Today, Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh was provided with a further update from Scottish Water regarding the action taken to clear the sewage at the Mary Burn.
Mr Beattie has been in constant contact with Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to ask them to take immediate measures to remove the pollution, protect local residents and wildlife from the effects of it, and prevent recurrence.
Scottish Water have today advised that their partners EEG will be back on site today until the end of the week. Over the festive period they have fewer resources available, so after this week Scottish Water will not anticipate them being back on site until the 3rd of January. They have asked EEG for a completion date and once they have one, which Scottish Water can be confident they can adhere to, then Mr Beattie will be provided a further update.
Scottish Water is also organising for samples of the water to be taken at two places, just below our outfalls and just before the burn enters the South Esk. It will take approximately 1 week to get test results of these samples. I hope to receive an update regarding this in the near future.
Colin Beattie MSP said:
“I welcome the action that Scottish Water has taken and I thank them for keeping me updated. I am unhappy with the speed of progress, but pleased that the different stakeholders have engaged positively.”
“I hope that Scottish Water adhere to the timescale provided and that they do update me as soon as they have received the Water test results and also with a completion date.”
“I again encourage all residents to think before they flush!”
SNP MSP JOINS VOLUNTEERS IN MIDLOTHIAN
An SNP MSP has encouraged members of the public to help those in need in their local community this Christmas – after it was revealed that over 230,000 Scots children are living in poverty.
Charities and trusts across the UK have warned that they are ‘preparing for the worst’ this Christmas, as the hardship caused by the six-week wait for Universal Credit payments comes into effect and those suffering under the new welfare system struggle to cope with Christmas costs.
This year has seen foodbank use rise to its highest-ever recorded level – with figures showing a 15% increase in Scottish foodbank use since 2017. In Midlothian, foodbanks have seen a rise in use of 40%.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“It’s important, as we enjoy Christmas, to remember those in need.
“Many of the issues people face year round, such as homelessness or food poverty, can be worse over winter as temperatures drop and families face pressure to meet added costs over Christmas.
“The rollout of Universal Credit, which has been devastating for families across Midlothian, has left many people worried about how they will cover the cost of Christmas.
“Even a small donation or act of kindness can make a big difference to someone over Christmas.
“I’d encourage anyone who can afford it to make a donation to their local foodbank or homeless shelter this Christmas – you never know how much it could mean to someone who is struggling to make ends meet.”
£8.08 MILLION BOOST FOR MIDLOTHIAN DESPITE TORY CUTS TO SCOTLAND’S BUDGET
SNP MSP for Midlothian North, Colin Beattie has welcomed news that Midlothian Council is set to receive a total funding increase of 4.67%, as revealed in the Scottish Government’s budget.
The budget saw Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announce a total funding package amounting to £11.1 billion for local government.
Despite a £2 billion reduction in real terms to Scotland’s block grant over the last decade, the 2019/20 budget provides local authorities with a real terms increase in overall funding of over £210 million.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“People across Midlothian will welcome this significant investment in their local services.
“Despite continued Tory cuts to Scotland’s resource budget, every local authority in Scotland has seen their funding increase in this year’s budget.
“These figures prove that the SNP government is committed to funding councils to deliver better schools, roads, housing and key services in Midlothian.”
Colin Beattie MSP with winner Maya Wlodkowska
On Wednesday 21st November, Midlothian North’s MSP Colin Beattie, David Maxwell, Chief Executive of McSense and Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of East Lothian Council met to judge the entries to the 2018 Christmas Card Competition.
The judges had over 150 entries to look at all at a very high standard from Children in P1 to P7. Deciding a winner was extremely difficult, but finally the three judges unanimously decided that the winner was Maya Wlodkowska from St. Mary’s RC Primary School in Bonnyrigg.
The runner up was Amy Walker from Lawfield Primary School and Third Place was Caillan Greig from Danderhall Primary School. This year Mr Beattie added a new category to the competition of Best Overall Class recognising the work and effort made by the whole class. This was awarded to Primary 7 at Lasswade Primary.
After judging the competition, Colin Beattie MSP commented:
“All of the entries to this year’s competition were fantastic, each of them was unique in very different ways.
“When we saw the winning design all three of the judges felt it was sending a very positive message out.
“I would like to thank all of the schools for taking part in my Christmas Card Competition and I am looking forward to seeing the designs next year.”
Speaking after being announced the winner Maya said:
“The reason for my design was to acknowledge that many children around the word on Christmas Eve don’t have any presents to wake up to and I felt like the design was a good way to recognise this.”
Colin Beattie MSP with runner up Amy Walker
Mr Beattie was shown around the office by Delivery Office Manager and was introduced to the postmen and women, who will be pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in East Lothian in the forthcoming busy Christmas period.
The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts as well as sending Christmas cards and parcels. Royal Mail also plays a key role in e-commerce for many businesses sending goods to customers throughout Christmas shopping season.
Colin Beattie MSP said: “At no other time is the hard work and dedication of postmen and women clearer than during the festive period. There is a huge amount of effort and dedication that goes into delivering a first class Christmas all over the country.
“It was great to meet the team here at the Musselburgh office and thank them for the extraordinary lengths they will go to ensure Christmas parcels and cards are delivered to loved ones on time, as well as thanking them for delivering our mail services all through the year, in all weathers.”
