News

Concerns for Fundamental Rights and the Autonomous Institutions in Catalonia

Sandra White MSP has lodged a motion to the Scottish Parliament recording her concerns for fundamental rights and the autonomous institutions in Catalonia following the response of the Spanish Government to the October 1st Catalan independence referendum.

Motion S5M-07804: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party,
Date Lodged: 21/09/2017
 
Concerns for Fundamental Rights and the Autonomous Institutions in Catalonia 

That the Parliament condemns the reported raiding of Catalan Government buildings by national police and the detention of 12 senior officials, which it believes represents an unacceptable violation of the autonomous institutions of Catalonia; further believes that the Spanish Government’s use of armed paramilitary policing to confiscate political materials is a form of excessive and disproportionate force; acknowledges the reported statements from Catalan civil society, including Barcelona FC, rectors of Catalonia’s public universities and trade unions such as the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), demanding no political confrontation or limits to fundamental rights to freedom of expression and self-determination, and calls for the protection of democracy, civil rights and the autonomous institutions of Catalonia.

Ebrief

Ebrief

Thursday 21 September

Social Security

Great news announced this week with Scotland’s new Social Security agency having a site in Glasgow, bringing at least 750 jobs to the city. This is excellent news and proves yet again the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting our city’s economy.

This new Social Security agency will be at the centre of the Scottish Government’s efforts to make sure that Scotland has a social security system with dignity and respect at its heart – in stark contrast to the punitive welfare regime currently operated by the UK Government.

Catalonia

The world is watching as the Spanish Government rescind the democratic process. I wholeheartedly support Catalonia and its people’s right and condemn the bureaucracy trying to silence them and have lodged the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:

That the Parliament condemns the reported raiding of Catalan Government buildings by national police and the detention of 12 senior officials, which it believes represents an unacceptable violation of the autonomous institutions of Catalonia; further believes that the Spanish Government’s use of armed paramilitary policing to confiscate political materials is a form of excessive and disproportionate force; acknowledges the reported statements from Catalan civil society, including Barcelona FC, rectors of Catalonia’s public universities and trade unions such as the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), demanding no political confrontation or limits to fundamental rights to freedom of expression and self-determination, and calls for the protection of democracy, civil rights and the autonomous institutions of Catalonia.

Community Halls

09.17 Community Halls 40th AnniversaryI had the pleasure of attending the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Community Central Halls last week.

This fantastic community resource was established in 1976 following a local community campaign to secure the continued use of the Methodist Central Hall.

In 1977 Strathclyde Regional Council bought the building for community use and handed over day to day management to a community development trust, Community Central Hall. Over the past 30 years CCH has evolved from providing community space for local organisations as well as providing a range of diverse vital community services. They have employed over 2,200 people; supported over 2,500 people not employed with work placements, employment training and jobsearch help; supported over 130,000 community events and delivered 181,600 hours of environmental improvement work – to name but a few of their achievements!

CCH has gone from strength to strength and I am sure will continue to provide for the local community building on their progress for many years to come.

Equalities and Human Rights

The Scottish Parliament debated equalities and human rights this week and I took the opportunity to contribute highlighting my work on the Social Security Committee.

A cornerstone of the Scottish Government’s approach to social security is the principle that it is a human right, as has been identified by the United Nations. That will help to eradicate the stigma that is associated with accessing benefits. Our system will be the first in the UK to reflect the UN principle that such systems should

“be established under national law and ensure the right of individuals and organisations to seek, receive and impart information on all social security entitlements in a clear and transparent manner.”

Our Parliament should be proud of that.

You can read the full text of my speech here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11089&i=101194

TIE Campaign

09.19 TIE CampaignThe Time for Inclusive Education set up stall in the Scottish Parliament this week and I was more than happy to endorse their campaign.

Their campaign pledge outlines five key strategic proposals that will help deliver LGBTI inclusive education.

64% of LGBTI people have been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 95% believe that their experiences at school have had a long lasting negative effect on them and 27% of LGBTI youths have attempted suicide once as a result of bullying while 15% have tried more than once.

If you would like to find out more about the campaign go to www.tiepledge.co.uk or on facebook at tiecampaign

 

Young Carers

A new Young Carer Grant – worth £300 a year – will be part of a new package of support for  young carers. The grant will be awarded to young carers aged 16 to 18 who do at least 16 hours of caring a week, but do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance. It will help to improve young carers’ quality of life, assisting them to take part in employment, social or leisure opportunities.

