eNewsletter Summer 2014

Read my Award Winning eMagazine for Summer 2014

 

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Ian Murray MP's award-winning eNewsletter for Summer 2014
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Welcome to my eNewsletter for Summer 2014

Summer has finally arrived and things are still very busy both in South Edinburgh and at Westminster.  This month's edition is jam packed and of interest I hope.  This eNewsletter gives a flavour of what I've been up to as your MP but please see my website for more information or get in touch.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can help in any way.
Gordon's fightback against Motor Neurone Disease
I want to make all my constituents aware of my friend, the inspirational Gordon Aikman, who currently works as Director of Research for the Better Together campaign and was recently diagnosed with MND.  You can read more about his brave story here.

I met with Gordon at the House of Commons last week to promote his campaign and have also been assisting in arranging a fundraising football match to raise further funds.  The fact that he raised over £40,000 in fundraising in just a few short weeks shows how effective he has been.
 
It is a tragic case but he is dealing with it by thinking about others and that is humbling to us all.


I'm proud to be part of his to for #mndYou can support his campaign by visiting
 
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
 
Incident in Morningside
I was shocked and saddened following the recent attack on an elderly women in her own home in the Craiglea area of Morningside.  I have spoken with local Police who are taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of the community and officers have praised the response of the public in the Morningside area, both in regards to their witness appeal and to officers who are speaking with them during their duties.  These incidents are thankfully rare, however please be extra vigilant by keeping your home secure at this time.
Read more
 

Passport Problems

Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK have been affected in recent weeks by the crisis at the UK Passport Office.  Nearly fifty families and individuals in Edinburgh South have experienced undue delays in new and renewal passport applications, resulting in an anxious wait whether they will miss their summer holidays.  The Government's response to the crisis has been sluggish to put it mildly and at question time in the Commons, I demanded answers as to why they didn't prepare for a foreseen increase in applications.  If you are having difficulties of your own in terms of renewing your passport, please don’t hesistate to get in touch with my constituency office on 0131 662 4520 and we’ll do everything we can to help.
 
Talking Referendum
I recently participated in two referendum debates to set out the case why I'm voting no.  The first of these was at Gracemount High School, organised by the School's Modern Studies department.  These events are hugely important in giving young people the chance to hear from both sides of the debate and many of the pupils raised excellent points.
Read more
I also took part in the Spectator Magazine's debate at the National Museum of Scotland, where debate focussed on the impact separation would have on Edinburgh in particular. 
Read more
My latest leaflet on the referendum - Stronger Together - is going out across the constituency and sets out why I'll be voting no in September.  You can view the leaflet by clicking here.

 
 
Supporting Small Businesses in Gilmerton
I was delighted to re-open the Day-Today convenience store in Gilmerton following a refurbishment.  Small businesses like Mr Ahmed's provide an important service to local communities and government at all levels should help them to grow and contribute more to the economy.  Initiatives like Small Business Saturday, which I participated in last December, are a great way to promote small business and I'm delighted to support those businesses across South Edinburgh.
Read more
 
Other highlights...
  • Revised proposals for Craighouse Campus submitted    Read more
  • Edinburgh Local Food Network's Eat Well Locally    Read more
  • Meadows Festival...Four Seasons in One Day    Read more
  • Visit to Rotary Club of Braids    Read more
 
 
Palestine & Israel - The violence must stop
Like many constituents, I've been deeply saddened and angry at the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine  The indiscriminate loss of life is completely unacceptable and the response of the international community disappointing.  My colleague, Anas Sarwar MP wrote at length about it and I couldn't agree more with him.  You can read his comments here.

I have also written to the Foreign Secretary calling for action from the UK Government.  The current situation is another example of where the international community fails. The people of Gaza are still subjected to the most severe of blockades that prevents any economic development and restricts vital medical and food supplies entering.  As constituents may know, I visited Gaza in 2010 and witnessed for myself the suffering and hardship that this blockade is causing.  We must act.

Read more
 
Amnesty International - Standing up for human rights
I’m backing Amnesty International’s campaign about human rights and Scotland’s constitutional future in the run up to the referendum.  Regardless the outcome of the referendum, human rights must be protected as is currently legislated for in Scotland through the Human Rights Act 1998 which enshrines the rights and freedoms of the Convention in domestic law.
Read more
 
Big reform, not big spending
Last weekend, Labour gathered in Milton Keynes for the National Policy Forum (NPF), the conference which formulates policy to take forward in our manifesto.  The message from the forum was clear - Britain faces huge challenges, but there won't be more money around to tackle them.  That is why many of the ideas at the heart of the NPF programme – such as freezing energy bills, allowing the public sector to bid to run rail franchises, boosting competition between banks and devolving spending power to cities – do not involve extra state spending.  These all form part of the Cost of Living contract which I 'm backing. 

