SNP TACKLING INEQUALITY IN COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON

NEW £11.5 MILLION FUND EMPOWERING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Coatbridge & Chryston community groups are set to benefit from new Scottish Government funding to tackle poverty and inequality.

Around 250 community groups, social enterprises and charities across Scotland will receive a share of £11.5 million in 2019-20 through the Scottish Government’s Investing in Communities Fund.

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Projects in Coatbridge and Chryston, such as Glenboig Community Centre and Kirkshaws Neighbourhood Centre, will be supported with the new funding.

 

Local groups that will benefit from the money operate in areas as diverse as Old Monkland and the Northern Corridor.

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Further funding each year, over the next two years, will allow recipient groups to create longer-term plans and this, in turn, will help Coatbridge & Chryston’s most disadvantaged residents.

 

Local SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

 

“It is incumbent upon all of us to challenge inequality wherever it rears its head.

 

“This new fund will promote community-led solutions to try and get the best possible outcomes for Coatbridge and Chryston’s most vulnerable people.

 

“The flexible, multi-year structure of the funding is geared towards sustainability.  It will give these initiatives confidence that they will have resources they need to succeed.

 

“It is the tireless dedication and compassion of all the local volunteers that allows these projects to exist.  I am confident that this funding will allow these projects to flourish.

3678 OF NORTH LANARKSHIRE HOUSEHOLDS HELPED IN TIME OF CRISIS       

NEED FOR FULL POWERS AT HOLYROOD TO TACKLE POVERTY “HEAD-ON”

The Scottish Welfare Fund made 3678 payments to people in North Lanarkshire in the last financial year, new figures show  – an increase compared to the same period last year.

A total of 638 Community Care Grants and 3040 Crisis Grants were awarded in North Lanarkshire between April and June 2019 to help people with essentials such as food, heating costs, and household items.

The SNP introduced the Scottish Welfare Fund in 2013 as part of a £125 million annual package to mitigate the impact of UK government austerity.

Since its launch in April 2013, the Fund has paid out more than £200 million to support over 336,000 households across Scotland, with a third of recipients being families with children.

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“The Scottish Welfare Fund is a vital lifeline for many people facing poverty or personal crisis.

“The fact that so many households in North Lanarkshire are in need of emergency financial help is appalling, and a sad indictment of the UK Government’s record on austerity and welfare cuts.

“The Scottish Welfare Fund is an important example of the kind of action the Scottish Government has taken using the powers it currently has to try and mitigate Westminster’s welfare cuts.

“However, we would prefer that these resources were invested directly to tackle poverty head-on, rather than protecting people from Tory austerity.

“As long as welfare decisions remain at Westminster, Scotland’s least well off will remain at the mercy of the Tories’ austerity agenda. Until those decisions are devolved, the SNP will continue to do everything in our power to tackle poverty and support low income families.”

COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON FAMILIES TO BENEFIT FROM “TRANSFORMATIVE” CHILDCARE AND SOCIAL CARE SNP PLEDGES

Image result for the snp childcareThe SNP are working to tackle inequality in Coatbridge & Chryston and “lift people out of poverty” with new commitments to expand childcare into primary school and scrap social care charges.

 

As announced by Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP conference this week, the SNP will scrap all non-residential social care charges and expand childcare into the school holidays for primary pupils from the poorest backgrounds if re-elected at the 2021 election.
The First Minister pledged the new policies to ensure that everyone in Scotland has access to the support they need without cost – providing high quality care for those in most need, and helping parents continue working over holiday periods.
Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“By August next year the SNP in government will have all but doubled the hours children receive. It will give them 30 hours a week of high quality, free care and education – saving families in Coatbridge & Chryston £4,500 per year for each child.

“But we will not stop there. If the SNP is elected after the next Holyrood election, we will expand childcare into the school holidays for primary pupils from the poorest backgrounds – to help ensure that parents can continue working over holiday periods.

 

“Earlier this year, the SNP Government extended free personal care to everyone who needs it, regardless of age – and over the next parliament, the SNP will scrap non-residential social care charges for all.

 

“We’re determined to help families with the cost of living throughout their lifetimes – ensuring that fairness and equality are embedded in our society from birth to retirement.

 

“That progressive, ambitious vision for government is exactly why people in Scotland continue to put their faith in the SNP.”

Fulton MacGregor MSP calls for powerchair football support in Coatbridge and Chryston Constituency

Fulton MacGregorFulton MacGregor MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston Constituency is backing the Scottish Powerchair Football Association and Clyde Powerchair football club in their call to give more people across Scotland the chance to play powerchair football. Fulton met with representatives of the SPFA who were visiting the Scottish Parliament to promote the growing sport.

