RONA MACKAY TO TAKE FORWARD STALKING PROTECTION BILL

RONA MACKAY TO TAKE FORWARD STALKING PROTECTION BILL

SNP MSP Rona Mackay will take forward a Members’ Bill to create a new form of protection order in cases of stalking – making it easier for victims to access justice.

The Stalking Protection Bill had initially been proposed by Mairi Gougeon, who was subsequently appointed as a Scottish Government Minister.

Victims of stalking can currently apply to a civil court for a non-harassment order, the breach of which is a criminal offence.

The proposed bill would create stalking protection orders, which would allow police to apply to court for a protection order on behalf of a victim of stalking.

The new class of protection order would mean that victims would not have to take legal action through the courts themselves at a time when they may be particularly vulnerable, and which may be at their own expense if they do not qualify for legal aid.

Commenting, Rona Mackay said:

“This is an important piece of legislation that could make a real difference to victims of stalking.

“Stalking can have a severe and long-lasting impact on victims, yet the reporting rate for stalking and harassment is low compared to other crimes.

“Victims of harassment can currently apply to courts for a non-harassment order – but when somebody is in the vulnerable position of being stalked they may be hesitant about pursuing this, particularly if it comes at their own expense.

“Stalking protection orders would allow police to apply directly to the court on a victims behalf, removing obstacles from accessing justice.

“I look forward to developing these proposals and hope to achieve cross-party support.”

MSP RONA MACKAY BACKS PLANS FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

MSP RONA MACKAY BACKS PLANS FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, has given her backing to proposals that will deliver a more inclusive education system by improving the experiences of LGBTI pupils.

Since last year the Scottish Government have been working closely with the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) Campaign to promote an inclusive approach to sex and relationships education, while tackling LGBTI bullying and discrimination in our schools.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney MSP, this afternoon confirmed the Scottish Government will fully accept the recommendations of a report by the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, who were tasked with taking the TIE pledges forward.

The report outlines 33 recommendations on how the learning experience of LGBTI young people in Scotland can be improved. A team has been charged with implementing the proposals by the end of the current Parliamentary term.

The Scottish Government have already funded over £983,000 to organisations working to promote LGBTI equality in Scotland during the 2018/19 period.

A cross-party group of MSPs met to celebrate the announcement, wearing rainbow ties in support of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.

Commenting, SNP MSP Rona Mackay said:

“Today marks a historic milestone in the ongoing drive for equality across Scotland. I am proud to stand in solidarity with our LGBTI community to ensure young people across Strathkelvin and Bearsden receive the inclusive education they deserve.

“During Scotland’s Year of Young People, it is fitting for this SNP Government to send a strong message of inclusivity, tolerance and respect to younger generations.

“Offensive, out-dated views have no place in Scotland, and the Scottish Government is clear that any form of bullying or discrimination in our society will not be tolerated.

“I am proud that Scotland consistently tops international rankings for performance on LGBTI rights. And I will continue to push for equality in Strathkelvin and Bearsden and throughout Scotland.”

LIB DEM LIBRARY HYPOCRISY

LIB DEM LIBRARY HYPOCRISY

Local SNP politicians have criticised the decision by East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust to close three libraries in Lenzie, Milton of Campsie and Westerton.
 

There are five councillors within the board of ED Leisure and Culture Trust.

 

Councillor Susan Murray (Lib Dem) supported the closures, Councillors Gillian Renwick (SNP) and Jim Gibbons (SNP) opposed the closures, Councillor Sheila Mechan (Conservative) abstained and Councillor Stewart MacDonald (Labour) was not at the meeting.

 

Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay has written to the Head of Leisure Trust Mark Grant and Chief Executive to ask why and how the decision was reached and what the next step in the process is. She has also written to the Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council to ask what their role is I the closures and if this decision can be vetoed.

