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ELECTION 2021: Aberdeenshire West's re-elected MSP seeking fair share for area

By Kyle Ritchie

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Aberdeenshire West's re-elected MSP Alexander Burnett said he will continue to focus on the range of issues that are affecting people in the constituency.

Mr Burnett outlined that the underfunding of local authorities and the health board were impacting rural communities.

He highlighted that his aim is to ensure that the area gets a fair share so these issues can be resolved.

Mr Burnett said: "I would like to thank my team and all the volunteers that have been out delivering leaflets and telephoning people for us as we have been less able to speak to people on doorsteps.

"I would also like to thank my family not just for the leaflets they have delivered but also the support they have given me over this campaign.

"But no candidate would be here without the support of the voters and for that I am truly grateful.

"It has been an absolute privilege to have served these last five years and I am truly grateful for putting your trust in me to do that for another five.

"This election has shown two things, not just in the constituency of Aberdeenshire West, but across the north-east, the people and especially our rural communities want a fair share of the funding arrangements for our councils and our health board.

"They want a fair share to end bus service closures and to re-open and protect rural, community hospitals.

"Secondly, and most importantly, they want a Scottish Parliament for the next five years that will be focused 100 per cent on our recovery after this pandemic and not focused at all on another referendum."

Newly re-elected MSP for Aberdeenshire West Alexander Burnett.
Newly re-elected MSP for Aberdeenshire West Alexander Burnett.

The result in the constituency was expected to be tighter contest with the SNP candidate Fergus Mutch.

In 2016 Mr Burnett won with a 900 majority over the SNP's Dennis Robertson.

He won this year's election with 3,390 more votes than nationalist rival Mr Mutch.

On the victory he said: "When you have worked for five years in the constituency you hope that people have seen you working hard, particularly in the last year which has been difficult for everybody.

"It has meant working late nights, working weekends, answering questions on people's vaccinations and business support, I think people have seen that.

"With the constituency having been declared last we had seen how the other results had gone and we saw that there was a clear support for Conservatives not just in this constituency, but we'd seen already across the rest of the north-east swings and increases for the party in Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Aberdeen Donside and other places.

"I felt a lot of pressure from the SNP campaign. This was the only seat five years ago that the SNP didn't win and they had targeted this seat.

"I felt that the constituents five years ago asked me to do a job because they didn't want a SNP win here and I was happy to do that and I'll be happy to stand up and do it again."

He added: "I'm very lucky to be supported by such a good team with my parliamentary staff and with others who work for me.

"We work collectively and they do a huge amount in the background. It is doing the job as a constituency MSP of looking after the problems that constituents bring to me.

"I believe this is a vindication that we have done a good job over the last five years, but more importantly it is about what people are upset about in the north-east such as the city and shire councils being underfunded, NHS Grampian has been underfunded for the last decade and people, especially those in our rural communities, are the ones that feel the effects of that.

"You have bus service closures in Braemar, Insch Community Hopsital closed, problems with ambulance provision and there is a whole range of other issues that are not going to get solved until the funding arrangements get resolved and our councils and health boards get the same amount as other areas in Scotland, which the SNP deem more needy than ourselves."

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