Paisley’s MSP George Adam has today urged football fans in Paisley to make their voices heard in how the game is run by responding to the Scottish Government’s new consultation.
The Scottish Government has launched the consultation to inform potential future legislation to protect the rights of football fans. The consultation, which will run until 15 January 2016, is to look in to the best ways of increasing the involvement of supporters in football clubs.
Commenting, George said:
“Football clubs play an important role in our community and it’s right that fans should have the chance to be involved in the way their clubs are run wherever possible – which is good for supporters, clubs and the game as a whole. We can all remember the great feeling in and around the town after St Mirren won the League Cup in 2013, highlighting just how important our local team is to our town.
“There are a range of views on how fans can most effectively play a role in the running of their clubs – and this will be a valuable exercise in making sure that supporters voices are heard throughout the process. The St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMiSA), which I chair, is for example, exploring ways to increase fan representation on the board, and ultimately fan ownership.
“This new Scottish Government consultation is an important step in ensuring that local football fans have their say in how their clubs operate – and I’d urge as many local supporters as possible to get in touch and give their views on the future of our national game.”
Details of the consultation can be found by clicking here.
Many new members of the SNP gathered with members of the public to launch the campaign for George Adam to be elected as Paisley’s member of the Scottish Parliament on Friday. There was a festival atmosphere at the event and George was pleased that Derek Mackay MSP (Minister for Transport and the Islands), Mike Russell MSP, Mhairi Black MP and Gavin Newlands MP were also able to attend the event at St Peter’s in Glenburn with music from local band Clyde. George was elected to the Scottish Parliament as the first MSP to represent Paisley as a whole. Previously the town had been split in two covering other areas in Renfrewshire.
Speaking on the event George said;
‘It is a privilege to represent my home town at the parliament. For me there is no better job than to represent the people of Paisley in every way I can.
‘Everyone faces challenges and some tough times in their life and to be able to help is one of the best aspects of my job. There is another aspect to the job that I will continue to tackle. Our town has been used as a political football for years now. There are great aspects to this town along with people who want the best for Paisley. For too long the town has been talked down. I see the good things happening here and I will continue to promote the positive Paisley that I and many others see. It is the only way that you encourage people and businesses to come to Paisley and being Paisley’s MSP gives me the ideal opportunity highlight the good work going on here.
‘I am delighted to have been reselected to stand in Paisley and I look forward to the campaign.
Mike Russell MSP, former Cabinet secretary for education had this to say about George on the night;
‘George Adam is a first class MSP who stands up for the people of Paisley with flair, ability and determination. He is also a very effective support for the Education Secretary , acting as her Parliamentary Liaison Officer and helping to make education a priority for the Scottish Government and he did that wonderfully well for me as well.
‘George understands , as a former councillor in Paisley, how important party unity is to effective delivery of services He helps the SNP group in the Parliament to understand that issue and to fulfil its promises .
‘I greatly value George’s friendship and support in the Parliament and I am delighted to come to Paisley. To speak in his support and kick start his campaign for re-election.’
Whilst there, George met with Mary Jackson and Mercy Glyn, visiting SCIAF from Malawi. Mary is a farmer who benefitted from a SCIAF project and featured in the charity’s record-breaking WEE BOX Lent appeal which raised over £3.4million for its work in some of the poorest countries in the world. Mercy works with SCIAF to help poor families in Malawi to work their way out of poverty.
The changing climate has made life harder for Mary as she can no longer rely on predictable seasonal rains. SCIAF gave her farm training, seeds and tools to help her cope with the erratic weather. Now Mary can grow more food and earn money to support her family. Mary is now visiting Scotland to say ‘thank you’ to all the schools, parishes and people who have helped her and many others to work their way out of poverty.
“Scotland has a proud history of helping those in need. SCIAF is one organisation that has done so much over the years and to celebrate its 50th anniversary is a real pleasure. Meeting Mary gives tangible evidence of how people, families and communities benefit from the aid fund.”
