I have recently been made aware of a number of pollution events occurring on the River Esk. As chairman of the Esk River Improvement Group, this rise in incidents is of great concern to me.
My office have been regularly monitoring social media pages in order to identify any issue being raised by constituents and bring these to the attention of the relevant authorities.
However, I would like to remind my constituents that SEPA do not respond to reports of incidents being made on social media, it is therefore of the upmost importance that members of the public who witness any pollution incidents are reporting these through the correct channels.
Should you witness any pollution taking place this must be reported using SEPA’s 24-hour online form at sepa.org.uk/report or by calling the Pollution Hotline: 0800 80 70 60.
Similarly, if you see an animal in danger or which appears to be injured, call the SSPCA’s animal helpline immediately on 03000 999 999.
ACCURATE DATA HELPS PROVIDE BETTER SERVICES IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN
SNP MSP Colin Beattie is urging the people of Midlothian and East Lothian to play their part in planning for future services in Midlothian and East Lothian by completing the Scottish census.
Speaking ahead of the May 1 deadline for completing the census, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The census is the official count of every person and household in the country, takes place every 10 years and it is in the interests of everyone in Midlothian and East Lothian to complete it accurately and on time.
“The census benefits everyone because it helps the government and other service providers like local councils make important decisions about vital services such as education, healthcare and employment. Completing the census helps officials make better decisions about the things that matter to you.
“By setting aside just a few minutes to answer questions about yourself, your household, and the place where you live, you play a vital role in helping shape important community services in Midlothian and East Lothian, from the building of new schools and hospitals to improving transport links and understanding health needs.
“So, it is hugely important to play your part to make sure everyone is heard, and everyone’s individual needs are accurately recorded.”
An independent review has been announced to assess patient concerns regarding access to care provided by Riverside Medical Practice in Musselburgh.
The review panel will allow patients to provide feedback on their experiences at the Practice and use this to decide next steps. It will also consider non-clinical administrative operating procedures at Riverside.
Musselburgh’s MSP, Colin Beattie has welcomes the announcement and hopes this is a step in the right direction for the Practice and overall healthcare provision across Musselburgh and the surrounding areas.
The independent review is fully supported by Riverside Medical Practice, NHS Lothian and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership.
Commenting Colin Beattie MSP said:
“I welcome the announcement that an independent review will now commence to consider how the practice provides access to primary care. I hope and expect that the panel will fully engage with my constituents who have long awaited for action to be taken.
“I have regularly held meetings with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Officials, and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership to discuss the access issues and ultimately, find a positive way forward.
“I am pleased those discussions have now resulted in an independent review panel being established with all parties willing to cooperate throughout the process. This is a step forward for the patients at Riverside and a step towards improving the access to healthcare across Musselburgh.
“I have already submitted over 100 pages to the review panel of anonymous accounts my constituents have shared with me and I will continue to engage with the review team to ensure their voices are heard.
“It is important that the patients are at the forefront of this review and any recommendations are swiftly put in place following its conclusion.”
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed figures which show children in Midlothian and East Lothian are excelling under the SNP Scottish Government.
Schools across Midlothian and East Lothian are benefitting from £3.7 million of funding for the coming year to reduce the attainment gap in the area.
As a result over 95.4% of people in Midlothian and 96.1% of people in East Lothian go on to positive destinations. The latest figures also show that 11,413 from both Midlothian and East Lothian have went into a modern apprenticeship under the SNP Scottish Government.
In helping to close the attainment gap, there are currently 5,917 children receiving free school meals over both areas.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“Since the SNP formed a government in 2007, attainment and the number of pupils going on to positive destinations has improved in Midlothian and East Lothian
“This is down to the funding the SNP Scottish Government has provided to reduce the attainment gap and I am delighted that this will continue as £3.7 million has been committed to reduce the gap even further for the coming year.
“The SNP Scottish Government is also ensuring that P1-3 children have the best start to their day by providing free school meals. This will also be extended to all primary schools within this parliamentary term.
“It is only the SNP who can be trusted to protect Scotland’s education system and on May 5 the people of Midlothian and East Lothian have the chance to send a message to the Tories that we do not trust them with it.”
