Thursday 13 December
It doesn’t seem like a year since I was last meeting up with the staff at Clarence Drive Sorting Office.
My thanks to the Manager of the sorting office Andrew Mullen for organising the visit and sincere thanks to all the staff for their Christmas cheer and warm welcome.
The staff here in Clarence Drive and across the country work tirelessly to ensure our cards and gifts are delivered in time in the run up to the festive season.
I’m at a loss for words on the current status of Brexit and I also need to factor in the huge possibility that whatever comment I do make on the current situation could change rapidly!
The situation is an utter shambles. People are nervous about what the future holds and despite the Scottish Government offering an alternative the UK Government are forging ahead with a disastrous deal with extremely bad consequences.
It was an honour to be invited to the unveiling of the sculpture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh by acclaimed artist Andy Scott.
It is believed to be the world’s first public sculpture celebrating Mackintosh, one of Glasgow’s most famous sons and takes pride of place in Anderston.
Mr Scott created the sculpture in clay before it was cast into bronze. The completed sculpture weighs three tons, is 2.8 metres tall and sits atop a 2.2 metre plinth. It shows Mackintosh sat on the famous high-backed chair he designed for Glasgow’s Argyle Street Tea Rooms.
The sculpture faces west from a section of Argyle Street reinstated during Sanctuary’s regeneration of Anderston.This sculpture is a truly fitting tribute to Mackintosh and particularly for this 150th anniversary.
Budget delivers increased funding for health, education and economic investment.A significant cash injection to health and care services and funding to help prepare Scotland’s economy for Brexit are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the year ahead. The 2019/20 Scottish Budget, proposes an increase of almost £730 million in health and care services.
This includes additional revenues generated by tax decisions that mitigate the shortfall in NHS funding promised by the UK Government.The budget includes more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise infrastructure – including a new £50 million Town Centre Fund to support the future of our high streets.Real terms increases in funding for local government, education, health and the police will support the transformation of our public services to meet new challenges, while investment in skills, social security and training will help ensure we deliver opportunity for all.
The Scottish Government will continue to deliver on its commitments to end homelessness and tackle child poverty, while investment in culture is also protected.
Mr Mackay also confirmed that the Scottish Government’s tax policy will ensure 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland will pay less than people earning the same income in the rest of the UK, while continuing to raise revenue to support investment in the economy and public services.
Out and about across the constituency and I dropped by the Salvation Army shop on Dumbarton Road.
I was taking part in the Charity Retail Associations (CRA) ‘Good Cause Santa Claus’ Secret Santa Charity Shop Challenge. The CRA are asking people across the country to buy their Secret Santa gifts in charity shops.
I’d echo their calls for your support when you’re buying your Christmas gifts – check out your local charity shops we have an abundance across the constituency so plenty to choose from!
The Chris Mitchell Foundation were exhibiting in Parliament this week.
The Chris Mitchell Foundation was established in his honour to raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing for players, ex players and staff working in Scottish professional football.
Their vision is to dispel the stigma associated with mental health in Scottish professional football and for it to be integrated into physical health and fitness training programmes.
They want to bring to the forefront the need for awareness of mental health and wellbeing within the Scottish professional football industry, by sharing knowledge and skills and improve learning, forging cohesive and sustainable partnerships, connecting and supporting service users and campaigning to raise awareness on a national scale.
You can find out more about the Foundation here: https://cmfoundation.org.uk
I’m pictured with representatives from WarmWorks Scotland and my colleague Patrick Grady MP at the Woodside Winter Surgery which we co-hosted on Friday.
It was an open public surgery for local residents to come and get information about keeping safe and warm this winter.
Whilst aimed at primarily older and more vulnerable groups, all members of the community were welcome and we had a very good success story with an elderly constituent securing through assistance from WarmWorks a new boiler in time for Christmas!