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Politics: Turbulent times produce new challenges for the north-east

By David Porter

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Responses to my survey about the offshore industry are welcomed but more would help provide a wider picture of the sector.
Responses to my survey about the offshore industry are welcomed but more would help provide a wider picture of the sector.

Now that parliament is back to business my team and I have been working hard to help constituents with issues and to ensure we can highlight these issues too in the Scottish Parliament.

There are still many challenges for so many people as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and we have been working hard to ensure we can help.

I would encourage anyone who thinks I may be able to help them to get in touch with my office.

The Scottish Parliament is still working on a mixture of in person and virtual working at the moment with many new faces at Holyrood which has been great to see.

I’ve been able to ask questions of the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary on issues such as exams and also coronavirus quarantining.

This week I was pleased to contribute to my colleague Jim Fairlie’s debate on the impact of a tariff-free trade deal with Australia with concerns from many Scottish farmers on the impact that would have her as it could potentially undercut farmers but also set a dangerous precedent.

It is clear there is a real and understandable feeling of strength on this issue and I was pleased to highlight the concerns of north-east farmers.

I was also pleased to ask a question on the likely timescale of 12 to 15-year-olds being eligible for the vaccine now it has been approved for younger age groups.

Our young people have faced many challenges in the last 18 months and it is so important we give them the chance to get back to some normality as soon as possible.

Earlier this month, I also launched a survey on the North Sea oil and gas industry to get as much feedback as possible from those working in the sector about the current challenges with regard to getting work in the sector.

The oil and gas industry have been through a turbulent time in the past six years and many people have faced challenges in their work.

This includes any desire to upskill and move into another sector such as renewables.

It can often be expensive to upskill with different salaries and job demands.

We’ve had more than 100 responses to the survey so far in just under a week.

A link to the survey can be found on either my Twitter or Facebook page if you would like to give your views on any of these issues please do.

The more contributions we have, the more it will assist in showing the challenges faced.

Finally, this week I was very lucky to receive my second vaccine dose at TECA in Aberdeen.

Despite this being my second visit to the vaccination centre there, I have still been in awe of the set-up and the incredible feat of both science and government in being able to vaccinate more than half of the population so far.

The speed of the roll-out and the dedication of everyone to sticking to the restrictions has meant a chance to spend time with our loved ones once more.

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