My thoughts remain with Peter’s family and friends during this difficult time following his tragic death in Marykirk.
Storm Babet brought significant disruption across the North of Scotland. The weather caused much devastation across the region and once again we experienced severely strong winds. As has been the case before the highwinds caused their own issues with trees falling resulting in several power outages.
As a Minister in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, whilst also keeping on top of the general impact of the storm on the constituency, I was also in close contact with SSEN to ensure that outages were quickly addressed.
Following the aftermath of Storm Arwen discussions were held with SSEN regarding their response and what lessons could be learnt. I am pleased that these lessons have been learned and the positive results were clear to see during, and after, Storm Babet.
A number of constituents have already noted that there was asignificant improvement on communication both between SSEN and elected members, and SSEN and customers. This led to not only homes being quickly reconnected but also accurately predicted. Similarly, SSEN was much better prepared with engineers already in place in North East Scotland ready to act.
I have written to SSEN to thank them for their response to the Storm.
Further to this I also held a meeting with North East MPs to discuss any issues they were having in their constituencies regarding power outages. I am thankful to colleagues for working together during the challenging circumstances.
I was also pleased to see that Aberdeenshire Council have taken steps to improve their response to significant storms and that their action during and after Storm Babet is to be commended. I have similarly wrote to the Chief Executive to thank the Council for their work.
The heavy rainfall of course once again brought flooding to many parts of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. I was pleased to see that the new defences in Stonehaven were effective in preventing any significant flooding to properties in the town. This was an important investment for residents. It is crucial that other parts of the constituency such as Ballater, Marykirk, Aboyne, and other vulnerable settlements see similar defences put in place.
I will also be chairing a meeting of the Ballater Flood Group on the 16th November. Details for which can be found here.