Aberdeen DONSIDE


                                  ABERDEEN DONSIDE CONSTITUENCY (Scottish Parliament)                                                 



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.        


                            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


CORONAVIRUS vaccinations at TECA

The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) in Bucksburn 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 February 6, the Scottish Government announced that
786,427 people had received their first dose of the vaccine, including 93% of over-80s living in the community. 99% of residents in older adult care-homes have received a first dose, along with 89% of staff in older adult care-homes. A total of 272,365 frontline health and social care workers have also been vaccinated. This exceeds the initial target of 230,000 staff provided by Health Boards. By February 10, over one million had received their first dose of the vaccine.

Jackie Dunbar has warned of criminals trying to profit from the service by attempting to access patients' financial details. She said: "Watch out for the scammers, folks. Please keep an eye on those around you who could be vulnerable, and fall for this kind of thing."  NHS Grampian assured patients that it would not use E-MAIL to offer appointments; would not ask patients to respond with key pieces of PERSONAL information; and would never ask patients for their BANK or credit card details. They added: "There is no charge for the vaccine. Any communication you receive suggesting otherwise -- no matter how authentic it looks -- is a scam, and should be deleted immediately."


PARENTLINE hubs are helping families

Scotland's national chidren's charity, CHILDREN 1st., has highlighted the huge challenges the coronavirus crisis has brought for many families.

As the First Minister announces a gradual return to schools from the end of February, the charity has invited parents and carers to take part in a national survey about what emotional and practical support their children will need when they return to school. Every child has felt the impact of this terrible pandemic, and Children 1st. is calling on the Scottish Government and education sector to put children and young people’s emotional and social wellbeing at the heart of Covid recovery.

On 18 Sept. 2020, the charity joined partners, children and families in the creation of three new multi-disciplinary Parentline community hubs in Aberdeen. These are located in each of the city's three priority areas – Northfield, Tillydrone and TorryThe hubs provide a safe and welcoming space for practical and emotional support to families in the city through a clear and single point of entry. They can contribute to the ongoing design and development of the hubs, so that they can easily get what they need, at the time they need it.  

On Jan. 27, Jackie Dunbar said: "This is a wee bit of help for parents not coping as well as they normally would. Please get in touch with Children 1st. if you would like some help. Don't try and do everything on your own."


POSTAL VOTING in May                                                                                                                       

Due to the possible prolongation of the coronavirus pandemic, there is very likely to be a large increase in postal voting in the Scottish General Election on May 6.

The Electoral Commission says: "It is important that voters understand their voting options in May 2021. Polling stations will be safe places to vote, but voters will also need to be made aware of their options, including what they need to do to apply for an absent vote in time for the election. Administrators will play a key role in communicating these important messages to voters, as well as encouraging those who want an absent vote to apply early."

On January 25, Aberdeen Donside candidate Jackie Dunbar encouraged voters in her constituency to apply. She said: "I've been s postal voter for nearly 15 years -- ever since I nearly missed voting on one occasion, as I was too busy getting the doors chapped on Election Day!  Postal voting is the safest way to vote at the Scottish Election this year. Apply now and you'll be able to vote in a way which reduces your risk from the virus." If you aren't already a postal voter, you must get your application form to the local Elerctoral Registration Office by 6 April 2021.

It is also essential for people to be eligible to vote in this important election. Don't miss out, and make sure that you are registered to vote. You must be aged 16 or over on the day of the poll. You can register online by logging onto www.votegrampian.org or request a paper registration form from your Electoral Registration Office. The deadline is 19 April 2021. Please do it now, rather than putting it off to the last minute !

Click on:--  https://www.snp.org/postal-vote/   

### 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



Middlefield Community Project provides a range of services for those living in the Middlefield, Cummings Park, Marchburn and Heathryfold areas of Aberdeen.

An independent charity, it receives funding from Aberdeen City Council, the Fairer Scotland Fund and Sure Start. Income is also generated through grants, preschool vouchers for children attending nurseries, and fees from parents attending its ALL-DAY NURSERY.  Located in Manor Avenue, the Project offers individual support and help, adult and family learning, parent support, under-11s work and youth work. Its HUB CAFE provides inexpensive meals and also take-away "free bags."  There is also a well-used mini-bus.

The excellent work of Middlefield Community Project is strongly supported by Jackie Dunbar, who lives locally. She encourages parents to make full use of the services provided. The "Geronimo" website also has online activities for kids at home, including songs, rhymes, stories, "scavenger hunts" and other ideas for play and creativity.

###  For more information, click on:---  https://www.facebook.com/middlefieldproject/


Well-trained for HOLYROOD !

On January 1, JACKIE DUNBAR said: "Yesterday was a sad day for me.  I hung up my Parliamentary Assistant hat for Kevin Stewart MSP for the last time, after seven and half years in his office."

