George welcomes referendum announcement

George and AlexGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government that the independence referendum will be held in the Autumn of 2014 and urged people Paisley to join the debate.
George said:

“The people of Paisley will have the exciting opportunity to vote in a referendum on Scotland’s future in 2014.

“This is a major opportunity to ensure that that the decisions about Scotland are taken by the people of Scotland and I hope everyone will take part.

“During this week, we have seen the Tories, the Lib-Dems and Labour all try to muscle in on the referendum, so I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to a referendum made in Scotland by the Scottish people and Scottish Parliament.

“It is also right that 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the referendum. It is notable that the Labour Party both north and south of the border are questioning this position, while numerous Labour MP’s and MSP’s have signed up to support lowering the voting age to 16, via the Vote 16 petition. The SNP has long believed that people who are entitled by law to work full time, get married and pay taxes should have a say in how their country is run and in the future of that country.

“It is absolutely vital therefore that our 16 and 17 year olds have a say in the biggest single decision Scotland will have taken in 300 years. Our young people are our future; they have a right to express their view at the ballot box.

“Above all, this is a matter for Scotland. The people gave the SNP a mandate to run this referendum. The Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour would do well to come to terms with that fact and respect the people’s decision.”

Link to Vote 16 petition signed by Labour MP’s and MSP’s

Call for Paisley Nominations to Young Scot Awards 2012

George Adam MSPGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, is encouraging his constituents to nominate a young person aged between 11 to 26 years old who has made a positive difference to the people’s lives in the local area.

The Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2012, in association with The Co-operative Foundation, are asking for nominations to be submitted to www.youngscotawards.co.uk before Friday 26th February. The Awards organisers want to hear inspirational stories, which truly reflect Scotland’s outstanding young people.

George said, “I know and have met many inspirational young people in Paisley the past year, who dedicate themselves to helping others in one way or another.

‘Anyone who can think of someone they know, or a group project, which deserves recognition at national level, should submit a nomination to the Young Scot Awards.

‘There are a number of different award categories, and the more people or groups put forward the better. This is a good opportunity to flag up the good work going on in Paisley; so whether you know a young sports hero, a young carer or some who volunteers their time for a good cause, nominate them so they can receive the praise they deserve”.

To nominate some one, click here.

Paisley MSP helps in campaign to tackle Student Drop-Out Rates

George out and about in PaisleyGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has recently lent his support to tackle the problem of students having to drop-out of university.

In supporting the ‘Fair Share, Fair Access’, which is being led by the Paisley Student President Garry Quigley, George has personally written to the Scottish Funding to help divert resources into helping to understand why students have to leave university early before achieving a degree.

George said, “The Scottish Government is committed to helping the most disadvantaged students in society, which is why in our Post-16 legislation we have secured a minimum income of £7,000 per year for the poorest students. This will go a long way in helping ease the financial woes of some students.”

To provide further help the campaign, Mr Adam has personally written to the Scottish Funding Council to ask them to consider the proposals outlined by the UWS Student President, that a national research project should be set-up that would seek to understand the reasons of why students drop-out.

“I was more than happy to lend my support to this campaign and to write to the Funding Council to ask them to consider setting-up a research project that would look into student retention. Having students dropping-out of university doesn’t benefit anyone, therefore, in order to uncover solutions to this problem, it is equally important that we understand the reason why students drop-out.”

Garry Quigley, UWS Student President added, “I was delighted that Mr Adam was able to lend us his support in our ‘Fair Share, Fare Access’ campaign. It is time that society tries to understand the problem of student dropping-out of university life. A recent report has discovered that 30% of those who drop-out of university cannot find any sort of employment afterwards. This creates many problems for society as a whole and its time that we took action to address it. The lobbying that Mr Adam has recently done for us will go along away in helping eradicate the problem of students leaving university early.”

Report looking into student retention

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

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.”