Local politician backs campaign for retailers across Midlothian North and Musselburgh to report all crimes as powers to punish those responsible for abuse in stores are strengthened
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie, is urging local shop staff not to suffer silently as victims of abuse, violence and thefts, saying: “Don’t put up with it”.
He is supporting a new campaign spearheaded by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF), encouraging retailers to report every single criminal act in their stores to police, in order to help turn the tide on costly and traumatic trouble.
Don’t Put Up With It has been launched after the Scottish Parliament backed a new law which will give shop workers stronger protection against abuse and assaults.
But, for The Protection of Workers Act to be effective when it comes into force later this year, SGF says that all incidents must be reported so that criminals come to realise that their acts will not be tolerated - and will be punished whenever possible.
It’s a call backed by Colin Beattie who has encouraged local shop owners to get behind the campaign and for customers to show respect to retailers, who have been at the forefront of community support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Colin Beattie commented:
“I would like to thank all retail workers across Scotland for the key role that they play in our communities. We have seen throughout the Coronavirus pandemic just how vital shop staff are in our society. I firmly believe that all workers should have the right to carry out their duties free from fear or threat.
“That’s why I’m supporting the Don’t Put Up With It campaign, as we can only understand the extent of the problem through reporting to the police, and building solutions from there. Retail workers deserve to have support in the workplace, as well as clarity in where to turn to when they face criminal acts at work.”
The Don’t Put Up With It campaign is being made possible as part of a £50,000 package from the Scottish Government to tackle retail crime. It will see SGF work closely with the charity Crimestoppers, its youth programme ‘Fearless’, and Police Scotland to spread the message.
SGF Head of Policy and Public Affairs Dr John Lee said: “No-one should have to put up with thefts or suffer abuse, threats or violence as they go about their work.
“We are delighted that the Protection of Workers Bill has been passed and grateful for this local political support. For retailers to know that they have such support will help them recognise the importance of this new law and give them confidence in reporting all crimes that happen in their stores.
“Some of what our shop staff have to put up with can be frightening and disgusting. As an industry, we should not have to sit back and tolerate it.
“We want to make it clear that we will not put up with crime in stores and will report every incident to police.”
To find out more about the campaign and find out how you can show your support, go to www.dontputupwithit.scot. Follow #dontputupwithit on social media.
Details about crimes should be reported to Police Scotland on 101. Call 999 in an emergency. Information about those responsible for offences can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh is pledging his support to the More for Scotland’s Animals campaign. The campaign is a joint initiative led by eleven leading animal welfare charities to ensure the welfare of Scotland’s animals is given appropriate consideration by elected members following the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May.
Candidates from all parties have been asked to sign the pledge which states:
“I recognise animals as sentient beings and pledge to do more for Scotland’s animals in the next Parliament: more to ensure the highest standards of welfare for companion, wild and farmed animals, so that all of Scotland’s animals can enjoy a good life; more to protect animals in Scotland from cruelty and exploitation; and more to support people responsible for animals and educate the public about animals’ needs.”
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“The welfare of the millions of wild, farmed and companion animals in Scotland is very important to me. The Scottish Parliament has a duty to ensure that meaningful legislation is in place to help protect our animals and ensure the highest welfare standards are met. I am pleased to pledge my support to the campaign and if re-elected, will continue to champion animal welfare issues in the next term.”
Speaking on behalf of the campaign, OneKind Director Bob Elliot said:
“We are delighted to be co-ordinating the More for Scotland’s Animals campaign group to encourage MSPs to pledge to do more for Scotland’s animals. Animals play a key role in society, and the public care deeply about how they are treated, whether they are farmed, wild or companion animals. In the upcoming months we will be encouraging candidate MSPs to take part in a series of actions to pledge their commitment to animal welfare. We look forward to working with the incoming Parliament and Government to make Scotland a better place for animals.”
LOCAL MSP WELCOMES SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TAKING OVER SCOTRAIL
Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has welcomed the announcement that the SNP Scottish Government is taking over the running of the country’s rail franchise.
ScotRail services will move into public sector control when the current franchise with Abellio expires - expected to happen in March 2022.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson announced that rail services will be run by an arm’s length company owned and controlled by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government’s decision to run our railways through what it known as the ‘Operator of Last Resort’ has been shaped by a number of factors, including faults with the current franchising system, uncertainty from a year-long delay in the UK Government’s rail review and the effects of the Covid pandemic.
