Recently I was delighted to welcome representatives from Malawi and give them a tour of the Scottish Parliament.
The group were visiting Scotland as guests of Dalgety Bay Parish Church who have a working partnership with Engcongolweni’s Church of Central Africa Presbyterian.
It was really good to meet members of both churches and hear about their relationship which has brought many positive benefits to communities in rural northern Malawi. This includes a project that provides clean water supply to the area, reaching over 7,500 people.
I was pleased to play my part in continuing efforts to strengthen the strong relationship Fife has established with this community in Malawi and I very much hope that they enjoyed their visit to Scotland.
Today in an exclusive from the Courier the impact on Police Scotland’s “challenging” budget has been laid bare.
According to a whistleblower from Fife, moral amongst local officers is “dreadful” and the number of staff “decimated”.
Concerns have also been raised that the force came close to not being able to pay wages on time. This has been denied by the Scottish Police Authority, the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, although the latter did admit that managing their budgets was “challenging”. Continue reading →
I was delighted to attend the recent Coalfields Home Internationals at Forthbank Stadium to watch teams from Benarty and Alloa battle it out with teams from Derby, Hartlepool, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil.
Coalfield Regeneration Trust do a great job in supporting and empowering coalfield communities across the country and this football tournament was the culmination of a nationwide competition that pitted teams of 14 to 16 year olds against each other.
I was delighted that my region was hosting the final and that two local teams had made it through the Scottish section. I was also pleased to see Kelty & Blairadam Pipe Band providing the entertainment throughout the day.
Congratulations to the team from Hartlepool who were the overall winners.
Today it has been revealed that almost a 1,000 Scots have applied to find out if their partner has an abusive past.
Clare’s Law saw 926 applications under the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse. 391 of these resulted in the applicant receiving information about a potentially dangerous partner.
Whilst these figures show the success of Clare’s Law they also show the scale of the problem.
That almost a thousand women felt the need to check their partner’s history – and 42% received information about a potentially dangerous partner – indicates that much more has to be done to tackle domestic abuse in Scotland.
That is why Scottish Labour is calling for the introduction of domestic abuse courts within Scotland’s courts to ensure these serious crimes are dealt with as a priority.
Recently I visited Newburgh in the north of my region whereI met with locals who are campaigning for a re-opening of the local train station.
Like another such projects that I support, including Levenmouth Rail Campaign, the area in and around Newburgh would benefit greatly from its reintroduction.
The Newburgh Train Station Campaign is a campaign which deserves greater support and I was delighted to sign up to it. I have also written to the Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, to call for action.
I have called for better services during the Edinburgh Festival season following a weekend of complaints regarding ScotRail services from Fife to Edinburgh.
Over the weekend many commuters were left stranded in Edinburgh as they were turned away from trains that had reached full capacity.
Saturday saw the worst of the complaints as commuters were returning from Hibernian v Dunfermline at Easter Road and the Edinburgh festivals but many Fife services only ran with two carriages.
Whilst I appreciate that it can be difficult to gauge the number of commuters during any one weekend it is inevitable that during the Edinburgh festivals the number of passengers using Sctorail to go to and from the capital will rise.