George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Scotland Welcomes its New First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland today welcomes its new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon as Alex Salmond stands down after seven and a half years at the helm of the country. Emotional scenes in the Scottish Parliament yesterday seen Mr Salmond applauded in the chamber and cheered as he left the parliament for one last time as First Minister. With Nicola Sturgeon becoming the first female to lead the SNP, she now becomes the first female to the lead the Scottish Government.

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Speaking on the significant day in the history of the Scottish Parliament, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, commented, “It’s a sad day to no longer see Alex as First Minister of Scotland. Many of the 16 and 17 year olds voting in the election might not fully remember Scotland without him as First Minister. However, in his place steps one of the best politicians of her generation, Nicola Sturgeon.

‘I have known Nicola since our teenage years, spent in the Young Scottish Nationalists, now the Young Scots for Independence. Even in those early days, you could just tell she was going to go far. A more committed person to social justice and equality you will not meet. As the most prominent politician in the Yes campaign, she took us within inches of securing a Yes vote.

‘Now as leader of our great nation, could she be the one to deliver a Yes vote in the future, should the public demand another vote? We have all watched Nicola over the past seven and a half years in her role as Deputy First Minister. The team of Alex and Nicola has seen off 3 Labour leaders, 2 Tory leaders and 3 leaders of the Lib Dems. Her longevity at the forefront of Scottish politics in this day and age shows how capable she has been at doing her job effectively. I feel this is evidence enough to point to the fact that she will go on to be a great First Minister of our country.”

George sma shot portrait

Support the Paisley BID

With voting ending on the 13th November in the ballot for the Paisley Business Improvement District, Paisley’s MSP has urged local businesses to vote Yes. Speaking in parliament George was keen to highlight the potential benefits which a BID could have for Paisley. Initially aided by £20,000 of grant support from the Scottish Government, the Paisley BID would be the 8th in Scotland.
George sma shot portrait

George said, “I have supported the BID right from the start, seeing the benefits it would have for our great town. With the closing date for voting less than a week away, I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet voted to mark a cross in the Yes box, which would see Paisley vote Yes for the second time this year.

‘In a recent speech at Holyrood, I spoke about the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan one year on from its launch. There has been many great initiatives developed, including the Town Centre First Principle which seeks to keep our public bodies like local authorities and health board using buildings in the centre of our towns. I believe this principle would have seen the Russell Institute remaining in use, instead of going through years of closure. Thankfully, thanks to the Paisley Development Trust and £2m of Scottish Government funding, it is to be brought back into use.

‘Another key theme of the Town Centre Action Plan is to build homes in our town centre. Again, Paisley has greatly benefitted from Scottish Government money as we see with the two development next to the Abbey. This all ties in with the BID. Local businessmen and women will be directing the agenda for business in Paisley. The people who know most about retail in our town, those who work in the sector, will help to shape the future direction of our town centre by being part of the BID.

‘Local Government Minister and Renfrewshire North MSP Derek MacKay who delivered the £20,000 grant support to the Paisley BID noted in parliament recently that the BID would offer support to the retail sector, promote art, cultural, historical, social and educational opportunities, bring more events to the town centre and ‘locate Paisley as a serious visitor destination.’ I would like to congratulate all those involved in the BID process and look forward to working with them all in the future.”

Sma Shot Day 2014

George submitted this parliamentary motion today, congratulating everyone involved in this years Sma Shot Day.  Below are some pictures from the event.

Motion Number: S4M-10556
Lodged By: George Adam
Date Lodged: 07/07/2014

Title: Sma Shot Day 2014

Motion Text:
That the Parliament congratulates everyone involved in what it considers yet another successful Sma Shot Day, from the council staff who made it happen to the parade participants; notes that the event celebrates a historic wage victory for weavers over their employers in 19th century Paisley; applauds the participants of the parade, who marched from Brodie Park to Abbey Close in the town centre to take part in the customary burning of the cork; praises all the Paisley Buddies who turned out in their droves to cheer on those in the parade while enjoying the glorious Paisley weather, and looks forward to Sma Shot Day returning in 2015.

No Vote Offers Nothing But Austerity

George Adam MSPAmid increasing warnings that public services south of the border are on the brink of collapse, the Paisley’s MSP is warning that further years of austerity is all that is on offer from the anti-independence parties.

Former Tory Health Minister Stephen Dorrell warned that the NHS in England could collapse within five years due to a lack of resources if it does not receive a substantial funding increase. Yet despite these warnings, senior Tories are advising that the ring-fencing around the NHS budget in England should be removed after 2015.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Association which represents local authorities in England warned that a funding gap of £5.8 billion over the next two years is threatening severe cuts to frontline services.