Commenting on the announcement, Colin Beattie, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“This bold move by the SNP Scottish Government will bring welcome stability and certainty to those who use our railway for work and leisure, both in Midlothian, East Lothian, and across the country.
“And the news that current ScotRail staff will transfer to the new Scottish Government owned company, with their terms and conditions protected, will also provide much-needed security to those who rely on our railways for their livelihoods.
“The SNP have long argued that the future structure of Scottish railways should be in Scotland’s hands. It’s well beyond time that the Tory UK Government listened and devolved rail powers to Holyrood.
“However, this move is both bold and welcome and will ensure Scotland’s rail users are provided with the well-run and reliable service we rightly expect.”
THE SNP Scottish Government has delivered a massive signal of intent about what kind of country Scotland can be by putting the rights of the nation’s children at the heart of everything we do.
It’s hard to overestimate how important it is that the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has been incorporated into our laws.
We are the first devolved nation in the world and the first country in the UK to make this significant change and it reaffirms our commitment to making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.
Children now have protected rights to help fulfil their potential through health and education, leisure and play, fair and equal treatment, protection from exploitation and the right to be heard.
And it applies to every child regardless of their ethnicity, sex, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, and whatever their family background.
The new law - championed by deputy First Minister John Swinney - is a giant leap forward for this generation of Scottish children and for all those who follow.
It takes international promises and gives them the full force of the law in Scotland - the most important thing a government can do to protect the rights of our youngest citizens.
This landmark will deliver a fundamental shift in the way children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in Scotland and is, arguably, the most significant piece of legislation since devolution.
It will revolutionise the way we listen to children and take their rights into account in the future policies and laws we make, the services we design and deliver. It will build the needs of every child into the fabric of every decision Scotland takes as an inclusive and caring society.
From now on, all decisions made by government and agencies in Scotland – be that Government, council or any other public body – must be made with the needs and interests of children as a primary consideration.
From now on, all children in Scotland will have the protection of the law to help them fulfil their potential.
If these rights are not observed, young people and their representatives – including a Children’s Commissioner - can use the courts to enforce the law to protect these fundamental rights.
As John Swinney said: “It will mean children and young people are involved in the decisions that affect their lives and that children’s rights are always respected, protected and fulfilled by public authorities. This Bill is a significant step towards a future based on tolerance, equality, shared values and respect for the worth and human dignity of all people.”
It puts our children’s needs at the heart of all our thought process rather than a mere afterthought.
That is not just good news for children, it’s a giant leap forward towards the Scotland we all want to live in.
VOTE SNP IN MAY TO KEEP MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN SAFE
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed a report which has found that crime in Scotland has halved under the SNP Scottish Government, with violent crime down nearly two-fifths.
The Scottish Crime and Justice Report interviewed people in Scotland and shows people are less likely to be a victim of crime. Since 2008-09, the number of adults experiencing crime has fallen from 20.4% to 11.9%.
The survey also revealed that people in Scotland are less likely to be a victim of crime in Scotland than in England and Wales, with 11% and 13% respectively of those interviewed experiencing crime.
The report means SNP policies have made streets across Scotland safer and people in Midlothian and East Lothian are less likely to be victims of crime.
Commenting on the report, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“The findings of this report are very much to be welcomed and are testament to the hard work and dedication of our police and community volunteers in Midlothian and East Lothian who have contributed to a phenomenal effort to make our streets safer.
“The SNP Scottish Government has introduced ambitious projects to tackle crime, particularly violent crime, and it is satisfying to see these are paying off.
“Although these figures are encouraging, this report does show there is work to be done to ensure that people feel safe on our streets - especially so that women feel safe walking the streets at night.
"While we will never be complacent when it comes to tackling crime on the streets of Midlothian and East Lothian, these figures show that the SNP continues to have a solid record of progress and, unlike the Tories, a positive vision to make our communities safer.”
HOUSING STRATEGY TO DELIVER FOR MIDLOTHIAN NORTH AND MUSSELBURGH & SUPPORT 14,000 JOBS
Colin Beattie, Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has welcomed a commitment by the SNP to deliver 100,000 affordable homes in Scotland by 2032 – if re-elected in May.
