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POLITICS: Flooding is likely to be Scotland’s biggest climate adaptation challenge

By Gillian Martin

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MSP Gillian Martin is asking residents to put forward their views on flooding prevention.
MSP Gillian Martin is asking residents to put forward their views on flooding prevention.

In four weeks, voters will go to the polls to decide which party will lead the next UK Government – it cannot be overstated that this election is one of the most important of our lifetime.

After 14 years of Tory austerity, voters have the chance to decide who they wish to run the country and vote for representatives who will stand up for the north-east and Scotland. While speculation had been rife about the timing of an election, the answer to that question has finally been settled and candidates from all parties have weeks left to convince voters about why they should represent them in parliament.

The work done by party members from all parties is important and it really does take a village to get members elected to parliament. From knocking doors, delivering leaflets, speaking to voters there is so much to do within a small space of time.

The most important thing a prospective voter can do is register to vote and this needs to be completed by the 18th of June and only takes five minutes to do. If you are unable to register to vote online, you can contact an electoral registration officer at Aberdeenshire Council for assistance. It is also very important to ensure when you do vote that you have appropriate photo ID which you bring with you to the polling station. A driver’s licence or passport will work but if you do not have photographic ID you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate which will still allow you to vote if you do not have photographic ID. It can also be used if the name you have on your photo ID is different to the name on the register, or you no longer look like the photo on your ID. You must apply for this exemption by June 26th at 5pm.

Residents are being asked to put forward their views on a new flooding resilience consultation. The move means more support could be available for communities to prepare for and adapt to the threat of flooding. The proposed National Flood Resilience strategy is considering how measures such as tree planting and use of natural landforms could be used to slow run-off and capture water. Consideration is also being given to improved community resilience, such as through funding and training of local flood groups to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding events. The proposals sit alongside wider work to adapt Scotland to the threat of climate change, including Scotland’s third National Adaptation Plan, which is due to be published in the autumn.

Flooding is likely to be Scotland’s biggest climate adaptation challenge. As my constituents know all too well, it can have a devastating impact on communities and people. It has a direct impact on homes and businesses and can disrupt lives, livelihoods and physical and mental health long after waters have receded. We want to hear people’s views on how we can reduce our exposure to flooding and lessen the impact when it does happen – and we want to involve a much broader range of people and organisations in doing so. I urge anyone with an interest to respond to our consultation to make Aberdeenshire East and Scotland as a whole as flood resilient as possible for generations to come.

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