 

Ms Mackay said: “I am shocked and angry at this decision. Public libraries are a vital part of the community and provide a necessary facility. To close libraries at a time when we are encouraging children to read more, and more people will need to access them to use the internet to claim Universal Credit benefits, is simply madness.

 

“The local Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson has remained silent over the closures of the libraries in Westerton and Lenzie. This week she even had the nerve to pose for a picture inside Bearsden Library discussing what local services they provide while refusing to speak out again closures in other areas of East Dunbartonshire, one of which is Westerton in Bearsden. I challenge Ms Swinson to speak to her local councillor who voted for these closures and stand up for her constituents.

 

“This is a disgrace. I will do everything in my power to keep these libraries open and to persuade the Leisure Trust to think again. I hope other local politicians do the same.”

 

The SNP group’s members on the Trust, Councillor Gillian Renwick and Councillor Jim Gibbons voted against the closures, but were voted down. They then put up an amendment by way of compromise to suggest reduced opening hours, but this was again voted down by opposition Councillors and lay board members.

 

Stuart McDonald MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East added: “The local library is a hugely valued service, and I know the proposed closure has caused considerable anger in Milton of Campsie. Libraries have a really important role in terms of promoting reading, providing public information, and tackling social isolation and can also be really important in early years education. And with the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit more people are requiring the use of libraries and the computing and internet facilities offered there.

 

“So this is a short sighted decision, and we need to do all we can to try to reverse it. I hope everyone will contact their local councillors to make their views known.”
POLL SHOWS MAJORITY SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

POLL SHOWS MAJORITY SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

The ongoing chaos of Brexit would deliver a majority in favour of Scottish independence, according to a Survation poll published this evening.

Respondents were asked whether, from what they have seen and heard so far over Brexit, they would more or less likely to vote for Scottish independence. The figures would mean a majority of 51.39% for independence, with 48.61% against.

The substantial sample of those polled in Scotland (1,725) also show support for remaining in the EU at a higher level than during the 2016 referendum.

Current voting intentions would put the SNP 13 points clear of the Tories, picking up seven more Westminster seats than currently held.

Commenting, Rona Mackay MSP said:

“As the chaos and despair at Westminster’s handling of Brexit continues, more and more people are drawn to the opportunities and hope for the future that independence offers.

“These figures show a significant swell in support for Scotland taking all decisions over our future for ourselves. And little wonder, as the Tories seek to drag Scotland against our will out of the EU and the Single Market, which is eight times the size of the UK alone.

“People are right to be concerned about the harm that Brexit will do to our economy, our NHS and their household incomes. Brexit could cost every person in Scotland £2,300 a year and will put 80,000 jobs on the line.

“Clearly people in Scotland see the benefits of migration to our society and the need to maintain our close relationship with the EU in years ahead. That’s why we need those key powers at Holyrood, and not before time.

“The more Tory and Labour politicians ignore Scotland’s interests and seek to stop us from making decisions over our future the more support for the SNP and independence will continue to grow.”

MSP slams decision to close libraries

MSP slams decision to close libraries

MSP Rona Mackay has criticised the decision by East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust to close three libraries in Lenzie, Milton of Campsie and Westerton.

She has written to the Head of Leisure Trust Mark Grant and Chief Executive to ask why and how the decision was reached and what the next step in the process is. She has also written to the Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council to ask what their role is I the closures and if this decision can be vetoed.

Ms Mackay said: “I am shocked and angry at this decision. Public libraries are a vital part of the community and provide a necessary facility. To close libraries at a time when we are encouraging children to read more, and more people will need to access them to use the internet to claim Universal Credit benefits, is simply madness.

The SNP group’s members on the Trust, Councillor Gillian Renwick and Councillor Jim Gibbons voted against the closures, but were voted down. They then put up an amendment by way of compromise to suggest reduced opening hours, but this was again voted down by opposition Councillors and lay board members.

“This is a disgrace. I will do everything in my power to keep these libraries open and to persuade the Leisure Trust to think again.”