Blog

Surgery Dates for 2020

1st Monday of the month

 

16.00 – 19.00 – Constituency Office (By appointment)

 

3rd Monday of the month

16:00 – Bargeddie Safety Zone

16:45 – Stepps Cultural Centre

17:30 – Glenboig Parish Church

18:15 – Charlotte Toal Centre

19:00 – Calder Community Centre

 

Stret surgeries every Friday; please check social media for locations.

Excluding Bank Hols, July and December

 

 

 

 

 

MSP CALLS ON COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON RESIDENTS TO VOLUNTEER DURING PANDEMIC

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SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has called on residents to volunteer in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign has been launched to encourage people to volunteer.

While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need.

Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options which are signposted from the Ready Scotland website:

  • returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland
  • people wishing to offer their support to our public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site co-ordinated by the British Red Cross
  • those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulon MacGregor said:

“In these difficult times, people across Coatbridge & Chryston want to make a difference in their community.

“While not everyone will be able to volunteer, this new Scottish Government campaign will help people to make a real difference.

“The Scottish Government is working closely with local government and a range of partners to co-ordinate the volunteering effort across Scotland.

“Through the readyscotland.org website, we can connect people to where their contribution is most needed in their local community.

“For some, that may involve roles responding to specific needs in health and social care. For others, it may be that we draw on their skills, enthusiasm and energy in the weeks and months to come.

“It is important to remember that the most helpful thing many of us can continue to do to help the NHS is to stay at home and follow all COVID-19 guidance.”

 

Helpful Links

COVID-19 Helpful links

Apprentices

Covid-19 FAQs for Apprentices

https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/pupils-learners-and-apprentices/

Businesses

Scot Gov Advice for Businesses

Business Gateway advice

Scottish Enterprise advice

Scottish Government Release on Business Helpline

£1bn Business Support Fund opens

£2.2bn for Business

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Council Tax

Funding available for councils to meet increase in applications for the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

CAS advice on Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Creative Sector

Creative Scotland advice

Dentistry

British Dental Association guidance

Domestic abuse

Scotland’s National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline .

Rape Crisis Covid-19 textline and helpline

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre

Education

Guidance for parents and families

Childcare provision for key workers

Update on School Closures and Exams

Energy

Energy Saving Trust advice for home heating and energy use during COVID-19

Emergency Powers

Details of emergency powers

Health

NHS Inform

Advice for professionals and organisations

Housing and Homelessness

General advice

Shelter advice page Homelessness:

Cabinet Secretary Statement Response on Homelessness

Homeowners:

Money Advice Service on mortgage holidays

Tenants

SFHA: No social housing tenant evictions during Covid-19

Insurance

First Minster’s response to FMQ on Business Insurance, 19th March

Statement from Association of British Insurers on Covid-19 insurance

ABI Covid-19 Q+A

Justice

Statement from Chief Constable

Scottish Courts & Tribunals advice on business changes

COPFS advice to those due to attend court

Suspension on prison visiting

Key workers

Criteria provided to local authorities to determine local need

School and ELC closures – guidance for key workers

Local authorities

North Lanarkshire Council 

Nurses and Midwives

RCN guidance

Motorists

UK Government MOT advice

Older People

Age Scotland advice

PPE

First Minister’s FMQ Response on PPE, 19th March

Religious groups

Social distancing advice to “minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations”

Specific announcements :

Church of Scotland

Catholic church in Scotland

Scottish Episcopal Church

Muslim Council of Britain

 

Rural

NFUS advice to farmers

Seafood industry advice from Seafish

Self-employed

Scottish Government’s call for more action to help self-employed

HMRC Helpline for self-employed people and businesses

UK Government release on DWP support, including for the self-employed

Citizens Advice Scotland advice

Small Businesses

Details of support for businesses including “one-off £10,000 grant to ratepayers of small businesses”

FSB advice

Social Security

Universal Credit advice on social security for those with Covid-19

Entitled to Advice

Turn2us advice

Travel

Domestic: Transport Scotland

International: FCO

Testing

COVID-19 testing to get key workers back to work

First Minster’s FMQ response on testing, 25th March

Third Sector

SCVO advice

£20 million allocated to a Third Sector Resilience Fund, to help ensure the health and continued viability of the third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems, which have a key role to play in our national response Volunteers:

