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”

Local MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the immediate 6.5% increase for Police Officers

Local MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the immediate 6.5% increase for Police Officers

The increase will be backdated to 1 September and applies until 31 March 2021.

The move will see all officers below the rank of Assistant Chief Constable receive an immediate and substantial increase in their salary.

A mid-point constable will receive a salary increase of £2,300 and the equivalent of an additional £6,000 in pay over the next 31 months.

Rona, who is also Deputy Convener of the Justice Committee, commented:

“ I am delighted that this pay increase has been agreed for our Police Officers.  It is an important recognition of the vital work they do to support safer, stronger communities. The Scottish Government has worked closely with the SPA and Police Scotland to provide the greatest uplift to Police pay for over 20 years”

MSP calls on local young people to help design the new generation of Baby Boxes

MSP calls on local young people to help design the new generation of Baby Boxes

Rona Mackay is calling on all young people throughout Strathkelvin and Bearsden to send in their fun and vibrant designs and concepts, to be a part of the team who will design the new generation of Baby Boxes.

In partnership with Scottish Government and Children in Scotland, Young Scot are looking for young people with a passion for art and design to submit their own concepts for the next iteration of Baby Boxes.

Scotland’s first Baby Box was launched one year ago today, on the 15th August 2017, after a competition to design the original. The winning design was a forest fairy tale scene complete with Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster.

Every child born on or after the 15th August 2017 will receive a Baby Box. So far over 50,000 Baby Boxes have been sent to newborns all over Scotland featuring this design.

These designs will reflect the principles of Year of Young People 2018, and all concepts should relate to the theme of Children’s Rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We will receive designs relating to the following rights;

  • The Right to Play
  • The Right to Freedom of Expression
  • The Right to Education

Successful designers will be invited to a Jam Event in October where they will work in teams with professional design agencies to bring their ideas together into a final design concept.

The winning design will be selected by an expert judging panel later in the year before launching in 2019.

Ms Mackay said, “To celebrate the Year of Young People, Young Scot with the Scottish Government and Children in Scotland have launched a new design contest for Scotland’s baby box.

“There are so many young aspiring artists in my constituency and I would encourage all of them to get involved in this excellent campaign for all artists up to the age of 26.

“If any local people would like to get involved they should visit or visit my office and we can point them in the right direction. Good luck.

New School Clothing Grant for Eligible Families in Strathkelvin and Bearsden

New School Clothing Grant for Eligible Families in Strathkelvin and Bearsden

MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the announcement that all councils in Scotland have agreed that all eligible families will be able to receive a grant of at least £100 to cover the cost of school uniforms.

Cosla has confirmed that all 32 local authorities have implemented an increase for school clothing grant payments to at least £100 while maintaining the eligibility criteria they had in place before the introduction of the grant.

An estimated 120,000 families are eligible for the grant, which was put in place ahead of pupils returning to school for the start of the new academic year.

The national minimum school clothing grant was agreed in May following discussions between the Scottish Government and Cosla.

Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP, Rona Mackay, said:

“Many constituents have raised this with me in the past and asked why East Dunbartonshire Council only offered £50 per child, when we all know that school uniforms can be a considerable cost for families. I am now delighted to see that the partnership of the Scottish Government and Cosla has resulted in all councils across Scotland raising the national minimum school clothing grant to £100.

“This will help to relieve pressure for around 120,000 families, reduce costs of living and allow all children to attend school feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”



Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP, Rona Mackay, met with Macmillan Cancer Support to discuss transforming Cancer Care in Scotland.

Macmillan Cancer Support have invested £5 million pounds into a programme called Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT).

TCAT is a partnership between Macmillan, the Scottish Government, the NHS, Local authorities and third sector partners to develop and implement new models of care and support that place the needs of the person with cancer at the centre.

The TCAT project at Stobhill has produced a significant improvement in patient experience. The new model of care for breast cancer patients led to a 44% increase in the number of people giving their overall care after treatment the top score. There was also a 50% reduction in demand for consultant appointments from patients.

This new model of care is now being rolled out to all those who have finished treatment for breast cancer in Stobhill and embedded into everyday practice.
Commenting on the meeting, Rona Mackay said,

“ It was great to meet with Macmillan to discuss transforming Cancer Care in Scotland, and the success of their pilot project at Stobhill Hospital. I hope that the TCAT model is rolled out across Scotland to improve patient experiences, and Macmillan should be commended on the work they have done with the TCAT.”




SNP MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the news that free sanitary products will be available to pupils, students and learners at schools, colleges and universities across Strathkelvin and Bearsden thanks to £5.2 million Scottish Government funding.
Delivering on the SNP’s Programme for Government commitment to fight ‘period poverty’ in Scottish schools, colleges and universities – this initiative makes the Scottish Government the first in the world to make free sanitary products available to all pupils and students.

Following a successful pilot scheme in Aberdeen last year, the Scottish Government also provided the charity, FareShare, with over £500,000 to distribute free sanitary products to women on low incomes across the country.

SNP MSP Rona Mackay said:

“The SNP Government’s £5.2 million investment in free sanitary products will allow students in Strathkelvin and Bearsden remain focused on what matters – their studies.

“Basic sanitary provision is a right, not a privilege.

“The notion that anyone should struggle to buy essential hygiene products is simply not acceptable and we should be proud that Scotland is leading the way in the fight against period poverty.

“I would encourage everyone to get firmly behind initiatives like this, including the UK government.”


