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YES VOTE GUARANTEES TRANSFORMATIONAL CHILDCARE

George outside the old Arnotts BuildingLabour have faced questions about their childcare proposals today – after the Scottish Parliament’s information centre made clear that the party had failed to provide even basic details of how the policy is to be funded and what its economic impact would be.

 

While Labour has failed to provide a costing for their proposals – SPICe figures show that the cost would be around £750m.  However, SPICe has also confirmed that Labour’s plans would have additional costs but that “there is insufficient detail in the [Together We Can] document to enable these proposals to be costed.”

 

SPICe has also stated that Labour are unable to provide details of how the policy would be funded – stating that “Labour party researchers have indicated that they are still in the process of deciding the policy details and funding”.

 

Any positive economic impact Labour’s plans would make is also unclear – with SPICe confirming that Labour’s plans “don’t outline the anticipated impact on female participation in the work force and the supporting background information also does not show the likely scale of impact on female participation.”

 

In contrast, Scotland’s Future sets out clear plans for a transformational childcare policy in an independent Scotland – which would see children from age one to five entitled to 1,140 hours of early learning and childcare.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

 

“These SPICe findings are a real blow to Labour and their uncosted, undetailed plans which give every indication of having been worked out on the back of a fag packet.

 

“The lack of even basic detail in their plans shows that Labour just isn’t serious about childcare – and their proposals were nothing more than a desperate response to the transformational childcare plans set out in Scotland’s Future.

 

“Labour don’t even know how much their own proposals would cost – they need to go back to the drawing board and work out the basics before anyone can take them seriously.

 

“With SPICe telling us Labour’s plans will cost £750m – Johann Lamont needs to tell us how she intends to pay for this policy.  With the limited powers of devolution Scotland’s budget is fixed – what existing services would she cut to pay for these plans?

 

“Labour’s uncosted plans stand in stark contrast to the SNP’s transformational childcare plans after a Yes vote – which will benefit around 240,000 children in their early years, help get more parents back into work and make sure that the tax revenue from increased economic activity is reinvested in Scotland’s future rather than flowing to the Treasury in London.”

 

Carers week 2014

I lodged the following motion at parliament highlighting Carers Week this year.

 

Motion Number: S4M-10152
Lodged By: George Adam
Date Lodged: 28/05/2014

Title: Carers Week 2014

Motion Text:

That the Parliament acknowledges and welcomes Carers Week 2014, a UK-wide annual awareness campaign that takes place from 9 to 15 June; notes that Carers Week is supported by 10 national charities, Age UK, Carers Trust Scotland, Carers Scotland, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, Skills for Care and the Stroke Association; notes that, by raising awareness of carers at a national, regional and local level, the aim of Carers Week is to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for; further notes that, in 2014, Carers Week sees the launch of the Carers Week Quest, an initiative that aims to reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK who are currently missing out on services and support; understands that there are over 657,000 carers and 16,700 young carers in Scotland, that two in five carers feel that they have missed out on financial support as a result of not getting the correct information and advice early enough and that 84% of carers say that caring has a negative impact on their health; further understands that, by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner, carers save Scotland’s economy more than £10.3 billion each year; considers that cuts to local services place even greater strain on carers’ lives, and believes that every effort should be made to ensure that carers receive all the support that they require.

Highlighting Epilepsy Care in Awareness Week

GeorgePaisley’s MSP was happy to show his support for new SIGN national guidelines on managing epilepsy in adults by signing a gold standard ticket on Wednesday 21 May.  He took part in a Sign up to SIGN group photo in the Garden Lobby, held by the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland (ECS) to promote forthcoming revised guidelines covering 50,000 adults with epilepsy and to highlight National Epilepsy Week (18-24 May).

 

George said: ‘Over 500 of my constituents are adults who have epilepsy.  I want the very best care to be available to them and their families whenever they need it.  I will be discussing with the local NHS board how they can do their best to ensure the latest SIGN guidelines are implemented.  It will be helpful if we can meet this new gold standard in epilepsy care when it is launched after recess.

