Category Archives: Health

Crowds turn out to celebrate Olympic & Paralympic achievements

Thousands of people turned out on Sunday for the celebration of the athletes, volunteers and organisers from the north-east of Scotland who helped make this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games such a success. They lined Castlegate, Union Street and Golden Square in Aberdeen, gathered en masse in Westhill and braved the rain showers at Haddo Park. The event, organised by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council, took place on Sunday, September 16.

Following a private breakfast reception at the Town House in Aberdeen, the public event began at the Castlegate where people had a chance to see the athletes and volunteers and take photos, as they gathered at the gold post box of Katherine Grainger. Rower Katherine Grainger, canoeist Tim Baille and cyclist Neil Fachie were able to show off their gold medals. They boarded an open-topped bus which paraded through the heart of Aberdeen, visiting the post boxes painted gold in their honour. They were joined by swimmers Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick, and Paralympic cyclist Lora Turnham.

The bus paraded down Union Street was led by the Portlethen & District Pipe Band, and be followed by dozens of Torchbearers, Games Makers and other volunteers. The bus made a detour round Golden Square to the gold post box which recognises the achievement of Paralympic cyclist Neil Fachie.

The bus made its way at normal speed to Westhill, for the next leg of the tour, at Tim Baillie’s gold post box on Westhill Drive. From there, the athletes, volunteers and Torchbearers joined other guests for a civic reception at Haddo House.

Peter Bellarby was amongst the councillors from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire who were present at the receptions. He said:
“I was delighted to be there to pay tribute to all the athletes from the North East who took part in the games, the Grampian Police officers who went to London to help, all those volunteers who went down to London and elsewhere to help at both games and to the torchbearers.

“I talked to many of them and it is clear that it had been a thrilling experience for all of them. I hope that there will be a lasting legacy from these games in the encouragement it gives to people to enjoy a more active lifestyle and to participate in sport. It can only be good for health and contribute to the enjoyment of life. The Paralympic Games, in particular, has a very powerful message to those with a disability. Don’t let the disability stop you doing things! There is much that you can do and much enjoyment to be had.”

Bill Howatson is the new Chair at NHS Grampian

The new chairman of the Board of NHS Grampian is Bill Howatson, Provost of Aberdeenshire.

Bill is councillor for the Mearns ward of Aberdeenshire Council. He said “I very much welcome this opportunity to contribute towards the development of health and healthcare in the north-east.

“These are exciting times for the NHS in Grampian and my focus will be on delivering the ambitious plans we have for the service.

“Traditionally in Grampian, the NHS and our partners, including the local authorities, have enjoyed very close working relationships and I intend to continue to forge links with colleagues in all partner agencies.”

Peter Bellarby offers his congratluations to Provost Howatson on his appointment.

Lib Dem Achievements in Government

Over the last few weeks, I have been disappointed to hear fellow Liberal Democrats repeat the accusations of our opposition, and in particular certain portions of the national media who have been desperately trying to portray Lib Dems in a negative light.  There is a continuing misconception that the Liberal Democrats sacrificed too much to the Conservatives during coalition negotiations. Here’s the real story of what we have achieved in Government.

This document is already 3 months old, so the list has grown since then, but it is a good starting point.

Lib Dem Achievements in Government


After the first TV debate during the General Election campaign, our opponents recognised that Nick Clegg was our strongest asset.  Since the morning of the second debate, there has been a sustained attack on him personally and on the reputation of the party as a whole.  Even Ed Milliband has resorted to personal attacks on Nick Clegg.  It is disgraceful, gutter politics.  Unfortunately, if you throw enough mud, it will eventually stick.

Nick Clegg is the antithesis of Teflon Tony Blair.  His record, as demonstrated above, is one to be proud of.  I for one, do not think I could cope with excrement posted through my door, my effigy being burnt, being called a traitor and receiving death threats and still come out fighting the way that Nick Clegg did at the Sheffield Lib Dem Conference.

I cannot agree with those in the party that take the attitude that they are in politics to fight Conservatism as a result of Thatcher’s legacy.  Saying that we would only go into a coalition with a discredited, illiberal, economically incompetent Labour Party would doom our party into subservience.

I came into politics and joined the Lib dems to make a difference on issue that I cared about, whether it was the environment, children’s welfare or civil liberties.  I believe in the values of the party, that local people know best about their area, that solutions should last and that everyone deserves a fair chance.

Those values, issues and policies are now being successfully implemented in Government, and it is a record that we should all be proud of.