Minister forced to admit that US Military is Prestwick Airport’s largest customer

Facing questions from North East MSP Mike Rumbles in the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee this morning, The Scottish Government’s Transport Secretary admitted that the US Military, not RyanAir, provides Prestwick Airport’s single largest income stream. It is expected that the news will be a major concern for potential buyers for the business.

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Piecemeal regulation failing our crofting community

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, the Rural Economy Cabinet Secretary ignored calls from Scotland’s crofting community and ignored clear recommendations set out in a cross-party report by the Rural, Economy and Connectivity Committee, to bring an end to piecemeal crofting legislation and produce a comprehensive crofting bill during this session of Parliament.

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Calls for groundwork to be laid for fresh rail operator

Commenting on ScotRail boss Alex Hynes’ appearance before the Rural Affairs and Connectivity committee, at which he confirmed that the rail firm did not expect to meet the franchise performance target of 92.5% until the end of 2021, Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP said:

“There is no point in a performance target if ScotRail intend to miss it for almost the entire duration of the franchise.

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Only half of youngsters waiting for mental health treatment in NHS Grampian seen within 18 weeks

Figures published by NHS Scotland’s Information Service Division today, show that only 51.2% of children waiting for mental health treatment under NHS Grampian in the quarter to the end of June 2019 were seen within the deadline.

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£30 million spent on supply teachers in North East since 2016

Teacher shortages are costing the four North East councils approximately £10 million per year, according to a freedom of information request obtained by North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles.

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6.8 million hours lost to staff illness since 2016 in North East – Rumbles

NHS Grampian and NHS Tayside are each losing over 1 million hours of staff time to illness each year, according to a freedom of information request obtained by North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles.

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Cancer waiting times not met for a quarter of North East patients - Rumbles

Cash strapped NHS Grampian failed to meet national standards for 24% of patients waiting for urgent cancer treatment in the first quarter of 2019, according to figures publishes by MHS Scotland’s Information Services Division (ISD) today.  

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NHS Grampian among worst in Scotland for hospital dental treatment waits

There are presently five times as many patients in NHS Grampian who have waited over 12 weeks for hospital dental treatment than there were four years ago, according to figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through the Scottish Parliament’s independent research library SPICe.

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Rumbles welcomes creation of independent post-Brexit rural policy group

Scottish Liberal Democrat rural economy spokesperson Mike Rumbles has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government has convened a group of independent representatives from consumer, producer and environmental organisations to help design a new bespoke system for rural support after 2020.

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Rumbles worried by increase in fatal road accidents and calls for action on rural hotspots

Commenting on figures published by Transport Scotland today that show an increase of 10% in fatal accidents in 2018, Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson and North East MSP Mike Rumbles said:

“The Scottish Government has had mixed success in reducing serious accidents on our roads but not enough is being done to target safety on rural roads and major trunk roads. Cars are getting faster and safer but our rural roads haven’t kept up and the speeds on many of those roads are not fit for purpose. Countless roads in the North East, Highlands and Borders are just not suitable for cars travelling at 60 miles per hour.

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