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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Local MP Attends ‘Garden Village’ Open Day

Monday, 25 July 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford was one of the many visitors to yesterday’s Fordyce Open Village Day.

The now annual event drew visitors from far and wide to admire the gardens which are opened to the public by local householders to raise funds for the Community Association.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“The organising committee of Fordyce Community Association deserve to be complimented on another successful event.

“Judging by the numbers of people who turned out to visit the gardens and have afternoon tea at the village hall, it seems the event is growing in popularity as word spreads about the beautiful gardens which are made available to the public on the Open Village Day.

“It is a community event in every sense and everyone involved can be very proud of their efforts today.”

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MP proclaims Scottish Week Resounding Success

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has proclaimed the 50th Peterhead Scottish Week an outstanding success.

The MP was speaking after joining the huge crowd of people on the town’s links and South Road to watch the Red Arrows perform their aerobatic display above Peterhead Bay last night and the Finale Fireworks Display this evening. Dr Whiteford also helped secure the Red Arrows for the Scottish Week Committee after an initial approach to get them to come to Peterhead was rebuffed.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“The organising committee of Peterhead Scottish Week deserve tremendous thanks for putting on a great show for the 50th anniversary event.

“I have attended seven of the various events taking place around the town over the course of the week and they all seem to have been extremely well-supported.

“I’m delighted for the organising committee. There has been a real buzz about the town this week and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the 51st Scottish Week next year.”

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MP To Join Cruse Volunteers At Turriff Tesco Bag-Pack

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford will join with volunteers with the Deveron Branch of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland at a fund-raising bag-pack at the Tesco Supermarket, High Street, Turriff at 10.00am on Saturday 30 July.

All the counsellors give their time and dedication to Cruse in a voluntary capacity, and twice a year they hold fund raising functions for the Deveron Branch (based in Turriff). This year, one of those events will be to seek donations by offering to pack shoppers’ bags at the Turriff Tesco checkouts from 10.00am – 4.00pm.

All the funds raised will stay locally, and will be used to buy new books for their library, and finance the ongoing training required to keep volunteers up to the high standards required by Cruse Scotland. The Deveron Branch of Cruse covers Fraserburgh, Memsie, New Pitsligo, Huntly, Oldmeldrum, Banff, Macduff and anywhere else within that area, and the counsellors are kept busy with many referrals coming from GPs and other health professionals.

Dr Whiteford commented:

“I am delighted to support the Deveron Branch of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland at their fund-raising bag-pack.

“As an MP, I am very much aware of the excellent job which Cruse counsellors do in providing comfort, sympathy and very practical advice for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Their support has proved invaluable for many individuals and helped them through what, for many, has been the most traumatic and distressing time of their lives.

“I have every confidence that the people of Turriff & District will respond generously to their appeal, and ensure that their bag-packing event will help fund their work throughout the year.”


Contact: Cruse National Helpline 0845-600-2227

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Parliamentary Recognition For New Deer School

A Buchan primary school has received Parliamentary recognition after winning a Scotland wide competition to promote the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Pupils at New Deer School produced a Milennium Development DVD which netted them a £400 prize and winners’ certificate in the EthCo Challenge 2011.

Local MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, who is the SNP's international development spokesperson, visited the school recently to congratulate the pupils and view their award winning DVD.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“I very much enjoyed my visit to New Deer School and I was delighted to learn about the efforts of the children in the EthCo Challenge and their success.

“Around 67 million children around the world are missing out on primary education, the majority of them girls, so to see local primary school pupils doing their bit to raise awareness about these inequalities is very heartening. I think these sorts of projects are important in helping us here in Scotland to become good global citizens.

“The pupils are very proud of their award and they, and their teachers, are to be congratulated on their success.”


The wording of the Early Day Motion in the House of Commons reads:

That this House congratulates the pupils of New Deer Primary School and Whitehills Primary School on winning the EthCo Challenge 2011 to promote understanding of the Millennium Development Goals; notes that 67 million children worldwide, a majority of them girls, are missing primary school education; recognises the crucial importance of education in tackling the causes of global poverty and inequality; and calls on the Government to make education central to its international development strategy and improve educational opportunities for girls.

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SNP Press Minister Over Fisheries Reforms

Thursday, 14 July 2011

SNP Westminster Fisheries spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed proposals for reform of fisheries policy following an Emergency Question in the House of Commons today (Thursday). However, the Banff and Buchan MP warned that Scotland’s “conservation conscious” fleet should not be further penalised for the failures of the CFP.

Speaking after the exchange Dr Whiteford said:

“We absolutely need radical root-and-branch reform of European fisheries policy, and I welcome the fact the European Commission is finally acknowledging that. Given the importance of fishing to Scotland it is crucial that we influence the development of these reforms and that Scotland’s fleet, which has led Europe in pioneering conservation measures is not penalised further by the CFP.

