MSP Gil Paterson is urging constituents to make their views heard on unpaid trial shifts.
A consultation has been launched by SNP colleague Stewart McDonald MP for a Bill to ban the practice.
The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill was introduced on Thursday by the Glasgow South MP.
Now, Mr Paterson is looking for constituents to air their experiences and contribute to the legislation.
He said: “Young people often get a raw deal when it comes to employers, with a lower minimum wage and zero hour contracts especially. Unpaid trial shifts are just another example of the obstacles they face.
“I am very glad my colleague Stewart McDonald MP is taking up this fight and forming a draft Bill in such an open manner. Given the slip majority in the House of Commons, this Bill faces a real opportunity of becoming legislation.
“I would encourage constituents of mine, of all ages, to take part in the consultation, which takes just a few minutes to complete, and will actively inform Mr McDonald in writing the Bill.”
Take part in Stewart McDonald MP’s consultation: https://goo.gl/forms/S76ERUkXy9fWnGWu2
Gil Paterson: Time to end the House of Lords expenses racket — 14 per cent of peers claiming cash for nothing
Clydebank’s MSP has backed calls to end the financial abuse of taxpayers’ cash by unelected peers in the House of Lord.
SNP MPs in Westminster have revealed 14 per cent of peers clocked in for expenses in June without any recorded parliamentary contributions.
They claimed the total monthly expenses of £4,200 made up of daily payments of £300 to cover costs of their supposed duties.
It has now been suggested a new swipe-in-swipe-out system is installed for both greater accountability and enhanced security.
MSP Gil Paterson said: “While this system will be getting used legitimately by many of the peers in the House of Lords, it is absolutely being abused by some. This has to change, there’s no question to.
“Such suggestions will be a bitter pill to swallow for our Westminster elite who seem to thrive off this gravy train.
“These are the same people who have been voting through and influencing hard-line austerity and benefit cuts, causing record-high use of foodbanks in my constituency.
“Regardless of whether you agree with an unelected second chamber, I am sure there is wide consensus among the public to end this racket as a matter of urgency.”
From Gil Paterson MSP (Clydebank and Milngavie)
By Alan Ferguson 07342 061722
NOTES – SNP NATIONAL PRESS RELEASE W/ FUTHER INFO:
For release: Thursday 20th July
NEW SECURITY PROPOSALS ARE OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATER LORDS ACCOUNTABILITY
SWIPE IN – SWIPE OUT SYSTEM COULD END ‘SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE’ LORDS ABUSES
SNP House of Lords spokesperson Tommy Sheppard MP has suggested a new system of ‘swiping in and out‘ for parliamentarians at Westminster, for both members of the House of Lords and MPs.
This would be both as a new security measure – but also as a means of trying to avoid some of the reported abuses of attendance allowances by members of the Lords.
Tommy Sheppard has written to the authorities at Westminster – to suggest the new attendance system for peers would also help to establish for how long those Lords who claim their daily £300 allowance for coming into the building are actually present.
Mr Sheppard has said the current system is ‘simply unacceptable’ and adds to the argument that the House of Lords is an ‘affront to democracy’.
Tommy Sheppard MP commented:
‘’There are so many shortcomings in the way the House of Lords functions – it is an utter anachronism. My suggestions are aimed at increasing their security and that of MPs – but accountability of peers is also key in this proposal. Members of the House of Lords operate under such privileged rules - which are clearly open to abuse - and it is simply unacceptable.
‘’In the last month for which figures are available (Feb 2017) – SNP research shows that 14% of those Lords who claimed the maximum £4200 for that month - made no recorded contribution to parliament whatsoever. My suggestions will allow unelected members of the Lords to demonstrate that they put in a full shift for their £300 daily allowance – or not.
‘’As with anyone receiving public funds, peers should be open to scrutiny about how much time they are involved in debates or committees - by swiping in and out – that will at least be a public record of duration of attendance and value for money.
‘’There are now over 800 Lords and we know that the Tories want to increase their number even more whilst decreasing the size of the House of Commons. This is just an affront to democracy – and while we have to put up with this laughable chamber – we should insist on greater accountability.’’
See letter from Tommy Sheppard MP here :
SNP government expansion of Golden Jubilee Hospital creating 800 jobs is example of why Scotland's economy is growing fastest in UK
MSP Gil Paterson has applauded news that Scotland’s economy is the fastest growing in the UK.
New figures show Scotland’s economy has grown 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.
This is four-times the UK growth rate for the same quarter, the Clydebank MSP stressed.
