Too many struggle with heating bills — now is the time for a public-owned green energy company, Gil says
MSP Gil Paterson has echoed comments made by First Minister on setting up a publicly-owned renewable energy company.
Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP party conference in Glasgow the company will sell the clean energy to as “close to cost price as possible”.
Further details will be announced by the Scottish Government in its Energy Strategy, but the company will be set up by the end of this parliament, 2021.
Mr Paterson said: “This is an incredible announcement from the SNP conference this week – and one I am very happy with.
“The simple fact is, too many people struggle with high energy bills and end up having to endure the freezing cold throughout the winter.
“A public-owned energy company will bring electricity to the homes of my constituents cheaper than anywhere else.
“The fact it will be delivered as green energy is also great news for our environment, we must strive to promote clean energy as much as possible.”
MSP Gil Paterson hosts meeting with community council representatives across Clydebank and Milngavie
MSP Gil Paterson has held a meeting with representatives from community councils in his constituency Clydebank and Milngavie.
It is part of a new initiative to increase communication between community councillors and the MSP so he can assist with local issues they are tackling.
The meeting was held on Monday October 2 in the Titan Enterprise Business Centre in Clydebank.
Mr Paterson added: “It was a very successful first meeting in Clydebank where we discussed a number of matters affecting the whole constituency such as problems with the Hardgate Roundabout.
“I also got a great opportunity to hear what the local concerns are of each of the community councils who in turn benefited from hearing what others are doing in their locales.
“Community councils have a huge amount to contribute and I hope to hold these meetings regularly to ensure I can see how I can help them in the good work they do.”
CAPTION: (L-R) Stuart Crawford, MSP’s senior caseworker, Gordon Cox – Bearsden North CC, John Hainey – Linnvale & Drumry CC, Tam Brady – Clydebank East CC, Tom Patton – Duntocher and Hardgate CC, John Redpath – Duntocher and Hardgate CC, Kate Waddell – Milngavie CC, Drummond McNair – Parkhall North Kilbowie & Central CC, Isobel Plunkett – Old Kilpatrick CC, Daphne MacKay – Old Kilpatrick CC, Ian Mackay, MSP’s researcher, Lorraine Hamilton – Linnvale and Drumry CC, Gil Paterson MSP, Gilbert Howatson – Parkhall North Kilbowie & Central CC, Rhona Young – Old Kilpatrick CC.
MSP Gil Paterson has encouraged groups to be aware of the benefits of applying for lottery funding.
It follows Linnvale Community Bus receiving £10,000 and Gavinburn Early Learning and Childcare Centre receiving £8,450.
Both had applied to the National Lottery Awards for All Scotland, which provides awards of £300 to £10,000.
Linnvale Community Bus offers low cost rental of a community bus which is made available to local community groups for excursions and social nights. The funding will be used for a second minibus to expand this service.
Gavinburn Early Learning will use the funds for a project that will improve the centre’s outdoor area through the installation of play equipment and garden furniture.
Mr Paterson said: “What an excellent job Linnvale Community Bus and Gavinburn Early Learning and Childcare Centre have done in securing these funds.
“There is a lot of funding available for good causes in Clydebank, and I would urge any groups looking for some to make the case to the National Lottery.
“I know fine well there are so many amazing third sector, community groups and general good causes that the lottery is crying out to provide funding to, so please do apply.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342061722)
National Lottery Awards For All Scotland gives groups a chance to apply for a National Lottery grant of between £300 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. National Lottery Awards for All Scotland awards grants to community, arts and sports groups on behalf of Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Creative Scotland and sportscotland.
Visit https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scotland for more information.
Press release from Martin Docherty-Hughes MP
For immediate release: Tuesday 19 September 2017
PARLIAMENTARIANS PRAISE 25 YEARS OF CLYDEBANK ASBESTOS GROUP
Clydebank Asbestos Group has marked 25 years of supporting victims of asbestos at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Abbotsford Parish Church in Clydebank.
Clydebank’s parliamentarians Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and Gil Paterson MSP were in attendance at the meeting, along with West Dunbartonshire’s Provost William Hendrie, local councillors, volunteers and members of Clydebank Asbestos Group.
Clydebank Asbestos Group was founded in 1992 and this year’s AGM marked its 25th anniversary, highlighting the group’s efforts to secure justice for those affected by asbestos. The event also examined a range of emerging issues facing asbestos support groups, including the threat posed by Brexit to legislation affecting health and safety standards.
