MP's tour sees hospital hours and broadband issues raised

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid visited 65 locations on his summer surgery tour.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid visited 65 locations on his summer surgery tour.

Reduced opening hours at local hospitals, poor broadband connectivity and upkeep of local towns and villages were amongst the issues raised at David Duguid’s summer surgery tour.

The Banff and Buchan MP visited 65 locations across the constituency last month to hear directly from local residents.

Mr Duguid said quality of life issues dominated the agenda, with repeated concerns raised about plans to cut opening hours at minor injury units (MIU) within Chalmers Hospital in Banff and Turriff Hospital.

Problems with broadband connectivity and speeds were also raised repeatedly.

And locals were concerned about the council’s maintenance of public areas – both in towns and in rural parts of the constituency.

Mr Duguid said that the problems with grass cutting and weeding were in “stark contrast” to the work by volunteers to hang flower baskets in towns and villages across the local area.

The MP pledged to take action on all issues raised.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the summer surgery tour and the chance to talk directly to constituents about the issues that matter to them.

“I was not surprised that concerns over the planned reduction in opening hours at Chalmers Hospital and Turriff Hospital came up again and again.

“I campaigned to maintain the status quo at both hospitals, and was disappointed when the decision was made to cut back the hours in Banff.

“I have asked for another meeting with the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to discuss this issue further.

“I have worked since my election in 2017 to improve broadband connectivity for people across Banff and Buchan. We have just heard again this week that the SNP government’s R100 scheme is well behind schedule – with contracts for the work yet to awarded.

“While responsibility for telecommunications legislation lies with Westminster, Holyrood has responsibility for the actual roll-out of superfast broadband. I will keep the pressure up to ensure no-one is left behind.

“I have also taken up complaints with the council about the maintenance of public areas.

“I have to say that the beautiful floral displays by volunteers, not only in towns but also in rural areas, were in stark contrast to weeds sprouting out of gutters in some of our towns.

“We need to do all we can to encourage tourism, and a vital part of that is making sure that our towns and villages look the best they can at all times. That means preserving and enhancing our town centres to showcase the beauty of our historic architecture.”