Volunteering

Health Sector

Information on Ready Scotland website

Third Sector

Chest Heart and Stroke

Workers

Protecting workers during coronavirus outbreak

UK Government Guidance for Employees

House of Commons blog on Employment Rights

 

Business Advice

Advice for employees who are being challenged:

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

ACAS phone number is 0141 280 4626

Scottish Trades Union Congress – STUC

 

 

 

 

Business Rates Support

 

https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/

 

Business Interruption Loan Scheme- British Business Bank

 

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

 

Information on all business support

 

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/?fbclid=IwAR0gIfqGM3p9VX9cCs97166NUxWlTDXpKOkTcyVYVxnhhMdxYRYkcIfi96g

 

MOT Exemption details

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vehicle-owners-to-be-granted-mot-exemption-in-battle-against-coronavirus

 

For the Self Employed, those with immediate cashflow problems

Universal Credit

 

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

 

Crisis Grants from Local Authorities

 

North Lanarkshire: https://www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=26378/

 

Council Tax Reduction

 

North Lanarkshire: https://www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=7835

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1232 NEW HOMES BUILT IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE LAST YEAR

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SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed new figures that show 1232 of new build homes were completed in North Lanarkshire last year.

 

The latest statistics from the Scottish Government show that over 9,300 affordable homes were delivered in 2019 across the country, an increase of more than 25% since 2016

 

Meanwhile, the number of homes for social rent in North Lanarkshire hit 630 last year – of which 146 were new council homes and 484 were housing association properties.

 

Welcoming the news, SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston Fulton MacGregor said:

 

“Having a home to call your own really matters – that’s why the SNP Government has made the delivery of thousands of new affordable homes a priority.

 

“Just last year alone, we’ve seen 1232 new homes completed in North Lanarkshire, 630 of which are for social rent.

 

“On top of our commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, we’re helping first-time buyers here in Coatbridge & Chryston get on the property ladder by lending them a chunk of their deposit.

 

“I’m proud that this SNP Government is getting on with the day-job, and is quite literally, building for the future of Scotland.”

MONKLANDS HOSPITAL – PREFERRED SITE TO BE SELECTED

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CURRENT STAGE IN THE PROCESS

On Tuesday 10th March 2020 there will be a scoring event involving 100 people; 51 members of the community and 49 staff from NHS Lanarkshire and health service partners, to rank the three potential sites of Gartcosh, Glenmavis and Wester Moffat for a replacement University Hospital Monklands in line with the agreed benefits criteria. The five benefits criteria are:

  • Travel times by road and public transport – patients
  • Travel times by road and public transport – staff
  • Access/connectivity to regional centres
  • Contamination
  • Impact of cross border flow – impact of Glasgow residents attending the hospital

This event will then ultimately inform NHS Lanarkshire’s decision on a preferred site which will then go to the Cabinet Secretary for Health for approval.

 

YOUR SNP REPRESENTATIVES – WORKING FOR YOU

 

Throughout the process your SNP politicians across the area have worked tirelessly to make sure that your voice is heard. This has been borne out by the work of Alex Neil MSP and Neil Gray MP in Airdrie & Shotts who helped to secure the Independent Review of the consultation. It has also been evident through attendance at the public consultation events. Recently I attended two of the four events; the first in Gartcosh with local SNP councillor, Greg Lennon, and the second in Coatbridge with SNP councillors, Tracy Carragher and Kirsten Larson. This is important because we know that you expect us to work on your behalf and and make representations. That’s exactly what we have all being doing and we are now close to taking a massive step in delivering a brand-new state-of-the-art hospital for our area and for generations to come.

 

 

THREE LOCATIONS – PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROCESS

 

As you will be aware the site for the new hospital is to be scored and then selected from a shortlist of three; Gartcosh, Glenmavis and Wester Moffat. All three meet the relevant criteria and the differences in projected costing appear negligible given the scale of the project. At the time of the initial consultation there was a lot of focus on where the current site should be with individual communities, in the main, opting for the site closest to them. The argument made by NHS Lanarkshire at that time was that it was not overly relevant where in the catchment area the new hospital would be due to the changing nature of care. This was an argument that was lost at that point in time. However, I would suggest that this is no longer the case. NHS Lanarkshire have committed to my recommendation and that of the Independent Review team to make use of the current site and this could be a key aspect in everyone moving forward once the location has been selected. It means that we – the people of Monklands – can get the best of both worlds; a new hospital and something on the current site which tackles head on the unique health needs of this area.