"Kevin and I have been on the campaign trail together for such a long time -- including in days where we could only imagine having a Scottish Parliament! His experience, advice and friendship have been invaluable to me over the years, and the knowledge I have gained will not go to waste if I'm given the honour of being elected as Aberdeen Donside's MSP on May 6th. We are now closer than ever to regaining our independence, and this year's election could not be more crucial."

Although Kevin Stewart was obviously sorry to lose Jackie, he enthusiastically backed her campaign to join him in the Scottish Parliament. He said: "Jackie has grit, determination and passion, and has brought these attributes to the fore in campaigning for the SNP and for Scottish independence. She has thirteen years experience as a Councillor, has served her constituents to an exceptional standard and is a tenacious debater at Council and committee. Jackie already has knowledge of how Holyrood works from her role in my Parliamentary office, where she has been a vital part of my team. She will not be phased by the challenge of the Chamber." 


HAUDAGAIN junction                                                                                                                             

Following completion of the city's AWPR bypass, major improvements are now taking place at the very busy junction of the A92 and A96.

The total cost of the Haudagain Improvement Scheme will be £30million. A new link road, by-passing the heavily congested roundabout, will consist of a dual carriageway running NW from the A92 (North Anderson Drive at its junction with Manor Avenue), to the A96 (Auchmill Road at its junction with Manor Drive). Farrans Construction of Ireland was awarded the contract to deliver the link road on 8 Jan. 2019. 

On 25 Aug. 2016, Aberdeen City Council had agreed plans to demolish 112 properties in the quadrant formed by the new road layout, with the displaced residents to be rehoused by December 2017. The Shaping Middlefield Plan comprises a new community facility, 179 new Council houses, play-park upgrades, green spaces and landscaping works. The Isle of Man-based Dandara Group will build the new homes.  The SNP's main city office at 825-27 Great Northern Road is also located within the quadrant. Completion of the project was originally scheduled for this spring, but on January 8 it was announced there will be a a six-months delay, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On 24 Aug. 2020, Cllr. Jackie Dunbar, who lives locally, criticised failure to forewarn residents of the closure of Manor Avenue, as part of the redevelopment. She said: "Normally, residents are notified of impending road closures, but no letters were sent out ahead of the change." 


  TECA replaces the AECC                                                                                                                    

Aberdeen's new exhibition and conference centre opened in August 2019. TECA (short for The Event Complex Aberdeen) is on the A96 Inverurie Road at Bucksburn, on the site of the former Rowett Institute. 

The £333 million development's 12,500-capacity P&J Live arena will host conferences, exhibitions, concerts, shows and other major events. In addition, there are seven smaller conference suites, three exhibition halls, nine meetings rooms, hospitality suites, a 150-seater restaurant and an energy centre. Altogether, there will be 48,000 square metres of world-class, multi-purpose event space available. A four-star Hilton Hotel with 200 bedrooms, and an Aloft Hotel with 150 bedrooms will be situated in nearby East Burn Road,  and there will be 2,500 parking spaces.

The facility has been forecast to contribute an additional 4.5million visitors, £113million of visitor-spend and £63million net Gross Value Added to the Scottish economy. It is also expected that 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions will be created by its tenth year in operation. Scottish Enterprise contributed £10million towards construction of the new centre. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “As the Energy Capital of Europe and a global centre for expertise in technology, the Scottish Government is keen to promote Aberdeen as a focus for international investment and events. This new investment will provide world-class facilities that will serve the city and shire, and Scotland, for years to come. This new facility will provide a valuable asset, significantly strengthening the capacity to attract international conferences to the city."   
### The SNP Annual National Conference took place at TECA on 13--15 October 2019.                                                                   

►The original Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) at Bridge of Don opened in 1985, and was estimated to benefit the Aberdeen and NE economies by around £100million annually. Its  main buildings were considerably redeveloped and expanded in April 2003, with the addition of a viewing tower. Although £18million had been spent on the expansion, the main arena was later considered to be too small to cater for large pop concerts. It was also uncertain what could be done to clear the centre's considerable accumulated debt.

Late in 2012, the centre's managing director announced plans to find £20million to rebuild on the same site. However, on 17 October 2013, Aberdeen City Council said it wanted to seek a replacement. After first considering locations closer to Aberdeen International Airport, it was decided to build on the 130-acre Rowett Institute site.