In Scotland production grew by 3.1 per cent and services by 0.3 per cent.
Since 2007 Scotland’s economy has grown by more than seven per cent – the UK has grown 0.4 per cent.
The findings are detailed in the latest Scotland Gross Domestic Product report.
Mr Paterson said: “Scotland is certainly proving to be a key driver of economic performance across the UK
“The enormous investment in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is testament to this.
The hospital is world-renowned for its heart expertise and the Scottish Government investment will see it expanded and 800 completely new jobs, not transfers, created. And, I know the hospital is going to great efforts to recruit locally.
“The SNP government’s investments £6 billion infrastructure plan will definitely have spurred this growth.
“Additionally, the Scottish Growth Scheme of £500 million put a considerable investment in our businesses.
“Investing in people with modern apprenticeships and education will continue to support our local economy.
“We risk losing this success with the instability Brexit will create alongside the Tories’ austerity onslaught.
“A hard Brexit is predicted to cost Scotland 80,000 jobs, £11 billion a year and make everything more expensive.
“To avoid this hard Brexit, Scotland must not be torn out of the EU single market – too much relies on it.
“Scotland’s strong performance shows amazing prospects for the future, which means we’ll all be better off.”
MSP Gil Paterson's statement has been partly published today's Clydebank Post, on the human trafficking incident on Montrose Street. A Vietnamese teenager has been picked up by police who is understood to be a victim of trafficking.
MSP Gil Paterson said: “As a former board member of Rape Crisis in central Scotland for 11 years and having set up the first cross party group on men’s violence against women and children in the Scottish Parliament, I am very much aware of this dreadful trade.
“For a whole host of reasons, it is not an easy crime to detect but police forces and authorities Europe-wide are putting in substantial effort to crack down on it. This arrest on Montrose Street and others are a product of this action.
“The Scottish Government would like to have a more active role in terms of the law to stop traffickers getting into our country, but immigration controls and border security are a reserved matter handled by the UK Government.
“In saying that, the Scottish Government works very closely with Police Scotland, which has of late been on a drive to hunt down these despicable traffickers and rescue its victims.
“This evil trade has become ever more sophisticated so it is essential the public, if they have any suspicions they can contact the police.
“I would also like to thank and commend all of those involved in tackling this horrific crime — which is very, very dangerous undertaking.”
Gil Paterson: Armed Forces Day celebrations will not go ahead on advice of Lord-Lieutenant on capacity issues
MSP Gil Paterson has reiterated why Armed Forces Day will not go ahead this year in West Dunbartonshire — following misleading claims from Labour politicians Jackie Baillie and Martin Rooney.
The Clydebank MSP said: “The fact of the matter is a message from the Lord-Lieutenant was read out to councillors at the meeting where this decision was taken, that Armed Forces Day was advised not to go ahead due to capacity issues this year.
“Once again it would seem Jackie Baillie and Martin Rooney seem to be willingly skewing the truth to smear the SNP.
“It must be noted Jackie Baillie and the Labour Party supports squandering £200 billion of taxpayers’ money on the renewal of Trident, rather than bolstering our conventional forces.
“Perhaps if our conventional forces hadn’t been cut in order to provide for Trident there would not have to be a cancellation of year’s Armed Forces Day in West Dunbartonshire.”
MSP Gil Paterson has responded to an article in the Clydebank Post where a councillor argued in favour of an A&E being created at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. This is what Mr Paterson said:
Many people would like an A&E service at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital – but when they understand it could compromise the specialist heart and lungs services, there is a massive swing in thought.
In 2013, I surveyed 7,756 constituents in Clydebank and Milngavie, and 82 per cent (6,307) thought there should be an A&E at the GJNH.
However, 53 per cent (4,083) would actually not support an A&E at the hospital if it negatively impacted on the current specialist heart services.
Moreover, that would mean 64 per cent of those who think an A&E should be at the Golden Jubilee (6,307) would change their mind.
Only a minority, 40 per cent (3,119), would actually be in favour of creating an A&E at the hospital that took resources from the heart services which impacted negatively upon it.
I believe a majority would not support an A&E because heart disease is one of the biggest killers for those living in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency, and this world-renowned service is on their doorstep.
However, my hope for the future is that there is a means to provide a minor injuries unit to the GJNH. This would not, as I understand it, have any negative impacts on the fantastic work that is done at the hospital and allow them to continue investigating and learning more about heart disease.
