Sandra White welcomes £5 million fund to support GSoA & Victoria’s Nightclub fire affected businesses

Businesses impacted by the fires at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building and Victoria’s Nightclub will be able to access a fund of up to £5 million, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed.

The Scottish Government will make the additional funding available to Glasgow City Council for distribution to businesses within the security cordons, and to those in the Sauchiehall Street area who can demonstrate hardship as a result of the impact of the fires.

All businesses within both the Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s cordon will receive £20,000 of direct financial support, with other businesses in the area who have been impacted by a fall in footfall eligible for £10,000 of support.

Glasgow City Council will administer the funding with applications for all businesses open from the 31stJuly. Eligibility criteria for those outside the cordon will be set out ahead of the opening of applications following discussion with local business advisers.

The immediate support follows steps already taken by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council in response to the fire at the Mack to deliver 100% rates relief for affected businesses and grants of £3000 made available to households in the cordoned off area and for which the Council has to date made 44 payments relating to 47 individuals in 33 properties.

Glasgow Kelvin MSP, Sandra White, commented on today’s announcement:

“The fires that ravaged Sauchiehall Street & Garnethill have left many businesses in an incredibly precarious position. As such I made calls to the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to offer any and all support they can to my constituents.

“While I welcomed the already announced 100% rates relief that these businesses are now eligible for I believe today’s announcement will go a considerable distance further in lessening the hardship on our business community. These measures will work in tandem with the efforts already deployed by GCC, such as the Sauchiehall Street Task Force which has been established to protect the future of this historic street.”

Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said:

“The terrible fires at the Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s are having a significant impact on many local businesses who are either closed or unable to access their premises. Given the scale of the on-going disruption, I am making up to £5 million available immediately to support those businesses affected.

“The sheer scale and lasting effects of the fires on those involved are becoming clear and it is important that businesses are given financial support to help them through this very challenging time. This funding will also help minimise the impact on the economy of the city as everyone involved works to help businesses and residents return to their premises as quickly and safely as possible.

“The Scottish Government has already increased our contribution to hardship funding from 75% to 95%, and made available £1,500, matched by the Lord Provost’s Trust for vulnerable citizens, to residents displaced from their homes by the Mackintosh building fire and will extend that to businesses facing the same impacts as a result of the fire at Victoria’s. We will continue to work with Glasgow City Council to ensure the emergency funding is released to all those impacted as soon as possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consider what further assistance might be required.”

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said:

“The Victoria’s and School of Art fires have had a significant adverse impact on businesses at both ends of the street. The Council has been working closely with the Scottish Government to facilitate this fund, which we hope will assist those business affected by both events.

“This fund complements the range of actions that we have taken in the past few weeks to support businesses including the use of the Glasgow Guarantee to support employees, having dedicated business support advisers based in the Dental Hospital and the Savoy Centre, supporting businesses to relocate outwith the cordon, hosting a session on insurance and legal issues with Harper McLeod,  introducing zero rating for businesses in the cordons and reduced rates for businesses who can demonstrate detrimental impact. Additionally, I have convened a Sauchiehall Street Task Force which is working on plans for the future viability and vibrancy of the street.”

 

Deposit Return Scheme

SANDRA WHITE CALLS ON CONSTITUENTS TO HAVE SAY ON BOTTLE DEPOSIT RETURN PLANS

ZERO WASTE SCOTLAND HOLDING EVENTS TO GATHER PUBLIC VIEWS 

SNP MSP Sandra White has called on people across Glasgow Kelvin to get involved with the latest series of events to gather views on the proposed bottle deposit return scheme. 

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the scope of a deposit return scheme, to boost recycling and cut plastic waste – with the proposal being that customers would pay a deposit when they purchase a product, which would be refunded when the item is recycled. The scheme already operates in many other parts of Europe. 

Zero Waste Scotland is now hosting a series of events across the country, including in Glasgow, to give people across Scotland the chance to put forward their views on the scheme. 

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Ms White said: 

A deposit return scheme has huge potential to help us meet our recycling goals, as well as tackling the scourge of plastic litter and waste on our landscape. 

“The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in our water, has become well known in recent months, as the impact of the problem was brought to light by Blue Planet last year. 

“And it is of course an issue that affects us right here in Glasgow Kelvin – and the deposit return scheme can make a real difference. 

“Zero Waste Scotland’s events across the country give us all a chance to give our views on the scheme, how it could work and how it can be implemented. 

“We all have a stake in protecting and preserving our planet – and the bottle deposit return scheme is one small step we can take in the fight against plastic pollution.”

 Notes: 

Zero Waste Scotland events currently scheduled:

25th July, Deep Sea World, North Queensferry

27-29 July, ButeFest, Isle of Bute

1st August, Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick

11th August, European Open Water Swimming Championships, Balloch

12th August, Aviemore Triathlon, Aviemore

22nd August, St Enoch Centre, Glasgow

25th August, Peebles Market

31st August, Dundee Food and Flower Show

1-2 September, Edinburgh Mela

5th September, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness

14-16 September, Perth Food and Drink Festival

 

SCOTS SCHOOLS SWINDLED BY LABOUR’S TOXIC PFI LEGACY

COUNCILS SPEND 8% OF SCHOOL BUDGET PAYING LABOUR’S DEBTS

Schools across Scotland continue to count the cost of Labour’s toxic PFI legacy – which will see councils spend nearly 10% of their school budgets servicing the debts that Labour left behind over a decade ago.

