Cathkin High pupils im­press with their knowl­edge

Rutherglen Reformer - - Margaret Ferrier - Mar­garet Ferrier

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

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