Paisley news

Paisley’s MSP Holding Surgeries on a Saturday

George outside Paisley's Parliamentary OfficeGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, will be holding surgeries on a Saturday at his constituency office.

George said, “‘I hold open surgeries every weekday, 9am to 6pm. I welcome all of my constituents to come in and speak to me and if for some reason I am already have a prior engagement; I have a great team of staff who will be able to assist you.

‘On the first Saturday of each month, from 10am till 11am, I will be holding a surgery in my constituency office located at 4 Johnston Street, just off Causeyside Street. This will hopefully allow people who are unable to attend my office during the week, to come along on a Saturday morning and raise their issues or concerns with me.

‘As your elected member to the Scottish Parliament for Paisley, I am hear to assist you in any way I can, so please come along or make an appointment to discuss any issue I may be able to help with. My office phone number is 0141 887 8075 and my email address is George.adam.msp@scottish.parliament.uk; please feel free to contact me on either.”

George Welcomes Local Hollywood Stars Comments on Independence

George on a sunny day outside the AbbeyGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has today greeted local boy, Gerard Butlers’, comments on independence with great enthusiasm. Gerard was recently quoted as saying ‘I can’t see any reason why Scotland shouldn’t be independent. It’s a different country with different attitudes, people and outlook, so why not’?

George said, “The recent announcement by the Scottish Government that the referendum on independence will take place in the autumn of 2014 has brought a life long dream of mine and so many others, closer than it has ever been. In 2014, the people of Scotland will be given the option to vote on Scotland becoming an independent nation, affording all of us as a nation the right make all Scotland decisions, in Scotland.

‘Comments, like the ones recently by Paisley boy, Gerard Butler, are very welcome, as he can reach a wide audience and hopefully engage younger voters. We are all aware of Sir Sean Connery’s long held backing for independence; however it’s good to see a younger high profile celebrity asserting his view that there is no reason why Scotland should not be independent.

‘Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, today [24/01/12] gave the Hugo Young Lecture in London where he spoke of the many different policies which Scotland has pursued in contrast to Westminster, while even in some case Westminster has followed our lead. Be it the smoking ban, no tuition fees; free personal care for the elderly or free prescriptions, Scotland’s policies are in stark contrast to those made in London.

‘So from now until the autumn of 2014, myself and countless others, will talk up Scotland, highlight her qualities and convince the people of Scotland that independence is the best path forward to creating a better Scotland”.

Cabinet Secretary Welcomes Renfrewshire Investment in Jobs

George outside Paisley Town HallRenfrewshire Council has been commended on its package of measures to invest in youth employment. George Adam, Paisley’s MSP, highlighted the £2.5 million investment by the council which will create hundreds of jobs and provide training investment for thousands of young people within Renfrewshire.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable growth, John Swinney MSP, said;

‘This is a commendable package of measures put forward by Renfrewshire Council. This provision of opportunities for employment and training is something that I’m sure will be looked at by other council’s across Scotland when they finalise their budgets in the coming weeks.’

George raised the youth employment and training programme with the Cabinet Secretary during a question and answer session within the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking on John Swinney’s comments, George said;

‘Renfrewshire Council has made the decision that tackling youth unemployment has to be a priority. This investment will see 250 new jobs being created for young people. But it doesn’t stop there. 1300 young people will secure training, as well as another 800 individuals being provided with the job finding skills that are desperately needed.

‘I raised this matter with the Cabinet Secretary to inform him of the tremendous work being conducted by the council administration. In tough times like these it is up to local authorities to look at ways that employment can be secured in their areas, and look at new, different methods of creating employment to increase the employability and economic viability of the authority areas.

‘I welcome that the Cabinet secretary recognised the package of measures being implemented by Renfrewshire Council, with the ambition to create jobs for young people, but I was especially pleased with his reference to other councils who will look towards Renfrewshire before making such plans for their own residents.

16 and 17 year olds should have the right to vote, says George

George next to Paisley's River CartGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [26/01/12] spoke on the issue of 16 and 17 year olds getting the right to vote. Speaking during Themed Questions on Education and Lifelong Learning, George made the point that if 16 and 17 year old are being taught about civic Scotland, then they should be allowed to take part in it and get the chance to vote.

After the themed questions, George said, “I make no apologies for putting my long held belief forward that 16 and 17 year olds should get to vote. While Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MSPs and indeed MPs chose to talk down this belief, I must remind them that in the not so distant past, many of them have signed up to and supported the campaign, Vote16.

‘Debate will rage over the independence referendum over the coming months and years, but the date is set; it’s starting. So instead of scaremongering, I call upon anti-independence politicians to take some of their own advice and work with the Scottish Government in lowering the voting age to 16. Many of them have supported it in the past; why do they not seem to support it now?

