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Local SNP Councillor Raises Road Safety Concerns Around Auchterellon School

>> 28 March 2018

Ellon and District SNP Councillor, Anouk Kloppert, has this week raised concerns about safety around Auchterellon School at pick up and drop off times following a car crash there last week.

Cllr Kloppert was made aware this week that a child minder was involved in a car collision on March 21st due to decreased visibility at one of the junction near to the school.

No one was hurt in the incident, but it has increased safety concerns for pedestrians and drivers in the area during the busy school start and finish times. Cllr Kloppert believes that the incident was due to the irresponsibly parking of cars during these times, which make it difficult to see and travel around junctions.

This week, Cllr Kloppert met on site with some of the parents of pupils of the school, and with Sergeant Sawyers of Police Scotland.

Cllr Kloppert said:

“I am very happy that the local police Sergeant was very quick in coming to meet me to discuss these concerns, and to discuss ways in which we can raise awareness of the effect of irresponsible parking in the area.

“This junction specifically has been a worrying crossing for a lot of residents of the area when it is busy with traffic during school drop off and pick up times. If the problem is not addressed, more parents will be unwilling to let their children walk to school, which will exacerbate the problem.

“Some essential suggestions have been made by Sergeant Sawers, which he has now summarised in writing, and I will pass these suggestions on to the relevant council departments and officers”

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Local MSP & Councillor Meet with Longhaven Parents

>> 25 March 2018

Council's Handling of School Issue Branded 'Absolute Shambles'

East Aberdeenshire MSP Gillian Martin and Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith met with parents of pupils at closure-threatened Longhaven School yesterday.
The MSP and councillor spent nearly two hours with parents listening to their concerns about the potential closure of their school and Aberdeenshire Council’s handling of the situation. Education officials announced on Thursday that the council had been unable to recruit teaching staff for Longhaven meaning pupils will need to attend other local schools after the Easter break.

Commenting after the meeting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“Parents have been left in a very difficult position by this. They have been given a matter of days to select an alternative school for their children to attend and have already encountered difficulties because headteachers at other schools have been unavailable or, in some cases, a parent is working offshore and is unable to visit the school.

“I still find it incredible that the council has allowed a situation to develop where they are telling parents their children must uproot themselves and start another school in the middle of the school year. This is unacceptable and I will be meeting officials on Monday to discuss the situation.”

Gillian Martin MSP added:

“I feel very sorry for the parents and the children affected by this. I listened carefully to the parents’ account of events and it appears that Aberdeenshire Council’s handling of this situation has been nothing short of an absolute shambles.

“Serious questions need to be asked about how an Education Authority can allow a school to have no teachers. It’s quite incredible. The worry being expressed in the community is that this is a closure by stealth.

“The constituents who met with me seem determined to save their school and I will be supporting them 100 per cent in that.”

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Aberdeenshire Campaign Against RBS Closures Continues in Huntly

>> 10 March 2018

The local campaign against the RBS closures continued this weekend in Huntly, with campaigners out to collect more signatures for the petition.

The campaign has been underway for several months, and has gathered significant numbers of signatures from Banff, Turriff, Stonehaven, Ellon and Huntly.

Following pressure from the SNP group at Westminster, RBS announced that some of the branches earmarked for closure would remain open, however none of those in Aberdeenshire were included in this list. The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee at the Scottish Parliament will now also consider this matter.

The Aberdeenshire Councillors who are campaigning on this issue plan to be in Edinburgh during the RBS AGM in May to campaing outside, and to hand over the petitions.

Commenting, SNP Councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Gwyneth Petrie, said:

“There continues to be significant concern locally about the planned closure of the RBS. Not only does it mean that customers of the bank will now have to travel a significant distance when they require banking services, but it will also add to the continuing decline of our town centre.

“RBS have said that the mobile banking van will visit the town twice a week, but will park on the outskirts, instead of travelling in to the town centre. The van already has accessibility issues – these will only be exacerbated by it being parked so far out of the town centre.

“Today we seen even more people queueing to sign the petition – I hope RBS listen to the voice of their customers.”

SNP Councillor Dr Glen Reynolds, who represents Banff and District, added:

“The number of people who have signed the petition is increasing. People realise that if they lose their bank branches, the town centres will be all the poorer and the impact will have a negative effect on not only the look of our High Streets but on the local economy.”

SNP Councillor for the Troup Ward Ross Cassie said:

“The RBS banks have been at the heart of our communities for many a decade. Our communities rely on the service they provide, yet in the name of profit that heart is to be ripped out.

“It is incomprehensible that at a time when the top executives receive millions of pounds in bonus’ each and sport receives millions in sponsorship from RBS, a fraction of that cost is to be saved depriving our communities of a banking service that the community has been loyal to and rely on.

“Hundreds of skilled and loyal workers are to be thrown out of work. We should not forget that those workers and us, the tax payer, own in the region of 70% of RBS. The UK Government holding the shares on our behalf should not abdicate their responsibility claiming the closure programme to be a commercial decision but should step In and halt this damaging programme immediately.”

Former RBS employee, SNP Councillor Alastair Forsyth, who represents Turriff & District said:

“The branch in Turriff is central to the High Street, and will be sadly missed. Businesses will find it increasingly difficult to bank with RBS if they are forced to travel significant distances to do so.”

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MSP & Peterhead Councillors Urge Residents to Make Their Views Known on Minor Injuries Units Consultation

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson is urging constituents to make their views known as part of a consultation on Minor Injuries Units at local hospitals across Aberdeenshire.

Stewart Stevenson MSP with Cllr Anne Allan and Cllr Stephen Smith
at Peterhead Hospital
The review has been instigated by the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership, a joint NHS Grampian/Aberdeenshire Council body and will take into consideration “location, demand, activity, practitioner competency and ongoing sustainability”.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I know from feedback that our local NHS facilities are greatly valued by constituents. I understand the need for the authorities to review the services they provide from time to time and I appreciate the opportunity to put forward my views and those of my constituents.

“My concern would be that any diminution in the service provided at local Minor Injuries Units would lead to further demands on the ambulance service or, indeed, local GPs. Clearly, we have a number of villages at the moment where provision of a GP service is a major issue. In addition, I am keen that nothing is done which would increase the pressure on the local ambulance service, who may be called upon to step in if access to the Minor Injuries Units was curtailed.

“I will be making my views known to the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership and I urge constituents to do likewise.”

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith added:

"All the feedback I’ve had tells me that the Minor Injuries Unit is a valued facility and an essential service.

“It means that there is less pressure on services elsewhere and undoubtedly means that fewer ambulance call-outs are needed as a result of it being local and accessible.”

Peterhead North & Rattray SNP councillor Anne Allan said:

“We’re in the fortunate position of having our own ambulance service in the town and any reduction in service at the Minor Injuries Unit might lead to increased demand on other services. I would urge local residents to make their views known at the drop-in being held on 14 March.”

Information events are being held at Peterhead Football Club on 14 March, and Fraserburgh Sports & Community Centre on 21 March, all between 3.00pm and 7.00pm.

Further information can be obtained from Aberdeenshire Council on 03456 081203 or by e-mailing integration@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

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