19 Feb 2013

Paisley Daily Express - 18 February 2013

Salmond’s hot air bill

It was recently revealed that Alex Salmond is spending almost £100,000 a year on gas and electricity for his official residence in Edinburgh. And that’s not counting the £30,000 spent on a living flame gas fire and £60,000 on a new boiler system. It seems that your money has to be used to make sure that Alex Salmond is kept in the presidential lifestyle to which he aspires. This is at a time when ordinary Scots are struggling to pay the massive increases in their own domestic fuel bills. Politicians are noted for generating hot air. Perhaps Alex Salmond could use this instead of charging taxpayers so much?

Energy giants put profits before people

Talking about fuel bills…I was appalled when shocking new figures uncovered by Labour revealed that the six big energy giants have trebled their profit margins in the three months since the latest round of price hikes. They claimed they were putting up prices because of increased costs but fed up families in my Constituency, many of them struggling financially, just don’t believe the hype and neither do I. They are sick and tried of these tactics and believe they are being exploited by suppliers cashing in on the cold weather. It is a scandal and must stop. We need the Government to break the dominance of the energy giants, protect the public from being ripped-off and create a tough new watchdog with the power to force energy companies to pass on savings to consumers.


The latest ludicrous suggestion in the break up Britain debate is that Scotland will need its own Scottish Spy Service (SSS). Just who does Alex Salmond want to spy on? Is it the rest of the UK or will he be sending his agents overseas to spy on our European neighbours? And just who will be recruited to Salmond’s spy service? The more we hear of the consequences of his plans to break up Britain, the more ridiculous it becomes. What we do know is that you and I will pay for his delusions of grandeur.

Taking the plunge for charity

Kids these days are often in the spotlight for the wrong reasons and the bad can sometimes overshadow the good many youngsters do. Gutsy teenager Ailish Douglas is hoping to make a big splash for Alzheimer Scotland when she attempts to swim 100 lengths at Barrhead Sports Centre this Friday in a bid to raise funds for the charity. Ailish, who is 14, is aiming to complete the sponsored swim in just two hours so that she can hand over a donation to help people affected by any kind of dementia. Just 1p a length is only £1and Ailish says it will make her lengths go quicker. I want to wish her luck and if you would like to sponsor this big-hearted schoolgirl you can go to www.justgiving.com/ailishswim100

Visit Renfrewshire

It was an easy decision to sign up to support Scottish Tourism Week, which runs from Monday, March 4 because we have so much to offer. The event is aimed at increasing awareness of the vital contribution Scottish tourism makes to our economy bringing millions in every year. The interest from abroad in visiting our shores is growing and there’s plenty for tourists to see right here in Renfrewshire, home to Glasgow International Airport. One of the busiest visitor attractions is Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park which includes Castle Semple at Lochwinnoch. Thousands of visitors enjoy activities such as canoeing, archery, mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, and cycling on the Sustrans Cycle Track. There’s also the beauty of the Gleniffer Braes, Paisley Abbey and Coats Memorial to soak up before exploring the rest of our country.