North East news : Lewis Macdonald

20 April 2018

The SNP government has scrapped its Oil and Gas Bulletin, Scottish Labour can reveal.

The bulletin was twice published in 2013 and then once in 2014 as part of a failed bid to justify an economic case for independence.

It was only published once – in 2015 – after the independence referendum vote and the oil price crash.

The Office for Statistics Regulation has now confirmed the SNP has no plans to publish a further bulletin.

Scottish Labour said the decision showed the SNP was now “actively disowning” the oil and gas industry.

Scottish Labour’s energy spokesperson Lewis Macdonald said:

“This is a disgraceful decision.

“It shows that not only have SNP ministers given up trying to help the oil and gas industry – but they are now actively disowning it.

“In the run up to the independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon promised oil revenues of £8billion a year – and the SNP government published the Oil and Gas Bulletin twice in 2013 and once in 2014 in support.

“Since the oil price collapse, we have only had one Bulletin – as long ago as 2015.

That is simply a disgrace.

“With thousands of jobs lost and the industry still in recovery, we need as much information as possible on the state of the North Sea.

“Instead, Nationalist ministers have decided to bury their heads in the sand in an attempt to avoid a political humiliation.

“The SNP should reverse this decision and start helping the oil and gas industry rather than treating it as a political inconvenience.”

"If reports ahead of the publication of the SNP's growth commission are to be believed, the Nationalists no longer plan to use oil and gas in its creative accountancy around independence - it no longer serves the SNP's ends so the industry and workforce suffer the consequences.

"As always with the SNP, a choice between what is good for the Scottish people and what is good for Scottish independence has seen the people lose out.”

20 April 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has today welcomed assurances that Malcolm Wright has not been appointed permanent Chief Executive at NHS Tayside, and remains in post at NHS Grampian.

He asked the Health Minister Shona Robison for clarification on his position following her ministerial statement earlier in the week, when she described Malcolm Wright as the “new Chief Executive” of NHS Tayside.

Lewis Macdonald said:

“I welcome the assurance that Malcolm Wright will continue as Chief Executive of NHS Grampian.

“This will help to ease concerns that the crisis in NHS Tayside will affect plans for NHS Grampian, including establishment of a major trauma centre at Foresterhill in October this year.

“Malcom Wright has done a good job under difficult circumstances, and it is important that he continues as Accountable Officer with responsibility for delivery of NHS service in Grampian at what is a critical time for the NHS Board.”


15 March 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on the Scottish Government to set a “firm and final” date for the completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, after Balfour Beatty revealed to shareholders that the project would not be completed before Summer 2018.

Lewis said :

“The Scottish Government has a lot of questions to answer over this latest delay to the AWPR project.

"Keith Brown answered my parliamentary question on 1 March to say that the road would be finished by the Spring, but now it turns out that is not going to happen.

“Instead of Ministers telling MSPs about this new delay, the news only came out because Balfour Beatty told their shareholders that the project was now due for completion in the summer.

“I have tabled parliamentary questions today to try to establish the truth behind this delay, and to demand that Ministers now set a firm and final date when the AWPR will be open to use.”

Written questions tabled by Lewis :

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what the planned completion date is for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) and, if this has changed, when it did so.

To ask the Scottish Government whether the planned completion date of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) is later than Spring 2018 and, if so, whether it advised Balfour Beatty that it could release that information to shareholders before ministers informed the Parliament.

Answer to Lewis Macdonald MSP’s parliamentary question on 1 March 2018:

To ask the Scottish Government in which month it anticipates the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will be fully open.

Answered by Keith Brown (01/03/2018):

We have always been clear about the timescale for this project. I have previously stated the intention to open the AWPR this Spring and indeed, on a recent site visit, I saw for myself that work has been progressing in recent months and the new road is now clearly visible to local communities.

However, it is becoming apparent that Carillion’s announcement may have some impact on this programme indirectly through the effect on the supply chain and we are working closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited to mitigate those impacts where we can.

Clearly, on a site like this, extreme weather events such as Storm Frank in 2015 and this week’s exceptional weather conditions will have consequential impacts on progress. However, we are continuing to work with the contractor and our stakeholders, with a view to delivering the benefits associated with opening sections of the project as soon as it is safe to do so.

6 March 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion congratulating Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) on its 150th anniversary, ahead of a Civic Reception at the Town House on 7th March hosted by the Lord Provost and Aberdeen City Council.

Lewis said :

“It is 150 years since Aberdeen Trades Union Council was formed in the city, the first permanent alliance of organised workers in different trades and industries in the North East.

“ATUC and its members continue to represent workers across Aberdeen, and the organisation has worked closely with Labour politicians since the first Independent Labour MP in the city was elected to represent Aberdeen North a hundred years ago this year.”

The motion tabled in the Scottish Parliament by Lewis reads :

Title: 150th Anniversary of Aberdeen Trades Union Council

Motion Text:

That the Parliament recognises that Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018; understands that the ATUC, which was formed in 1868 as the first permanent alliance of organised workers in different trades and industries in the north east, continues to represent the interests of workers today; notes that the celebrations started with a civic reception, which was hosted by the Lord Provost and city council at the Town House on 7 March and will continue throughout the year at regular annual events, including International Women’s Day, International Workers Memorial Day, the May Day and St Andrew's Day marches, with a civic reception with Aberdeenshire Council in November; commends all who have been involved with the ATUC throughout its long and illustrious history, and looks forward to many more years of effective trade union organisation and representation in Aberdeen and North East Scotland.