Mary Jackson said:
“I’m really proud to be here in Scotland representing women in Malawi. Before the SCIAF project, nobody helped us. Life was very hard. Sometimes my children couldn’t go to school because the walk is very far and they were too hungry. Now they have enough to eat and they’re doing really well in school. If they continue to study hard they will achieve great things and will have a good life. I won’t have to worry about their future.”
SCIAF works with people in some of the poorest countries in the world, providing emergency aid and practical long term support to those affected by hunger, poverty, war and disasters. In Scotland it brings together people in parishes, schools and across Scotland to lobby governments and big business with campaigns to address the causes of global poverty and injustice.
New and returning students to the University of the West of Scotland have been called on to take care in their term time homes and check out Electrical Safety First’s ‘Dear Student’ campaign.
This campaign comes as hundreds of thousands of students – many for the first time away from home – move into their term time accommodation and as new figures show that the number of house fires and the number of fire fatalities are at a record low.
Latest figures show that the number of house fires have fallen 23% from 6,963 in 2006-07 to 5,330 in 2013-14 – the lowest annual number since 1990. The number of fatalities as a result of house fires has also fallen by 28% from 46 in 2006-07 to 33 in 2013-14 – the lowest annual number since 1990. The highest proportion of fires are caused by the misuse of electrical equipment or faulty leads and appliances.
Commenting, George said:
“These new figures show that Scotland is making good progress in reducing the number of house fires and, importantly, the number of people who are killed as a result of fires. Our Fire and Rescue Service in particular deserve our gratitude for the hard work they do every day to keep people safe. Local fire fighters often tell me of an increased focus on prevention and it really seems to be working. Local fire fighters will now come to your house and provide you with all the information you need to prevent house fires from occurring. Only a few weeks ago, I was handed a leaflet by a local fire officer outside a supermarket giving me information on how to arrange a home visit.
“However, we can never be complacent and we should all take the simple steps required to keep our homes safe – including installing smoke alarms and ensuring our electrical equipment remains safe.
“Over the next few weeks thousands of young people across Scotland, many for the first time, will leave home to live in rented accommodation and it is important that we ensure they are aware of the risk of fire from electrical equipment. Landlords must, and do, take a number of steps to ensure the safety of their tenants but tenants themselves must be aware of the risks and the steps they should take to mitigate them.
“I want all new and returning students our town’s university campus having fun and enjoy their studies and what Paisley has to offer. But they shouldn’t forget to check out the Electrical Safety First student safety campaign and download their free smartphone app.”
Phil Buckle, Director of Electrical Safety First, added:
“We are delighted that the number of fires in Scottish homes has decreased. But we cannot be smug – around two thirds of all domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity, with particular concerns arising from a lack of safety in student’s privately rented accommodation.
The Bishop of Paisley has announced his intention to call for a meeting of church leaders, politicians and charities across Renfrewshire to address the Syrian refugee crisis. The European Union will be holding an emergency meeting in Brussels later this month to discuss the issue.
In the rapidly developing crisis the First Minister organised a summit on Friday, and in Paisley, Bishop John Keenan met with George Adam MSP to discuss the situation.
Bishop John said:
‘One local woman contacted me, pleading with me to make a clear statement of compassion on behalf of the Church so that the world would not think we did not care. Many more contacted me asking for advice as to how they could help. So many of our local people want to help if only they are given ways personally to get involved. All of this has moved me to act and try to help bring together some solutions here at home to this unprecedented global crisis.’
Speaking on the issue George said:
‘My meeting with Bishop Keenan confirmed that we must take action now, locally and nationally. We cannot afford to stand by in this deeply upsetting humanitarian situation and do nothing.
‘Half the population of Syria has been displaced through unrest and civil war.
‘Practically we have to look at how we can help in Paisley and Renfrewshire. What resources can we provide for these people, displaced from their country, taking treacherous journeys to escape danger.
‘I will be calling on all my political colleagues to get involved in this meeting to look at how we can help and to provide a long term strategy to for our fellow human beings.
