, , , , , ,

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE – MHAIRI BLACK WELCOMES CENTENARY FUND

Projects to mark the anniversary of the women in the UK first receiving the vote will receive £500,000 from the Centenary Fund. The Fund will support a variety of projects including those looking to improve women’s political representation and participation in public life.

As part of the Centenary Fund, up to £170,000 will be made available for local and community-based projects to apply to the Scottish Government’s Vote Centenary Small Grant Scheme.

Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, welcomed the announcement.

Commenting, she said:

“We have come a long way since some women secured the right to vote 100 hundred years ago, yet much still needs to be done to eradicate gender inequality and create a fairer, safer and more equal society.

“The Vote Centenary Small Grant Scheme is now open for applications.  We are asking local communities to think of creative ways in which they can mark the centenary and I would encourage those that can to apply to the scheme as soon as possible.

The Representation of the People Act (1918) was a vital step forward for gender equality, and the centenary of the act is an incredibly important opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come, thanks to the extreme bravery and sacrifice of the women who fought – and in some cases died – for equality.

“We all know that there is lots more to do to tackle issues specific to women, we still have absurd inequalities that plague our society such as the gender pay gap, the rape clause, violence against women, maternity discrimination and the tampon tax.

“This funding from the Scottish Government will ensure we pay tribute to the women who fought so hard for the rights that women have today, as well as playing an important part in encouraging the next generation of women leaders.”

, , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black Backs Team Up to Clean Up

MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has given her full support to Renfrewshire Council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign. The SNP MP, recently joined the Corseford Community Clean Up in their most recent litter pick, along side local Councillor for the area Andy Steel and Convenor of the Infastructure Land and Environment Board Councillor Cathy McEwan, to help tidy up the streets of Corseford.
Mhairi Black MP said
“It was a pleasure to join the Corseford Community Clean Up. I have been impressed by the Team Up to Clean Up campaign so far, it is refreshing to see local people gathering to make sure their area is looking tidy.
“Well done to all the local people in Corseford and across Renfrewshire who are engaging with the campaign and making Renfrewshire a cleaner place to live.”
Cllr Andy Steel added
“The clean ups in Corseford show Team Up to Clean Up in action – locals are taking a real pride in where they live, and by involving young people we will hopefully see a behavioural change in years to come that will benefit our environment.
“It has been fantastic to see the effort and community spirit that local people have put into the Corseford clean ups. The group have done an excellent job for the area.
“The SNP budget recently doubled the funding for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign so while it is fantastic to see the effort being put in by local communities, this investment will also allow Renfrewshire Council to step up their environmental efforts.”
The SNP administration’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign has been hugely successful so far, with Renfrewshire Council increasing their environmental efforts while the voluntary side of the campaign moves from strength to strength. Over 50 community clean ups have already taken place within Renfrewshire since the campaign started and the dedicated Facebook group continues to grow, with more people getting involved and interacting with each other. You can get involved by contacting Team Up to Clean Up on 0300 300 1375 or by emailing wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

This week MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

Saturday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘The power of words’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Mhairi Black MP commented:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from across Renfrewshire and Scotland to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“The Holocaust did not start in the gas chambers but with hate filled words. Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Mhairi Black MP for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.”

, , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black Backs Tesco Food Bank Collection

Mhairi Black MP has thrown her support behind a nationwide food collection to help people who find themselves in need this Christmas.

From Thursday, November 30 to Saturday, December 2, more than 2,600 Tesco stores across the UK are taking part in the annual Food Collection, which encourages shoppers to donate long-life foods to help charity The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network to give food and support to people who might otherwise go hungry this Christmas.

Mhairi visited the Tesco store in Paisley to support the appeal, which last year collected 3.6 million meals for people in need. All the donations collected in Renfrewshire over the weekend will be donated to the Renfrewshire food bank.

More than 43 million meals have been donated to the food charities by generous Tesco customers since the scheme began, and the supermarket is hoping that shoppers will be just as generous this year.

Mhairi Black MP said

“At this time of year it’s good to think of others, and I would encourage shoppers to take part in this year’s Food Collection as it will make a real difference to people in need of food this Christmas.

