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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
22nd March 2012

Brains go further than Brawn

Another busy week in my life, serving the constituents of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse. A duty I both enjoy and appreciate greatly. I thought you would like to see where my humble wee office is and as it’s coming into spring you can see how colourful the garden gets. I know you like your photo’s so this is the outside looking into my office.

This week I am proud to announce that I have been declared the ‘brainiest’ individual MSP in the Scottish Parliament. An achievement I am sure you would all agree is well deserved. This accolade comes after the Neurological Alliance of Scotland set up shop in the garden lobby, testing the MSP’s brain power and activity as well as educating us all on neurological conditions and the significant impact it has on sufferer’s lives. A fact that stuck out for me was that neurological conditions account for one in five emergency hospital admissions, so that- along with the good work the organisation undertake- encouraged me to throw my weight behind their campaign and help the activists gain publicity through my involvement in the parliament.

On Monday, I had the pleasure of meeting and welcoming our new District Procurator Fiscal, Liam Murphy to Hamilton. A positive meeting, and also one of great interest, after all justice - and how it is brought about - is a major role in my job and influences most, if not all of my constituents. Liam and I discussed the idea – among many other things - that if we worked in conjunction, with the people we represent at heart, we could and would create a better, safer Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse for all that live there. Also this week, in the run up to our Local Government elections, It had been brought to my attention that a Labour leaflet has been circulated in the Hamilton area which wrongly claims that the SNP Scottish Government is increasing bus fares and that there is a threat to the concessionary fare scheme. This, as you can imagine comes much to the surprise of myself and to the SNP, simply because First Bus, as a huge company -that have made in excess of £150 million pounds profit last year- set their own fare prices and also the Scottish government have increased the National Concessionary Fares Scheme from £185m in 2011/12 to £192m in 2012/13, with the extension for armed forces veterans being added. It seems to me as though the Labour party are up to their old tricks again, putting the interests of narrow political factions before the truth and playing petty party politics with something people care about and treasure dearly.

I also, Today (Thursday 22nd) welcomed the Dalserf community council, accompanied by Councillor Lesley McDonald into the parliament building. A community activist group within my constituency that is renowned for going to great lengths to assist and publically represent the people of Dalserf. After entering, the group embarked on their official tour around the building which was then followed by a trip into the viewing section of the chamber to observe the showpiece of the parliamentary week, First Minister’s Question’s. I then met with the group after the debate and accompanied them for a spot of lunch in the member’s restaurant – which, as you can imagine, was a welcomed change from the hustle and bustle of general business. Here’s a photo of us on the steps in the garden lobby area of the Parliament.

Dalserf is a fantastic wee community and the village is just beautiful. I have added a photo of the church in Dalserf village. It’s surprising what a dark history the church has.

The village kirk, built in 1655, is dedicated to St Serf, and may be built on the site of an early church founded by him. The church dates from the ‘The Killing Time’, when the rebel Covenanters were persecuted for their faith.

The picture doesn't really do this little parish church justice, as for example it isn't clear that the church required seven exit doors to allow the congregation ample time to flee from their oppressors.

The Covenanters were supporters of the National Covenant, drawn up in February 1638 against the attempt by King Charles I and Archbishop Laud to impose a new liturgy and prayer book upon the Church of Scotland

I also found this wee gem of a photo of Winnie Ewing and myself last year having a good old chin-wag. Winnie is telling me how excited she is about the referendum and asks me to remind you all to fill in the consultation. You can do it via this link.

So, a busy week full of excitement and pride and I look forward to recapping with you all next week.

Yours Sincerely

Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse

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