I am pleased to inform that over the past few weeks, my East Kilbride and Strathaven offices have remained open despite the inclement weather and we have been dealing with your important enquiries, often regarding treacherous roads and paths needing gritted due to the conditions. We have been in contact with South Lanarkshire Council Roads Department repeatedly in order to highlight local streets that are in need of treatment and I hope that this has meant you have been able to get back out and about your daily business in a safer way.
In Parliament, this week, I was able to question the new Secretary of State for DWP Esther McVey regarding ongoing appalling treatment of my constituents who have mental health issues via the PIP and Universal Credit systems. A court ruling has now determined that the UK Government’s policy was discriminatory against those with mental health issues within the PIP system, and their applications will be reviewed. The Secretary of State stated in the House of Commons in response that I should raise any particular cases from our constituency which she will now look at. I am therefore compiling this information but should any local reader who has been affected and who has not yet contacted myself be in this situation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at this time.
Following from the presentation of my petition in Parliament against the proposed closure of local RBS branches in Strathaven & Lesmahagow, the Minister must now respond. Last week however, it was raised in the House of Commons that the banking arrangements being put in place by RBS for closure, may breach equality legislation as mobile van arrangements are not amenable for those with disabilities. I am therefore also pursuing this issue in my capacity as Chair of the Disability All Party Parliamentary Group and writing to RBS to request that they take this into account. I will continue to fight these proposed closures in our constituency- RBS is majority owned by the tax payer and it is high time that they took account of rural consumer’s needs. Their consultation continues until March so please also write to them and let your views be known.
This week marked Holocaust Memorial Day and as Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, I felt it important to mark this occasion. I have therefore been in touch with a number of survivors who have given their recall of the atrocities they experienced- We must always learn from the past and I continue to fully support the Holocaust Education Trust’s work locally and across the UK in teaching future generations about the Holocaust.
I have been inundated with messages of support for my Westminster Campaign for Lucy’s Law to end third party puppy sales in pet shops and from puppy farms. I am hosting a further event in parliament in this regard and over fifty MPs have now signed the Early Day Motion that I tabled. If you want to join my campaign, please just let me know.
My surgeries are every Friday from 3:30pm at the Civic Centre with no appointment required. You can also contact my office anytime 9-5pm Monday-Friday on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01355-587430