 

I am also of the opinion that NHS Lanarkshire have accepted in full the recommendations of the Independent Review and conducted this process fairly and transparently. It is clear that suggestions from the public and elected representatives have been taken on board and all efforts made to facilitate public attendance at events. I believe that this has brought about more confidence in the process and a shared sense of direction in delivering a new hospital for the whole area.

 

LOCATION OF NEW HOSPITAL

 

Having been involved in the process since it was first brought to the attention of the public my own view is that the selected site of the new hospital is academic in terms of how we address health care needs in the modern day, with more focus on care in the community. Coatbridge & Chryston is fairly uniquely placed in this debate especially around site preference. Each particular site has pros and cons for different areas within my constituency. Very broadly speaking I have had the following representations:

 

  • Constituents in Northern Corridor and other village communities mainly preferring Gartcosh although a significant number being against this due to perceived infrastructure difficulties.
  • Constituents in parts of North and West Coatbridge having a preference towards Gartcosh.
  • Constituents in parts of North and Central Coatbridge having a preference for Glenmavis although concerns have been raised about the road linking Coatbridge to Glenmavis.
  • Constituents in South Coatbridge and parts of West Coatbridge having a preference for Wester Moffat although noted concerns around potential access.
  • Some constituents have told me that none of the three sites are ideally located.
  • Some constituents have told me they are relaxed about any of the sites – a view that has gathered more support since the Independent Review process ruled out the current site as an option.

 

Therefore, given that there is no obvious preference or even preference by a majority, and to represent my constituents wishes fully, it is incumbent on me not to advocate for a preferred site from the three available. Secondly, the more fundamental reason for this approach is that I am persuaded by the argument that the location of the new hospital does not have the same value as it did when the Monklands was first built. There are a number of reasons for this. As a population we are used to having to use Wishaw and Hairmyres for certain treatments and procedures. Also, as previously stated I have helped secure a commitment for health services to go on the current site and I cannot emphasise enough that we now have an amazing opportunity to bring in services that are relevant to the particular geographical area and retain jobs and investment locally. When the new site is selected the most important task for me between then and the site and opening in 2027 will be working to ensure the best transport links are in place for people all across the constituency and also helping to facilitate the debate around what should go on the current site.

 

 

MY COMMITMENTS TO YOU

 

  • I will be accepting the final decision of the Cabinet Secretary in relation to the site of the new hospital. This will be based on the results of the scoring exercise and the recommendations of the board of NHS Lanarkshire. It seems clear that there will be enough information on all of the sites for this decision to be made by government.
  • The hospital will not open until 2027 at the earliest and I will then be working to secure the necessary transport links are in place for all parts of Coatbridge and Chryston to get to the new hospital.
  • I aim to be involved in taking forward the conversation with NHS Lanarkshire, the University of Strathclyde and North Lanarkshire Council to develop plans for the current site. Some suggestions that have already been made include outpatient care and a minor injuries unit (such as Stobhill Hospital), drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, specialist care, etc. I am keen that this conversation starts immediately and we can all work to get the best services on the site.
  • Regardless of where the new hospital goes I will continue to push for a full and modern health facility for the Northern Corridor. Unlike the hospital which will be for all of the Monklands catchment area we desperately need health services that prevents patients in the north of my constituency having to travel to Glasgow. Again there is a commitment in place and I will be working to ensure that this is actioned as quickly as possible.

SNP MSP FULTON MACGREGOR BACKS BUDGET TO DELIVER FOR SCOTLAND

BUDGET SECURES FUNDING BOOST FOR COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON IN FACE OF WESTMINSTER CHAOS

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SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has voted to pass the Scottish Government’s budget for 2020/21– securing a cash boost for NHS Lanarkshire, investment in vital public services in Coatbridge & Chryston, and a more progressive tax system.

 

The amended budget delivers on key issues raised by all parties in the parliament – and will see the SNP Government take the radical step of introducing free bus travel for those aged 18 and under, benefiting an estimated 12,115 young people in Coatbridge & Chryston.