Following the meeting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and Gil Paterson MSP praised the important contribution Clydebank Asbestos Group has made to supporting victims of asbestos and their families across West Dunbartonshire.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“Over the past 25 years the team at Clydebank Asbestos Group have worked tirelessly to provide care and support for the victims of asbestos and their families.
“The legacy of asbestos has been devastating for thousands of families across West Dunbartonshire. Clydebank Asbestos Group has made a hugely important contribution to improving the lives of those affected by asbestos and campaigning to raise awareness of its dangers since it was founded in 1992.
“It’s also thanks to the dedicated volunteers of Clydebank Asbestos Group that we have the International Asbestos Memorial here in Clydebank – a fitting tribute to those who have lost their lives and a reminder that the fight for truth and justice continues.”
Gil Paterson MSP added:
“Huge congratulations are due to Clydebank Asbestos Group for all the work they have done in the last quarter of a century. The efforts of the volunteers have been absolutely stellar.
“In recent decades, asbestos-related diseases have been a major cause of premature death, and the group has been working tirelessly to support the victims and families.
“I recently spent the best part of a day in the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Bearsden being fully briefed on the vital work they are doing. I feel this research will directly benefit those suffering from cancers caused by asbestos exposure in my constituency. I know in time we will conquer this horrible disease that causes so much tragedy.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
1) Photos attached: Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and Gil Paterson MSP in attendance at the Clydebank Asbestos Group AGM.
2) Further information on Clydebank Asbestos Group is available here: http://www.clydebankasbestos.org/
MSP Gil Paterson has asked his constituents to make their views heard about Scotland’s bus service – especially the introduction of smart ticketing.
Two new consultations are now running consultations that will help shape the future of bus services and smart ticketing in Scotland.
Smart ticketing is the name given to the system where an entitlement to travel or ticket is stored electronically on a microchip rather than being printed on a paper ticket.
Transport Scotland will conduct a number of events and stakeholder workshops to encourage participation in these consultations before they close on December 5.
Mr Paterson said: “Many people in Clydebank and Milngavie rely on the bus service on a day-to-day basis – so I am delighted that these two consultations are taking place. They offer a chance for people in Clydebank to help shape the future of busing in Scotland.
“The upgrade to smart ticketing would be a technological change that I am sure many will want to air their views about. It will have its positives and negatives, and I am sure the bus users of Clydebank and Milngavie will have thoughts to put on record on it. I urge them not to miss out on this opportunity.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
MSP Gil Paterson responded to the news via the Clydebank Post.
He said: “In West Dunbartonshire, we have amazing, strong women who are a shining example to the rest of the country.
“It just so happens many are affected adversely by the endemic deprivation that scars communities in my constituency Clydebank, for example.
“Many women live beneath the breadline and are the sole parent holding together a family.
“This is the grim reality, and among all of this we have endless edicts from Westminster slashing social security funds to keep women and their families afloat.
“To bring these women out of poverty is a mammoth and highly complex task – but the SNP government takes empowering women seriously and it has been a hallmark of the party in recent years.
“We are making a difference where we can, and to name some measures so far, we have brought about the first gender balanced cabinet in the UK, we will be giving free sanitary products to many women and we are increasing the hours of free child care.
“What makes it that more complicated for me is I represent the worst and the best areas for women to live in, in Scotland. The neighbouring council area East Dunbartonshire has been named the best place in the whole of Britain for women to live. It is amazing and distressing that two areas can be so close together yet so far apart.”
Providing funding directly to head teachers is a great act of decentralisation of power from government
MSP Gil Paterson's full comment to the Clydebank Post on questions about centralisation of education and concerns from teachers and parents.
“The SNP government has been decentralising power when it comes to schools by giving money directly to the head teachers.
“Transferring more funds directly to head teachers is a winning policy as each school is different and has unique challenges.
“The Scottish Parliament sets the standards of education and local authorities execute it – only the latter has the ability to fire and hire teachers, for example.
“Areas with high deprivation like West Dunbartonshire are at the front and centre of reforms because one of our major goals is to close the attainment gap.
“Education Secretary John Swinney is on a mission to improve education, and no authority, especially West Dunbartonshire, will be forgotten in this process.”
Gil's full comment to the Clydebank Post newspaper.
“The rise in reported sex crimes, I believe, is down to this changing culture of victims feeling they can come forward to the police and be treated seriously.
