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, 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.

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  APRIL 19.

Because of the prolongation of the coronavirus pandemic, many people will be voting by post. 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 !

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The SNP : Delivering for ABERDEEN

On March 26, AUDREY NICOLL reminded us what the SNP Government has delivered in the city since 2007:--

► Investing in 13 new schools, including Lochside Academy.

► Providing 9,141 new homes, including over 1,600 Council and Housing Association homes.

► Supporting small businesses, with over £230million from the Small Business Bonus.   

► Helping families on low incomes with the Best Start Grant, the Scottish Child Payment and the Carers Allowance Supplement.

► Completing the £745million AWPR Aberdeen bypass.

► Upgrading the A92-A96 Haudagain junction and replacing homes in Middlefield.

► Starting work on the £350million South Harbour in Nigg Bay.

 

 

Preparing for our NATION'S FUTURE

The SNP Government's SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM BILL was published on March 22.  It includes:-- 

►The TIMING:  A decision for the Scottish Parliament to take.

►The QUESTION: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"  Yes/No.

►The FRANCHISE:  Extend the right of foreign nationals to vote.

Read more athttps://www.gov.scot/

 

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The SNP's ACHIEVEMENTS for Scotland

AUDREY NICOLL says: "Since 2007, every home in Scotland has benefited in some way from SNP Government policies."

We have transformed education, strengthened our NHS, created a new social security system with new game-changing benefits, and built thousands of affordable homes    We’ve used our powers to build a fairer country, by making Scotland’s tax system more progressive –- and launched the Scottish National Investment Bank to invest in our future. ♦   Internationally, Scotland has been recognised for its global responsibility, progressiveness and social conscience –- receiving praise from the UN for our climate action, for example.  ♦   After a decade of Westminster cuts, we’ve got on with the job of delivering the best public services anywhere in the UK.

Here are some of our top achievements:--

 1. Baby Box.  Giving every baby born in Scotland the best start in life, by providing families with a Baby Box filled with essential items needed in a child's first six months.

 2. Childcare.  600 hours of early learning and childcare, saving families up to £2,500 per child per year. In August 2020, over 60% of funded children were accessing 1,140 hours, worth around £4,500 per child per year.

 3. Free Tuition.  Students in England face tuition fees up to £27,750. Scottish students receive university tuition free.

 4. Period Poverty.  Scotland is the first in the world to make sanitary products available to all those who need them, free of charge.

 5. Record high health funding.  Our latest health and care portfolio spending will exceed £16billion, with resource funding up by over 60% under the SNP.

 6Free prescriptions.  Prescription charges were abolished in Scotland –- now cost £9.15 per item south of the border.

 7. Lower Council Tax.  Every Scottish household benefits from cheaper tax bills – on average £500 less than England, and we’re delivering a national Council Tax freeze.

 8. Care For All.  Free personal and nursing care has been extended to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.

 9. Free Bus Travel.  Over one million Scots now enjoy free bus travel across the country, including over-60s and disabled people –- and we’re now expanding it to all under-19s.

10. Scottish Child Payment.  This new benefit for families, the only one of its kind in the UK, has been called “game-changing” by anti-poverty campaigners, and will help lift around 30,000 children out of poverty.

 

  a HEALTHIER Scotland

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

Record high health funding –- 2021-22 health portfolio spending will exceed £16billion, with resource funding up by over £6.4billion (70.9%).

Scotland’s core A&E (Accident & Emergency) 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. 

We’ve expanded IVF (in vitro fertilisation) to more families –- making access the fairest and most generous in the UK. 

Scotland is leading the world on alcohol pricing, being the first country to implement minimum unit pricing. 

We’ve protected free tuition for nursing and midwifery students –- 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. 

 

  a SMARTER Scotland

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.

Since 2015-16, we have invested over £576million in tackling the poverty-related attainment gap. In 2020-21, we are investing a further £182million –- which includes over £120million of Pupil Equity Funding going direct to 97% of head teachers in Scotland. 

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 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. 

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.

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure. In 2019-20, 971 schools and groups registered for the Challenge. 

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

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

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

We’re leading the way as the only nation in the UK to offer bursary support targeted specifically for care-experienced students.

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.

 

  a WEALTHIER Scotland

We have delivered a new progressive income tax system, ensuring 54% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less than elsewhere in the UK in 2021-22 –- while strengthening our public services with extra investment, and protecting those on lower incomes.

To help protect jobs and businesses through the recession, we’ve slashed or abolished business rates for over 117,000 premises –- saving small businesses around £2billion to date.  

Scotland is an exporting powerhouse, and our international exports are up 63% under the SNP –- valued at £33.8billion in 2018.

