract award, the anticipated contract value was between £80 to £100 million over a 10-year period. The contract duration extended to 11 years at a total cost of approximately £365 million. The increase in costs over the term of the Siemens contract can be attributed to numerous factors including additional demand for passports, enhancements of the IT infrastructure
and business processes to accommodate changes in policy, response to changes in security threats and customer service improvements.


Anna Ritchie Performers Impress Local MP

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford attended the launch of the CD produced by the pupils of Anna Ritchie School in Peterhead last night.

The MP was invited by the school to a concert in the school hall where pupils performed songs from the CD, entitled “True Colours”.

Commenting after the performance, Eilidh said:

“The pupils at Anna Ritchie really gave a great performance and impressed the large audience of parents, relatives and friends.

“When I visited the school back in June I was able to see the children rehearsing so I knew then that this was going to be something really special and they didn’t disappoint.

“I congratulate the pupils, staff and Headteacher Ishbel Cruickshank on producing such an amazing piece of work.”

The Anna Ritchie School was established in 1963 for the education of children with learning difficulties.


MP Visits Broch Heritage Centre Open Day

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Commenting on her visit to Fraserburgh Heritage Centre Open Day, Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“It was a great pleasure to visit Fraserburgh Heritage Centre and its volunteers to share in their special day. It is one of my very favourite visitor attractions, and the range of demonstrations, displays, and performances which ran throughout the afternoon made it an occasion to remember.

“The range of exhibits illustrates the history and heritage of the Broch, from the town’s maritime history to the stunning creations of Bill Gibb - and records the contributions which have been made to the modern world by the eminent sons and daughters of Fraserburgh.

“But what makes Fraserburgh Heritage Centre a truly outstanding venue is its many ‘hands on’ interactive displays. This is not a museum which says ‘Do Not Touch,’ but rather ‘Please Touch’. I hope that those who were unable to join the many people who attended the Open Day will take the opportunity to pay a visit to the Heritage Centre and see it for themselves.

“At a time when the Heritage Centre and neighbouring lighthouse museum are working hard to secure new sources of funding, it’s more important than ever that local people show their support for these invaluable community assets.”


Whiteford Announces Details Of Surgery Tour

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford will be embarking on her second surgery tour next week. The SNP MP is aiming to cover communities stretching from Fisherford in the far south-west to Inverallochy in the north-east and 50 other communities in between.

The local MP has been busy preparing for the tour and is looking forward to getting out and about into some of the smaller communities which she represents.

Looking ahead to the marathon tour, Eilidh commented:

"I'm keen to get around as many communities in Banff & Buchan as possible during the Parliamentary recess and this is an excellent way to do it.

"My MSP colleague Stewart Stevenson has been doing this for 11 years and I’m to using his example to ensure that as many communities as possible have a visit from their Member of Parliament during the five days which it will take to cover the constituency from end to end.

"There's no appointment necessary unlike the 'static' surgeries which I hold and constituents are welcome to raise issues with me, discuss aspects of policy, or just simply drop by for a chat. I'm looking forward to meeting as many people as possible during the tour."

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford will be available for consultation in her Mobile Office at the following locations:

Monday 26 September

New Deer 9.50am – 10.10am Hall car park
Methlick 10.30am – 10.50am Main Road car park
Woodhead 11.10am – 11.25am adj. Notice Board
Fyvie 11.35am – 11.55am car park opp. Co-op
Rothienorman 12.20pm – 12.45pm Hall car park
Fisherford 2.00pm – 2.15pm Fjord Inn car park
Auchterless 2.35pm – 2.50pm adj. Hall
Cuminestown 3.15pm – 3.35pm opp. Shop
Garmond 3.45pm – 4.00pm Main Street
New Byth 4.10pm – 4.25pm The Square

Tuesday 27 September

Gardenstown 11.00am – 11.15am adj. Petrol Station
Macduff 11.30am – 12.00pm Knowes Hotel car park
King Edward 1.20pm – 1.30pm lay-by at Kirk
Fisherie 1.40pm – 1.50pm Craigwall Cottages
Crudie 2.00pm – 2.10pm lay-by
New Aberdour 2.30pm – 2.45pm car park
Rosehearty 3.00pm – 3.20pm The Square
Sandhaven 3.30pm – 3.45pm St Magnus Road opp. park
Tyrie 4.00pm – 4.10pm adj. old Post Office