 

The agreement builds on key Scottish Government commitments to invest £15bn in health and care services – with NHS Lanarkshire benefiting from a cash boost of £1268.1 an increase of 68.8% since 2019/20.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

 

“In the face of massive Westminster cuts – the SNP has always taken a different, fairer approach to give people living in Scotland the best deal in the UK.

 

“I’m proud to have voted for a progressive budget which protects our cherished health service, supports our schools and allows us to play our part in tackling the climate emergency.

 

“Despite being set a backdrop of heightened uncertainty and risk, created by the UK government’s decision to delay their own budget – the SNP government’s budget delivers certainty and stability for our economy, industry and businesses in Coatbridge & Chryston.

 

“These figures speak for themselves. This budget is a good deal for Coatbridge & Chryston and a good deal for Scotland – and I’m delighted it has now received the support of the support of the Scottish Parliament.”

Coatbridge & Chryston MSP speaks up for community over 500 times during term

Fulton MacGregor, Coatbridge & Chryston MSP

Coatbridge and Chryston MSP Fulton MacGregor has now spoken in the Scottish Parliament over 500 times since his election in May 2016 according to information on the TheyWorkForYou website.

 

This website allows constituents to follow the speaking activities of their Parliamentarians. Unlike for MPs in the UK Parliament the data does not include committee work and only records contributions in the Parliament Chamber.

 

Commenting Mr MacGregor said:

 

“Coatbridge is my home town where I was born and bred and every day I’m immensely proud to represent Coatbridge and Chryston in our Scottish Parliament. I was quite surprised to learn that I have already spoken in the Chamber over 500 times – MSPs are incredibly busy and it just kind of catches up with you.

 

“When I was elected I promised to be a strong voice for my constituency and I hope people feel that I have been that regardless of how they voted in 2016. These five hundred or so contributions are made up of hundreds of speeches, hundreds of questions to Ministers and also include interventions during debates.

 

“I have used my Member’s Debate time to highlight a variety of issues such as support for missing people following the tragic case of local man Sean McKenna and the ongoing work of his family. I have also held debates on the Give them Time Campaign and the right to deferred entry at school, and on increasing paternity leave to tackle inequality.

 

“I have and will continue to speak on a whole range of issues of national importance and I always make the point of reflecting on how these are impacting on people in my constituency. I regularly take the opportunity to highlight the fantastic work of local voluntary organisations, businesses, schools, other statutory services and individuals and how their inspiration can shape the national agenda.

 

“I also take every opportunity to ask Ministers questions about specific issues affecting people in Coatbridge & Chryston. This has often led to delivering real results. Two such examples include securing cast iron guarantees on the future of a new Monklands Hospital from the Health Secretary, and securing an independent review initiated by the Depute First Minister into long standing concerns at Buchanan and St Ambrose schools ultimately bringing some clarity and a way forward through the establishment of a Site Recovery Group.

 

“My priority as MSP is always first and foremost my constituents. My team and I have taken forward thousands of individual cases for constituents and I’ll never shy away from an issue that affects the area whether that’s the proposed incinerator at Carnbroe, the protection of the Stepps Greenbelt, the Shawhead Flyover or standing up against cuts to vital local services.

 

“My message to constituents is clear: I will continue to represent Coatbridge and Chryston to the best of my ability for the rest of this parliament term and hopefully, if you are happy with me come the election in May 2021, for several more years to come. “

 

BUDGET DEAL WILL MEAN EXTRA £6 MILLION FOR NORTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL

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SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed an agreement to pass the Scottish Government that will see North Lanarkshire receive an additional £6.045 Million in the next year.

The amended budget will also see the Scottish Government take the radical step of introducing free bus travel for those aged 18 and under from January 2021.

Police will benefit from a total uplift of £60 million in the next financial year, with £13m of additional investment in frontline services and a further £5m of additional capital investment, on top of the £42m already committed.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“This SNP budget invests a record £15bn in health and care services, delivers Scotland’s unique child payment to lift our youngest out of poverty and supports Scotland’s world-leading efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

“The Scottish Government had already backed Police Scotland with a budget increase of £42m.  That will now increase that support to £60m overall with £50m of investment for frontline services.

“North Lanarkshire will benefit from our share of an extra £95m for local government – with an extra £6 million of investment Labour now have no excuse to close Kilbowie.

