Sandra condemns Labour PFI school shame as Glasgow faces £54m bill and largest charge in the country.

LABOUR PFI SCHOOL SHAME AS GLASGOW COUNCIL COUNTS COST – £425 MILLION TO BE PAID OUT THIS YEAR ACROSS SCOTLAND – ROBBING MONEY FROM VITAL SERVICES

 Labour’s disastrous PFI schools scheme continues to cost Glasgow City Council millions of pounds every year, analysis by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre has revealed – proving they are a party which cannot be trusted to manage vital public services.

 The duff deals made by Labour during their time in power at Holyrood will cost local authorities across £426.8 million in this financial year – with Glasgow facing a stunning £54m bill, the highest in the country and 4.5x the national average, demonstrating Labour’s short-term thinking and profligate use of public money.

 SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White has slammed Labour’s toxic legacy, which continues to rob our local authority of vital funding for education and other public services. The total nationwide cost of the toxic PFI legacy across all projects topped £1 billion in 2015/16, with this figure continuing to rise.

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

“Labour’s decades-long mismanagement of our city witnessed with its toxic PFI legacy has left this city facing a £54m PFI bill – the largest in the country. Glaswegians of today and tomorrow have been lumbered with these irresponsible decisions, and we will have to foot the bill for Labour’s mess.”

 “The toxic legacy that Labour’s PFI deals have left our schools and Glasgow City Council continues to cost millions of pounds every year – and proves once again that only the SNP can be trusted to deliver on education and local funding.

 “While Labour carp from the sidelines about the SNP’s record, it is increasingly clear that we are still paying for the mess that Labour left over a decade ago – with payments in 2017/18 to be as high as £426.8 million across all our council areas, and Glasgow facing a bill of £54m.

 “Labour’s spendthrift and reckless handling of our public finances continues to rob Glasgow of funds which could be put towards delivering better local services. And let’s not forget the potential consequences of Labour’s dodgy deals on jerry-built schools across Edinburgh – forced to close for nearly 500 days because of fundamental safety concerns.  

 “It’s high time that Labour apologised for this toxic legacy that they’ve left for our schools, Glasgow and local authorities across the country.”

Sandra White MSP welcomes £6.3m US jobs investment announced during First Minister’s US visit

Sandra White MSP has welcomed announcements of a £6.3m jobs investment and a key climate deal during the first day of the First Minister’s visit to the United States of America encouraging trade, tourism, and partnership.

£6.3m of inward investment from US companies supported by grants from Scottish Enterprise will create 44 new jobs for the data analytics and life sciences sectors.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said:

“I welcome this news from the First Minister’s visit to the US which continues to build on the strong economic and partnership ties between our nations -securing more investment and jobs alongside our ambitious climate change priorities.

“While the UK works to tear us out of the world’s biggest single market and develops diplomatic tensions with our European friends, this is a great example of our First Minister ‘doing the day job’ and delivering for Scotland with an ambitious, outward, and global attitude.”

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:

“The US is Scotland’s biggest source of inward investment and, in the wake of Article 50 being triggered and the risk of a hard Brexit, it is vital we continue to build on the success of our current ­business relationship with the US.

“Scotland remains open for business and I’m delighted these companies have chosen to expand here. It further demonstrates our position as a prime location for inward investment.”

The Scottish Government have already made one announcement linked to the visit – that US technology firm Xilinx Inc are to invest £3.8million in their research centre in ­Edinburgh, creating 12 new jobs and protecting 30 existing roles.

Sandra White welcomes Parking laws discussion

Views are now being sought by the Scottish Government on how to implement a clearer and more consistent approach to parking laws in Scotland.

The Scottish Government is asking interested parties for their opinions ahead of the development of new policies which are expected to form part of a Transport Bill in this session of Parliament.

A range of issues, including how to deal with irresponsible parking and the proper use of disabled spaces, are being considered as part of the consultation, which is being launched today.

Having led the fight in Holyrood to tackle irresponsible parking Sandra White MSP commented:

“I am delighted that the Scottish Government are continuing the many years of work that my office, and prior to that Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, have invested in this bill. The many organisations who have contributed and pushed this agenda for the individuals they represent, be it Living Streets or Guide Dogs for the Blind, to name but two, deserve a great deal of credit for their tireless campaigning as well.

“This is yet another example of The Scottish Government listening to the people, following through on a manifesto pledge, and now delivering.

“The Scottish Government is now carrying out the detailed review of parking having obtained the necessary powers in the Scotland Act last year.”

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP said:

“The impact of parking policies goes further than governing where people can leave their vehicles. The rules can have a direct impact on town centre regeneration and on accessibility so it is important that we hear from as wide a range of groups as possible as part of this consultation.

