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Politics: A new approach to old problems in the community

By David Porter

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Earlier this week, I was delighted to meet the new Police Area Commander for North Aberdeenshire, Chief Inspector Sam Buchan, to discuss issues and concerns in the local area.

One topic which will come as no surprise to Turriff residents is the issue of anti-social drivers and boy-racers.

I was pleased to hear that local police officers continue to educate young people as well as carry out enforcement when laws are broken.

Another topic that came up was vandalism – particularly in children’s playparks – across the constituency.

On both of these matters, we discussed the need to do something different from how they have been addressed in the past.

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!”

And CI Buchan agreed that something more ‘creative’ needs to be considered to address these anti-social behaviours.

Another key topic was the ongoing problem with drugs in our communities.

Again, education – as well as treatment for those suffering from addiction – is just as important, if not more so, as enforcement measures.

I was glad to hear that huge effort is also being put into supply lines and the organised criminal gangs who provide that supply.

I have repeatedly encouraged the SNP Scottish Government to take a more active role in the UK Government’s ‘Project ADDER’ (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery).

I also hope that they will support Douglas Ross’s ‘Right to Recovery’ Bill at the Scottish Parliament.

This Bill is being brought forward in a bid to ensure that those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol are able to access the treatment they require.

To achieve this, it will enshrine the right to necessary addiction treatment in Scots law, and would place an obligation on NHS health boards, Scottish ministers and others to provide this treatment.

Turriff Show returns for 2022
Turriff Show returns for 2022

On the last day of Parliament before the Summer Recess, I took the opportunity to highlight the value of agricultural shows – such as New Deer (the previous weekend) and, of course, Turriff Show (this coming weekend) – in promoting and showcasing the fantastic food and drink that Banff and Buchan, Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom has to offer.

I also reinforced the need for UK Government Export Support to be made directly available to Scottish food and drink producers.

Export support from the Department for International Trade, is readily available from the UK Government but seemingly not promoted by the Scottish Government.

I would therefore encourage any food and drink producer – or any producer of goods in my constituency – seeking help in accessing export markets to please get in touch with my office on david.duguid.mp@parliament.uk

On the subject of Turriff Show, I’m sure I join thousands of others in looking forward to attending this fabulous event for the first time since 2019.

The Show – the largest two-day event in Scotland – attracts visitors, competitors and traders from across Scotland as well as the local area.

Finally, the subject of access to local health services is raised repeatedly in my in-box.

I will be holding a public meeting on the subject in the Baden Powell Centre on the evening of August 8.

I have invited representatives of the various healthcare agencies to attend and look forward to facilitating a constructive and productive discussion.

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