I do agree with the spirit of what Councillor Mooney is saying, that he wants what is best for the people of Clydebank, but this is actually the better option. If someone suffers a serious, sudden cessation of the heart's functioning which is life-threatening, paramedics will most likely be instructed to take them right to the Golden Jubilee Hospital, where the best of the best are.
Unfortunately, heart attacks are still one of the West of Scotland’s biggest killers but the Golden Jubilee is making an enormous difference, and always building on the good work it is doing.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the First Minister’s commitment to letting the Scottish electorate decide its future post-Brexit.
It follows a statement in the Scottish Parliament where Nicola Sturgeon also asked the opposition to work with the government in securing a good deal for Scotland from the UK’s departure from the EU.
He said: “The Tories are making a pig’s ear of politics right now and I do not expect them to walk away with a great deal for Scotland at the Brexit negotiating table.
“It’s only common sense that Scots should be allowed to choose between their potential futures, after this constitutional upset with potentially massive implications on their lives.
“It is for that reason I am glad the First Minister has sealed her commitment to letting the electorate decide the future post-Brexit, and not politicians who have no mandate in Scotland.
“I see no issue with pausing and waiting to see exactly what the outcome of Brexit is going to be – that to me is responsible and considerate politics. This sensible approach is what the public expect of the SNP government, our triple-lock mandate is still in place.
“Despite the chamber dramatics from the Tories and Labour, each of their leaders has actually agreed that another referendum should not be blocked, including: Ruth Davidson, David Mundell, Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn.
“I’m pleased there’s a recognition that independence is worthwhile with or without Brexit. I was glad to hear the SNP will be working with others who believe in independence to inform the Scottish people of the many benefits, from economy, equality and beyond.”
Party leaders’ support for a referendum
Ruth Davidson said it should happen
Gil Paterson: 'Grubby Tory-DUP deal shows austerity is a political choice NOT a political necessity'
MSP Gil Paterson has called the Tories’ deal with the DUP “shameless” and “grubby”.
The Clydebank MSP pointed out the financial aspects of the deal clinched on Monday sum up how little the Tories care about Scotland.
The position of current Scottish Secretary David Mundell who said a day before this deal was announced that he "won't support funding which is deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules".
Mr Paterson said: “This grubby deal clinched between the Tories and the DUP throws even more chaos into the so-called United Kingdom – it absolutely flies in the face of the Barnett Formula and leaves Scotland short-changed.
“It’s time for Scottish Secretary David Mundell and leader Ruth Davidson to live up to their boasts and prevent this deal from going through by ordering their Scottish MPs to use their votes to halt it.
“To quote David Mundell, the agreement with the DUP does ‘deliberately subvert’ the Barnett rules that ensures devolved countries of the UK get their fair share of tax revenues.
“I do not expect the Scottish Tories to act and stand up for Scotland, as they do appear to be more interested in bowing to Theresa May, to help her cling to power. It is shameless.
“This agreement ends austerity in Northern Ireland but continues it in Scotland, where people suffer on a daily basis in my constituency. This shows austerity is a political choice not a political necessity.”
What is the Barnett Formula?
The Barnett formula is a mechanism used by the UK treasury to automatically adjust amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is supposed to reflect public service spending in England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate.
Additional funding (£bn)
England - £29.50bn
Northern Ireland - 3.39% - £1bn
Scotland - 9.85% - £2.91bn
Wales - 5.69% - £1.68bn
Canadian scientist Dr Parsons thanks MSP Gil Paterson for role in avoiding being thrown out of Scotland
A CANADIAN lecturer who was ordered to leave the UK despite having a government research grant has been allowed to remain permanently, MSP Gil Paterson can reveal.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP has thanked the public for the overwhelming support it indicated for Dr Kevin Parsons, a University of Glasgow biodiversity lecturer living in Bearsden.
The Home Office threatened to deport Dr Parsons despite him holding a £1.32 million UK Government research grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for climate change, which directly employs three people.
The father-of-two, who has a British-born daughter, risked his family being torn apart after a series of inconsistent exchanges with the Home Office over the phone across a number of days ending with him being told to leave the country by June 11.
Now, Dr Parsons has been given Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which is a permanent residency “ granted to people who have already shown a commitment to the UK on a temporary visa”, according to Visa Bureau.
Mr Paterson said: “Dr Parsons contacted my office for help because the Home Office was intending to boot him out of Scotland because of what seemed to be an administration error.
“Naturally, I was aghast that a scientist with a UK Government grant was going to be removed from the UK — even by the Tory standards on immigration, it was totally absurd.
