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MSP calls for cash support after confirmation of bridge damage


By David Porter


North-east MSP Peter Chapman has urged Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to commit to providing extra funds to Aberdeenshire Council to help repair damage caused by last weekend’s flooding.

It comes after the announcement by Aberdeenshire Council that at least one main rural route is to be closed for a minimum of 18 months as a result of the damage.

Several bridges were destroyed and chunks of tarmac were lifted off roads amid torrential rain affecting areas including Banff, King Edward and Gamrie.

Scottish Conservative MSP Mr Chapman said at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday that a major vegetable producer in the area, which employs 100 people, has seen the firm’s operation “severely restricted” as a result.

Mr Chapman said he has been in contact with Aberdeenshire Council over the past week, and the repair bill is estimated to run to millions of pounds.

He urged Ms Sturgeon to commit her government to providing extra funding.

In response, the First Minister said that Scottish Government officials would continue to engage with Aberdeenshire Council and “seek to help wherever we can”.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Chapman said: “I welcome the fact that the First Minister has agreed to look at ways in which the Scottish Government can help.

“The scenes last weekend were horrendous and the extent of the damage in the aftermath of this severe weather is considerable.

“Businesses and residents are facing significant disruption as a result and Aberdeenshire Council is simply not in a position to meet a repair bill that will run to millions of pounds.

“I hope that Nicola Sturgeon’s welcome words will be followed up by real action to provide extra, emergency funds for Aberdeenshire to recover from this.”

The appeal comes as Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed that all the bridges involved will be closed for a minimum of three weeks for inspection work, but has already issued closure notices of the B9105 Fintry- Cauldwells Road at South Mains adjacent to Craigston Castle which will be shut for 18 months from Monday, October 21.

The route provides the main link between the A947 and the A98 at Hill of Tillymaud.



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