‘I would like to challenge Paisley, indeed, Scotland’s young people, to get involved in the referendum consultation: Your Scotland, Your Referendum, and make your views heard. I believe that 16 and 17 years old should have the vote and if you do too, get involved and let your local politicians know. It’s your future; be part of better.

Link to Names of the Politicians who have supported the Vote16 campaign

Link to online consultation

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes Local Structure for Police and Fire Services

George outside Paisley AbbeyGeorge Adam, Paisley’s MSP, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill which will put local knowledge at the heart of delivering services in communities across Scotland.

The Bill will mean that Renfrewshire will have its own local commander and local authorities will agree local policing plans with the commander. Moving to a single police force will ensure the future of the force and the additional 1000 officers on the beat since the SNP came to power.

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill will see the establishing of “The Police Service of Scotland”. The current functions of fire and rescue authorities will transfer to the “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service” which will employ all staff from the current eight fire and rescue authorities to the new service.

George said:

“This announcement will see Scotland’s police continue to make our country’s communities, streets and neighbourhoods safer.

“Through a range of measures, including delivering on our election promise of 1000 extra police on Scotland’s streets, crime is at its lowest level since 1976.

“These necessary changes come on the back of potentially devastating Westminster cuts, however, we can and will do more with less, by focussing on a stronger connection between communities and their local police and fire and rescue services.

“The new structure of policing and fire services will see a local commander for every local authority area giving a real local point of contact and ensuring local priorities are decided by police and councillors working together.

“A single force is not unusual, countries including Denmark, Norway and New Zealand take this approach for a similar sized population. When the Tories and Lib Dems are slashing police numbers in England this approach will ensure that in Scotland we can continue to protect our communities properly.

“I welcome the proposals and hope now they have seen the proposals opposition parties will recognise that their fears and smears were ill placed. Scotland’s police force will be independent and answerable to local communities as well as to local MSPs.”

Notes:

These new bodies will have a commitment and focus on local knowledge by enabling greater powers for local authorities including:

POLICE
• Chief Constable must ensure adequate arrangements for the policing of each local authority area.
• Designated local commander for each local authority area.
• Local commanders subject to direction and control of the Chief Constable.
• Local authority can request reports and information on policing in the local area.
• Local Plan, agreed between local commander and local authority, setting out priorities, objectives and arrangement for policing in the local authority area.

FIRE and RESCUE
• Scottish Fire Rescue Services must ensure adequate arrangements for SFRS functions in each local authority area.
• Local Senior Officer to involve the local authority in setting priorities and objectives for that area and prepare a local fire and rescue plan for the authority’s agreement.
• Local authority powers to request reports and information on SFRS functions in the local area.

Full details can be found by clicking here

BAILLIE ADMITS NHS BLANKET CLAIMS ARE WRONG

George Adam MSPFALSE COMMENTS TALK NHS DOWN YET AGAIN

HEALTH WORKERS OWED AN APOLOGY

The SNP has called on Labour to apologise to health workers after Jackie Baillie admitted her claims that NHS patients had to share blankets in a Paisley hospital were wrong – weeks after the health board provided proof there was no truth in her accusations.

SNP MSP George Adam has written to Johann Lamont asking her to investigate Ms Baillie’s remarks and apologise to the staff of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

Ms Baillie made the allegations, despite NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saying, when the matter “was raised a few weeks ago”, that they provided “proof that there was no truth in this claim”. She later admitted in a newspaper that they were wrong

Mr Adam, SNP MSP for Paisley and a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee, said:

“To knowingly make incorrect claims in her conference speech beggars belief.

“She should be ashamed of herself for talking Scotland’s health service down yet again.

“Ms Baillie knew her allegations were wrong as NHS GGC had addressed them weeks before.

“I have written to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, asking her to investigate these remarks and apologise to the staff of the Royal Alexandra for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

“Ms Baillie is a repeat offender in smearing Scotland’s NHS. It was only in December she tried to pass off “new figures” for infection rates as ones gathered under the SNP, when in fact they were collected in 2005/06, when Labour were last in power.

“And this follows her infamous “Winter Watch” campaign last year, which had nothing to do with improving the NHS, and everything to do with her finding new ways to talk down the NHS and its hard-working staff.

“She must explain why she made an assertion in her conference speech which had already been comprehensively rebutted by the Health Board several weeks before. This is not only disrespectful to our health professionals – it has caused alarm among patients and their families. Labour’s health spokesperson should instead be acknowledging the hard work and dedication of our NHS workforce.”

Notes:

1) In her speech to Labour conference at the weekend, Jackie Baillie stated that “In one hospital in Greater Glasgow and Clyde patients are even having to share blankets because of the cuts.”

2) However, responding to the blanket claims, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “This matter was raised with us a few weeks ago, and we were able to provide proof that there was no truth in this claim. Extra blankets are available in all our hospital as and when patients need them.”