The full package of support will be delivered throughout the course of this parliament. It will also include adding more entitlements and rewards for 11-18-year-old young carers to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card – which gives non-cash benefits to young people. Young Scot will work with young carers groups to develop the scheme.

At a later date, everyone receiving the Young Carer Grant will also be given a pass for free bus travel. This is in response to concerns that some young carers feel isolated by their caring responsibilities, and can find it difficult to meet transport costs.

Wear It Pink

09.17 Wear It Pink IIBreast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day is one of the biggest fundraising events and I caught up with them when they brought their campaign to the Scottish Parliament last week. I also took the opportunity to don some pink accessories to help highlight their campaign.

This year’s wear it pink will take place on place on Friday 20 October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of amazing people will wear it pink in their communities, schools or work places for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now.

Since the first event in 2002, over £30 million has been raised for life-saving research that’s working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage so we can stop the disease taking lives.

If you’re looking for inspiration on fundraising go to https://wearitpink.org/

Homelessness

Further details of a new short term action group which will identify the actions and changes needed to end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation in Scotland, has been announced by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart in a Ministerial statement today.

The announcement also included a new £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund which will be used to back the commitment and fund homelessness prevention initiatives over the next five years.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Crisis will chair the action group and a panel of members will be appointed shortly. The action group will meet next month and will examine:

Plans to minimise rough sleeping this winter;

How to eradicate rough sleeping for good;

Ways to transform temporary accommodation;

How to bring about an end to homelessness in Scotland.

Havana/Glasgow Film Festival

For those of you who don’t know the 3rd Havana/Glasgow Film Festival will be launched on 28 September in Oran Mor and will run from 9 – 12 November.

I’ve lodged a motion in Parliament welcoming the festivals return and the continued cultural links with Glasgow and Havana.

You can get more information about the festival here http://www.hgfilmfest.com/

Register to Vote

As the new academic year begins, I’d like to encourage all new students to sign up to vote. While youth turnout was at its highest in this year’s General Election since 1992, and the gap between the number of older voters and younger voters decreased, young people are still noticeably less likely to vote and millions are still missing from the electoral register.

Decisions are being taken every day that will affect young people, not least on Brexit-related issues, jobs or indeed tuition fees. We need to encourage a registration revolution so that every one of voting age is represented on the electoral register. In Scotland, the SNP has legislated to grant 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote, however my colleagues at Westminster face an uphill battle to make the same changes at a UK level as well as to extend the franchise to EU nationals. My advice to anyone given the opportunity to register to vote, is to take it with both hands. Find out more at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Glasgow Woodside Mini Holland Project

More good news for the constituency with news of funding for Glasgow’s Woodside Mini-Holland project as part of the £22.5 million in Scottish Government grant funding for active travel and cycling infrastructure projects across the country.

Glasgow’s Woodside Mini-Holland project, takes inspiration from infrastructure in the Netherlands. The project will create an integrated cycle route from the city’s Charing Cross to Possil Road, connect to the Sauchiehall Street “Avenue” cycleway, which is currently being delivered, and expand the cycle network into the city centre, Great Western Road, Maryhill, Garscube Road and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

This project will encourage more commuters to travel to work by bike and will support the Glasgow economy, improve health and develop cycling provision across the city.

Scottish Government’s £50m fund and action group to fight homelessness

£50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund

 

Further details of a new short term action group which will identify the actions and changes needed to end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation in Scotland, has been announced by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart in a Ministerial statement today.

The announcement also included a new £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund which will be used to back the commitment and fund homelessness prevention initiatives over the next five years.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Crisis will chair the action group and a panel of members will be appointed shortly. The action group will meet next month and will examine:

  • Plans to minimise rough sleeping this winter;
  • How to eradicate rough sleeping for good;
  • Ways to transform temporary accommodation;
  • How to bring about an end to homelessness in Scotland.

 Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“We want to see an end to rough sleeping and the appointment of our Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group will lead the way in recommending the actions and legislative changes we need to take across all levels of government, to tackle homelessness and the use of temporary accommodation.

“I am delighted to announce Jon Sparkes will chair the Action Group. Jon brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in homelessness and will provide real value and leadership to the group.

