A report released by Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports warns that APD could cost Scotland more than two million passengers a year by 2016, costing the Scottish economy £210 million in lost tourism spend per annum.
Dame Anne said: “It is clear by the 800 emails that I received from my constituents that the impact of APD is deeply felt by people in Aberdeen. We depend on air travel as there is no electrification of the railway line north of Edinburgh and it is highly unlikely that high speed rail will ever reach us.
“Passengers leaving Aberdeen are often connecting to routes via hubs like Heathrow. However, APD and the congestion caused by the lack of a third runway are making it difficult for Heathrow to compete with hubs such as Schipol, Paris or Frankfurt. Travellers are therefore choosing these airports where taxation is charged at a much lower rate or, is in fact, not levied at all.
“In Aberdeen, we have a lot of business travellers who want to be connected to emerging markets. Whilst I would like to see more direct flights from Aberdeen, it is crucial to the UK airlines that those travellers choose to fly via Heathrow and not other European hubs.”
This morning Dame Anne helped out at her local Sainsbury’s for the FareShare food drive initiative taking place across stores this weekend.
Customers are encouraged to buy one or more extra item(s) on top of their normal shopping list and to then donate it when leaving the store by placing it in the big green container at the door. These donated goods are then distributed across local food poverty charities, like Instant Neighbour in Aberdeen.
Customers just need to select and buy a product to donate and to help, they are given a example shopping list – including tinned soups, pastas and instant coffee. These food parcels can be a life-saver for those who are left for periods of time without enough food to feed their family.
Sainsbury’s are matching all donations. So if you donate two bags of pasta, Sainsbury’s also donates two bags of pasta.
The campaign runs until the end of Sunday.
Dame Anne said: “I am encouraging anyone who can to head down to their local Sainsbury’s to make use of this opportunity to donate to FareShare and make a real difference to their local community.”
Dame Anne is backing the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s award winning fundraiser, wear it pink day – and she wants constituents to join her.
Now in its 10th year, wear it pink, on Friday 26th October 2012 will see supporters from all over the country in schools, colleges and businesses embracing the event’s new theme, superheroes. The theme stems from the charity’s belief that everybody who joins the fight – from people affected by breast cancer, to Breast Cancer Campaign scientists and all wear it pink participants – is a superhero.
Breast Cancer Campaign is asking everyone to pull on something pink and donate £2.00, whether it’s a superhero cape, pink socks or pink pants you wear over your tights, you can help the charity achieve its target of raising £2 million, so they can continue to fund ground-breaking research.
Join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink every year. With your help Breast Cancer Campaign can improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.
Dame Anne Begg MP says “Every year in the UK, around 48,000 women and 340 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. This is why we all need to support wear it pink day on 26th October, so that Breast Cancer Campaign can continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure.”
To take part in the UK’s original and best pink day visit wearitpink.co.uk and register to receive your free fundraising pack now. Vanish is backing the fight against breast cancer for the third year running by raising an incredible £250,000 for wear it pink.
“Many of my constituents cannot even get moderately fast broadband. They are therefore desperate for the introduction of superfast broadband, but 2015 is too far away. Aberdeen will be bidding to become one of the superfast cities. Can the Secretary of State give us an assurance that the criteria will include not only ease of installation and density of population but factors such as the industries that will depend on having superfast broadband? Aberdeen is an important economic driver in the north-east of Scotland.”
In response to the recent decision by Flybe to cut Aberdeen to Gatwick flights, Dame Anne has said: “I am disappointed to hear about Flybe’s decision to cut flights to Gatwick. While Easyjet do provide some flights to Gatwick, Flybe’s decision will cut down the passenger numbers who fly to the airport unless another operator decides to take up the route.”
“This comes off the back of BA’s purchase of BMI which has resulted in fewer flights between Aberdeen and Heathrow. I understand that BA is about to launch a new route to London City and Virgin Atlantic are interested in picking up some of the Heathrow flights, but at the moment it is impossible to tell that if at the end of this process whether the people of Aberdeen will have as much choice of Airport as they do presently, which I certainly hope they will.”
Dame Anne went to the Castlegate celebrations on the evening of Monday 11th June to see the Olympic torch formally arrive in Aberdeen. Speaking about the ceremony, Anne said: “It was an amazing evening and there was a fantastic reaction from Aberdeen folk welcoming the torch.”