“People should not have to rely on food banks however this is the reality that we live in. People will go hungry this winter and any support provided will help immensely. Well done to everyone involved in this year’s collection.”

Samantha Stapley, Operations Manager for The Trussell Trust said: “Trussell Trust foodbanks across the country will be doing all they can to provide emergency support so people don’t go hungry – but to make sure we’re prepared for what could be our busiest December yet, our network needs your support.

“During every Food Collection we’ve been humbled by the staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, and as we look to the start of the tenth collection, we would love to have your support once again. Your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas.”

, , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black Praises Charitable Efforts by Local TSB

Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Mhairi Black recently met with charity workers and employees at the local TSB on Paisley High Street. Mhairi was invited along to hear about the contribution the business makes to the local area, by supporting local charities.
The Paisley TSB recently raised £885 for local charity Brightest Star. The charity was founded in memory of Jack Kennedy who passed away suddenly due to a virus at the age of five. Brightest Star was set up by Jack’s mum Arlene to give support to parents suffering from bereavement. Brightest Star want to raise awareness of the lack of support available for grieving families, particularly for those impacted by sudden childhood deaths. Part of this support includes lifesaving first aid training and a special ambulance that can be used by families when children need to be transferred between hospitals.
Mhairi Black MP said
“It was good of the local TSB branch in Paisley to invite me along and show me the effort they are putting towards supporting local charities and causes.
“Brightest Star is a fantastic cause and I am happy to support this service in any way that I can.
“It is commendable that the charity is raising awareness and providing support for grieving parents and families in what will surely be an extremely difficult time.”
, , , , , ,

Mhairi Black MP Blames Austerity for Increased Food Bank Usage

The latest figures from Renfrewshire Food Bank show that between 1st April and 30th September 2017, 4190 emergency food supplies were distributed in Renfrewshire.

This is a sharp rise from the 3038 food parcels that local people were given in during the same period in 2016. These figures show an increase of over 1000 families and people in Renfrewshire having to rely on the Food Bank. Of the 4190 supplies given out 1152 of these were for children. The Trussell Trust have indicated that the main reasons people are relying on Food Banks is down to continued issues with benefit payments, the roll out of Universal Credit, low wages and insecure jobs.

Local Renfrewshire MP Mhairi Black blames the continuing rise in Food Bank usage and poverty levels increasing on the UK government’s austerity measures.

Mhairi Black MP said –

“These latest figures from the Trussell Trust highlight how the Tory austerity agenda is nothing more than an attack on society’s most vulnerable people.

“Poverty levels are reaching record highs, food banks are running out of supplies and the UK government continue to make welfare cuts, austerity has failed.

“The UK Government are steamrolling ahead with the full roll out of Universal Credit and this is going to mean more people will be reliant on food banks all over Scotland”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black Welcomes Investment in Childcare

Mhairi Black MP
The Scottish Government have reaffirmed their commitment to invest £840 million into childcare by 2021 – 2022. The Scottish Government currently spend on average £420 million a year but this commitment will see spending on childcare in Scotland doubled. This will be in line with the increase in childcare hours that parents will be entitled to, which is almost doubling from 16 to 30 hours from August 2020.
Mhairi Black MP
This move will see parents save around £350 per child, per month for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. The Scottish Government will begin talks with local authorities this autumn, to agree a multi-year funding package to implement this investment. Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has praised this move by the scottish Government.
Mhairi Black MP said
“This is a welcome investment from the Scottish Government. Parents are struggling to make ends meet and the £350 saving they will be able to make will help to ease financial problems they may experience in securing childcare.
“Every child deserves the best start in life. High quality care and learning are essential in the early years of child development.”
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MHAIRI BLACK MP WELCOMES CHARITY’S SOCIAL SECURITY ADVICE SERVICE FOR DEAF CONSTITUENTS

Mhairi Black MP is urging deaf people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South who have queries about benefits decisions to use a charity’s specialist welfare rights advocacy service.

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.

 

Mhairi Black MP said: “Information about welfare and social security can often be difficult to understand and navigating the systems to ensure you get the support you are entitled to can put many people off applying.