“While I am delighted Dr Parsons’ family can breathe a sigh of relief now, the cost they have had to endure is outrageous. That more than £13,000 has been splurged on this process is an utter outrage and it casts an eye on how inefficient and crazy our immigration system can be.”
Dr Parsons said: “I would like to thank Gil Paterson and his office for their role in helping to in resolving my immigration status. I am relieved the Home Office has allowed me to stay in Scotland. The whole incident has been an incredible stress for not just me, but my wife Lynne and daughters Avery and Skye. The media attention and public profile of my case has been humbling to see and I thank each and every person who spoke out for me, I am eternally grateful.”
MSP Gil Paterson has applauded Douglas Academy, whose pupils have won a second major debating competition in a week.
On June 22, the academy won the ESU Scotland Juniors’ Debating Competition at the National Final 2017 in the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs Rona Mackay and James Dornan chaired the event in a committee room where pupils thrashed out arguments on Brexit and security of Britain.
It is the second big win for Douglas Academy, which last week won the Donald Dewar Debating Competition 2017 on June 15.
Mr Paterson said: “I have lodged yet another motion for Douglas Academy in my constituency, because it has some of the sharpest young minds in the whole of Scotland.
“I am thoroughly delighted for the youngsters who have battled off stiff competition, being crowned again the best of the best. It’s an incredible honour to represent them in Holyrood.
“To this avail I have lodged another motion applauding the excellent work by the young debaters at Douglas Academy.”
Ms Mackay said: “I had the privilege of chairing this event and watching this debate live – and I was incredibly impressed with the debating skills of the young people present. Massive congratulations must go to Douglas Academy for winning as well as those runners up. Debating is no easy task, and to make it to this stage shows remarkable skills, courage and charisma.”
Press release from Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Motion Number: S5M-06343
Lodged By: Gil Paterson
Date Lodged: 23/06/2017
Title: Second Big Debate Win for Douglas Academy
That the Parliament congratulates Douglas Academy in Milngavie on winning the ESU Scotland Juniors’ Debating Final, which was held in the Chamber on 22 June 2017; recognises the hard work and preparation of the pupils who debated the motion, “This House believes that leaving the European Union will increase British security”; understands that, throughout the year, schools from across Scotland have been debating controversial social and political issues, such as Turkey’s membership of the EU, whether animal testing should be banned and the role of the monarchy in modern life; thanks Rona Mackay MSP and James Dornan MSP for taking the time to chair the event, and the EU Commission in Scotland for supporting it; applauds all of the schools that took part, and notes this is the second recent debating win by the academy, following its success in the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition one week earlier.
Gil Paterson: Parents in my constituency will benefit from boost to maternity grants by SNP government
Clydebank and Milngavie mums with low incomes can expect increased financial assistance from the SNP government.
MSP Gil Paterson has applauded the use of new Maternity and Early Years Allowances powers to create a new grant starting in 2019.
The Best Start Grant will provide financial assistance to new low income mums, including: £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children, £250 when child starts nursery and £250 when child starts school.
The policy announcement coincides with the registration of the baby box opening for mums-to-be expecting on or after August 15.
Mr Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “There’s no denying we have an issue with poverty in parts of my constituency and that it can have a negative effect on a child’s early years — the Best Start Grant and Baby Box are designed to combat this.
“The policies are all about bringing a level playing-field for children who are born into circumstances beyond their control. They will also help relieve the pressure on struggling parents.
“New mums in Scotland will now get the most financial assistance than any other part of the United Kingdom, which shows how we do politics different in Scotland. At the heart of our agenda is helping people who need it.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722).
Scots fire safety regulation is robust but ministerial working group to take fresh look at rules, says Gil
MSP Gil Paterson has echoed remarks made by Communities Secretary Angela Constance on fire safety in tower blocks in West Dunbartonshire.
Ms Constance told how fire safety rules have remained robust in Scotland, following reclassification of some materials in 2013.
A question was raised in parliament about West Dunbartonshire in 2013 when construction was briefly paused on a development while a cladding material for low-rise flats was green-lit by the government.
The cabinet secretary said it would be “absolutely wrong to suggest there was any watering down of regulations” when the material was approved for low-rise flats.
The material is different in both composition and use to that of Grenfell Tower, Ms Constance confirmed.
MSPs were told the Scottish Government is not going to be complacent following the horrific events of Grenfell Tower in London, where dozens died in a blaze.
A ministerial working group has been set up to take a fresh look at regulations in wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Mr Paterson said: “Scotland’s fire and safety regulations are first-rate and classifications are updated on a regular basis.
