Aberdeen DONSIDE

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                                  ABERDEEN DONSIDE CONSTITUENCY (Scottish Parliament)                                                 

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   JACKIE DUNBAR

Jackie became the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for ABERDEEN DONSIDE on 6 Nov. 2020, when she was chosen by SNP members in the constituency.  

Born in Peterhead and educated in Elgin, Jackie has lived in the Middlefield area of the constituency for many years. First elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2007, she was Depute Provost in 2009-12 and SNP Group Leader in 2015-16. Currerntly, she is a Councillor for Northfield & Mastrick North, and is Depute Leader and Housing spokesperson of the SNP Group. One of her achievements was to successfully campaign for the Gordon Highlanders monument in the Castlegate.

Jackie's long-time partner is Don Law and they have a daughter Dawn. 

Contact Jackie on Facebook, and donate to her CROWDFUNDER.        

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                            CORONAVIRUS is highly contagious -- so remember these F.A.C.T.S.

Face MASKS in shops, buses and other enclosed spaces   ♦   Avoid CROWDED places   ♦    Clean your HANDS and surfaces regularly  ♦  Two-metre social DISTANCING  ♦   Stay HOME and self-isolate

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                            Why it is essential that it's "BOTH VOTES SNP" on May 6

The reason we are encouraging folk to vote SNP 1+2 is to ensure we get a majority in the Scottish Parliament, which sends a strong message that voters want an Independence Referendum.

In 2011, most folk in the North-East who were supportive of independence gave both their votes to the SNP.  This resulted in the party not only winning every constituency seat, but also gaining a regional seat, which helped us have a majority in the Parliament. In 2016, some voters were persuaded to give their second vote to newborn parties (like RISE, etc.), which didn't succeed in gaining any MSPs, but managed to deny the SNP many List members.

While it's entirely possible the SNP could win every constituency seat in the North-East in May -- nothing is certain in politics!  We still need an "insurance policy." If the numbers result in List seats in our region becoming available, the SNP will only gain any if enough of our supporters have given us their second vote. As for the small Johnny-come-lately parties --  there are now so many of them that they could land up cancelling each out when the votes have been counted.  

It's worth remembering what happened in the 2016 election. These three parties contested seats in every electoral region:-
UKIP got 46,426 votes -- and NO seats.
Solidarity got 14,333 votes -- and NO seats.
RISE got 10,911 votes -- and NO seats.

 

POSTAL voting  and registration                                                                                                           

Due to the prolongation of the coronavirus pandemic, there is very likely to be a considerable increase in postal voting in the election.

The deadline for Postal Vote applications was April 6. Those who will be voting by mail should post their completed ballot papers to their local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible. Be sure to leave enough time for them to arrive by 10pm on Thursday, May 6. Don't leave it to the last minute !

People aged 16 or over, and all foreign nationals with leave to remain in Scotland, will be eligible to vote on May 6.  But, in order to vote, their names must be on the Electoral Register. Don't miss out, and make sure that you are registered to vote. You can register online by logging onto www.votegrampian.org or request a paper registration form from your Electoral Registration Office. The deadline is APRIL 19.     

### If you live in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire, contact:  Grampian Electoral Registration Officer, Woodhill House, Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB16 5GE.  Tel. 01224 068400.  E-mail: assessor@grampian-vjb.gov.uk

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JACKIE DUNBAR says: "Thanks to the SNP, Council Tax has now been frozen for nine consecutive years, saving the average household £1,500 in total on a Band D bill.

By contrast, between 2007-08 and 2015-16, Council Tax has increased by 12% in England, and soared by 32% under Labour in Wales. The SNP is providing a helping hand to those who need it.

The SNP Government has delivered a new progressive tax system, ensuring 54% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less in 2021-22 than other countries in the UK. This is whilst strengthening our public services with extra investment, and protecting those on lower incomes."

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Higher funding for HEALTHCARE

On March 20, SNP candidate JACKIE DUNBAR said the SNP Government has delivered record high healthcare funding.

The 2021-22 health portfolio spend will exceed £16billion, with resource funding up by over £6.4billion (70.9%). Some other achievements:--

► There are 19,500 (15%) more staff in Scotland’s NHS, since 2007.

► Scotland’s core accident & emergency (A&E) services are the best performing in the UK.

► For over five years, Scotland has had the highest number of GPs per head of population anywhere in the UK. 

► The provision of IVF (in vitro fertilisation) has been expanded – making access the fairest and most generous in the UK. 

► Scotland is leading the world in alcohol pricing -- being the first country to implement minimum unit pricing. 

Free tuition for nursing and midwifery students has been protected – and their bursary rose to £10,000 in 2020.

