GIVE THE GIFT OF A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX

GIVE THE GIFT OF A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX

 

Local MSP Rona Mackay launched her Christmas collection appeal earlier this month for Babes in the Wood in Bishopbriggs.

Babes in the Wood was founded to help 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 toys, clothing and equipment.

Ms Mackay said: “This time of year can be very difficult for some families throughout Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

“We are asking people to make up Christmas Eve boxes for children of all ages. Each box should include some festive treats, our handy shopping list includes; Christmas mug, marshmallows, Christmas DVD, teddy Bear, Reindeer Food, Hot Chocolate, Christmas Story Book, Popcorn and a novelty toothbrush. However, all donations will be accepted by Babes in the Wood. If you would like to donate to this great campaign, please drop items at my office at 18a Townhead in Kirkintilloch or call my office on 0141 776 1561 to arrange a collection”.

SNP MSP RONA MACKAY BACKS PETITION TO CAP PARKING CHARGES

SNP MSP RONA MACKAY BACKS PETITION TO CAP PARKING CHARGES

Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, has given her backing to an online petition calling for a private parking company at Glasgow Royal Infirmary to change their current parking charge to a £5 daily flat rate.
The indoor multi-story car park at the hospital was built as part of a controversial private finance initiative (PFI) redevelopment project in 2005 instigated by a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in the Scottish Parliament.
The car park is owned by private company Semperian and managed by APCOA who have recently increased parking charges for staff and visitors to the hospital.
Ms Mackay said: “Abolishing car parking charges at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary car park – as the SNP has done in NHS owned hospitals across Scotland – would be ideal, but unfortunately it is one of three car parks locked into long-term PFI contracts which precede this government. This amounts to a tax on ill-health.
“The Glasgow Royal Infirmary car park is a huge concern as there are no daily capped parking rates, unlike Ninewells (£2.40) and Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary (£7.20).
“As it currently stands staff and visitors need to pay up to £20 per day for parking, or £105 per month for a permit. This is an unnecessary financial burden visitors do not need, and neither do staff who are doing a brilliant job day in, day out.
“I will be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman to ask if there is anything that she can do and to both Semperian, the owner of the car park and APCOA, who manages it, to ask them to support the petition and introduce a flat rate charge that works for staff and visitors to the hospital.

Sign the petition today

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.”

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.”

MSP: UK GOVERNMENT BUDGET DOES NOT DELIVER FOR STRATHKELVIN AND BEARSDEN

MSP: UK GOVERNMENT BUDGET DOES NOT DELIVER FOR STRATHKELVIN AND BEARSDEN

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.”

Local MSP calls on locals this Christmas to donate to Babes in the Wood

Local MSP calls on locals this Christmas to donate to Babes in the Wood

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 rona.mackay.msp@parliament.scot.

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.”

 

 

Local MSP helps raise awareness of the dangers of pavement parking

Local MSP helps raise awareness of the dangers of pavement parking

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 niall.foley@guidedogs.org.uk

Funding to encourage female sport participation

Funding to encourage female sport participation

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”