“But, we cannot be complacent, given the travesty of Grenfell Tower. It’s very wise that we take a fresh look at all of our regulations with this new short-life ministerial working group.
“The fire service is busier than ever now with safety checks in premises around the country, ensuring the robust standards are upheld.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
MSP Gil Paterson has called out the Tory government as a “lame duck” following an empty Queen’s Speech.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “How can we expect this bunch to go into Brexit negotiations with the EU, after presenting plans to do virtually nothing in government over the next two years, and come out with a good deal?
“The Queen’s Speech was another humiliating moment for the Tory government, which has sealed itself as a lame duck administration.
“It’s all very sad, though, that a party’s infighting can inflict so much damage not just to the countries of the UK, but to our European allies as well.
“I am proud of the Scottish Parliament, SNP government and our MPs as we show a unified, competent approach to governing Scotland. It is in stark contrast to the mess going on in London.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
A PARLIAMENTARY motion congratulating the chairman of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice has been supported by scores of MSPs.
Gil Paterson lodged the motion commending Professor Leo Martin on receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The honour was bestowed upon Professor Martin for his services to healthcare and education over the decades.
The new MBE is a professor of law at the University of Strathclyde and a founding partner of Sinclair McCormick Giusti Martin law company, and was the first chairman of John Wheatley College in Glasgow.
Mr Paterson said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Martin for this outstanding achievement. I’m thrilled his devotion to healthcare and education has been recognised.
“I am especially pleased for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, to have yet another of its exceptional staff recognised. They will be very proud of Professor Martin, who is clearly an exemplary force in healthcare, education and the law.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
The motion reads:
That the Parliament congratulates Professor Leo Martin, chairman of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, on being appointed an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List; notes the honour was bestowed on Professor Martin for his services to healthcare and education; understands that he has been in the role for 20 years, is a professor of law at the University of Strathclyde, is a founding partner of Sinclair McCormick Giusti Martin and was the first chairman of John Wheatley College in Glasgow, and thanks Professor Martin and all at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.
Supported by: Bill Kidd, Rona Mackay, Clare Haughey, Gordon Lindhurst, Edward Mountain, Richard Lyle, Bob Doris, Sandra White, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, Stewart Stevenson, Ivan McKee, Ash Denham, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor
VICTORS from Douglas Academy have been congratulated by MSP Gil Paterson after winning a prestigious debating competition.
The Milngavie line-up won the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition 2017 on June 15, which was hosted in the Scottish Parliament debating chamber.
Arun Smith and Matthew McIlree beat off stiff rivalry from High School of Dundee, Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, Madras College in St Andrews.
Mr Paterson has celebrated the winners from Douglas Academy, whose school is in his constituency covering Clydebank, Milngavie and Bearsden North.
He said: “I am very proud of the Douglas Academy team for winning this competition – they have shown themselves to be some of the best versed young debaters in the whole of Scotland.
“The subject they took on is a hard political topic – smoking and healthcare - and to articulate arguments like so takes talent, intellect and extreme confidence.”
Notes to reporters:
That the Parliament congratulates students from Douglas Academy in Milngavie for winning The Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition 2017 on June 15 in the Scottish Parliament chamber; notes Arun Smith and Matthew McIlree debated a motion about whether smokers and non-smokers should have access to the same level of healthcare; recognises the talent of the Douglas Academy students as well as finalists from the High School of Dundee, Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, Madras College in St Andrews all took part.
MSP Gil Paterson has expressed his heartfelt sympathy for the entire community of Grenfell Tower on behalf of the people of Clydebank, Milngavie and Bearsden.
His words follow a Scottish Government order to investigate high rises across Scotland.
A gigantic blaze gutted the London tower block earlier in the week killing 30, with 76 still missing.
The terrifying scene has prompted authorities nationwide to review safety measures and building appraisals.
In Scotland, Kevin Stewart MSP, cabinet secretary for housing, has asked both East and West Dunbartonshire councils to carry out the following:
Mr Paterson said: “The world has been shocked by the terrifying scenes at Grenfell Tower in London – the fact that there were residents, children, caught inside as the blaze swept through. It is truly bloodcurdling.
“I understand Craig Edward of the residents’ association at the Dalmuir high rises was quick to call for a safety review of the flats – and I welcome his swift action.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has ordered this to ensure this happens for all of the flats in councils across not just East and West Dunbartonshire but the whole of Scotland.