In 2015, we became the first Government in the UK to become an accredited real Living Wage employer. We have maintained funding of £380,000 to Living Wage Scotland for 2020-21, to continue to promote the payment of the real Living Wage in businesses across the country.

In 2019, we published the Fair Work Action Plan, to drive forward fair work becoming the norm in workplaces throughout the country. 

Scotland is the top destination in the UK, outside of London, for foreign direct investment. 

We met our target to reduce youth unemployment by 40% in 2017 – four years early.

Business research & development spend in Scotland increased by 6.4% in 2018 to reach a record £1.36billion, compared to a UK increase of 3.9%.

By the end of 2021, we will have allocated over £1billion since 2009. through our energy efficiency programmes to make homes warmer and cheaper to heat. 

Scotland’s productivity is outperforming the UK as a whole. Since 2007, productivity in Scotland has grown 10.3%, compared to growth of 2.9% in the UK.

We have established the Scottish National Investment Bank to invest in future generations and cutting-edge innovation for the common good.

 

  a FAIRER Scotland

We have built a new social security system, with dignity and fairness at its heart, currently administering 10 benefits. 

We have delivered 96,750 affordable homes since 2007, nearly 67,000 of which were for social rent, including 14,661 council homes. 

In 2019-20, we invested more than £1.96billion in targeting support at low-income households –-  an increase of £554 million on 2018-19. 

Unlike the UK Government, we enshrined ambitious child poverty eradication targets into law, and published our first delivery plan outlining concrete actions –- backed by a £50million Tackling Child Poverty Fund. 

We are tackling child poverty head-on with a game-changing Scottish Child Payment which, when fully rolled out, will help lift around 30,000 children out of poverty.

Our investment in Carer’s Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance Supplement was around £358million in 2020-21. Our Supplement and extra COVID-19 payments provided eligible carers with an extra £690.30 last year, compared to carers south of the border.

The first benefit of its kind in the UK, the Young Carer Grant, started in October 2019, supporting eligible young carers with a payment of £305.10.

We’re delivering the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments, putting £46.9million in the pockets of lower-income families to help with expenses during a child’s early years.

We’re continuing to fully mitigate the callous Tory Bedroom Tax, protecting over 70,000 Scottish households from facing the charge.

We introduced the first gender-balanced Cabinet in the UK, one of only a handful of gender parity cabinets around the world.

We have kept Scottish Water in public hands. Customers pay less for a better service in Scotland – saving £46 on average compared to the privatised services south of the border.

 

  a SAFER Scotland

Overall crime is down by 45% since 2008-09, including a 20% fall since 2016-17. Police recorded crime is at one of the lowest levels seen since 1974. 

Despite a decade of UK Tory austerity, we have increased the policing budget for 2021-22 by £75million –- putting the police in a sustainable position.

Scotland has a higher number of police officers than at any time between 1999 and 2007, with over 17,200 on 30 September 2020 –- 1,015 more than March 2007. In England and Wales, police numbers have been cut by over 11% in the same period.

We have invested more than £20million in violence prevention since 2007. 

Automatic early release has been ended, meaning that long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full. The re-conviction rate is at its lowest level in 21 years.

Since 2008, we committed £110million from the proceeds of crime to community projects for young people across Scotland.

We’ve introduced the world-leading Domestic Abuse Act that makes psychological domestic abuse and controlling behaviour a crime.

Since 2012, we have invested record funding of £14.5million to support anti-sectarian education in schools, prisons, workplaces and communities. 

The new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has been created. 

We have made the sharing of so-called ‘revenge porn’ a specific criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

Scotland has the UK’s first national action plan on human rights, showing our ambition to be an example of how to realise human rights and tackle injustice at home and abroad.

 

  a Scotland fit for the FUTURE

We delivered the £1.35billion marvel on the Forth –- the Queensferry Crossing –- and under budget.

We doubled the walking & cycling budget, increased to just over £100million in 2020/21 –- and we have committed to continuing funding at the record level for the next five years.

We scrapped bridge tolls on the Forth and Tay crossings –- saving individual commuters around £3,000 to date. 
Over £9billion has been invested in our rail infrastructure since 2007. 

We delivered the Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway to be built in Britain in over 100 years.                                 

ScotRail is set to come under Scottish Government control, when the current Abellio franchise ends in March 2022.                 

The first section of our £3billion project to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness has been completed --- with construction of the second section, between Luncarty and Pass of Birnam, progressing well.

The £745million AWPR Aberdeen Bypass opened in February 2019, producing savings in journey times and reductions in HGV traffic through the city.

We plan to dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen, involving the upgrade of 86 miles of single carriageway between the two cities.

In 2019-20, we established a £50million Town Centre Fund to enable local authorities to revitalise and diversify our town centres. 

