Scottish Parliament Election Campaign Kicks Off

Last weekend I kicked off my re-election campaign for the Scottish Parliament election in May by promising a positive and ambitious campaign, which will be taken to every town and street in the Renfrewshire North & West constituency.

The SNP may be polling high, with the latest poll showing a 31 point lead over Labour, but we take nothing for granted and know that we must work hard to earn, and keep, people’s trust. We have a fantastic record in Government – with NHS spending at record highs, 1,000 extra police officers on our streets, helping crime reach a 41-year low, mitigating the Bedroom Tax and introducing free school meals to all primary 1 to 3 pupils.

From now until the dissolution of Parliament in March I will be continuing to work hard for all of my constituents, and up until Election Day we will all be working harder than ever to keep the trust of voters and ensure the re-election of an SNP Government and Nicola Sturgeon as our First Minister.

Winter Weather

In my transport and constituency role I know that extreme weather, such as we have seen in the fast few weeks, often brings travel disruption, particularly when people are making their way to work, schools and appointments.

I continue to work hard with the Scottish Government’s Resilience operation as well as keeping in touch with other services and local councils.

I would urge people to check travel operators websites before setting out in bad weather, as these will host all of the latest information.

Recycling Centre Changes – Council Tax Freeze

Over the last few weeks I have continually been contacted by constituents regarding Labour’s plans to unman household waste recycling centres at Renfrew and Erskine in my constituency, resulting in larger items such as furniture, white goods and wood no longer being accepted.

With nearly 1,500 now signed a petition set up by residents in Renfrew, the feeling amongst locals is clear - they do not want these changes.

Labour will of course try to pin the blame for these changes on the Council Tax freeze. This is the same freeze they campaigned for in 2011 and, as I have said before, have continued to campaign for at every single Parliamentary by-election since. The freeze in Council Tax is also welcomed by the public who have continually responded to surveys I have issued over the past few years supporting the freeze. With the latest in Bishopton, where I received over 1,200 replies, showing 73% of residents in favour. While previous surveys in Gallowhill and Renfrew have shown support at 92%.

During tough economic times my constituents appreciate the average saving of £1,226 that band D households in Renfrewshire have made.

While Labour try to blame the Scottish Government and the freeze for the unpopular decisions they decide to make locally, this SNP Government will yet again invest £70million to continue to fully fund, or over fund, the Council Tax freeze for another year.

And I deliberately say ‘over fund’ as independent research has shown that the freeze has not only been fully funded by the SNP Scottish Government, but, in fact, Council’s have been over-funded.