Aberdeen SOUTH & North Kincardine

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            ABERDEEN SOUTH & NORTH KINCARDINE Constituency (Scottish Parliament)                                                                      

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MAUREEN WATT MSP 

Became a Regional List MSP on 19 April 2006.   Minister for Schools & Skills and Convener of the Environment & Rural Affairs Committee 2007-9. 

Elected as the MSP for ABERDEEN SOUTH & NORTH KINCARDINE on 5 May 2011, taking the seat from the Liberal Democrats.  Re-elected on 5 May 2016.

Convener of the Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committee and Co-convener of the Cross-party Group on Oil & Gas, 2012-14. Minister for Schools & Skills in May 2007--Feb. 2009.  Minister for Public Health in Nov. 2014--May 2016.  Minister for Mental Health in May 2016--June 2018.

Maureen was born in Aberdeen, and worked as a teacher and in the oil industry before entering politics. She  has considerable experience, and a strong insight into the challenges and needs of the North-East economy and Aberdeen families. She is married and lives near Banchory in Aberdeenshire.                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contact MAUREEN WATT at her CONSTITUENCY OFFICE:                                                                                     

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       51 Victoria Road,

       Torry,

       Aberdeen, AB11 9LS                                                                                                                                                

       Tel.:  01224 876743   *  Fax:  01224 695397                                 

Office hours:  Monday to Friday, 10.00am -- 4.00pm.

Surgeries:   Appointments can be made for Mondays and Fridays at the Constituency Office.    Surgery times are as advertised in the local press.

E-mail:    Maureen.Watt.msp@parliament.scot                           

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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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        AUDREY NICOLL 

As the SNP candidate for Aberdeen South & North Kincardine. I look forward to speaking to as many residents as possible before the election on May 6th., when I will ask them to put their faith in me to continue the brilliant work of MAUREEN WATT MSP. 

Interview from The National newspaper

Q. Can you explain your motivation for wanting to become an MSP?
A. I have spent my working life in public service, serving as a police officer for 31 years, followed by five years of university lecturing. During this time, I was elected as a Councillor in the constituency. I am passionate about helping people who are at a vulnerable point in their lives. My professional background has helped me embrace my role and deliver results. I am now ready to use my talents and skills in a new sphere of political life, representing the constituency and, of course, securing the only option for the people of Scotland: independence.

Q. What first got you into politics?
A. The devastating outcome of the 2014 Referendum was a turning-point, when my long-standing interest in Scottish politics became a deeper personal passion. My husband is SNP group leader in Aberdeen City and I gradually became part of the SNP “family” in Aberdeen. Witnessing the consequences of Tory austerity in my policing role and the 2016 EU Referendum further re-inforced my belief that the SNP is the only viable option for the future of Scotland.

Q. What’s your career experience beyond politics?

A. During my time in uniformed and specialist policing roles I was immersed in both operational delivery and policy development for public protection. After retirement, I lectured in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedic Practice at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. I have built a wealth of professional experience in law and justice, health and education which I now use in my role as a Councillor. 

Q. Why should the people of your constituency vote for you?

A. I know the constituency well. I am an Aberdonian and know the area’s history, demographics, attributes and challenges. I worked throughout the area for many years, in my policing role and as councillor for Torry & Ferryhill. I understand the challenges and expectations of elected office, and have invaluable insight into what we must do to develop our city for the future. 

Q. If you’re elected, what do you hope to achieve?

A. The next Parliamentary session will see the social, economic and health impact of Covid-19 frame much of the work of MSPs. I want to support the development of economic policy that moves in line with public health policy, ensuring equity of access to support and opportunities by everyone who needs it. At a constituency level, I want Aberdeen to be the home of the energy transition that will offer opportunities to create new sustainable jobs. I want new rail stations built to improve connectivity in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen, and even greater investment in safe, secure housing. 

Q. With the powers of independence, what’s the one thing about Scotland you would change? 

A. Scotland has seen a disproportionately low fiscal benefit from the North Sea oil and gas sector with significant revenue flowing directly to the UK Government. While this sector declined, the Scottish Government's Programme for Government outlines a commitment to support businesses in growing and diversifying towards energy transition. Independence will bring an opportunity to have greater fiscal control, and also to set the pace for achieving our net-zero emissions target. 

Q. Tell us something unusual about yourself? 

A. I was vetted to top-secret level by the security service during my police career and remain passionate about protecting our national security, countering extremism, and tackling polarised debate and rhetoric in communities.

Contact Audrey on Facebook, and donate to her CROWDFUNDER.  

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ELECTORAL REGISTRATION

People aged 16 or over will be eligible to vote on 6 May 2021.  But their name must be on the Electoral Register.

If you live in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire, you can register online by logging onto www.votegrampian.org or ask for a form from the Grampian Electoral Registration Office, Woodhill House, Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB16 5GE. Tel. 01224 068400.
E-mail: assessor@grampian-vjb.gov.uk   The deadline for registration is 19 April 2021.

Because of possible prolongation of the coronavirus pandemic, some people may prefer to vote by post. If you aren't already a postal voter, use the links above to obtain an application form. This must reach the Electoral Registration Office by 6 April 2021.