 

Powerchair football is a growing sport in Scotland with teams competing in the Scottish Powerchair Football Association Leagues. Players can either compete by having special bumpers attached to their own wheelchairs or, for more serious competition, they can use specially modified chairs sports Powerchairs that are faster and more responsive.

 

Currently, Scotland has 6 powerchair football clubs with 9 teams, all of which are giving disabled people the chance to take part in exciting competition as well as helping to reduce isolation, improve mental wellbeing and build the self-confidence of players. Played by 4-a-side teams on a pitch roughly the size of a basketball court, the sport is open to powered wheelchair users and is currently the only team sport open to disabled athletes who use a powered chair.

 

Scotland has its own national league with two divisions and two Cup competitions. In addition, a national powerchair football team, formed from players across the country will be hosting a tri-nations tournament against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at the sportscotland National Centre in Inverclyde.

 

The SPFA used the opportunity of a stand outside the debating chamber in Holyrood to bring the sport to the attention of more MSPs. To support the continued growth of the game across Scotland and allow more disabled individuals to take part, the SPFA are asking MSPs to write to Sports Minister Joe Fitzpatrick MSP and back their calls for the Scottish Government and sportscotland to provide funding.

 

After signing a pledge in Holyrood to support powerchair football in Scotland Fulton MacGregor MSP said:

 

“The SPFA is doing great work in giving power wheelchair users in Scotland the opportunity to play football and to participate in a team sport has so many benefits; allowing players to compete locally, nationally and even internationally. Powerchair football allows people to develop skills, discipline and friendships as well as giving players a focus that benefits them both physically and mentally.

 

I welcome the decision by the Scottish Government to require Changing Places toilet facilities in all new build Sport Centres, however many existing sports facilities across Scotland are not accessible to Powerchair footballers. By improving disabled facilities and supporting the work of the SPFA, the Scottish Government has the chance to make a real difference to Scottish Para footballers.

 

I will be writing to the Joe FitzPatrick MSP, the Minister for Sport, and asking him to consider greater funding and support for powerchair football and other sports aimed at disabled individuals in Mid Scotland and Fife”

 

 I would encourage all local authorities and SportScotland to consider their current facilities and ask if they meet the needs of all Scottish Para athletes”

COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON MSP PLEASED AS NO FRACKING TO BE ALLOWED IN SCOTLAND

 

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SCOTLAND “GLOBAL LEADER” ON TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

 

SNP MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor has outlined his support for the Scottish Government’s finalised policy of no support for ‘fracking’ in Scotland.

 

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse today confirmed that the Scottish Government would not license any fracking development.

 

This position was confirmed following a comprehensive period of evidence-gathering and consultation, including environmental and business assessments.

 

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

 

“Scotland has been at the forefront of global action to combat climate change – recently announcing some of the most ambitious statutory targets in the world.

 

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government are putting the interests of our communities in Coabridge & Chryston first and maintaining Scotland’s reputation as a global leader on tackling climate change by announcing no support for ‘fracking.’”

 

“It’s a move which shows we’re serious about protecting communities in Coatbridge & Chryston, meeting our climate change targets and creating a better, greener country for the next generation.

 

“Meanwhile in England, the Tories are intent on fracking underneath people’s homes, in the face of considerable public opposition, without any concern for the impact on people’s health, the environment or their communities.

 

“The transformation of the energy system in Scotland has the potential to bring significant economic and social opportunities to individuals, businesses and communities in Coatbridge & Chryston.”

 

COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON MSP WELCOMES GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT ON ‘GIVE THEM TIME’ CAMPAIGN

 

SNP Ministers to legislate to ensure early years funding for all 4-year-olds across Scotland

 

SNP ministers have confirmed that they will legislate to ensure equality for all children whose start at school is deferred until after they are five-years-old.

 

Currently, legislation states that any parent can defer entry to school if their child’s fifth birthday falls after the scheduled first day of Primary 1, but only children born in January and February automatically receive a further year’s funding for nursery.

 

The Give Them Time group has campaigned to ensure all children deferred under legislation are entitled to full funding.

 

Coatbridge & Chryston MSP Fulton MacGregor has been at the forefront of championing the cause of the campaign, leading a member’s debate in May this year, which saw cross-party consensus that change was needed, and forcing the issue onto the Scottish Government’s agenda.

 

Commenting on today’s news, Fulton MacGregor said:

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‘I am delighted that this SNP Government is taking action to ensure that all children are given an equal right to funding for early years childcare when they are not ready for school.

