George outside University of the West of Scotland

Record UCAS Applications Show Importance of Free Education

New figures showing that UCAS applications by students in Scotland have reached record levels – highlighting the importance of the SNP’s commitment to free education.

George outside University of the West of Scotland

George outside University of the West of Scotland

A record high of 40,850 Scottish domiciled students have applied to study at a higher education institution in Scotland next year.

One of the SNP’s first acts on taking office was to abolish backdoor tuition fees, restoring the principle of education based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

“The fact that UCAS applications have reached record levels is a fantastic testament to the SNP’s efforts to ensure that students do not face barriers to their education.

“The abolition of tuition fees is one of the biggest achievements of the SNP Government and we remain utterly committed to protecting free education in Scotland.

“While Labour and the LibDems were happy to see students pay for their education and students south of the border face fees of up to £9000 per year, it is only the SNP that has been consistently on the side of students in Scotland.”

George at St Mirren Park

Paisley’s MSP wants to call time on booze ban for supporters at St Mirren Park

Story from Paisley Daily Express –

Paisley MSP George Adam has called for St Mirren Park to be used in a pilot scheme to bring booze back to football.

The Saints fan has asked Minister for Sport Jamie Hepburn if the SPFL club could be used in a trial to examine the re-introduction of selling alcohol at matches.

And he has backing from St Mirren chief executive Brian Caldwell.

George at St Mirren Park

George at St Mirren Park

Since 1980, alcohol has been banned from Scottish grounds but Mr Adam believes the time could have come to ease restrictions.

But growing moves have been made to the reverse the ban.

Mr Adam said: “I like having a pint before the game on a Saturday and why should the presumption be that I will misbehave if I do?

“We also need to think about the financial aspect … lifting the ban could give clubs a much-needed financial boost.

“We do need to have a good look at this issue again, in an informed and considered manner.

“I will work with any interested party looking to take this matter forward and I have written to the head of Police Scotland and the SPFL asking for their views at this stage.”

Mr Adam pointed out the recent success of a free Fans’ Zone at St Mirren Park last month, which was attended by 200 adults and children before a match against Motherwell.

He added: “A marquee was erected in the car park, kids were able to kick a ball about and play computer games, while adults were able to enjoy a drink and listen to live music.

“It was a great atmosphere and proof that alcohol can be consumed at the ground before a game.

“Since the ban back in 1980, the game has changed dramatically as has the modern stadium.

“All Scottish Premiership grounds are now all-seater, have expensive security and CCTV systems monitoring the crowd and more importantly, gone are the days of the running battles in the streets before and after games.

“Were these fights even fuelled by alcohol, or were they just a product of their time?

“I choose now to put faith in the football fan, like we do with rugby fans across our nation.”

The initial response from Mr Hepburn was that – after seeking advice from Police Scotland – the Scottish Government is not leaning towards to lift the ban.

But, according to Saints chief executive Brian Caldwell, the Fans’ Zone initiative shows what can be achieved if it’s handled in the right way.

He said: “We have the newest stadium in Scottish football and have no pubs in close proximity, therefore to have the option to segregate and allow supporters to come to the stadium early and enjoy a drink would be a positive move and be a no-brainer for our club and both sets of supporters.

“The Fans’ Zone was extremely successful and all those attending enjoyed coming to the stadium early in a family environment and enjoying a few pre-match drinks.

“Stadiums have better facilities than ever before, with so many modern stadia and this has worked for rugby, the Commonwealth Games and other sporting events in Scotland, as well as for football and other sporting events in England and many other countries around the world.

“Now is the time to run a pilot and we would be happy to be involved with the new facilities we have in Paisley.”

George high street

Moratorium on Fracking in Scotland Announced

A moratorium on planning consents for unconventional onshore oil & gas wells, including fracking, has been announced today by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

Fergus Ewing also announced that a full public consultation on unconventional oil & gas extraction will be held to ensure that the voices of communities across Scotland are heard on the issue.George outside Paisley Town Hall

Earlier this week the majority of Scottish Labour MPs failed to vote for a moratorium on fracking in the House of Commons, despite Jim Murphy stating his supposed opposition to the technology at the weekend. Every SNP MP voted in favour of a UK-wide moratorium.

Speaking after the announcement, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “This news will be welcomed the length and breadth of the country. Over recent months, the issue of fracking has been mentioned at almost every public meeting I’ve attended, as well as receiving numerous piece of correspondence on the subject. The consensuses has been that until more is known about this unconventional oil and gas extraction, how can planning consent be given to frack under someone’s home, without that person having the right to object.

