Ian Murray urges residents to get involved and name new streets in Buckstone

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Ian has been in very close contact with residents in Buckstone about a proposed development for houses there. Now that this has been approved – with some important conditions attached – there comes the interesting job of naming the six new streets.

The Council are now looking for suggestions, and  you can read their guidelines for naming here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/file/1714/street_naming_guideline

At this stage it is not known whether they will be Avenue, Drive, Crescent etc. It is the initial name that is of interest i.e. Braid or Buckstone.

So get your thinking caps on! For more details on how to get involved with Fairmilehead Community Council, who are helping in the search for new names, you can email Norman Tinlin at secretary@fairmileheadcc.org.uk. To get in touch with the Council’s naming team directly, email streetnaming@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 529 4328.

Ian Murray MP urges Edinburgh residents to pack peace of mind when booking overseas trips this January

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Local Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Ian Murray is urging South Edinburgh residents to pack peace of mind when purchasing their holidays this year, by making sure they book an ATOL-protected trip.

The ATOL scheme is there to protect people against the risk of their travel company going bust: ensuring they can continue their holiday and return home safely if the company collapses whilst they are away; or providing refunds if they’re yet to travel. And with over two million ATOL-protected air holidays expected to be sold in the UK during January – the scheme will give holidaymakers across the country peace of mind that their hard earned holiday will not be lost.

During 2012, Parliament agreed two key changes to the scheme to widen protection and help people understand when they are protected. Holidays known by the industry as ‘Flight-Plus’ are now included in the scheme, as well as traditional package holidays. A ‘Flight-Plus’ booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are booked with the same company and within a day of each other.

The second change agreed by Parliament in 2012 saw the introduction of the ATOL certificate; offering consumers greater clarity on how their holiday is protected. Anyone who books an ATOL-protected trip will now receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company as soon as they make any payment. The certificate tells them what is protected, who is protecting it and what to do if something goes wrong.

Ian Murray, said: “As Shadow Consumer Affairs Minister I fully support the ATOL scheme and backed the recent changes in Parliament that give even greater protection for people booking a trip away. I urge anyone booking a holiday to use an ATOL approved travel company, you can check if a company provides protection by looking for the ATOL logo on their promotional material, or searching the company’s name at http://www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk. This site also gives more information about what’s covered by the scheme and how the ATOL certificate works. We have all seen over the past few years how quickly a travel company can go bust and leave people stranded all over the world or how a major natural event can leave travel plans in chaos. I deal with dozens of constituents every year who lose their holiday’s due to them not being protected by ATOL”

Ian Murray is also advising people booking trips not covered by the ATOL scheme such as those without flights or holidays booked directly with airlines, to seek alternative methods of protection such as insurance or paying with their credit card.

Ian supports charity’s call to give dogs a paw-fect Christmas

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Ian joined other, animal-loving MPs at an event in Westminster organised by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to raise awareness of its annual Christmas campaign.

 

The event, aimed to highlight the famous Dogs Trust slogan; “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas” in a bid to combat the problem of dogs being given as gifts at Christmas only to be later abandoned in January.

 

The event gave attendees the opportunity to open a window on the charity’s ‘12 Strays of Christmas’ advent calendar and learn more about its campaign to encourage people to think carefully before taking on a dog, especially during the festive season.

 

Ian said:

“I am delighted to support the excellent work of the Dog Trust especially at this time of year.  Although their message is well know it is still vital that dog ownership is seen as a long-term commitment and not just an impulse buy. The Dog Trust see an influx of dogs being handed in to their rehoming centres over the Christmas period and hopefully by raising awareness we can help curb this problem by educating people on responsible dog ownership and the potential risk of buying pets online on an impulse.”

 

Every year, Dogs Trust works to highlight the problems surrounding dogs being given as gifts at Christmas. The online sale of pets means that impulse buying of animals has become an appealing option and the lure of a quick sale attracts many unscrupulous breeders particularly during the Christmas period.

 

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs a year through its nationwide network of 18 rehoming centres. For more information about Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, visitwww.dogstrust.org.uk.

 

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Ian calls for green jobs

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Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray joined forces with Friends of the Earth and RSPB on Wednesday (28 November 2012) in a call for the Government to deliver green jobs forScotland.

 

It comes in the week the Coalition has published its long-awaited Energy Bill, which will determine the way Britain is powered for the next generation.

 

Ian Murray says the Bill must build on the success of the thriving green economy – which according to the CBI, employs almost a million people and accounted for a third of UK growth last year – and ensure we meet our goals for tackling climate change.

 

He says the Government should amend the Bill to set a target to green UK electricity by 2030, in line with advice from its independent advisers the Committee on Climate Change,to encourage renewable energy companies to make long-term investments in Britain that could bring new jobs to Edinburgh South.Ending Britain’s heavy reliance on gas would also stop rising gas prices from driving up fuel bills.

 

Ian Murray said: “Green is working – insulating homes and developing renewable energy will create new business opportunities and jobs as well as tackling climate change. But renewable energy companies and their supply chains will only invest in Edinburgh South long-term if the Government sets out a clear pathway for low-carbon energy in the future. That’s why I support a target in the Energy Bill to cut the carbon from our electricity by 2030.”

 

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said: “Ian Murray MP is right to back a carbon-free power target that will support new green jobs and give businesses confidence to invest in clean British energy.  This Energy Bill is a once-in-a-generation chance to get the UK off increasingly expensive gas, and develop cleaner alternatives such as wind and solar power that, alongside energy saving, will save us all money in the long run.”

 

RSPB’s Chief Executive Mike Clarke said: ‘Wildlife is on the frontline when it comes to climate change. For many species this means that unless we get a grip on our carbon emissions now, extinction is on the horizon. That’s why the RSPB and so many others are here today backing green energy as a means of reducing UK emissions and giving our economy a boost at the same time.If our political leaders make the decisions needed now to support green energy and green jobs then people and wildlife for generations to come will owe them a great debt.”

 

Ian’s visit to the South West Royal Mail Delivery Office

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 7 December 2012

Ian Murray MP,Shadow Business Minister for Employee Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairsdelivers Christmas encouragement to Royal Mail posties at Edinburgh South West Delivery Office

 

Ian Murray MP has visited Royal Mail’s Edinburgh South West delivery office to pass on Christmas wishes and encouragement to the postmen and women at their busiest time of year.

Mr Murray was shown round the office by local Delivery Office Manager Jamie Kriebernig and was introduced to all the postmen and women who are working hard doing their bit to sort and deliver all the cards and parcels in the Edinburgh South West area in the run-up to Christmas.

 

Mr Murray, Shadow Business Minister for Postal Affairs and MP for Edinburgh South said: “It was great to meet the hard-working Royal Mail postmen and women at the Edinburgh South West delivery office and to see first hand just how much effort they put into delivering for people at this time of year. 

 

“Postmen and women do such an important job over the festive period and I’d like to thank them for their efforts and for all they do throughout the year.  I wish them all the best over the busy festive period.”

 

Jamie Kriebernig, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager at Edinburgh South West said: “Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail. Our people really do pull out all the stops throughout the year to ensure mail is delivered quickly, but even more so over the busy festive period. We are grateful that Mr Murray MP came along to see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.”

 

“Our people do a fantastic job at this time of year to ensure that friends and families stay in touch through their Christmas greetings and gifts.  And as usual, we’d like to remind our customers to post early so that friends and family have longer to enjoy their Christmas greetings!”

