Cathkin High pupils impress with their knowledge
Parliament has taken another three week recess so that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems can hold their party conferences.
It has been a great opportunity for me to get out and about in the constituency – and I’ve been making the most of it.
Earlier this week I visited Cathkin High School and spoke with two modern studies classes about my role as an MP.
I was truly impressed with the interest levels and engagement from the pupils – a total vindication of the Scottish Government’s policy of lowering the voting age to 16.
There were plenty of interesting questions, and although an hour isn’t much time to get across the full extent of the work that I do in the constituency, in the debating chamber and in committee, I feel that the pupils now have a better understanding of what their elected Westminster representative does.
I’ve also been continuing my work with different religious organisations.
After becoming elected I set myself a target of visiting all of the different church and faith groups throughout the constituency.
Although I’ve reached that goal, I’m continuing to make these visits as they give me an important insight into the issues - local, national and international – that are important to people.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve met up with Bishop Toal to discuss matters of importance to the Catholic community in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, as well as visiting the Minhaj-ulQuran mosque in Rutherglen to observe the service and discuss their work.
There is so much in common across these different faiths, and much good work to be celebrated.
I’ve also been out on the streets with the local WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaigners as we collect signatures for a public petition that I will present in parliament next week.
I’ve spoken with hundreds of women on this matter, and it never fails to shock me how many women still don’t know that they have been affected by changes in the state pension age.
Some women know that they will be affected, but don’t know what their new retirement age is – a damning indictment of the UK Government’s failure to inform them of the changes.
The work of the WASPI campaigners in getting the message out there has been fantastic. I’ve watched this movement grow from a handful of women to a professional UKwide campaign.
Women continue to contact me on a weekly basis, to find out how they can become involved – and I would encourage anyone affected to please do so.
If you see us out at lunchtime on the streets of Cambuslang on Thursday or Burnside on Friday, please come over and have a chat to learn more about the campaign, and to sign the petition.
It is important to send a strong message to the new chancellor – a pension is a contract, not a benefit so we must have transitional arrangements for these 1950s-born women who have worked hard all their lives and have contributed to the UK economy.
It’s been a great opportunity for me to get out and about
Class act Margaret Ferrier MP meets students at Cathkin High