“Although housing standards are much more superior to that of England and Wales, we need to ensure that they are robust and there are no hazards that are hidden from view. I’m pleased the government has taken the action to investigate this.”
The announcement that more than £50 million is set to be put into new affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire has been applauded by MSP Gil Paterson.
Both West Dunbartonshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Council as well as house builders now have the opportunity to plan ahead with grant subsidies guaranteed, for the first time, for the next three years until 2021.
West Dunbartonshire is getting £8.6 million in 2017/18, £9.8 million in 2019/20 and £10.4 million in 2020/21, an investment of more than £28 million from the SNP government.
East Dunbartonshire is getting £6.5 million in 2017/18, £7.36 million in 2019/20 and £7.8 million in 2020/21, totalling above £21 million.
It is part of a £1.75 billion SNP government investment in affordable housing across Scotland.
Gil Paterson MSP said: “This is a strong investment from the SNP government to home building in local authorities in my constituency, Clydebank and Milngavie.
“There are problems with poor housing stock in both local authority areas, but especially in West Dunbartonshire.
“Both areas, for different reasons, are in desperate need of new, modern affordable housing developments. In East Dunbartonshire, affordable housing is so scarce that people have been driven out of their communities. In West Dunbartonshire, there is an unsuitable waiting list, people living in unacceptable levels of poverty.
“The new affordable housing will boost the living standards of many in both East and West Dunbartonshires. The whole investment from the SNP government will help continue to build our strong and stable economy.”
Notes for editors
Affordable housing covers homes for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership.
The full breakdown of each Local Authority’s Long term Resource Planning Assumptions are available on the Scottish Government website.
The Scottish Government recently confirmed £422 million would be allocated to councils in 2017/18 as part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.
The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics covering the first year of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme are published by the Scottish Government.
A REPORT showing Scotland’s economic performance remains strong has been applauded by MSP Gil Paterson.
The Clydebank and Milngavie politician welcomed new information presented by chief economist Dr Gary Gillespie’s in the State of the Economy Report.
The researcher studied Scottish, UK and world economies and presented his findings on Wednesday June 14, ahead of the Opportunities for Growth debate in Holyrood.
The report highlights:
“London is a different animal entirely, and the world’s biggest financial sector, so we cannot compare any other area in the UK to it.
“What the report says about Scotland vindicates the hard work the SNP government has been doing to ensure growth is maintained in Scotland.
“Outside London, Scotland is the area to attract the most foreign investment which is undeniably a great achievement for the government here.
“Looking ahead, we must see an increase in economic growth but I am all too aware of the effects Brexit presents to Scotland’s economy.
“The SNP government will push ahead and battle through this uncertainty as much as we can, and continue to build our economy.”
NOTES TO REPORTERS
MSP Gil Paterson has commented on the two General Election results in his constituency, both Dunbartonshire East and West.
On John Nicolson's election loss, Mr Paterson said: “Despite some disappointing losses the SNP has won a resounding majority across Scotland.
"However, I am deeply saddened that John Nicolson did not get elected in East Dunbartonshire. John was a fighter of an MP, and often stole the stage in Westminster.
"He has a love for his constituency that I know will continue forever. John has literally helped thousands of constituents who have contacted his office in need of aid. He opened up a public shop for his office which served as an excellent drop-in for the constituents.
"John has shown he is a force to be reckoned with in Scottish politics and I very much doubt we have heard the last of him. As an MSP, I would like to thank him for his service to Scotland.”
On Martin Docherty's victory, he said: “Well done to Martin Docherty for another victory in West Dunbartonshire. The people of Clydebank have confirmed they want to send a powerful SNP opposition to Westminster.
"This is desperately needed as we move ahead with negotiations to leave the European Union, given the disarray the Tories are in now.
"Theresa May has absolutely humiliated herself because this election has completely backfired on her.
"The SNP is still the third-biggest party in Westminster and we will continue to fight tooth and nail for the people of Scotland there.”
MSP Gil Paterson is calling on a derelict block of flats to be pulled down in Bearsden, and replaced with a modern affordable front-and-backdoor housing.
Concerns have been raised by constituents that the old block of 8-28 Nithsdale Crescent is a magnate for youths and antisocial behaviour.
It is understood East Dunbartonshire Council has bought two flats in the block in a bid to repair the asbestos-ridden building, which has been abandoned for five months, and owns the surrounding land.
Bearsden North Community Council’s chairman has indicated the CC would support any opportunity to redevelop the area.
On May 24, Mr Paterson written to the deputy chief executive of East Dunbartonshire Council Thomas Glen probing the possibility of the revitalization of the space.