 

‘This is an issue that I have been passionate about and have been happy to offer my full support to the amazing Give Them Time campaign. They have already had some success, with North Lanarkshire Council becoming the largest local authority to agree to fund all deferred children following an SNP motion at their last meeting.

 

‘Unfortunately their efforts haven’t been as successful elsewhere with some local authorities refusing to alter their policy on funding. It is clear that legislation is the only way to bring about equality across Scotland.

 

‘This news will be greeted with joy by all those who have fought so hard for parents across Scotland and I am so pleased that their efforts have got us to this stage.’

  MSP FULTON MACGREGOR, ANTHONY NOLAN AND THE SCOTTISH FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE CELEBRATE SCOTTISH LIFESAVERS ON THE STEM CELL REGISTER

Jointly hosted event celebrated the 739 potential lifesavers in Coatbridge & Chryston this Blood Cancer Awareness Month

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To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Fulton MacGregor MSP attended a reception in Holyrood, to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in Coatbridge & Chryston on the Anthony Nolan register.

 

This achievement was marked by Anthony Nolan on Thursday 19 September, as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on vital work being done locally to ensure that every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesav

 

ing donor.

 

In Coatbridge & Chryston 739 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan. 18% of these donors are men aged 16-30, and the average age is 36.

 

In total, more than 760,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

 

Now, Fulton MacGregor is encouraging more people from Coatbridge & Chryston, particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and ma

 

ke sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 18% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

 

Fulton MacGregor MSP also had the chance to meet with representatives of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) including Ally Boyle. Ally initiated a groundbreaking partnership with Anthony Nolan in 2009, while he was Area Commander of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, after being diagnosed with myelodysplasia (a type of bl

 

ood cancer). They have recruited thousands of lifesavers to the register, predominantly through their innovative SFRS Education Programme, which sees SFRS volunteers deliver inspiring educational presentations about stem cell, blood and organ donation to 16- to 18-year-olds across Scotland.

 

Fulton MacGregor MSP said: “I am very proud that Coatbridge & Chryston has 739, any one of whom could offer the only chance of giving someone with blood cancer a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

 

“I would especially like to commend the great work of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in engaging local communities, particularly secondary schools across Sco

 

tland. They’ve recruited more than fifty people who have gone on to donate. Their steadfast commitment over the past ten years has had a truly lifesaving impact.”

 

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “In the last year 56 selfless people from Coatbridge & Chryston joined the Anthony Nolan register, each one representing hope for patients with blood cancer, and blood disorders, in need of matching stem cell donors.

 

“This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residen

 

ts can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. To everyone from Coatbridge & Chryston who has taken the decision to join the register, thank you. We rely on young people aged 16-30 joining the register now to save lives in the future. Without you, there is no cure.”

 

For more information on Anthony Nolan visit anthonynolan.org/join.

 

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. It also carries out vital research to make stem cell transplants more successful, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

 

 

FULTON MACGREGOR MSP DEMANDS DEVOLUTION OF MIGRATION POWERS

TORIES’ “HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT” THREAT TO PROSPERITY OF COATBRIDGE AND CHRYSTON

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Fulton MacGregor MSP has backed calls for a devolved migration policy for Scotland, warning that the UK Government’s “hostile environment” for migrants could cause damage to the economy and public services.

 

A report on Scotland’s Population Needs and Migration Policy warns that all of Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years is projected to come from migration – with more deaths projected than births in every year.

 

Analysis by the Scottish Government also found that Westminster proposals to cut migration by tens of thousands would cost the Scottish economy up to £10 billion per year by 2040.

 

Without migration, the whole country could face a demographic crisis that could hammer public services like the NHS – as an ageing population leaves Scotland with fewer working-age taxpayers.

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“We need migrants in Coatbridge & Chryston and it’s vital that we continue to attract people to live and work here – to start businesses, work in our health service and teach in our schools.

“People from all over the world who choose to settle here make valuable contributions to our economy, public services and communities.

“But the Tory government’s anti-immigrant obsession and narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric is currently driving people away from Scotland, and putting vital public services here in  on the line.

“The UK government is failing Scotland – hurting industries such as the food and drink sector, and damaging public services such as our NHS – and that’s before we’ve even felt the full impact of Brexit.

“The best solution to all these issues is for the Tories to devolve powers over migration to the Scottish Parliament – and give us the ability to create a migration system that works for Scotland, and secures the future prosperity of Coatbridge & Chryston.

1,680 NORTH LANARKSHIRE RESIDENTS WRONGLY DENIED BENEFITS BY UK GOVERNMENT

1,680 NORTH LANARKSHIRE RESIDENTS WRONGLY DENIED BENEFITS BY UK GOVERNMENT

Disabled people in North Lanarkshire have successfully appealed against a decision to deny them benefits 1,680 times – prompting calls for a fresh review of the DWP assessment and appeals process.