“We have made significant investments to tackle the climate crisis, with funding for a green deal, low carbon travel and £1.8bn of low emission infrastructure.

“The introduction of free bus travel for those aged 18 and under will make an enormous difference to young people – and alongside the £500 million bus infrastructure fund will help deliver a step change in the use of public transport.

“This budget is a good deal for North Lanarkshire and a good deal for Scotland – and I’m delighted it is now set to receive the support of the Scottish Parliament.

“In light of the Scottish Government’s willingness to compromise on issues identified by all parties, I hope every party can get behind the budget tomorrow.”

MORE NORTH LANARKSHIRE SCHOOL LEAVERS IN POSITIVE DESTINATIONS

RECORD PROPORTION OF YOUNG SCOTS IN STUDY, WORK OR TRAINING AFTER SCHOOL

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SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed new figures showing more North Lanarkshire school leavers are in study, work or training than a decade ago.

Across Scotland, a record proportion of young people were in a positive destination three months after leaving school last year. The gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination is the lowest since 2009-10.

In North Lanarkshire, the number of unemployed school leavers seeking work fell from 11.3% in 2009/10 to 3.6% in 2018/19.

Over the same time period the number of school leavers going directly to higher education rose from 35.2% to 39.9%.

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“It is very welcome that significant progress that more young people in North Lanarkshire are going on to positive destinations such as work and study straight from school.

“For the ninth consecutive year, more young Scots are in study, training or work three months after leaving school than ever before.

“It’s particularly welcome that the gap between the richest and poorest communities for those moving into a positive destination continues to narrow.

“Overall in North Lanarkshire 86.0% of young people we going to positive destinations in 2009/10, this has raised significantly to 94.3%

“This demonstrates that Curriculum for Excellence is delivering one of the ultimate aims of school education – to secure a positive next step in learning, life and work for our young people.”

FULTON MACGREGOR: “SCOTLAND’S NHS NOT FOR SALE”

NHS BILL GRAPHIC

 

SNP MSP BACKS NHS PROTECTION FROM US TRADE DEALS
SNP MSP, Fulton MacGregor, has backed a bill to protect Scotland’s NHS from privatisation or increased drug fees as a result of UK trade deals.

 

Peter Grant MP for Glenrothes will bring the ‘NHS Protection Bill’ to the House of Commons tomorrow – aiming to prevent future UK Governments from signing up to trade agreements that could threaten the foundations of the health service.

 

The SNP’s bill would also give the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliaments and Assemblies a final say over whether trade deals impact on their NHS.

 

The proposal was a key pledge in the SNP’s manifesto in the recent General Election, which saw the party win overwhelmingly in Scotland.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor, said:
“Each of the four UK Health services are precious to those who use them and it is our duty, as elected representatives, to do everything we can to ensure our health services are protected.

“But while the Scottish Parliament has control of most aspects of health policy, we currently cannot stop Westminster governments from entering into trade deals that potentially put our NHS here in Coatbridge & Chryston at a variety of risks.

“That is why I’m backing this proposal to protect our NHS from US style privatisation.

 

“If parties are genuine in their commitment to keep the NHS out of trade deals, then there should be no politician that can’t back this bill– helping us stop any future Westminster government from trading away our most cherished public resource.

“Our NHS has been there to care for and protect us for the last 70 years – now it’s our turn to stand up and protect the NHS.”

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT BACKS SCOTLAND’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

flagCoatbridge & Chryston MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed a Holyrood vote backing the right for Scotland to hold an independence referendum.

A majority of MSPs endorsed the right of the people of Scotland to have a say over their future.

Most Scots believe that the Scottish Parliament, rather than Westminster, should decide whether there should be an independence referendum.

A Survation poll published this month found that 61% of Scots believed the matter should be for Holyrood, with only 39% believing Westminster should decide.

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“This week Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against our will.

“In 2014 we were promised that voting No meant staying in the EU, and many people in Coatbridge & Chryston voted on that basis.

“In a democracy, when the facts change people have the right to change their mind.

“I was elected on a manifesto commitment to hold an independence referendum in the exact circumstances we now face.

“The Scottish Parliament has backed the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine their own future – and most people believe it should be for Holyrood to decide, not Boris Johnson.”