The land at Bridge of Don will be redeveloped. First to go was the Holiday Inn, which closed in April 2018 and is likely to be demolished. However, the adjacent Holiday Inn Express is expected to stay open. Work on knocking down most of the conference centre buildings began in early March 2020, but the main reception building fronting Ellon Road and the adjacent 160ft. Northern Lights viewing tower (pictured) have been retained, and were bought by King's Community Church in September 2020. The Aberdeen North Foodbank will also now be based there. A "mixed-use" development of the remainder of the site will include 498 new homes, commercial and business space, a recycling centre and a park-and-ride facility

### See below for STRATHCONA HOUSE demolished.


   ABERDEEN BAY wind turbines

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is a pioneering offshore wind test and demonstration facility, consisting of 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay.

Overall planning and implementation of the £335million project -- with a €40million contribution from the European Union -- was carried out by Vattenfall AB of Stockholm. The nine V164-8.4 MW and two V164-8.8 MW turbines were specially designed by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S of Aarhus, Denmark  They have a tip height of 191 metres, while each of the three huge blades on each turbine measures 80 metres (262 feet). They will be the most powerful offshore wind turbines in the world.

Boskalis N.V. of Papendrecht, Netherlands, was responsible for the construction and installation of the offshore infrastructure, including the foundations and cabling. The massive Asian Hercules III floating crane lifted and installed the yellow, three-legged, 77 metre-high, 1,800 tonne "suction bucket" jacket foundations in Aberdeen Bay. The turbines were transported from Esbjerg, and erected by Swire Blue Ocean’s Pacific Orca jack-up vessel, which is believed to be the largest of its type. The first turbine was in place on 9 April 2018, and the final eleventh on 26 May 2018. About 1.5 miles from the coast, they run south, in three rows, from Blackdog to the Murcar Golf Course. An undersea cable connects them to a new electricity substation at Blackdog. A further cable goes to the Scottish & Southern Energy substation at Dyce which, in turn, is connected to SSE's national grid substation at Leylodge, near Kintore. 

Two of the EOWDC turbines commenced power generation on 1 July 2018, with the rest following by the end of the month.  The windfarm has an installed capacity of 92.4MW, and will have the potential to produce enough energy for nearly 80,000 homes per annum -- that's 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand and 23% of the city’s total demand. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened the project on 7 September 2018. The ceremony took place aboard a NorthLink Ferries vessel, which had transported her, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, Vattenfall representatives, and over 100 other dignitaries to the site. The facility is designed to last for 20 years.

Note: In Nov. 2013, Donald Trump maintained that the windfarm would "spoil the view" from his coastal Trump International Golf Course, on the Menie Estate, near Balmedie. This is despite the fact that the nearest turbine is actually some distance south of the course!  In a bid to halt the project, Mr. Trump took legal action against the Scottish Government. However, after court hearings lasting over two years, the future US President ultimately lost his battle. Apparently, none of the golfers at Murcar are blaming the turbines for sliced shots off the tee!

### Learn more. Click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ZCq-JVbyc


Section of AWPR opened                                                                                                                   

The EOWDC turbines are just offshore from another of the city's key infrastructure projects.

A 4.3mile section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, between Blackdog Junction and Parkhill (near Dyce), opened for traffic on 27 June 2018, followed by the 7.5mile-long A90 Balmedie-Tipperty dual carriageway, on August 15. The road was finally opened on 19 February 2019, with the completion of the Parkhill-Craibstone section. 

Keith Brown -- in one of his last statements as Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work -- said: "I am sure this news will be appreciated by local communities, road users and businesses in the North-East, who continue to be extremely patient while these works are being undertaken. We said we would open new sections of road when possible, and we have stood by that commitment."

The GoNorthEast Road Festival, on 8--9 Sept. 2018 was a free public event to celebrate the part opening of one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country. 14,000 people were allowed onto a section of the route. Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman was one of the 1,500 cyclists who "tried out" the new road.

### Drone view of  Blackdog-Parkhill section --  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mawn3AsDHio&feature=youtu.be     

### Driving eastbound:--  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsud8gY988c                                                      


  New housing at GRANDHOME

More than 600 houses are to be built at Grandhome, a northern riverside suburb of Aberdeen.

This marks the first construction phase for the community, which could eventually expand to 4,700 homes, including commercial, retail, leisure and public space. The Grandhome Trust was enabled to proceed with the project after receiving an initial £7.9million loan from the Scottish Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund. 

In 2016-17, some £50million in grants and loans will be available from this national fund, to "help unlock strategically important housing sites across the country". This will come on top of Aberdeen City Council's Affordable Housing Programme allocation being boosted by £10.9million this year – a 70% increase on 2015. Local Government & Housing Minister Kevin Stewart (pictured) visited the site on 4 November 2016, to see the project getting under way.

