SNP MSP Rona Mackay has criticised the UK Government for failing the people of Strathkelvin and Bearsden, following this year’s Budget announcement.
After promising to end austerity, the UK Government’s budget has in fact failed Scottish people, with Scotland’s resource block grant almost £2 billion lower in real terms next year than it was less than a decade ago.
The Budget does not deliver on the promises of a rise in public spending – Scotland’s NHS has been short-changed, the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit has not been halted, and the richest 10% of the UK population will be the ones who benefit most from Tory tax cuts.
Ms Mackay said:
“This Tory Budget falls a long way short of delivering for the people of Scotland.
“Working people will be £1,600 worse off thanks to their mishandling of Brexit, and the changes in this year’s Budget do nothing to alleviate the untold damage this will do.
“The reality of this Budget is that the Tories have dug themselves a deeper hole, with no clue how to get out of it. People in Strathkelvin and Bearsden and across Scotland, are getting a bad deal with the Tories.
“The SNP will not support Tory tax cuts for the richest at the expense of the poor.
“Instead of ploughing on with more harmful austerity, the UK Government should commit to a realistic plan for investment in public services, to grow the economy and to boost jobs, incomes and living standards.
“This budget has exposed in stark terms the democratic deficit of the UK, and why we need full powers over Scotland’s finances to grow our economy and build a fairer country.”
MSP Rona Mackay and SNP Council Group Leader Gordan Low visited Bishopbriggs social enterprise Babes in the Wood and praised it for undertaking valuable work in the community.
Babes in the Wood Bishopbriggs was founded by Heather Royan in 2014 in response to local need. As a parent herself, Heather recognised the merit in having a specialist service for the recycling of children’s toys, clothing & equipment. In 2018 Heather formed a business partnership with Linda Barrack and together they launched a further enterprise, Babes in the Wood Stirling.
Babes in the Wood was founded to reduce the impact of landfill waste on the environment, to alleviate the effects of poverty on children from birth to 16 years and to offer a friendly community shop where parents and carers can source low cost children’s items.
Ms Mackay said: “This amazing non-profit is a much needed organisation that helps vulnerable families in East Dunbartonshire. Health visitors, social workers, family support workers and Women’s Aid can refer families. Babes in the Woods then create packs full of children’s toys, clothing and equipment which respond specifically to the individual needs of the families referred to them.
“If anyone has any items to donate for their packs that they would like to donate, they would be much appreciated, especially in the run up to Christmas. My office will be arranging a collection between now and Christmas for Babes in the Woods Bishopbriggs. If you would like to donate contact my office on 0141 776 1561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Low added, “Babes in the Woods is an excellent services for East Dunbartonshire. As well as assisting vulnerable families they also support small businesses and local parents who choose to visit or reserve a place in their subsidised community classes. Classes include baby massage, infant reflexology and baby yoga.”
Heather Royan added, “We are grateful of the support of local parents who visit us to buy from our community shop and to those who bring us donations of their unwanted children’s toys, clothing & equipment. Without their continued support & generosity we would be unable to respond to appeals to assist local families.”
Rona MacKay MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden spoke with the charity Guide Dogs Scotland at the SNP conference about the challenges pavement parked cars create for blind and partially sighted people, who may have to risk their safety by walking into the road just to get by.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed that 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
To illustrate the problem, the charity asked Rona to clear the streets of pavement parked cars against the clock on a specially-themed whack-a-mole game.
Guide Dogs Scotland is supporting proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament that would prohibit pavement parking, except in areas which need a legitimate exemption. Rona MacKay MSP is supporting this Bill and Guide Dogs’ campaign to make pavement parking an offence. This would give local authorities real power to properly tackle this problem.
Rona MacKay MSP said: “I am happy to support the Transport (Scotland) Bill as I believe pavement parking can have serious consequences for blind or partially sighted people, as well as the elderly, people with mobility issues and parents with young children.
“By giving local authorities the power to administer the pavement parking ban, it will allow East Dunbartonshire Council to determine which roads this should be applied to”
Niall Foley, Engagement Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented: “Cars blocking pavements are a nuisance for everyone, but can be a real danger for people with sight loss, potentially forcing them out into the roads to get by. The powers that councils and police have at the moment aren’t sufficient to tackle the problem, and that’s why we are supporting the Scottish Government’s proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill for a clear law where drivers cannot park on the pavement unless they’re in a specifically designated area.”
For more information about Guide Dogs Scotland and its Pavement Parking campaign, contact Engagement Manager Niall Foley on 0118 983 6131 or email@example.com
Rona Mackay MSP welcomes funding to encourage female sport participation
Rona Mackay MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s £300,000 fund for projects that help women and girls take part in sport or physical activity.
The Scottish Government and sportscotland are calling for applications led by Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport or Local Authorities, as part of a programme to encourage more women and girls to participate. The launch of the fund comes during the second annual Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week.
Funding awards will range between £10,000 and £30,000. The funding builds on the success of the Sporting Equality Fund launched in 2017, with investment going to projects including wheelchair basketball in Glasgow, netball across Scotland and ‘bike-packing’ adventures in the Highlands.
Commenting on the fund, Rona said:
“ This fund is fantastic news, and will aim to increase female participation in sport and physical activity. Whilst the numbers of women and girls in Scotland participating in sports and physical activity has increased significantly in recent years, including traditional sports such as netball, hockey and shinty; the Scottish Government wants to do more to address the barriers that stop women and girls taking part, and this fund helps support that aim.
I would encourage any local organisation, with a pertinent project, to apply to this fund”