Strathaven is a wonderful part of our constituency that continues to thrive and I have been delighted to support many local organisations, businesses, charities and events over this summer recess. It is testament to our local organisers that our Strathaven Balloon Festival had over 20 000 attendees this year and was our busiest yet. I was delighted to attend the official opening and to thank all organisers for their outstanding work. It is appropriate that I specifically commend them in Parliament for putting Strathaven on the map once again -of culture, sport and tourism, and I will be submitting an Early Day Motion into Parliament as soon as we return -to mark their outstanding achievement.
I am also delighted to announce that one of Strathaven’s local pubs, The Weavers has been voted Parliamentary Pub of the Year by my constituents. The Weavers has long had outstanding service, a fantastic range in produce, welcoming staff and such a friendly atmosphere. Very well done to all at The Weavers- they will go forward to the next round of the House of Commons competition as our entry for Pub of the Year and I will keep you informed of their progress.
As Chair of Parliament’s Disability All Party Parliamentary Group, for the past three years, I have been particularly proud to dedicate my parliamentary service to ensuring inclusion across our society and to campaigning for adequate supports for persons with disability. I was honoured to receive commendation from Disability Rights UK for my work in parliament, which has been entirely fulfilling and has allowed me to meet and support entirely inspirational individuals and groups going forward. I am delighted therefore, to have been voted Chair of the Disability All Party Parliamentary Group again for parliamentary term 2018-2019 and will continue to dedicate myself to these important issues.
In our constituency, this week, I am proud to be hosting an event which places inclusion at the forefront of achievement – Meet the Paralympians in conjunction with Channel 4. This exciting event will be held at Stewartfield Community Centre, East Kilbride on 8th September from 2-3pm. It is entirely free entry, with light refreshments served and gives local constituents, young people and their families the opportunity to meet with, have autographs signed and hear the inspirational stories of world class medal winning Paralympians. Attendees include Strathaven’s own Wheelchair Curler Aileen Neilson, Olympic swimmer Abby Kane and Olympic Skier
Brett Wild. These inspirational Paralympians want to inspire the next generation and beyond. I am delighted to host the event and to have been supported by Chief Executive Gerry Campbell of South Lanarkshire Culture and Leisure. I look forward to seeing many of you there!
Finally, my constituency office in Strathaven has been extremely busy, with cases involving placing request for school and welfare matters including Universal Credit and Pensions enquiries this fortnight. Anyone affected by any local issue, please pop in to the office from 9-5pm weekdays, no appointment necessary. Alternatively, contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01357 520875 and we will seek to support you going forward.