Last week in Parliament saw several important Bills receive Royal Assent and become law.
These included the Down Syndrome Act which will see a duty on Government to provide lifelong support for affected people and families, the Policing Act to provide more support to police forces, and the British Sign Language Act which recognises BSL as its own languageand promotes its facilitation by the Government.
I also attended an event in Westminster to learn the importance of detecting liver issues early.
By the time physical symptoms of liver disease present themselves, it is often too late, so it is important that people are aware of pre-indicative risk factors such as alcohol, diet/obesity andviral hepatitis.
There are also non-invasive procedures such as ultrasound scans which can show up problems in time for effective treatment.
I am proud to be backing an initiative from the Imperial War Museum to document war memorials across the United Kingdom.
Through the work of volunteers and local communities, the initiative aims to complete as many national records as possible before Remembrance Day on November 11.
We are rightly proud of all those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in standing up for freedom and democracy.
It is right that these sensitive and important memorials across Banff and Buchan are properly photographed and recorded for posterity.
The War Memorials Register currently holds records of 96,000 war memorials across the United Kingdom, although there are an estimated 110,000 in total.
Many more are simply unaccounted for, hidden away in the backs of converted schools and churches that are now private homes, or overgrown on walls in quiet parts of a village.
I would therefore encourage readers from across Banff and Buchan to contribute to the War Memorials Register by ensuring as many memorials as possible are recorded and accessible for future generations.
See iwm.org.uk/memorials for more details on how to support this effort.
I was disappointed to read recently, the SNP’s suggestion that the north east is being shortchanged by the UK Government in replacement EU funding.
This is demonstrably untrue and the SNP appear to be wilfully ignoring EU funds which are still in the system, left over from commitments made from when the UK was still a memberand due to be spent through to the end of 2023.
The UK Government has confirmed that by 2024, the £1.5bn UK Share Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will match what was previously spent in Scotland.
The SNP are of course against the idea of such ‘levelling up’ activity by the UK Government, because it is based on empowering more local decision making on how those funds are best spent.
Until now, the SNP have respected devolution only as far as Holyrood, with a centralisation agenda that does little to support local services – e.g. local health facilities
In fact, if the north east is being short changed by anyone, it is by successive SNP Scottish Governments, under whom, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, as well as the NHS Grampian health board, have been consistently among the lowest funded councils in Scotland.
The SNP’s repeated and failed attempts to discredit the UK Government at a time when local issues are so much more important to people shows that they have very little to offer in this week’s local elections