Blair visit for First Min­is­ter

On the cam­paign trail with Pete Wishart

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Clare Damodaran

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

hard work.

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

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