“Meaningful conservation of stocks must be at the heart of a reformed CFP. The ecological and economic madness of the discarding of marketable fish – currently enforced on our fishermen by the CFP – must be addressed. The industry is understandably concerned that a one-step move to a blanket ban on discards could prove counter-productive. Instead, we should be working with fishermen on practical measures that would stop these discarded fish being caught in the first place.

"There is also a huge threat to Scotland lurking within these proposals because, alarmingly, the Commission is advocating an expansion in the international trading of fishing quotas. Selling quota to Europe's highest bidders will erode Scotland's historic rights which in turn could spell doom for our fragile fishing communities. Our fishing rights would end up with faceless overseas-based multinationals, rather than in the hands of future generations of Scots fishermen.

"The Commission's proposal for regionalisation is a welcome start but they don't go far enough. In the complex mixed-fishery of the North Sea it makes sense for Scotland and other nations to have more control over their own fisheries, working in partnership with neighbouring maritime nations.”

“I welcome the Government’s recognition of the seriousness of the challenges facing the Scottish fishing industry, but I am disappointed that Labour’s front bench fisheries spokesperson used his opportunity to comment on the European Commission proposals to attack the SNP, rather than stand up for Scottish fishing interests.”


A transcript of Dr Whiteford’s exchange with the Fisheries Minister is detailed below:

Dr Eilidh Whiteford: Mr Speaker, I very much welcome the Minister’s commitment to radical reform of fisheries management policy in Europe, and I also welcome his commitment to working with the devolved government in that process. However, I hope he’ll also share my concern that on the European Commission’s own Impact Assessment, these proposals could result in a 20% reduction in the Scottish Fishing Fleet, that’s a fleet that has already been halved in the last 10 years. What assurances can the minister give that the most conservation conscious and aware fleet in Europe will not be further punished for the failures of the Common Fisheries Policy?

Richard Benyon: Well, she’s right to raise concerns on behalf of her constituents, I can just give her the assurance that we are working through the details of these proposals, and as she knows, this is a, this is a, a major step, but a first step really in the negotiations which will take another 18 months to secure, and I will be working closely with my colleague Richard Lochhead in Scotland and with other devolved ministers to ensure that we represent all the UK fleets. I can’t say at this stage whether the Impact Assessment would have that effect. I entirely concur with her that the Scottish Fleet has taken great strides to fish more sustainably and has embraced concepts such as catch quotas, and I will continue to work with her and others to make sure that this is understood not just here but abroad as well.

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Whiteford In Push For Fair Fuel

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford took part in a cross-party ‘push’ for fairer fuel prices today.

The SNP MP was part of a cross-party group of MPs as they symbolically push a car down Whitehall to Downing Street to show their support for the millions of UK motorists and businesses struggling with high petrol and diesel prices.

The event was arranged with the support of the RAC, Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association.

Speaking from Westminster, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Despite the 1p cut in fuel duty at the 2011 budget, the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps is still so high that it is causing enormous hardship to millions of families across the country.

“Foreign road freight companies continue to expand their operations in the UK at the expense of British firms, as European rates of fuel duty up to 24p per litre less than in the UK.

“The truth is, high fuel taxes are not working. Figures published by the AA show that the Treasury collected £637 million LESS in fuel taxes than in the same period 3 years ago, despite record levels of fuel tax.

“Today, as a symbol of the hardship caused by these high petrol and diesel taxes, a cross-party group of MPs and activists pushed a car down Whitehall as part of our handing a letter to the Prime Minister.

“This letter asked the Prime Minister to delay or abandon the inflationary rise in fuel duty next year, which will add as much as 4 pence per litre in January 2012. Cutting or freezing fuel duty might actually mean a higher revenue for the Treasury, as more people can afford to fill their tanks. This in turn would help the Government to tackle the deficit faster.

“The letter also asked the Prime Minister to investigate why petrol prices do not fall, when the international Oil price falls.

“A cut or freeze in fuel duty would not only put fuel in the tank of the economy, but it is vital to areas like North-east Scotland where, in many of our communities, a car is a necessity and not a luxury.”

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Turriff's Moonlight Tandoori Wins Tiffin Cup Scottish Section

Turriff’s Moonlight Tandoori restaurant has won the Scottish section of the prestigious Tiffin Cup competition at last week’s Grand Final.

The Grand Final of the Lyca Tiffin Cup 2011 was held in the House of Commons on Wednesday 6 July 2011. The competition is held each year to find the best South Asian restaurant in the UK.

The Tiffin Cup winner is chosen from a list of restaurants that have been nominated by their local MPs. This year 62 restaurants were nominated by local MPs, and the Moonlight Tandoori was nominated by Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP.