Mr. Stewart commented: “I am really pleased the first loan from this important Scottish Government fund is being used to unlock a key housing site. The first phase of 600 houses will include at least 90 affordable homes. Today's announcement underlines this Government’s determination to increase the pace and scale of development to deliver more homes. I look forward to further loans and grants being granted to projects across the country. We have listened to our partners, and are putting in place measures to support the increase in the supply of homes across all tenures; support jobs in the construction industry, and encourage inclusive growth in the wider economy. We have committed to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes --- with 35,000 available for social rent -- over the next five years, backed up with investment of more than £3billion. Projects such as this one today marks another step on the road to delivering that pledge.”

And at CLOVERHILL                                                                                                                              

A new "coastal village" of 550 new homes has been approved for a site just north of Aberdeen Energy Park in Bridge of Don.

For ten years, the 22.5 hectare site at Cloverhill, east of the A92 Ellon road, had been intended for business and industry use, but "poor market conditions" resulted in it being subsequently rezoned for housing. The £110million development will consist of a mix of flats, detached and semi-detached houses and some bungalows. 30 of the units will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Construction will be in three phases, with around 145 affordable homes being the first to be built.  Almost half of the site will be open green space, consisting of landscaping, parkland and pathways. In addition, there will be an all-weather floodlit football pitch, which will be home to junior football club Bridge of Don Thistle. The Silver Burn, which traverses the site, will be retained and enhanced. There will be a village square with small retail and business units, including spaces for a convenience store, cafe and hairdresser. 

There are also plans to build houses on the site of the former Silverburn House. On the north side of Parkway East, this very large office block was originally built in the early 1980s for the Occidental oil company, but was demolished in 2019. In total, 119 residential units would be mainly made up of two and three-bedroom terraced houses, as well as two and three-bedroom flats. Around a quarter of the homes would be affordable housing. The adjacent Silverburn Sports Centre on Claymore Drive has been retained for public use, but the former tennis courts have been converted to a car park.


   Major expansion of ABERDEEN AIRPORT

Details of a £20million redevelopment of Aberdeen International Airport have been announced.

On a visit to Aberdeen on 1 February 2016, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the redevelopment programme would result in the main passenger terminal being doubled in size, and would be the biggest transformation of the airport since 1977. The changes include an expansion of the departure lounge and international arrivals facilities, an expanded security search area, increased executive lounge capacity, new baggage reclaim areas, and more shops and restaurants. The upgrades are expected to be completed by 2018. Scotland's third biggest airport has been owned and operated by AGS Airports Ltd., a subsidiary of Ferrovial S.A. of Madrid and Macquarie Group Ltd. of Sydney, since December 2014. The company also owns Glasgow and Southampton Airports.

Statistics provided by the Aviation Trust show that aviation accounts for 20% of Scottish exports and 88% of our international visitor arrivals. The UK's Air Passenger Duty currently ranks as the highest air passenger tax in the world and --  intentionally or not --has been used by the Westminster Government to discourage airlines from developing routes to and from Scotland. It has been regularly cited as a major reason why airports such as Aberdeen lose out to foreign competitors. In addition to costing the country over two million passengers per annum, a 2012 report commissioned by the airports warned that, by this year, APD will have cost our economy up to £210million in lost tourism spend per annum. On 28 October 2014, the managers of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports joined forces to call for APD to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Subsequently,  the Smith Commission on Devolution recommended its transfer.



The Rowett Institute's historic Strathcona House (pictured) was demolished by Aberdeen City Council, to make way for the new TECA exhibition centre on the site in Bucksburn, a northern suburb of the city.

The decision, on 27 Oct. 2015, was taken despite strong opposition from the local community, evidenced by a 590 signature petition (totally ignored by the administration) and from Canada, where Lord Strathcona (1820-1914) is famous for the part he played in founding the Canadian Pacific Railway. 

Aberdeen City Council has consistently failed to listen to the public when taking decisions that have an impact on the survival of the city's architectural heritage. Historic Scotland had considered the building to possibly be of Category-C listing status. It was also a place held in high regard by people world-wide, due to its links with the academic field of nutrition, and the work conducted there on rationing during wartime. When it appeared clear that retention of the building in its current location would not be supported, the SNP Group moved an amendment which asked for a feasibility report on its possible relocation. This measure was not backed, and so another piece of the city's heritage was lost.

Local authorities are supposed to safeguard local heritage for future generations, but Aberdeen administrations have a lamentable record when it comes to preservation of the city's iconic and historical buildings.  Strathcona House was actually the latest in a long list of historically significant buildings that successive philistine Labour-controlled Councils decided to knock down or (in the case of the Wallace Tower) relocate.

►The Rowett Institute, founded in 1913 for research into nutrition and health, was on Greenburn Road. Strathcona House first opened in January 1933, to house its medical and science students. On 1 July 2008. the institute merged with the University of Aberdeen's College of Life Sciences & Medicine to become the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.



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 50.6%