Linda Fabi­ani Putting for­ward our of­fice pro­gramme

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - MSP for East Kil­bride

Well, sit­ting at my East Kil­bride of­fice win­dow, con­tem­plat­ing the rain and my re­turn to our par­lia­ment this week – acht!

It has been good to spend the sum­mer stay­ing lo­cal and catch­ing up with both work and peo­ple.

I’ve en­joyed the many com­mu­nity events through June and July and vis­it­ing busi­nesses new and es­tab­lished.

So much in­no­va­tion in East Kil­bride – com­pa­nies with ex­cit­ing ideas, vol­un­teers with a pas­sion for their cause, pub­lic-sec­tor work­ers with a com­mit­ment to those they serve, and young peo­ple with big plans for the fu­ture.

As al­ways at the start of the par­lia­men­tary year, this week First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon, will un­veil her gov­ern­ment’s pro­gramme.

Three days of de­bate cov­er­ing am­bi­tious plans in ed­u­ca­tion, health and jus­tice.

I’m particularly look­ing for­ward to hear­ing the plans for hous­ing – such an im­por­tant is­sue for East Kil­bride.

It was good to visit Clyde Val­ley Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s lat­est so­cial hous­ing and mid­mar­ket-rent de­vel­op­ment at Ma­vor Park over the last cou­ple of weeks; a good mix of house sizes and types and good to see folk housed that I know have been wait­ing for a long, long time. The lo­cal East Kil­bride hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion and the other HA providers in the town do an ex­cel­lent job.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have just ap­proved their own ‘key hous­ing strat­egy’, their com­mit­ment to build 1000 new coun­cil homes wel­come.

I’ve asked for more in­for­ma­tion about the plans specif­i­cally for East Kil­bride.

We have par­tic­u­lar hous­ing is­sues in the town be­cause of the level of sales of so­cial hous­ing over the years, and it must be a com­fort to coun­cils and hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­cently abol­ished the Right to Buy, safe­guard­ing the stock that they build.

There is men­tion, too, in the coun­cil’s state­ment of re­view­ing the coun­cils’ pro­gramme of “buy­ing back into coun­cil own­er­ship prop­er­ties sold un­der the Right to Buy”.

I cer­tainly want to know more about that plan.

Whilst we’re talk­ing about ‘re­view­ing’, can I sug­gest to our lo­cal coun­cil­lors that they re­view the fac­tor­ing ser­vice that own­ers sign up to in places like shared blocks?

Yes, of course it’s nec­es­sary to jointly-main­tain build­ings, that’s not in dis­pute.

But I do get many con­stituency com­plaints about the ser­vice and some­times the com­plaints do seem jus­ti­fied. Just say­ing!

Also on our gov­ern­ment’s agenda this week, of course, is the progress on es­tab­lish­ing a new so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem for Scot­land, with dig­nity at its heart.

Only some pow­ers are be­ing de­volved from West­min­ster, in­clud­ing Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance.

Thank good­ness that power is be­ing handed over to Scot­land where we can treat those with dis­abil­i­ties with re­spect and fair­ness.

I don’t say that lightly, I say that be­cause only last week an in­quiry by the United Na­tions com­mit­tee on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties found that the United King­dom has failed to meet its obli­ga­tions un­der the UN Con­ven­tion.

The com­mit­tee’s chair, Ther­sia De­gener, branded the sit­u­a­tion in the UK as a “hu­man catas­tro­phe”. Ap­palling! In one of the rich­est coun­tries in the world, a UN re­port finds that the UK Gov­ern­ment’s wel­fare cuts had led to “grave and sys­tem­atic vi­o­la­tions” of dis­abled peo­ple’s rights.

The same re­port notes the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s main­te­nance of schemes equiv­a­lent to the In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing Fund, and praises them for the in­clu­sion of dis­abled peo­ple in de­sign­ing their new so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem.

Of course, those di­rectly af­fected should as­sist in de­sign­ing a sen­si­ble sys­tem.

Thank you to those East Kil­bride res­i­dents that I know are in­volved in this – your work is cru­cial.

So, sum­mer’s gone, not a lot of sun­shine to­day cer­tainly.

De­spite the rain, though, our wee coun­try has just been voted the most beau­ti­ful coun­try in the world by Rough Guides, the lead­ing pub­lisher of travel and ref­er­ence guides.

We all knew that any­way, didn’t we?

Good news for all those that work in the travel and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­tries – and a wee re­minder to all of us to some­times look and “see our­selves as oth­ers see us”.

Three days of de­bate cov­er­ing am­bi­tious plans in ed­u­ca­tion, health and jus­tice...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.