eNewsletter – April 2014

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Ian Murray MP’s award-winning eUpdate for Easter 2014
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Welcome to my eNewsletter for Easter

I’ve had very positive feedback following the redesign, however as always, do get in touch if you have any suggestions.  It’s not possible to cover all activity that I do in this eNewsletter so please do get in touch if there is anything specific you want to raise.

As many of you will know, the constituency was hit by tragedy this month following the heartbreaking incident at Liberton High School.  These situations always put things into perspective.  I’m sure all constituents will join me in sending condolences to all Keane’s family and friends.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can help in any way.

****BREAKING NEWS****

Yesterday, I was contacted by my 10,000th constituent.  I’m proud to have helped so many people in less than four years.

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Tragedy at Liberton High School

Constituents will be well aware of the tragedy that befell Liberton High School last week.  It was absolutely devastating for all those involved with the School and my thoughts are with Keane’s family and friends, and all the teachers and pupils, particularly Head teacher Stephen Kelly.  It follows the recent death of fellow Liberton pupil Jamie Skinner who died suddenly  whilst playing football in December.

Liberton is a school well rooted in the local community but one tragedy is enough for any school to cope with let alone two in such a short space of time.  I hope that the investigation into this sad incident can happen quickly and that lessons can be learnt so that this never happens again.  We owe that to the memory of Keane.  I gave my reflections to the Evening News earlier this week and  I also raised it during Prime Minister’s Questions. 

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Parking Success for Howdenhall & Alnwickhill

After a long battle, there was success for the residents of Howdenhall and Alnwickhill as new parking restrictions have been secured.  The junction at Howdenhall Drive and Alnwickhill Road has been particularly hazardous so the extension of double yellow lines is very welcome.  The Council have listened to my representations on behalf of local people, along with the hard work of the Alnwickhill Proprietors Association.

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#Selfie at Boroughmuir High School

I spoke to pupils from 3rd to 6th year at Boroughmuir High School about my work at parliament and in the constituency.  I was asked some insightful questions which showed how engaged they are in the political process and how decisions made in Holyrood and Westminster affect their daily lives. We even had time for an “Oscar-style” selfie.

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Refurbishment for Bruntsfield Tesco Metro

I was delighted to attend the opening of the newly refurbished Tesco Metro at Holy Corner.  The store has been on site for a number of years now and was in need of a fresh lick of paint.   The management and staff at the store continue to support several local projects, including very close connections with local primary schools.

Thanks to manager Catherine Potter for showing me round the store during a busy Monday morning.

Labour will repeal the Gagging Act

I’m delighted that a future Labour Government will repeal the illiberal Lobbying Act, which is stifling democratic participation in our country.  In the next parliament, we will introduce a universal register of all professional lobbyists backed by a code of conduct and sanctions, as well as consult with charities and campaigners about how to ensure transparency in our elections while protecting freedom of speech.

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Together We Can

There is much focus on the upcoming Referendum in September given the hugely important choice we will have to make.  I believe that we should vote no, but I want to tell you why my ambition for Scotland goes much further than the constitution or independence.

Over recent months, I’ve been involved in setting out Labour’s vision for what Scotland can achieve.  It outlines how it is possible to take different approaches on key issues north of the Border while still working together across the whole UK to build a new moral economy, where the national wealth is used for the benefit of all.  I’d be interested in hearing your views on our policy direction.  Click the image opposite to view the Together We Can document.

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Cancer Research UK – Every moment counts

Every day 81 people in Scotland and more than 330,000 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with cancer.  Thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years.  That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s ‘Every Moment Counts’ campaign.  The work of the charity’s researchers have played a key role in the research leading to some of the landmark advances in treatment including tamoxifen for breast cancer and cisplatin for testicular cancer.

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Let’s Get Young People Back into Work

Last month’s Budget was as always much anticipated, yet it offered little to address the rising prices in energy and transport which families are facing.  In particular, I was disappointed that there was nothing in the Budget to address the persistent problem of youth unemployment.

Across the UK, the number of young people aged 18-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for over a year has doubled from 28,300 in May 2010 to 56,100 in March.  That is why I support Labour’s tax on bank bonuses which would fund a Job Guarantee programme which would get our young people back into work.  We mustn’t allow a generation of young people to be left on the unemployment scrapheap.

