1 Mar 2011

Paisley Daily Express - 1 March 2011

Solitaire Club

I was delighted to learn that the Renfrew Solitaire Club, based in Paisley, has received a grant from the Awards for All, run by the Big Lottery Fund. The club supports older, single people in this area. Living on your own can be a problem for many, particularly if they have no family close by. It’s important to keep older people active and healthy. Meeting other people is an important part of this. If you want to learn more about this club, call me on 0141 848 7361.

Window Blind Cords

In 2010, six children in the UK and Ireland died through strangulation by window blind cords. There are more than 250 million window blinds already in the UK and 25 million more are sold each year. John and Pat Astley are grandparents who have campaigned for improved safety. They funded the WindowBlindSafe project themselves. They want Government guidelines on what is safe to use and what is not. If you are worried about window blinds for your home and want to do something. You can contact the company by email at john@windowblindsafe.com

Dog ASBO’s/Human ASBO’s

Dog owners who allow their pets to become out of control in a public or private place, could be issued with a "dog control notice". Out of control dogs can be a real nuisance and can be downright dangerous if not stopped. I support action to nip the problem in the bud at an early stage. It’s right to tell irresponsible owners that they will face action if their dog runs out of control.
Let’s hope that the SNP takes a more robust attitude to this than local SNP Councillors like to ASBO’s against people who behave badly. The SNP seems to have a problem about taking action against the irresponsible minority who cause grief to the responsible majority. They don’t want to use existing powers to crackdown on youngsters who are out of control. It’s seems the SNP are prepared to tackle the dogs who cause problems but not the humans. It’s time for them to sort out their priorities.

School Transport
Parent power, backed by teachers has forced Renfrewshire Council to back away from its ridiculous plan to replace teachers with unqualified staff. The Director of Education refuses to apologise for his actions. What part of the word humility does he fail to understand? Derek McKay, the Leader of the Council, and David Martin, the Chief Executive won’t instruct Mr Naylor to apologise. They are failing parents with this inaction. The SNP and Liberal Democrats are hoping that the review sponsored by the SNP Government will bring back this recommendation after the election. We should be telling them to bury this once and for all.
Now that they have been forced to back down on replacing teachers, I hope the SNP and Liberal Democrats Councillors will now think again about school transport. These Councillors have forced 1, 000 children to walk up to three miles each way per day during one of the worst winters we have seen in years. There is a human cost, but also an educational one. These same Councillors won’t walk three miles themselves to Council meetings. Why should they inflict this on our children. It’s time to do the right thing and think again.

Buying Jobs
Many young people across Renfrewshire are finding it hard to obtain employment. The cuts being driven by the Conservative led Government are having a devastating effect on Scottish jobs. The Liberal Democrats are just nodding through whatever the Tories suggest. But not every young person in Britain is finding it hard to get a start. The latest wheeze from the Tories to fundraise for their Party, is to sell internships with top City firms. If you have the cash, your son or daughter can get work experience in the City of London. Do you have £3, 000 to spare? Your son or daughter can have an internship with CMC Markets in return for your donation to the Tory Party. £2, 500 will buy a place at hedge fund Caxton Associates. £3,500 will secure a place at Arbuthnot Latham which is a private bank. And so it goes on. This really stinks. While our sons and daughters struggle to find work, the rich are as usual buying access and privilege.