Figures obtained under freedom of information laws show 1,680 assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been successfully challenged by people in North Lanarkshire since April 2013.

There were a total of 2,840 appeals during this period – meaning the success rate for appeals was a shocking 59 per cent.

PIP is being rolled-out across the UK to replace Living Allowance (DLA) as the main benefit for disabled or ill people. To receive this benefit, claimants have to endure controversial assessments, conducted by private companies on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“Disabled people in Coatbridge and Chryston rely on these financial lifelines to live independently and be part of their community.

“For the DWP to get these cases so consistently wrong suggests a systematic hostility towards people in need.

“The Tory government’s punitive approach to the system simply isn’t working. It’s failing vulnerable people, withdrawing support from those who need it most, and leaving people out of pocket and unable to afford the basic essentials.

“The UK government’s disastrous record on welfare shows why Scotland should have the power to take our own approach – rather than leaving these powers at Westminster.

“In the meantime, it’s vital that these fundamental flaws in the current assessment appeals process are urgently addressed.”

 

HIBAKUSHA APPEAL

Fulton MacGregor MSP has shown his support for the Hibakusha Appeal. This appeal calls on State Governments to adopt the United Nations nuclear weapons ban on humanitarian grounds. So far, 9.4 million people around the world have signed the petition. Follow this link to sign the petition online. Every SNP MSP in the Scottish Parliament has signed this appeal, following Bill Kidd MSP’s circulation of the petition. This movement runs in parallel with ongoing talks at the United Nations Headquarters where representatives of nuclear power states meet to discuss next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference.

‘Hibakusha’ is a Japanese word for the group of people that survived atomic bombs. In 1945 at the end of World War II, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima and then, three days later, on the city of Nagasaki. These two atomic nuclear bombs killed tens of thousands instantly. Within the first few months 214,000 people, the majority of whom were women and children, died. Many more passed away in the following months and years due to radiation-related illnesses and poisoning. Second generation Hibakusha are also at higher risk of developing radiation related illnesses, like many forms of cancer. This severe humanitarian cost is why it is so important that we say ‘No’ to nuclear weapons.

Hibakusha

Fulton MacGregor MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston said, “This growing support for the Hibakusha Appeal, where there is now over 9.4 million signatures, shows that people from all walks of life are deeply concerned that the atrocities seen in 1945 and subsequent nuclear bomb testing is not repeated. The SNP is committed to removing nuclear weapons from Scotland- we want to ensure a better, brighter future. We often think of nuclear weapons as a potential atrocity, but not as a horror that was lived. The testimonies of the Hibakusha show the dark reality of nuclear weapons. I would encourage all to consider signing this Appeal.”

In March 2016 representatives Yamada Reiko and Yamada Midori, survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to share their experiences. During this visit, the First Minister signed the Appeal.

Setsuko Thurlow, an initial signatory of the Hibakusha Appeal, has been an active campaigner for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. At the age of 13 Thurlow survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Her testimony highlights the harrowing experiences that thousands have had to live through. Although it may be painful to read or hear about her experience, it brings home the humanitarian cost. In this, she talks of the 7000-8000 school pupils from her year group were outside clearing fire lanes on the day of the bombing. When the atomic bomb was dropped, the schoolchildren were close to what would be the epicentre (the centre of the explosion that was about 1 million degrees Celsius). Nearly all of the children were incinerated and vaporised without a trace. Thurlow was not in the group. Instead, she was trapped in a building that fell due to the explosion. She was helped out of the burning building, but many of her classmates remained trapped in the same room and were burned alive.

Thurlow spoke of finding some of her family: “my sister and her four-year-old old son were crossing a bridge at the moment of the explosion and both were horribly burned, blackened and swollen by recognition. We could later recognise my sister only by her voice and by a unique hairpin in her hair. They lingered for several days without medical care until death at last released them from their agony. The image of my little nephew Eiji, representing the innocent children of the world, compels and drives me to continue to speak of Hiroshima, no matter how painful it may be.” Thurlow was not alone in this grief as her parents did survive the bombing.

Hibakusha Stories, a UN affiliated organisation and Nobel Peace Prize ICAN-partner organisation, shares the testimonies of atomic bomb survivors with the rest of the world. You can read these testimonies at hibakushastories.org. Setsuko Thurlow’s testimony can be read in full on this website.

On 7th July 2017, the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This bans nuclear weapons on humanitarian grounds. The Hibakusha Appeal calls on all states, including nuclear powers, to ratify the treaty and disarm any arsenals.