Lots of constituents have been in touch about ensuring the future of EU nationals here in the U.K. and I’ve worked closely with the 3million campaign to try and protect the rights of our friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members. The scrapping of the fee is welcome, but lots of questions remain including what rights there will be to appeal dubious Home Office decisions, and why is there a cut-off, risking another Windrush situation.
The Prime Minister’s response was not very helpful.
Too many constituents have been separated from spouses, partners, children and other family members thanks to the Prime Ministers anti-family migration rules. Why is the Home Secretary intent on extending them in future to EU family members?
We should scrap these horrible rules rather than applying them to even more families!
Kirkintilloch East MP Stuart McDonald has written to East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership to call for a rethink of plans to close Whitehill Day Care and Short Break Service in Kirkintilloch. The MP attended at the centre on Friday where he spoke with staff.
Originally the new Whitehill Court development at Cleddens was to include new facilities for the day care centre. However, late last year the Health and Social Care partnership announced a change of plan – with service users being moved instead to a service in Birdston Day Care.
Stuart McDonald said:
“I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents with family members who are regular users of the day care centre, and also by staff who are very concerned about what these changes mean for those they have been caring for over many years. I know these concerns are shared by others in both the public and third sector as well as in the wider community.
“The health and social care partnership engaged in absolutely no consultation with either staff, the community or families who use the services. It has simply been sprung upon everyone. Whitehill has an excellent reputation, with capacity to support dementia sufferers, including severe cases, which other providers would struggle to match. I also have serious questions about whether it is wise for day care and short breaks to be totally dependent on a single private provider for the whole of the east side of East Dunbartonshire.
“For all these reasons I am writing to the partnership to ask them to reconsider, and at the very least engage with families and staff about what they are proposing. Everyone was excited about the new facilities, and suddenly instead the service is being closed”.
The owners of Cumbernauld Town Centre have recently made the decision to introduce a 3 hour parking limit on their car parks around the town centre. This follows on from recent decisions by the Antonine Centre and Tesco to also introduce parking restrictions.
These town centre parking restrictions will be in force from Monday 21st January. Along with Jamie Hepburn MSP we have recently written to the owners of the Town Centre, HAMCAP, to express our concerns at this move, however, we would also like to hear your opinions. Click here for a link that will take you to a short survey which you can complete.
The Prime Minister’s speech today signalled she’s simply going to press on trying to sell the same rotten deal to the same small audience of MPs.
Because of this, and because of austerity, WASPI, Universal Credit, the Power Grab and so many other reasons my colleagues and I will be voting for this no confidence motion in a few moments.
I was pleased to attend the launch of this year's Open Doors World Watch List Report where I heard first-hand about the escalating persecution of Christians around the world. The right to freedom of religion or belief is central to the human experience and should be defended fiercely. You can find more information at: https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/
Today we have "the meaningful vote" - and in accordance with the overwhelming views of constituents who have contacted me, and in line with the manifesto I stood for election on in 2017, I will be voting against draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration negotiated by the Prime Minister.
I took part in this debate almost six weeks ago - just before the Prime Minister postponed the vote - to explain why.
I will not vote for a deal that would deprive my constituents, and future generations, of so many of the benefits and opportunities of EU membership that my generation has enjoyed. The Prime Minister said that her deal “ends free movement once and for all.” If that is the best thing that she can say about it, it is a rotten deal. I dearly hope that the UK will step back from the brink of the disaster that is Brexit, but the very fact that we have even come this far makes the case for Scotland forging its own future as an independent nation state within the European Union.
It was great to get along to Asda Cumbernauld last week to hear how they are working with Drinkaware again to increase knowledge about how much alcohol we are consuming, the impact on our health & how we can cut back. Thanks to Cumbernauld staff for inviting me along! For more click here.
I also heard more about how they support the local community. Every large store has a Community Champion and the autonomy to support the groups and good causes that matter most to their local area. They also open up their store, free of charge, to local groups and good causes – using their foyer space, training rooms, wi-fi, cafes and car parks to provide space for the community to come together.
The Asda Foundation also offers several different funding streams for local community projects, large and small, and you can find out more about this at https://www.asdafoundation.org/what-we-fund.
You can also contact Lynne Morrison, the Asda Cumbernauld Community Champion, at Community_Cumbernauld@asda.co.uk or on 01236 855 000 ext 222.
Two separate proposals have recently been lodged with North Lanarkshire Council's planning department for developments including cinemas for Cumbernauld - one for Westway Retail Park and one for the Town Centre.
You can view these proposals, and contribute to the consultations here, using these references:
Westway Retail Park: 18/01750/PPP
Town Centre: 18/01786/PPP
I wrote, along with Jamie Hepburn MSP to Network Rail in mid-December highlighting concerns about the closure of one of the Croy Station car parks for resurfacing works.
We received their initial reply today saying they have asked Scotrail, who instructed the works, to get back to us as soon as possible.
Councillor Alan Masterton, Cumbernauld North - SNP has also been working on this issue and has posted this update.