Repeal Bill: Tories in Glasgow Must Stand Up for Scottish Parliament

Glasgow Kelvin SNP MSP Sandra White is calling on Glasgow Tory MSP’s Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells to oppose the UK Tory government’s attempts to use the EU Repeal Bill to strip Holyrood of powers.

The Scottish Tories need to distance themselves from the Bill which represents a naked power-grab, an attack on the founding principles of devolution, and which could destabilise our economy.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said:

“Twenty years on since the referendum on devolution in Scotland, and the Tories are attempting an attack on the founding principles of devolution under the guise of the EU Repeal Bill.

“The SNP wants a smooth transition as much as the UK government, however this should be achieved through negotiation, not imposition. And it must be achieved in a way that respects Scotland’s hard-won devolved powers.

“An erosion of Scotland’s devolved areas would be contrary to the settled will of the Scottish people and would represent an appalling roll back on devolution which we were promised never could or would happen.

“The aim of this attack is very clear; the Tories are seeking to rack up fast and unfavourable trade deals without any scrutiny or voice for the Scottish people so they can get away with risking Scotland’s farming and fishing industries in order to save their crumbling Brexit agenda”

“I’m therefore calling on Glasgow’s Tory MSP’s Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells to challenge any attempts from their party in Westminster for a naked power-grab on the devolved legislatures during the withdrawal process from the EU, and to make clear their opposition to this Bill which sets out to undermine our national parliament.”

Notes:

Scottish Parliament Information Service: All areas of agriculture, forestry and fishing were devolved under the Scotland Act (1998).

Ebrief

Ebrief

Thursday 29 June 2017

ScotRef

The First Minister committed to reflecting on the outcome of the general election and, in particular, on the issue of a second independence referendum. Those reflections were set out in a speech to the Scottish Parliament this week.

The Scottish Government will not introduce legislation for an independence referendum immediately. At the end of Brexit negotiations, the Scottish Government will set out its judgment on the best way forward – and on the precise timescale of the people of Scotland having a choice on our future.   

Right now, the Scottish Government will seek maximum support for proposals to keep us in the Single Market and remain strongly committed to giving Scotland a choice on our future at the end of the Brexit process.

The General Election and the weakness of the UK government has re-opened the possibility of avoiding an extreme Tory Brexit, and to protect Scotland’s interests.

You can read the full speech here: https://news.gov.scot/speeches-and-briefings/eu-negotiations-and-scotlands-future

DUP Deal

Following the deal brokered between the Tory Government and the DUP Finance Minister Derek Mackay has called for an urgent meeting to discuss full implications of the funding agreement.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has called for an urgent meeting and highlighted that the Scottish Government will invoke the formal dispute resolution mechanism, if this situation is not satisfactorily resolved by HM Treasury.

Queens Cross Housing Association

06.17 QCHAIt was great to meet up with a delegation of young people and staff from Queens Cross Housing Association this week in Parliament.

They kicked off their visit with a tour of the building including the chamber and also managed to have a seat in the MSP block think pods!

Finishing off their visit they took the opportunity to observe the debate on Education in the chamber.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with them all again soon to further discuss youth homelessness.

Nursing and Midwifery

An estimated 2,600 extra nursing and midwifery training places will be created over the next four years as part of wide-ranging measures to support and strengthen NHS Scotland’s workforce.

The National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, published this week,  sets out how the Scottish Government will work with partners to secure sustainable NHS staffing alongside  its programme of change in health and social care.

Other measures that will seek to increase the supply of nurses include extended ‘return to practice’ programmes, improved recruitment and retention, particularly in rural areas, and support to attract and retain staff. These steps will be focused on priority areas including primary care, mental health, midwifery, maternal and child health and more remote areas, particularly the north of Scotland.

Additional medical student places are also being created – up to 100 over and above the extra 40 places from next September, contributing towards a more sustainable medical workforce.

Dementia

06.17 Dementia Carer VoicesI stopped by to have a chat with Tommy Whitelaw, UK Engagement Lead for Dementia Carers Voices who were sharing a stall with The Alliance in the Parliament this week.

Tommy has been a tireless campaigner travelling up and down the country talking to hundreds of staff employed across health and social care during the You Can Make a Difference campaign.

Having been selected to ask a question during general questions this week in the chamber I chose to ask about how the You Can Make a Difference campaign could engage with the new Dementia Strategy launched by the Scottish Government.

You can access the exchange here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/ormain.aspx

Policing

Railway policing will come under the command of Police Scotland after legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The expertise of British Transport Police officers and staff will be backed by the specialist resources of Police Scotland, including counter terrorism, air support and armed policing.

Strengthening the already high standards of safety and security on Scotland’s railways will be the key priority of integration.

The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill was supported by Parliament following the stage 3 debate today.

Festival of Politics

From the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love to the centenary of the Russian revolution, the Festival will celebrate its 13th birthday in true teenage fashion, pushing at boundaries and challenging the norms with an eclectic mix of political discussion, music and film.

Taking place from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 October, this year’s Festival, will also feature two exhibitions: Teenage Instamatics: Punk Rock in Edinburgh 1977 and the Scottish Press Photography Awards.

Galas

06.17 Partick Housing Association Gala DayWhat a great weekend out and about in the constituency and there was plenty to see, do and celebrate!

Partick Housing Association had their Gala Day at Mansfield Park and as you can see from the photo I threw myself into the arts and crafts activities! There was something for everyone from face-painting to nail painting to live music and a fantastic selection of stalls with great local produce.

06.17 Hyndland PS Gala DayHyndland After School Club were celebrating their 25th anniversary and I was delighted to be invited to join in their celebrations.

This is a great resource for parents, carers and young people and they have gone from strength to strength serving the local community over the past 25 years commonly and fondly known as the Afti!

