Big Fit Walkers at the Scottish Parliament
When the Big Fit Walk went to Holyrood on Wednesday, the timing could not have been better. The walk through Holyrood Park was followed by a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Active Travel.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie was involved in both – as the constituency MSP, helping to organise the walk and a meeting with MSPs for the Big Fit Walk organisers and the Helix Green Team; and as Deputy Convener of the Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change committee, summing up in the debate on the committee’s inquiry into Active Travel.
MSPs are calling for support for the introduction of a new generation of environmentally and user-friendly buses in Scotland which could help save production at Scotland’s last bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Falkirk.
Falkirk Council will have £7.29m less to spend as a result of budget changes by the Scottish Government.
An analysis of the official budget tables published by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, shows that the share of the total Scottish Government budget provided to local government is falling, from 34.7 per cent in 2006-07 to 33.9 per cent in 2010-11.
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.”
See also Shock rise in unemployment (Falkirk Herald, 24 December 2008)
Cathy speaks to PCS representative Hamish Drummond
Representatives of the 19 tax offices threatened with closure have lobbied MSPs to get their support for a campaign to reverse the closures that have been announced. On 4 December, HMRC announced it will close offices in Ayr, Buckie, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Dunoon, Elgin, Falkirk, Galashiels, Grangemouth, Greenock, Hawick, Inverness, Oban, Perth, Peterhead, Prestwick, Rothesay, Stirling and Wick. With the exception of Inverness, these closures will shut down the only HMRC Office in each location.
The photograph shows Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie talking to Hamish Drummond, who represents Revenue and Customs offices on the PCS union executive.
“I am opposed to the closures, and think that it would be particularly short sighted to close both the local offices in the vicinity of the busiest port in Scotland. This removes a valuable deterrent to criminals and the shadow economy, and reduces HMRC’s efficiency as a collector of taxes.
“Officers will still have to travel to Grangemouth – but may have to travel to work elsewhere and then coming back here as part of their working day! We should be looking for ways to reduce travel, for the sake of the environment, for the sake of the people involved, and for the sake of a better service.
“The PCS locally and nationally can count on my support.”