January Newsletter - Text Only Version

Published date : 30 January, 2024

Hello and welcome to my first Parliamentary report of 2024. Here you’ll find details on my activities over the last month as your MP.

It’s been a busy start to the year with some limited but welcome progress on the WASPI issue, concerns about the impact of UK trade deals on our egg producers and the worrying statistics that show access to cash machines in Gordon Constituency is under pressure as banks close and remove their ATMs.

Please get in touch if my team or I can assist you, by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 3545 2236. 

Yours sincerely,

Richard Thomson MP


In Westminster

Welsh Children Worried About Being Cold and Hungry

Research from the Bevan Foundation shows that nearly one in four Welsh children have reported having recently been worried about being cold, and around one in eight have worried about being hungry.

I put this to the Secretary of State for Wales, who had plenty to say about my party, but nothing to say about how he planned to use his position to improve matters.


Beneficial Ownership Registers: Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies

Public registers of beneficial ownership are a vital tool in helping to improve financial transparency and therefore reduce financial crime.

The UK Government has missed the target that it set to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

I spoke about the detrimental impact that the lack of transparency caused by the absence of public registers is having.


WASPI - An Update From The Ombudsman

I cautiously welcome the progress in the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s investigation into maladministration by the UK Government in the case of the WASPI women affected by changes to the State Pension age.

The Ombudsman has now shared their provisional views about injustice resulting from the maladministration identified during their stage one investigation and their thinking about remedy with complainants.

With yet another new Minister for Pensions at the helm following recent reshuffles within the UK Government, I’ll be writing again asking that the new Minister take heed of the direction of travel here and start getting the processes in place to make swift compensatory payments once the investigation is concluded.

This preparatory work can be done now and doesn’t need to wait for the formal report to be published. 


Across the Constituency

Royal Mail Inverurie Delivery Office Visit

In the lead up to Christmas, I visited Inverurie Royal Mail Delivery Office to see how it manages to get all our parcels, cards and letters to our loved ones in time for Christmas. Each December, the office deals with four times the amount of mail it usually handles. Postal staff do such an important job and I thank all of them across Gordon Constituency for their efforts.

I was also given an update on how the organisation is tackling its carbon footprint and transitioning to trains and hydrogen powered vehicles. It is good to see large scale businesses taking action in this regard.


Carol Service

I had the pleasure of attending a Carol Service on December 19th at St Marylebone Parish Church in London, in support of the University of Aberdeen’s student hardship fund. The hardship fund assists students who are struggling with rising living costs.

As the current Cost of Living crisis deepens, I am aware that there will be significant increases in requests for additional financial support from students who are unable to cover basic living expenses. This fund is incredibly important, as vulnerable students could otherwise face the decision of having to drop out of their studies and leave higher education behind.


NHS Grampian’s ‘Winter Package’

In December I attended an NHS Briefing where they shared their Winter Package of advice and support.

Each winter brings with it pressures on our health service, and NHS Grampian have produced a resource which contains lots of useful information, advice and tips, as well as information covering emergency situations.

You can find NHS Grampian’s Winter Package here.


Guide Dog End of Year Event

In December I attended the Guide Dogs End of Year event. The Guide Dogs event celebrated key campaign successes from 2023. I spoke with guide dog owners and cane users about the differences  these campaign successes will make.

There remain many challenges that need to be tackled to enable those with sight loss to travel and live independently. Huge thanks to the team at Guide Dogs for arranging this event which gave valuable understanding of issues facing people with vision impairment in their daily lives. I know that Guide Dogs has huge support within the Gordon constituency, and I am pleased to support their support.


LINK Access to Cash Report

A new survey by LINK found that the total amount of cash machines (ATMs) in the constituency has fallen by 26%. Between November 2018 and November 2023, the number of ATMs in Gordon Constituency fell from 84 to 62. Most of the disappearing cash machines will be a direct result of the closure of bank branches across the constituency.

The big banks and other institutions need to recognise that, for some people, electronic payments are not an option and they rely on being able to access cash and make purchases in cash. I support people’s right to choose to make payments in cash and I have made this clear to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of those of my constituents who have raised this with me.


In the news...

Thomson challenges UK government on threat to egg industry – Scottish Farmer, 7 December 2023

Gordon MP welcomes move to compensate Horizon Scandal victims – Grampian Online, 09 December 2023

Gordon MP comments on progress in WASPI women investigation – Grampian Online, 13 December 2023

Gordon MP sees Royal Mail in action at Inverurie delivery office - 21 December – Grampian Online, 21 December 2023

MP Highlights NHS Grampians Winter Package – Press Release, 22 December 2023

Top Tips for Safe Pets this Christmas – Press Release, 21 December 2023

Back to All News