ANGUS MACDONALD MSP WELCOMES FIRST BUS U TURN
27 January 2017
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
27 January 2017
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.”