I was honoured and humbled to be elected as the MP for the constituency where I grew up, was educated and have worked.
I am grateful to everyone who voted for me, but I am aware there are many in this constituency who did not. As I said on the morning of my election, I will seek to represent everyone in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine to the very best of my ability. Sir Robert Smith was a hardworking and diligent MP for West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine and I wish him well for the future.
I look forward to contributing to this column to give an insight into my role as your MP and to keep you updated with my work. As yet, I do not have a constituency office in place, but I am working on this and will provide contact details as soon as possible. In the interim, if you wish to contact me you can email at Stuart.Donaldson.firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Stuart Donaldson MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
It has been a hectic few weeks as myself and my colleagues get settled into our new roles in Westminster. It has been a lot to take in, but the Parliament staff could not have been more helpful or welcoming. The first few weeks have been taken up with some of the more traditional aspects of the start of a new Parliament, such as the election of the Speaker of the House of Commons and the swearing in of MPs. I believe that the new group of SNP MPs is the most diverse and representative that Westminster has seen, and we will all endeavour to represent our constituents and hold the Government to account to the best of our ability.
I appreciate the diverse geographical nature of the constituency which I now represent, from rural farmland to the subsea centre of excellence in Westhill. I recently met with a Minister from the Department of Energy & Climate Change in Aberdeen, to stress the need for stability for the oil and gas industry, and I am also working closely with SNP colleagues from other rural constituencies around Scotland to ensure such interests have a strong voice at Westminster. I have also written to The Chancellor of the Exchequer pressing him for the quick delivery of the City/Region deal for Aberdeen City and Shire, to ensure this area remains a great place to live and work.
Constituency visits have already been high on my agenda, including meeting with the community and businesses affected by the fire in Ballater, meeting apprentices at my old place of work, the Milton Brasserie in Crathes, and opening the new playground for Banchory Devenick Primary School. Recently concerns have been raised with me regarding the closure if the RBS branch in Alford; I have been in touch with many residents of Alford and I will be writing to the CEO of RBS to stress how important to the local community the branch is, and to make the case for RBS to reconsider the closure.
I would be delighted to welcome any of my constituents who may wish to visit the Palace of Westminster and give them a tour. I will be getting out and about in the constituency as much as possible over the summer, particularly as we approach the agricultural show and Highland games season. If you do need to meet with me in the constituency during this transition period, I am more than happy to meet in a location convenient to you.
I feel incredibly privileged to be your representative in parliament for the next five years and will work hard for everyone in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine.