In recent weeks I started my summer tour of the constituency, meeting people and visiting businesses – many of which are reopening from the pandemic.
I visited the famous ‘Bremners of Foggie’ where, not only did I learn the history of Willie and Elaine Bremner’s family business, but also their involvement in the community and their support for ‘shopping local.’
They also told me of ‘The Foggie Neuk’ and the farmer’s and producers market that took place last weekend.
This coincided with an open-day for the Aberchirder and District Men’s Shed at which they were awarded with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest honour that can be awarded to a voluntary group.
The award was presented, on behalf of Her Majesty, by Lord Lieutenant for Banffshire, Andrew Simpson.
I was delighted to attend this event and offer my own congratulations to the group, as well as enjoying a nice day out in Foggie with the family.
Last Sunday, I attended the ‘Turriff Community Fair’ at the Baden Powell Centre.
Several community support and volunteer organisations were represented, providing information of what they do as well as engaging with those interested in supporting their local community.
Turriff and surrounding areas benefit from many such organisations and the volunteers who work to make our communities better places.
Much has been reported lately of plans to develop new oil and gas fields here in the UK.
It’s true that we need to reduce our dependency on oil and gas, and we are already in an energy transition away from fossil fuels towards low carbon and renewable sources of energy.
The UK will continue to have a demand for hydrocarbons for years to come and it is important to note that while that demand reduces, our domestic supplies are also reducing – and at a faster rate.
That is why it is important we manage the decline in both supply and demand utilising well established resources and expertise rather than become even more dependent on foreign imports than we already are.
The UK Government is committed to working with the oil and gas industry to manage the energy transition effectively as well as to support vital jobs and businesses.
Both the UK Government and the Scottish Government have committed to this journey to net-zero carbon emissions by making use of new technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Therefore, it is somewhat concerning that the SNP have made a deal with the Scottish Green Party.
The Greens are against ANY new oil and gas field development in the UK – regardless of the ongoing (yet declining) demand.
They are also against the concept of ‘net-zero.’
The Green Party want ‘absolute’ zero which is not only unrealistic and impractical, it also needlessly puts the economy and jobs at risk – as well as the UK’s position as a potential global leader in the process of energy transition.
Clearly, the SNP and Greens’ real priority is the breaking up – not the building up – of the United Kingdom.
Finally, the Paralympics in Tokyo start this week and, after an amazing success from Team GB in the Olympics (including local success for Cuminestown’s Neah Evans) I would like to wish Turriff-based swimmer, Conner Morrison all the very best along with the rest of the Paralympics Team GB.