“We are committed to erradicating rough sleeping in Scotland and know this requires more than just the provision of housing- every individual has their own unique needs and challenges. To achieve this we need to ensure we have a joined up approach across all sectors to improve prevention.

“Scotland has led the way in ensuring rights for homeless people and we want to continue to lead the way and transform the outcomes for those that feel they are stuck in a cycle of homelessness and poverty.”

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said:

“I am delighted to see that tackling homelessness is high on the priorities of SNP Scottish and Glasgow City Governments, with an action group, £50m fund, and a Glasgow City Strategy.

“We have already seen how Scottish Government action groups on widening access, children in care, and Brexit have delivered priority focus and significant outcomes; I am pleased that homelessness will receive this vital attention.”

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“It’s an honour to be asked to Chair this Action Group which will bring forward solutions to help end homelessness in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has rightly identified that a renewed effort is required to stop more people experiencing different forms of homelessness. Their £50million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund along with their commitment to end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation will change people’s lives.

“I firmly believe we can end homelessness for good, we know the scale of the problem and this Group will focus firmly on deliverable solutions which prevent, tackle and end homelessness for people. There’s some hard work to be done but I believe the expertise and knowledge of those on the Group means we will be up to the challenge and I look forward to quickly getting to work.

“This year marks 50 years from when Crisis was founded, but this is not a cause for celebration with homelessness still so prevalent. It is time for us to think afresh about solutions to the problem and Crisis is working across Great Britain to develop an evidence-based plan for how to end homelessness. For Crisis there is simply no place for scepticism or hesitation. It is our firm belief that together, we will end homelessness.” 

Scottish Government’s new Social Security Agency brings 750 jobs to Glasgow

SNP MSP WELCOMES SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT

Commenting on the news that Scotland’s new Social Security agency will have a site in Glasgow, bringing at least 750 jobs to the city, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, and convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security committee, Sandra White, said:

“This is excellent news for Glasgow, and proves yet again the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting our city’s economy.

“The new Glasgow site for the social security agency will bring hundreds of skilled and secure jobs to Glasgow – supporting people into work and boosting our local economy.

“This new Social Security agency will be at the centre of the Scottish Government’s efforts to make sure that Scotland has a social security system with dignity and respect at its heart – in stark contrast to the punitive welfare regime operated by the Tories at Westminster.

“It is exciting news that Glasgow will be at the heart of delivering this new agency and I look forward to supporting the work involved in setting up the new agency and seeing it develop to transform people’s lives.”

Glasgow Wins in Active Travel Community Links Plus Announcement; Woodside Mini-Holland Project Shares in £22 Million Fund

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White, has welcomed news that Glasgow is set to be boosted by Scottish Government funding for the Woodside Mini-Holland project to support walking, running and cycling.

The funding is part of a £22.5 million grant for five projects across the country from Transport Scotland, being delivered through Sustrans Scotland – and it represents a massive boost to Glasgow as the Scottish Government seeks to increase the number of people engaged in active travel through the Active Nation initiative.

The project takes inspiration from infrastructure in the Netherlands as it seeks to create an integrated cycle route from Charing Cross to Possil Road, connecting to the Sauchiehall Street ‘Avenue’ cycleway currently being delivered, as well as expanding the cycle network into the city centre, Great Western Road, Maryhill, Garscube Road and the Forth and Clyde Canal, encouraging commuters to travel to work by bike.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White, said:

“This is very welcome news for Glasgow and will undoubtedly help support local jobs and our local economy, as well as of course boosting efforts to get more people in Glasgow involved in walking, running and cycling.

“This funding announcement will play a key role in getting people active across Glasgow, helping to reduce air pollution caused by traffic while encouraging healthy lifestyles.

“And it follows the SNP Scottish Government’s announcement that the total active travel budget is to be doubled to £80 million as part of the Active Nation strategy.

“This project will help create a more integrated transport network in Glasgow and beyond, supporting cyclists with a Netherlands-inspired segregated cycle route from Charing Cross to Possil Road, connecting into the Sauchiehall Street ‘Avenue’, as well as expanding the cycle network into the city centre, Great Western Road, Maryhill, Garscube Road and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

“Active travel is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s transport strategy – and the funding for the Woodside Mini-Holland will be a great boost to people across Glasgow as we seek to become a more active nation and society.”

ENDS

Notes:

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/community-links-plus