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Boost for VICTORIA ROAD SCHOOL project  

The 19th century school closed in 2008, and initial plans to demolish the well-loved granite building were fiercely opposed by locals.

Their perseverance paid off when the Grampian Housing Assoc., in partnership with the Torry Development Trust, acquired the site from Aberdeen City Council in Sept. 2018. The partnership's plans to transform the existing building into affordable housing got a major boost when the project received £1.4million from the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. 
Audrey Nicoll, who is a Torry councillor in addition to being the SNP's Aberdeen South & North Kincardine candidate in May, expressed her appreciation on January 27. She said: "The volunteers on this project have worked unbelievably hard to ensure the building meets the needs of the community. I welcome the funding from the Scottish Government to regenerate and revitalise key community buildings throughout the country. The Victoria Road School Development will benefit from a share of more than £25million of funding going to remote and disadvantaged communities to support regeneration and employment. This could not have come at a better time."

And the latest on TORRY ACADEMY. On Feb. 1, Audrey Nicoll said: "At last week's meeting of Aberdeen City Council's Capital Programme Committee I asked for an update on the situation at the old Torry Academy. Council officers are aiming to complete demolition of the building by May, with construction of the new Primary School and Community Hub commencing in June. I will be monitoring progress on this."

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SCOTTISH CHILD PAYMENT

The Scottish Government Budget for 2021-22, presented by Cabinet Secretary for Finance KATE FORBES on January 28, included substantial funding for social security & welfare, including the ground-breaking Scottish Child Payment (SCP).

To help with the costs of supporting a family, parents can now claim £10 a week for every eligible child under 6 years of age. Decisions on applications will begin on February 15, with the first payments reaching families a week later. Claimants are encouraged to apply now, to ensure their payment is calculated from this date. However, Social Security Scotland is expecting a high number of claims, which may cause inevitable delays. Successful applicants will receive their payment every four weeks. Parents can use the extra money for things like general childcare, nappies and other essentials and travel costs, etc. Only one person can get SCP for a child. This means that if two people apply for the same child, Social Security Scotland will decide who is to get the money. This payment does not affect any other UK or Scottish Government benefits that a parent, or any person in his/her household, currently receives.

The additional support announced for families with young children was warmly welcomed by Audrey Nicoll, who said: "One of the highlights of the Budget was the £3.5billion earmarked for Social Security and welfare payments. This includes £68million for the Scottish Child Payment, which will have the potential to lift 30,000 children out of poverty." 

### For more information, Google "Scottish Child Payment."     Or call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.
        For details of the Budget, click on the SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT link on this page ►     

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SOUTH HARBOUR progress delayed                           

Full completion of the £350million South Harbour in Nigg Bay has been delayed until 2022, due to the impact of the coronavirus. However, Aberdeen Harbour Board hopes it will be able to open elements of the expansion during 2021. 

Work began on the North Breakwater in June 2017. The main contractor was the Spanish construction giant Dragados SA. In order to provide water deep enough to accomodate very large vessels, extensive dredging and some blasting of rock was necessary. A South Breakwater will also be constructed and, once completed, the harbour will add 1700 metres of quay length to service the offshore oil, gas and wind industries, cruise ships and ferries. It is envisaged this will create significant economic growth opportunities for the harbour and its customers, and the project is considered of national infrastructural significance by the Scottish Government. Aberdeen Harbour Board said that the four quays of the new port will be named Dunnottar, Crathes, Balmoral and Castlegate, "in honour of the history and heritage of the North-East."

In June 2020, Dragados decided to quit its contract, citing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Harbour Board then took full control of the project and awarded a £1.6million contract to Northern Ireland's Ashleigh Contracts Ltd. to complete work on the North Breakwater. The noise from "revetment" or blasting has led to a considerable number of complaints from Torry residents. Local councillor Audrey Nicoll passed on their concerns to the Harbour Board, who responded: "We have brought the complaints from residents to the attention of our contractors and will continue to work with them to ensure their noise is being kept to a minimum. We will also be closely monitoring the data from our live noise monitors, particularly at night. The revetment work is due to be completed at the end of February."

It was to be expected that improved road links to the new harbour and the proposed Energy Transition Zone would be required. An initial plan to provide a link between Souter Head Road and the Coast Road was dropped.  Local residents and SNP Cllr. Miranda Radley (who had pledged to oppose the route in her by-election campaign in November) had pointed out that this would have led to an unacceptable number of heavy goods vehicles in the Burnbanks village area. It is now recommended that the harbour will be mainly accessed via Wellington Road, Hareness Road and the Coast Road. The latter will be widened, and a new bridge constructed over the railway. On Feb. 7, Audrey Nicoll said: "At this week's City Growth & Resources Committee meeting, the SNP members informed councillors of the significant safety concerns raised by residents. We proposed that HGVs should be prevented from accessing the harbour through the streets of Torry and Cove. However Tory, Labour and Independent councillors united to vote AGAINST the proposal."

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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 SOUTH & NORTH KINCARDINE.

Maureen Watt              SNP         13,604

Ross Thomson             Con.         10,849

Alison Evison                Lab.          5,603

John Waddell        Lib. Dem.         2,284

                                                                                                                                     

SNP HOLD.         Maj.  2,755        Turnout  50.3%