Thursday 1 March 2018
What a wonderful time I had with the children and staff at Belhaven Nursery on Monday. They gave me a very warm welcome and Gillian M Carlin-Kulwicki the Headteacher gave me a tour of the nursery before we had a sit down and chat with the children whilst they tucked in to their tasty lunch.
I commend the dedication and commitment of the staff at the nursery. They have created a great learning environment for the children.
An EU Continuity Bill has formally been introduced to the Scottish Parliament to protect devolution and prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit.
The Bill is being introduced after UK Government legislation was called “incompatible with the devolution settlement” by a cross-party Holyrood committee.
The UK legislation – the EU (Withdrawal) Bill – would mean the UK Government taking control of some devolved powers such as aspects of farming and fishing, after Brexit.
The Continuity Bill will come into effect if the Scottish Parliament decides not to consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill and will prevent what ministers have described as a “power grab”.
The Scottish Parliament will be asked to consider the introduction of the Continuity Bill as an Emergency Bill, to ensure that the Continuity Bill is passed before the EU (Withdrawal) Bill becomes law.
The purpose of the Continuity Bill is to ensure Scotland’s laws will work properly on the day the UK leaves the EU.
With Glasgow Kelvin being the home to thousands of students as well as our prestigious universities and college I very much welcome the allocation of £1.8 billion of public funding to individual universities and colleges for the next academic year.
Universities will share over £1.1 billion of funding while the revenue budget for colleges will increase by 8.3% to nearly £600 million, with the college capital budget also increasing by nearly £30 million to a total of £76.7 million.
The indicative allocations, published by the Scottish Funding Council, also show core student support funding increasing by £3.6 million, with an extra £5.2 million set aside for the implementation of the Independent Review of Student Support.
A Scottish National Investment Bank is one step closer, following the publication of the implementation plan which can be read here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/02/5676
Developed by Benny Higgins, CEO of Tesco Bank, the plan has recommendations covering the remit, governance, operating model and financing of the new bank.
The plan recommends that the bank should:
Be publicly-owned and mission-driven, focused on supporting Scotland’s economic
priorities and promoting inclusive growth
Operate in an ethical and transparent way
Cowork to crowd in, not crowd out, private sector investment
Be supported by long-term capitalisation of at least £2 billion over the first ten years
Become self-sustaining in the longer term, raising its own capital to fund investments
Provide long-term, patient finance for both smaller firms and larger projects
Create opportunities and new markets for the private sector to invest in
The Campaign Against Arms Trade Scotland were exhibiting in the Scottish Parliament this week and I took the opportunity to have a chat with them about their work.
The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security, and damages economic development. Large scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems.
Their campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of arms sales from the UK on world armed conflicts as well as to end the trade of weapons that are used by repressive regimes against their own citizens and in regional conflicts, sometimes in contravention of international law. They also want divestment from the arms trade and planned transfer of jobs into more responsible sectors, such as renewable energy.
Young people struggling with eating disorders are being provided with peer support and advice through new online resources.
An online peer support tool allows young people to pair with a trained volunteer who has recovered from an eating disorder (ED) such as anorexia and bulimia.
This is alongside a new website, the CarED platform, that hosts video tutorials and links for parents and carers, and a database of services across the country. The Scottish Government funded NHS Lothian to build the site, and the health board has worked with eating disorders charity Beat and young people who have recovered from EDs to develop the resources.
Supporting the resources is an action in the Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy. The Scottish Government is providing £129,187 over two years.
Anorexia nervosa affects, on average, about 1 in 250 females and 1 in 2000 males. It has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder of adolescence. About five times as many young people suffer from bulimia.
To register for the peer review service, email firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the members debates this week focussed on the contribution of Scotch whisky to our tourism industry and I had no hesitation in participating.
The debate gave me the opportunity to highlight the new Clydeside Distillery in the constituency, a first for over 100 years! I had the opportunity to take the tour thanks to a very kind invitation from the owner Tim Morrison. This is a coming home for Tim and his family as his great grandfather built the iconic tower which they have lovingly restored.
I also took the chance to enlighten my colleagues on the part Glasgow had in the whisky industry and its very rich heritage as well as a few skirmishes!
You can read my full contribution here:
The Parliament debated obesity and diet on Tuesday and I took the opportunity to participate in this very serious issue. The Scottish Government is committed to taking forward a package of bold measures to make it easier for people to make healthier choices and to empower personal change.
I highlighted some of the work being carried out across Glasgow Kelvin through support from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with weight management services, Live Active sessions and third sector support through initiatives such as the Woodland Community Garden project.
You can read my full contribution here: