Monthly Archives: May 2009

Crunch Time for Trident

In these times of economic austerity, we must all make sacrifices.

And if we find that we are wasting lots of money on something that is of little or no value, and indeed could not be used without detriment to everyone, then stopping that expenditure must surely be considered.

So let’s improve our balance sheet by a few billion, and call time for Trident.

Protest against nuclear weapons in Scotland …

Sing Out for Peace – Crunch Time for Trident in Glasgow on Saturday 20 June.

Assemble in George Square at 11 am to set off at 11.30 am for Kelvingrove Park where there will be a rally with a difference at 12.30 pm.

Protest in Harmony and other choirs will lead the singing of peace songs from the new Scottish CND Songbook. There will also be street theatre, face painting and the chance to meet and make friends over a picnic.

Great to see Scottish MSPs back up the people, the unions and the churches in Scotland. These MSPs helped to pass the motion in 2007 telling Westminster to think again.

Please help to publicise Sing Out for Peace by circulating the attached leaflet and/or ordering leaflets and posters (A3 and A4) from the Scottish CND office, phone 0141 423 1222 or email The song was written by Ian Davison for the event, and you can download the mp3 from the website.

On FACEBOOK type Scotland for Peace in the Facebook Search to join the group and see Sing Out for Peace as an event on the group page.

Epilepsy Week


The photograph shows Cathy with Epilepsy Scotland’s Allana Parker, promoting Epilepsy  week in the Scottish Parliament. Cathy had her own personal tale to tell about epilepsy, having been diagnosed last year.

“My involvement with epilepsy groups became very personal a year or so ago, when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I have seen first hand the quality of care that is available, but I am also aware that, for example, an increase in the number of dedicated epilepsy nurses would help people manage their condition and get on with their lives.

“Epilepsy takes many different forms, and is more common than many people imagine. There is a stigma attached to it. When I tell folk, some ignore it and talk about the weather while others make a fuss. It should just be accepted as a common disorder that needs to be treated – it affects nearly one per cent of the population.

“Since I began my treatment, I haven’t had any recurrence – fingers crossed. I am very grateful to the NHS staff who have helped me. It has given me an added incentive to make sure that people get the quality of treatment they deserve and need, not just for epilepsy, but also for diabetes, asthma and other conditions where better support – for example from specialist nursing and self-management training – could bring dividends not only for the health of sufferers, but also in turn deliver wider benefits to the NHS.”

MEPs visit Grangemouth

mepsScottish MEPs David Martin & Catherine Stihler were in Grangemouth to talk to local people about the European Elections on June 4th. David and Catherine were joined by local MSP Cathy Peattie and local MP Michael Connarty.

David said “I enjoyed talking to people in Grangemouth about issues that affect them.  Thousands of jobs in this area rely on exporting goods made in Grangemouth to the countries in the European market”

Catherine said “Everybody in La Porte precinct wanted to know what the European Parliament were going to do about jobs – and that has to be our number one focus”

Michael Connarty MP, the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee said “I know from first hand experience how important it is that Europe puts jobs and workers rights first”

Cathy Peattie MSP said “it is vital people vote in these elections to stop extremists getting elected”.

Community Transport

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has tackled the Transport Minister on the issue of support for Community Transport schemes such as Forth Valley’s Dial-a-Journey.

Opening the Scottish Parliament Questions, Cathy asked whether the Scottish Government would “extend the national concessionary travel scheme to include demand-responsive community transport schemes such as Dial-a-Journey in Forth Valley, which is used by older and disabled people who are eligible for the scheme but cannot use scheduled services”

In his reply, the Minister said that “the scheme has been the subject of a review since last July. The review is now complete and the resulting report and recommendations will be published this month.”

Cathy then asked “why are private bus operators trusted to operate concessionary transport schemes when community transport organisations are not? A number of disabled and older people throughout the country cannot access travel schemes. Will the minister please look again at the discrimination that those people face daily?”

The Minister, Stewart Stevenson. accepted that this was “a perfectly fair point about the need to provide access to affordable public transport for people with a range of disabilities that prevent their having ready access to standard service buses. We provide substantial support for a wide range of demand-responsive transport, which comes in many shapes and sizes. Some forms fall within the present scheme, whereas others are outside it. We have commissioned additional work on the demands of the transport sector to which Cathy Peattie refers. That work will be available to us later.”

Speaking later, Cathy said: “I have raised this issue several times, through questions, motions and in committee. It is important to maintain pressure on the Scottish Government. Let’s hope that the report takes a positive and constructive approach to support for such services. They really should be included in the national concessionary travel scheme.”

See also:

Flood Protection

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has welcomed tougher measures, put forward by Labour MSPs to protect individuals and communities, which will now be included in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill.

Cathy, who Deputy Convener of the Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, said

“Flooding has been a particular problem in several parts of my constituency. It is extremely distressing for people when their homes or businesses are flooded. With Climate Change, the problems are likely to get worse unless we take decisive action.

“We must make sure that robust measures are in place to ensure that high-risk areas are properly prepared in order to minimise flood damage. So I am pleased that our proposals have been backed by MSPs and will make the Bill stronger.

“Ministers must ensure local authorities and SEPA budgets are up to the job of protecting the public from floods. I am also pleased that the new law will allow for the use of more natural techniques to cope with flooding in towns and cities.”

Climate Change: call for action across the board

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for Climate Change action to be an across the board priority for public bodies.

“We all have a duty towards future generations,” said Cathy. “MSPs have a duty to ensure that Climate Change legislation is strong, and I believe that means ensuring that public bodies have a duty to consider, across the board, the impact of their activities and what they can do to contribute to action on Climate Change.”

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Minister to meet Grangemouth Transport Forum

The Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, has agreed to meet the Grangemouth Transport Forum.

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China and Grangemouth

Cathy Peattie joined her colleague Michael Connarty MP to welcome Wendy Liu from the China-British Council to Grangemouth last week for a tour of the chemical industry companies.  With China being such a major market for Grangemouth companies it was an ideal opportunity for building ever stronger ties for our local businesses.  Cathy, Michael and members of the UNITE union are pictured here welcoming Wendy Liu to Ineos.

Cathy Peattie joined her colleague Michael Connarty MP to welcome Wendy Liu from the China-British Council to Grangemouth last week for a tour of the chemical industry companies. With China being such a major market for Grangemouth companies it was an ideal opportunity for building ever stronger ties for our local businesses. Cathy, Michael and members of the UNITE union are pictured here welcoming Wendy Liu to Ineos.

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to recognise International Workers’ Memorial Day.

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Swine Flu – questions

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has put questions in parliament on Swine Flu to the Health Minister and the First Minister.

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