Strathaven Echoes Column 3/10/18


We are on conference recess and I have really enjoyed being able to spend so much more time in the constituency, where I can personally address your local concerns. I am delighted to have ‘delivered’ for constituents in Strathaven by having the Post Box reinstated on the corner of the street across from Lidl’s after writing to Royal Mail on numerous occasions on this issue when the post box was removed. It is particularly important for my local elderly constituents who use this post box regularly, it is well placed for easy access, and I am pleased that a satisfactory outcome was achieved for all.

I am also delighted to have nominated Strathaven’s The Weavers for Parliamentary Pub of the Year following from their gaining the most votes on my Facebook Poll. They are delighted with this accolade but I have to say it is extremely well deserved because they are engaged in a variety of local charity and community work alongside providing a range of great ales.

It was also very inspiring to meet with local staff from The Cats Whiskers at Sanderson High School in East Kilbride last week when we were both attending to support the charity ‘Friends of Sanderson High’. The Cats Whiskers are a fully inclusive employer and offer opportunities for young people with learning disabilities enabling them to gain work experience and to go on to fulfil their full potential. As Chair of the Disability All Party Parliamentary Group over the past three years at Westminster, I am very proud of their achievements. My office is also offering work experience to pupils from Sanderson High because when it comes to diversity and inclusion, it is imperative that politicians don’t just talk the talk to businesses but also walk the walk themselves.

I additionally attended the Third Sector Awards last week hosted by VASLAN to support our local groups and organisations. I was delighted that the Trust Jack Foundation in Stonehouse won the Award for Health and Wellbeing for providing vital mental health supports to young people in crisis. It was lovely to be able to personally congratulate them on the night and to wish them well with future projects.

Darcy’s Equine Assisted Learning from Glassford also won an Award linked with providing Training Opportunities for young people. I understand that they support young people who have behavioural and emotional difficulties and engage them in healing through horse welfare activities. This unique project do wonderful work which reaches out and

is exceptionally therapeutic to those who struggle with emotional connection.

I will be back at Westminster before my next column and we will be honing in on Brexit negotiations. Things still seem to be exceptionally chaotic and party conferences have to date, given no further clarity on the Conservative or Labour Party position as differing MPs continually relay polarised views. Businesses need clarity and stability moving forward and I will continue to stand up for our jobs and livelihoods both locally and nationally at Westminster when we return.

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