SNP MSP COLIN BEATTIE SLATES MORE TORY BROKEN PROMISES AS MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN ARE SHORT-CHANGED BY NEARLY £5.6 MILLION ON EU REPLACEMENT FUNDING
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has slated the Westminster Tory Government for failing the people of Midlothian and East Lothian by short-changing them by the equivalent of nearly £2.6 million for Midlothian and nearly £3 million for East Lothian, through the so-called Shared Prosperity Fund.
Following Brexit, which the people of Midlothian and East Lothian did not vote for, the UK Government promised to replace every penny of the money Scotland previously received from the European Union. For this year, it is estimated that would have been £183 million.
However, figures just published show that Scotland will receive only £32million this year. That is £151 million short of the £183 million promised and works out at an estimated equivalent of £5.6 million for Midlothian and East Lothian.
Commenting, MSP Colin Beattie said: “Not only did the people of Midlothian and East Lothian not vote for Tory Brexit, we are paying a very high price for this disastrous Tory obsession.
“EU funding has supported infrastructure projects and community initiatives across the country since the 1970s, with Scotland receiving and delivering more than £6 billion of EU Structural Funds.
“Being short-changed again by the Tories, this time to the equivalent of nearly £5.6 million really adds insult to injury for the people of Midlothian and East Lothian.
“This demonstrates exactly why the Tories’ sick joke of ‘levelling up’ actually means our community losing out, with Midlothian and East Lothian facing the estimated loss of nearly £5.6 million had Scotland not been taken out of the EU against our will.
“Not only that, the Scottish Government previously made decisions about how best to spend the EU money based on local priorities. Now a UK Tory Government – which Scotland did not vote for and hasn’t done for a lifetime - is cutting Scotland’s elected Government out of the decision-making process. That is both a betrayal of democracy and a disgrace that money will be spent on Tory priorities which will fail to meet the needs of communities in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“This is yet another shocking demonstration why the Tories cannot be trusted with Scotland’s future. Scotland deserves better than Partygate liar Boris Johnson’s litany of broken promises.
“By voting SNP in the local elections on May the people of Scotland will send a crystal clear message to Johnson’s Tories that they will never be trusted.”
Colin Beattie MSP has called on Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to resign after being found to have broken Covid laws.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
"Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak must now resign.
"The Prime Minister repeatedly misled Parliament, lied and took the people of Midlothian and East Lothian for fools – sometimes laughing about breaching the same laws we were all following to keep our family safe.
“Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories are just as bad as he appears to be unable to grow a backbone and call on Boris Johnson to resign.
"In reality, Johnson and Sunak have overseen one of the biggest lockdown breaches that has led to the Metropolitan Police issuing a staggering number of fines for rule-breaking.
"The Prime Minister and Chancellor's positions are untenable. They have insulted people in Midlothian and East Lothian who faithfully followed the rules that they set – even when that meant the heartbreak of not being present for the births, marriages or the deaths of loved ones.
"There simply cannot be one rule for the Tories and another for the rest of us.
"If Johnson and Sunak have a shred of dignity they will finally do the right thing and resign now. On May 5, people in Midlothian and East Lothian can send a message to the Tories that they have had enough of this law-breaking government and vote SNP.”
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has heralded the record health funding allocated to NHS Lothian for the coming year and has said it demonstrates how only the SNP can be trusted to protect Scotland’s NHS.
The local health board has been given a record budget of £1.6 billion for 2022/23 to recover after the dreadful impact of the pandemic.
To help with that recovery, NHS Lothian also has record numbers of staff under the SNP, with 5,093.80 Whole Time Equivalent staff, an increase of 28.3% compared to the previous year.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“We always appreciate the hard work and dedication of our NHS staff at NHS Lothian but never more so than over the past two years and the SNP Scottish Government has recognised that by providing them with record funding for 2022/23.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that NHS Lothian is well on its way to recovery from the pandemic.
“In Scotland, we have the most well-funded NHS per person and the highest paid healthcare staff in the UK. The SNP Scottish Government recognised the hard work and effort of NHS workers by giving them the biggest pay rise in the history of devolution.
“It is only the SNP that can be trusted with the future of our health service. On May 5 the people of Midlothian and East Lothian can send a message that the future of our NHS cannot be trusted to the Tories.”
£1,294,919 FUNDING FOR DRUG & ALCOHOL SERVICES IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN
Midlothian and East Lothian will benefit from £1.29M of new investment to support people affected by drugs and alcohol including earlier intervention and better family support.
