Each local authority in Scotland is obliged to publish a local development plan, setting out their local planning policy and how they earmark certain areas for use in the coming years. North Lanarkshire have published their modified plan and it is now open for consultation and I would encourage people from across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth to take part to let the Council know what they think. The consultation is open until 5th April. Details can be found at the following link:
Very many constituents and millions of people across the UK have been badly hit in the pocket by the UK government's three year freeze to many social security payments - and that was on top of 3 years where increases were restricted to 1%.
Ending the freeze THIS YEAR, instead of next, would see many get a desperately needed boost to their inomes. The UK government has already saved more from the freeze than expected - so it has no excuse for continuing to punish the least well off.
The latest local charity funding round for the People’s Postcode Trust , the Postcode Community Trust and the Postcode Local Trust, is open for applications. These Trusts are funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Applications are open until 20 February, to apply for grants of between £500 and £20,000. Full details of how to apply are on the websites for each trust.
The three trusts each have a different focus for the funding:
People’s Postcode Trust - supports projects which focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights and combatting discrimination. http://www.postcodetrust.org.uk/
Postcode Community Trust – supports projects focussed on improving health and well-being through grassroots sports, reducing isolation, arts and physical recreation. http://www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk/
Postcode Local Trust – supports projects that support green space improvements, increasing access to outdoor spaces, renewable energy and flood prevention. http://www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk/
I started and finished today discussing and hearing concerns about the process the UK government has put in place for our EU friends and colleagues to apply for settled status.
First up was this visit to the Sky News studio. Later I was pleased to chair an event at Parliament hosted by The 3million campaign group and others, where MPs from all parties could hear first hand about the problems EU nationals have faced during the trial phase of the scheme.
I still argue the best way to avoid all these problems is for EU and UK citizens to continue to enjoy free movement rights.
On #WorldCancerDay I stand #ShouldertoShoulderwith Cancer Research UK and researchers worldwide working to beat cancer sooner.
Today I learned that in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East 51.4% of people aged 50-74 take part in bowel cancer screening, which is below the Scottish average. Screening helps early diagnosis and therefore better outcomes. I know from first hand experience how important early diagnosis is. The new FIT test makes the screening process easier than before - please take advantage!
Congratulations to Cumbernauld Living Landscape for securing major funding of £1.3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Creating Natural Connections programme.
This will expand and add new projects which will benefit young people, communities, local organisations and our local parks and woodlands.
This achievement is testament to the amazing work they do and represents a great boost to the area. Well done!
Cumbernauld Living Landscape's next volunteer day will be on the 10th of February at Cumbernauld Glen. The objective is to go for a walk and for volunteers to highlight tasks they think would improve the Glen.
If you are going along please email Tracey - email@example.com
The day will be weather dependant and will be cancelled in the event of bad weather so keep an eye out for emails. Tea, coffee & pastries will be available and children 8+ are welcome but must be supervised at all times.
Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring waterproofs if you have them (just in case).
Date 10th February
Time 12pm – 4pm weather dependant
Location Allotment Car park nearest G67 2BN.
My colleagues and I opposed the Tory government’s Immigration Bill in the House of Commons last night as it risks ripping away mutual free movement rights and damaging Scotland’s economic and social interests, posing a very real danger to people’s livelihoods.
My colleagues and I will oppose the bill every step of the way not least because it grants Tory ministers a “blank cheque” and sweeping powers to change the immigration system post-Brexit with little parliamentary scrutiny.
Whilst I welcome the UK government’s overdue climb-down to scrap the settled status fee for EU nationals, serious questions still remain over rights to appeal dubious Home Office decisions, and why there is a deadline to apply. An arbitrary cut-off points creates a very real risk of another Windrush-type situation for the thousands who will inevitably miss it. More needs to be done to avoid extending the Tories' 'hostile environment'.
I have repeatedly called on the UK government to devolve immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament so that the Scottish Government is in a position to design a system that addresses Scotland's economic and demographic needs.
The UK government’s very own White Paper suggests that there would be an 85% reduction in the number of EEA workers to Scotland if Freedom of Movement came to an end. Scottish Government analysis found the average EU citizen in Scotland adds £10,400 to government revenue and £34,400 to GDP each year.
The bill has been met with disdain and concern from business groups and employers, who warn that it would be a ‘sucker punch’ to firms across the country. If unchallenged and unopposed, the Immigration Bill will be catastrophic for communities and businesses across the whole of Scotland - particularly for key sectors such as tourism, hospitality and social care.
The Prime Minister has overridden her own Cabinet in an attempt to force through measures to end free movement and extend draconian anti-family immigration rules to EU citizens.
Time and time again, the UK government has failed to address Scotland’s economic, demographic and social needs. It is high time that immigration powers were devolved to the Scottish Parliament so that the Scottish Government is able to develop a tailored migration system that works for Scotland.
Home Energy Scotland, which is funded by the Scottish Government, provides free and impartial advice to help people across Scotland reduce their energy bills and make their homes warmer and more affordable to heat.
I was delighted that Home Energy Scotland - Strathclyde & Central were able to attend my recent Winter Advice Surgeries with Jamie Hepburn MSPand Rona Mackay MSP and offer local residents direct advice.
They have now been in touch to advise that they have a launched a new Winter Advice Competition, which not only gives people useful energy saving advice, but also enters them into a competition to win free energy bills for 1 year.
This competition can be entered by calling Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 or online here.
Home Energy Scotland, is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust.
Their advisers provide free, impartial energy advice designed to help householders make informed decisions. That advice can be accessed via the number above, and a free home visit service is also available for more vulnerable people.
Jamie Hepburn MSP and I were able to pay a visit to the flats being built in Queenzieburn by Clyde Valley Housing Association on the site of what was the Beacon Inn. It is great to see them getting closer to completion to be able to provide new homes for people in the area. The Housing Association were able to inform us that they hope to have their first tenants resident in the next few months and in advance of that plan to have an open event for Queenzieburn residents to visit and view the new properties.