“In the Scottish Parliament, this culture also exists, as we have just passed the Survivors’ Bill to allow reporting of historic abuse.
“Prior to this, there was a three-year cut-off point, which stopped people from reporting childhood sexual abuse, for example.
“I would like to praise the work the police have been doing in handling these incredibly sensitive and difficult reports.”
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed a fund to stop nuisance callers from constantly bothering his constituents.
A new £50,000 money pot has been unveiled by the SNP government to install call-blocking technology to those most at risk.
The fund forms part of the SNP government’s Nuisance Calls Action Plan to clamp down on scam and nuisance calls.
The policy was unveiled by Scotland’s economy secretary Keith Brown on Monday September 11.
Mr Paterson said: “So many of my constituents are bothered on a daily basis by a deluge of annoying and unwanted phone calls.
“More often than not, a phone call that someone receives seems more likely to be a dubious-sounding sales call or a robotic voice telling us we’ve won a million pounds again.
“Much of the time, these are cold-hearted scammers out to con a few bob off a vulnerable elderly person. This infuriates me.
“I am glad to see SNP government’s plan to stop these scammers, time-wasters and overall pests from getting through to us.”
UK-wide statistics on nuisance calls (http://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/scottish-cities-top-the-table-for-nuisance-calls/):
MSP Gil Paterson has released another statement on the matter of equal pay at West Dunbartonshire Council.
He said: “Yet again the Labour party has shown a brazen hypocrisy and a complete lack of self-awareness in a bid to fool the public and blame the new SNP administration of not dealing with the equal pay issues.
“They were in power in West Dunbartonshire for the five-year period from 2012 to 2017 when they should have dealt with the equal pay issue which was time barred before the SNP administration took over.
“The Labour party continually accuse the SNP of inaction in Government when they were instrumental in denying the Scottish Parliament the powers to deal with these issues
“Employment law is reserved to Westminster. This Westminster law the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) does not allow payments in the circumstances that some very unfortunate women in West Dunbartonshire find themselves in — that they did not submit a claim in the five-year time window from March 31 2012 to March 31 2017.
“In all the cases I have dealt with, the trade unions and the lawyers involved have been clear that they are unable to challenge the law on this matter. They must have submitted a claim during the stated five-year time period.
“However, should anyone be of the view that the council in some way has not operated or carried out the proper processes to the letter of the law then even at this late stage this is still open to challenge.
“The time bar implicit under this Westminster law does not protect any council from carrying out its functions properly.”
MSP Gil Paterson has urged his constituents to raise questions to the Scottish Land Commission when it visits Clydebank soon.
The newly-formed organisation will be speaking to members of the public on Thursday September 21 from 7pm in Clydebank Town Hall, with tea and coffee provided.
It is part of a drive to inform the public about the main duties and tasks of the Scottish Land Commission and why it was set up.
The commission was formed to conduct studies into the effect of law, policies and practices on rights in management and use of land in Scotland.
Billed as a Meet and Greet, Mr Paterson has welcomed the move and encouraged constituents to make use of the “unique” and “informative” event.
He said: “Scotland’s landscape is world famous and should be available for everyone to enjoy. The Scottish Land Commission exists for that very reason and to ensure our amazing land is treated well and is managed within the confines of the law. I hope constituents can make it to the event to raise their own thoughts and questions to the representatives about how land reform could take place in Scotland.”
More information on the Scottish Land Commission website: http://landcommission.gov.scot/2017/08/meet-greet-glasgow/
Gil Paterson: Basic Citizen's Income one of the most exciting ideas to emerge from SNP's government plan
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed a host of policies and bills announced for the next year by the Scottish Government.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivered the Programme for Government in Holyrood on Tuesday September 5.
Mr Paterson called the programme “exciting and ambitious” told how it continues to build on the great successes of the SNP.
He said: “Everyone will be talking about the Basic Citizens Income announcement, that the Scottish Government will be exploring how it could work in Scotland.
“This could see every member of Scottish society receive an income from the state, which would not be means tested.
“I am very excited about the creation of a Scottish Investment Bank finally coming to play, the Unlocking Ambition entrepreneur’s challenge which will help bring in the keenest business minds to Scotland and the opening of a new investment hub in Paris to fly the flag of why Scotland is the best place to do business.