The Housing to 2040 plan will create 14,000 jobs and invest £16 billion in housing infrastructure across Scotland, including in Midlothian and East Lothian.
Key plans from the scheme include:
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“I am delighted the SNP has committed to delivering 100,000 affordable homes over the next decade. It is extremely ambitious and clearly shows our dedication to delivering for families and communities across Scotland, including here in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“The SNP government has already delivered almost 100,000 affordable homes since 2007. What a contrast to the record of the last Labour-Lib Dem administration in Scotland - who famously built just six new council homes in their last four years in office.
“This election gives voters the chance to decide who should be in charge of Scotland’s COVID recovery – a Scottish Government with the interests of people here at heart, or a Tory government that we didn’t vote for, led by the likes of Boris Johnson.
"Only a vote for the SNP will enable us to build a fairer, more equal Scotland and continue delivering for communities in Midlothian and East Lothian, and across the country.”
8 quick and simple tips to help you save money, time and energy, supported by Colin Beattie MSP
For many households, wintery weather often sparks debate about what temperature to set the thermostat at or how many layers to wear. But for some, the cost of heating a home can be a worry, particularly with more people spending time at home during the pandemic.
To help families in Midlothian and East Lothian to better manage their home energy use and save money on bills, Colin Beattie MSP, National Energy Action (NEA) and Smart Energy GB have teamed up to collate a list of simple things we can all do to make a positive difference.
They may be small, but these quick and easy steps could save households over £80 a year.
For millions of households across Great Britain, getting a smart meter installed has allowed them to keep track of their energy use and see how the small changes they make can bring energy bills down.
While lockdown measures may affect when your smart meter can be installed, contacting your energy supplier to find out about getting one is an easy step towards better energy management.
In the meantime, here are 8 simple ways you could save energy and money, this winter according to Smart Energy GB and NEA.
8 quick energy saving tips
Colin Beattie MSP said:
“It’s a positive sign that so many people in Midlothian and East Lothian are upgrading to a smart meter installed and managing their energy use at home more efficiently.
“With colder weather upon us, it’s more important than ever that there is help and advice available on keeping our homes warm for those that need it. Using these quick and simple tips is an easy way to reduce bills and alleviate some of the financial pressure households may be facing during these unprecedented times.”
Robert Cheesewright, Director of Communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “During these difficult times, we know that people may be worried about their energy bills but it’s also important that you use the energy you need to keep warm, safe and healthy at home.
“It’s why we’ve worked together with National Energy Action to provide these tips to help manage energy consumption during a time when increased consumption is inevitable and we know people may be struggling.”
To request a smart meter, contact your energy supplier.
If you’re struggling to pay your bills you can get in touch with your energy supplier to find out what support they can offer you. You can also visit Citizen’s Advice at Citizensadvice.org.uk or call them on 0808 223 1133 for more help and information.
TORIES AND LABOUR VOTE AGAINST BUDGET WHICH WOULD PROTECT MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN ECONOMY
MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has voted to pass the Scottish Government’s budget for 2021/22 – securing additional funding for our NHS, education, local government, and other vital frontline services with total investment increasing by £3.8 billion.
The amended Budget will ensure the introduction of free school meals for all primary school pupils by August 2022, free bus travel for all under-22s, £15 million for active travel and £10 million for energy efficiency projects.
The deal will also include an £800 pay rise for public sector workers earning less than £25,000, a 2% uplift for those earning up to £40,000, and an extra pandemic support payment of £130 for households in receipt of council tax reduction.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“In the face of Tory cuts to Scotland’s capital grant, the SNP has delivered certainty and stability for our economy with a budget that delivers for every single person who lives in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“This budget is being delivered in exceptional circumstances as we continue to battle a pandemic that has shaken our society and economy to the core, and as we face the harmful impacts of a hard Tory Brexit.
“By voting against these plans for stability and certainty for the local economy in Midlothian and East Lothian, Labour and the Tories have shown they aren't remotely interested in doing what’s best for Scotland. They’re far more concerned with launching failing party-political attacks against the SNP.
