EXTRAORDINARY standards of a Bearsden nursery have been praised during a ministerial visit.
Rona Mackay MSP and Mark McDonald MSP, the minister for childcare and early education, visited Lullaby Lane Nursery on Thursday October 27.
They were given a tour of the building by Pauline Scott, nursery director, and Sarah Jane, manager. They shared the nursery’s ethos of Attachment Led Practice, which “prioritises emotional wellbeing to help them become confident and secure”.
Pauline Scott, nursery director, said: “We were delighted to welcome our local MSP, Rona Mackay and Mark McDonald, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to Lullaby Lane to meet with our children and staff.
“The visit allowed us to share our ethos of Attachment Led Practice which prioritises our children’s emotional wellbeing to help them become confident and secure and overall provide a unique experience within Early Years.
“Both Rona and the minister were extremely generous with their time during the visit to talk to individual members of our team to discuss their experience and their career plans for the future.”
Ms Mackay, Strathkelvin and Bearsden’s MSP, said: “Children are at the front and centre of my agenda as an MSP, so I was absolutely delighted to visit Lullaby Lane Nursery in Bearsden to meet its staff. I want to thank director Pauline Scott and manager Sarah Jane for having us along — I was thoroughly impressed.”
Mr McDonald, Scottish Government minister, said: “For only being open three years, Lullaby Lane Nursery has certainly made some significant achievements in a particularly competitive field. As the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, it was great to meet the staff and hear about what they’re doing that makes this award-winning practice so special.”
ASPIRING designers are being urged to submit their designs for Scotland’s brand new baby box by Strathkelvin and Bearsden’s MSP.
Rona Mackay MSP has backed the Scottish Government campaign, which is asking for a bold and inspirational design from students.
The winner will receive a prize of £1,000 and exclusive mentoring from leading Scots designers Holly Fulton and Scott Jarvie.
V&A Museum of Design Dundee will run the nationwide competition on behalf of the Scottish Government, with entries sought from design students throughout Scotland by November 17.
The winning design will be put into production and rolled out on every baby box from Summer 2017 until March 31 2019.
Ms Mackay said: “I urge design students across Strathkelvin and Bearsden to get involved with this amazing opportunity to help create the baby box.
“With more than 50,000 new babies being born in Scotland every year, this is going to be create exposure for aspiring designers.
“The baby box is part of the Scottish Government’s bold new initiative to give our youngsters the best possible start in life.
“It has a proven track record in Finland of tackling deprivation, improving health and supporting parents — I’m looking forward to seeing it roll out next year.”
Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, made the announcement during a visit to the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design where he was joined by two other members of the judging panel, Sarah Saunders, Director of Learning and Innovation at V&A Dundee and Scott Jarvie founder of Jarvie-Design.
A Lenzie-based charity has scooped a top prize at a third sector award ceremony in Glasgow.
Deafblind Scotland was named Disability Charity of the Year at the Charity Champion Awards on Thursday, October 6 in the Marriott Hotel. It was one of several accolades the charity was put forward for.
Ruth Dorman, chief executive of Deafblind Scotland, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be shortlisted in three categories and so very proud to be runners up in Health Charity of the Year and Communities Charity of the Year. More so, we were ecstatic when we were the overall winners for the Disability Charity of the Year.”
Rona Mackay, the MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, has heaped praise upon the charity. Since her election, the SNP MSP has supported the charity, recently attending the soil-turning ceremony of the new centre the charity is constructing in Kirkintilloch.
She said: “Very well done to all of the members, volunteers and staff of Deafblind Scotland. This dedicated and accomplished group really deserves this. Since becoming an MSP, I have supported the great cause Deafblind Scotland works towards, and I wish them all the success in the future as they build a new future for the deafblind in Kirkintilloch.”
STRATHKELVIN and Bearsden’s MSP expects a second independence referendum if a ‘hard Brexit’ takes place.
Rona Mackay MSP insisted being dragged out of the single market and stripped of freedom of movement around the EU will fuel appetite for independence.
It follows party leader Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement at conference on the weekend that an Independence Referendum Bill would be published next week.
Rona Mackay MSP said: “A second Scottish independence referendum would be inevitable if the Tories pursue a hard Brexit from the European Union. More and more people in East Dunbartonshire are waking up to the idea that Scotland is better off outside the increasingly xenophobic Tory party’s UK.
