ANGUS MACDONALD WELCOMES FIRST MINISTER’S COMMITMENT ON SEPA PRESENCE IN GRANGEMOUTH
11 May 2017
Following calls from the community for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to have a permanent presence in Grangemouth the Port’s MSP, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed comments from the First Minister at Thursday’s First Minister’s Questions (11/05/17) that “SEPA has agreed to consider the benefits and costs of establishing a Grangemouth site that can support the wider Stirling-based area team.”
The First Minister’s comment comes after local elected representatives (Angus MacDonald MSP, Councillor David Balfour and Councillor Robert Spears) along with Grangemouth Community Councillors met with SEPA and Falkirk Council to impress upon the environmental protection agency the need for a permanent SEPA presence in the town.
At FMQ’s the First Minister stated: “The Scottish Government is in regular contact with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to support its delivery of regulatory and other services, as well as the management of the SEPA estate.
SEPA staff are regularly present in Grangemouth as part of their duties to deliver regulatory functions. I understand that, following discussion with the community council and local elected members, SEPA has agreed to consider the benefits and costs of establishing a Grangemouth site that can support the wider Stirling-based area team.”
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday after the First Minister’s comments, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“I’m delighted that there is progress towards having SEPA staff being based permanently in Grangemouth. I have been pursuing this issue for some time at senior Government level and with Directors at SEPA.
"The First Minister is aware that I facilitated a Problem Solving Partnership recently involving SEPA, Falkirk Council and Grangemouth Community Council on this issue, and I'm pleased to report that SEPA have engaged positively and proactively with the local community.
“Clearly the Grangemouth community has lived cheek by jowl with the petrochemical and agri-chemical industries for decades, and recognition has to be given to that.
“Proper acknowledgment and consideration must continue to be made by the Scottish Government and public bodies such as SEPA that there is a community of 18,000 people living in Grangemouth who are entitled to continue to live in a healthy environment and that the town is not just an industrial cash cow to boost Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product.”
MACDONALD WELCOMES SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONFIRMATION THAT FORTHCOMING TRANSPORT BILL WILL IMPROVE BUS SERVICES IN FALKIRK DISTRICT
02 May 2017
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed confirmation from the Scottish Government that it will bring forward a Transport Bill which will provide an important opportunity to improve local bus services and tackle declining patronage of buses.
Writing to Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee, of which Angus MacDonald is Depute Convener, the Scottish Government states “we will look at how we can improve the options available to local authorities to influence and improve bus services in their area.”
The Scottish Government continued:
“The Transport Bill will increase the ability of transport authorities to work with operators in partnership to deliver a jointly agreed local network of bus services which meet local needs.”
“Local franchising will also be available to local authorities where there is a case for it”.
“The Government is taking action and developing legislation which will change the current regulatory environment for buses.”
Speaking at Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee last Thursday (28/4/17) Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“I very much welcomed the announcement by the Transport Minister Humza Yousaf that a Transport Bill would be coming forward and I was particularly encouraged by the suggestion that ‘local franchising’ could be introduced which would effectively enable local authorities to become bus operators if they wished to, and I would wholeheartedly welcome any legislation that would make such a development easier for Falkirk Council to develop.
“Clearly, during the passage of the Bill through Holyrood there will be opportunities in consultation and in Parliament for people to comment and contribute to the developing bus policy.
“I look forward to playing my part in empowering local action regarding buses within the national framework, firmly aimed at enabling the bus sector to fully deliver its potential.”