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Councillor Stephen Smith & MSP Stevenson Highlight Opportunities for Local Businesses at Boddam Site

>> 18 May 2018

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith and Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson are highlighting opportunities for local businesses to benefit from contracts for the NorthConnect Converter Station to be built at Stirlinghill.

NorthConnect are set to hold two ‘Meet the Buyer’ days which will give potential local suppliers and businesses the chance to learn about the project, hear about the different packages involved and speak to the NorthConnect team directly as well as an opportunity for 1-2-1s for contracts involving the converter station, enabling works, cable laying, construction management, civils, engineering and supervision as well as peripheral economic opportunities locally.

The first will take place on Tuesday 29 May in Aberdeen and the second event will take place in Boddam on Wednesday 30 May. The event in Boddam will also include a short visit to the converter station site itself.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“I’m delighted that NorthConnect are staging this event in Boddam. It will be an excellent opportunity for North-east businesses to meet with the company and see how they can potentially get contracts for the work which will be undertaken.

“NorthConnect have a very good track record in terms of their engagement with local communities and I am pleased to see this continue with local businesses.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“I very much welcome this event and commend NorthConnect for arranging it. There are a range of ways in which local businesses can get involved, ranging from cable installation to the new facility and construction, right down to general services which are required on any large construction operation.”

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Peterhead Councillor Anne Allan Hails New Fishmarket Investment

>> 17 May 2018

Peterhead North & Rattray councillor Anne Allan has hailed the new Peterhead Fishmarket as a vote of confidence in the town and the industry.

The SNP councillor was speaking after a visit to the under-construction facility by members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Fisheries Working Group.

Commenting, Cllr Anne Allan said:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the new fishmarket today, and I’m very impressed with the facilities it will offer to the fishing industry.

“Also important is the new training room that is incorporated within it, which will provide much needed opportunities for young people to see, learn and perhaps start a career within the processing sector.

“This investment by Peterhead Port Authority is a real vote of confidence in the town and in the future of its industry.”

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Tory MSP Chapman's Boomerang Attack on Roads Spending

>> 14 May 2018

Presided over £millions Underspent When he was a Councillor

Tory list MSP Peter Chapman faced ridicule today when he tried to launch an attack on the SNP Scottish Government for not giving councils enough funding.

Mr Chapman was a councillor on Aberdeenshire Council from 2007 to 2012 where the Conservatives were part of the ruling Administration and underspent the council budget by a massive £25,000,000 in the financial year 2011/12.

Commenting, Leader of the Opposition SNP Group on Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Richard Thomson said:

“Peter Chapman’s concern for the condition of the North-east’s road network is touching, but he has clearly forgotten he was one of the Tory councillors who were part of the council Administration when they racked-up a huge underspend of £25,000,000, instead of spending council tax-payers’ money on essential services – such as roads.

“His Tory colleagues currently running the council have fared little better as they were actually given extra funding from the Scottish Government just before the last budget but couldn’t say what services they would spend it on and instead proceeded with a budget which cut services.

“Aberdeenshire Council has had extra money from the SNP Scottish Government in each of the last two years. Peter Chapman’s virtue-signalling press release doesn’t tell from which vital services in the Scottish budget he would cut £100million in order to spend it on potholes. The truth is, Tory-led Aberdeenshire hasn’t spent any extra money on potholes despite being handed extra cash.

“As usual, the Tories are better judged in deed than in word.”

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Opposition Leader Richard Thomson Comments on Council HQ Decision

>> 2 May 2018

Commenting on the decision taken at last week’s full Aberdeenshire Council to abort plans to develop a new Council HQ in Inverurie, Opposition Leader and SNP Group Leader Cllr Richard Thomson (Ellon & District) said:

“This was a very poor outcome for Aberdeenshire, which has seen a golden opportunity to decentralise and prepare for the future squandered due to the internal political wrangling of the Tory-led council administration.

“The proposal to stay put in Aberdeen is not only crushingly unimaginative, it is one which councillors took knowing full well that even if a deal can be concluded with NHS Grampian, a six-figure financial black hole still remains for the council if it is unable to rent the remaining empty space in Woodhill House.

“The impact is one which will be felt all across the council area. In particular, instead of seeing an increase of 300 jobs in the town, Inverurie will now see 150 jobs lost. It will also leave Ellon with just 163 jobs instead of the 345 jobs that it would have gained on the site of the old Academy from a move out of Aberdeen.

“There have been various ambitions expressed in Ellon for the future use of that site. New council offices really were the only game in town in terms of freeing up existing council properties around the town and driving up footfall and consumer spend in the town centre. Now, that potential benefit from that has been cut significantly.

“However, the real kicker is that the issue that led to this work being undertaken in the first place – the council having too much expensive to run office space in the wrong locations – still applies and remains blissfully untroubled by this outcome.

“It demands a special kind of political incompetence to take a proposal designed to decentralise and save money and to turn it into one which consolidates in Aberdeen and risks costing money. I have to take my hat off to Cllr Gifford and the administration he leads, because in their desperate pursuit of a position that they could all unite behind, that’s exactly what they have achieved.”

Note: The Tory/Lib Dem/Alligned independent administration also voted down an amendment from the opposition SNP/Labour Group which would have allowed council officers to prepare a business case to develop Inverurie Town Hall alongside a smaller HQ development at Harlaw, which councillors on the Office Space Strategy Working Group could have considered in a few weeks time.

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