Thursday 8 June
My heartfelt sympathies are with the families of those who lost their lives during the despicable and cowardly terror attack in London.
We saw yet again the bravery, dedication, selflessness and professionalism of the police and of those who work in the NHS and fire service.
As was the case after the Manchester attack, the public can expect to see a more visible police presence, particularly in busy areas – this will include an increase in armed police.
At what I know is an anxious time, my message to you is be vigilant, report anything of suspicion to the police – but otherwise continue to live your lives as normal.
At 10pm tonight the polls will close and the counts will start. By the time you are reading this many of you will already have cast your vote, for those who haven’t I’d urge you to get to your polling station before 10pm and assert your democratic right.
Community Central Halls
Huge congratulations to Community Central Halls on their 40th Anniversary and to Development Services Manager Gary Gentles on 30 years’ service with the organisation.
The Halls and the staff provide an invaluable service to the local community from pre-school nursery provision to day care and homecare for older people to their welcoming café.
I have lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament highlighting their anniversary and the vital services they provide and I wish them every success for many years to come.
You can access the motion here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx
Social Security Committee
It has been a busy year for the Social Security Committee and if you would like to find out what we have been doing over the past 12 months you can access the annual report video here https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees/Report/SC/2017/5/31/Annual-report-2016-17
The number of Modern Apprenticeship starts increased to 26,262 and exceeded the 2016/17 annual target, new statistics have confirmed.
Skills Development Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016/17 revealed that over the year:
The number of Modern Apprenticeships starts exceeded the 2016/17 target of 26,000; 76% (19,847) of new starts were aged between 16 and 24; The largest proportion of new starts (23%) were in the construction industry.
Across Glasgow the figures have also increased from 2,710 in 2015/16 to 2,871 in 2016/17.
Out and About
What a great weekend out and about in the constituency soaking up the great atmosphere at the Garnethill Gala Day where I had the opportunity to meet up with some great social enterprises and try my hand at stonemasonry thanks to the Glasgow City Heritage Trust.
Vanilla Ink welcomed me to their studios at Charing Cross Mansions. They are Scotland’s unique jewellery studio, with the aim of developing new talent. Known for it’s professional development programme aimed at bridging the gap from education to industry, supporting start up jewellers in their own transition from student to professional.
Teaching is at the core of Vanilla Ink and by working with industry professionals they offer workshops for the complete beginner to the advanced jeweller and everything in between.
For more information go to http://www.vanillainkstudios.co.uk/
The number of children and young people seen by mental health services (CAMHS) within the target time has increased for the third consecutive quarter.
Figures published by ISD Scotland this week show that 83.6% of people were seen within 18 weeks during the quarter ending 31 March 2017, up from 82.5% in the previous quarter.
CAMHS workforce has increased by 65% under this Government, with the number of CAMHS psychologists having more than doubled.
The Scottish Governments’ ten-year strategy for mental health sets out a range of measures that focus on prevention and early intervention to meet the mental health needs of children and young people, backed by £150 million of funding.
A commission to review school counselling and rejected child and adolescent mental health service referrals, will also be set up as a foundation for making further improvements.
Legislation to make civil justice more affordable and accessible for all has been published in the Scottish Parliament.
The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill, if passed by Parliament, will:
make the cost of court action more predictable at the outset
for the first time allow solicitors, as well as claims management companies, to offer damages based agreements which are a form of ‘no win, no fee’ agreement where the fee is calculated as a percentage of the damages recovered
introduce a sliding cap mechanism to make the legal fees in such cases more predictable
protect people from facing a large expenses bill if they do not win personal injury claims
enable groups of people to sue in the civil courts where they have the same or a similar claim against the same defender or defenders. Under current Scots law, such cases have to be pursued separately
In May 2015, I introduced the Footway Parking and Double Parking (Scotland) Bill. However, the Bill was not enacted into law as the Scottish Parliament did not have power to legislate on the reserved matter. The Scottish Government made a commitment in December 2015 to progress this important matter once powers on parking were devolved. On 24 March 2016, the Scotland Act 2016 received Royal Assent, and powers to legislate on parking matters were devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
Due to the complex nature of parking and level of concerns that were raised by stakeholders in relation to the Bill, the Scottish Government set out a general intention to use the powers devolved by the Scotland Act 2016 to legislate on parking.
I know that irresponsible parking is a widespread problem both in Glasgow Kelvin and across Scotland as a whole and I would urge you if you have not already done so to take the opportunity to submit to the consultation which closes on 30 June.
You can find all the details here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/road-policy/improving-parking-in-scotland/user_uploads/695337_v8_20170605.pdf
The Prestonpans Tapestry will be on display at the Scottish Parliament from 21 June 2017 and tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s triumphant passage to Scotland.
The tapestry is one of the largest in the world and illustrates the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Prestonpans against the redcoat British Army on 21 September 1745.
The artist Andrew Crummy, who also created The Great Tapestry of Scotland, worked with hundreds of stitchers in Scotland, France, Australia and the USA to bring the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites to life in this piece of art.