Route map to Indy Ref 2 announced
The First Minister has set out plans to secure an independence referendum on 19th October 2023. This will be Scotland’s date with destiny, the chance to chart our own course and gain the full powers of a normal independent nation.
They say a day is a long time in politics. A lot has changed in the 8 years that have passed since the last independence referendum – but a lot has stayed the same, too. While the majority of people in Scotland continue to vote for progressive change, self-determination, and outward looking foreign policy, we are still stuck with Tory governments at Westminster pushing ideologically driven benefit cuts, anti-migrant policy and isolationism.
Since 2014 we have experienced and continue to face: the fallout of 3 Tory Prime Ministers; 3 General Elections, the results of which do not represent the interests of Scotland; Brexit; rising cost of living; the Covid-19 pandemic; and finally we have witnessed elected Tory MPs break their own Covid-19 rules without an ounce of remorse or regret. If Tory MPs can change their mind on their own Covid-19 rules and who they apply to within months of setting said rules, then why, after 8 years, can Scotland not be trusted to make an informed decision on its future? Our views will not be silenced or disrespected.
Evidence shows that independent countries, of a similar or smaller size to Scotland, are wealthier, fairer, and more productive than the UK. An independent Scotland would have crucial decision-making powers to represent the views of people who live here. An independent Scotland would no longer face the drastic consequences of Westminster pursuing policies like Brexit or their inhumane immigration policy, which are deeply damaging to Scotland’s interests and core beliefs.
This referendum won’t be won by politicians but by the people. So, sign up, get involved and let’s get organised: www.yes.scot/signup
Launch of Scotland’s Volunteering Action Plan
Scotland’s Volunteering Action Plan, endorsed by the Scottish Government, launched on the 15th of June at The Gathering. The plan aims to create an environment where everyone can volunteer, more often, and throughout their lives, with a specific focus on tackling inequality within volunteering.
Volunteering is such a valuable asset to any community, and I am grateful to each and every volunteer and volunteering organisation in Glasgow Pollok for the outstanding work they do to support our constituents.
Affordable Homes Target Reached
More than 50,000 affordable homes have been delivered since the start of the last Parliament. The 50,000 homes target was hit during March, despite the challenges and necessary lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Scotland is now progressing towards its target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, with 70% of these for social rent and 10% in the rural and island communities.
Glasgow Pollok have greatly benefitted from this in the last couple of years with new developments from Elderpark at Hills Trust Primary, GHA homes in Damshot, and Linthouse’s Drumoyne Primary new build site. I know there is still a long way to go, but this is the action and progress we need to continue to make housing affordable and accessible to all.
Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill passes
New legislation to control the sale and safe use of fireworks has been passed following a Scottish Parliament debate. This will improve public safety and benefit communities for years to come.
The Bill introduces a fireworks licensing system with mandatory safety training for people wishing to purchase and use fireworks. Local Authorities will also have powers to designate firework control zones, restrictions on the supply and use of fireworks, and a new offence to criminalise the supply of fireworks and pyrotechnics to under-18s.
Being in possession of a firework or other pyrotechnic in a public place, or at certain places or events, without reasonable excuse also becomes an offence.
In the Constituency
- I’ve encouraged all eligible 16-24 year olds, who are already receiving certain other benefits or tax credits, to apply for the Job Start Payment. It is a one-off payment to help with the costs of starting a job after a period of unemployment. Application details and eligibility can be found here: https://www.mygov.scot/job-start-payment
- This month saw the celebration of Carers Week. I appreciate that carers have had a particularly hard time during the pandemic, especially when the strictest restrictions were in place, so I thanked carers for their resilience, patience and care they continually demonstrate. The SNP Government also recognise the great strength and sacrifice of carers – that is why we have introduced the Carer’s Assistance to replace the current Carer’s Allowance, and we are also awarding a double payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement this year.
- If you are a carer who needs some support, then please check out GAMH Carers Centre who aim to support unpaid carers through emotional and practical support. Details here: https://www.gamh.org.uk/project/carers-support/
- Additionally, the South West Kinship Support Group help those who are Kinship Carers. They can be contacted on email at: firstname.lastname@example.org ; telephone Jackie on 07729 118002; or telephone Terri on 07784 753122.
- I met and spoke with the National Lottery representative for Glasgow South, who are keen to be both active and visible in the constituency. I am really encouraged by their attitude and hard work. I know they are eager to meet with those on the ground doing community work, so I highly encourage constituents / organisations to get in touch with me if they would like an introduction.
- I was lucky enough to have a quick look at the new Linthouse homes at the Drumoyne site. They look fantastic and I love that the façade of the original school has been kept in place and incorporated in the design. I know of many constituents who are delighted at being off
ered one of these new homes after a long wait and I hope you are all happy in your new home. However, I know there are also those who just missed out and will be understandably disappointed at not being made an offer. I want to reassure those people that these new builds will have a ripple effect by making other properties become available to let and will see some more movement in the Linthouse community.