As your MP, I am always working to ensure that the needs of constituents are met and that we are receiving the support and services we need.
This has been particularly important in recent months, as we have faced the challenges of the increased energy costs, fuelled by Putin’s barbaric war in Ukraine.
Most (>95%) of people across the UK have been receiving this support automatically but I have been seeking information from Government on the financial support for those using heating oil and other off-grid fuels.
Just last week I met with the Energy Minister, Graham Stuart and am pleased to say that the £200 payments are planned to be made in January and the majority will be paid automatically to those who are eligible.
For anyone who is not covered by the automatic payments, a web portal will be opened for applications.
Of course, I will be making sure that those without internet access will also be served appropriately.
As always, I encourage constituents to contact me directly with specific individual cases and queries.
Another area of concern that I have been working on is the provision of emergency medical services in our area.
Following a public meeting earlier this year in the Baden Powell Centre, which was attended by over 150 residents, I have met with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Health Centre GPs and most recently, the Scottish Ambulance Service.
And I am pleased to say that plans for a Turriff-based ambulance are progressing, with a unit planned to be in place by March next year.
This will be part of a two-ambulance team that will be stationed either in Turriff or Banff depending on where the most calls are coming from on any given day.
This will be the first time in a long time that an ambulance has been stationed in Turriff and will be a welcome relief for worried residents who have been facing some of the longest waits in the northeast.
I was saddened to see a sixth case of avian flu in my constituency last week.
This is a major concern for those who keep birds.
I met with the Chief Veterinarian Officer in Scotland last week to find out more about what measures The Scottish Government being taken to mitigate the spread of this disease.
Unfortunately, some quarter of a million birds have had to be culled so far, which is a major blow to the poultry farmers involved.
I have also discussed with NFU Scotland on the matter – who have expressed similar concerns.
Finally, I would like to extend a big thank you to all those who were involved in the Turriff Christmas lights switch on.
This was a fantastic event that I was pleased to attend with my family, and it was great to see so many people come together to celebrate the holiday season.
As we look ahead to the new year, I would like to wish all of my constituents a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Despite the challenges we have faced this year, I remain committed to serving Banff and Buchan and addressing the issues that matter most to you.
My office will be closed from 23 December to 3 January inclusive but for any urgent matters, please do email email@example.com which will be monitored throughout the festive period.