 

“I’m pleased to see Action on Hearing Loss Scotland providing this service and encourage deaf or hard of hearing people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South to use the charity’s support if you have queries, claims or want to make an appeal about social security benefits.”

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Our welfare rights advocacy service can provide details and advice about a range of benefits including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

 

“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand what processes to follow to apply for support you may be entitled to, or are confused about letters you have received regarding your benefits, we would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”

 

For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, textphone: 0141 341 5350, email: SocialSecurity@hearingloss.org.uk or visit www.hearingloss.org.uk/SocialSecurity.  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black Welcomes Fair Start Scotland Investment

The Scottish Government have pledged to invest £96 million to help people find and stay in work through the Fair Start Scotland programme which will launch in April 2018. Nine areas in Scotland will benefit from the scheme, including Renfrewshire, which will receive a share of the investment, which aims to help 38,000 people into work.

The Fair Start Scotland is a voluntary programme which differs from similar schemes implemented by the UK Government previously, removing the threat of cruel and infective benefit sanctions. The service will also be tailored to an individual’s needs and will help those taking part find relative employment that is sustainable. Additional support will be available for those with disabilities that wish to take part in the scheme.

Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has welcomed the investment, saying:

“Employment support provided by the government should be seen as an opportunity to find work and not as a redundant task surrounding filling out forms as has been the norm with similar programmes we have seen from the DWP.”

“Making this service voluntary is a vital step forward as people will not be forced to take part under the threat of their money being sanctioned, which have been proven not to work, or save the tax payer any money.”

“The UK “workfare” schemes have been compared to modern day slavery for some benefit claimants and introducing an individual approach for each person looking for employment that is tailored to their skills is common sense from the Scottish Government.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley 2021 bid backed by all local party leaders

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has received a show of cross-party support – having been backed by all five party leaders on Renfrewshire Council.

The final bid document is due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month – and elected members are set to consider it when the council meets on September 28.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish bidder on the shortlist for the 2021 competition, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage offer to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area.

And support crosses party lines – with council leader Iain Nicolson (SNP), Labour’s Eddie Devine, James MacLaren of the Conservatives, Lib Dem Eileen McCartin and independent Andy Doig all gathering outside Paisley Abbey to give their backing, joined by children from Williamsburgh Primary.

The bid has already enjoyed public support from national political figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Secretary David Mundell and outgoing Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Councillor Nicolson – who also chairs the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “The potential benefits of a successful bid are absolutely massive – for example, the activity before, during and after our planned UK City of Culture year is predicted to create 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

“When dealing with something of that scale it is important we as elected members put our party differences aside and do all we can to make it happen – so I am delighted to be joined by my fellow councillors today to show our collective support for the bid.”

Councillor Devine said: “Over the past two years, the Paisley 2021 bid has energised people throughout the town and given them a reason to believe in Paisley again – Buddies have driven the campaign to date and they deserve this title and all the benefits it will bring them.”

Councillor MacLaren added: “We have already seen from previous winners Derry-Londonderry and Hull how winning this title can boost local business and drive investment in infrastructure and industry. I am happy to get behind anything which could do the same for Paisley and Renfrewshire.”

Councillor McCartin said: “Paisley was once the centre of the world’s textile industry and the legacy of that is still around us in wonderful buildings such as our town hall and Sma’ Shot Cottages. That story should be told to as many people as possible and I back anything which will help do that.”

And Councillor Doig added: “Renfrewshire has some great heritage attractions and huge potential as a visitor destination – and a successful Paisley 2021 bid will bring huge numbers of people to the area, giving all our towns and villages a chance to benefit.”

The winner of the competition is due to be announced in December. For more info, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

The Scottish Government has given its financial backing to Scotland’s bid if Paisley is named UK City of Culture 2021.

 

Commenting Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay, who also serves as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said:

 

“The Scottish Government is backing Paisley’s bid, and I am delighted to play my role and add my support as local MSP and Finance Secretary.

 

“Winning UK City of Culture will benefit all of Renfrewshire, and as the only bid from Scotland shortlisted – the eyes of the country are on Paisley and Renfrewshire.

 

“It has been a fantastic, positive and energised campaign which is all about people, and great credit must go to everyone involved.”