27 Aug 2012

Paisley Daily Express - 27 Agust 2012

Ripping off Renfrewshire

What have SNP Ministers got against Renfrewshire? In recent years Renfrewshire has been at the bottom of the league when it comes to money given to Councils to run essential services. Now the Transport Scotland, which acts on behalf of Ministers, wants to cut train services which stop in Paisley and Johnstone. This came to light when proposed railway timetable changes were published for services through Gilmour Street station in Paisley. The proposals include a welcome extra two trains per hour to Ayrshire. Surprisingly none of these trains will stop in Paisley or Johnstone. They will simply rattle through in each direction. Worse than that the proposals suggest that off the off peak service stopping in Paisley and Johnstone is reduced from two per hour to one per hour and in future will stop at all stations. So Renfrewshire residents wanting to use the train to travel to Prestwick Airport will have fewer trains and longer journeys.

Gilmour Street is the fourth busiest station in Scotland. It is busier than Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh Haymarket. The last thing which Renfrewshire needs is a poorer train service. What I can’t understand is why the local SNP Members of the Scottish Parliament have nothing to say about this. Yet again Renfrewshire is being sold short by the SNP. Let’s hope that in between campaigning to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK, they can find a few minutes to campaign for local services.

Sky High Government flights

Times are tough and everyone is having to cut back to make ends meet. Well nearly everyone, since Alex Salmond and his Ministers seem to have no limits when it comes to spending your money. Figures obtained by Scottish Labour show that since 2007 over £8million has been spent on flights for Scottish Government special advisors and civil servants. This does not include the costs for Ministers. Why do we need to pay for 73 first class flights for these staff, as well as 4,000 business class flights? It’s estimated that flight costs for civil servants and Ministerial aides to California around the time of the launch of the film “Brave” came to around £38,000. Why do officials need to book business class flights to London, for a flight time of about 1 hour? Abu Dhabi, Dubai and China seem to be popular venues for business class bookings. We know that Alex Salmond likes to strut the stage abroad promoting the break up of the UK. Why does he need to spend so much on flights for staff at a time when he is cutting back on vital services?

BHS – Back to school

Well done to BHS for helping to raise money for the NSPCC. To mark the launch of the new Autumn collections, BHS is inviting the public to clear out their old clothes to support NSPCC. For every bag of clothes donated via the NSPCC’s official partner, Clothes Aid. BHS will give shoppers a £5 voucher to spend in store. The NSPCC will also receive£300 for every tonne of clothing collected (around 200 bags). If you want to help all you need to do is fill a large bag with unwanted clothes, shoes, belts and bags, and call Clothes Aid on 0845 0722 780 to arrange a convenient collection time. This is a good chance for the public to clear out old clothes, make some money, and help NSPCC to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people across the UK.

Same Old Tories

David Cameron came to power saying that the Tory Party had changed. His record since then would suggest the opposite. Living standards are being slashed, many people can’t find a job, and more workers are having to work part time. Now we find that the rich, pampered Tories in the House of Commons, think that British workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”. We have a Cabinet of Millionaires and a strong representation of Old Etonians. Many of these people have never done a proper day’s work yet they can lecture the rest of us. And the new breed of Tory MP is even worse, wanting to emulate the work culture in parts of Asia. British workers, through their unions, fought for decent wages and conditions. They fought for a Health Service, better housing and an education for their children. Alex Salmond once said that Scotland “didn’t mind the economic side” to Margaret Thatcher. Well, her heirs are back with a vengeance.