Argyll and Bute food and drink expo wow’s Westminster

The high profile event, ‘A Taste of Argyll and Bute’ was co-hosted by Eleanor, Duchess of Argyll and was supported by the Food from Argyll group.
Among those welcomed to parliament by Mr O’Hara were Loch Fyne Oysters, The Scottish Salmon Company, Bute Brewery, Mull of Kintyre Cheese, the Puffer from Easdale, Argyll Hill Lamb, Fyne Ales, Loch awe Smokehouse, The Slate Island Seaweed Company, Ritchie’s of Bute, Gigha Halibut and Lussa Gin from Jura.

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Apart from treating dozens of MPs and Lords to some fantastic locally produced food and drink, those who made the 1000 mile round trip to London also had the opportunity to meet and discuss business with several high-end shop buyers as well as representatives and chefs from some quality London restaurants.
Also on hand at Westminster to lend their support to the event were representatives from Argyll and Bute Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise and The Food and Drink Federation.


Source: Argyll and Bute food and drink expo wow’s Westminster

UK Defence Capability ‘Hollow Force’ After Years Of Endless Tory Cuts

SNP Defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP has said that trails of a speech to be made by Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter, are ‘deeply worrying’ and add more weight to the argument that the UK’s defence capability is now a ‘hollow force’.

According to excerpts from his speech, Sir Nick Carter will say: “Our ability to pre-empt or respond to threats will be eroded if we don’t keep up with our adversaries.” He is making an unusual and rare intervention to the public debate amid concerns about endless defence cuts.

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SNP MSP Richard Lochhead launched his Fair Delivery Charges website last month after first raising the issue at First Minster’s Questions in December 2016 that brought the issue to national attention.

The campaign website has so far received over 2,000 submissions from the public and has highlighted examples of absurd surcharges that are too often levied on Scottish consumers.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed to crackdown on firms that, despite advertising UK-wide delivery, penalise residents and businesses in rural Scotland with extortionate delivery surcharges, following a meeting with Richard Lochhead MSP last week. Scottish and UK Ministers have also agreed to investigate the cases highlighted by the campaign.

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“It is absolutely astonishing that online shoppers in Scotland are having to spend an estimated additional £36.3 million each year on parcel delivery surcharges compared to the rest of the UK simply because of where they live.

“This Christmas will be more expensive for many Scots online shoppers because of parcel delivery surcharges that are applied without any justification to many northern postcodes. Many retailers deliver free or for a modest cost but others apply eye watering surcharges amounting to a whopping £36.3 million in extra costs.

“So far, my campaign has led to the UK Government agreeing to review rip-off surcharges and inspired action from the Advertising Standards Authority to crackdown on the firms that are charging extortionate delivery fees for residents and businesses in rural Scotland.

“One of the latest examples of rip-off surcharges is a £500 delivery fee to the Hebrides for Amazon items costing £85, and this is just one of many ridiculous examples of excessive delivery surcharges.

“Rural Scotland is home to some of the most loyal online shoppers and in the run up to Christmas I will continue campaigning and piling the pressure on retailers to end the rip-off surcharge facing too many Scottish consumers.

“This new research vindicates a campaign that has caught the public imagination and won support across Scotland and the political spectrum. It’s now time for the authorities to act and for every retailer to review its delivery charges and to stop discriminating against many parts of Scotland.”