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Politics: The north-east region is set to be short-changed yet again

By David Porter

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We are now in the final stretch before polling today with only a week left for people in Aberdeenshire to vote for their local candidates in the council elections.

It’s been a busy time for candidates, delivering leaflets, meeting with residents and campaigning with colleagues to make sure they get your vote next week.

The First Minister was in the north-east this week meeting with candidates including a one-on-one chat with candidate and Aberdeenshire’s SNP Group Leader Gwyneth Petrie.

Councillor Petrie and the First Minister
Councillor Petrie and the First Minister

Cllr Petrie was elected during a by-election in 2015 and in 2020 she became the group leader for her party in Aberdeenshire.

Cllr Petrie said: “The First Minister is more determined than ever to ensure the SNP delivers for the north-east.

“It was clear from our discussion that the First Minister is determined to support those living and working in Aberdeenshire while the Tories continue to short-change region.

“The choices that voters make will set the direction we take locally, in terms of what our economy, environment and public services look like for many years to come.”

Encouraging women into local politics is challenging – particularly for women who have children and another job to contend with.

So, it has been incredibly refreshing to see women such as Cllr Petrie inspire the next generation of young, female councillors and show them that women can play an incredible role in politics.

This is particularly important when we look to UK politics and the blatant misogyny experienced by women at the top including Labour’s Angela Rayner in recent weeks.

During the First Minister’s visit to the north-east I was delighted to have her backing for my survey report which was launched earlier this month.

The findings of the survey showed that just one in 10 workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry believe they have enough opportunities to switch to renewables.

I was pleased the First Minister said she would back my calls for a series of high-level summits to break down the various barriers holding back the “just transition” away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources.

The Scottish Government has already invested £500million towards a Just Transition and this money will help towards the gradual process towards different energy sources.

On the First Minister’s visit to the north-east she also highlighted how the Tories have been short-changing the region by at least £1.77billion through failure to invest in the region’s carbon capture facility – which has amounted to a loss of £1billion for the area, as promised by the Tories in 2015.

The Tories have also failed to match the Scottish Government’s £500million Just Transition investment.

There has also been a failure to match the SNP’s spending on city deals to the tune of £254million – equivalent to £1,125 per household.

Recent figures also indicate the region is set to be short-changed yet again – this time by £13.5million as a result of the Tories Shared Prosperity Fund failing to match previous EU funding.

People in the north-east have been abandoned by the Tories time and again, and it's time to let them know that they won't get away with it.

These council elections are a chance for people across the north-east to send a clear message to the Tories - that they will not stand for it.

The people of the north-east deserve councillors who will stand up for them - not councillors who are only interested in protecting Boris Johnson and the broken, corrupt Westminster system that is failing their communities.

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