 

‘I’m supporting National Epilepsy Week because this is a common, serious neurological condition which many of us still know little about. In fact, the sixth epilepsy debate took place in the Parliament this week.  I signed my support for this Members Motion, put forward by Kenneth Gibson MSP, is looking at tackling the stigma of epilepsy through education.  National Epilepsy Week is a good time to do what I can to raise awareness seven further.‘

 

Ends

 

Notes to editor

 

  1. The Epilepsy Consortium Scotland (ECS) is an umbrella body aiming to bring issues concerning the 54,000 people living in the country with epilepsy to the attention of policy makers and the Scottish Government.  It also offers an important channel for comprehensive feedback on what is happening in the field of epilepsy at a local and national level. ECS acts as a collective voice for the wider epilepsy community in Scotland.  Current membership details at W:www.epilepsyconsortiumscotland.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Muir Slicer Team up with Paisley’s MSP in Supporting Scottish Apprenticeship Week

George with Apprentice Chelsea McGregor, CareWatch Manager Heather Caldwell and Muir Slicer Managing Director Allan Slicer

George with Apprentice Chelsea McGregor, CareWatch Manager Heather Caldwell and Muir Slicer Managing Director Allan Slicer

Paisley based training firm Muir Slicer Associates hosted a visit from Paisley’s MSP, George Adam to promote the upcoming Scottish Apprenticeship Week which runs from 19th to 23rd May.

The company is currently working with over 300 Modern Apprentices across a range of sectors and boast an achievement rate of over 90 percent. To show his support for Scottish Apprenticeship Week, George warmly took up an invitation from Liz Muir of Muir Slicer to come along to their Paisley office, take in the work they do and meet up with one of their apprentices.

Skills Development Scotland organises Scottish Apprenticeship Week to encourage many more employers to take on apprentices. Scotland has ambitious targets for 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places each year. Modern Apprenticeships cover around 80 different areas of employment and are open to anyone over the age of 16.

Speaking after the visit George said, “It was great to get along to a local firm which is directly involved delivering modern apprenticeships to people in our community. I was given a tour around their base at the Abbey Mill and was very impressed with the work they undertake and the level of professionalism on show. I then met up with one of their young apprentices, Chelsea McGregor, who is working with one of Muir Slicers partner organisations. She seemed to be really enjoying her apprenticeship and was learning a great deal which will stand her in good stead for the future.

‘The Scottish Government is committed to giving all young people the best chance to gain employment, that’s why it is committed to providing 125,000 over the life time of this parliamentary session. Skill Development Scotland, who are promoting Scottish Apprentice Week deserve great credit for promoting the benefits apprenticeships bring to business, individual and the Scottish Economy as a whole. I would like to thank Muir Slicer for inviting me along to their Paisley office and wish them, and their apprentices, ever success in the future.”

Muir Slicer managing director, Allan Slicer, said: “Developing our candidates is very important to our business and Modern Apprentices are a vital part of that development. By working with our client organisations we see the positive difference the Modern Apprenticeship programme makes to their businesses.

“The visit allowed George to find out about Modern Apprentice opportunities with Muir Slicer and more about what we do, as well as meeting some of our clients and Apprentices.”

Feedback from candidates to date has included: “My apprenticeship has provided me with the opportunity to get valuable qualifications and to earn while I learn.

“Getting a work-based qualification has been invaluable and has really helped me in my job and career so far.”

 

Muir Slicer delivers Modern Apprenticeships throughout Scotland across a wide variety of skill areas including Management, Retail Skills, Retail Management, Business and Administration, Health and Safety and Customer Service. Anyone with an interest in finding out more about the opportunities available should contact Graeme on 0141 889 1234.

The company is currently working with over 300 Modern Apprentices in retail, business administration and management and recruits new clients and candidates each year. And with an achievement rate of over 90%, Muir Slicer’s clients can be certain they’re getting the best possible input from our highly qualified and motivated team.

Events and activities involving employers, apprentices, colleges, local authorities and training providers are taking place across the country to celebrate the success of apprenticeships.

Modern Apprentices are employed across Scotland in a wide range of jobs in sectors including engineering, construction, health and social care, ICT, tourism, retail and food and drink.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from 19 to 23 May. You can find out more at www.scottishapprenticeshipweek.com

For further information please contact:

Muir Slicer Associates Limited
Liz Muir
Phone number 0141 889 1234
Email address lizmuir@muirslicer.com

Shocking 209% Increase in Benefit Sanctions in Scotland

George Adam MSPFigures revealing that there has been a 209% increase in the number of benefit sanctions since 2006 have been described as a shocking demonstration of Westminster’s determination to penalise the least well off in society.

