Tag Archives: aberdeen

Celebrate Aberdeen Parade

Last month, Dame Anne joined in with the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade down Union Street to celebrate the voluntary sector in the city. The parade stretched out over the entire length of Union Street, showing just how huge the third sector is in Aberdeen. Charities play an important role in the city and this was highlighted by the parade.

Below is a picture of Anne and Councillor Angela Taylor:

Celebrate Aberdeen parade
Celebrate Aberdeen parade
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Duthie Park re-opening

Dame Anne attended the official re-opening of Duthie Park in Aberdeen South on Sunday. Great weather saw hundreds of Aberdonians flock to the Victorian park, with huge queues showing the popularity of canoes in the boating pond, the new paddle boats in the linked lakes, trips around the park in horses and carts, as well as a brand new adventure play area, the restored mound, local bands making use of the bandstand and the ice cream shop.

Below is a picture of Councillor Neil Cooney, convenor of Housing and Environment committee on Aberdeen City Council, at the opening ceremony.

Cllr Cooney at the official opening
Cllr Cooney at the official opening

Torry Lighthouse Festival

On Saturday 29th June, Dame Anne attended the Torry Lighthouse Festival at the Tullos Playing Fields. Dame Anne spoke to stall-holders including the Aberdeen Harbour Board, Waste Aware Aberdeen, and the Torry Community Council.

Anne also enjoyed the performances on stage at the festival such as the marching band and AYMT.

The event was very well turned out and was complimented by warm sunshine and a blue sky!

Below is a picture of Dame Anne and Dawn Bellamy, who was from the community council, and they spoke about TCC’s consultation on the future of Victoria Road primary school.

Torry Lighthouse Festival
Torry Lighthouse Festival

Dame Anne Urges Government Rethink

MP for Aberdeen South, Dame Anne Begg is calling for a review of funding criteria to prevent Aberdeen losing out on £6.5 million. Despite successfully bidding for funding from the Urban Broadband Fund 2 (UBF2), Aberdeen City and Shire could potentially lose out due to a lack of agreement over funding criteria.

Dame Anne has, therefore, written to the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport asking her to alter the criteria to allow both local authorities to access the £6.5 million and deliver a world class fibre optic broadband infrastructure for the region.

Dame Anne said: “Aberdeen is a dynamic and vibrant city, a world leader in innovative technology, and the UK powerhouse for oil and gas production. Yet, potential development is being threatened by poor broadband speed.

“As a strong supporter of the bid for UBF2 funding, I was thrilled when we were successful following the immense amount of hard work and effort that went into our campaign. I continue to receive a number of phone calls from constituents still complaining of poor broadband speeds and I am both disappointed and frustrated by the slow progress in developing super fast broadband for everyone in the region. Not only are big companies being held back by limited broadband speeds, SMEs, which are vital components of the oil and gas supply chain are also suffering.

“I am therefore calling on the government to alter the funding criteria to ensure that Aberdeen City and Shire have the opportunity to really benefit from this money.”

Aberdeen City and Shire Councils are proposing a joint venture which would see a fibre based broadband infrastructure built across the North East boosting the local economy and providing a long term income stream for both authorities. However, a lack of agreement between DCMS and the European Commission indicates that the joint digital strategy proposed by the two local authorities is unlikely to meet the current criteria.

Dame Anne stated: “It appears that any funds released would have to be spent on either demand stimulation or vouchers for SMEs, neither of which is required in this area as Aberdeen City and Shire have the highest and second highest rates of broadband uptake in the UK. However, it is clear that what is required here in the North East is a world class fibre based infrastructure in order for us to fully realise our potential.”

The UBF2, also known as the Super Connected Cities Fund, was announced by the UK government in early 2012. In December 2012, Aberdeen was announced as one of twelve cities across the UK to be awarded a share of £50 million in order to provide homes and businesses with fibre optic broadband and high speed wireless Internet access.

Businesses in Admiral Court get behind the nation’s heart charity in National Heart Month

February is National Heart Month and the British Heart Foundation is urging the UK to show support.

Rock Up In Red - Admiral Court
Rock Up In Red – Admiral Court

Businesses in Admiral Court kicked off the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) National Heart Month by donating money to wear red to work.

There are over 2.7 million people in the UK currently suffering with heart disease and it is the UK’s single biggest killer. It kills one in six men and one in nine women and is responsible for almost 80,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 220 people each day.

National Heart Month is a time when the BHF urges people in the UK to think about their hearts and the hearts of those around them. It is also a time when the charity encourages supporters to fundraise and help the charity’s fight against heart disease. You can fundraise by whichever means you fancy and even better if it involves colleagues, friends and family.

Centre Manager Jennifer Massie said: “Everyone was happy to give their heartfelt support to the British Heart Foundation.”

One of the tenants of Admiral Court, Dame Anne Begg MP, said: “I commend volunteers and employers for getting involved in fundraising for the BHF during National Heart Month in Aberdeen South and encourage others to join in these activities to help the BHF to continue their vital, life-saving work.”

