Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, yesterday visited the Orchard Centre at Bonnyrigg. Created to treat individuals who struggle to engage with more structured forms of therapy, the Orchard Centre utilises art therapists to engage the patients in an emotionally expressive way.
While visiting the Centre, Mr Beattie had the opportunity to meet with various people, including art therapists Andrea Spink and Susan MacKay. Speaking of the visit, he said:
“The Orchard Centre at Bonnyrigg is doing excellent work! This form of therapy is highly valuable and provides patients the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings in a creative, non-verbal manner.
“Andrea and Susan had some great insights into the benefits of art therapy, and I was impressed to learn of the high success rate of such treatment. This can truly benefit those who have difficulty with self-expression in other structured psychological therapies. It was a pleasure visiting with them today.”
Upon hearing that The Hollies Day Centre in Musselburgh might be forced to close or relocate, Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, was quick to express his concerns.
Located on Musselburgh High Street, The Hollies Day Centre provides the elderly of the community (age 60+) with a rage of social and practical services. A registered charity, The Hollies relies on their own funds which are raised through a charity shop and café which are found at their location and are open to all.
Commenting on the possible closure or relocation, Mr Beattie said:
“The Hollies is a much-loved facility in the community of Musselburgh. Their city centre location is ideal for the people living there, and moving them to a different location or closing them down would not only be detrimental to their success, but would also severely impact the people in the community.
“People rely on this institution for the multiple services they provide. It is important for the elderly to have access to facilities that allow them to get out of their homes, socialise, and get involved with fun and healthy activities.
“While it’s true that the demand for elderly care homes has increased, such homes should not come at the cost of day centres like The Hollies. Their services are invaluable to those who are not as severely impaired, yet still desire the communal interaction that these services provide.
“I sincerely encourage the East Lothian Council Joint Integration Board to take into consideration the desires and best interests of The Hollies and the people who use its services. It is my hope that The Hollies continues to be an invaluable asset to the community of Musselburgh.”
Colin Beattie, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has said that it is absolutely correct and appropriate for the people of Scotland to be offered a choice, once the options become clear, between a Tory hard Brexit and becoming an independent country, after the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed plans to seek parliamentary approval to begin discussions with the UK government to bring forward an independence vote.
Ahead of the UK government’s triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of the process of leaving the EU, the First Minister said that the Westminster government has been guilty of complete intransigence in the face of Scottish Government attempts to find a compromise – and has continually acted against the best interests of Scotland, not least by ruling out membership of the single market without consulting the Scottish Government.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has said that it has become clear that the UK government has no intention of respecting Scotland’s 62% vote to remain in the EU and East Lothian’s 64.6% vote to remain in the EU.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“Throughout the entire Brexit process to date, the Scottish Government has been consistent in its pursuit of a compromise with the UK government, putting forward substantial proposals for Scotland to remain in the single market – yet the UK government has rejected these and is pursuing an ever harder line.
“It is within this context, with the UK government intent on pursuing a damaging hard Brexit and set to trigger Article 50 without communicating with the devolved governments, that it has become ever clearer that the people of Scotland must be offered a choice over our future.
“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s interests and we are intent on protecting Scotland’s place in the single market. The people of Scotland deserve to choose, once the terms of Brexit are clear and before it is too late to decide our own path, honouring the manifesto pledge that we were elected on last year.
“Scotland now stands at a crossroads, and we cannot drift along for two years hoping for the best. We face the real prospect of right-wing Tory governments until at least 2030 and being dragged out of the EU and Single Market with all the damage to our economy and society that will cause.”
Colin Beattie, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has called on local people to sign up and help shape Scotland’s new social security system – with the Scottish Government seeking to learn from the experiences of those currently using the service
At least 2,000 people with experience of the current social security system are being recruited to help shape Scotland’s new system – allowing the Scottish Government to learn from mistakes made in the past. The panels will work with the expert advisory group on disability and carers’ benefits.
Mr Beattie has said that it marks an important step on the Scottish Government’s plans to build a social security system based on dignity and respect.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh Colin Beattie said:
“The Scottish Government has been clear that it intends to build a fairer and more respectful social security system once the full powers are devolved over this area – and it is good to see them continue to make good on this promise.
“I hope people across East Lothian take the opportunity to sign up to the Scottish Government’s panels and play their part in creating a social security system with fairness at its heart.
“Any government system, be it in education, health, immigration or social security, needs to take fully into account the views and experiences of the people who have used this service at the frontline – and asking 2,000 people with service experience for their views is a clear example of the Scottish Government doing exactly that.
“We have seen for too long the damage that has been wrought by the callous and ideological system operated by the Tories at Westminster – putting the needs of people last and doing all they can to scapegoat and stigmatise those that need the safety net of welfare.
“The Scottish Government’s is committed to building a new social security system based on dignity and respect for people across East Lothian, and this development is an important step on the way to achieving this.”