“Scotland needs to be, as Nicola said, the laboratory of the world, and this programme puts forward incredibly exciting and ambitious plans for our continued economic success.
“I am especially pleased to see our new social security system will focus on delivering the Carers’ Allowance when the new agency arrives.
“I know fine well many of my constituents are unpaid carers – and this pledge today shows that the SNP government is serious about helping them.
“It is a blueprint to continue delivering an inclusive, fair, prosperous and innovative country that’s ready and willing to embrace the future – all of the opportunities and challenges it offers.”
Nicola Sturgeon’s speech: https://www.snp.org/first_minister_nicola_sturgeon_scottish_programme_for_government
MSP Gil Paterson: WDC Labour had five years to sort out equal pay — and FAILED before legal deadline
I fully endorse the statement made by Council Leader Jonathan McColl on the matter of equal pay at West Dunbartonshire Council.
The former Labour administration had five years to fix this and ensure everyone got their pay out in the legal timeframe, which inspired in March this year.
For Labour councillors to turn around at the second meeting of the new council this week and demand the SNP fix it is barefaced cheek.
Let me remind the Labour opposition that the SNP is the most gender-equal party in the UK and one of the most diverse parties in the entire world when it comes to gender.
Please see Council Leader Jonathan McColl's statement on the matter, which establishes the FACTS of the matter:
Jonathan McColl statement in full:
At last night's Council meeting, the SNP Administration ended the uncertainty and false hope given cynically to our employees by Labour and the Community Party.
For the last two months, the Labour Party and Cllr Jim Bollan have claimed that they could get hundreds of employees a payment under equal pay; knowingly misleading these employees, many of whom are female workers on low grades.
After decades of inequality under Labour, the SNP in 2009 voted to implement equal pay and fair pay for women and indeed all employees of West Dunbartonshire Council through a fair and transparent job evaluation process.
Many low paid men and women were moved onto new higher grades and awarded compensation payments. A national agreement was also signed with the joint Trade Unions.
In 2012, the national agreement was challenged, and it transpired that there was still an inequality in the way wages had been structured and many of these workers were due further compensation because of the continuing difference in pay between the 2009 agreement and 2012.
There was a massive Trade Union recruitment drive and all employees were written to either by their trade union or the trade union approved lawyer. Some 600 claims were submitted, 400 of which were valid and made settlement offers.
However, a large number of employees, despite the huge publicity campaign run by the Trade Unions both internally and in the press, did not submit a claim.
Labour could have resolved this issue during their 5 year term of administration as the legal claim period ran from 31st March 2012 to 31st March 2017 (Labour were the Administration with an overall majority on Council from (May 2012 to May 2017).
Instead, knowing that there was nothing that could be done now that the legal claim period was closed, they teamed up with the Community Party and decided that it was worth exploiting the emotions of our employees in order to create an unfixable problem for the new SNP Administration.
The SNP Administration explored every possibility that would allow time-barred payments to be made, including making what are termed 'ex gratia' payments to these employees that the previous Labour Administration chose not to help or even contact during the last 5 years.
Unfortunately, the legal position is clear. The SNP did not rely upon just our own internal legal advice from the Council's senior legal officer, but looked at external legal advice from Counsel with specific expertise in this area.
The advice was clear. To make any payments after the legal time bar had passed would be illegal.
No ifs, no buts, it’s clear to us that any payments would be illegal.
Senior Officers of the Council confirmed that if Councillors voted to break the law and make the payments, it would place officers in a very difficult position; being instructed by the Council to break the law and potentially breach their professional codes of practice.
Advice was also sought from the Trade Unions at a National Level. Their opinion was equally clear.
The Trade Unions’ opinion was that if the Council made these illegal payments, the Trade Unions would be concerned that the Council would be cutting across our legal and binding agreements, leaving us open to new challenges going forward.
To be clear about last night, Labour and the Community Party DID NOT move a motion that would have made these payments (because they know that would be illegal).
What they did was to move a motion asking for more information to come back on the financial implications of making payments, continuing to mislead our workers for another six months.
The legal position is not going to change, so in six months’ time, we would be back here with nowhere to go once more.
After criticising the Council Leader for not making a meeting of the Health Board in June due to having Council business to deal with, Labour had two members absent from last night’s Council meeting.
This ensured that they could not win the vote even if every opposition Councillor supported them.
