Last week saw the completion of my annual summer surgery tour across Banff and Buchan.
This is a great opportunity to get out and about meeting people right across the constituency – even more so after the previous 2 years.
As well as walk-in surgeries in village and community halls, I have also been knocking on doors across the constituency and coming to you to hear your concerns.
I have heard about a number of local issues, relating to individual issues and access to public services, which I am already progressing and looking forward to helping deliver positive outcomes.
As ever, I am available for surgeries most weeks (usually Fridays for in-person) and you can contact my office on 01261 818744 or at David.email@example.com to book an appointment.
One issue I heard across the constituency was regeneration of local play parks. Play parks are an important social centre for families and children in our local communities and it is vital that these facilities exist and are well equipped.
We saw the negative effects of social isolation during the pandemic and so any opportunity to get children back playing together should be seized.
I am currently in discussions with UK Government ministers about how a new levelling up fund for playparks will work in Scotland, and I will keep local communities updated on this.
Earlier this month I hosted a public meeting at the Baden Powell Centre in Turriff to discuss healthcare issues in the area.
The meeting was attended by over 150 resident and I thank all who took the time to come out and add to the discussion on this topic.
Since that meeting, and during my constituency wide surgery tour, I have of course received even more correspondence from other areas, including in and around Banffshire.
Public meetings are a great way to facilitate the discussion and hear from a range of voices,but they are moot if it ends there.
That is why I promised action on this issue and that I would do my utmost to take residents’concerns forward.
My intent is, as it always has been, to facilitate a constructive dialogue with the health service providers to work together towards positive outcomes.
I met with the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) last Monday to discuss the concerns raised.
I am grateful to the AHSCP for taking time to meet with me and for providing some answers to the concerns raised, which I will be feeding back to my constituents in due course.
I was also pleased to hear from them that they recognise many of the issues – particularly the complexity of new processes and lack of effective communications with patients.
Of course, I will keep residents on the progress of my efforts on this matter.
Finally, last week saw the news that the energy price cap will increase by 80% in October, reflecting the ever-increasing global wholesale cost of gas.
Energy costs were already rising as the whole world was recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, and have been further exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing conflict there.
I know that these price rises are worrying for all of my constituents and support is available.
I appreciate that everyone’s personal situation is different but for general advice and support, I have put information on my website: www.davidduguid.com/rising-costs