Category Archives: Local Issues

North East MPs call for local jobs boost

North East Liberal Democrat MPs Malcolm Bruce MP and Sir Robert Smith MP are urging the Westminster Government to give a boost to jobs by providing an investment plan for Carbon Capture & Storage.

The MPs met representatives of the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry in Westminster to discuss the potential of CCS to stimulate the local and national economies.

Malcolm Bruce MP, the MP for Gordon, said:

“Carbon capture and storage could create 13,000 jobs in Scotland by 2020, and another 14,000 elsewhere in the UK, spread across a wide range of skills. The UK and Scotland remains well placed for technological leadership – our share of worldwide carbon capture and storage business could be worth more than £10 billion a year by around 2025.

“The North East of Scotland has geographic advantages and can draw on the vast expertise and experience of the Aberdeen City and Shire Oil and Gas industry bringing prosperity, growth and jobs to the region in the low carbon economy.”

Sir Robert Smith MP, member of the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change and MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine added:

“CCS is a major opportunity for Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the UK. With the prize now in sight, we must not allow this to slip away. We urge the Government to put in place a streamlined procurement process as swiftly as possible to deliver the commitment to four CCS projects.

“We look forward to the publication shortly of DECC’s ‘CCS Roadmap’, which is the opportunity to lay out a strong, clear and well-defined commitment to a programme of investment planning for CCS in both the short and long term.”

“Millie” arrives at the Tolbooth Museum, Stonehaven

“Millie” has arrived at the Tolbooth Museum, Stonehaven, and is now on display there. “Millie” is a 10” model of the millipede Pneumodesmus Newmani. The fossil of the millipede was found by Mike Newman in 2003 in the sandstone rocks of the foreshore at Cowie, Stonehaven. It is around 428 million years old and the oldest known air-breathing animal in the world. The Model has been commissioned and paid for by Aberdeenshire Council Museum Service and donated to the Tolbooth Group, which now runs the Museum in partnership with the Council.

The Tolbooth Group is discussing with Aberdeenshire Council the continued operation of the Museum in the coming Spring and Autumn when it is hoped to be able to open six days a week. Meanwhile it is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons up to the end of March.

The Tolbooth Group is considering changes to the layout of the museum and has identified some themes for the coming Spring/Summer season. The work will be carried out in the next couple of months in the leadup to the fuller opening times. This is being masterminded by George Strang who would be pleased to hear from anybody who can assist with this.

Further good news for the Tolbooth is that a local businessman has donated £500 to the Tolbooth Group.

Cllr Peter Bellarby, Chair of the Tolbooth Group, welcomed “Millie” to the Museum and said: “This fossil is hugely significant and now visitors to the Tolbooth will be able to see what the creature looked like. The Tolbooth continues to be a success story and that is due to all those who have helped, whether it is by manning the Museum, lending artefacts, carrying out practical tasks or making a donation”.

Anybody who would like to help can go to the Tolbooth Group’s website
Go to Tolbooth Group Website through which they can contact the Group.

Tolbooth Museum at Stonehaven Welcomes 10,000th Visitor

The Tolbooth Museum reached a landmark on Sunday (20th November) when Ian and Eileen Taylor of Montrose became the 10,000th and 10,001st visitors to visit the Museum since the Museum began operations under the Tolbooth Group on 28th May this year. Mr and Mrs Taylor were welcomed to the Museum by the Chair of the Tolbooth Group, Peter Bellarby, and Lorraine Grant, Cultural Services Manager, Aberdeenshire Council. The visitors were presented with a certificate to mark the occasion and a voucher to be used at the Tolbooth Restaurant by Bill Howatson, Provost of Aberdeenshire.

Provost Bill Howatson makes the presentation to Ian and Eileen Taylor – Jim Bruce looks on

They were then shown round the Museum by volunteer curators Jacqui Harrold and Shona Barclay. Shona was able to show the visitors a scrap book that she had compiled. This had cuttings in it about the award of the first Saltire Society award for Studies in Scottish Heritage to pupils of Mackie Academy, Shona included, in 1963. The pupils had made a representation of the life of fisherfolk as it was a hundred years earlier in 1863. They performed a playlet at the award ceremony held in Stonehaven Town Hall. Later in the year the pupils repeated this before the Queen Mother when she came to open the Tolbooth Museum.

Provost Howatson said: “This is a landmark event for the Tolbooth Museum and the proactive volunteers and their partners are to be congratulated on their efforts to promote the museum and reflect an integral part of Stonehaven’s rich history. It is an excellent example of good partnership working.”

Ms Grant said: “I am delighted to join our Provost here today, both to celebrate the Tolbooth’s impressive visitor numbers, but also to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of all the volunteers who have given so enthusiastically of their time, skills, knowledge and collections to help make the 2011 season such a success. It has been great to see the facility being transformed through such levels of local support, and I hope that the Tolbooth continues to attract such capable volunteers in the years to come.”

Peter Bellarby said: “Many thanks are due to the Tolbooth Restaurant, which is situated above the Museum on the first floor, for donating the voucher to be used in the restaurant. The Tolbooth Restaurant, with its sea food specialities, is another visitor attraction in Stonehaven and it is good to see the Museum and Restaurant working together.”

The Tolbooth Museum has been operated by the Tolbooth Group, a community partnership between Stonehaven Town Partnership, and Stonehaven and District Community Council, opening for the first time under the new arrangements on 28th May 2011. It has been operated entirely by volunteers and there are now over 40 volunteers. It has also been a fruitful partnership with Aberdeenshire Council Museums Service, which has provided some of the artefacts on display as well as providing help and advice. Other artefacts have been loaned by Stonehaven Heritage Society, Jim Bruce, and other local residents and groups. Jim Bruce is an avid collector of bygones and has loaned a significant number of items, most recently to recreate what a 1950’s kitchen looked like.

Over the Summer it has been open 6 days a week. Such has been the enthusiasm generated that the Museum is continuing to be open during the Autumn and coming Winter on Saturdays and Sundays, something that has not been done in the past, and is continuing to attract visitors at these times.

The Tolbooth has attracted a large number of visitors from both near and far as well as many locals. There have been visitors from as far away as the Falkland Islands, New Zealand and Vietnam.