“Since the EU referendum, the Tories have been a complete shambles. The utter lack of planning for a Brexit situation has been shocking – they hadn’t the initiative to form a plan like we did with the White Paper.
“The 82nd SNP conference was an uplifting event. One of the main highlights for me was addressing conference on a resolution to lift the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. I was thrilled the resolution was passed, as I’m also garnering support for a similar motion in Holyrood.”
TRANSPORT Minister will give evidence to the Public Petitions Committee on the safety issues of shared space in Kirkintilloch.
In the biweekly Public Petitions Committee on September 29, a petition on the safety issues surrounding the shared space project in Kirkintilloch town centre was addressed.
The petition reads: “‘Shared space’ schemes are designing many blind, deaf-blind, disabled, and other vulnerable people of their Town Centres as due to uncontrolled Courtesy Crossings they can no longer access their High Street.”
When the issue was raised in the Public Petitions Committee meeting on September 29, Rona Mackay MSP said: “I declare an interest in the petition, as the petitioner is from my constituency and I have been backing his campaign from the start and continue to do so. I am well aware of the issues surrounding the petition.”
The construction work on the shared space began in February this year amid criticism of its safety. Blind campaigner Sandy Taylor led the protest against the scheme put forward by East Dunbartonshire Council.
The ongoing campaign has been reported by BBC News, as well as continuing coverage by the Kirkintilloch Herald.
Rona has supported the campaign from the beginning. Prior to being elected as an MSP, she said the design was a “disastrous decision” by East Dunbartonshire Council.
At the Committee meeting, Rona said: “I would be very keen to have the Minister for Transport and the Islands in to give evidence to the committee on the issue at a future meeting.
“I would also like the petition to be referred to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, because the petitioner states clearly there is a breach of the human rights of the less able in the community, who effectively feel barred from their own town. The design of the shared space initiative in Kirkintilloch is entirely unsuitable and it has caused a huge amount of public anger.”
Rona’s suggestion has led Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s Minister for Transport and the Islands to give verdict at a future meeting of the Committee.
“Shared space” is poorly defined concept in traffic design, but it mainly refers to the practice of creating a levelled surface for vehicles and pedestrians to use at the same time. Advocates for the design boast of its ability to reduce traffic congestion and to increase road safety. They argue that when vehicles share the same road with pedestrians, the drivers have to be more careful.
The concept of shared space originated in the Netherlands in 1968. In recent years, it was introduced in UK, with examples from Ashford in Kent and Poynton in Cheshire.
Although in theory, shared space can reduce the number of traffic accidents, but it fails to take into account the danger it poses to the disabled community, especially the visually impaired.
Shared space only offers “courtesy” crossing, where traffic lights and signals are removed because controlled crossing is deemed unnecessary. And by taking away the audio aid from the traffic light post, people who are blind will no longer be able to cross the street safely.
EAST Dunbartonshire’s Members of the Scottish Parliament have pledged their support to the WASPI campaign.
Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay attended the demonstration outside parliament held by Women Against State Pension Increase on Thursday, October 3.
The MSPs reiterated their support for the women, who face shattered retirement plans due to the UK Government increasing the state pension age for women born in the 1950s.
Mr Paterson said: “I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the WASPI women outside the Scottish Parliament. The independent report into the increase of the state pension age shows thousands of women in East Dunbartonshire are going to be affected to varying degrees. The UK Government needs to act and stop this great injustice.”
Ms Mackay said: “The WASPI women are some of the most inspirational people I have met – I was privileged to be among their company outside the parliament. We need to support them as much as possible, because thousands of women across the UK have had their retirement plans shattered by the sudden change in state pension age.”
The Pensions Act 2011 enacted by the UK Government accelerated the timetable for increases in women’s State Pension Age (SPA). Women’s SPA will rise from 63 to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, and from 65 to 66 by October 2020.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) has been at the heart of raising the profile of the issue. Its members ask for a ‘bridging’ pension to cover the gap from age 60 until State Pension Age for women born in the 50s.
The majority of those impacted in West Dunbartonshire are the 2,600 women age 56 to 60 born between 1955 to 1959.