Tag Archives: Scottish

Pledge to improve Health & Safety

Cathy with Danny Carrigan, and Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE

Cathy Peattie MSP with HSE board member Danny Carrigan, HSE Chief Executive Geoffrey Podger, and Chair of the HSE Judith Hackitt.

On Tuesday evening, 22nd September, Cathy hosted a meeting for the Health and Safety Executive in the Scottish Parliament.

“It was good to get so many people together to discuss how we can improve health and safety in Scotland,” said Cathy.

“There is a lot being done to address poor health and safety, but there are still many problems and I am particularly concerned that Scotland has higher rates than the rest of the UK, fewer successful prosecutions, and relatively low levels of fine being imposed. I think there needs to be a formal initiative that brings together and coordinates health and safety action in Scotland, to maximise the benefits of existing work, and to identify what can be done to address the “Scottish Safety Anomaly”. I know some people think that this is down to a different mix of employment and a different culture, but if that’s the case, let’s not use it as an excuse – we need to tackle the causes.”

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Scottish Parliament backs strong Climate Bill

Raising the Bar for Climate Change legislation

With Falkirk campaigners Norman Philp, Corrie Cuthbertson, David Allinson

With Falkirk campaigners Norman Philp, Corrie Cuthbertson, David Allinson

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said that she was “extremely pleased that MSPs had voted for a strong Scottish Climate Change Bill” and that playing her part in the passage of the Bill had given her great satisfaction.

“As Deputy Convener of the Climate Change committee, I have been involved at every stage, working with the committee and other MSPs, and with the members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, considering and submitting amendments to make this a world-class piece of legislation.”

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Homecoming: Scots and traditional arts groups struggling

The Year of Homecoming is in danger of being a disappointment if traditional arts and culture are not properly supported, says Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie.

Cathy Peattie, who is a prominent supporter of Traditional Arts and the Convener of the Cross-party Group on Culture and Media, highlighted the problems facing traditional arts and language in Scotland. She warned that people coming to Scotland for the Homecoming will get limited access to traditional music and culture as part of their visit due to funding problems for traditional arts and language groups.

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Scottish Safety Anomaly

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for action to address the “Scottish Safety Anomaly”

The latest HSE figures show that Scotland’s workplace injury rate remains persistently above the UK average.

“I have raised this issue before, but it has not yet been properly addressed,” said Cathy.

“The latest figures show that that the rate of fatal and major injuries in Scottish was 115.1 per hundred thousand, compared to 105.8 for the UK as a whole. We also have less success with prosecutions.

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Traditional arts cuts

Cathy joins protest against cuts

Cathy joins protest against cuts

Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that Scottish Traditional Arts and language organisations are adequately and sustainably funded.

National organisations such as the Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust, the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA), and the Scots Music Group (SMG) which between them, bring together over 1,500 individuals and 30 organisations with a commitment to maintaining and building the grassroots Scottish traditional arts – face severe curtailment of their activities following funding cuts by the Scottish Arts Council.

Having highlighted the issues in the Creative Scotland debate before the summer recess, Cathy Peattie has continued to support the campaign against the cuts, and raised the issue again during questions to Culture Minister Linda Fabiani.

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Antonine Wall – World Heritage Site

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, whose constituency includes the easternmost section of the Antonine Wall, at Kinneil in Bo’ness, has welcomed the announcement that the Wall has been given World Heritage Site status.

“This has been a long campaign, launched over five years ago,” Cathy said.

“A concerted effort by all concerned has seen us through the various stages, and I hope that we can now build on the newly confirmed World Heritage Site status, to increase international awareness and appreciation of our Scottish heritage.

“One end of the wall and some of the best preserved remains are in my constituency, so I’m naturally very pleased by the announcement, and keen to see the cooperation that has brought this success continued with further study and preservation of the wall and the development of local educational and tourist resources.”

motion: Antonine Wall – A World Heritage Site

That the parliament welcomes the confirmation of the Antonine Wall’s status as a World Heritage Site; congratulates all those who have contributed to this achievement, including Historic Scotland, campaigners from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick, Falkirk Council and other local authorities, the Scottish Executive past and present, and the UK government; notes that this will focus international attention on the area, helping to promote tourism and increase awareness of Scotland’s roman heritage; and looks forward to a continuing partnership approach to ensure the preservation, study, and development of educational and tourist resources highlighting the global importance of Scotland’s heritage.

Stop the Scots Culture Cuts

Following cuts in funding for many Scots language and Scottish Traditional Arts groups, Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has tabled a “motion of no confidence” in the Scottish Arts Council and its proposed successor, Creative Scotland. She also highlighted the cuts in the Creative Scotland debate, and at Scottish Executive Questions.

“Unless there are safeguards included in the Creative Scotland Bill when it returns to Holyrood, I don’t think Scottish Culture will be safe in its hands. The Bill, which fell because of government incompetence, envisaged little change to the current regime, and unless we can change that when the Bill returns, I think we’d be better off with a separate body to look after Scots and traditional arts,” said Cathy.

“The organisations that have had their budgets slashed cannot wait for amendments to the Bill. They will have to hand out redundancies and mothball or abandon projects later this year. They urgently need interim measures put in place by the Scottish Government now to ensure their continued activity..

“We are inviting those of Scots descent to return from around the world, and what will they find at the Homecoming? Scottish culture under attack from the Scottish Government!

“Other countries, such as Ireland, give a much higher percentages of their arts and culture budgets to language and traditional arts. Scotland was improving, but now we have taken a nose-dive.

“The Ministerial mantra is ‘the audit will sort it”, but by the time it reports, the damage will already have been done, and the Scots Language audit won’t do anything for the traditional arts groups anyway.”

The motion: S3M-02073 Supporting Scottish Culture

– That the Parliament recognises the valuable work of Scottish cultural organisations, including the Traditional Music and Song Association, the Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust, the Scots Music Group, Voluntary Arts Scotland, the Scots Language Centre, and Scots Language Dictionaries, which promote and support extensive voluntary participation in Scottish traditional arts and culture; notes the extreme difficulties these organisations now face as a result of their loss of funding from the Scottish Arts Council; further notes that while existing funding runs to March 2009, the reality of redundancies and the termination of accommodation and office facilities means that their activity will be severely curtailed later this year; recognises that the audit of Scots language provision, even if completed in time, is unlikely to provide more than a partial solution to the problem; believes that the Scottish Arts Council cannot be trusted to support and promote the Scots language and Scottish traditional arts and sees no reason to suspect that Creative Scotland will be any different, and therefore believes that a separately constituted and funded body should be set up for this purpose and interim measures put in place to safeguard existing provision until this is done.

Creative Scotland Bill speech

Playing for the Party

Cathy with Jonathon MillerSchool-pupil Jonathon Miller joined Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie at the Scottish Labour Party conference in Aviemore, accompanying her on his accordion when she sang the traditional close-of-conference anthem, ‘The Red Flag’ (photograph attached).

His participation was organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland.

Jonathon, aged 16, has the eye condition anarida, which means he was born without an iris.  He is from Bishopbriggs and is a pupil of the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

His mother Eileen said: “Jonathon only began learning to play the accordion last year but it has become his passion.  We’re very proud of him playing in front of so many people.”

Jonathon said: “It’s the first time I’ve played the accordion in public. I took up the accordion because of my interest in Scottish country music, and the fact that my music teacher at school played this instrument and said he’d give me lessons.”

“This performance delivered a very important message to our conference,” said Cathy, who was Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee between 2003 and 2007.

“The message is about looking beyond the disability people with sight loss experience to also understanding their abilities.  I very much support this.”