Constituents in Whitecross are reminded that the Whitecross Bridge is to be closed from 7am this coming Monday, 26th September and will reopen on Friday, 30th September at 4pm.

This is to allow work on the  Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) on the railway.

Although there will be no night time work, and shift times will be limited from 8am to 6pm Monday to Wednesday and 8am to 3pm on Thursday and Friday, please be aware that there will be a level of noise disruption expected from these works.

I have been assured that every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum, and traffic management is in place to divert traffic via the B825 and A803.

The National Helpline in place for EGIP is 03457 11 41 41 for queries, and information can be found at www.egip.info .


Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East, and Michael Matheson MSP, Falkirk West, have today congratulated The Kelpies on winning the Pioneer Award at the inaugural World Canals Awards.

The 30-metre high tourist attraction, which sits on the border between the two constituencies, won the award which acknowledges projects that are paving the way in growing tourism or creating sustainable income streams linked to the world’s canals. With major increases in tourism to the area attributed to The Kelpies and The Helix, the globally recognised Kelpies beat several other projects from across the world to win the title.

After lodging a motion in Parliament praising the success of The Kelpies in winning this award, Angus MacDonald, MSP for Falkirk East said:

“This award is another in a long list of fantastic achievements belonging to The Kelpies. Not only have they given a new lease of life to the stretch of the canal here, they are an internationally recognised symbol for the Falkirk District, and for Scotland, to say that we are open for business, and are ready to welcome the world.

Commenting on the success, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“The Kelpies have now become a major national attraction, which brings thousands of people into the Falkirk area. It's fantastic news that they have been awarded such a prestigious prize at the World Canals Conference recently held in Inverness.

“I would like to congratulate all those involved in showcasing the Kelpies and hope that their hard work continues to be recognised by many more accolades such as this.”




Angus MacDonald MSP's tabled motion in Parliament - 22/9/16:

Title: The Kelpies wins Pioneer Award at the inaugural World Canals Awards

That the Parliament welcomes the success of The Kelpies on being awarded the Pioneer Award at the inaugural World Canals Awards, which took place at the World Canals Conference in Inverness; notes that the conference is being held in Scotland for the first time in over a decade and gives an opportunity to share information and promote Scotland’s increasingly important inland waterway network; recognises that The Kelpies, along with the Helix, have been instrumental in bringing more visitors to Falkirk District from around Scotland and across the world, with one million visitors in the first 12 months of their opening; notes that The Kelpies are the world’s largest equine sculptures, developed through a partnership between Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and supported by an award of £25 million from the Big Lottery Fund; considers that, in order to maximise the impact that these fantastic, award-winning assets have on Falkirk District, the people of Grangemouth and Falkirk, to whom they belong, should ultimately be responsible for decisions made in relation to them and to use them as they see fit; further congratulates The Kelpies, which are situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal and River Carron, on winning this prestigious award, and wishes everyone involved in both projects continued success in the future.

The Nature of Politics: Species Champions Go Wild in the Scottish Parliament

Today the award-winning Species Champions initiative is relaunched in the Scottish Parliament with the announcement of the first 48 Champions.

From the iconic Red squirrel and Bottlenose dolphin, to little-known treasures like the Flame shell and Bordered brown lacewing, Scottish Environment LINK are asking MSPs to become champions for wildlife.

The State of Nature Report, launched last week, revealed that Scotland’s fish, mammals, fungi, birds, invertebrates, trees, plants, amphibians and reptiles are under threat as never before.

Intensive agriculture, damaging development, over-exploitation of natural resources, invasive species and climate change all put pressure on Scotland’s unique and globally important ecosystems.

Craig Macadam, Director of Buglife Scotland, said, “When did you last look for creepy-crawlies under a stone? How many of Scotland’s 93,000 species could you name? We’re looking for champions to rekindle our excitement about nature’s diversity and our understanding of its importance to our health, wealth and wellbeing.

“MSPs will learn about how they can contribute to the conservation of their species in parliament and by supporting practical action in the community.”

Angus MacDonald MSP, Member of the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee and Species Champion for the Bog Sun Jumper Spider, said “I would encourage all of my MSP colleagues, the relatively new and longer serving ones, to get involved in this programme. Not only is it highlighting a hugely important subject matter. It is also good fun!’’

The Scottish Government is committed to delivering the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy by 2020. This will be a particular focus for the work of Species Champions in the current parliament.

Champions can take action for their species in Parliament by asking questions, tabling motions, holding debates, and in discussions in committee. They can also raise awareness of their species in their constituency and further afield.

There are still over 80 MSPs who have yet to join the scheme and take up species. One question in particular is a matter for keen speculation. Rob Gibson, former chair of the Environment committee, retired at the end of the last session. His species, Rusty bog moss or Sphagnum fuscum still awaits a champion. Who will be the Scottish Parliament’s new moss boss? 

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2016

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