I wish all the staff another 25 years success!

Building Safety

The second meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, took place this week.

Checks so far by local authorities have found that:

No Scottish local-authority owned school buildings above 18 metres have the type of cladding reported to have been used on the Grenfell tower – aluminium composite material (ACM).

No high rise domestic buildings owned by councils or housing associations have used ACM cladding.

29 of 32 local authorities have reported that ACM cladding has not been used on any privately owned high-rise domestic buildings. Edinburgh and Glasgow are completing their investigations and it was acknowledged this will take time due to due to the numbers involved.

Organ Donation

Following a public consultation, the Scottish Government intends to introduce legislation for a soft opt out system of organ and tissue donation.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has confirmed plans to bring forward legislation during this Parliament after 82% of consultation responses supported the move.

This will add to the package of measures already in place to increase donation. Work with stakeholders will continue, to ensure that the system is developed in a way which will do no harm to trust in the NHS or to the safety of organ donation.

Recess

The Parliament will go into recess until 4 September. Please note that the Ebrief will not be published during this period but will resume on 7 September.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a good summer and fingers crossed we can all enjoy some sunshine!

High Court rules that Tory Policy causing “real misery” for “no good purpose”

The UK government has suffered a humiliating High Court defeat over their welfare policy – with the government guilty of causing “real misery” for “no good purpose”.

The High Court ruling found that applying the benefit cap to lone parents with children under two is unlawful and discriminatory, after a judicial review brought by four lone parent families.

The revised benefit cap, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, drastically reduced housing benefits, leaving lone parent families across the country unable to afford basic life necessities to care for their children.

Mr Justice Collins has ruled that the application of the revised benefit cap to lone parents with children under two amounts to unlawful discrimination and that “real damage” is being caused to the Claimants and families like theirs across the country.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“This is an absolutely damning result that highlights the real human impact of the Tories’ austerity agenda.

“Theresa May and her government should be ashamed. Their obsession with making low-income families bear the burden of austerity is having a real human cost – and for no good reason.

“This judgement should be a wake-up call for the Tories – and they should listen to the SNP’s plan to end austerity.”

04.17 Rape Clause Debate
(Pictured) Sandra White MSP addressing Scottish Parliament ‘Rape Clause’ Debate

 

Baby Box registration now open; Sandra White MSP urges expectant mothers to sign up.

SNP MSP Sandra White is encouraging all expectant mothers, whose babies are due on or after 15 August 2017, to register for a baby box at their next midwife appointment.

These boxes, containing various essential items for a child’s first weeks and months, signal the SNP Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child in Scotland, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life.

This comes on top of the SNP Government using new powers to create new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances, the Best Start Grant, which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children and a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and £250 again when they start school.

Sandra White, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin and the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Convener, said:

“The Scottish Government is proudly gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life.

“And with the new powers coming to Scotland, the SNP Government will also provide targeted support to help low income families via our Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances.

“For mothers in Glasgow Kelvin and beyond looking forward to welcoming a new born into the world on or after 15th August this summer, all they need to do to be gifted a Baby Box is apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.

“The Baby Boxes are full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless their background, matters.

“And with the new powers coming to Scotland, the SNP Government will also provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via our new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant.

“The new Best Start Grant will be introduced in 2019.”

Baby Boxes Begin 2a (1 of 1)

Sandra supports Xchange Scotland Youth Leadership Projects

Sandra White MSP has highlighted the latest youth development programme from Xchange Scotland who are looking for voluntary leaders for international voluntary projects being hosting this summer!

Local young people will have the opportunity to join volunteers from all over the world to taking part in projects here in Scotland.

Sandra White MSP said, “This is another fantastic opportunity from Xchange Scotland, that will give young people a chance to develop and enjoy taking part in projects alongside international participants on issues of environmentalism and conservation.

“I would encourage all to consider applying so that they get a chance to not only coordinate an international group but also be an Ambassador for Scotland! I wish all international participants a wonderful time in Scotland over the duration of their project.”

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Xchange Scotland Promotion:

We are looking for leaders!

This summer we are hosting international voluntary projects where people from all over the world will join us to collaborate with different local causes.

Because of that, we are looking for volunteers to join in as Camp Leaders on the projects, people who might or might not volunteer before but who wants to do something different during their holidays, optimistic and active, interested on new learning experiences and ready to fully enjoy a new perspective of social activism.

Why you should do it?

  • You will receive a training
  • It´s an opportunity to develop new skills.
  • You will learn a lot!
  • You will be working with an international group of volunteers
  • This kind of experiences are valued by companies and organisations
  • You will make friends from all over the world

Can I be a leader?

We request…

Living in Scotland
You have to be 18+
Strong motivation
Previous experience leading groups is welcomed

If you want to apply send an email to info@xchangescotland.org

 

Dean Castle Country Park covers over 200 acres, and is nestled in the heart of Kilmarnock. The Country Park boasts beautiful woodland walks, an adventure playground, urban farm, visitor centre, tearoom, shop and a fantastic 14th century castle housing world class collections including historic weapons, armour and musical instruments.

Dean Castle (13/08 – 27/08)

Volunteers will take part in environmental and conservation activities throughout the park, depending on the needs of the park at that time. For example, volunteers will be creating a wildflower meadow on a steep livestock pasture to benefit bees, butterflies and birds and maintaining wildlife hedges and woodland around the park.

Dean Castle (09/09 – 23/09)

Volunteers will be working in the Lagoons area of the country park on the Bat Bothy project creating a safe place for bats to hibernate over the winter. This will involve digging, woodwork and other habitat management tasks. They will also clear out a pond to improve for wildlife and provide an even better foraging habitat for the bats in spring and summer.