MSP Gil Paterson has recognised 1st Bearsden BBs for winning the UK-wide BB National Masterteam competition.
In a parliamentary motion, Gil lodged:
"That the Parliament congratulates the team from 1st Bearsden Boys’ Brigade (BB) on winning the prestigious BB National Masterteam competition; understands that John McEwan, Greg Wood, Ross Brown and Fergus Hempel scooped the first prize in Belfast on 8 April 2017 after competing against teams from six BB companies from across the UK; notes that the teenagers answered questions on general knowledge, famous landmarks and history, and notes that success follows that of John, Fergus and Alistair Ramsey, who are in the same company, who recently won the BB's UK chess tournament in Coatbridge on 25 March."
Well done to the Boys.
PROCEEDS of crime have raised £890K for communities in West Dunbartonshire since 2008, MSP Gil Paterson can reveal.
It follows the Clydebank MSP questioning the secretary for justice in the Scottish Parliament on the CashBack for Communities programme.
MSP Michael Matheson revealed the figure during justice portfolio questions on April 26, which provided 33,000 individual funding opportunities between 2008 and 2016.
Mr Paterson said: “This is absolutely fantastic news, that our SNP government has delivered so much extra funding directly into communities in West Dunbartonshire from the proceeds of crime. This is an invaluable programme that benefits our young people in a variety of ways, and I fully support it.
"It’s also very important to send the message to criminals that they will not profit for the crimes they commit. We have a highly skilled and motivated police force fighting to take that money back into the community.”
CashBack for Communities is a unique Scottish Government programme which takes money seized from criminals under the proceeds of crime legislation and invests them in our future – our young people.
Since 2008, £92 million has been committed to community initiatives to improve the quality of life of young people right across Scotland.
Mr Matheson said: “The £17 million phase 4 cashback programme started on 1 April this year, and it involves 17 partner organisations delivering for young people throughout the country.
“The phase 4 cashback programme has an even stronger focus on areas of deprivation and disadvantaged young people. The strong focus on disadvantaged young people will contribute towards reaching our aim of tackling inequality by raising their attainment, ambition and aspiration.
“I very much agree with Gil Paterson that cashback gives young people the chance to get creative and broaden their horizons by taking part in a range of different activities and opportunities.
“We are providing opportunities to young people to get involved and improve their confidence and sense of achievement. Investment in our young people and their communities through cashback is money well spent.”
Appeal for West of Scotland Tory MSPs to speak out against the inhumane rape clause and two child limit
MSP Gil Paterson has implored Tory MSPs in West Scotland to show some respect to women and stand against the rape clause.
In a letter to Maurice Golden, Jamie Greene and Maurice Corry, he asked them to show consensus with women’s charities and most politicians and speak out against the rape clause and two child limit.
The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or during an abusive relationship.
The Tories railroaded through these policies without a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to women’s’ rights, the impact on child poverty, as well as how the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained to assess evidence of rape.
Many sexual violence support charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK government, not least due to the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape.
Mr Paterson said: “I implore upon Tory MSPs representing the region to speak out on behalf of constituents who have suffered from the horrors of sexual violence and rape.
“Asking a victim of rape to disclose this deeply personal incident and relive it is an insidious demand.
“During my tenure of more than 10 years as a board member of Rape Crisis Central Scotland, I got an insight into the stress victims of rape go through in speaking about their own experience.
“It is an indefensible policy, and the Tories should be – and many probably are – ashamed of themselves and their party for pushing through this measure against rape victims and mothers. I ask Tory MSPs to challenge this sinister path their party is on, and show some decency for the women the West of Scotland.”
COPY OF LETTER
Two Child Limit and Rape Clause
You will be aware of the UK government’s rape clause and family cap policies, limiting child tax credit support for families with more than two children unless victims of rape or abusive relationships are willing to disclose deeply personal information.
These policies were added to the statute books without a parliamentary debate or vote, and analysis has shown that the two child policy alone will drive an increase in child poverty of more than 10% and result in 266,000 more children living in poverty by the end of the parliament. Rather than working to improve this, the UK government is pursuing a policy that will drive up child poverty.
There are many unanswered questions relating to these policies – including concern that adequate sexual violence training has not been provided to the nurses, doctors and social workers expected to implement the rape clause on the UK government’s behalf. As a result, many sexual violence support charities have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK Government.
You may also have read the letter in the Guardian from a group of psychologists voicing their concern that these assessments force women to disclose details that may cause “flashbacks, renewed shame and emotional turmoil, and consequently affect how mothers bond with their children” as well as having the potential to cause identity crises that carry “significant psychological risks” for children and adults who have been born of rape.
Do you condemn these appalling policies, or do you stand by your party’s statement that forced disclosure of rape is the “most sensitive way possible” to manage benefits?
I look forward to hearing your views on the above matters.
MSP Gil Paterson has condemned the Tory ‘rape clause’ as “fundamentally wicked” and said it will cause rape victims to “relive” their trauma.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed research showing Scotland is not the highest taxed part of the UK.
The Fraser of Allander Institute told how differences between taxation Scotland and rUK are “marginal”, and that Scotland pays less council tax.
Additionally, the analysis published on April 10 acknowledges it has not even factored in what taxpayers get in return – such as unique benefits in Scotland like free education.
Mr Paterson said: “People in Scotland need not fear paying more tax than they would in England. Overall, the differences are negligible.
“What the research by the Fraser of Allander Institute does not take into account is what taxpayers get in return.
“In Scotland, we have: free education, free prescriptions, free care for the elderly, free childcare, free bus passes for the elderly, bedroom tax mitigation and more.
“Clearly, the people of Scotland get a lot back for the tax they pay – tax that is less than the rest of the UK.
“The desperate opposition has to stop spinning this lie, that Scotland is the highest taxed country in the UK. It is deceptive and damaging to Scotland’s competitive edge.”
RESEARCH has shown duff PFI deals made by Labour while they were in power at Holyrood continue to rip off the public.
An independent study by the Scottish Parliament Information and Research Centre (SPICe) says the West Dunbartonshire Schools project will cost £11.4 million this year, and East Dunbartonshire £14.4 million.
It follows the former Labour government a decade ago making deals where corporations walked away with huge sums of money for building schools and public facilities.
In West Dunbartonshire, Clydebank High, St Peter the Apostle High and Vale of Leven High were rebuilt with PFI deals. St Eunan's Primary was merged with the new St Peter's.
In 2008, the project was billed as 124 euros, which in 2008 was around £100 million. However, PFI deals add considerable interest and end up costing a huge amount more.
Between 2007 and 2009, six high schools were rebuilt in East Dunbartonshire with PFI deals.
The situation is echoed across Scotland where the duff deals will cost the public purse £430 million this year alone.
Gil Paterson, MSP for Milngavie, said: "The PFI scandal remains as raw as ever, with councils in my constituency being utterly robbed by these crony deals the Labour Party set up.
"PFI robs the public purse because the deals set up pay out far more than the projects were ever worth, and ties the public into decades of toxic legacy payments.
"It will rightly make the taxpayer angry, because we are all too aware the SNP government is fighting to preserve Scotland's public services against a budgetary onslaught from the Tory party.
"The PFI disasters are emblematic of the downfall of the Labour Party in Scotland, and how they have betrayed the trust of the public too many times now. They must show some dignity and issue a public apology."
PFIs are agreements in which companies fund the construction of buildings and creation of infrastructure, such as roads and IT systems, which are then effectively leased to the public sector in contracts which can run for decades.
The private sector makes a profit out of unitary charges – a combination of loan repayments and fees for services, such as property maintenance.