The First Minister has confirmed we will continue with the current restrictions. I know this will be a blow for many and appreciate the efforts of everyone in sticking with the rules to suppress the virus.
The Scottish Government have provided additional funding for those businesses affected by the extension of the restrictions. Further details on the fund and eligibility can be found here: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/coronavirus-restrictions-fund
With numbers still increasing it is imperative that we all follow the government guidance so that we get the virus under control and move into some kind of normality.
Free School Meals
In the week when the Scottish Government announces the extension of free school meals throughout the school holiday period we have the heartless UK Government rejecting this policy for children and families across England.
Many families are under considerable financial pressure at this time, and the half measures announced today by the UK Government are no replacement for extending a full national furlough scheme.
The Scottish Government’s decision to extend the free school meals scheme will be a great relief for many hard-pressed parents. It will support children, young people and families meet the cost of meals over Christmas, February and the Easter holidays.
The Tories at Westminster had an opportunity to support thousands of families worrying about how they will put food on the table in the weeks ahead, but they refused to do so.
It’s clear that Westminster has a lot to learn from the SNP’s approach to tackling food insecurity and building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.
I have received a number of enquiries regarding the introduction of new regulations on the mandatory installation of fire and smoke alarms due to come into force at the beginning of 2021.
I have written to the Scottish Government however, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning confirmed this week that the introduction of the regulations will be delayed until 2022 due to the pandemic.
Fire safety is an absolute priority for all of us, and these improved regulations will mean that everyone across Glasgow Kelvin will benefit from the same level of protection, whether they own their home or rent from a social or private landlord.
I will continue to look closely at ensuring people have the support, information and advice they need to make changes in advance of the new standards coming into force in February 2022.
A new £1 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 to hundreds of projects to promote town centre and online businesses.
The funding aims to support small scale improvements that will help motivate people to shop, eat and relax within their community whilst ensuring public health safety.
Grants can be put towards providing safe shopping information for residents and tourists, the installation of public health infrastructure such as protective screens, physical distancing markers, hand sanitising equipment and PPE.
More information on the fund can be found here: https://www.scotlandstowns.org/scotland_loves_local_fund_application_form_and_guidance
Queen Street Station
They won! Glasgow Queen Street Station fought off competition from the other 2,578 stations and scooped the 2020 World Cup of Stations voted for by the public.
This award celebrates the role that stations and key rail worker staff play. With the extreme challenges we have all faced this year due to Covid-19 staff at Queen Street Station have helped keep the country moving, allowing passengers to travel with confidence.
With their revamped station and exceptional service this is an award well earned.
As always please follow the Scottish Government FACTS:
Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean hands and surfaces regularly
Two metre distancing; and
Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms