Welcome to my Parliamentary update for May 2011.
Can I firstly thank all constituents who responded to my first e-Newsletter in April with comments, suggestions and feedback. Apologies if you have been trying to use the “remove” function. A technical fault had prevented this from operating correctly. Updated details are at the foot of the page.
In the House of Commons
April was a relatively quiet month at Westminster as Parliament was in Easter recess for a couple of weeks. However, there are still some major pieces of legislation being debated. The Finance Bill has gone to Committee stage on the floor of the House of Commons. This is the legislation that enacts the provisions of the budget.
The major Parliamentary issue at the moment is that of UN Resolution 1973 in relation to the intervention of the International community in Libya. It is important that the terms of the UN Resolution are adhered to and there is no “mission creep”. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have been keeping the Commons updated on a regular basis. This has been hugely helpful but we will be keeping a critical eye on the Government on this important issue.
In the Select Committees I am a Member of:
In Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee
The Committee currently has 2 enquiries in progress. A major enquiry into Higher Education and the increase in tuition fees to £9,000 and the consequences for education. The second enquiry is into the Governments “Plan for Growth”. The Committee questioned the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills last week on the Plan. You can see the session here www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=8220.
The work of the Committee can be found here:
In Environment Select Committee
The Committee is currently working on 2 enquiries – Impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation and Budget 2011: environmental taxes.
These are hugely significant enquiries that will press the Government on their policies of International Aid and the impact of the Budget on environmental issues.
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. Stop the BSKYB takeover by News International
- 2. “Save our NHS” campaign
- 3. “Save our Forests” campaign
Workers Memorial Day
Workers’ Memorial Day is the day when we remember those who have been killed or injured in workplace accidents and those who have died from occupational diseases. The event has been running for 25 years worldwide and I was proud to join the Edinburgh Trades Council and USDAW, the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers, at a ceremony at the Memorial Tree in West Princes Street Gardens on Thursday 28 April. I laid a wreath to remember those who have lost their lives in the workplace.
Know your Blood Pressure
I was delighted to lend my support to The Stroke Association’s “Know Your Blood Pressure” campaign to urge the people of South Edinburgh to get their blood pressure checked in a bid to raise awareness of the dangerous link between high blood pressure and stroke.
I had my blood pressure tested last week at a Parliamentary Know Your Blood Pressure event hosted by The Stroke Association. Every year 150,000 people will have a stroke in the UK, however it is estimated that 40% of these could be prevented by controlling high blood pressure.
See the Stroke Association’s website at www.stroke.org.uk/kybp to find out more.”
“Live Below the Line”
How much money do you spend on food and drink each day? Can you imagine reducing this to only £1 per day? This May people across Scotland and the UK will be choosing to do so. They will Live Below the Line in order to raise money and awareness for the anti-poverty initiatives of RESULTS UK.
The campaign – created by the Global Poverty Project – is asking the public to cut their spending on food and drink to just £1 a day for five days. The aim is to raise awareness of the 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live on £1 a day every day.
I am supporting the campaign and will live on £1 per day from 9-13 May. The work being done by the Live Below the Line campaign to raise awareness of the plight of over 1.4 billion people worldwide. Although the UK has done a lot to help eradicate poverty over the last 10 years it is still a shocking statistic that a fifth of the world’s population is suffering from extreme poverty.
I was delighted to present a telegram from the Queen and the Government to constituent, Margaret Rosie, who celebrated her 100th birthday at the Braidburn Inn. It was a great family occasion and Mrs Rosie had a wonderful time recalling stories from her nursing days during World War 2.
Allison McPhail has recently retired after 25 years volunteering with the Inch Community Centre Senior Citizens Wednesday Club. At 84 she worked tirelessly to help the pensioners who attended the Club. She was also the Secretary of the Inch Community Centre Management Committee. We are looking to find a mechanism to officially recognising her wonderful achievement over 25 years.
Scottish Parliamentary Election 2011
A reminder that the polls are open on Thursday from 7am-10pm for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections and UK Referendum on changing the voting system.
Regardless of who you vote for make sure you use your vote on Thursday.
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