Weather station

Sir Bob Smith explains the new system to Audrey Davies.
Sir Bob Smith explains the new system to Audrey Davies.

Residents in Deeside and Donside were relieved to hear the Scottish Government has introduced a new cold weather monitoring station in Aboyne which will cover Banchory and the surrounding area instead of the current one at the airport.

West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine MP Sir Robert had been contacted by a number of constituents in recent years who had noted the temperature outside their homes had, on occasions, been zero or below for seven consecutive days but they hadn’t received the government’s cold weather payments. This was due to the fact the temperature used to monitor payments for the scheme were measured in Dyce, which had milder days.

He raised this with the Department of Work and Pensions and, following a review, the minister agreed to add an additional monitoring station to the scheme at Aboyne which will cover those living in the following postcode areas: AB30-32, AB51-54, DD8-9 previously measured in Dyce. People living in AB33 and 34 will also be monitored from Aboyne; they were previously monitored at Braemar.

Sir Robert said: “This is good news for many residents facing rising energy bills. The airport often had milder days than Deeside. I am grateful that the government has reacted positively to the concerns of worried constituents and seen the sense of moving to an inland measuring point.”

Cold weather payments are separate from, and in addition to, winter fuel payments. For this winter 2011-12 the cold weather payment rate will continue to be £25 for seven-day period of very cold weather.