With cuts in public services south of the border having a knock-on effect on Scotland’s devolved budget, further years of austerity would only increase the pressure on Scotland’s public finances.

Commenting, George said, “Those giving the warnings have been shouting from the roof-tops, but no surprises, their cries have fallen on deaf ears around Westminster. We currently have a situation where no party south of the border is giving any inkling that ‘Project Austerity’ may be reversed, it’s almost a race to the bottom to see who can cut the most.

‘The current funding system ensures that those Westminster cuts are passed on to people in Scotland despite being utterly at odds with the priorities of people in Scotland. George Osborne has already made clear that he is signed up to a further £25 billion of cuts and it was recently revealed that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of public sector jobs are in the firing line.

‘The choice is becoming all too clear, vote No and face years of cuts at the hands of either Tory or Labour, with the Lib Dems happy to support which everyone needs them. Austerity is an obsession for Westminster, however we in Scotland do not share this obsession. We want a government we voted for, looking after the priorities of the people of Scotland.

‘Scotland is a wealthy country – generating more tax per head than the UK as a whole in every single one of the last 33 years, and we are in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. We can more than afford to be independent, and these damaging Westminster decisions show why we should and must vote Yes.

‘With a Yes vote in September we can make our own choices on tax and spending, and will gain the tools we need to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country.”

Stephen Dorrell’s warnings can be viewed by clicking here.

The Local Government Association’s warnings can be viewed by clicking here. 

Childcare transformation will benefit 240,000 kids

George Adam MSPFollowing the publication of figures showing that in the past year alone the number of children in poverty grew by 30,000, the Paisley’s MSP is today highlighting the need to vote Yes for a better future.

While Westminster cuts threaten to push 100,000 more children in Scotland into poverty by 2020, a Yes vote means we can transform childcare, benefiting 240,000 children across the country.

Commenting on the news, George said, “Over the last year, 30,000 more children in Scotland have been pushed into poverty. This is not due to Scotland being independent, but the Westminster dividend that Better Together are so keen to talk about. If we as a nation allow Westminster to continue controlling our economy and welfare system, 100,000 more children face poverty by 2020. I take no pleasure in saying this, but the cold hard facts are that Scotland is being deeply affected by the Westminster’s ‘Project Austerity’.

‘I do not want independence just for the sake of it, I wholeheartedly believe that a Yes vote will deliver for the people of Scotland, we will be able to elect a government that we voted for which will take decisions in the best interests of Scotland’s people. We will finally have the powers we need to enable us to tackle poverty. The Scottish Government’s plans to transform childcare will benefit around 240,000 children and their families, as well as creating around 35,000 jobs.

‘Westminster cuts are not going to stop if Scotland votes no, we are going to give David Cameron the green light to cut further into the Scottish budget and go further with ‘Project Austerity’, not to mention spending £4bn a year on nuclear weapons.

‘France, Japan and the UK, what they have in common is that Scotland, per head is more prosperous nation that all three of them. As a wealthy country, we should be using that wealth to help the poorest in our society, by tackling poverty and transforming childcare. Only independence will give us the powers to do so.”

One million Scots in poverty 

The Scottish Government’s plans to transform childcare with independence are outlined in Scotland’s Future 

School Leavers Going on to Positive Destinations at a Record High

George Adam MSP

George Adam MSP

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed positive new figures for Scotland’s education sector which show record numbers of school leavers going on to positive destinations – and the number of schools meeting the PE provision target increasing dramatically in the last year.

Figures have been published today showing that 90 per cent of school leavers went on to a positive destination in March 2014 – the highest level on record.

The figures have also been published showing that 96 per cent of schools in Scotland were meeting the target for PE provision in February 2014 – an 11 per cent increase over the last year.

Commenting, George said:

“These figures are a welcome endorsement of the strength of Scotland’s world-class education system – and an example of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education paying dividends.

“That the numbers of school leavers going on to positive destinations has increased to a record high is very encouraging – and follows on from ONS figures showing that Scotland is the most highly educated country in Europe with the numbers of people going on to higher and tertiary education ‘just about the highest in the world’.

“In Paisley, all primary and secondary schools are meeting PE provision targets and across Scotland as a whole, 96% of schools are hitting this target. This is very encouraging and shows that Scotland’s children are becoming more active and Scotland is steadily becoming a healthier nation. With the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup taking place on our doorstep this year, coupled with Wimbledon and the World Cup, we truly have a wonderful summer of sport to enjoy, hopefully spurring people on to take up one of the sports themselves.

“Today’s figures are an encouraging sign of the great progress that is being made in Scotland’s schools – and with the Curriculum for Excellence now being rolled out we can build on this progress and make Scotland’s education system even stronger.”