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.
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.”
The Scottish Government announced 93.1 per cent of leavers went onto college, university, work or training in 2016/17 in West Dunbartonshire.
The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3 per cent last year to 93.7 per cent this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “Well done to the hard working teachers, pupils and parents in West Dunbartonshire who have caused this improvement in leavers going to positive destinations.
“Clearly, a lot of effort has gone into this in both Clydebank High School and St Peter the Apostle High School – so I thank them for their devotion to preparing school pupils for the wider world.
“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: https://news.gov.scot/news/initial-destinations-of-senior-phase-school-leavers-1
MSP Gil Paterson is hosting his first-ever ‘Big Advice Surgery’ in Whitecrook soon.
Stallholders will be on hand with advice in saving money, careers, cancer advice, dealing with local crime and more.
The MSP is calling on those who may need assistance in not just these areas but anything to come along on Monday March 5 between 11am and 2pm in Centre 81.
West Dunbartonshire Carers, Skills Development Scotland, Clydebank Crime Prevention Panel, Working4U, Macmillan Cancer and more will be on hand to help.
Mr Paterson said: “It would be great for members of the public in Clydebank to attend my Big Advice Surgery if they’re in need of some assistance.
“We will have advisers from careers to finance, including my own office, to offer up the best advice to help resolve any difficulties constituents may be going through.
“I want constituents to know there is help available if they need it, and that this will be a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where they can get confidential support.”
The SNP government is increasing its funding to West Dunbartonshire Council to bolster lifeline public services.
The local authority will receive £189.26 million, which is £4.38 million more than last year, an increase of 2.31 per cent.
A modest tax increase on higher earners and a lowering of taxes on lower earners guarantees extra funding for schools, roads and housing.
More than half of Scots will pay less income tax, 70 per cent will pay no more and 30 per cent will contribute a modest amount more.
The budget will also see additional £400 million into Scotland’s NHS to protect it from years of budget cuts by the UK Tory government.
Schools in West Dunbartonshire will receive £3.4 million as part of the Pupil Equity Fund, which looks to tackle the educational attainment gap.
Mr Paterson said: “I am very glad all this extra funding will be going into the frontline services that we hold so dear in Clydebank and Milngavie and beyond.
“The tax reforms are great news for my constituents, as most of them are lower or average earners. They have been protected in this tax increase and most will actually take home a slightly bigger pay cheque.
“In all the excitement it’s easy to forget all of the amazing advantages of being in Scotland we’re upholding, like: free tuition, free personal care for the elderly, free bus passes, free prescriptions, free school meals and more.
“Elsewhere in the UK, the Tories are squeezing the life out of councils where in Scotland we’re investing – I am very happy with it.”
MORE than half of Scots will receive an income tax cut thanks to the SNP government’s 2018 budget, MSP Gil Paterson has said.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP welcomed the tax cut as stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill was laid before the Scottish Parliament.
Around 70 per cent of taxpayers will pay no moreincome tax than they currently do and high earners will be contributing more to make up for a decade of Tory austerity.
The changes to income tax in Scotland will see a modest increase for those earning more than £33,000 and those under will keep more of their pay – 70 per cent of Scots will see no increase and 55 per cent will pay less than anywhere else in the UK.
The budget will also deliver an additional £400 million for the NHS, an expansion in childcare, more spending on broadband, extra funding for our police and fire services, and a pay rise for hard-working public sector employees.
“A modest increase on income tax for higher earners is absolutely necessary given the constant cuts to Scotland’s budget since Tory austerity started in 2010.
“We hold our public services very dear and to stop them falling apart – like many in the rest of the UK are – we need to invest in them.
“It’s great news for the majority of Scots, who will pay less income tax than last year and less income tax than anywhere else in the UK.
“I think most people in Clydebank and Milngavie will be very much in favour of this budget– the polling certainly indicates two to one Scots back us.”
Draft Budget 2018/19 Information:
MSPs in East Dunbartonshire are “delighted” at the SNP government’s budget that has set aside £2 million for rail improvements.
Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay have said it should be used to re-twin the railway from Westerton to Milngavie and add a rail halt a t Allander.
It is an issue the pair are in on-going correspondence with ScotRail Alliance over – and the latest letter Mr Paterson received is “encouraging”.
Last year, transport minister Humza Yousaf vowed to look into the matter after being pressed by Ms Mackay in the Holyrood chamber.
News of the £2 million feasibility fund for rail improvements was announced in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald on February 8.
Mr Paterson said:
“I am very hopeful this rail improvement fund provided by the SNP government can be used on the Milngavie re-twinning and rail halt.
“The latest correspondence I have received from ScotRail was encouraging – it shows that no clear decision has been made by Network Rail as of yet on the matter, so everything is still on the table.”
Ms Mackay added:
“This fund could well be used to tackle the stop skipping, cancellations and general poor performance of trains on the Westerton to Milngavie line.
“I am very glad the SNP government has made the decision to side aside this cash in the budget – it shows our campaigning has not been met with deaf ears.”
A PARLIAMENTARY motion has been lodged commending the work of a special recycling initiative in Clydebank.
MSP Gil Paterson visited the Recycle Room as it relaunched in a new venue, the Hub Community Centre on Kilbowie Road.
