Welcome to my Parliamentary update for June 2011.
Can I firstly thank all constituents who responded to my May eNewsletter with comments, suggestions and feedback. I will try to incorporate some of the suggestions of events coming up that may be of interest. I continue to have one of the busiest constituency offices in the Country and I’m very keen to hear how we can best communicate with you, either through events or directly.
JULY WILL CONTAIN SOME EXCITING INFORMATION ON A CONSTITUENCY WIDE CAMPAIGN ON APPRENTICESHIPS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, INFORMATION ON LEGLISLATION I’M PROPOSING FOR ROGUE DEVELOPERS AND MY CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE CHILDLINE SERVICE IN EDINBURGH. IN THE MEANTIME…….
In the House of Commons
May has been totally dominated by the Finance Bill in Committee. I was appointed as one of the 35 members of the Committee whose task it is to go through every line of the legislation that enacts the April budget and debate the principles of each clause. It can be amended at this stage but, in reality, it is usually only a tidying up exercise for the Government. All the amendments then go back to the full House of Commons for debate at Report Stage and Third Reading.
The major Parliamentary issue at the moment is that of NHS Reform in England. Although the NHS is devolved in Scotland there is a fear that funding formula changes could have an impact here. There is also a considerable amount of concern for the founding principles of the NHS and many constituents have been in touch to express their concerns. Prime Ministers Questions have been dominated by the NHS over May and the hope is that the Governments “listening exercise” is truly that. It would appear, at first conclusion that the reforms will be driven through.
In the Select Committees I am a Member of:
In Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee
The Committee is continuing with an in depth inquiry into Higher Education. We have questioned educational institutions, student groups, employers, and educational professionals. We are close to concluding the debate and the report should be in train prior to the summer. It will be a hugely high profile report given the tuition fees debate in England and the consequences for Scotland. The inquiry to date can be followed at the link below.
The Committee have also announced a follow-up inquiry into the pub and bar industry and leases. This has been a contentious issue for Parliament for some time so the Committee has decided to look at it again.
The work of the Committee can be found here:
In Environment Select Committee
The Committee is currently working on 2 inquiries – Impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation and Budget 2011: environmental taxes.
The 2 inquiries are still ongoing. We have had some constructed evidence session with the Secretary of State for the Environment and Treasury Ministers.
In addition, we have commenced a wide ranging inquiry into food sustainability. This inquiry will cover a plethora of issues from food security and supermarkets to commodity speculation and the impact of climate change on the way we consume. It should be a very interesting debate and report.
You can keep up to date with the Committee here:
Keep up to date with everything that I am doing in Parliament at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/ian_murray/edinburgh_south
Top 3 Lobby Correspondences
Every month I will include the top 3 issues that constituents have contacted me about. If you would like to see my responses, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
1. “Women pension age increase from 64 to 66”
2. “Get Cameron to keep his promises on the environment” campaign
3. “Improve and strengthen the Energy Bill” campaign
Cystic Fibrosis Fundraising
I swapped Parliament for the football pitch for a couple of hours this month, to help raise more than £30,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I was part of the UK Parliamentary Football Team who took on an all-star celebrity team – including Omid Djalili, Angus Deayton, Dalton Grant and Kyran Bracken – at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground. The team of MPs – which brings together politicians from across the political divide – was beaten by the celebrities, 6-4 but despite the loss, we were all just pleased to have played a part in raising so much for the charity. There was also the added bonus of gracing the famous Chelsea pitch. Don’t worry; I will not be giving up politics to ply my trade in the English Premiership!
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is one of the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited diseases. Only half of those living with Cystic Fibrosis are likely to live past their late 30s. This is why these fundraising events are so important and I’m delighted to be able to support them…and have fun too.
Carers Week (13-19 June 2011)
I teamed up with TV presenter Angela Rippon to support this year’s Carers Week (13-19 June) and recognise the contribution made by those people in Edinburgh South and throughout the UK who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled. The theme for Carers Week 2011 is ‘The True Face of Carers’. It calls for greater recognition for the diverse range of people who have caring responsibilities. The work they carry out is vital for their families and friends, and for their communities.
Thousands of people in the constituency sacrifice not only their time, but also their money and their health in order to care for a loved one. Together they save this country an astonishing £119 billion. They deserve to be recognised for their contribution to both our local community and to wider society.
I am taking part in Carers Week to show my respect and appreciation for our carers. I also want to let them know that there are services out there to help them. Caring can be so incredibly demanding. It’s important that carers know that they don’t have to struggle on alone.
If you are a carer and needing help and advice please do not hesitate to contact me or for more information about local events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week, visit www.carersweek.org.
It was a great honour to hear the address from President Obama during his State visit to the UK. It was truly a wonderful occassion and left no-one in any doubt about the ability and passion of the Leader of the US. He spoke of the long ties across the Atlantic and his views on the current worldwide economic problems. He spoke of compassion and friendship between nations and the need to act swiftly and decisively with terrorism, climate change and poverty.
No. 18 Bus
All constituents who live on the route of the Number 18 will be delighted at the decision to continue with this vital service for another 4 years with Council and private funding. Services across Edinburgh South from East to West that service the Royal Infirmary are difficult and this is welcome news. However, we will continue to seek more services. There has never really been a proper, regular service since the 52/32 route was disbanded.
Many local schools and community organisations run their annual fundraising summer fairs in the next month or so. If there is one near you please go along and shop your support. They raise valuable funds for local school parent councils and groups and they are a lot of fun. The Buckstone Fun Day was another huge success with nearly 2,000 people attending in the glorious sunshine. The Liberton Primary and High School events raised many thousands of pounds for the school.
James Gillespie’s High School had a successful car boot sale on Saturday 4th. Let us know if we can advertise your fundraising event to local people.
Thank you to everyone who gives up their time to help at these events. Especially, the organisers of the Meadows Fair – a long stay in the local calendar and another fantastic year. Out local Labour Party stall was very busy indeed and it was great to have the opportunity to see so many constituents.
250th Anniversary of Bruntsfield Links
17th-25th June sees a weeklong series of events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bruntsfield Links. Keep a close eye out for all the activities that will be taking place.
Work Programme in Scotland
Later this month I will be visiting Ingeus in Edinburgh. Ingeus have been awarded a contract to run the Work Programme in Scotland. This is a flagship policy by the Government to get back to work. There are a significant number of concerns that we wish to discuss with them and there has been a House of Commons Report on the programme http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmworpen/718/71802.htm. I will continue to keep constituents updated on this issue.
Scottish Parliament Elections – A Tribute to Mike Pringle
Congratulations to the SNP on an unprecedented result in the Scottish Parliament Elections. I’m obviously bitterly disappointed at the result but credit where credit is due. I also wanted to pay tribute to Mike Pringle in all the work he did for his constituents over 8 years and wish him well in whatever he decides to do in the future. He deserves a good rest and all our gratitude for his service. I wish all 3 of the successful SNP candidates in Edinburgh South well and hope we can work together for the benefit of all the residents in the area in the coming years.
IF I CAN BE OF ASSISTANCE IN ANY MATTER WHATSOEVER, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO GET IN TOUCH.
WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE ONE OF THE BUSIEST AND MOST ACCESSIBLE CONSTITUENCY OFFICES IN THE UK.
IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE MY MONTHLY E-NEWSLETTER PLEASE EMAIL ME AT IAN@IANMURRAYMP.CO.UK AND WE SHALL REMOVE YOU FROM THE LIST. ALSO, USE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IF YOU WISH TO SEND BACK ANY COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS OR FOR MORE INFORMATION.