If I knew you were coming I’d have
baked a cake.
Last Friday was my twenty something
birthday and I was out all day doing surgery home visits and
meeting with the executive director of social work at South
Lanarkshire council. It was a very busy day and I think I made a
lot of progress for the people I met. I also enjoy my meetings
with Harry Stevenson at SLC as we share a profound interest in
making things better for people in the local area and working
together makes some of that happen for my constituents. I am
looking forward to continuing that work after the election.
After all that I flew home changed into my frock and headed to a
dinner with the new principle of Stirling University. But it’s
your birthday I hear you say and I could be forgiven for
thinking yes it’s my birthday and I deserve a wee bit of time
off. Well someone had tipped off the principle
Professor Gerry McCormac and his wife Louise that it was indeed
my birthday and they surprised me with a lovely cake and a
smashing rendition of happy birthday from the singing provost
Fergus Wood. That small but wonderful gesture made my day and a
big thank you to the person who did the tipping off. Yes I know
I am easy pleased but sometimes it’s the small things we do for
each other that makes it all worthwhile.
On the Thursday we had some great
visitors from Hamilton Grammar below is the report on the STV
A group of Hamilton Grammar School
students gave MSPs a grilling when they visited Holyrood
The Higher Modern Studies class
travelled through to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in
order to strengthen their understanding of its work, and
experience firsthand a parliamentary debate.
The group met with Central Scotland
list MSPs Christina McKelvie and Linda Fabiani who participated
in a question and answer session.
And the pupils did not just have
questions for the elected members, they presented the
politicians with hand crafted Ghanaian beads and earrings.
The group were also treated to a
tour of the building and had the chance to watch First
Minister’s Question Time from the gallery.
Modern Studies teacher Mark Bowan
said: “It was a fantastic day.
“It is hard to give pupils a real
insight into the workings of the Scottish parliament without
having them experience it for themselves.
“The pupils were all excellent
ambassadors for the school and everyone found the experience a
positive and rewarding visit.”
Young people with strong opinions.
The pupils gave the politicians
jewellery after Linda Fabiani hosted a reception for Robert
Forson and Rev Emmanuel Boateng, the head teacher and local
Presbytery leader of Hamilton Grammar’s twin school in Ghana –
Donkorkrom Senior Agricultural High School.
The Ghanaian visitors were so
touched by the generosity of the former cabinet minister for
International Development that they ordered locally made
turquoise beads and earrings to be handcrafted and sent to
Christina McKelvie said of the
students' visit: “My colleague Linda Fabiani and I thoroughly
enjoyed meeting the Modern Studies group from Hamilton Grammar.
“They were extremely engaging and
very knowledgeable about the impact the Scottish Parliament has
had on people’s lives.
“They didn’t give us politicians an
easy ride, either – they looked for precise answers from us and
were not interested in waffle!”
Christina continued: “This was a
group of young people with strong opinions, based on informed
“For me, they are living proof that
the SNP’s long-standing policy of lowering the voting age to 16
is the right one.
“The Hamilton Grammar pupils showed
that our young people have a huge amount to contribute to our
My lovely earrings have been worn
twice this week as they match my wardrobe perfectly. A cake and
presents make for a smashing birthday week.
Onto this week………….. on Monday I got
to fill the formidable shoes of Kenny MacAskill at the Unison
polices staffs hustings although justice is not my normal brief
I did my homework and as I explained at the hustings justice is
everyone’s responsibility. There are genuine concerns that the
proposed changes to the police structure will have a detrimental
effect on the very important role of all the civilian staff. I
have taken those concerns onboard and I am looking at ways I can
support the workers. The campaign is named ‘I’m frontline too’
and I agree they are frontline too. Special mention has to made
of the very competent, confident and eloquent speech made by
Suzanne, she put her case forward very well and in such a
detailed manner. We all certainly listened when she spoke.
Tuesday saw us at the penultimate
meeting of the equal opportunities committee where we dealt with
a very important SSI on equalities duties for local authorities.
Wednesday was the last meeting of
the education, lifelong learning and culture committee, it was
another marathon meeting with no less than 3 ministers giving us
updates and evidence. We had an update from Shona Robison MSP
Minister for public health on the Autism strategy. She told us
the strategy was moving on apace and delighted us when she said
there would be £10 million available over the next three years
for the implementation of the strategy. That is a brilliant
development and another example of the SNP looking after the
most vulnerable in our nation.
I am meeting parents of children who
have autism on Monday and it will be a pleasure to update them
on the progress made.
See you all next week and if you are
having a birthday I hope you get cake and presents.
Christina McKelvie MSP
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