I do not want to see us re­turn to a coun­try split over the con­sti­tu­tion again

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - James Kelly Holy­rood Head­lines

My aim this sum­mer is to speak to as many con­stituents as pos­si­ble.

With Par­lia­ment now on re­cess, I have swapped my weekly surg­eries for daily ones, along­side door-knock­ing and leaflet­ing, pick­ing up is­sues across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, and in Blan­tyre too.

I deal with hun­dreds of cases ev­ery month, and the past few weeks have been no ex­cep­tion. Na­tional news sto­ries ring through lo­cally: from con­stituents un­able to get an ap­point­ment with their GP be­cause of a short­age of doc­tors, to those frus­trated with a lack of col­lege places. One of the big­gest is­sues I have to deal with is hous­ing: whether it is peo­ple stuck on wait­ing lists to those suf­fer­ing from the bed­room tax. Over 150,000 peo­ple in Scot­land are on hous­ing wait­ing lists.

I am con­fi­dent that while hous­ing, the NHS and ed­u­ca­tion are some of the big­gest is­sues con­cern­ing peo­ple lo­cally, a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum is not. That is why I was as­tounded to hear that the MP for the area, Mar­garet Ferrier, has been spend­ing her time in Par­lia­ment quizzing Min­is­ters over their plans for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum next year.

I was es­pe­cially sur­prised be­cause Ni­cola Stur­geon has pre­vi­ously said that the SNP were not call­ing for a sec­ond vote, fol­low­ing last year’s decisive No vote. Ms Ferrier’s com­ments re­ally have let the cat out of the bag, as fol­low-up sto­ries to that about her ques­tion to the Scot­land Of­fice have split the Na­tion­al­ists.

This week, Alex Salmond de­scribed another ref­er­en­dum as ‘in­evitable,’ putting both his views for a sec­ond vote and Ms Ferrier’s at odds with their party leader.

The de­ci­sive­ness of last year’s ref­er­en­dum can­not be for­got­ten easily, and I do not want to see us re­turn to a coun­try split over the con­sti­tu­tion again.

While our NHS strug­gles to meet wait­ing times, the num­ber of peo­ple des­per­ate for a hous­ing trans­fer grows and the next gen­er­a­tion face cuts to col­lege bud­gets, the SNP are fight­ing over the prospect of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

My chal­lenge to Mar­garet Ferrier is this: will she keep push­ing for another ref­er­en­dum, or will she start speak­ing up for her con­stituents and join me in call­ing on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to do more with the pow­ers they have, over our health ser­vice, our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and hous­ing in Scot­land? Proud to pay the liv­ing wage

I’m proud to have been ac­cred­ited as a liv­ing wage em­ployer. This is an is­sue which I have long cam­paigned for and I be­lieve pas­sion­ately in.

While I am pleased to be recog­nised for pay­ing my staff a fair wage, the re­al­ity is that thou­sands across Scot­land re­main on poverty pay.

That is why I’ll be con­tin­u­ing to pro­mote the liv­ing wage across the con­stituency, and see­ing what more can be done to roll it out lo­cally. Cam­bus­lang Park

I was de­lighted to hear that Cam­bus­lang Park has been awarded a green flag. This is great news for the com­mit­tee who do a great deal of work. The news put a smile on my face as I en­joy a reg­u­lar run in that very same park!

Work­ing for you Ruther­glen’s Labour MSP James Kelly, who has been meet­ing con­stituents in Cam­bus­lang

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.