The MSP has maintained it would be more environmentally and financially viable to tear the block down and rebuild modern affordable homes with gardens and front and backdoors.
He said: “The flats at 8 to 28 Nithsdale Crescent are well beyond repair, riddled with water damage, plagued by asbestos and a hotspot for antisocial behaviour. The block is a complete eyesore and getting worse every day and bringing down the general amenity for those living close by. We do not want any young people being injured inside them.
“Constituents of mine are being driven out of their communities because there is not enough affordable housing in places like Bearsden and Milngavie. This is an opportunity to tackle this problem.
“As opposed to renovating this derelict property, which would be costly both environmentally and financially, I propose we demolish it and build a modern affordable housing development. The current building is completely out of kilter with surrounding properties.
“To this effect, I have written to Thomas Glen, deputy chief executive of East Dunbartonshire Council, probing the possibility this can be done among other questions regarding the flats.”
Gordon Cox, chairman of Bearsden North Community Council, has backed the MSP’s idea.
He said: “Bearsden North CC would support any opportunity to replace redundant property with affordable housing, which is in urgent need in Bearsden North. Indeed, any suitable property or land in the ownership of the public sector should be considered for affordable housing before being disposed of on the open market.”
MSP Gil Paterson has congratulated Clydebank FC on securing promotion to the Super Premier Division.
The Bankies won 4-1 over Shettleston on Saturday, May 20 at Holm Park in Whitecrook and topped the West Super League First Division with 50 points.
Mr Paterson has lodged a motion to recognise the work of the players, management and staff at the Clydebank FC.
He said: “A massive congratulations to Clydebank FC for this triumphant performance against Shettleston. This is a proud moment for the team, management, supporters and all of those behind the scenes who give their time selflessly for their football club and town. Everyone will be very proud to be a Bankie after this moment.”
Match report: http://www.clydebankfc.com/bankies-win-promotion-with-4-1-win-over-shettleston/
Clydebank FC secures promotion
That the Parliament congratulates Clydebank FC on securing promotion to the Super Premier Division with a 4-1 victory over Shettleston on Saturday May 20 2017 at Holm Park in Clydebank; notes the Bankies topped the West Super League First Division with 50 points and recognises the hard work of the players, manager Kieran McAnespie and all of those involved behind the scenes to help their team in securing the top result.
MSP Gil Paterson is "delighted" to see the Scottish National Party enter administration at West Dunbartonshire Council.
The Clydebank MSP said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the Scottish National Party enter administration in West Dunbartonshire Council. This is the great change the people of Clydebank have asked for.
“I have known our new Provost Willie Hendrie for many years and I know he will put everything into this role as one who truly cares about West Dunbartonshire. Huge congratulations, his family will be very proud.
“Our new Council Leader Jonathan McColl is a highly skilled and intelligent councillor who will drive forward improvements for the people of West Dunbartonshire. I am glad to see him in the position.
“Our new councillors, old and new, are drawn straight from their communities and will put their hearts and souls into running this administration in their various convenorships they now hold. Best of luck to them.”
MSP Gil Paterson has spoken out in defence of a Canadian constituent who has been told he must leave the UK next month — despite how he holds a £1.32m government grant for research into climate change.
Dr Kevin Parsons, a biodiversity lecturer at the University of Glasgow living in Bearsden, has been told he must leave his wife and two children on June 11 after the Home Office refused to renew his visa.
The decision comes despite how the father-of-two holds a major research grant of £1.32 million from Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), an independent funding arm of the Tory government.
The same government has made the decision to reject his move to stay in the United Kingdom to continue his scientific work into climate change.
Dr Parsons says the immigration department has made a series of errors throughout weeks of correspondence and instructions over the phone on his circumstances. His wife qualifies for British citizenship and is applying and one of his two children was born in the UK.
Mr Paterson raised the matter at First Minister’s Questions on May 18, where Nicola Sturgeon condemned the decision by the Home Office. He has also written to the Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Goodwill MP on the matter.
The First Minister said the Scottish Government would investigate further and take up the fight to ensure the academic is not torn away from his family and work.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “The crisis facing Dr Kevin Parsons and his family needs to be resolved by as a matter of extreme urgency.
“While one arm of the Tory Government is funding scientific research he is leading, another, the Home Office, is ordering him to leave the country. Where is the sense there?
“The situation is emblematic of the treatment of migrants in across the UK by the Tory Government and cannot be allowed to continue.