Commenting on the success of the Moonlight Tandoori, Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford said:



 ( l to r) Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP
Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow MP
& Moonlight Tandoori proprietor Mr Salim Chowdhury
 “I am delighted that Moonlight Tandoori has beaten extremely stiff competition in order to become the winners of the Scottish section of this year’s Lyca Tiffin Cup. This is a great tribute not just to the staff and management of Moonlight Tandoori, but also to the constituency of Banff & Buchan as a whole.

“The Tiffin Cup is a prestigious award, which also does very good work in raising funds for the World Vision Charity.

“Mr Chowdhury and his team are to be congratulated on their success and also for putting Turriff on the culinary map. I am sure that we will see an increase in people coming to Turriff to sample the wares of Scotland’s top Tiffin Cup restaurant.”

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Whiteford Seeks Support From Supermarkets For Scottish Egg Producers

Friday, 8 July 2011

SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, has called on the UK’s biggest supermarkets to support local egg producers by only stocking eggs and egg products that comply with a new European Council directive, when it comes into force on January 1st 2012.

The Directive sets down minimum standards for improving the welfare of laying hens and prohibits the use of conventional ‘battery’ cages.

Dr Whiteford highlighted that although egg producers in the UK had invested some £400 million in implementing the requirements of the Directive, not all egg producers across the European Union would meet the deadline, raising concerns that ‘illegal’ eggs and egg products would find their way into the UK market.

Speaking today on a visit to local egg producer Robert Hay’s farm at Luncarty, Turriff, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

Dr Eilidh Whiteford with Robert Hay
(photo by permission of Duncan Brown)
“I am concerned that when the Directive comes into force at the beginning of next year, some 80 million hens across the European Union will continue to be kept in ‘illegal’ conventional cages. This represents millions of inferior eggs and egg products which cannot be allowed to make their way into the UK market.”

“This is a golden opportunity for supermarkets to show their commitment to a sustainable and ethical supply chain, by supporting Scottish egg producers who have complied with the law and invested in improved animal welfare.

I have sought assurances from Tesco, ASDA and Morrison’s that they will only stock eggs and products made with eggs that comply with the new EU Directive. Anything less would undermine the investment made by Scottish farmers in improving animal welfare standards; and consumer confidence in the quality of the products they are buying.”

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MP Visits Turriff Egg Producer To Highlight Call To Supermarkets

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford will visit Turriff egg producer Robert Hay on Friday 8 July (tomorrow) at 11.45am to highlight her call to the UK’s biggest supermarkets to support the Scottish egg industry by only stocking eggs and egg products that comply with a new European Council directive, when it comes into force on January 1st 2012.

The Directive sets down minimum standards for improving the welfare of laying hens and prohibits the use of conventional ‘battery’ cages.

Dr Whiteford is highlighting that although egg producers in the UK had invested some £400 million in implementing the requirements of the Directive, not all egg producers across the European Union would meet the deadline, raising concerns that ‘illegal’ eggs and egg products would find their way into the UK market.

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Banffshire MP Welcomes South Korean Whisky Trade Boost

Monday, 4 July 2011

“TRADE PACT IS A BOOST FOR BANFFSHIRE” - WHITEFORD

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and South Korea that is expected to see the whisky industry as one of the biggest beneficiaries.

The agreement will reduce taxation on Scotch whisky making its way into the Asian country and removes a range of onerous warehousing and labelling requirements that added cost to the process.

The Agreement should help the already significant South Korean market for whisky grow and expand.

The most popular single malt brands in South Korea are Macallan and Glenfiddich – both significant producers from Banffshire.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“This agreement between the EU and South Korea is of real significance for the whisky industry with the European Trade Commissioner stating it could even double exports from the current level of over 150 million pounds.

“In addition to the opening up of much bigger sales opportunities the agreement also includes important brand protection measures put in place to prevent forgery and fakes from undermining the brand quality that is of crucial importance to one of Scotland’s most recognisable products.

“This is particularly important to Banffshire as the home of the Scotch whisky industry.”

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SNP Comment On Cameron's Welfare Leak

Sunday, 3 July 2011

CAMERON MUST DITCH POLICY

SNP Spokesperson for Work and Pensions, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, has today [Sunday] reacted with concern over reports in the Observer newspaper that UK Government welfare reforms risk making 40,000 families homeless.

The newspaper received a leaked letter sent to the Prime Minister from the office of communities secretary Eric Pickles.

Dr Whiteford said:

“For a long time we have warned about the series of cuts contained within the Welfare Reform Bill and the damaging effect it will have on the most vulnerable in Scottish society.

“These revelations today show that the leadership of the Conservative party are well aware of the severe damage their policies will do but choose to ignore.

“David Cameron has no option now but to ditch these absurd plans and instead install real measures which will improve the lives of thousands across the country and improve our society.

“In Scotland we have seen encouraging signs with the SNP Government introducing a range of measures to help people in Scotland through the tough times including a council tax freeze and the phasing out of prescription charges but the Tories are proceeding with a Bill which could set our progress back.”

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