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Speaking Up…

Foreign Office Questions

I asked the Foreign Office Minister if he would set out which powers the Government wants to take back from the European Union.  I want to see the UK remain in a reformed EU and I believe the Government’s mixed message on EU membership is very damaging for the UK. 

You can watch the exchange by clicking here.

PMQs

On March 19th, I was drawn to ask a question in PMQs.  On this occasion, I contrasted the pay increases of over 40% for Government advisers, with that of some public sector workers  which has been frozen at 1%. 

You can watch the questions and answer here.

Cabinet Office Questions

Earlier last month, I raised the issue of trade union subscriptions with the Minister for the Cabinet Office. 

You can read more about the issue here.

BIS Questions – Warm words but cold reality on Minimum Wage

At Business, Innovation & Skills Questions last month, I asked Vince Cable about the national minimum wage.  Despite suggestions from the Government that there could be a significant increase in the minimum wage, Ministers increased it by 19p an hour to £6.50.  I believe this government has failed to tackle low pay and strengthen the minimum wage.  We should be incentivising firms to pay a living wage through ‘Make Work Pay’ contracts and by better enforcing the minimum wage.

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Royal Mail – Audit Office slam sell-off

This week, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) – the respected independent body which is responsible for reviewing government departments and agencies – which looked at the privatisation of Royal Mail makes for uncomfortable reading for the Government.  We now know definitively that better value could have been achieved had Ministers adopted a different timetable for the sale. As the report concludes: “The Department could have achieved better value for the taxpayer”.

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EU-US Trade – Chief Negotiator listens to concerns

I was pleased to meet with the European Union’s Chief Negotiator, Mr Ignacio Garcia-Bercero, who is leading the trade talks between the EU and US, which will result in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  This allowed me to raise with him several concerns about the proposals which constituents and various organisations have contacted me about.

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
South Edinburgh Arts Fair Association – Spring Fling 2014

Eric Liddell Centre, Holy Corner

Saturday 12th April from 10.30am to 4pm

Aged over 50?  Looking for inspiration? A new hobby/interest? Want to get involved be activated, feel motivated?  Come along to our Spring Fling this Saturday with lots of stalls, giveaways, tasters & demonstrations.

Visit www.seafa1.wordpress.comfor further information or email seafa@hotmail.co.uk

Pedal On Parliament 2014 – #POP2014

The Meadows, Edinburgh
Saturday 26th April from 12 noon

Let’s make Scotland a cycle-friendly country.

For more information:

Twitter – @POPSCOTLAND

www.pedalonparliament.org

Craigmillar Park Bowling Club Open Day

Sunday 27th April from 2pm

New members and visitors are very welcome and it’s a great chance to see what facilities this local club can provide.

If you require any further information, click here or you can visit the website www.cpbc.org.uk or call the Secretary on 0131 667 6862.

Falcon Bowling and Tennis Club Open Day

Sunday April 27th from 11am to 4.30pm

On Sunday 27th April I’ll be paying a visit to Falcon Bowling & Tennis Club at Newbattle Terrace, Morningside, for the Club’s OPEN DAY. Everyone’s welcome come along, join in the tennis and bowls, and enjoy the beautiful grounds.

Falcon’s a friendly sports club as well as a community hub where local people meet and socialise. It’s proud to have members aged 5 to 95! For children and young people there accessible subscriptions and modestly priced weekly coaching; the not-so-young may prefer a leisurely game of bowls and the free Introduction to Bowling and ‘Tasters’ on offer.

Why not join me at Falcon Open Day on 27th April, 11am- 4.30pm - and for the less athletic there’s always the free teas and free cake to look forward to!

Falcon OPEN DAY is generously funded by the City of Edinburgh Council/Activcity.

For more information go to www.falcon-club.co.uk  or email Eveline Traynor on falconclub@hotmail.co.uk

The Grange Fair

Newington Library, Fountainhall Road

Sunday 11th May from 1pm to 4.30pm

For more information, visit http://www.grangeassociation.org.uk/ or contact Lucy Richardson on 0131-662 4992 or via email lucyclarerichardson@yahoo.co.uk with offers of help, or requests to collect donated items.  We’re sorry we cannot take jumble or clothing.

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