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.
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at email@example.com or 07342 061722..