Thursday, 17 May 2018

Buckie SNP Councillor Sonya Warren Welcomes Inclusion of Portessie in Flood Consultation Response

Buckie SNP Councillor Sonya Warren has welcomed the inclusion of Portessie in Moray Council’s response to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Flood Risk Management in Scotland – 2018 Consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas.

While Portgordon has already been recognised in previous plans as being vulnerable to flooding from the sea, Portessie, which suffers similar problems, had not been in those plans.

Moray Council’s flood alleviation experts have recommended the inclusion of Portessie in their response to the consultation.

Commenting Councillor Warren said:

“Portessie and Portgordon residents have suffered several flood events over the years, caused by overtopping of waves and high tides during severe sea conditions.

“Getting Portessie properly recognised as being vulnerable funding is really important is making the case for investment in better flood defences for the community and I hope that SEPA will include the Council’s recommendations on Potentially Vulnerable Areas like Portessie when it publishes the updated Flood Risk Management plan.

“The Council’s engineers and technicians have a huge breadth of knowledge gathered through their own observations and from the experiences of residents and businesses and this is an important step in the process of getting more investment in flood defences.”

Thursday, 5 April 2018

SNP Responds to News on Moray Autism Services

The SNP in Moray have responded to the announcement today [Thursday] that Scottish Autism are to withdraw from their service in Moray.

After a series of meetings between Moray Council and the service provider an agreement could not be reached and they have chosen to withdraw from the service in Moray.

As a result Moray Council will now transfer the service in-house, which will mean staff in the service being TUPE transferred to work for the Council.

Commenting on the news the SNP Opposition Spokesperson on Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Sonya Warren, said:

“While it is disappointing that Scottish Autism have chosen to withdraw from providing the service in Moray the most important thing is that we need to ensure that the children and families are put firmly at the centre of this.

“I have sought and received assurances that the service will continue to be provided and the staff currently providing the service will be TUPE transferred to the Council.

“There needs to be constructive work done with Scottish Autism to ensure a smooth transition of the service with stability and consistency being absolutely vital to the young people using the service.

“The Council has a team of dedicated and highly skilled staff who provide other autism services in Moray and with the addition of the skills and experience of staff being transferred I believe the Council can deliver good provision for service users.”

SNP MSP for Moray Richard Lochhead said:

“Clearly the uncertainty of the past few weeks has been unsettling for families in Moray who have been concerned about the future of autism services for their children. There will undoubtedly still be some concern about Scottish Autism’s decision to withdraw. However I am pleased that the Council are committed to continuing the service in-house, including the transfer of existing staff.

“It is unfortunate that Scottish Autism are withdrawing from Moray and we will keep a close eye on the transition but there is a strong commitment to making that transition as smooth as possible and maintaining stability for the young people. This may also present an opportunity to further improve the service once the transition period is complete.”

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson said:

“There have been real concerns for families using autism services in Moray in recent weeks over the future provision of the service and while it has been announced that Scottish Autism are withdrawing from Moray I am heartened that the Council has no intention of dropping the service and will now transfer the provision in-house.

“The smooth transition of this service is obviously massively important and until that is fully resolved people will understandably be nervous about the service provision. However I acknowledge the Council’s commitment to maintaining the service and I know that the staff will be committed to making it work.”

Monday, 26 March 2018

UK Tory Prime Minister Abandons Fishing Communities at Key European Council Summit

The SNP’s Westminster Leader has criticised the Prime Minister for abandoning fishing communities across the UK, after failing to raise their concerns over post-Brexit fishing rights at the key European Council summit.

When pressed by Ian Blackford MP over what representations the Prime Minister made to EU leaders to reverse the conclusions over the UK’s fishing rights during the Brexit transitional period, the Prime Minister failed to answer.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement today in Westminster, Ian Blackford MP said:

“Theresa May had an opportunity at the crucial European Council Summit to raise the concerns of fishing communities over the Brexit transitional arrangement. Her silence on the issue, and failure to raise the matter, is yet another example of the Tory government’s sell out of the industry they have previously described as ‘expendable.’

“Theresa May’s response today on the future of fishing rights was inadequate, and her silence at the EU meeting is deafening.

“It is incumbent upon the Prime Minister that fishing rights are secured and that the UK government rejects any deal that leaves our fishing communities hamstrung in any transition agreement.

“Time and time again, the Tory government thinks it can do whatever it wants to Scotland and get away with it. They are wrong.

“The Tory government needs to answer the very simple question that has been put to them countless times – will they guarantee that Scotland’s fishing rights will not be traded away in EU negotiations?"

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Scots Tory MP Puts UK Government's BREXIT Bill Before Fishing

Speaking to the BBC today, Tory MP Colin Clark confirmed he would support the Tories' EU Withdrawal Bill, despite his earlier position that he would vote against it if there were no guarantees that Scottish fishing rights will not be traded away in EU negotiations.

This u-turn follows pledges made earlier this week by Scots Tory MPs, backed by Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson, that they would not consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill until it included such guarantees.

Sunday Politics Scotland presenter Gordon Brewer questioned Mr Clark’s “change in policy”, asking if he would in fact vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill, to which he responded: “That’s not going to arise, Gordon, because we are absolutely, categorically behind the Government that by December 2020 we will be an independent state negotiating with the EU.”

Fishermen had been told they would regain full control over the country's fishing waters on Brexit day, 29 March, 2019. Instead, the UK will merely be "consulted" on fish quotas during the interim period, while remaining in the CFP.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said:

"The Scottish Tories are putting Westminster politics before Scotland’s fishing industry.

“The SNP has consistently stood up for Scotland’s fishing industry – calling for current Europe-wide agreements to be fundamentally reformed, or scrapped altogether. But that can only happen if Scotland has a seat at the table, because - as history shows - the Westminster Tories cannot be trusted with vital Scottish industries such as fishing.

“The Scottish Tories are breaking new promises on fishing every day. First, they promised that we would regain full control over our waters on 29 March 2019 and that promise has been scrapped. Then they claimed they would vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill unless the UK Government confirmed that fishing rights would not be traded post-transition. And now Colin Clark MP has claimed that he will give his full backing to the Brexit Bill, despite not having any of those guarantees from the UK Government. Neither he or his North East Tory colleagues are even attempting to stand up for the voters who put their trust in them.

“The UK Tory Government needs to answer the very simple question that has been put to them countless times – will they guarantee that Scotland’s fishing rights will not be traded away in EU negotiations?

“It is clearer than ever that the Tories cannot be trusted to deliver for Scotland’s fishing communities.”
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