To find out more about National Heart Month – download a fundraising pack at bhf.org.uk/red or call 0300 330 0645.

MPs welcome Aberdeen University Mooting society in annual visit to Westminster

Frank Doran, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North and Dame Anne Begg, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South, today hosted a visit from University of Aberdeen Mooting Society.

Aberdeen University Mooting Society
Aberdeen University Mooting Society

The visit by Aberdeen law students who are members of the Mooting Society in which students debate legal problems started with a tour of the House of Parliament, followed by a question and answer session.

The visit has now become an annual tradition.

Speaking following the visit Frank Doran said:

“It is always a pleasure to meet with the students and I can tell from the standard of their questions that we have some sharp legal minds in our midst!”

Dame Anne Begg said:

“Debating is an integral part of the work for both parliamentarians and lawyers. That’s why this annual event is always so successful.”

Prize Giving Ceremony

On Friday 14th December Dame Anne presided over a prize giving ceremony for the winner and runners-up of her 2012 Christmas Card Competition at the ASDA, Bridge of Dee.

Christmas Card Competition
Christmas Card Competition

Primary 1 pupil, Lucas Norwood from Hamilton School was selected as the winner by judge Shelagh Swanson, Owner and Resident Artist at Oil & Glass in Torry.

Six runners up were also chosen and they were: Catherine Bell, P1, Albyn School; Bethany South, P2, Kirkhill Primary School; Ceili Reilly, Class 5, The International School of Aberdeen; Kelci-Jade Beedie, P5, Kirkhill Primary School; Fraser Joss, P6/7, Culter Primary School; and En-Li Soh, L6B, Albyn School.

And Dame Anne was joined by a special guest to help hand out the prizes.

Santa joined Anne to help hand over the prizes
Santa joined Dame Anne to help hand over the prizes

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, the winner and runners up were awarded some fantastic prizes, with the winner receiving a Nintendo 3DS. Thanks also go to Asda for hosting the prize giving in their cafe.

Winner Lucas accepts his prize
Winner Lucas accepts his prize

Dame Anne said: “Over the years that I have run my Christmas Card competition, it has really grown and I am always amazed at the quality and creativity of the entries I receive every year.

“We received almost 1,000 submissions this year and it is clear that the pupils put a lot of time and effort into their designs. I would, therefore, like to thank all those who took the time to submit an entry this year and I enjoyed meeting the winner and runners-up in person to hand over their prizes.”

Money to be invested in Aberdeen to improve broadband access

Dame Anne has welcomed the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement that Aberdeen will be one of the cities to benefit from a scheme investing £50 million to improve broadband access.

She said: “Despite Aberdeen being an economic powerhouse of the UK, some areas in the city still suffer from very poor broadband connections.

“Therefore, I welcome today’s announcement that money is to be invested to improve broadband access. This recognises the importance of Aberdeen to the wider UK economy.”

Momentum Skills Clients Quiz MP

Dame Anne was delighted to be invited to Momentum Skills on to field questions from their service users, who suffer from acquired brain injury. She said: “I always welcome the opportunity to meet with groups in my constituency to listen to the issues that concern them and our discussion ranged from topics such as the licensing of mobility scooters to the forthcoming referendum on independence. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and I would like to thank Momentum for inviting me along.”

Scott Rogers, Keith Fenton, Keith Thomson, Liz Howarth, Dame Anne Begg MP, Ruaraidh Petrie and Angela Whyte
Scott Rogers, Keith Fenton, Keith Thomson, Liz Howarth, Dame Anne Begg MP, Ruaraidh Petrie and Angela Whyte

Liz Howarth, Momentum Vocational Tutor said: “The service users from Momentum invested a lot of time and hard work researching and preparing for Anne’s visit. This provoked lots of exciting discussions on key issues ranging from local concerns such as Union Terrace Gardens to national issues including immigration and national service.

“But more than this, it’s essential that service users at Momentum have the opportunity to engage with the politicians and decision makers that make the policies that affect them. The Welfare Reforms are inevitably going to have an impact on our Service Users, and as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Dame Anne Begg is well placed to take on board the concerns of our clients.”

Following the visit, Momentum Client Billy Little stated: “I enjoyed Anne Begg’s visit to Momentum, to debate on why all the political parties are scared to put up a referendum on the EU. Her views were enlightening to me even though I disagreed with them.

“However, for me, the most interesting and enlightening debate was one we had on Assisted Suicide. This was because she showed the obstacles that surround this topic and how sensitive the subject is and the different problems all the politicians face on the subject.”

Scott Rogers, Keith Fenton, Keith Thomson, Liz Howarth, Dame Anne Begg MP, Ruaraidh Petrie and Angela Whyte
Scott Rogers, Keith Fenton, Keith Thomson, Liz Howarth, Dame Anne Begg MP, Ruaraidh Petrie and Angela Whyte