‘Thankfully, the Scottish government has taken the step to block all unconventional oil and gas developments on planning grounds. This flies in the face of the gung-ho approach of the Westminster Government who, as we know from the squandering of Scotland’s oil, will do anything to make a quick buck. We also seen a sorry state of affairs recently when Jim Murphy said Scottish Labour was against fracking, but his MPs failed to turn up and vote for a moratorium when it was voted on at Westminster.

‘I fully support the Scottish Government taking a very cautious stance regarding fracking and look forward to the day when we don’t need to implement a moratorium, but can legislate on all matters relation to fracking in the Scottish Parliament.”

Murray and George

Murray’s Week with Team Paisley

For the last week, 4th year pupil Gleniffer High pupil Murray Pattison has joined the team at Paisley’s Parliamentary Office to undertake his work experience. With 15 year old Murray’s interest in politics, heightened by the recently referendum debate, he contacted George to see if he could spend the week learning about how a busy constituency office operates.

Murray and George

Murray and George

Speaking about his time with Team Paisley, Murray commented, “I have spent the last week in George Adam MSP’s office and it’s been a blast. I’ve contributed in a range of different activities from helping with casework to getting relevant information for George’s speeches. On Wednesday I had the privilege of visiting the Scottish Parliament building (although getting up at half 5 wasn’t as fun!).

‘I was shocked at its beautiful irregular design during my tour and I enjoyed experiencing the budget debate where the Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney gave his plan for setting the new property tax, replacing stamp duty. I felt very proud to have witnessed this.

‘At the parliament building I met George’s lovely wife, Stacey, and I had an all-round great time. All in all I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the office and parliament.”

George commented on Murray’s stay: “I was delighted to welcome another pupil to my office to undertake their work experience, the first from Gleniffer High School. Having Murray in the office gave him valuable experience regarding the inner working of a busy office right in the centre of Paisley.

‘He tells me he gained a new insight into politics, enhanced further with his day of work through in Edinburgh. I would like to thank Murray for his hard work throughout the week, the interesting debates we have had and wish him well in the future. Who knows, we could have a future Alex Salmond on our hands!”

George town hall landscape

All P1-P3 Children Entitled to Free School Meal

With all pupils in Primary 1 to Primary 3 now entitled to a free school meal – the SNP is today highlighting the importance of the policy – with 135,000 children expected to benefit and families of every eligible child saving at least £330 per year.

The move – which is being provided with £70.5m in revenue funding and £24.8m in additional capital funding by the Scottish Government – will provide P1-P3 children with guaranteed access to a healthy, nutritious meal and could positively shape children’s eating habits for the rest of their lives.

George town hall landscapeThe policy has been supported by campaigning organisations across civic Scotland including Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, trade unions and Children in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

“That all P1-P3 children will be entitled to a free school meal is a major step forward – and is a policy which will benefit pupils and their families alike.

“We all know that the early years of a child’s life are the most crucial and can shape their habits for a lifetime – so ensuring our children have access to a healthy lunch could see real improvements in Scotland’s public health in the future.

“Ensuring the youngest pupils in our schools have access to healthy and nutritious lunches can also play an important role in improving attainment and helping pupils to achieve their best in class.

“As well as helping our children to be healthier and achieve more in school, this policy will also provide a real boost to family budgets in tough financial times – with families benefiting to the tune of £330 per year for every eligible child.

“That 135,000 children will now have access to a healthy, free school meal is another example of the Scottish Government taking real action to make our country a better place – and I am very proud that it is the SNP who are taking this important measure forward.”

George sending out his 2104 Christmas Cards

George Gets the Christmas Post Ready

The Royal Mail is facing its busiest week. This is when all the Christmas post is being delivered, cards and parcels to loved ones across the country and beyond. Workers across Scotland will be doing everything in their power to get the mail delivered to businesses, friends and loved ones at this time of year.

George sending out his 2104 Christmas Cards

Paisley’s MSP has also been delivering his Christmas cards across the town.

George said:

‘Everyone appreciates the hard work conducted by everyone in the Royal Mail to get the Christmas deliveries out.

‘My postbag grows considerably in and out of the office at this time of year.

‘This year I have posted hundreds of cards to my friends and family.

‘I always like to show winter scenes of Paisley on my cards and this year is no exception. Cards depicting the Coats Memorial Church and Paisley Abbey will be going through the doors of many people showing some of the special places in our town.

‘I would like to remind everyone that the last posting dates for second class mail is Thursday the 18th of December, first class is Saturday the 20th of December.

‘I wish everyone in Paisley and beyond a happy Christmas’.