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Rona Mackay MSP encourages public to attend airport consultation event in Bearsden

Rona Mackay MSP encourages public to attend airport consultation event in Bearsden

BEARSDEN South’s MSP and SNP councillor are encouraging members of the public to make their voices heard on new aircraft noise and flightpath proposals from Glasgow Airport.

A drop-in event is being held by the airport in Bearsden Community Hub on Friday March 16 from 10am to 7pm.

Airport staff will be there to answer any questions and field information about two new consultations.

One is about proposals to address the impact of aircraft noise and the other about changes to the flightpath.

Rona Mackay MSP and Councillor Denis Johnston are raising awareness of the airport’s public consultations.

Ms Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “If residents feel they could contribute to influencing the decision of Glasgow Airport regarding its consultations on aircraft noise and the flight path, I recommend they look into them and consider attending event.

“Councillor Johnston and I are very keen residents are aware of the event as these are major issues in the area.”


MSP commends Fairtrade school uniform policy at primary school

MSP commends Fairtrade school uniform policy at primary school

MSP Rona Mackay has lodged a parliamentary motion welcoming Thomas Muir Primary School sourcing its uniforms from a Fairtrade supplier.

Uniforms are now supplied from Koolskools – an organisation that guarantees no child labour or forced labour, as well as safe factory conditions and decent pay for workers.

The company was set up in 2011 and also supplies Fairtrade uniforms to more than 40 schools across Scotland.

Parent Emma White has been at the head of the movement and was specially mentioned by Ms Mackay in the Holyrood motion.

The school received substantial coverage in the Sunday Herald on March 4.

Ms Mackay said:

“Parents at Thomas Muir Primary School are an example to every school parent in Scotland — more need to be sourcing uniforms from guaranteed ethical suppliers.

“Very well done to Thomas Muir Primary School on changing its uniform supplier to a Fairtrade company. It’s excellent news, especially during Fairtrade Fortnight.

“I absolutely agree with Emma White, there is something dreadful about children manufacturing school uniforms for other children. By supporting Fairtrade, we can help stop such child labour.

“Well done to Thomas Muir Primary School for supporting this move to Fairtrade uniforms, I was delighted to recognise this with my fellow MSPs and the Scottish Government with a parliamentary motion.”



Fairtrade school uniforms

That the Parliament commends Thomas Muir Primary School in Bishopbriggs for changing its school uniform supplier to Fairtrade; understands that parents led a ‘Fairtrade revolution’ to change the policy; notes the move received excellent media coverage where leading parent Emma White condemned that in some cases school uniforms were being manufactured by child labour and forced labour, as well unsafe factories where workers were poorly paid; further acknowledges the work of Koolskools, a Fairtrade school uniform company set up in 2011 providing for more than 40 schools in Scotland, which will be supplying Thomas Muir Primary; encourages other schools to adopt a Fairtrade policy for their school uniforms.

East Dunbartonshire has most pupils going to positive destinations

East Dunbartonshire has most pupils going to positive destinations

SCHOOLS in East Dunbartonshire have been congratulated for having the most school leavers going to positive destinations.

MSPs Rona Mackay and Gil Paterson have applauded schools in the local authority after 98.3 per cent of leavers went onto college, university, work or training.

In 2015/16, the figure stood at an impressive 97.5 per cent and in 2011/12 it was 95 per cent – showing a clear upward trend in recent years.

Out of all local authority areas in Scotland, East Dunbartonshire’s school leavers have left for the most positive destinations, it was announced on Tuesday February 27.

Ms Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “Massive congratulations are due to all of the pupils and teachers across East Dunbartonshire – this is a huge achievement.

“Our young people here are not being left behind but going into fulfilling work, study or training when leaving school. The fact there are so many opportunities is testament to the work the SNP is doing in education and the economy.

“This will pay massive dividends in improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.”

Mr Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “To be able to go onto a positive destination after leaving school is a great boost for young people across East Dunbartonshire.

“The effort put into education by our schools in my constituency like Douglas Academy and Bearsden Academy really is showing through.

“Well done to all of those pupils and teachers who made this happen. The SNP government also deserves credit for its work in education and in running an economy to provide many of these positive destinations.”


Full Scottish Government press release and publication is available here:


MSP appeals to Minister to block Jellyhill development

MSP appeals to Minister to block Jellyhill development

MSP Rona Mackay is appealing to the Minister for Local Government and Housing to stop a development going forward in face of huge local opposition.

Earlier this month (February), CALA Homes was granted permission by the Independent Planning Reporter to build 135 homes on the canal site Jellyhill in Bishopbriggs following an appeal.

The plans had been unanimously rejected by East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board and received 569 rejections from the public over the last year, sparking the appeal process.

Now, Ms Mackay is appealing to Kevin Stewart MSP, the Minister for Housing and Infrastructure to get behind the local community and block the development.

She said: “This decision by the planning reporter runs a coach and horses through local democracy – and it must be stopped.

“I am appealing directly to the Minister to back the Council and hundreds of local people who want to keep this land at Jellyhill protected.

“The overdevelopment of the site, the potential traffic issues, and the impact that this development will have on the setting of the Forth and Clyde Canal are huge concerns to me and local people.

“There are other effects as well that are so important – the ongoing destruction of our precious green belt and the implications this has for local wildlife.

“On the whole, the planning appeals system needs to be re-examined, particularly light of this case where the views of the community were very apparent but ignored.”