They did not want to win the vote, because in six months, they would have had to vote not to make any payments. Any other motion would be ruled illegal and would not be permitted.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed new statistics showing the Scottish economy is doing well — and has attributed the success to SNP government investment in key industries.
The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures show the country’s finances improved in 2016/17.
Overall, the notional deficit fell by £1.3 billion in 2016-17 to stand at 8.3% of GDP. Onshore revenues increased by £3.3 billion (6.1%) between 2015-16 and 2016-17 – the fastest increase since current records began in 1998-99 – while North Sea revenue also grew.
Mr Paterson said:
“While the Tory cabinet ushers through new ways to close down public services, the SNP government here is literally building Scotland’s economy up, and the signs are very positive.
“Our investment in key sectors of our economy has absolutely shown through — in 2016, there were £6 billion worth of construction projects going on in Scotland. Huge projects like the M8 extension, A9 dual on the way and the Queensferry Crossing will be helping, to name a few.
“And here in Clydebank, Scottish Government investment in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital will create scores of brand new jobs and boost the local and national economy.
“It’s worth remembering, Scotland’s tax revenue goes into projects in the south of England that apparently benefit Scotland, like in the past the new high speed railway, Heathrow Airport and the London Underground. It is questionable that Scotland directly benefits from these projects.
“Despite our record of achievement, we hear constant spiteful rhetoric from opposition politicians and media pundits that Scotland is too wee and too stupid to be a success. It is still clear that Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats are just too fervent in their debt to the union to listen to the pragmatic reasons on why Scotland could easily be an independent close friend and ally of the UK.
“What does threaten to derail progress is a shambolic departure from the European Union, which would cost our economy up to £11 billion a year from 2030 and 80,000 jobs. While appreciating the vote to leave across the UK, the withdrawal from the EU needs to be considerate, and not a new series of the Tory cabinet soap opera power struggle.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342061722)
The report: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/08/7201
JO SWINSON must make her views indisputably clear on free tuition following comments from her new Liberal Democrat party leader.
MSPs Rona Mackay and Gil Paterson have condemned Vince Cable following a report in the Press and Journal where he calls for an end to free tuition.
They are demanding Jo Swinson makes her views clear on what they call a “hallmark issue” for the people of Scotland.
The Liberal Democrats betrayed voters when their MPs voted to charge students more than £9,000 — when they had campaigned against the hike.
In 2012, then leader Nick Clegg made a humiliating apology where he said “I am sorry” for misleading the voters — who, in the 2015 election, ousted most Lib Dem MPs. The video has been viewed millions of times since, and featured in comedy programmes, parodies and TV.
Ms Mackay said: “No one really has a clue where the Liberal Democrats stand on anything these days, so the public in East Dunbartonshire deserves to know where exactly their MP stands on this hallmark policy.
“In Scotland, we pride ourselves on having an inclusive education system where people of all backgrounds can enter higher and further education to learn and contribute to society.
“I am calling on Jo Swinson to make a crystal clear statement on whether she supports free tuition in Scotland or not, and her reasons why.”
Mr Paterson said: “It is not surprising that Vince Cable is supporting this conservative policy given he — and Jo Swinson — were working hand in hand with the Tory Party just a few years ago in government.
“Given Nick Clegg’s humiliating apology, it is incredible to see the Liberal Democrat leadership once again change direction on such a major issue.
“Disposing of free tuition in Scotland would simply block opportunities for so many people, especially young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. That is morally wrong, to me.
“I hope Jo Swinson can clarify her position on free tuition as a matter of urgency. The public deserves to know.”
Comments from Vince Cable about tuition fees reported in today’s Press and Journal https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1306875/cable-accused-of-major-gaffe-after-hitting-out-at-snps-education-record
'Eliminating the deficit' is just a Tory excuse to continue hacking down the public sector with austerity
MSP Gil Paterson has criticised the Tory government’s perpetual austerity agenda — one that looks set to continue until at least 2027.
It has been reported Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing a new package of cuts worth ten years to “eliminate the deficit”.
The Tories’ obsession with eliminating the deficit, Mr Paterson said, is an excuse to continue hacking down the public sector in the UK.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “Yet another decade of downsizing the public sector with budget cuts — all in this attempt to ‘eliminate the deficit’.
“It looks like ‘eliminating the deficit’ is a mere excuse to continue flogging our public services in pursuit of the Tories’ free market fantasy.
“Private profiteers are gobbling up institutions, like the Royal Mail, parts of the NHS in England and swathes of the social security system.