Rab Cull, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager, said: “Our postmen and women will be working extremely hard to deliver Christmas parcels, cards, letters and parcels to people in East Lothian. We are grateful that Mr Beattie visited the office to see our operation and to support the team.
“We’d like to remind our customers to post early this Christmas and to ensure all their mail is posted by the recommended dates, so that friends and family can enjoy their Christmas greetings and parcels. If everyone uses the postcode on every item of mail, this also helps us greatly in the job that we do at this very busy time.”
Customers do not need to travel to a Royal Mail Delivery office to pick up parcels if they can’t or do not want to. They can arrange a redelivery free of charge on a day that is convenient for them (including Saturdays), or Royal Mail can deliver the item to a different address within the same postcode area. This service can be arranged by calling the number on the “Something for You” card we leave or by visiting our website at www.royalmail.com/redelivery.
Royal Mail can also now leave many mail items with a neighbour* if customers are not at home when we attempt delivery. Customers can nominate a dedicated neighbour to take in their parcels by filling in a form at their delivery office.
The last recommend posting dates for Christmas are:
Second Class – Tuesday 18 December 2018
First Class – Thursday 20 December 2018
Special Delivery – Saturday 22 December 2018
Customers can also help Royal Mail ensure that all their letters, cards and parcels are delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible by taking a few easy steps:
Health services in Midlothian and East Lothian will receive a £57.2 million boost next year, the Scottish Government unveiled in the budget.
The inflation busting increase will see NHS Lothian funding increase 4.1% year on year.
The budget saw SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay increase total health and care funding by £729m, putting the future of the health service at the centre of the Scottish Government’s financial plan.
The Finance Secretary did however highlight the risk Brexit plays to this investment, with the potential for the Scottish Government to be forced to review the budget should the UK face a ‘No Deal’ scenario.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“People across my constituency will welcome the significant investment in our local NHS services, with a real-term increase in spending.
“The SNP value our NHS and are determined to ensure it stays fit for the future.
“In contrast, the budget exposed the Tory proposals as completely hollow – with their plan to hand high earners a tax cut leaving a £1 billion hole in our public spending.
“Meanwhile, even Labour insiders have admitted that their plans are a ‘shambles’ with the party failing to cost their spending demands.
“The SNP budget delivers for our NHS in Midlothian and East Lothian.”
SNP MSP: SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT STILL MITIGATING TORY CUTS
An SNP MSP has highlighted the millions being spent on mitigating Tory welfare cuts by the Scottish Government, after new figures revealed that a total of £1,044,688 was paid to people in Midlothian under the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme
In Midlothian, 1,485 of people in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit were given additional assistance towards housing costs by the Scottish Government.
The Discretionary Housing Payment scheme provides financial assistance towards housing costs for those claiming housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
Between April and September, local Authorities in Scotland made a total 100,635 awards under the DHP Scheme, with a total value of £56.9 million and an average award of £565.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“These figures provide further evidence of the cost of protecting people from the very worst impacts of UK Government welfare reform, and make clear that the SNP will always stand up for a fairer welfare system which treats people with respect and dignity.
“It shouldn’t fall to the Scottish Government to mitigate the impact of damaging Tory policies like the bedroom tax – but we know that providing a lifeline for families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet is the right thing to do.
“Instead of being left trying to convince an uncaring Westminster government to recognise just how wrong their welfare cuts are the Scottish Parliament should be making all decisions on tax and social security for ourselves.”
The full statistical publication is available at:
UK DRAFT AGREEMENT COULD COST SCOTS £1,600 PER PERSON
Following the UK Government’s announcement that agreement has been reached with the EU on the terms of withdrawal, SNP MSP, Colin Beattie has written to organisations across Midlothian North and Musselburgh to hold urgent discussions on the needs and concerns of businesses in their constituency.
This week the Scottish Government published an assessment of the deal, putting forward alternatives that would secure a better outcome for Scotland and the UK as a whole.
The SNP supports full EU membership, but has has also put forward a compromise proposal to keep Scotland in the European Customs Union and Single Market, which is around eight times the size of the UK alone.
Nearly 6,800 companies operating in Scotland exported goods to the EU last year and over 10,000 companies were reliant on imports from the EU.
The UK’s deal would take Scotland out of the Single Market, erect trade barriers, and end free movement, inevitably making it harder for Scottish businesses to access skills and talent from Europe – resulting in higher costs, a loss of competitiveness and production delays.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie Said:
“Since Scotland voted emphatically to remain part of the EU in 2016, the SNP has been leading discussions to explore all possible options that protect our place in Europe.
“Based on the current Withdrawal Deal that’s being put forward by Theresa May, business investment, productivity, earnings and employment in Scotland will all suffer.
“Compared with continued EU membership, Theresa May’s proposal could cost the equivalent of £1,600 for each person in Scotland by 2030.
“It is vital that the voices of organisations here in Midlothian North and Musselburgh are heard, and respected, as we look to secure a bright future for Scottish business.
“I would urge businesses to get in touch to make their views known on how Brexit will affect their interests and the economy here In Midlothian North and Musselburgh.”