‘We must do everything we can to help the refugees or it will forever be on our conscience’.
Recent reports that the UK Government used fake quotes to promote its benefit sanction regime have been slammed by Paisley’s MSP George Adam and Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess. George, asking a parliament question on the matter, highlighted the issue of the fake quote with the Minister, who was saddened, but unsurprised by the tactics employed by the current UK Government.
Speaking after the parliamentary exchange, George said, ‘It is totally unacceptable that UK Government Ministers are resorting to making up fake quotes and testimonials to promote its failed benefit sanctioning regime. Over the past few years I have heard stories of people being sanctioned for failing to attend the job centre, because they had a job interview, going up to Aberdeen looking for work for a few days and being sanctioned for taking an unauthorized ‘holiday’, while I met a man with a severe brain injury, who had been on incapacity benefit for 20 years, who was suddenly told he was fit for work.
‘While sanctions are used as the punishment, I am often taken aback by the total lack of care and empathy shown by the DWP. We need a DWP that helps people into work instead of penalising them for being out of work. It is horrible being unemployed. You have to live on a reduced amount of money and people often tell me you can get stuck in a rut if they are unemployed for too long. That is why it is imperative that we do all we can to help people into work and make them feel like we care while doing so. There does not seem to be a care in the world coming out of the DWP currently. Would time not be better spent looking to improve the help given to people to find employment instead of making up fake quotes about a system that is failing? This punitive sanction regime must end now! ”
Answering George’s parliamentary question, the Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess said, “Sadly, that is unsurprising from the United Kingdom Government, which brought in the discredited sanctions system. We know the problems that the current sanctions regime is causing. It is clear that the system is not working, and no number of made-up public-relations case studies can demonstrate otherwise. This further highlights the failings in the whole system and the flawed approach of the UK Government. That is why we believe that the current regime should be suspended pending an urgent review. It is a discredited system that needs a complete overhaul, and we support the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s call for a full and independent review of the system.”
People in Paisley will have the opportunity to have their democratic voice heard as the Scottish Parliament comes to Paisley Town Hall for the day on Monday 21 September.
Holyrood’s Parliament Day initiative, introduced by the Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, takes the Parliament out into communities around Scotland, encouraging local people to take an interest in and engage directly with the Parliament and its work.
As part of Parliament Day Paisley, MSPs on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will meet with local people to hear about how their working lives have changed since the 2008 recession. This session will inform an inquiry the Committee is undertaking on the issue of ‘work, wages and wellbeing.’
In the evening, local people are also invited to an informal Q&A session, hosted by the Presiding Officer, where they can quiz MSPs about how their Parliament works for them.
The Presiding Officer said:
“The Scottish Parliament is there to represent all of Scotland’s communities and it’s important we hear directly from local people about the issues affecting their daily lives. I’m sure the people of Paisley will take this opportunity to make their voice heard and engage with their Parliament.
“I would encourage everyone who can to come along to the Town Hall to chat to me, my fellow MSPs and Parliament staff and find out more about politics and the Parliament. We want to hear from you.”
George Adam, MSP for Paisley said:
“One of the most important aspects of our modern parliament is its ability to engage with people across Scotland. Paisley is a great town with great people and a tremendous history. This is easily observed just walking through the centre of the town with our Abbey, which is over 850 years old, and the civic buildings created by the Victorian cotton mill owners.
“This visit by the Parliament to Paisley is about engagement. Towns like Paisley have their issues like unemployment and the need to reinvigorate town centres. These are challenges that must be tackled head on and the Parliament coming to Paisley is part of a process that should be welcomed, ensuring greater transparency for policies and decisions at parliamentary level.
“This visit also highlights that it is up to all of us to play our part in ensuring that our town is the type of place we wish to live and work.”
Parliament Day Paisley will be held in Paisley Town Hall, Abbey Close, Paisley PA1 1JF. The informal Q&A session with the Presiding Officer is open to all from 5:30pm.
