Today, local MSP Colin Beattie gave his support to a fundraising campaign being launched by Musselburgh’s Fraser Mcleod to reach the World Double Mini Trampolining (DMT) championships in Bulgaria in November and the DMT Louie Cup in Portugal in October.
Fourteen-year-old Fraser is a two-time British Champion for DMT 2015/16, and also holds the title of Scottish Overall Champion for DMT 2016 and Scottish Trampolining Champion for 2016 in the Elite category for his age group. He was named as the Scottish Junior Gymnast of the year 2016 and represented the Great Britain team last October at the European Teamgym Gymnastics Championships in Slovenia.
Mr Mcleod has launched his fundraiser as the double mini trampoline discipline does not count as an Olympic Sport, therefore receiving no funding from British Gymnastics. Mr Mcleod and his family have to pay for all training and travel, including to regular training sessions at Lillehall in North Wales. He is aiming to raise £1,000 to attend the DMT Louie Cup in Portugal and £1,200 to attend the DMT championships in Bulgaria.
Donations can be made via the webpage at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fraser-mcleod?utm_id=2&utm_term=XgKXpdaea
Mr Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, met with Fraser and his family at the Parliament to discuss how he could help with the fundraising campaign. Mr Beattie made a personal donation of £50, and commented:
‘This is a great campaign. As soon as I heard from Fraser I wanted to do what I can to help support him.
‘His dedication to Double Mini Trampolining is clearly reflected in the substantial number of awards he’s picked up in recent years. He’s a real ambassador to the sport, not to mention being a role model for young people across Musselburgh and East Lothian.
‘It’s not often we have the opportunity to see local athletes like Fraser attending prestigious events like the championships in Bulgaria and Portugal.
‘That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing how far and wide his campaign will go, and I urge everyone to donate as much as they can afford. That way we can all root for Fraser!’
Today, Bonnyrigg SNP Councillor Dianne Alexander urged Midlothian women who were born in the 1950s to write to the Department of Work and Pensions and the Independent Case Examiner to protest against the maladministration in the changes to their state pension age. Cllr Alexander issued the call from Jarnac Court, where she was joined by other protestors including local MSP Colin Beattie and SNP Cllrs Cath Johnstone and Kelly Parry, and many of the WASPI women who have joined the WASPI campaign.
WASPI is the acronym for Women Against State Pension Equality. The changes that are being proposed to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts) have seen women’s State Pensionable Age (SPA) raised to 65 in line with men’s SPA, and then again in 2011, giving women only a years warning. WASPI members agree that the age should be equitable but believe that the way the changes will be implemented is significantly unfair, with little or no personal notice, being introduced faster than promised, and leaving those affected with no time to make alternative plans.
WASPI are proposing a non-means tested ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income until those affected reach SPA, alongside compensation for losses for those women who have already reached their SPA. The first case to be examined by the Independent Case Examiner has been failed, allowing the group to proceed with complaints to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
Councillor Alexander said, “This had been a shocking maladministration by the Labour and Tory governments, putting many women in a situation where they have no means of income for up to six years.
“Women have been forced to carry on working in jobs they are no longer physically able to do.
“The acceleration to the change is also unfair, meaning a year’s difference in birth date can mean a three year’s difference in when you get your pension.
“Disappointingly, though unsurprisingly, the Tories were notable by their absence, and for all Jeremy Corbyn’s rhetoric about promoting equality, his Midlothian Labour MP Danielle Rowley only saw fit to turn up briefly for the photo opportunity.”
SNP MSP Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, is calling on the UK Government to stop flip-flopping on public sector pay and endorse the SNP’s policy to end the pay cap.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay told the Scottish Parliament last week that the “time was up” for the annual 1% limit on public sector pay.
The SNP Scottish Government is now engaging with trade unions ahead of the next Scottish budget to discuss a future public sector pay policy that recognises both rising living costs and the need for sustainable public finances in order to ensure fairer pay for nurses, teachers and all public sector workers in East Lothian and Midlothian.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said:
“The SNP Scottish Government has listened to independent pay recommendations - showing the many nurses, doctors and police officers and other public sector workers in East Lothian and Midlothian that their incredible service is valued and that they deserve pay that reflects real life circumstances.
“Indeed, showing public sector workers in my constituency how much we value their service is ever more pertinent as we face endless Brexit uncertainty that is driving inflation, forcing up living costs and intensifying recruitment problems - risking a Brexit brain drain.
“And with some public sector workers in East Lothian and Midlothian still subject to UK wide pay policies - the Tories must act and act now to confirm that the pay cap will be scrapped.
“The clear message coming from Scotland to the Tory government is to end austerity, and end it now.“