Okay, it was classic Lanarkshire weather last Saturday when hundreds of
us landed in Strathclyde Park for a big Yes family fun day. Support for
my master of hosts task was fantastic and I want to thank all the brave
www.yesscotland.net not always so weather-proof supporters who came
along on the afternoon.
have now just 100 days to go until the referendum vote so doing
everything we can to make sure people have the information and the
impetus, the recognition of how important it is, to vote for historic
if that means tackling that Glasgow June weather, so be it! I had a
fantastic time dancing with some of the older folk who joined us.
Enjoying a dance in
the not very seasonable weather at Strathclyde Park
question of houses
no secret that the UK seriously lacks properties for people to live in.
For many, it dates back to Margaret Thatcher’s free-for-all when council
tenants bought up their properties for ludicrously small sums of money.
It wasn’t even so much that she promoted the concept that somehow owning
a property made you a better person than renting one, but the fact that
not a single penny of the money raised from those sales went back
into providing housing for those who couldn’t afford to buy a property.
result, what was once a housing issue has now become a housing crisis.
If you can’t afford to buy, you may find yourself in poor accommodation,
perhaps through a private landlord, and unable to access better quality
and more secure living standards than you are entitled to.
of this has been made worse by the Bedroom Tax forcing those people who
live in publicly owned accommodation to lose housing benefit if they
have a spare room, perhaps where an adult child has moved on or someone
has died. That ‘privilege’ costs the householder perhaps $40 a week and
that is money needed for food and fuel in that home.
Scottish Government has done and continues to do everything it can to
mitigate the impact, putting money into advisory and emergency services
to help people trapped by these Westminster decisions.
learn this week, from the NHBC
www.nhbc.co.uk, the standard-setting body for new homes, that just
13 houses were started between January and March of this year in the
entire constituency of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse shows South
Lanarkshire Council’s total failure to tackle the long recognised
problem of insufficient new homes by actively seeking out development
land and builders.
There are, of course, lots of reasons for this: developers need to know
that they will be able to sell properties so people need to know they
can get mortgages to buy them. Councils need to sell land and grant
planning permission and the surrounding economy needs to be buoyant
enough for people to want to live in it.
Everywhere in Scotland
needs desirable new homes
“Football is not a matter of life or death,” said Bill Shankley, “it’s
much more important than that.”
the players on our Hamilton Accies team
www.acciesfc.co.uk, that’s certainly true. I was thrilled to bits to
see our local team being promoted to the premiership league of Scottish
fact, I was so delighted I put up a motion in the Scottish Parliament to
commend the team and indeed their worthy opponents, Hibernians. The game
went right down to the wire. It was nail-biting stuff.
done, all of you and here’s to the coming season.
Quebec kids at the Scottish Parliament
one of the greatest delights of my job that I get to meet groups of
young people from all over the world who come to see what we’re doing in
Scotland. This week, we had a group of folk from Quebec. They’ve been
touring around different parts of Europe looking at different approaches
to independence and comparing those to their own situation.
a lively, interested, engaged bunch of people they were! They constantly
fired questions and wanted to understand more about our mission for a
Yes vote. By the time they left, they were total supporters!
Big Lottery Fund Awards
was delighted to get the news from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All
initiative that four groups in my area have been successful in their
bids for funds. In total, they have received £34,663 among them.
Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire received
£8,088 for a project to develop and produce a refuge service DVD to
promote and raise awareness of the services and accommodation available
to women, children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse
and require a place of safety.
Our Lady and
St Anne's Primary School will
create opportunities for pupils to engage in regular physical activity
through the installation of a trim trail in the playground with funds of
Bowling Club has received a £10,000 award
that will improve usage of their clubhouse through refurbishment of
their main function hall.
Kilbride Pirates Junior American FoClub
received a £8,364 grant. The group already run a Junior American
Football youth team and now plan to start up a Junior American Football
team for 16 to 19 year olds. Funding will enable them to purchase
equipment for this new team.