Urgent issues facing Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine residents

Improving transport is the most urgent issue in Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, according to a recent survey.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:00 am
One of the urgent issues facing residents is better transport services.
One of the urgent issues facing residents is better transport services.

It comes as the UK Government is set to outline its plan to 'level up' the country, though anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said it must improve on its "piecemeal" attempts so far.

A survey by think tank Demos asked 20,000 adults in parliamentary constituencies across Great Britain to choose which one of nine issues most urgently needs improving in their local area.

In Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, 21 per cent of residents chose good transport services. This was followed by good local shops (19%), and fast, reliable internet access (13%).

Demos said prioritising retailers was particularly prevalent in more built-up areas, while rural communities were more likely to see a lack of quality transport as a problem.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen's Speech – to be unveiled later this year – saying it would "turbocharge" economic recovery nationwide.

But the JRF said the Government has produced just "a series of piecemeal individual policies" so far and called on the legislation to address the long-term challenges facing parts of the UK.

Mike Hawking, head of policy and partnerships at the charity, added: "The Government has now promised levelling up will be about improving living standards, and it’s against this promise that they should be judged.

"The best way to do this is by boosting jobs and growing earnings in economically weaker parts of the country, and we look forward to seeing the Government bring forward plans to do this."

The survey also asked people how happy they are with what is currently on offer in their area.

In Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, an estimated 23 per cent of residents think that the provision of facilities they consider most important is nearer to 'bad' than 'good' – compared to the national average of 25%.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the Levelling Up Fund will regenerate high streets, upgrade local transport and invest in cultural assets.