Political party launches a N E of Scotland Manifesto


The Scottish Conservatives have launched a manifesto for the North East of Scotland. They are the only party to show this concentrated focus on the region. It becomes clear as the other parties also clarify their broader manifestos, that the Conservatives are the only party fully committed to the oil and gas industry.

In launching this manifesto, they have accused the SNP government of neglecting the North East region, and of focusing too heavily on the Central Belt area. This is a belief that is widely held amongst the North East business community and has been growing since the 2015 oil crises when little support was made available to business in the North East.

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Outgoing Nuclear Power Minister and General Election candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Andrew Bowie, has pledged road upgrades and funding boosts for the region if re-elected.

The Tories are putting protecting jobs in the oil and gas industry at the heart of their campaign, accusing Labour and the SNP of wanting to shut down North Sea exploration. In addition, they commit to “upgrading the A90 and A96 roads, as well as protecting farming and fishing, and the full rollout of fibre broadband by 2027.” Andrew Bowie stated, “This manifesto outlines key policies that would revitalise the North East, which has been betrayed by this central belt-focused SNP Government.”

The Manifesto makes 11 Promises to the N E electorate.

  1. Backing Oil and Gas Workers Across the North East:
  1. Support the oil and gas industry, recognizing its critical role in the regional economy.
  1. Upgrading the A90 and A96 Roads:
  1. Improve key transport routes to enhance connectivity and support economic growth.
  1. Cutting Taxes:
  1. Reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses to stimulate economic activity and investment.
  1. Supporting the Fishing Industry:
  1. Provide necessary backing to the fishing industry, ensuring access to markets and sustainable practices post-Brexit.
  1. Investing in Digital Infrastructure:
  1. Enhance broadband and mobile connectivity, focusing on rural areas to bridge the digital divide.
  1. Improving Healthcare Services:
  1. Address NHS workforce shortages, invest in staff wellbeing, and ensure accessible and efficient healthcare services.
  1. Boosting Education and Skills:
  1. Collaborate with educational institutions to integrate digital skills into the curriculum and improve educational outcomes.
  1. Promoting Digital Innovation:
  1. Encourage startups and tech companies to establish themselves in the North East and support R&D in digital technologies.
  1. Enhancing Public Services Through Digital Means:
  1. Implement digital solutions to make public services more efficient and accessible, including advancements in healthcare, education, and local government services.
  1. Ensuring Cybersecurity and Data Protection:
  1. Secure digital infrastructure and protect personal data, promoting best practices in cybersecurity.
  1. Eradicating Rough Sleeping by 2026:
  1. Aim to eliminate rough sleeping through targeted support and interventions.

In making such a clear commitment to the Oil and Gas industry the Tories have demonstrated that they are the only political party committed to safeguarding the industry. They are joined in this fight by excellent representation from the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and by several Unions. At the heart of the efforts being made by the Unions stand Unite and the GMB. Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham has warned Labour against allowing “oil and gas workers in Scotland to become the coal miners of our generation”, referring to the devastating impact of pit closures in the 1980s.

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