“In contrast, the SNP in government is getting on with the job of delivering for Scotland – with a budget protecting public services in the face of Tory austerity and cuts.
“With an election just weeks away, this is a Budget the SNP can be proud to stand on. It’s a good deal for Midlothian and East Lothian and a good deal for Scotland – and I’m delighted it has now received the support of the Scottish Parliament.”
SNP MSP for the constituency of Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has welcomed the news that vital SNP Scottish Government funding for farmers and crofters to keep Scotland’s food production moving during the pandemic has been delivered ahead of schedule.
So far, more than 95% of Basic Payment Support, Greening and Young Farmer payments have been made, four months ahead of regulatory requirement.
The payments were introduced in December last year and have so far paid out almost £400 million.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“It has been a monumental effort to ensure our farmers and crofters across Scotland have received their payments from the Scottish Government. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial we keep money flowing into our rural communities and keep funding our crofters and farmers.
“The past year has been extremely difficult for the food production industry. They have to suffer the double-whammy of COVID and a damaging hard Tory Brexit.
“But because the Scottish Government placed the needs of our rural communities at the top of its priority list - in stark contrast to the chaos overseen by the UK Tory Government – our farmers and crofters have been protected from at least some of Brexit’s disastrous consequences.
“Our farming communities deserve the nation’s thanks for their dedication during the long hours and days of lockdown in maintaining essential supply chains and keeping food on our plates.
“I would now urge farmers and crofters to ensure they submit their Single Application Form 2021 applications as soon as they can to make sure they receive their payments for this year.”
Colin Beattie MSP is supporting Marie Curie’s 35th Great Daffodil Appeal this month, its biggest annual fundraiser by encouraging constituents to wear their daffodil pin.
The pandemic has forced the cancellation of all of the Appeal’s public collections for the first time in its 35-year history, leaving the charity with a potential loss of £750,000 in Scotland, and over £3 million across the UK.
The last 12 months have been extremely difficult as key fundraising events have been cancelled and all Marie Curie’s charity shops have had to close. Despite the cancelled collections, the charity is calling on the public to instead take part in virtual activities for the Appeal, including ordering an iconic daffodil pin online to show their support of the campaign which this year focuses on small gestures or moments which mean the world.
The charity needs to raise £250,000 per week in Scotland to ensure that Marie Curie nurses, doctors and hospice staff can continue supporting terminally people, their families and carers through its two hospices, nursing, and support services. across the country.
In Lothian in 2019-20, Marie Curie Nurses made over 4,000 visits to care for terminally ill people in their own homes.
Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland, Marie Curie, said:
“The Great Daffodil Appeal is vitally important to us as it’s our most iconic fundraiser. By cancelling this year’s public collections, the charity is potentially facing more than a £3 million loss, which is a significant drop in income.
“On average, each of our volunteers would raise £80 from a collection shift – this is what is costs for the equivalent of four hours of nursing care.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the distressing impact dying, death and bereavement can have on anyone at any time, which will affect many people for years to come. Our nurses and hospice staff have been on the frontline throughout the crisis, providing care and support for hundreds of dying patients every day.
“We have seen a 16.5% increase in the number of people we have cared for at the end of life in the last year, so now, more than ever, we really need people to support us to enable us to continue delivering our services across Scotland.”
Colin Beattie MSP added:
“The service that Marie Curie provides to those who are living with terminal illness and their families and loved ones is indispensable. We need to ensure that services like this can continue to support patients throughout and following the Covid-19 pandemic, and to do this it is necessary that we do all we can to support them, as we usually would, through appeals like their Great Daffodil Appeal.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Marie Curie staff have been on the frontline and they have provided vital comfort to those dying and their families. Services like this should not be forgotten about and that’s why I’m supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal.”
During the Great Daffodil Appeal the first annual National Day of Reflection will take place. Since the first lockdown began in 2020, millions of people have been bereaved. On 23 March, the first anniversary of UK lockdown, Marie Curie is inviting everyone to take part in a minute's silence at 12 noon to reflect on those who have died and then to appear on their doorsteps with candles, torches or simply lights from their mobile phones, for a second minute of silence at 8pm, to show support and solidarity for the millions of people who have been bereaved in these incredibly tough times.
To find out what I've been doing in Parliament, click on me!