Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mass text plan to warn public of disasters

Scotland on Sunday, 22 March 2009

SCOTS are set to get special “text alert” warnings of natural disasters, industrial accidents and terror attacks. The Scottish Government yesterday confirmed that it is considering plans to collect hundreds of thousands of mobile phone numbers for use in emergencies. Officials in the police and other 999 services believe they could get quick safety messages out to the public in the event of disasters or danger – but only if they can get their hands on the numbers they need.

Cathy Peattie, the Labour MSP for Falkirk East whose constituency covers Grangemouth, welcomed the proposal.

She said: “This is a good idea. I am pretty sure most of my constituents will take up the offer and hand over their numbers. I, of course, would want to hear what the civil liberties lobby says about this. But, as long as it is voluntary, I don’t have a problem with the scheme.”

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Seventeen vie for every Falkirk job

Falkirk Herald, 20 March

SEVENTEEN people are chasing every job vacancy in Falkirk district. Shock new statistics show employment opportunities in this area are almost half the Scottish average. Politician and business experts have united in calling for urgent action to safeguard jobs in all sectors, create employment opportunities and help those who find themselves facing the dole queue.

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie called on the Scottish Government to do more to help, particularly the construction industry. She said: “Workers involved with the Grangemouth High project told me that they had no other work to go to when it finished. We should be looking to build more schools and more low-cost housing, particularly for rent, to ease the problems.”

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See also Shock rise in unemployment (Falkirk Herald, 24 December 2008)

Please turn off your lights

Cathy Peattie backs WWF Earth Hour:  Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie is backing WWF’s Earth Hour initiative and has urged constituents, local businesses and organisations to join the big switch off later this month.

Switching off for Earth Hour

Switching off for Earth Hour

On Saturday 28 March at 8.30pm individuals, businesses and public authorities in over 930 cities across 80 countries will turn off their lights for one hour in a graphic show of support for decisive action on climate change. Continue reading

Alcohol : ask the people, says MSP

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for the public to be properly consulted before alcohol laws are changed.

“We do need to make people more aware of the health implications of excessive drinking, and we do need to crackdown on anti-social drinking, but we shouldn’t penalise people just because they drink.

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Forest sell off plans dropped

Update on press release from 9th March –

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie says the Scottish Government have been well and truly defeated over their ill conceived plans to lease a quarter of Scotland’s forest estate.

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Cathy welcomes Asbestos Bill

Cathy with Bill Butler MSP and asbestos campaigners

Cathy with Bill Butler MSP and asbestos campaigners

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has welcomed the passing of the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill and paid tribute to the campaigners involved in the securing the change in law.

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In the Line of Duty

members of Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service with Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, in the Scottish Parliament to launch their report "In the Line of Duty".

members of Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service with Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, in the Scottish Parliament to launch their report "In the Line of Duty".

Cathy said: “The report raises several important concerns about the current state of the service. The increase in fatalities is worrying, and the report has identified some possible causes that should be addressed to improve the effectiveness of the service and the safety of firefighters. These include concerns about levels of training; weaknesses and failures in emergency planning set by local risk management plans; and a failure to ensure that lessons learned are taken into account across the UK service. There is also no consistent definition of what constitutes a ‘reportable’ death.”

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Save Our Forests

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for plans to privatise forestry to be dropped.

Cathy, who is Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change committee, said that she was pleased that the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee had now stated in its report (published 5th March) that the Scottish Government plans to lease large swathes of Scotland’s forests to a private company should be removed from the Climate Change Bill.

“I am totally opposed to these badly thought out proposals,” said Cathy.

“They have created uncertainty for Forestry Commission staff, and I believe would damage forestry related industries, public access and biodiversity. Submissions to the committee were overwhelmingly opposed, and the Scottish Government couldn’t even convince its own members on the committee. They should now withdraw their proposals to privatise Scotland’s forests”

Elaine Murray, Labour’s Environment Spokesperson and a member of the committee, added: “We believe that there are other ways of raising funds to support woodland creation, and we believe that forestry development should form part of an integrated land use strategy which also considers food production, flood prevention and conservation. The Scottish Government got this badly wrong and these plans should be ditched.”

International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day on 8th March, the Scottish Parliament debated a motion tabled by Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie. Cathy emphasised the need for central and local government and the private sector to take full account of gender issues.

Opening the debate, Cathy thanked the many MSPs who had signed her motion. Noting the many events organised throughout the world, Cathy spoke of advances that had been made and highlighted what still needs done to advance the social, political and economic equality of women.

“Many aspects of women’s rights, representation and welfare still need to be addressed through a gendered policy approach. The issues include the gender pay gap, under-representation of women in senior positions in the public and private sectors and as elected representatives, and the provision of violence against women support services.

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Grangemouth hub: good for economy & environment

Speaking in parliament in a debate on the National Planning Framework, Falkirk East MSP has raised the issue of infrastructure improvements in Grangemouth and surrounding areas.

“Any policy or development that can tick the boxes of being good for the economy and good for the environment must surely be a priority. I would place in that category measures to transfer passenger and freight traffic to more environmentally friendly forms of transport; enhance rail and shipping facilities; integrate transport; and promote and improve roads and pathways for walkers and cyclists. I therefore support moves to improve cycle paths, enhance pedestrian access, extend rail provision and further develop freight hubs, such as the port of Grangemouth in my constituency.

“Grangemouth is already the busiest port in Scotland, but I understand that it has significant spare capacity and room for growth. For example, the port would benefit from improved links to the motorway network, as would local people and the local economy. I am proud to say that the community in Grangemouth has come together with local businesses and elected representatives to push for such improvements. That is an excellent example of people working together, and I hope that the minister will accept my invitation to discuss with them the importance of Grangemouth to the economy and environment of Scotland.”

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