For Labour, it's about balancing the books, delivering a surplus on the current budget and getting the national debt falling as soon as possible in the next parliament.  This follows some important announcements earlier in the month by Ed Miliband on measures to enabling the UK's great businesses to build wealth, create jobs and make profits. 

Read more
 
Launch of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students
I was delighted to attend the launch of the APPG for Students with NUS President Toni Pearce (pictured).  This was the first meeting of the group and discussed the issues that we will look to work on including student life.  This includes how students interact and integrate with local communities,with a strong emphasis on housing which is a major issue in Edinburgh South at the moment.
 
 
Anthony Nolan - Bone Marrow Superheroes!
The charity Anthony Nolan is searching for more local heroes in Edinburgh South to join their bone marrow register in the fight against blood cancer and I was delighted to support their campaign.  There are currently 819 heroes on the register in this constituency but the challenge continues.  I’m hunting for more crusaders to sign up today so we can fight blood cancer together.
Read more
 
Cancer Research UK - let's save more lives
I joined Cancer Research UK scientists in Westminster to find out more about the charity’s inspiring new plan to accelerate progress and help save more lives in Scotland.  More people are surviving the disease and living longer and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of this progress. However, there is more to be done to help people beat cancer.
Read more
 
Speaking Up...
Finance Bill
Earlier this month, I participated in a debate over a proposed New Clause 14 to the Finance Bill.  The Clause would see the Chancellor being required to publish a report on the impact on Exchequer receipts of an additional rate, set at 50p, and the effect of reducing the additional rate.

Read more.

Modern Slavery Bill

I participated in a House of Commons debate on this Bill which will make it easier to prosecute those committing this vile crime and increases the penalties for those convicted. It will also see the introduction of a new Slavery Commissioner, new trafficking prevention orders and greater protections for victims.  I'm pleased this Bill has been introduced but the Government could go much further in tackling this modern day scandal.
Read more.

Home Office Questions
At monthly Home Office Questions, I asked the Minister how the Home Office did not foresee the increases in pressure on Passport Office resources given his Department cut several passport offices within foreign embassies and moved the work to their already stretched centres in Liverpool, Durham and Belfast.

Read more.
 
Other highlights...
  • Queen's Speech - Recall of MPs    Read more
  • Guide Dogs Talking Buses campaign    Read more
  • Getting young people in training and not on benefits    Read more
 
Maintaining Standards
Not yet a year since privatisation, a debate was secured to consider the dangers facing the Universal Service Obligation (USO), the standards which Royal Mail have to meet when delivering mail.  I have now called on the Business Secretary to protect these standards by asking the regulator Ofcom to begin a review to look at ways we can make sure that the USO remains viable.

Our posties provide a valuable social service that we should make sure we do not jeopardise, because if we do, it will be detrimental to everyone across the country.

Read more
 
Royal Mail - Cross-party Commons Committee slams sell-off
After less than two months since the release of the National Audit Office (NAO) report, another investigation has slammed the Government for its handling of the privatisation of our national postal provider Royal Mail.  The Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) Select Committee said the government worried too much about pushing the sell-off through at the expense of getting the best price for taxpayers.  I appeared on Sky News to discuss the report.

Ministers have now launched their own inquiry into the privatisation.  By doing so, they have admitted what everyone else has known for months - there have been huge failings and David Cameron’s government still has serious questions to answer.

Read more
 
BIS Questions - The Enforcer?
At the monthly question time to the Business, Innovation and Skills Department in June, I voiced concerns over the strength of enforcement of the National Minimum Wage.  Since the current government came to power, the number of national minimum wage inspections is down by 60%, with only two prosecutions. There are currently 5 million people who are being paid under the minimum wage which is simply not good enough.
Read more
 
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
 
Trees in the Park - Celebrating 10 years @ Goodtrees
Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre, 5 Moredunvale Place
Friday 1st August from 12.30pm to 9pm
Craigour fun day, bouncy castle, face painting, crafts, local info stalls,and more 3pm - Tea Party Cake n tea to celebrate 10 years 3.30pm - Local summer projects performances 6.00-9.00pm - Open mic gigs
For more information, visit
https://www.joininedinburgh.org/activity/5008/


Midmar Allotments Open Day
Midmar Drive, Edinburgh
Saturday 23rd August from 2pm
For more information, visit
http://www.midmarallotments.org.uk/

 
Polwarth Parish Church Afternoon Tea
Polwarth Parish Church, 36-38 Polwarth Terrace
Saturday 30th August from 2pm to 4pm
Raising funds for school fees for Zambian orphans and skin and eye care for Zambian albinos.  Tickets (£5 adult, £3 child) are available from the Church Office.
For more information, visit www.polwarth.org.uk or call 0131 346 2711


Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh
Trek in Cambodia
October 2015

And finally for the more adventurous - why not sign up to trek Cambodia in October 2015 to raise funds for the Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh.
 
For further information, please call your local fundraising team on 0131 470 2291 or email
supportedinburgh@mariecurie.org.uk
 
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