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)
MSP Gil Paterson: 'Residents and businesses will be relieved at plans to reopen Kilbowie Road after sink hole repairs finished by council six weeks earlier'
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the reopening of Kilbowie Road after a collapsed mine shaft caused a sink hole on the busy section.
The Coal Authority finished its work at the mine shaft in April, then West Dunbartonshire Council finished the work ahead of schedule due a good spell of weather.
The Clydebank MSP said: “I am sure the residents and businesses in the area will be, as I am, extremely relieved that Kilbowie Road will be reopening after weeks of closure.
“Well done to the council and Coal Authority for getting this sink hole situation resolved six weeks ahead of schedule. Given the serious of this collapsed mine shaft under the road, this is an impressive feat.
“On the whole, this has been a highly complex issue for authorities to deal with and my office has handled multiple cases from residents and businesses regarding it. I am relieved it is coming to a close.”
In an era of terror attacks on mass transit, we must ensure our railway policing is as best as it can be
MSP Gil Paterson has voted in favour of merging railway policing in Scotland with Police Scotland.
On May 10, the general principles of the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill were voted through by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
Ultimately, the plans will see the British Transport Police’s 280 officers and responsibilities integrated with Police Scotland.
The Bill will now be looked at and amended by MSPs before being voted on again.
Gil said: “Merging the British Transport Police in Scotland with Police Scotland will help make our country safer and our security more efficient.
“In an era when mass transit is the target of constant terrorist attacks in the Western world, we have to ensure our police force is run as best as it possibly can be along our railways.
“It is also a historic moment for Scotland, as we take control of more of our own services, services that are almost always run more efficiently than they would have been by the UK Government.
“It is very sad to see the Tories and Labour side against the rest of the parliament in what should be a proud moment for Scotland.”
MSP Gil Paterson has praised the Independent Resource Centre in Clydebank for helping people save £3.6 million in benefits and writing off nearly half a million pounds in debt.
It follows the publication of the IRC’s latest annual report, the Annual Statistical Report 2015-2016, which shows staff and volunteers helped 2,558 clients struggling with debt and benefit problems.
A total of £3,691,786 was saved in benefits by ensuring claimants got what they are entitled to.
Most of those seeking welfare advice were earning between zero and £15,000 a year, over 60 and there were more women than men. Most were unable to work.
Debt handled totalled more than £1.8 million and debt workers at the centre wrote off and gained £435,729 for clients.
Mr Paterson, SNP MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, has lodged a motion with the Scottish Parliament, commending the work of the IRC.
He said: “The work that the Independent Resource Centre does in Clydebank helps thousands of people who are enduring financial hardship.
“It is truly shocking to drill down into the statistics and see how the people needing the most help are older, unable to work and often women.
“Very often, those who rely on services like those of the IRC are suffering at the hands of social security system that is being hacked away at by the UK Tory government since it took power in Westminster.
“The Independent Resource Centre volunteers and staff must be thanked for the bulwark they provide against members of the public descending into abject poverty and financial damnation.”
Motion Number: S5M-05465
Lodged By: Gil Paterson
Date Lodged: 04/05/2017
Title: Independent Resource Centre Saves Clydebank Public Millions
That the Parliament recognises the work of the Independent Resource Centre in Clydebank, which saved clients in financial hardship £3.7 million in benefit payments and wrote off £436,000 in debt between April 2015 and March 2016, according to statistics contained in the centre's latest annual statistical report; understands that the centre is a registered charitable organisation that has worked in the area for more than 26 years, and notes that the centre provides free, direct and practical assistance, represents people regarding debt matters, gives welfare and money advice and is at the forefront of campaigning for policy changes.
MSP Gil Paterson has commented on the council election results in West and East Dunbartonshire.
He said: “The West Dunbartonshire Council election has been full of surprises, but a clear win for the Scottish National Party, going from six to ten councillors and now the biggest group on the council. I would like to thank the public for supporting the SNP at this important election. It was a very hard fought campaign."
And on East Dunbartonshire, Gil said: “In East Dunbartonshire, I am devastated to see the loss of Ian Mackay from the council. Ian was an outstanding councillor with an excellent record. His leadership will be dearly, dearly missed in the council. East Dunbartonshire will benefit from the solid group of SNP elected members, working tirelessly to serve their communities.
“The SNP was under no illusions of entering this administration, but we put everything into it, and tried our best for the towns and villages we care so much about. Now, we must hold whoever takes the administration to account and make sure they deliver on the promises they made to the public."
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 061722..