The figures show that the number of cases where a decision to sanction somebody’s benefits was made has more than tripled from 25,953 in 2006 to 80,305 in 2013. In that time, the single largest increase took place between 2012 and 2013, where there was an increase of 15,463 benefit sanctions in a single year.

The revelation of these figures comes just days after Inclusion Scotland’s Bill Scott blasted Westminster’s approach to benefits sanctions as “a crime against humanity”.

Commenting Paisley’s MSP George Adam said,

“What’s going on here? 209% increase in sanctions to our least well off? My office has been inundated with job seekers who for numerous, and questionable reason, have been sanctioned for anything up to 2 years. I had a constituent come to me who was sanctioned for not declaring he was going all the way to Aberdeen for two days to look for work.

“The strong words earlier this week from Bill Scott were a demonstration of the deep frustration at the damage that Westminster’s callous Welfare cuts are causing. The unholy alliance of Labour, Tories and Lib Dems can no longer perpetuate the myth that we are better and all in this together. Let’s remember, these sanctions are part of a wider ideological driven policy by the Tories to cut a further £12bn from the welfare budget.

“This is part of the Chancellors benefit cap, fully supported by his Labour allies. This is a Cabinet with a report personal wealth of around £70m, who make decisions about capping benefits for those on the lowest incomes. Better together?

“The anniversaries of the introduction of the Poll Tax and Bedroom Tax have brought home to people just how damaging Westminster’s decisions have been for Scotland.

“With a Yes vote in September we can tailor a welfare system to meet the needs of the people of Scotland and helps people into work.”

University of the West of Scotland Awarded Gold

George speaking at a recent eventA team of researchers from the University of the West of Scotland, have been presented with prestigious award. The team led by Professor Gayle McPherson, Chair in Events and Cultural Policy, picked up the gong at the Game Changer Awards ceremony at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow last night. They were awarded Joint Gold in the Research Impact – Higher Education Institutions category. Paisley’s MSP George Adam was in attendance and after the event, shared his praise for the team from UWS.

George said, “Prof McPherson along with her team of researchers, including David McGillivray of the University’s Skillset Creative Media Academy deserve huge create on winning this prestigious award. Their research is very interest, looking into the usefulness of sporting events in influencing opportunities for community participation, as well as attitudes and awareness about disability in the broader community. Focusing on the before, during and after of both the Commonwealth Games this summer, and the Pan/ Para Pan American Games next year, assisted by Professor Laura Misener of the University of Ontario, this research could have great benefits in changing attitudes and increasing the participation of people with a disability in numerous areas across society. I would like to congratulate the team and wish them well as they take for their research during the Commonwealth Games, during an exciting summer of sports across Scotland, including the Ryder Cup.

Speaking after picking up the award, Professor McPherson said, “We are delighted to have won a gold medal in the Research Impact category of the Game Changer Awards. Our project focuses on how the catalyst effect of the Games can be used to leverage social change. This is the first research study that has sought to take a comparative approach to large scale sporting events focusing on Glasgow 2014, which is an integrated games, and next year’s Pan/Para Pan American Games in Toronto.”

 

George today lodged a parliamentary motion below congratulating the research team.

Motion Number: S4M-09630

Lodged By: George Adam

Date Lodged: 04/04/2014

 

Title: University of the West of Scotland Awarded Gold

 

Motion Text:

That the Parliament congratulates Professor Gayle McPherson and her research team at the University of the West of Scotland on being awarded Joint Gold at the Gamechanger Awards in the Research Impact – Higher Education Institutions category;  notes that the award recognises the impact of research relevant to the Glasgow 2014 Games, its legacy goals to the enhancement of sport or understanding of the Commonwealth in Scotland; recognises that the project was conducted in conjunction with Professor Laura Misener of the University of Ontario and focused on leveraging parasport events for sustainable community participation, contrasting two types of sporting events involving disabled competitors, either competing in the same tournament as non-disabled athletes in separate events, or competing in a tournament in the same location as the non-disabled tournament but at a different time; understands that this differentiation is important for understanding the usefulness of sporting events in influencing opportunities for community participation as well as attitudes and awareness about disability in the broader community; commends all the participants in the research to date, and wishes them every success as they go on to conduct further research during and after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and before, during and after the Pan/Parapan American Games in 2015.

