What a fantastic spell of weather we have had across Banff and Buchan these last couple ofweeks.
I joined many others in welcoming the summer weather, though I fell into an old mistake of forgetting to apply sun screen!
When I attended the recent launch of the new lifeboat in Macduff, I was relieved when thegift shop opened so I could buy myself an RNLI hat!
The new lifeboat, B-933 Skipasund replaces the Lydia Macdonald which had served the community for the last 17 years.
The lifeboat launch was a well-attended event to support the RNLI who do so much to protect life at sea.
If only the SNP/Green Scottish Government had similar ambition to protect livelihoods at sea, and the coastal economies supported by the fishing sector.
Last week, saw several representatives of the fishing sector travel to Edinburgh to make their feelings known about the Scottish Government’s plans for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).
Neither I nor the industry are against conservation and sustainability, but the Scottish Government needs to go back to the drawing board with their current plans – and, crucially, engage properly with the industry.
I was pleased to see local councillors approve a new masterplan for the proposed Aldi store in Macduff.
I know how much appetite there is for this new supermarket – for increased choice for shoppers as well as new jobs.
I am also pleased to report that the North East Scotland Mobile Breast Screening Service is back in Banff where it will be for approximately three months.
The unit is sited in the Bayview Dentist car park and women aged 50-70 and registered at Macduff or An Caorann practices will be invited to attend.
With a backlog on screenings post-pandemic, it is good to see a health service locally accessible to residents.
In Turriff too, the Grampian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association has held a class for locals for heart health.
They host a weekly specialist exercise class for people with cardiac and long-term health conditions in Turriff at the Sports Centre weekly on Tuesdays 4pm - 5pm.
And last weekend held an open event for residents to sample classes.
Healthcare provision in Turriff is something residents know I have been working to improve for a long time.
I recently had an update from the Scottish Ambulance Service that upskilling of a second ambulance based in Banff has been completed.
The plan is for this additional ambulance and crew to be situated in Turriff on ‘stand-by’ while on shift.
All that remains is for a suitable site in Turriff for the ambulance to be located in this capacity.
I continue to engage with the ambulance service and look forward to a location being agreed soon.
Finally, as we all enjoy the lovely weather, we must also spare a thought for our farmers and their crops, no doubt yearning for some rain.
Such a long dry spell has inevitably led to a shortage of water in some areas – as well as an increased risk of wildfires.
Other parts of Scotland have already reached a water scarcity level of ‘significant’ – the highest risk level – and we are currently at ‘alert’ level.
So as much as we have yearned for the warm, dry and sunny weather, we must also spare a thought for our farmers, as they will also be sparing their water usage.