We have published an action plan to decarbonise Scotland's railway by 2035.                                                                                                                                                                                                 .                                                                                                                                                                                      

  a GREENER Scotland

We were the first country in the UK to declare a climate emergency and have since passed legislation for the world’s most ambitious emissions reduction targets.

We have already halved our greenhouse gases emissions since 1990 –- statistically, we’re second only to Sweden in Western Europe for emissions reductions.

We are world renowned for having underpinned our net zero targets with a legislative commitment to a Just Transition –-ensuring no one is left behind.

We have committed to a green recovery from COVID-19 and announced £62million investment in Energy Transition Fund.

We have been active on the world stage, leading the Edinburgh Process on biodiversity and publishing the Edinburgh Declaration calling for increased action to tackle biodiversity loss.

Since 2012, we have funded the restoration of over 25,000 hectares of degraded Scottish peatland.

No fracking or other onshore unconventional oil and gas activity can take place in Scotland.

We’ve passed legislation to establish an ambitious Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland –- reducing waste and tackling greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019-20, we planted 11,050 hectares of new woodland –- exceeding our annual 10,000 hectares target in the Climate Change Plan.

Over 80% of all new woodland creation across the UK in 2019-20 was in Scotland. The new woodlands have been created by the planting of 22million new trees.

We’re exceeding our commitment to provide an extra £12million for Climate Justice Fund projects to support community projects in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda.

 

  Empowering COMMUNITIES

We’ve extended the voting franchise. 16 and 17 year-olds, and all foreign nationals being allowed to remain (including all those granted refugee status), will have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections.

We've launched a £200,000 Access to Politics Fund to help disabled people stand for elected office.

Local communities have been given a voice in the planning and delivery of local services through the Community Empowerment Act –- backed up by an annual £20million of funding.

The Scottish Land Fund has already helped over 230 communities across the country to purchase land –- and will continue doing so with a £10million budget for 2021-22. 

We’ve delivered the radical and ambitious Land Reform (Scotland) Act to transform how we own, manage and access land.

We have created the Scottish Land Commission, and our driving our land reform agenda, to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from land.

 

  Supporting our RURAL and ISLAND COMMUNITIES

There has been over £2.2billion invested in the Clyde, Hebrides and Northern Isles ferry services and infrastructure since 2007, as part of our commitment to our islands and remote communities. 

We’ve introduced and are implementing Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan –- which sets out 13 strategic objectives to improve the quality of life for island communities. 

We launched our Islands Green Recovery Programme in 2020, to fund locally-led green projects to help our island communities to thrive, to contribute to our work on repopulation and to create jobs.

We’re delivering significantly reduced ferry fares and increased passenger numbers on the Clyde and Hebrides ferries.

The Air Discount Scheme provides residents of Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles, Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Caithness and north-west Sutherland with a 50% discount on air fares on eligible services.

In 2018, the value of fish and shellfish landed into Scottish ports increased to £574million, and the number of Scottish fishing vessels increased to 2,089 –- and we’re working hard to mitigate the disastrous impact of Brexit on fishing.

Scotland’s first National Marine Plan aims to achieve the sustainable development of our seas. 

We have committed a total of £9million to the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support jobs and strengthen the tourism sector.

We’re delivering affordable homes, over 4,800 between 2016 and 2020, in rural and island areas -– backed up by our £30million Rural & Islands Housing Fund.

 

  Investing in CULTURE, CREATIVITY and SPORT

We’re investing more than £280million in Scotland’s culture and heritage

We’ve maintained free entry to our national museums and galleries –- which before the pandemic, welcomed over five million visitors every year. 

There has been over £27million invested in Edinburgh’s major festivals since 2008 –- with more funding opened up to Celtic Connections and the Glasgow International Festival. 

We’ve consolidated Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for major events –- having hosted the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, and the re-scheduled UEFA Euros in 2021. 

We invested £38million in the construction of the world-class V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, which opened in 2018 and forms a major part of the city's regeneration.

We’ve expanded provision of two hours of physical education a week in primary and secondary schools –- from 10% in 2005, to around 99% now.

We’ve opened the £3million-a-year Broadcast Content Fund, alongside existing film funding.

Sport Scotland has invested over £192million since April 2007, to help sports clubs, community groups, local authorities, sport’s governing bodies and other organisations deliver new and upgraded sporting facilities across the country.

We are committed to supporting MG Alba, which operates BBC Alba and receives £12.8 million a year from the Scottish Government. 

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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." On March 13, Audrey said: "Big sigh of relief the demolition is now underway and building work can commence as soon as possible. The project cannot be delayed any further. This facility will be so important for Torry children picking up their learning again in their new school."

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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." Over the course of the Holyrood five-tear term, a re-elected SNP Government would double the payment for every eligible child to £20 per week.

### 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 1,700 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 residential 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%