“We know that people are concerned about irresponsible parking and the misuse of disabled spaces and this is their opportunity to have their say on how we can address these problems.

“The Scottish Government is also keen to explore if parking rules can help support wider policy aims and views are being sought on whether more can be done to encourage the use of ultra-low emission vehicles.

“Our aim is to create a set of policies that can help make our roads safer, greener and available to all and we would encourage anyone with an interest to get involved and let us know what they think over the coming weeks before the consultation ends on June 30th.”

Director Living Streets Scotland, Stuart Hay said:

“We are pleased the Scottish Government is considering how to best use its new powers over parking to make streets safer and more pleasant for everyone through adopting a consistent national approach.

“Many Scottish communities will welcome clearer laws that prevent vehicles obstructing and damaging pavements, especially where older people, people with disabilities and children feel unsafe.”

The ‘Improving Parking in Scotland’ Consultation can be found at  https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/road-policy/improving-parking-in-scotland/consult_view/

 

END

Queen Street redevelopment gets go ahead

Scottish Ministers have today given formal approval to an application by Network Rail to undertake major redevelopment works at Queen Street Station.

The Transport and Works Scotland (TAWS) Order triggers the latest phase of this ambitious improvement programme which, on completion, will give one of Scotland’s key rail hubs a major facelift.

The main provisions of the Order enable Network Rail to undertake enhancements to accommodate longer trains and the future growth in passenger numbers. On completion the new station will deliver:

• a fully accessible, modern, transport facility;
• improved access to an expanded concourse;
• enhanced aesthetics and passenger facilities in the station;
• increased capacity, walking and circulation space and longer platforms; and
• a station that better serves the needs of passengers and the city.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin commented:

“It is fantastic that one of Scotland’s key public transport hubs is to receive a much needed face lift. The plans for Queen Street Station will elevate the station to a new level in terms of design and usability. Not only will it look fantastic but it will allow for Glaswegians and visitors alike the ability to fully access the station, as should be the case, while improving their user experience.”

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:

“The Scottish Government is delivering the most ambitious programme of rail investment ever seen in Scotland, committing over £5 billion across the current funding period. Approval of this TAWS Order allows Network Rail to undertake significant enhancements to Glasgow Queen Street Station.

“This continued investment in our key rail hubs will not only accommodate longer trains and the future growth in passenger numbers, it will also improve the overall service experience.  Coupled with new longer, faster, greener Class 385 trains coming later this year and a full fleet refurbishment, we are doing what we can now to deliver a Scottish rail industry for the future, one which encourages even more people opt to get out their cars and onto trains.”

Vast majority of voters back ‘Scotland’s Choice’

BID TO BLOCK VOTE UNDEMOCRATIC AND UNSUSTAINABLE

Today’s Survation poll shows that people in Scotland overwhelmingly back the SNP’s plans to give them a choice over their future.

61% of people think the Scottish Parliament should have the right to decide whether Scotland has a future referendum on independence, with 56% also believing that Holyrood should set the timescale for that to happen — a clear rejection of Tory attempts to prevent the people of Scotland having that choice.

The poll also reveals a clear majority think Westminster should not block another referendum if democratically agreed and voted for by the Scottish Parliament.

The poll has been published on the day the First Minister will write to the UK Government to begin discussions on a referendum.

Sandra White MSP welcomed the poll and stated:

“Today’s poll clearly demonstrates that the Scottish people not only have faith in the Scottish Parliament but strongly believe it should have autonomy to use the powers at its disposal”

“As successive Government’s in Westminster time and again to ignore Scotland it has only demonstrated with greater clarity that the Scottish Parliament continues to represent the will of the people. Any attempt therefore to block the democratic will of the Scottish people is completely unacceptable”

“Given that Scotland, who voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU, are being told we are now being dragged out due to a democratic vote, it would be unthinkable and extremely unwise of the Prime Minister to then deny us a basic democratic right.”

Also commenting on the poll, SNP Depute Leader Angus Robertson MP said:

“The message this sends to the UK Tory government is clear — if they try to block a referendum they will be acting against the wishes of the people of Scotland. 

“People overwhelmingly want Holyrood, not Westminster, to make the decision to give people the choice over their future and when that choice should be offered to them. In short a referendum should be “Made in Scotland”.

“The Prime Minister is stuck on repeat with her ‘now is not the time’ refrain. We agree with that, people should be able to choose Scotland’s future in 18 months’ time when the terms of the Brexit deal are known. 

“Prolonging any attempt to stop people from having their say over their future is undemocratic, unsustainable and run the risk of public opinion in Scotland turning even more sharply against Prime Minister.” 

ENDS