UK GOVERNMENT URGED TO RETHINK NUCLEAR “WHITE ELEPHANT”
The SNP has today called on the UK Government to rethink its plans to invest in a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point following reports that the decision to proceed with the project has been delayed.
The UK Government’s commitment to a new nuclear plant, expected to cost up to £24 billion, comes at the same time as they are taking forward plans to axe subsidies for onshore wind projects.
Commenting SNP MSP Chic Brodie said:
“The UK Government’s plans for a new nuclear power station have been a billion-pound white elephant from the start but these latest revelations show that they have descended into farce.
“Despite nuclear energy being less efficient and more costly than wind power, the UK Government continues to pursue this folly while slashing support for onshore wind.
“The decision to cut support for onshore wind could cost £3 billion in new investment and put more than 5,000 jobs at risk in Scotland.
“The Tory government’s ideological obsession with nuclear will be costly for taxpayers and businesses in Scotland – it’s about time they saw sense and rethink their energy policy which is not delivering for consumers or energy security. ”
Today, Wednesday 20 January 2016, Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh thanked primary five pupils from Lasswade Primary School for sending him their pictures and letters highlighting the dangers of pesticides on bee populations. Their words and drawings sent a very concerned message about the harmful impact these chemicals have to the food chain as a whole. While looking over the collection, Mr. Beattie said;
“I’m very grateful to receive the children’s work. These illustrations and letters demonstrate the issues we are facing on a global, environmental level, and I am happy to see that children are becoming involved in conversations about saving our planet.”
After writing back to the children he mentioned, “I encouraged them to take part in bee friendly environments, such as the one at Parliament. The Scottish Parliament is the first legislature in the United Kingdom to install beehives in order to combat the declining bee population and regularly supports the beehives during the summer.”
He was also glad to see that action to save the bees has been taken to a higher level, and as of 1st December 2013, the use of three key neonicotinoid insecticides have been banned by the European Union. He finished by stating;
“I look forward to seeing the results and advice that come from the continuous research done by the European Union on the impact of these chemicals. With this said, the Scottish government will not support any relaxation of restrictions unless there is clear and substantive evidence that these neonicotinoids do not pose a threat to bees.”
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, today welcomed a Scottish Government initiative giving residents in Midlothian direct control over aspects of council budgets.
Midlothian Council is one of thirteen local authorities to benefit from a £500,000 funding boost designed to trial participatory budgeting – receiving an investment of £18,900.
The Scottish Government funding will be used to match-fund existing council commitments, provide support for participatory budgeting events, support communities to engage with the process, evaluation and learning. This will help fund over 50 participatory budgeting projects across Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Beattie said:
“In these times of unprecedented political engagement in Scotland, participatory budgeting offers communities the chance to have a direct say in how councils spend their money.
“This funding will support initiatives to give people the opportunity to address the issues that are important to their communities.
“Participatory budgeting has been used in other countries and the impact can be transformational. I hope that this is the first step in empowering residents in Midlothian and supporting their engagement with local government and their local community.”
SNP activists in Midlothian North & Musselburgh have kicked off the party’s ground campaign ahead of the Scottish Parliament election with a pledge to keep Scotland moving forward – building on the party’s record of success in government with an ambitious programme for the future.
On the first national Day of Action of the Scottish Parliament election campaign this past Saturday, the SNP took the party’s positive message to the people of Midlothian North & Musselburgh – including a pledge from Nicola Sturgeon to keep Scotland moving forward and to never stop working to shape an even better future for the country.
The First Minister has called for the Scottish Parliament election campaign to be the catalyst for a “great, ambitious and thriving debate” about Scotland’s future – and has made clear her determination that this is a debate the SNP will lead over the coming months.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“The SNP approaches this year’s Scottish Parliament election in buoyant mood and excited about the opportunity to lead a great, national debate about how we keep Scotland moving forward.
“Since coming to office in 2007, we have made substantial progress for people in Midlothian North & Musselburgh on so many issues – with NHS spending and staffing at record highs, exceeding our target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes, reforming the school curriculum, mitigating the Bedroom Tax and putting 1,000 extra police on our streets, helping crime reach a 41-year low.
“But while we have strong foundations to build on, we will never rest on our laurels and are determined to continue this progress with a bold, ambitious and progressive vision for Scotland's future.
“From investing in and reshaping our NHS to ensure it is equipped to meet the demands of the future, to setting out further action to tackle the attainment gap in our schools – the manifesto our party stands on will be one brimming with ideas to keep Scotland moving forward and to encourage a stronger economy and a fairer society.
“Over the next four months, the SNP will be leading a positive, ambitious, debate about the future of our country – not just in government and in parliament, but in every city, town, village and street in Scotland.
“And from now until election day I will be working harder than ever to keep the trust of people in Midlothian North & Musselburgh – and to secure a historic third term in office with the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and an SNP Government getting on with the job of delivering for Midlothian North & Musselburgh and for Scotland."