Blair visit for First Minister
On the campaign trail with Pete Wishart
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Blairgowrie on Monday this week as the general election campaign stepped up a gear with just two weeks to go until polling day.
During her visit to the east Perthshire town she visited the Strathmore Centre for Youth Development (SCYD) where she met volunteers and local high school pupils, before stopping off at florists Something Special Flowers, the Cateran Cafe and the Allan Street branch of children’s charity Barnardo’s.
She was joined on the visit by the SNP’s Perth and North Perthshire hopeful Pete Wishart and Deputy First Minster John Swinney – also the MSP for Perthshire North – and local branch members and supporters.
The First Minister enjoyed coffee and cake at the Wellmeadow Cafe, a social enterprise that is open to members of the public, and had time to play pool with some of the youngsters at the centre.
Commenting on the importance of the Perth and North Perthshire seat in the general election, Nicola said: “This seat has been held by the SNP for 20 years and is one of the target seats that the Conservatives are focusing on.
“Pete has been a fantastic MP for this area and a tireless champion for the interests of the people in his constituency as well as a strong voice for Scotland as a whole.
“In this election we need strong voices, particularly against the Tory policies of autersity and attacks on pensions.
“We need strong voices in Scotland and in Perthshire and Pete is the ideal candidate to do this.”
She also thanked campaign volunteers in the SNP’s office in Blairgowrie for all their
The First Minister described the Wellmeadow Cafe and the Den at SCYD which were officially opened by Pete Wishart almost two years ago - as“a fantastic facility”, adding that the cakes were“definitely a highlight”.
Amongst those waiting to greet her was local musician Derek Bisset who performed his self-penned tune, The Heart of Blairgowrie.
And the young people at SCYD were delighted that the First Minister took the time to visit the centre and see for herself the facilities for young people in the town.
SCYD volunteer Jordan Reid, who is also a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:“It was a pleasure to meet her and we are really pleased that she took the time to visit SCYD and Blairgowrie.
“She spoke to members of staff here and some of the volunteers about the work we do here and the issues surrounding funding for organisations like ours in these times of austerity.”
Karen Henderson delivers employability workshops at SCYD. She said:“It was lovely to meet her, she is so normal and it was nice to hear her views on various issues.
“She took the time to speak to everyone which was nice.”
Following her visit to SCYD, the First Minister popped in to award-winning florists Something Special on Allan Street.
Florist Debbie Macintyre said:“We spoke about the Chelsea Flower Show and she knew that Jillian and Stephen were down for that this week, and we chatted about Jillian’s gold medal in 2014 for the floral dress she created.
“It was good to see her, we’re glad she popped in to say hello and we gave her some flowers.”
Nicola also spoke to customers at the Cateran Cafe on the High Street.
Owner George Gall said:“It was lovely to see her and it is really good that she came out to see Blairgowrie and what’s going on here. And of course we’re delighted that she chose to stop in the Cateran Cafe for a cuppie despite her very busy schedule.
“She spoke to all our staff and quite a few of our customers which was nice.”
Walkabout First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Pete Wishart, Perth and North Perthshire Westminster candidate in Blairgowrie this week and (left) Nicola gets a‘selfie’with local supporters