Wednesday 28 September

Easterfield 10.15am – 10.25am adj. School
Aberchirder 10.45am – 11.10am The Square
Cornhill 11.25am – 11.45am Car park
Fordyce 12.00pm – 12.15pm adj. Castle
Sandend 12.30pm – 12.45pm adj. Phone Box
Portsoy 2.00pm – 2.25pm Church Street
Boyndie 2.40pm – 2.50pm opp. Boyndie Centre
Whitehills 3.00pm – 3.20pm Seafield Street
Inverboyndie 3.30pm – 3.40pm adj. Bridge
Alvah 3.55pm – 4.05pm adj. Linhead Hall
Forglen 4.20pm – 4.30pm Bogton Row

Friday 30 September

New Pitsligo 10.00am – 10.25am The Square
Strichen 10.40am – 11.05am North Street
Memsie 11.20am – 11.35am by BT exchange
Rathen 11.45am – 12.00pm by Public Hall
Lonmay 12.10pm – 12.25pm adj. Ban Car Hotel
New Leeds 1.45pm – 1.55pm Manse Street
Fetterangus 2.10pm – 2.25pm Hall car park
Old Deer 2.40pm – 2.55pm opp. old Post Office
Stuartfield 3.05pm – 3.20pm The Square
Auchnagatt 3.35pm – 3.50pm Hall car park
Maud 4.05pm - 4.25pm Station car park

Monday 3 October

Longside 10.15am – 10.30am Main St. car park
Mintlaw 10.40am – 11.05am Newlands Road
Hatton 11.30am – 11.45am Hall car park
Cruden Bay 12.00pm – 12.20pm Main Street
Longhaven 12.30pm – 12.45pm Hall car park
Boddam 12.50pm – 1.05pm Russell Street
Rora 2.35pm – 2.45pm Hall car park
St Fergus 2.55pm – 3.10pm opp. Shop
Crimond 3.25pm – 3.45pm Kirk car Park
St Combs 3.55pm – 4.15pm Hall car park
Inverallochy 4.25pm – 4.45pm adj. Post Office


Local MP 'Wears It Pink' To Fund Cure For Breast Cancer

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Banff & Buchan SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford is joining forces with Breast Cancer Campaign to raise awareness of its biggest fundraising event, wear it pink day.

On Friday 28 October 2011 supporters in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country are encouraged to don an item of pink in support of Campaign and each donate £2 to fund innovative world-class breast cancer research.

Last year hundreds of thousands of people took part in wear it pink to help improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Every year in the UK, around 48,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women. Although it is rare, men can also suffer from breast cancer, with around 340 men diagnosed each year. I know people who have lost friends and family members to the disease and I would like to encourage everyone in Banff & Buchan and throughout the country to support wear it pink on October 28, to raise valuable funds for breast cancer research.”

To take part in the UK’s original and best pink day visit and register to receive your free fundraising pack now. wear it pink is supported by Vanish, which has committed to raising an incredible £250,000 for the charity this year.


SNP Office Moves To New Premises In Peterhead

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

After nearly quarter of a century, the SNP Constituency Office which has served as a base for the area’s Parliamentarians is moving home.

The office, based in Maiden Street, has moved to more modern, serviced accommodation at Peterhead’s Burnside Business Centre, just off South Road. The move has been welcomed by staff and Parliamentarians as it will mean a more professional environment for dealing with constituency casework and meeting with constituents.

Commenting, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“I’m delighted we have secured new premises at the Enterprise North-east Burnside Business Centre.

“Maiden Street has been my base for over ten years and we have steadily been reaching the point where our office accommodation there has become less and less suitable both in terms of workspace and the environment needed to work with modern IT equipment.

“My staff and I look forward to welcoming constituents to our new premises.”

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This move will allow Stewart and myself to work together more effectively. We already share some staff and resources and sharing the same building will lead to greater efficiencies.

“In addition, I’m pleased to announce that the public opening hours of both offices will be extended by an extra ten hours per week in order to increase our availability to constituents.

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor and Office Manager Stephen Smith has worked in the Maiden Street office since 1996. Reflecting on the volume of casework dealt with since the office opened in 1987, he said:

“17 Maiden Street has been the Constituency Office since 1987 and during that time thousands of cases and issues have been dealt with here.

“I did a rough estimate recently of the volumes of mail sent out from the office during the last 24 years based on the weekly average and it was staggering, it was over 370,000 with the figure for inward mail not far behind.”

Many of the staff who have worked in Maiden Street have gone on to much greater things. Former Office Manager, Richard Lochhead, is now in his second term as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Fisheries in a majority SNP Government. The first Office Manager, Peter Murrell, is now Chief Executive of the SNP.

