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Welcome to Banffshire and Buchan Coast Liberal Democrats web site. Designed to keep you up-to-date with local events as well as what's happening nationwide. Contact us now if you would like to join the local Better Together campaign.

Sir Malcolm Bruce visits Fraerburgh Harbour Master

Sir Malcolm Bruce MP and Ann Bell MBE are shown developments at Fraserburgh Harbour

As part of the UK Government the Liberal Democrats are now the only party that can deliver social justice in coalition with the Conservatives. We will continue to work toward a fairer Britain.

"We will work towards delivering a fairer society that the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have failed to deliver when previously in government on their own during the past 50+ years. We will work hard re-build a stable, green economy for each and every one of us. We will reform politics so that every person and every vote counts. Fairness will be our aim in all that we do as we seek to provide a stable government that serves the whole of the UK."

"You can find out more, including how to keep in touch or join the Liberal Democrats, on this site."

Recent updates

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    The Conservative mayor of Swindon has resigned after he called disabled people "Mongols" and questioned whether they should be allowed to have sex.

    In a letter to Swindon Council's Borough solicitor Stephen Taylor, mayor Nick Martin said: "It is with regret that I submit my resignation as Mayor of the Borough of Swindon with immediate effect."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    A woman with Crohn's disease has lost a legal challenge against a decision to refuse NHS funding to freeze her eggs.

    Lawyers for Elizabeth Rose, 25, from Margate, Kent, claimed in the High Court it was unlawful to refuse the treatment to preserve her fertility.

    Miss Rose fears an imminent bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy treatment will leave her infertile.

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014
    Phil Storm 14 April 20:01
    There have been a number of post both on hear and on the LDDAtalk email system in relation to the proposed changes / cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance. The LDDA exec has remained silent on the proposed changes till now as we wanted to ensure we had the full facts before commenting. Below is a link to the document highlighting the proposed changes and on initially reading, they should fair and reasonable only upon more detailed knowledge of DSA and further investigation, dose the real effects of such changes come to light. Both myself and the vice Chair Kelly-Marie Blundell are currently working behind the scene to highlight the LDDA's concern over the proposed changes and will keep you up dated on our progress.http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/744663/ssin_01-15_apr2014.pdf
  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Responsible department: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

    David Willets, the Minister for Universities and Science, has announced the "modernisation" of the government grant for students with disabilities, the Disabled Students Allownaces (DSA). The initial detail of this modernisation is a series of cuts in provision, placing the funding burden on Universities and individual students.
    We the undersigned believe that these cuts will:

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has welcomed aWillie RennieWillie Rennie survey published by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce today showing almost all key performance measures have returned to 2007 pre-recession levels.

    The survey showed business confidence increased further on the year.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland is sharing in the economic recovery that has taken hold.

    "Businesses are driving the recovery which is why it is so important they are getting the backing they need from Ministers. With a big national insurance cut and support to boost exports, Liberal Democrats in government are helping firms grow and create more jobs. 16,000 more Scots have found work in the last 3 months alone.

    "I want Scottish businesses to be able to look to the future with confidence and this survey is full of positive news."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has saidJim HumeJim Hume that NHS Scotland and Scotland's health boards should move swiftly to consider action after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde removed all plastic bin bags from all of its mental health wards following two suicides.

    A report today revealed that the board was instructed by the Health and Safety Executive to remove polythene bin bags following reviews into two separate tragedies.

    Mr Hume said:

    "Whilst we will not comment on these specific and tragic individual cases, the recommendation by HSE to remove all polythene bin bags from mental health wards in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has clear implications for all health boards in Scotland. Our universal health service means that all mental health patients and their families should expect the same level of care regardless of where they are being treated.

    "In light of this recommendation ordered by the HSE, NHS Scotland must now move swiftly to consider whether this is an appropriate measure to adopt across Scotland's health boards. I know that NHS boards, responsible for managing their own procedures, will want to work quickly with all relevant partners to ensure any lessons are learnt.

    "One in four adults will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. We need to ensure that any issue around mental health care is resolved just as quickly as any other problem on our health boards."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today encouraged Scots toGeorge Lyon MEPGeorge Lyon MEP join a campaign calling on the EU to change tax rules and allow mountain and lowland rescue services to be made exempt from VAT.

    Commenting as an EU consultation on public interest exemptions from VAT entered its final few days, Mr Lyon said that changing tax regulations for mountain and lowland rescue teams would give these key services a real boost.

    Mr Lyon and fellow Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies met with EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemet earlier this year to discuss this issue.

    Backing the campaign, Jonathon Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, said that axing VAT would have real financial benefits for mountain rescue teams.

    George Lyon MEP said:

    "In 2011 alone a total of 573 incidents were responded to by Scottish mountain rescue teams, and these numbers are increasing every year. Mountain and lowland rescue teams are effectively front line emergency services in many parts of Scotland.