3) Jackie Baillie herself “later admitted that the claim was wrong” http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/independent-carer-representative-to-sit-on-shadow-cabinet.1330830213

4) Link to story from Straight Statistics in January about Jackie Baillie passing off figures from 2006 as an attack on the SNP http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/superbug-data-trip-scottish-labour

5) Details of Jackie Baillie’s “Winter Watch” campaign – asking for patients and staff to report “any strains in the NHS” and then suggesting the information will be used by the Labour Party – can be found at http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/winterwatch

Paisley Development Trust Welcomes George

Paisley Development Trust (PDT) has welcomed George Adam to their new offices on the high Street in Paisley, within the YMCA facilities. Meeting Brian McGuire, one of the directors of PDT, George got to know a bit more about the voluntary organisation. Formed in 2004 to facilitate community renewal through arts and culture, the PDT has organised numerous events promoting the town, the first of which was an exhibition to commemorate the 71 lives that were lost in the Glen Cinema Disaster in 1929.

Speaking on the visit, George said:

‘The PDT is a tremendous organisation with the interest of the town at its heart, which benefits everyone from the town. They have organised many events since their inception and they are currently working on the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697, researching and then creating an exhibition about the last mass execution of witches in Western Europe, which took place in Paisley.

‘This voluntary organisation is an example to all of us throughout Scotland with an interest in our local towns and cities, and how to ensure they remain vibrant parts of our community.’

PDT Website

George Shows his Appreciation for the Paisley Sorting Office

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [Tuesday 13th] visited the Royal Mail’s Paisley sorting office to see the effort being put in by local men and women to ensure cards and presents are delivered on time for Christmas.

George dropped by this morning to see the hard work going on behind the scenes.

Commenting afterwards, George said –

‘I was delighted to have the chance to pop into the Paisley sorting office which is currently delivering around of 78,000 pieces of mail per day.

‘The Paisley office works tirelessly at this time of year to deliver all our cards and parcels on time for the big day. I was greeted and shown around by the Transport Manager, Ashye Rafique, who gave me a very informative tour. Very interestingly, I was told of how the sorting office has redesigned its service to cope with the increased amount of parcels coming through the office as a result of the increased use of online shopping.

‘We only have to think back to this time last year, when Paisley was beset by snow and ice, to realise just what Royal Mail staff sometimes have to overcome to ensure our letters, cards and packages reach us and as the MSP for Paisley I want to place on record my appreciation for their first-rate work.

‘I would also like to remind Buddies that the recommended last day for 2nd class post is the 17th and for 1st class post, the 20th.”

Paisley’s MSP Urges Constituents to Beat the Flu!

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today received his flu vaccination from his local doctor’s surgery.

Mr Adam said, “My wife Stacey suffers from multiple sclerosis and would be very at risk from catching the flu from me if I was to come down with it. There are lots of other people in the same situation as myself who have family members that could become very ill if they were to catch the flu.

’There are certain groups who are most at risk from developing the flu, and they include, over 65’s, pregnant women, and people with long term or severe medical conditions. If you are in one of these risk groups, please contact your doctor now as you are entitled to a vaccination.

’The NHS website is a very good point of reference for all the information you could need on the subject. Please follow my lead and stay in the best of health for the festive period just around the corner”.

NHS Flu Vaccination information

George says ‘Let’s all be positive about Paisley’

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has today commented on two recent articles in the Daily Record and Scotsman respectively.

George said, “Both of these articles have painted a very bleak picture of the Paisley High Street. Both included pictures of what the Scotsman called fake shops. While this is not a time to argue over who is right and who is wrong because we all want our High Street to thrive, I was disappointed by the negativity in both articles.

‘Not mentioned were the tireless efforts of the Renfrewshire Council, especially the Council leader Brian Lawson, who are constantly looking at ways to improve Paisley Town Centre. Groups like the Paisley Development Trust and Paisley.org day in, day out are trying to promote Paisley to attract all kinds of people.

‘While the Town Centre is clearly not as attractive to shoppers as it once was, events are happening to try and attract people into Paisley, who in turn maybe become aware of a shop they never knew was there. The massive success of the Christmas lights turn on, when 37,500 people were in the centre of Paisley may go some way to doing that.

‘To pick up on the so called ‘fake shops’, the use of these signs was a concerted and imaginative effort to try and attract shops to Paisley, and signs are that this may be working. If we look at the Piazza, this is a really success story, through good management and a varied mix of shops, Paisley Buddies seem to really enjoy using this once maligned resource.

‘Essentially, I challenge everyone in Paisley and beyond to be as positive about our town as possible, it may not be easy and there will always be some one trying to put Paisley down, but a positive approach and outlook to Paisley will hopefully change this town’s fortunes and encourage Buddies, shoppers and shops to come to our great and historic town.”

Link to the Scotsman Story

Link to the Daily Record Story