 

The recommended last posting dates for mail are:

  • Thursday 20 December for 1st Class items
  • Tuesday 18 December for 2nd Class items
  • Saturday 22 December for Special Delivery items

 

The last recommended posting dates for international mail are:

  • Wednesday 5 December for airmail to Asia, Far East, Australia and New Zealand
  • Friday 7 December for airmail to South & Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East
  • Monday 10 December for airmail to Eastern Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan
  • Wednesday 12 December for airmail items to Western Europe

 

Customers can help Royal Mail ensure that all their letters, cards and parcels are delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible by taking a few easy steps:

 

  • Use a 1st Class stamp! – Post 1st Class for just 60p and have your Christmas card delivered the next day – anywhere in the UK.
  • Post early! – Avoid disappointment by posting your cards and parcels early. The last posting dates this Christmas are: December 18 for 2nd Class mail; December 20 for 1st Class mail; December 22 for Special Delivery.
  • Use a postcode! – A clearly addressed card or parcel, with a postcode, and return address on the back of the envelope, will ensure quick and efficient delivery.
  • Use Special Delivery!– For valuable packages and parcels guarantee delivery with Royal Mail’s Special Delivery, which means your gift is tracked, traced and insured against loss.
  • For more information about Christmas with Royal Mail visit: www.royalmail.com or call 08457 740 740.

 

 

IAN WELCOMES SUPER-FAST BROADBAND BOOST FOR EDINBURGH SOUTH

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BT reveals 2,700 local homes and businesses are set for fibre upgrade


BT have announced a major investment for Fairmilehead in South Edinburgh, pledging to roll-out its £2.5 billion high-speed fibre broadband network to 2,700 local homes and businesses.

It’s among the 35 latest Scottish locations being included in the fibre broadband programme, which are due to be upgraded in 2013. It means more than a million Scottish homes and businesses will have access to BT’s fibre broadband network by the end of next year.

The news was welcomed by Ian who said “this is excellent news for the local community and will not only be welcomed by residents but will be a terrific boost for businesses and the local economy creating the potential for new enterprises and jobs.  It is great to see Edinburgh at the forefront of the new Digital age as BT role out the fibre broadband network throughout the UK. ”

The latest investment will take the total number of homes and businesses in Edinburgh able to connect to the fibre network to more than 141,400 once the commercial roll-out announced to date is complete.

More than 57,400 already have access, and BT is keen to bring more communities within reach by working with the public sector.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Today’s news marks a real milestone for Scotland, with more than a million homes and businesses now included in BT’s investment plans for fibre broadband. That means by the end of next year, around half the households in Scotland will be able to connect to our new fibre network.

“Fibre broadband opens up a whole new, high speed world. This latest major investment in will help the communities benefiting to overcome the current economic challenges and take full advantage of the upturn when it comes.

“Digital technology is fundamental to how we live and work – and in an increasingly connected world, high speed communications will become even more essential in the years ahead. Research suggests fibre broadband could give a £143 million boost to a typical town’s economy and create 225 new jobs and 140 new businesses within 15 years. 1

“The fibre broadband network we’re building today will underpin the local economy for many years to come – and we’re keen to go further, working with the public sector to take technology to places outside current commercial roll-out plans.

“The arrival of fibre broadband will revolutionise the way people use the internet for work, education and connecting with public services.”

BT’s local network business Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses on a commercial basis by the end of 20142 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. More than 11 million premises can already access fibre broadband and that number is growing all the time.

Both technologies offer speeds many times faster than the current UK average, reported by the regulator Ofcom to be 9Mbps. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to new street cabinets, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps3.

FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers a variety of download speeds with the current top speed being 330Mbps3. From Spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps3 available on demand in any area where FTTC has been deployed4.

Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

The upload speeds are the fastest widely available to consumers in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and hi-resolution photos posted online in seconds. And high quality voice and video calls mean businesses can keep in touch with customers while they cut down on travel.

For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk

Ian Murray MP launches Labour’s Consumer Report

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Ian Murray MP launches Labour’s Consumer Report

  • Annual consumer loss in financial services sector accounts for as much as £11bn per year.
  • Poor pay more for services.
  • Call for new collective action power and consumer fighting fund to restore confidence and trust.