    "These volunteers put their lives on the line and deserve our full support. We know that cutting VAT for mountain and lowland rescue teams would make a real financial difference and I hope as many Scots as possible will back our campaign.

    "The consultation in Brussels is closing soon and this is our last chance to make the case for a change to the rules at the EU. it is important that we send a strong message that axing the VAT is the right thing to do."

    Jonathan Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, added:

    "Mountain Rescue in Scotland is carried out by world class volunteers delivering a service free of charge to people in need of aid in the mountains of Scotland. The majority of our funding comes from private donation and we do receive money from both the UK and Scottish Governments.

    "We are not a political organisation and support any move toward reducing costs or increasing income for Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams. In the case of VAT we would like to thank all the MPs and MEPs who are involved in the campaign which if successful would undoubtedly benefit volunteer teams financially."

    People wishing to join the campaign can sign up here.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has welcomed news that South WestJim HumeJim Hume Scotland is set to benefit by nearly £40 million from a new scheme to help young people into work.

    The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) will provide £170 million of UK government funding to help young people aged 15-24 find work.

    This investment will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.

    Southwest Scotland, one of five areas selected to receive support, is in line to benefit by £38.6 million.

    Commenting, Jim Hume said:

    "More people are in work across the country than ever before but there is always more that can be done. Liberal Democrats are helping build a stronger Scottish economy in government and any initiative to get more people into work is welcome.

    "We know that long spells of unemployment at the start of a young persons' career can be damaging for years down the line. This new investment will make a real difference to young people in the south of Scotland and give them the best possible start to their working life.

    "With UK spending being matched by EU investment this new initiative is another reason why Liberal Democrats are working to keep Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said today's employment figures demonstrate the importance of sharing economic progress across the UK.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "Liberal Democrats in the UK government are building a stronger economyWillie RennieWillie Rennie and today we can see what that means for people in Scotland. 16,000 more Scots are in work, business confidence is increasing and positive growth continues for the Scottish economy as part of the UK. This is the positive economic progress which enables us to build a fairer society.

    "Sharing across the UK's broad shoulders, Liberal Democrats have delivered lower taxes, higher pensions, new jobs and more childcare. But figures showing a quarterly rise in the number of people out of work shows that we cannot become complacent. The Scottish Government must work closely with the UK Government to unlock further opportunities for jobs and growth for Scotland as part of the UK."

    Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said:

    "It is encouraging to see 16,000 more Scots move into work and theAlistair CarmichaelAlistair Carmichael number claiming jobseekers allowance fall for the seventeenth straight month. There are now 68,000 more people in work and around 32,000 fewer people claiming jobseekers allowance than one year ago. It is also very encouraging to see the number of women in work continuing to rise to a near record high.‬

    ‪"With business confidence increasing, inflation falling to a four and half year low and seven consecutive months of positive Scottish economic growth, Scotland is doing well as part of the UK.‬

    ‪"Tax changes the UK Government has introduced this month will make it easier for Scottish businesses to invest, to take on new staff and be even more competitive on a global stage. We have also ensured that every hard working Scot will not pay any income tax on everything they earn up to £10,000. ‬

    "Any rise in unemployment shows that challenges remain. We must ensure that as the economy recovers the benefits are seen in communities across the length and breadth of Scotland.‬"

  • Article: Apr 14, 2014

    Subject to changeour

    Cuts to funding for basic equipment for disabled students are "deeply unfair" and "out of touch", the National Union of Students (NUS) has warned.

    In a searing critique of changes to the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), student leaders have branded universities minister David Willetts as "arrogant" in seeking to cut funding.

    Mr Willets has pledged to pay for high-cost computers needed by students with the most complex disabilities - but said that support for standard computers, warranties or insurance would be withdrawn under new rules in place from September 2015.

    NUS disabled students' officer Hannah Paterson said: "The prospect of deeply unfair cuts to support for disabled students should concern us all.

    "It is arrogant and out of touch to assume that disabled students can access 'basic' equipment or that universities will accept the new responsibilities ministers are seeking to place on them".

    The NUS has said that the funding gives a vital life-line to students who need support for computer equipment to aid their studies - and warned that the costs for specialist kit may not be met by DSA because of its high cost.

    Mr Willetts said that the changes will "rebalance responsibilities between government funding and institutional support", but insisted that the funding will only be given to those needing "the most specialist" support.

    "We are changing our approach to the funding of a number of computer equipment, software and consumable items through DSAs that have become funded as 'standard' to most students," he added.

    Total government funding for DSA varies from year to year, but the maximum funding per student is £5,161 for specialist equipment, £20,520 per year for the non-medical helper allowance (per year) and £1,724 per year for a general allowance.

    In 2011-12, the bill for DSA came to £124 million, covering 53,000 undergraduates.

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