Following recent repeated incidents of vandalism in the local area, including the damage inflicted to the Den playpark in Turriff, I raised with Police Scotland and have secured a meeting with the local Chief Inspector to discuss.
The whole community was shocked and sickened by the vandalism.
I have followed keenly the progress of the Aberchirder and District Men’s Shed since its inception and attending their opening in 2019.
I was therefore delighted to see them receive a well-deserved Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant for Banffshire Andrew Simpson, for their work combatting loneliness and isolation and for their support of the local Covid response.
Congratulations to all involved.
News came earlier this month that the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) has now had over 5 million applications including nearly 300,000 in Scotland.
The deadline for applying is 30 June of this year and I strongly urge anyone eligible who hasn’t yet applied to do so urgently.
EU citizens make a huge contribution to our national and local communities and we want you to stay. If you don’t apply to the EUSS, access to work and benefits is at risk. It is also important to remember to apply for every member of your family.
If you need assistance, free help is available 7 days a week. Head to www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme to find out more and to apply.
As I write this, the main international news is the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Hosted by the Prime Minister, the G7 brings together the leaders of the 7 most advanced democratic economies plus invitees, South Africa, South Korea and Australia.
Hot topics include global recovery from the pandemic, democratic unity to counter the influence of China and efforts to ensure multinational corporations – particularly in the tech/digital sector – to pay the right amount of tax in the right place.
Climate change is also one of the main issues of the summit as nations look to agree commitments and targets to ensure a more sustainable future.
Here in the North East, we have a great opportunity to play a key role in the required energy transition.
We have the expertise, the resources, the skills and the technology from a long-established energy production and support industry to carry the flag for a sustainable and pragmatic transition towards net-zero emissions.
For example, earlier this week, the first electricity reaching the grid from the Moray East offshore windfarm via the substation in New Deer, was produced.
When completed, Moray East will be the largest windfarm in Scotland and shows the great potential of this area.
The New Deer substation also became the world’s largest installation of G3 gas. G3 gas replaces SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride) as an electrical insulator in electrical switchgear.
SF6 is a greenhouse gas that is 23,500 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and stays in the atmosphere for up to 3,200 years.
Climate extremists like Extinction Rebellion threaten the success of our energy transition by calling for absolute zero carbon emissions – as do the Scottish Greens.
This is impractical, unrealistic and contrary to both UK Government and Scottish Government legislation on achieving net-zero emissions.
The SNP Scottish Government have to be very careful in making a deal with the Scottish Greens and to avoid putting North East jobs at risk.