The report of Ed Mayo’s consumer investigation for Labour’s Policy Review, published today, finds that consumers are losing billions of pounds every year from ‘rip-offs’ and hidden charges and are facing difficulty in seeking redress.

Please click here to read a copy of the report

The investigation, led by Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK and former Chief Executive of the National Consumer Council, argues that consumers can be empowered against rip-offs and sharp practice which hit consumers’ pockets, undermine confidence in markets, and damage the many businesses that are doing right by their customers.

Through evidence hearings and submissions, the investigation brings together evidence to build up a picture of the scale of consumer loss. Those on lower-incomes pay on average £1,289 per year more for goods and services than those on average incomes, while a small number of consumer problems account for more than three quarters of all financial loss – tackling these would significantly reduce overall loss to consumers.

Some markets and services fare better than others, with vehicle repairs, banking and utilities scoring most poorly on consumer experience, while the most common complaints relate to poor service quality (20 per cent of complaints) and defective goods (17 per cent). An analysis of post codes and complaints revealed consumer ‘black spots’, with complaints far higher than the national average including in Bradford, Manchester and Cowbridge, South Wales.

To deal with Britain’s consumer cons, the investigation calls for an overhaul of consumer protection, putting consumer confidence at the heart of economic policy. ‘Trust in consumer protection rules’ was identified by consumers themselves as the most significant root cause of success in individual markets.

Ed Mayo’s report recommends:

  • Introduction of class action to the UK – empowering people so they can club together more easily to seek redress in cases which affect many consumers, such as the PPI mis-selling scandal. Currently, individual consumers have to opt in for group action in the UK, making it cumbersome, and Which? is the only organisation able to launch collective redress proceedings.
  • Consumer enforcement fighting fund – establish a ‘fighting fund’ to help consumer and boost enforcement from a proportion of the fines levied on companies for malpractice.
  • Open Access Obligation for lifeline services – Set an Open Access Obligation to encourage access to lifeline services based on a principle of inclusion – services which are essential for people to operate in a modern market economy and could include broadband and banking services.
  • Confidence policy objective – Set consumer confidence as a government policy and regulatory objective.
  • Government consumer lead – A consumer lead working across government, which could include helping amplify the voices of consumers more effectively through civil society organisations.

Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:

“In light of successive scandals which have eroded the confidence of consumers – both individuals and businesses – we need to change the rules of the game to stop people getting a raw deal, restore trust and back responsible businesses. That is why consumer champion Ed Mayo was commissioned to lead this consumer investigation for Labour’s Policy Review.

“I welcome Ed Mayo’s report today and his ideas on how we can better empower consumers, underpin fair markets and end rip offs. While these issues are particularly in focus because of the recession made in Downing Street and the squeeze on family budgets, today’s report is about getting things right for the long term too.

“We will look very closely at the recommendations which Ed Mayo has made, as well as the valuable insights which he offers in his report, over the coming months.”

Report author, consumer champion Ed Mayo, said:

“The experience of consumers is a litmus test for future economic success. Where consumers are confident, they can reward good business practice and be responsive to innovation. Where their treatment is shoddy, in cases such as unsafe PIP breast implants and the saga of Payment Protection Insurance, goods and services can become stuck in a cycle of weak demand and low trust.

“That’s why an essential element of a successful economy is to ensure consumers have that confidence and are supported as a primary driver in making markets work effectively for both all. This in turn helps provide the foundations for UK businesses to succeed.”

Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs said:

“The consumer investigation is clear that the balance of power between business and customers has to be rebalanced towards the customer.  Good businesses lose out to bad businesses and the recommendations of the investigation attempt to provide consumers with a better deal.  The idea of a Portugese style collective action procedure would put the consumer at the heart of the economy, improve consumer confidence and better promote good business practice.  It will equally provide a carrot and a stick to business that makes individuals as powerful as the businesses that serve them.”