Thursday 21 May 2020
The First Minister made a statement today in Parliament setting out the steps that will be taken for a phased lifting of lockdown measures.
The full routemap can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/strategy-plan/2020/05/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/documents/covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/govscot%3Adocument/covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis.pdf
Whilst this is good news for us all the message still remains until Phase 1 of the routemap is put in place after 28 May – stay at home, only go out for essentials, keep a 2 metre distance and wash your hands regularly.
The most up to date information on Covid-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
A blow to employees of OVO based at the Waterloo Street office this week as the company announced redundancies. With measures in place to support businesses I do not think this is a time to add further anxiety and pressure on people. I have called on them to continue to make use of the Job Retention Scheme for as long as this is available.
The Scottish Parliament has this week unanimously supported new emergency measures to help people in Scotland get through the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill, gives powers to Scottish Ministers to temporarily intervene and manage care home services where there is a serious risk to the life, health or wellbeing of any person in that home for any reason connected with COVID-19. I also took the opportunity to question the Cabinet Secretary for Health on this issue in Parliament this week and you can access the full statement and exchange here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12647&i=114420
The Bill also includes an additional £19.2 million investment in the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, the introduction of notice to leave periods for students in purpose-built student accommodation, and additional protections for those facing bankruptcy.
An additional £5 million will be made available to local authorities through Discretionary Housing Payments, to support tenants who are now under severe financial pressures.
There are also legislative changes in areas including non-domestic rates relief, proceeds of crime and the wider operation of Scotland’s criminal justice system. The Bill also ensures that COVID-19 grant funding goes to those companies that pay their fair share of tax by excluding those who seek to minimise their tax arrangements to the detriment of the wider economy.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the support that is being offered by Townhead Village Hall.
From grocery shopping to dog walking to advice and support, they are providing a hugely valuable and crucial service to the local community and I want to thank them for their efforts.
If you or you know of someone who would benefit from any of their support please go to http://www.townheadvillagehall.org.uk/ for further information.
With the pandemic outbreak very little coverage has been given to Brexit. However this still looms large and the Scottish Government as well as our MPs have been holding the UK Government to account on the steps they are taking.
Given the current situation nationally and globally it would be folly to forge ahead with our exit from the European Union.
It is clear the UK Government’s plans for only a basic trade deal or what increasingly seems to be their preferred option of no deal will be a devastating blow for Scotland’s economy already hit hard by coronavirus.
The Scottish Government will continue to press the UK Government to seek an extension.
I very much welcome the Parliament’s endorsement of new legislation that will allow mixed sex couples to enter a civil partnership for the first time in Scotland.
MSPs this week voted to support the general principles of the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, which will extend to mixed sex couples the rights given to same sex couples in 2004
A very much welcome the announcement from the Scottish Government of a £1 million fund, which has being created to help support women who have experienced vaginal mesh complications.
This announcement from the Scottish Government is an important step towards improving the lives of some of the women who have suffered from the devastating effects of mesh implants and I hope will help alleviate some of their suffering.
As always Stay Safe, Stay Home and please get in touch if you require my assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a message at 0141 339 8734