“This is merely the beginning, and in post-Brexit Britain, the Tories will have free rein on selling off more of our cherished public facilities.”
MSP Gil Paterson has called on the public to get behind new measures to save Scotland’s bees and butterflies.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP has expressed his deep concerns at the plummeting pollinator populations in Scotland.
Since 1980, 51 per cent of Scotland’s bee and butterfly population has died out leading to fears of major problems in the environment, agriculture, economy and health and well-being of the public.
The Scottish Government has published the Pollinator Strategy that outlines objectives and outcomes to put in place measures by 2027 to ensure Scotland’s bee population is thriving and supported.
The objectives are:
A full list of how these objectives will be achieved is available in the Pollinator Strategy.
Mr Paterson said: “Modern civilisation is destroying the bee and butterfly populations in Scotland, whether it is our building habits, use of pesticides or polluting the environment, it is having a dramatic effect.
“In nature, 90 per cent of flowering plant species have a dependence on pollination; worldwide, 75 per cent of food crops rely on insect pollination; Scotland’s economy benefits to the tune of £43 million per year in crop and honey, and the ecological function pollinators perform maintains balance our natural environment. The importance of pollinators is paramount.
“The Scottish Government’s detailed Pollinator Strategy will target all sections of society to combat the problem, from government, its agencies, conservation groups, farmers, land owners, managers, gardeners, agricultural businesses, commercial enterprise and the public of Scotland.
“There is so much to be gained in this plan, and even the simplest of pleasures, making our towns and communities bloom in colour and buzz with the familiar sound of our pollinators.”
A special helpline with unique access to university and college places and more will be up and running when pupils receive exam results next week.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the move by Skills Development Scotland that will see the annual Exam Results Helpline assist pupils.
A round 139,000 young people in Scotland will receive their National, Higher, Advanced Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate results on Tuesday August 8.
Qualified careers advisers will be on hand to help young people who may not have received the results they were hoping for or who have done better than they expected.
The skilled professionals will have unique access to information on UCAS course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, confirmation and clearing, advice about Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships and employment or volunteering.
Mr Paterson said: “This hotline is a very beneficial asset for pupils and parents alike, as they receive their exam results. I know fine well there will be much excitement, anxiety and nerves at play as these results come in. The resource from Skills Development Scotland provides some excellent access to places in college and university that will be very helpful. I commend SDS for setting this line up again.”
This is the 25th year of the free Helpline which offers advice, information and support for young people and their parents, who make a third of all calls.
The Helpline will be open from 8am until 8pm on 8 and 9 August and from 9am until 5pm from 10 until 16 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Post-results information for pupils and parents is also available at myworldofwork.co.uk. There’s also information about Modern Apprenticeships and Foundation Apprenticeships, at apprenticeships.scot. Foundation Apprenticeships help young people gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while they are still at school.
Students can also access help, advice and support via My World of Work's Facebook page which has practical help and links to UCAS, SAAS, Young Scot and the SQA.
Jeremy Corbyn has 'gone UKIP' on immigration and the Tory Brexit soap opera continues to embarrass the UK
THE TORY cabinet soap opera continues to embarrass the United Kingdom as the world watches our departure from the European Union.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced the exit from EU could be dragged out until 2022, in one of the latest surprising twists.
Amber Rudd is all over the place on immigration, and her harsh rhetoric on immigration has already put off skilled workers from coming to the UK. And, already the health service is under pressure from Brexit.
Despite that, she has shocked the public by contradicting her colleagues and calling for a liberal immigration system. When it comes to contradictions, you just can’t make it up.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned last week uncertainties on tariffs and the value of the pound with households facing dramatically higher prices on bare necessities, like food and clothing.
The International Monetary Fund has revised down the UK’s economic growth forecast for the year from two per cent to 1.7 per cent, as the UK cabinet daily drama continues. This will mean less money available for our vital public services.
It’s not just the economy either.
The Tory government needs to get its act together on the European Arrest Warrant arrangements to prevent a gap in extradition procedures following Brexit.
A new report from a House of Lords committee has warned the UK would face an “unacceptable risk” if the it did not have arrangements in place by March 2019.
We cannot allow criminals to go unpunished because of the sheer incompetence of the Tories.
The Labour Party has gone UKIP by abandoning support for membership the single market, despite the economic damage it will do.
