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ELECTION 2021: Lib Dems vow to 'put recovery first' for Scotland


By Kyle Ritchie

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I’VE lived near Portsoy since I graduated in 1987 – that is, all my adult life.

Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Alison Simpson sets out a vision for national recovery.
Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Alison Simpson sets out a vision for national recovery.

In 1997, I entered community economic development and found my passion, helping build up Banffshire Partnership, Boyndie Trust and Whitehills Marina.

In 2005, I went freelance and developed, planned and fundraised projects across the north-east from cancer support to social care, autism services to social enterprise. In each, I’ve worked with amazing people upon whose shoulders success ultimately rests.

I’ve learned to listen, to understand complex issues, rules and regulations adapting to change in our economy and environment.

I’ve felt frustration with government spending choices and lobbied for change, with significant success.

But 2016 changed everything. My 24-year-old son became severely mentally ill – and after one traumatic night in Edinburgh, was detained for eight weeks under the Mental Health Act.

Bringing him home, we learned some hard new lessons.

After 14 years of SNP government, mental health services are chronically underfunded. Our mental health professionals and support services are wonderful, but they are frighteningly scarce with treatment beds, too, in short supply.

Scotland must do better. Our family is a strong and supportive one, but we have struggled, and for many there is no one to help.

A year of lockdown has stopped many services, and brought new challenges for us all.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have already won extra funding for mental health, education and businesses.

We will push for more. Trained mental health specialists for community centres, hospitals and schools, boosted skills and pay for care workers.

We need greater support for every carer.

I’ve the capability, work ethic and understanding to make this happen.

Voting Scottish Liberal Democrats on May 6 will also enable our north-east MSPs to work across parliament, to set things right.

Vote for us. Put Recovery First.


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