Paisley Rugby Football Club Gains Promotion

Paisley Rugby ClubGeorge lodged the parliamentary motion below congratulating Paisley RFC on gaining promotion after their massive 43-5 win at the weekend. Well done guys, good luck for next season.

Motion Number: S4M-09616
Lodged By: George Adam
Date Lodged: 03/04/2014

Title: Paisley Rugby Football Club Gains Promotion

Motion Text:
That the Parliament congratulates Paisley Rugby Football Club’s 1st XV on winning promotion to the West Region Two League after a massive 43-5 win over Birkmyre in front of its biggest crowd of the season; notes that Paisley RFC had to win the game by four tries to gain the four-try bonus and five points needed to secure promotion over its closest rivals, Cumnock, which was accomplished by beating Birkmyre, which had beaten Paisley RFC earlier in the season; applauds the coach, Grant Sweeney, for leading Paisley RFC into the West Region Two League and going the whole season undefeated at home; wishes the 1st XV every success in next season’s campaign, and wishes the 2nd XV well for the remainder of the season.

10th Scottish Title for Kelburne Hockey Club

Once again Kelburne Hockey Club have demonstrated their quality by winning the Scottish Men’s title.  I have lodged the following motion to recognise their success.
10th Scottish Title for Kelburne Hockey Club
That the Parliament congratulates Kelburne Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI on winning the Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 1 title for the 10th successive year; recognises the Paisley team as the premier hockey club in Scotland, providing the majority of players for the Scottish national team and which has once again qualified for Europe as Scotland’s National League Champions; wishes the team continued success in the future, and considers the club great ambassadors for Scotland and Paisley.

 

 

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Annabelle Ewing, Patricia Ferguson, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Rob Gibson, Nigel Don, Roderick Campbell, David Torrance, Neil Bibby, Hugh Henry, Stuart McMillan, Dennis Robertson, Chic Brodie, Bill Kidd, Mike MacKenzie, Kenneth Gibson, Kevin Stewart, Maureen Watt, Colin Beattie

Backing For Disability Access Campaign

George with his wife StaceyA website which reviews the disabled access standards of local venues has been gaining momentum after boosting new celebrity backers, Stephen Hawking and JK Rowling. The website, Euan’s Guide, was started by Euan McDonald, who suffers from Motor Neuron Disease, in a bid to share information on disabled access with other people with accessibility needs. Paisley’s MSP George Adam is encouraging people across Paisley to use the site to review local bars, restaurants and other venues.

Commenting, George said:

“This is a fantastic initiative which can make a real difference to the social lives of disabled people across Scotland, as well as their friends and families.

“Disabled people often face challenges in accessing everyday venues which most people don’t have to think twice about, with proper information about disabled facilities often being a process of trial and error. My wife Stacey is a wheelchair users and we need to think carefully before choosing a restaurant, café or pub to go to. If the place has stairs but no lift, then we simply cannot go.

“Euan’s Guide is looking to help us make the decision on where to go before leaving the house and provide a reliable portal for information on disabled access for venues across Scotland, which would help disabled people across the country enjoy access to the bars, restaurants and cinemas which most people take for granted.

“Renfrewshire Access Panel already do a great job highlighting accessibility weaknesses at venues across our town, recently consulting on disabled access to the refurbished Paisley Town Hall, while helping consult on access for disabled spectators during the Commonwealth Games. I hope Euan’s Guide can supplement the great service they already provide the people of Paisley.

“I would encourage people across the constituency to contribute to the website and rate local venues – and make a real difference to the quality of life of disabled people in our community.”

Founder of Euan’s Guide, Euan McDonald, said:

“Following years of investigating, me and my family have built up something akin to a local directory on disabled access that we were keen to share with others with accessibility needs. And then we thought that there must be thousands if not millions of people who have the same issues that we do so we decided to take this a step further and create a site that will benefit the whole disabled community.”

The Euan’s Guide website can be found by clicking here.