This is part of a nationwide announcement by the SNP Scottish Government. A total of 77 initiatives the length and breadth of Scotland will benefit from £25 million over the next 5 years. The Children and Family Fund and the Improvement Fund were established to provide direct financial support to front line services and third sector organisations.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“I am delighted that local services in Midlothian and East Lothian will benefit from an additional £1,294,919 from the national Improvement Fund and the Children and Family Fund that the SNP Scottish Government established last year.
“This funding will enable services to increase and improve support provided to those affected by drug and alcohol use including their families.
“A whole family approach is needed to ensure more people can access treatment and recovery that is right for them at an earlier stage. Supporting family members in their own right is also important as for every single person struggling with drugs or alcohol there are, on average, 11 other people affected.
“This additional investment will help local services in Midlothian and East Lothian to work together and respond to problems earlier to prevent children, young people and their families from reaching the point of crisis.”
Local MSP for Musselburgh, Colin Beattie has joined campaigners calls to help save the Hollies Day Centre in Musselburgh.
The Hollies offers a vital service to the Musselburgh community, and especially to the elderly community. The day centre has been at the heart of the community on the High Street for 60 years and now faces risk of closure due to difficult circumstances.
A petition has been set up by the Hollies to help save the day centre.
Constituency MSP Colin Beattie said:
“I am deeply concerned at the potential closure of the Hollies. It has been a long-standing service in the Musselburgh community, especially for the elderly and provides a central hub to meet and socialise.
“This service remains vital to the community in tackling isolation and loneliness which we know many people faced especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hollies provides a safe and welcoming environment for the elderly population of Musselburgh and allows them to retain their independence within this setting.
“I give my full support to their petition and have offered help in any way I can to save the Hollies from closure. I know how much the day centre makes a difference to the lives of my constituents in Musselburgh and how important it is to their wellbeing.
“I have pushed East Lothian council to take action on this matter and it is time for them to step up to help save this much loved and used community facility. The Hollies is at the heart of Musselburgh and it would be a great loss to the community if it were to close.
“I would encourage the people of Musselburgh to get behind this campaign and head to the Hollies to sign the petition.”
SCOTTISH CHILD PAYMENT INCREASE AND PARENT EMPLOYMENT PACKAGE
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed the package of measures announced today by the Scottish Government to provide immediate support and break the cycle of child poverty for people across Midlothian and East Lothian.
Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, announced an increase of a further £5 to the 'game-changing' Scottish Child Payment - bringing the total payment to £25 per week per child at the end of the year, following the increase to £20 next week.
This move will see the SNP Government’s package of five family benefits for low income families, including the increased Scottish Child Payment, now totalling over £10,000 to low income families by the time a first child turns 6, and £9,700 for subsequent children.
It directly benefits 4,330 of children in Midlothian and East Lothian already in receipt of the payment.
In contrast, families in England and Wales receive less that £1,800 for the first child and under £1,300 for subsequent children.
The SNP Cabinet Secretary also announced:
It is estimated that, through these and current Scottish Government actions, 60,000 fewer children will be living in relative poverty in 2023/24 compared with 2017.
Commenting SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
"Today's package of measures to tackle child poverty is hugely welcome and the impact it will have on households in Midlothian and East Lothian cannot be underestimated - increasing the Scottish Child Payment even further, to £25 per week per child, will make such a difference to families struggling to cope with the Tory cost of living crisis right now.
"This stands in stark contrast to the Tory Chancellor’s spring statement which utterly failed to provide any meaningful lifeline support for people in Midlothian and East Lothian who are facing soaring energy bills and a cost of living crisis now - and that was a political choice.
"I am glad that families in Midlothian and East Lothian have an SNP Scottish Government taking serious, life-changing action to protect them where it can within limited powers and a fixed budget. The significant parental employment package also announced will help people of Midlothian and East Lothian into fair and sustainable work.
"Other political parties must now recognise the reality that whilst the SNP is doing what it can to put money in people’s pockets in Scotland and tackle poverty, Westminster is consistently undermining Scotland’s efforts through their damaging policy agenda.
"Today's actions from the Scottish Government make it crystal clear that Midlothian and East Lothian, and the people that live here, would be better off with independence and all the levers to tackle poverty and hardship.”