SNP MSP Colin Beattie has backed calls to improve the current situation on the Edinburgh City Bypass, this would provide commuters with an easier journey to and from work on a daily basis.
In a debate raised in the Scottish Parliament, Colin Beattie said “The people of Midlothian North and Musselburgh meet the queues of traffic heading on to the bypass on the main roads around my constituency before they are even near the bypass. This causes more congestion and more air pollution.”
Commenting after the debate, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“Edinburgh City Bypass is a well-used trunk road in our area. You can go along the road at any time of the day and there are queues of traffic mainly at the Sheriffhall Roundabout.
“It is important that when the government are looking at all the possible changes required to the Bypass all options are considered. The main priority should be that it is cost efficient and done as soon as possible.
“It may be that it is more economic to extend a tram or light rail system out to the main population centres such as Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg and Musselburgh than to take on the eye watering cost of enlarging the A720. This would also benefit the environment and be much faster than using road transport. Clearly more radical thinking needs to be done on creating a sustainable solution. I am not convinced that simply replicating a system which moves traffic speedily and efficiently into new choke points is the answer.”
“The important thing that we all have to remember is that any change to the Bypass has to allow the traffic to keep moving and to remain as safe as possible for all vehicles.”
Yesterday Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh spoke in a debate where he had an opportunity to highlight the increasing problem of dog attacks in his constituency. Deeply alarmed by the number of constituents who have come to him after experiencing these traumatising attacks, Mr. Beattie called for post-legislative scrutiny of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 and simplification of the reporting system regarding dog attacks, as the current system has contributed to increased confusion and underreporting.
According to the Communication Workers Union, over 220 postal workers in Scotland have been attacked and injured by dogs in the past year. In 2016, the number of people receiving treatment for dog bites in Scotland rose to 2027—nearly 100 more cases than from the previous year.
Commenting, Mr. Beattie said, “I understand the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and make sure their pets are well-cared-for and trained, but we must acknowledge that a small number of owners are causing serious issues in our communities and are putting the public at great risk. That cannot be allowed to continue.”
Mr. Beattie intends to take this issue further by continuing to discuss with fellow MSPs and involve other stakeholders in deciding the best course of action to reduce these attacks and promote better dog ownership practices.
Colin’s full speech can be found here
Colin Beattie MSP was speaking on a debate regarding motion S5M-10404 in the name of Alex Neil MSP, noted below:
That the Parliament expresses its concern at figures obtained by a recent Clyde News investigation, which suggest that, between January and June 2017, 205 children were taken to A&E due to dog bites; understands that the number of people receiving treatment for such bites in Scotland has risen from 1,939 in 2015 to 2,027 in 2016 and that, in the first six months of 2017, 1,057 children and adults in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area went to hospital; considers these figures to be very worrying, and notes calls for a post-legislative review of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010, including the degree to which the Act is being effectively enforced by local authorities.
New figures show that the Scottish Government’s business rate relief scheme saved businesses in Midlothian and East Lothian £127 million between 2009-10 and 2016-17.
Across Scotland, this scheme has saved taxpayers around £4.5 billion between 2009-10 and 2015-16 by reducing their rates liability and taking many firms out of business rates altogether.
Across East Lothian, the latest figures show that 2,018 local firms benefitted from this flagship Scottish Government policy in 2016 with 1,373 Midlothian firms also benefitting. This figure does not, however, include premises that qualified for the new 100% reliefs introduced, including Day Nursery Relief and the Business Growth Accelerator.
Commenting, local SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The SNP is delivering the most competitive business rates relief package in the whole of the UK, saving businesses in East Lothian £66 million and £61 million in Midlothian over the last seven years. The Scottish Government will also spend an estimated record £720 million on rates relief across Scotland in this year alone.
“Since coming to office, the SNP Scottish Government has taken strong action to support business growth and jobs in East Lothian, helping to keep money in our neighbourhoods and boost our high streets.
“Only the SNP are taking the necessary action to help our local firms – and it is great to see over so many local firms benefitting from rates relief in 2016, a figure that will likely rise with the new measures introduced in this year’s budget.”
Families in East Lothian and Midlothian will benefit from almost £1 billion of Scottish Government investment in free childcare, SNP MSP Colin Beattie has said.
Following extensive engagement to reach a shared understanding of the costs of the expansion, Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders have reached agreement on a multi-year funding package.
The Scottish Government will invest an additional £567 million per year by 2021-22, bringing total spending on early learning and childcare to around £990 million.
All three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds, will be entitled to 1140 hours of free childcare – effectively mirroring the primary school week.
In addition, the Scottish Government will provide councils with total capital funding of £476 million over four years to support associated buildings projects.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“East Lothian and Midlothian families will benefit from our share of almost £1 billion funding each year to support our ambitious expansion of free childcare.
“The SNP are determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up – and our childcare expansion will be of enormous help to families with young children.
“By almost doubling the availability of free childcare, parents will save hundreds of pounds a month and many will find it easier to return to work or to increase their working hours.
“This is a significant investment in families in my constituency and across Scotland.”