“I call on the Tory Government to sort this out – we must not lose a highly valued member of society like this through what is completely outrageous behaviour from the Home Office.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised to look into the matter.
At FMQs, she said: “From the details that he has shared with members today, the case that Gil Paterson has outlined seems to illustrate the complete wrong-headedness of the UK Government’s approach to immigration.
“As the Tories publish their manifesto today, we see a recommitment to an immigration target that they know is undeliverable. They also know that, in trying to deliver that target, they will do untold damage to not just the Scottish economy but the UK economy as a whole.”
Press release from the office of Gil Paterson MSP (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP) by Alan Ferguson, contactable on 07342 061722.
Full exchange of Gil Paterson and Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament on May 18 2017.
Gil Paterson (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP):
My constituent Dr Kevin Parsons, who lives in Bearsden with his wife and two children, is due to be deported on 11 June. He is a University of Glasgow lecturer who has recently been awarded a £1.32 million research grant from the United Kingdom Government, which supports the employment of a further three people. The Home Office has repeatedly given Dr Parsons the wrong information, which has led to this personal crisis.
Dr Parsons is a Canadian national; his wife qualifies for UK citizenship and one of his children was born in the UK. Will the First Minister intervene and use her influence to assist in allowing Dr Parsons to remain here in Scotland and continue his valuable work?
The First Minister:
I do not know all the details of the case that Gil Paterson raises, but I would be happy to look into the details and to see whether the Scottish Government can do anything to appeal to the Home Office to see sense, if that is what is required.
From the details that he has shared with members today, the case that Gil Paterson has outlined seems to illustrate the complete wrong-headedness of the UK Government’s approach to immigration. As the Tories publish their manifesto today, we see a recommitment to an immigration target that they know is undeliverable. They also know that, in trying to deliver that target, they will do untold damage to not just the Scottish economy but the UK economy as a whole.
Today, we also see the Tories reportedly publishing proposals to increase the amount of money that employers have to pay if they want to employ skilled migrants from outside the European Union. As the British Medical Association has pointed out, that includes doctors, nurses and other people who work in our health service. Not only will it be harder to recruit people into the health service—and perhaps harder to recruit people from outside this country into the teaching profession—but our public services will be charged when they recruit people.
That sums up the fact that the UK is pursuing an immigration policy that is damaging to the country’s economy. The Tories are doing that as they increasingly morph into the UK Independence Party. That makes it all the more important that, after the general election, there are strong voices to stand up to the Tories and make sure that Scotland’s interests in this area, and in so many other areas, are properly protected.
MSP Gil Paterson speaks out on obesity crisis after day of health visits across Bearsden and Milngavie
MSPs have warned the obesity epidemic in Scotland is “major challenge” and will require a culture shift to stop “countless deaths”.
It follows a day of visiting the Beatson Institute in Bearsden where Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay spoke with leading cancer researchers.
Mr Paterson then met with Waitrose Milngavie’s manager Amy Sharp to discuss community work related to children eating well and living healthily.
Cancer Research states that a shocking 28 per cent of children and 65 per cent of adults in Scotland are either obese or overweight — but insisted there is support available.
Now, the MSPs are appealing to other businesses and members of the public to consider and promote the reality of obesity and how it could be fatal to themselves, family and friends.
Mr Paterson said: “The obesity epidemic is a major challenge in Scotland and will lead to countless deaths, deaths that were preventable. This crisis is going to need a cultural shift and cannot be done by legislating, which is why I was delighted to meet with scientists and retailers involved in this battle. Everyone needs to be aware of the death and misery obesity causes.
“We must ingrain from a very young age, that healthy eating is a necessity, and saves lives. I am delighted to hear from manager Amy, at Waitrose in Milngavie, that they are regularly having school visits from primary one to high school, centred around eating well.”
Ms Mackay said: “The scientific research being done at the Beatson Institute is incredible. I was amazed at what we saw at this facility.
“But, Cancer Research has a strong warning for us all. The organisation is calling on a range of measures to prevent obesity and thus the cancers it causes, and we must heed their warnings, especially for our children.”
Amy Sharp, manager of Waitrose Milngavie, said: “It was great to have Gil along to talk about the community work and to explain what we’re doing for school children relating to eating well and healthy living. It is so important that, from a young age, we encourage this awareness and behaviour in children. As Gil says, we have a problem with obesity in Scotland, and changing the culture will take work from not just the government, but private sector as well.”
Press release for Gil Paterson MSP and Rona Mackay MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061772)
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at email@example.com or 07342 061722..