New research into the toxic PFI legacy which continues to plague Scotland’s public finances shows that of the total spend on schools across Scotland by councils this year, 8% of that money will be used paying off Labour’s debts from their time in government.

The analysis by independent researchers in SPICe has found that PFI unitary charges for Scotland’s schools in 2018/19 are estimated to be £434.3 million – a significant amount of Scottish schools’ total resource budget of £5.159 billion – a “shameful legacy” of Labour’s years in power at Holyrood. In 2016/17, total PFI repayments cost Scotland over £1 billion.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“Labour’s toxic PFI legacy means that tax payers continue to pay the price for their decade-old debts.

“The Labour Party will cost our schools £434.3 million this year alone. In Glasgow the yearly cost to this city is £54.3 million, to put that in to perspective it’s over ten percent of the entire schools budget.

“Education is at the forefront of this Government’s priorities, yet vital funds that councils could use to pay for teachers, books and facilities are being used to pay for Labour’s mistakes.

“Thanks to the Labour Party the reality is we will continue to pay for their mistakes for years to come.”

Carers Week

SANDRA WHITE MSP BACKS SUPPORT FOR CARERS AHEAD OF CARERS WEEK 

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White has pledged her backing for Carers Week which begins next Monday (11 June), by committing to support local carers across Glasgow Kelvin.

Ms White has signed up to the Carers Week pledge to take carer friendly action – highlighting the tireless work of the 6.5 million unpaid carers across the UK and offering them any support they need. There are an estimated 788,000 unpaid carers across Scotland – with 44,000 of them under the age of 18.

The Scottish Government has taken decisive action to support unpaid carers – investing over £135 million in a range of programmes and initiatives to support carers and young carers, as well as passing a new Carers Act, which has come into force this year, which extends the rights of carers and ensures better support.

Commenting, Ms White said:

“I have no hesitation in giving my backing to carers across Glasgow Kelvin and indeed across Scotland. The work that carers do in our communities should rightly be acknowledged and supported. 

“Across Scotland, there’s an estimated 788,000 unpaid carers, with tens of thousands of them being under the age of 18. It is our duty to support them in whatever way we can. 

“The Scottish Government has been leading the way in providing this support for unpaid carers – investing over £135 million, as well as passing the new Carers Act in 2016, which came into force this year. 

“And through the new Social Security Agency, the Scottish Government plans to increase Carers Allowance to the level of Job Seeker’s Allowance, giving carers that little bit extra support that can go a long way. 

“Carers Week gives us all the chance to show our support and appreciation for the work carers do in our local communities – and I am committed to playing a positive role in this annual event.”

Carers Week website: https://www.carersweek.org/

 

 

Tackling anti-social behaviour in Kelvingrove Park

Sandra White MSP shocked at drink fuelled crime

Residents of Glasgow Kelvin were today appalled to learn of a violent attack that took place in one of Glasgow’s most loved public parks.

With the recent warm weather many have taken the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine outdoors. While the majority of Glaswegians have been able to do so in peace and quiet, the residents surrounding Kelvingrove Park have had to bear witness to an “unprecedented” spell of public disorder and violence.

In response the local MSP, Sandra White, has sought to tackle this anti-social behaviour head on and was today liaising with senior Police Officers for the West of Glasgow.

Commenting, Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said:
“The safety of constituents is always a primary concern for elected members. To therefore learn of the recent binge drinking and subsequent violent attacks in Kelvingrove Park has left me shocked.

“The extreme nature of the violence reported, and in conjunction with the fact that public drinking is an offence in the first place, led me this morning to liaise with the local Chief Inspector. CI Lister has assured me in the strongest possible terms that Police Scotland are taking the disorder of the recent days extremely seriously. 

“Police Scotland have been monitoring the situation in the park for some time and have deployed greater resources this year than ever before to try and tackle the unprecedented level of anti-social behaviour reported. In response to the completely unacceptable levels of violence and public drinking, CI Lister has informed me that today yet further resources have been  authorised from her superiors to ensure public order is maintained. This will see mobile CCTV units, the mounted division, dog unit, and a greater number of patrols on the ground in order to prevent and dissuade illegal behaviour, as well as take action should any offence occur.

“The vast majority of the reports are resultant of public drinking, the associated behaviour this leads to, and also the fact that many individuals presenting as drunk and disorderly would appear to be under legal drinking age. As such Police Scotland will be continuing to work with GCC to ensure licensed premises only sell alcohol to those of age & the officers on patrol will not hesitate in taking appropriate action should they witness any public drinking in Kelvingrove Park.

“When we are lucky enough to have some good weather it is right that people should be free to enjoy our public parks – but only if they are willing to act in a respectful & law abiding fashion. I look forward to the rest of the summer and after speaking with Police Scotland I am reassured that Kelvingrove Park will be the friendly and welcoming place once more that I have always known it to be.”