Thursday 27 June 2019
A small gathering was organised in honour of my 20th year anniversary as an elected representative in the Scottish Parliament.
We had a great evening with live music courtesy of my nieces and a very special highland dance performed by my granddaughter!
There was a great deal of reminiscing about the early days of the Parliament, all of the campaigns and a few words from my colleagues Linda Fabiani MSP and Alex Neil MSP.
I was particularly touched by this fantastic cake which had been made in honour of the celebrations – quite a likeness don’t you think!
We have come a long way since 1999, I have gone from a Glasgow list MSP to representing the Glasgow Kelvin constituency and it has and continues to be an honour.
I thank everyone who has supported me throughout the years and who continue to offer their support it is very much appreciated.
Freedom from Torture
The Parliament was host to a reception I sponsored for the Freedom from Torture (FfT) organisation to recognise International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
Invited guests heard from Fiona Crombie the Clinical Services Manager at the FfT Glasgow Centre, the Minister for Older People and Equalities Christina McKelvie MSP, and the Chief Executive of FfT Sonya Sceats.
Guests heard very moving stories from two service users on their journey to Scotland and the support they have received from FfT through various community projects such as the Healing Neighbourhoods Project.
Transparency, inclusivity and independence from government will underpin the new Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland. Made up of 100 members of the public, the Assembly will be overseen by two independent co-conveners, be able to call on expert witnesses and have its own secretariat. Deliberative sessions will be live streamed and evidence published.
You can find out more here: https://www.citizensassembly.scot/
Out and About
I’m pictured with my colleagues Patrick Grady MP and Councillor Kenny MacLean out and about in the constituency over the weekend and there was plenty to do and see!
From Oor Wullie to Darth Vader to the final few hours of the West End Festival with some bowling thrown in courtesy of the Partickhill Bowling Club!
We also managed to stop by the Mela festival which didn’t disappoint with a vibrant display of colour, music and delicious food.
Luckily the weather was glorious for both the Mela, West End Festival and the Queen Margaret Drive Community Street Festival as well as the open day at the bowling club.
It’s great to get out and about chatting to members of the local community and seeing the amazing events that without their commitment and dedication might never be!
Well done everyone involved across the constituency.
A brand new benefit will provide eligible families with £10 a week for every child under 16, with introduction for under sixes starting by early 2021.
The Scottish Child Payment will give more immediate support to eligible families who need it most, as almost 60% of all children in poverty live in a family with a child under the age of six.
It will be delivered to all remaining eligible families with children under 16 by the end of 2022, with no cap on the number of children in families.
Cooking in a Kettle
Crisis in Scotland were in the Parliament this week staging an original play “Cooking in a Kettle” written and performed by members from their Edinburgh Skylight project.
This thought provoking and humorous piece drew on the lived experience of people with no access to cooking facilities in certain types of temporary accommodation. The play highlighted some of the issues faced by homeless people who are left in unsuitable temporary accommodation for long periods of time.
Following the performance the audience had the opportunity to hear from one of the actors about his experience as well as learning more about Crisis’ A Life in Limbo campaign to limit time spent in unsuitable temporary accommodation to seven days.
Residents of Lansdowne Crescent have organised a Great Get Together each year since it began after the tragic killing of Jo Cox MP.
Patrick Grady MP and I popped along to the event on Saturday to offer our support and solidarity and received a very warm welcome.
The Great Get Together believes there is a groundswell of people who reject divisive politics and simply want to bring communities together and celebrate all that unites us. The gathering at Lansdowne Crescent was certainly testament to that thinking.
If you would like to find out more about the organisation go to: https://www.greatgettogether.org/about/
The Prime Minister of Tibet was in Parliament this week to meet with elected members and attend the Cross Party Group on Tibet.
The President expressed his happiness at visiting Scotland for the first time and thanked MSPs who had taken the time to meet with him for their support.
He also extended invitations to visit Dharamshala, India, stressing specifically on the importance of the Tibetan plateau and urged the MSPs to speak out for protection of Tibet’s fragile environment.
It was great to meet up with representatives of Glasgow’s Helping Heroes in Parliament this week.
They provide Armed Forces personnel, Veterans, their families and carers in Glasgow with access to, and support, from organisations across health, housing, social care, employability, financial services and specialist Armed Forces agencies to address any issue that affects them.
Established in 2010, through funding from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow’s Helping Heroes staff are employed and managed by SSAFA and provides a one-stop service which aims to improve access to, and co-ordination of, advice and support for service personnel, veterans and their families in Glasgow.
Good to see the Institute of Chartered Engineers (ICE) exhibition in Parliament this week and even better to see them promoting FemEng!
ICE supports and represents over 8,000 members living and working in Scotland. As a professional body they organise knowledge events and promote civil engineering by working in partnership with industry, government and education.
PLEASE NOTE THE EBRIEF WILL RESUME WEEK BEGINNING 2ND SEPTEMBER