Today Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, congratulated the Marine Conservation Society on its successful Fisherrow beach clean on Friday 25th August.
The clean was organised in collaboration with the all-female crew of eXXpedition, who are currently sailing around Britain carrying out scientific testing and running events highlighting the toxics in our bodies and the plastics in our seas, and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s ‘Wild About Scotland’ Bus.
Live coverage of the event was provided by Sky News, who also brought along the 10m Plastic Whale that represents Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign. This whale is made from the same amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean every second. Sky are taking the whale across the country to inspire people to take action to stop plastic polluting the UK’s seas.
Mr Beattie and the other beach cleaners were joined by local groups including those from Musselburgh Burgh Primary and East Lothian Council, as well as national campaigners such Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage.
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, commented:
‘This was a highly enlightening and thought-provoking event and I was delighted to have the chance to help out.
‘The amount of plastic being dumped in our oceans is staggering beyond belief. The impact is widespread, from the amount of damage we are doing to natural sealife and our beaches, and ultimately polluting the very seafood we eat.
‘I give my sincere thanks to all who helped organise this campaign and to those who came along on the day.
‘We have a chance to turn the pollution situation around – but we must all take action now.’
Catherine Gemmell, Scotland Conservation Officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said:
'It was fantastic to be joined on the beach this morning by Colin Beattie MSP to help support our Beachwatch Project and meet members of the crew from the Exxpedition team and the Wild About Scotland Bus.
‘We hope that everyone will be able to join us back out on a beach near them in September for our Great British Beach Clean!'
For more on the various campaigns please see the websites below:
The Marine Conservation Society - www.mcsuk.org
eXXpedition - http://exxpedition.com/
Sky Ocean Rescue - https://skyoceanrescue.com/
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has called on the UK government to take tougher action to tackle the scourge of Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in our local communities – after figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling revealed over £16 million and that £7 million had been lost on the gambling machines since 2008 across East Lothian and Midlothian respectively.
Over £1 billion has been lost on the machines, known as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, since 2008 across Scotland – with £2.5 million lost in East Lothian in 2015/16 alone.
The figures have led to calls from SNP MSP Colin Beattie for the UK government to take action to tackle FOBTs, which remains reserved to Westminster – including by reducing the numbers allowed in betting shops, limiting the stakes that can be bet, reducing the time that can be spent on the machines, and also taking action to ban the machines altogether if people continue to lose out.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said:
“These are incredibly concerning figures – and show that the Tory government cannot continue to ignore this issue that is having such a negative impact on our communities.
“People across Midlothian and East Lothian have lost out to the tune £23 million since 2008 – and £3.5 million in 2015/16 alone. This is a huge problem – and the UK government need to get serious about tackling it.
“FOBTs are so addictive they’re known as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ – and it is no wonder given how much people have lost out from using these toxic machines.
“The UK government must take action to stop people losing out even more – by reducing the number of machines allowed in bookmakers, limiting the stakes that can be bet, reducing the amount of time that can be spent on the machines, and taking action to ban the machines altogether if people continue to lose out.
“The Tories have dug their heels on this issue for long enough – it is time for them to take action to help people across Midlothian and East Lothian.”
Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, congratulated the charity DadsWork following the launch of its Musselburgh-based community garden on Friday 18th August.
DadsWork provides help and support to fathers throughout East Lothian, through the use of support group, positive parenting classes, workshops on the role of fathers, home visits, trips and outings for fathers and their children.
The garden is dedicated in honour of David Drysdale, a founder of Fathers Network and a trustee of DadsWork, who passed away just over a year ago as work was commencing on the garden.
Mr Beattie commented:
‘The garden is fantastic tribute to David’s memory. I’ve no doubt those who knew David, and those who were helped through his charitable work, would agree that this is a fitting way to remember him.
‘I’ve always been impressed by the support DadsWork provides to fathers throughout East Lothian. Raising a child takes a lot of mental strength and effort and new fathers can often feel the strain.
‘It would also be remiss of me not to mention the pizza oven DadsWork have installed in the garden. This is certainly unusual but I suspect many of us wouldn’t turn down such terrific pizzas!’
Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, gave his support to a charity bike ride to raise funds for Headway East Lothian. The bike ride took place on Sunday 20th August and was arranged and led by Fiona Grant-MacDonald, a Musselburgh native who suffered a brain haemorrhage nearly five years ago.
Ms Grant-MacDonald has since done much work for the charity Headway East Lothian, which aims to support and improve quality of life for people in East Lothian with Acquired Brain Injuries, their families and carers. Ms Grant-MacDonald has performed as a singer to raise funds for Headway along with holding science workshops.
The charity bike ride saw 20 participants cycling to and then climbing 3 peaks across the Lothians, including Arthur’s Seat, North Berwick Law and the Hopetoun Monument at Byres Hill, ultimately cycling a total of 70 miles in between.
Mr Beattie met the group at their breakfast stop in Musselburgh and he commented:
‘Fiona and her colleagues have put in an incredible shift and I take my hat off to them.
‘Brain haemorrhages can change someone’s life, and those around them, profoundly and they can strike without warning.
‘Headway East Lothian do fantastic work in helping those in the area who have suffered from such an illness and I’m delighted to see the charity benefit from the generosity of all who donated to Fiona’s cause.’