It has certainly been a busy year and I have written about many things in the Mearns Leader from the General Election to problems in our local health service to the troubles being faced by our local economy.
It has been a varied year in the Scottish Parliament and I have continued to fight the North East’s corner in Holyrood whether it is on health, infrastructure or many of the other issues which have presented.
There will be a range of issues which will continue to affect the North East next year and it’s important that the pressure is kept up to ensure our region gets the support it needs.
Our health service remains in the position that it needs significant investment to ensure that patients in the North East receive the level of care they deserve. Waiting times targets, staffing levels and patients having to travel for treatment all need addressed and it clear that this requires further action.
The downturn in the local oil and gas industry is one which we are feeling the effects of particularly in terms of employment and I have and will continue to push for more support for those who have been worst affected.
The issue of paramount importance for the North East in the next year will be the Aberdeen City Region Deal which is estimated to be valued at £2.9billion over 20 years. This investment in our local economy would be huge and is long overdue and I congratulate the two local authorities for taking it forward. What we need to see now is a commitment from the Governments both sides of the border to ensure that this city region deal becomes a reality and I will continue to push to ensure that this is the case.
I’d like to finish by wishing all readers a happy holiday season and best wishes for 2016.