Launched in November 2012, the Parliament Day initiative is all about taking the Parliament out of Edinburgh and into communities across Scotland. Parliament Days allow people to see the Parliament at work – both official parliamentary business such as committee meetings, and on a less formal level by meeting local MSPs and Parliament staff.
Eleven Parliament Days have been held across Scotland from Orkney to Hawick, and from Stornoway to Arbroath.
– See more at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/91544.aspx#sthash.Qnu0lT5H.dpuf
Paisley’s MSP is today welcoming the extension of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Fund.
Underlining the party’s unwavering commitment to improving education in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today announced that the fund will be extended to help 57 more schools in another 14 local authority areas – taking the number of schools benefiting from the fund to more than 300.
The fund – launched in February this year – focuses on improving literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing in primary schools in these areas, with the clear objective being to give all primary-school age pupils – regardless of background – the best start in life.
The First Minister also announced the creation of the Aspirations Package for schools, which will be delivered with organisations like Speakers for Schools and Children’s University as well as local employers and entrepreneurs to ensure young people can access the experience, knowledge and networks they need to help them succeed.
SNP MSP George Adam, who sits on the Education Committee, said:
“The extension of the Attainment Fund to benefit 57 more schools in another 14 local authority areas is very welcome indeed. Scotland’s children must be given everything they need to fulfil their full potential in life and the Attainment Fund is an important step in the right direction.
“Since coming to office in 2007 the SNP has worked tirelessly to improve education – pre-school age children now benefit from 600 hours of free childcare, compared to only 412 in 2007 – and we have rebuilt or refurbished 520 schools in the last eight years.
“Our primary one children are in smaller classes, more student teachers find permanent employment and more of our young people than ever now leave school and go into work, training or continue with their education.
“However, there is no room for complacency – and the extension of the Attainment Fund along with yesterday’s launch of the Read, Write, Count plan underlines the unwavering ambition of this SNP government to raise standards further.
“Five schools in Renfrewshire are benefitting from this fund, including St Fergus and Glencoats Primary schools in my own constituency. It is important that a child can have the same chance of walking in to a top university or getting a leading employment position no matter their background or where they come from. The Attainment Scotland Fund is one of the ways to ensure that this type of fairness and equality is realised.
“If re-elected in 2016, the SNP will continue to build on our strong record on education and will deliver in the face of harsh Westminster cuts.
“The SNP is committed to making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up – and today’s announcement will help make this a reality.”
Paisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed the sale of the former St Mirren ground to London and Scottish Investments (LSI) from Tesco. The Love Street site has lay empty since the final game was played at the ground in 2009. While LSI has not given concrete information regarding their plans for the site, Bryan Wilson, Group Development Director said in a letter to George that, “Our plans for the development of the site are still being developed with our architects and planning consultants and we hope to be able to share our ideas with you in the next couple of months. We also intend to consult with the local community”.
Speaking on the sale, George said, “I am pleased to hear that Tesco have finally sold this land and there is positive movement with trying to develop the site. While we do not yet know what will be built on the site, I remain confident that this site can be brought back into use and once again have a meaningful purpose.
‘Since I was elected in 2011, I have written on numerous occasions to the management at Tesco putting the case forward that they needed to re-double their efforts in either developing the site themselves or finding a suitable buyer. We are finally at that juncture and I hope to work with LSI and the local community in ensuring this site is developed sooner rather than later.
‘This site is in a prime location, next to Scotland’s busiest airport, with great links to the M8 and our historic town centre is just a few minute walk away. Getting this site developed is just the next piece in the puzzle in bringing more jobs and prosperity to our town and I look forward to seeing plans in the coming months”.
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- George Urges Local Football Fans to Make Their Voices Heard
- George Launches Campaign
- GEORGE MEETS MALAWIAN FARMER AT SCIAF’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
- George Highlights Electrical Safety Campaign to Students
- Paisley’s Bishop and MSP Call for Summit