Parking charges at all NHS-run hospitals have been scrapped – saving patients and staff over £42million. 

► Our NHS staff deserve more than applause!  1% is not enough. That's why the SNP Scottish Government has offered a 4% (at least) pay rise to over 154,000 staff. Frontline nurses will see an average annual increase of £1,200

► One of the first acts of a re-elected SNP Government will be to begin work on a National Care Service.

► All charges for NHS dental treatment will be abolished.

► Charges for non-residential care will be abolished, to ease the financial pressure on those accessing care and to support their right to independent living.

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JACKIE DUNBAR says: "If we look back to the Sixties we can see that BUCKSBURN had a thriving station, and I believe part of the station platform is still in place.
Stronger transport links to the north of the city can only be a good thing and I actually think community stations could be quite transformative to Aberdeen. The Campaign for North East Rail proposals have the potential to be a massive boost to the Aberdeen economy, increase footfall in the city centre, and help us on our national journey to reach net zero carbon emissions."

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BAIRNS -- not BOMBS! 

Scotland is to become the first devolved nation in the world to directly incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law.

On March 16, MSPs voted unanimously for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill to become law, meaning public authorities will have to comply with children’s rights. The Bill will signal a cultural shift that has the potential to transform children’s lives in Scotland. The UNCRC sets out the specific rights that all children have to help fulfil their potential, including rights relating to health and education, leisure and play, fair and equal treatment, protection from exploitation and the right to be heard. Aberdeen Donside candidate Jackie Dunbar said: "Each day from now until the election, I will be sharing some of the great achievements of the SNP which have benefited us all. To kick off, I can’t think of anything better than this week’s landmark news that the UNCRC has now been enshrined into Scots Law."

SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown commented: "This week has been a tale of two governments. While the UK Government announced its intention to dump more nuclear weapons in Scotland, our SNP Scottish Government passed transformative legislation to strengthen children’s rights. I’m so proud that our party has been at the forefront of opposing nuclear weapons. While Labour is now firmly the cheerleaders for Trident, we will always stick to our principles. Boris Johnson is happy to splash tens of billions of pounds more on bombs --- while presiding over a rise in child poverty and food bank use."

"At the same time, the SNP Government has been delivering bold and progressive change for Scotland. We’ve outlined our strategy to deliver 100,000 more affordable homes, with at least 70% for social rent --- on top of over 96,000 we’ve already built. We’re putting ScotRail into public hands. We’re freezing Council Tax across the country, and reforming the private rented sector to deliver for tenants. It’s clear that Scotland is on a different path from that of out-of-touch Westminster Tory governments we haven’t voted for."

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Our EDUCATION is first class !

JACKIE DUNBAR says: "The SNP Government has made education a priority and is dedicated to tackling the attainment gap in our communities. We have invested £576million since 2015, and have put money directly into the hands of head teachers, to enable them to spend money where it matters the most."

Other key achievements have been:--

Since 2012, we have invested over £1billion per year in Scotland’s universities.

Scotland provides the best package of support for university students anywhere in the UK –- with free tuition; low interest rates for student loan repayments; and a minimum income guarantee of £7,750 for the poorest students.

A record 260,490 students enrolled at our world-class Scottish universities in 2019-20. 

Latest HESA statistics show we have met the key target to have 16% of students from the most deprived areas of Scotland at universities  by 2021.

We have provided extra resources to local councils –- allowing spending on education to increase in real terms for the past three years – up by £189million in 2018-19. 

958 schools have been upgraded since 2007, providing well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments for pupils.

We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support. £138million in 2020-21 –- up 58% in real terms since 2006-07.

All 167,838 pupils in primaries 1 to 3 now benefit from access to free school meals, allowing families to save around £400 per child per year.

We’ve introduced a national minimum school clothing grant of £100 to help more families afford school uniform costs. 

Every schoolchild in Scotland, from P1 to S6, will be given a free internet connection, plus a laptop, Chromebook or tablet -- to use in school or at home -- if the SNP Scottish Government is re-elected to power.

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CORONAVIRUS vaccinations at TECA

The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) at Bankhead is the venue for a programme of mass anti-coronavirus vaccinations.

NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) have prepared the P&J Live Arena for the city's first mass vaccinations, which began on February 1.  Project manager Clare Houston said: “P&J Live at TECA offers us enormous flexibility. The vaccination programme will have to adapt according to the supply of vaccine, approval of new vaccines, and availability of staff. In this space we will be able to expand our provision without interrupting existing clinics. We have consciously decided to start on a smaller scale to allow us to ‘bed in’, but have the potential to vaccinate many thousands of people each day when operating at full capacity. It is important to stress that this will not be a ‘drop-in’ facility. People will be offered appointments here in the same way that they will be offered appointments at any vaccination clinic." 