Minister for Learning & Skills and Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan had two spells working in Peterhead while newly-elected Regional MSP for Glasgow Humza Yousaf spent a summer working in Maiden Street getting political experience which stood him in good stead for his new role.

Cllr Smith explained:

“The experience gained working in the Peterhead Office meant that we were never short of applications from people who wanted to work for Alex Salmond or Stewart Stevenson or serve an internship.”

He continued:

“The range of issues dealt with in the normal course of a week in Maiden Street was staggering.

“A lot of the issues people seek assistance with are what you would expect, such as housing and benefits. Benefits in particular is a difficult issue at the moment because of the changes being introduced by the Tory Government in London. In that respect, I suppose things haven’t changed a lot since the Constituency Office opened in 1987 as we had a Tory Government then too which seemed intent on punishing the most vulnerable sections of society.

“I always say however that you are can never be sure who is going to phone or come through the door or what issue you will have to deal with next.

“Trying to save factories from closure is not something that most MPs will tackle, probably through fear of being associated with failure. With Alex Salmond however, we found ourselves doing exactly that and, against the odds more often than not, managing to get a result.

“For example, Buchan Meat in Turriff went under just at the time when the public were getting concerned about BSE and the meat industry was facing a crisis. The prospect of saving the factory, let alone persuading anyone to take it over looked remote. But through working with the employees and trades unions, as well as highlighting the plight of the factory in the House of Commons, we ended up with two or three companies bidding to take over Buchan Meat with Kepak ultimately being successful. Today, Buchan Meat continues in Turriff in the shape of Woodhead Bros who supply Morrisons Supermarkets.

“The Simmers of Hatton factory is another good example of how local jobs were saved through tough negotiating with a multinational firm which allowed a local company to step in.

“The Sapphire Campaign, which resulted in the bodies of the four crew members lost at sea being returned to their families for Christian burial is also something that I will never forget. It was very humbling to be a part of that and to help the bereaved families achieve their dearest wish.

“Maiden Street was also the nerve centre of various political campaigns as well, including both of Alex’s leadership elections in 1990 and 2004, and the 2001 by-election which saw Stewart Stevenson elected as local MSP. There’s quite a bit of history been made within that building.

“But we’ve really outgrown the building and it no longer serves our needs. We’re looking forward to working in more modern accommodation at Burnside Business Centre which will allow us to deliver an efficient service to constituents in a better working environment.”

Contact details for Stewart Stevenson MSP and Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP are as follows:

Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast
Unit 8 Burnside Business Centre
Burnside Road
Peterhead AB42 3AW
Tel. 01779 470444
Fax. 01779 822025
Office Hours: Mon-Fri; 9.00am to 5.00pm

Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan
Unit 7 Burnside Business Centre
Burnside Road
Peterhead AB42 3AW
Tel. 01779 822022
Fax. 01779 822025
Office Hours: Mon-Fri; 9.00am to 5.00pm


MP & Councillor Officially Re-Open Refurbished Village Hall

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford and Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith officially re-opened Port Erroll Public Hall in Cruden Bay on Saturday.

The popular village facility has undergone a £70,000 refurbishment including new flooring and a bigger kitchen area.

Speaking at the opening of the hall, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The village hall is a real asset in any community and here in Cruden Bay people can be especially proud of their newly-refurbished hall.

“The committee have worked very hard to secure funding and I know that the fundraising will continue. I congratulate those involved in the successful completion of the refurbishment project and I’m sure the hall will continue to be a well-used asset to the community.”

Cllr Stephen Smith added:

“It’s a real transformation and the community can be very proud of their ‘new’ hall.

“The official re-opening was a great occasion with the ladies of the WRI serving afternoon teas, which ensured a good turnout, and a display of photographs of the various stages of the refurbishment work.”


Whiteford Congratulates Peterhead Running Festival Organisers

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford has congratulated the organisers and sponsors of the Peterhead Running Festival on a spectacularly successful event.

Dr Whiteford, who was tasked with starting the races for the local schools’ entrants, described the day’s events as being a great spectacle for the town.

Speaking after the event at Catto Park, Eilidh said:

“The turnout today for the schools races – which itself attracted over 400 entrants – and the Peterhead Half-Marathon and the Shell 5km Run was just phenomenal. It is a real tribute to the hard work of Stephen Bruce and the team involved with Peterhead JogScotland.

“The event is such a positive thing for Peterhead and the JogScotland team have an infectious enthusiasm for what they are doing which serves to draw more people in and certainly made today’s festival a huge success and a great spectacle for the town.

“I congratulate the organisers and the sponsors who backed this event and hope it goes from strength to strength next year.”


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