Scotland does an enormous trade with the EU market, which is a relationship many countries aspire to achieve.
A poll by Ipsos MORI showed support for single market membership is now at the highest level since the EU referendum, with 49 per cent prioritising a soft Brexit.
But now Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he supports ripping us out of the single market and blocking the freedom to live and work in Europe.
He and the Tories are completely ignoring 62 per cent of the Scottish people who want to remain in the European Union. And, the numbers are even higher for those who want access to the single market.
The world is watching this in awe and is gobsmacked with the sheer and utter incompetence of London rule.
And to cap it all, the Tory UK government lay the red carpet out for the DUP and give them £1.5 billion that will end austerity in Northern Ireland. Then, they fly them home using the RAF as a house to house taxi, but have the cheek to announce the PM will not now speak directly to the First Minister of Scotland.
So, what do the Tories think of Scotland? Obviously, that we just don’t count.
MSP Gil Paterson has urged the Clydebank public to take part in a Scottish courts consultation.
The Scottish Sentencing Council is launching the public opinion drive on new guidelines are sentenced by courts.
It is aimed at assisting judges in court and to help the public better understand how sentences are decided.
The consultation will run until October 27 and is available on the SSC website.
Mr Paterson said: “I know fine well the people of Clydebank have a lot to contribute when it comes to critiquing the sentences of criminals and matters of justice.
“From sentences on small crimes to high profile cases, there is always some form of discussion and passionate input from local people.
“The Clydebank Post does an excellent job of covering Dumbarton Sheriff Court, and we have constant coverage of relevant high court cases as well. There is often a lot of discussion between readers on individual court reports.
“I encourage the Clydebank public are able to take part in this and help inform our judges on how justice is dealt.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Notes to reporter:
Although some guidance on appropriate sentences in particular cases is available in the form of court decisions, the fundamental principles and purposes of sentencing in Scotland have not been expressly defined in any single piece of legislation or court judgment. The Scottish Sentencing Council's first draft guideline, the Principles and Purposes of Sentencing, aims to set out clearly both the principles underlying sentencing decisions and the overarching purposes of sentencing.
The guideline is intended to:
Consultation Link: https://www.scottishsentencingcouncil.org.uk/consultations/principles-and-purposes-of-sentencing
MSP Gil Paterson has congratulated Faifley Art Group on a funding windfall to create an exhibition in Clydebank.
The small group of leisure artists, mostly senior citizens, secured £2,255 for an educational visit to the Modern Art Gallery of Edinburgh.
It is understood they will take part in four tutorials in visual arts with professional artists and produce work for the exhibition, which will also include children’s art from local primary schools.
Mr Paterson said: “Well done to Faifley Art Group for this successful funding application for extending the great work they do.
“I am particularly interested in this gallery they will be creating in Clydebank, which will include contributions from primary schools.
“The members will have a fantastic time learning from professional artists when they visit the Modern Art Gallery of Edinburgh.”
Dishonest: MP Jo Swinson argued for tribunal fees in Commons but insists she was against them all along
MSP Gil Paterson has criticised returned MP Jo Swinson for her u-turning on employment tribunal fees.
In 2013, Ms Swinson spent time passionately arguing in the House of Commons for the £1,200 charge for an employment tribunal.
At the time, the Liberal Democrat was the Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs.
However, the Supreme Court announced on July 27 scrapped the act declared it was “unlawful”.
The Scottish Government already committed to abolishing the fee when the administration of employment tribunals is devolved later in this parliament.
Welcoming the judgement, MSP Gil Paterson has asked if Ms Swinson will apologise for actively arguing for an unlawful policy.
Mr Paterson said: “Born again MP Jo Swinson vehemently defended the introduction of fees in 2013 in the House of Commons when she was a minister in the Tory-Libdem coalition.
“She is now saying she is against this policy, however she totally supported and implemented it, proving she is willing to deceive the public and her fellow MPs.
“Did she sell her soul to the Tory coalition? It would appear so.
“Our new MP needs to show some respect for the electorate, who are not idiots and can see what she has done, and apologise.
“Either way, I welcome the scrapping of these extortionate fees — a policy like this would never have passed in the Scottish Parliament.
“All it served to do is prevent citizens accessing justice, many of whom would struggle to magic up £1,200 after being dismissed, perhaps unfairly, from their job.”
NOTES TO REPORTERS
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.”
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at email@example.com or 07342 061722..