The Recycle Room receives donations of clothes, toys and various household items which any member of the public can come in and have for free.
Founded in January 2016 by Nichola Mable and Amanda Lancaster, the group has been based in St Stephen’s Church Hall and Onslow Road Community Centre.
Gil Paterson MSP said: “I am so impressed with the amazing work Nichola Mable and Amanda Lancaster are doing with the Recycle Room. They have done a brilliant job and are a true asset to the communities of Clydebank.
“The Recycle Room not only prevents items from being thrown away but helps those who may be facing financial pressures – despite everyone always being welcome, no matter what their income.
“I would like to thank the Recycle Room for the great work being done there on behalf of the constituents I represent.
“I am proud to be sharing this good news story with my MSP colleagues with a parliamentary motion.”
That the Parliament commends the efforts of the Recycling Room in Clydebank which takes donations of clothing and various household items and merchandises them in their venue to hand out to the public completely free of charge; notes the initiative was started by Nichola Mable and Amanda Lancaster in January 2016 and has gone from strength to strength since; understands the community initiative was relaunched on February 7 to open the new venue, The Hub Community Centre in Clydebank; thanks Nichola and Amanda for the work they do in promoting recycling and helping people who may be enduring hardship get clothes and other necessary items.
MSP Gil Paterson is appealed to his constituents to engage with and send in a response to the Glasgow Airport Airspace Consultation.
Mr Paterson said: “It would be very helpful if the public were to make their opinions known and take this rare opportunity to engage in this very important issue.”
Consultation events will be held in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency.
A consultation drop in will be held in Clydebank Town Hall on Tuesday March 13 from 10am to 7pm.
Another will be held in Bearsden Community Hub at 69 Drymen Road, in Bearsden on Friday March 16 from 10am to 7pm.
CLYDEBANK and Milngavie’s MSP has praised Scottish Government additional options to how Universal Credit (UC) is delivered to claimants.
The new UC Scottish choices, or The Scottish Flexibilities, will give people the choice of twice monthly payments of UC and the housing benefit paid directly to their landlord.
The SNP government is making use of the Scotland Act (2016) administrative powers to change payment arrangements for UC in relation to whom and the time when the benefit is paid.
UC is reserved to the UK Government and delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is a single monthly payment which replaces six other benefits if a person is out of work on or on a low income.
East Dunbartonshire has had UC since November 2016 but the benefit is still being rolled out across Scotland, with full coverage expected by December this year.
Gil Paterson MSP has praised the actions and reiterated their opposition to Universal Credit.
He said: “One of the major complaints about Universal Credit is that it increases difficulties to manage a household budget.
“The new UC Scottish choices allows claimants to return to a benefit delivery similar to their former arrangement.
“I am relieved the new options are available because it will help people from falling into poverty and debt.
“Later this year, UC will arrive in West Dunbartonshire, which makes these SNP government payment options very important.
“Already, we’ve seen success in East Dunbartonshire and nationally with the UC Scottish choices, which has been trialled since October 2017.
“The rollout of UC is something I remain strongly opposed to, in particular the six week wait for the first payment, which is causing hardship and rent arrears.
“This is but another example of where the Scottish Government under the SNP is alleviating the damage done to our social security system by the Tory UK Government.”
MSP Gil Paterson has praised the revised budget proposals that will see extra funds go into local authorities in his constituency, Clydebank and Milngavie
West Dunbartonshire will receive an extra £2.8 million funding under the revised budget proposals unveiled by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.
The local authority will be funded to the tune of £184 million in the Scottish budget when it passes through parliament.
The budget boost comes as the Scottish Government confirmed that local government will receive an above inflation increase in resource funding.
And, it does not take into account the extra cash schools are getting to tackle the attainment gap, including £3.4 million for West Dunbartonshire.
The SNP budget will give Scots the best deal in the UK – with investment in public services and a tax cut for lower earners.
Under the progressive tax reforms 70 per cent of taxpayers will pay less than last year, while higher earners will face a modest increase.
These tax changes will allow the Scottish Government to increase health spending by £400 million to £13.6 billion, lift the public sector pay cap and provide a package of investment in the economy.
Gil Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “The draft budget shows that where Scotland has the power, the SNP will take a different, fairer approach – and give Scots the best deal in the UK.
“Thanks to the decisions made by the Scottish Government, local government will see an above inflation rise in their revenue funding – with West Dunbartonshire Council receiving an extra £2.8 million to spend on local services.
“On top of this increase in council funds, the Scottish Government has also delegated another £3.4 million for schools to tackle the attainment gap in West Dunbartonshire.
“That’s a good deal for taxpayers and for public services in Clydebank and Milngavie – and is only possible because of the SNP’s progressive tax reforms, that are backed by the public by 2 to 1.
“In the face of massive Westminster cuts, the Scottish Government is using its powers progressively to invest in our schools and our hospitals – and in communities across Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire.”
On where the extra funds came from, Mr Paterson added: “The Scottish Government has a legal duty to present a balanced budget. The additional funding comes from a combination of changes in taxation and the allocation of underspend, the level of which was not clear when the draft budget was published in December.”