ANGUS MACDONALD MSP WELCOMES FIRST BUS U TURN

Boness Bus Station

BO’NESS INCLUDED IN FIRST BUS LOWER FARES PACKAGE

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed today’s announcement (27th January) by First Bus, that it is to include Bo’ness in its lower fares package.

This announcement comes after months of pressure put on the company by Angus and the residents of Bo’ness. A public petition started by Bo’ness resident Gail Nash garnered the support of over 1,000 people, and formed part of a wider public engagement which saw commuters feeling hard done by First Bus having to pay extra for the same service received by other parts of the Falkirk district.

Commenting on this announcement, Angus MacDonald MSP, who represents Bo’ness at Holyrood, said:

“I’m delighted that First Bus have finally seen sense and included Bo’ness in their lower fares packages.

“Not only have I been pressing for this change to happen, but thousands of my constituents, affected by this unfair treatment, have been coming forward to let First Bus know their thoughts.

“This is proof positive of what we can achieve together as a community to fight back against inequality. Not only is this good for the town of Bo’ness, it will prove to be beneficial to the surrounding economy and may even prove to be beneficial for First Bus too.

“Although I had asked for this change of heart before Christmas in 2016, I am glad that First Bus has now decided to provide a late, but welcome, gift to the people of Bo’ness.”

Local Bo’ness campaigner, Gail Nash commented saying:

“I'm delighted to hear First Bus East Scotland Ltd have changed the area which their £15 zonal ticket covers to include Bo'ness. The decision to exclude Bo'ness in the first place was very disappointing and led the way to an online petition which gathered 1,227 signatures which has hopefully contributed to this reversal.

“This will mean residents travelling out of the town and visitors coming to the town can enjoy equitable fares across the council area.”

MACDONALD REACTS TO GRANGEMOUTH JOBCENTRE CLOSURE LEAK

Job centre

 

TORY JOB CENTRE CUTS WILL HIT MACDONALD’S FALKIRK EAST CONSTITUENCY

SNP MSP DEMANDS ASSURANCES ON FUTURE OF VITAL FRONTLINE SERVICE

Following the leak that Grangemouth Jobcentre is to close before March 2018 SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has said that local services must be retained, and has urged the Tory government to rethink this wrongheaded closure to ensure providing front line services to support people into work is their priority

Angus MacDonald has written to the UK government’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Damian Green, urging him to rethink any potential closure to the job centre in Grangemouth, and others throughout the country after it was leaked that Grangemouth JobCentre will be added to the massive DWP cuts already announced.

The DWP has signalled that it intends to close over 20% of the job centre estate across the country – which stands to have a deeply damaging impact on communities in Falkirk district and across Scotland, resulting in already hard-up people being forced to travel further at a higher cost in order to access vital job searching services.

The closures come on the back of 7 years of brutal Tory austerity, which has severely impacted communities in Falkirk district and across the country – with the latest round of cuts simply representing an ideological attack on society’s most vulnerable.

Commenting on the closure leak, Angus MacDonald MSP said:

“I am angered to hear of the plans to close the job centre in Grangemouth – which will have a severe impact on our local communities.

“With Grangemouth being the only local job centre in my Falkirk East constituency, it provides a vital service to those looking for work. Closure will result in already hard-up people being forced to travel further at a higher cost in order to access vital job searching services.

“This latest round of ideologically driven Tory cuts is targeted at the most vulnerable people in our society – and completely betrays the Tories’ claims that they are attempting to get people into work.

“How can they possibly be getting people into work if they are closing the services that people need to develop the skills and knowledge to be successful applicants, and taking away a vital resource where jobs can be found?

“It was always felt that the earlier announcement of closures in Glasgow was simply the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Tories’ attempts to target our communities – and it is with absolutely no joy that we have been proven right.

“I will work closely with my MP colleague for Falkirk East, Martyn Day, and the Scottish Government to fight these closures and resist this latest round of cuts in our community.”

“I have written to the UK government’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, seeking assurances over the future of job centres in Falkirk district after the deeply troubling news last month that 8 of Glasgow’s 16 job centres were marked for closure – and these closures seem to be the tip of the iceberg, with more harrowing cuts, including Grangemouth set to be announced imminently.

“This closure is not acceptable, and I plan to do everything in my power, with support from the Scottish Government, to fight these cuts. I hope my Scottish Conservative counterparts join these efforts and take up the fight with their colleagues at Westminster rather than sitting back and letting their constituents suffer.

“When push comes to shove, will they stand up for their constituents and fight to stop the job centre closures, or will they simply go along with what their bosses at Westminster decree?

“The local services must be retained, and I urge the Tory government to rethink these wrongheaded closures and to ensure providing front line services to support people into work is their priority.”

TIME FOR REFLECTION: HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

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Today saw two pupils from Braes High School, Jessica Reid and Callum Docherty, lead Time for Reflection in Parliament. These two young people have been part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s “Lessons from Auschwitz” project and were given the opportunity to visit the concentration camps in Poland, in order to learn what happened, why it happened, and what can and must be done to prevent this from ever happening again.

Their words, in preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, have never been more poignant, nor have they been more significant as we remember the actions and principles of those in the past which should never be allowed to darken society again.

I was proud to have met Jessica and Callum and listen to their reflections on the lessons they have learned as part of this project. I will strive to continue to pass on these lessons to ensure that the horrors of the past will never be repeated in the future.

 

In preparation of today's Time for Reflection I submitted a motion to Parliament, which garnered cross party support:

 
Braes High School Pupils and Holocaust Memorial Day

That the Parliament commends Braes High School pupils, Jessica Reid and Callum Docherty, for taking part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project; understands that the project has been running since 1999 and has seen over 30,000 students and teachers take part; acknowledges that the project includes hearing at first-hand from a Holocaust survivor, visiting Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau, and seminars before and after visiting in order to provide knowledge about the Holocaust and what can happen if prejudice, racism and intolerance become acceptable; recognises the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day, which falls on 27 January 2017, in helping to remember why everyone should continue to tackle racism and intolerance; anticipates Time for Reflection in the Parliament on 24 January, which will be led by Jessica and Callum in preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day, and sends its best wishes to them for the day and for their future.

 

Supported by: Gail Ross, Jeremy Balfour, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, James Dornan, Ruth Maguire, Mairi Evans, Colin Beattie, John Mason, Alison Harris, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Neil Findlay, Ivan McKee, Tom Arthur, David Torrance, Graeme Dey, Emma Harper, Gil Paterson, Sandra White, Jenny Gilruth, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin

 

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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