On March 24, Nicola Sturgeon said more than half of the adults in Scotland -- 2,249,612 -- had received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 249,252 had received their second dose. Virtually all people aged 65 and over have now received their first "jab." The vaccination programme is powering ahead. All of the priority groups, as categorised by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), will be covered by mid-April. This will include all over-50s, unpaid carers and those with underlying health conditions. The First Minister also confirmed her Government is on course to have offered a first dose to all adults by the end of July -- supplies permitting. 

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HAUDAGAIN link road                                                                                                                  

Following the completion of the AWPR, the heavily-congested A92-A96 Haudagain junction is being improved, with the construction of a bypass loop and the building of new houses.

The £48.5million project will involve a new dualled road from the A92 (North Anderson Drive at Manor Avenue) to the A96 (Auchmill Road at Manor Drive). Work started in the summer of 2018, with the demolition of 31 homes. The main £18million contract was awarded to Farrans Construction of Ireland in January 2019.

Around 129 houses, in Logie Avenue etc., were eventually flattened in the quadrant formed by the new road. They will be replaced by 280 "residential units", built  by Dandara Ltd. of the Isle of Man. Retail outlets and green space will also be provided. The SNP's main operational office in the city, at 825-827 Great Northern Road, will remain.

In April 2020, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a "managed shutdown" of work on the site and, on January 8, it was announced that completion of the project -- originally scheduled for the Spring -- would be delayed by a further six months. SNP candidate Jackie Dunbar, who lives locally, is closely monitoring the situation.

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   Aberdeen Bay WIND FARM

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), also known as the Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm, is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility located 1.5 miles from the coast, between Blackdog and the Murcar Golf Course.

It was a truly European project. Vattenfall, owned by the Swedish Government, was the overall supervisor of the development. The 11 giant turbines were specially designed by MHI Vestas A/S of Aarhus, Denmark. They consist of nine operating at 8.4MW and two at 8.8MW and were floated across the North Sea from Esbjerg. 626 feet high, with 262 feet blades, their total output of 93.2MW will supply enough clean energy to power more than 79,000 homes. The massive, yellow 1,800 tonne suction-bucket jacket foundations were manufactured by Eiffage Smulders of Antwerp, Belgium, and installation and cabling was all carried out by Boskalis NV of Papendrecht, Netherlands. The cost of the windfarm was £335million, with €40million coming from the European Commission.

Connection work began in early 2017. There are more than four miles of high voltage underground cable between the windfarm's new onshore substation at Blackdog and the SSE substation in Dyce. The first foundation was installed offshore in March 2018, and the first turbine in April. The eleventh and final turbine was erected near the end of May, with the first power being generated in July. On September 7, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, accompanied by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and representatives from Vattenfall, attended the official opening of the development. The windfarm generated £23million in turnover during its first six months of operation.

► In September 2011, Donald Trump said that the turbines would "spoil the view" from his Trump International Golf Course at the Menie Estate, near Balmedie. This is despite the fact that the nearest turbine is some way south of his course! The future US President launched a legal challenge against the Scottish Government's decision to grant planning permission in May 2013.  The hearing began at the Court of Session in November 2013 but was rejected in February 2014. 

### To learn more, click on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ZCq-JVbyc                                     

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                                    GORDON HIGHLANDERS MONUMENT                                                                                                       

Aberdeen's long-awaited monument to the Gordon Highlanders Regiment was mainly the result of a determined campaign by SNP Councillor and Deputy Provost JACKIE DUNBAR.

The £125,000 monument, which features two soldiers from different eras in the regiment's history, was unveiled on 15 Oct. 2011. Designed by Mark Richards, it was paid for out of the city's Common Good Fund.  The statue is in the Castlegate, and not far from the site of the former Castlehill Barracks. This was the regimental depot from 1881 to 1935, when they relocated to Bridge of Don. The old barracks were used as housing until their demolition in 1965. The Gordons were to lose their last battle in 1994, when they were legislated out of existence and became part of a new Highlanders Regiment.

► The Gordons monument came just five months after Jackie's colleague Kevin Stewart (newly elected as the MSP for Aberdeen Central) unveiled the city's equestrian statue of King Robert the Bruce. It is in front of Marischal College in Broad Street.

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WINNING FOR SCOTLAND !

The SNP won all three ABERDEEN constituencies in the Scottish General Election on 5 May 2016.

Election result:   ABERDEEN DONSIDE  

Mark McDonald          SNP          17,339

Liam Kerr                    Con.           5,709

Greg Williams             Lab.            5,672

Isobel Davidson      Lib. Dem.      2,261

 

SNP HOLD.        Maj.  11,630         Turnout 50.8%