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Welcome to my 2022 spring/summer newsletter
Dear Friends,

Welcome to the spring/summer 2022 edition of my newsletter. I hope the below will give you a taster of my work over the past few months around Mid Fife and Glenrothes. 

It has been a busy few months since my previous newsletter, with a number of case wins achieved and several exciting visits around the constituency.

In May, Lower Largo was granted beach bathing status by the Scottish Government. This is a huge moment for the campaign, and something I have been working towards with local residents, community groups and organisations for many years.

Starting this summer, Scottish Water and SEPA will undertake a range of projects, sampling and testing, in order to determine how best to improve the water quality at Lower Largo over the coming years.

I understand that as the cost of living continues to rise, many people in Mid Fife and Glenrothes will be worried about the future. In this newsletter you will find links to support and information which I hope will be of some use. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you require my help in any way. 

I was pleased to resume in-person surgeries in March, and you can find details of these below. I will be holding more surgeries in the coming weeks, and you can also get in touch by email to arrange a phone appointment. 

I hope you find the below interesting and useful. Please do get in touch if you have any queries. 

Take care, 

Jenny Gilruth MSP
Working for you in Mid Fife and Glenrothes
Time for Reflection
 I was delighted to welcome Rev Alan Kimmitt of St Columba's Church in Glenrothes to lead the Scottish Parliament in Time for Reflection in May. In his thoughtful and funny speech, Alan invited members to reflect on how privileged we are to be able to work with and help our constituents. It was also great to have the opportunity to catch up with Alan and hear about the church's important work in and around Glenrothes.
Markinch Road Sign
I was delighted to have been able to preserve the Markinch road sign, which pays tribute to the historical importance of the village. Under Fife Council plans, the sign was to be replaced with ‘standardised’ signage, removing reference to the village's status as ancient capital of Fife. I raised this matter with Fife Council directly and was pleased to see the decision overturned – with a new sign now being ordered in the same design. Our towns and villages have a rich cultural heritage, and it is vital that we embrace and celebrate it. 
Visit to Bonnybank Housing Development

I was pleased to visit the newly developed Kingdom Housing Association site at Bonnybank, to see the investment that the Scottish Government have made in the community. The fourteen new homes, all for social rent, in the village of Bonnybank are part of a £2.1m investment - £1.1m directly from the Scottish Government. I was accompanied by Mr Bill Banks, Chief Executive of KHA, and Project Officer Ms Nicola Gartshore. I was pleased to see such a great investment in affordable housing in the constituency.

New Funding for Levenmouth
I welcomed the new investments in Levenmouth, which were approved by Council’s Area Committee last month. A range of projects have been recommended for approval to receive funding from the £10m Levenmouth Reconnected Programme Fund, £5m of which is provided by the Scottish Government. As this SNP Scottish Government brings back Leven’s railway after over 50 years, it is important that we invest in the local area as well. This investment will help provide better services, job opportunities and enhanced community projects for those living in Levenmouth.
Local Government Elections
In the run-up to May's council elections, I enjoyed being out on the campaign trail once again. Unfortunately, thanks to back-room dealings between unionist parties, the SNP are now in opposition in Fife Council. Nevertheless, this election marked a historic landmark for the SNP, both in Fife and across Scotland. With 34 seats, the SNP was returned once again as Fife’s largest party and recorded their best ever result in the Kingdom. The SNP is clearly the party of choice for most Fifers, and our councillors will continue to work hard to represent their interests. 
Free School Meal Payments
The Scottish Government's Scottish Child Payment bridging payment will shortly be paid to eligible families. This £130 per child payment is designed to help those who need it with the additional costs of the summer holidays.
You do not have to apply for this. If you are eligible the payment will be paid into your bank account on 29 June. Weekly payments of £11.50 per child will also be paid to eligible families, instead of Free School Meals, over the summer holidays.
Cost of Living Crisis  - Getting Help
The energy price cap rise this month has contributed further to the UK Government's spiralling cost of living crisis. I appreciate that this is an incredibly difficult time for many. I have included information below on available support and information which may prove useful. If you know someone who is struggling, please encourage them to get in touch.
Home Heating Advice Scotland
Scottish Government Benefits and Grants
Money Saving Expert - Heat the Human
ScotRail in Public Ownership
In my role as Minister for Transport I have overseen ScotRail's entry into public ownership, and have started the hard work of building a service that works for the people of Scotland and of course for my own constituents. Bringing ScotRail passenger services into public ownership puts passengers and staff at the heart of Scotland’s rail services and is an opportunity to deliver a railway which is for the benefit of customers, staff and stakeholders, not for shareholders' bottom line. This was a historic occasion and one that marks a key milestone in our ambitious Programme for Government to support a greener, fairer Scotland
Visit to Diageo Leven
As Scotland moves towards Net Zero, it is vital that government and industry work together to decarbonise our practices. I was pleased to visit the site of the planned solar farm at Diageo's Leven site in June to see how they are contributing to this aim.

The solar energy farm will be made up of 9,000 solar panels in an area of eight football pitches, making it one of the largest of its kind in Scotland. Work on the site is due to start next month and is expected to be completed in January 2023. I look forward to coming back for another visit next year when the farm is fully operational.
Scottish Child Payment Increase
I was pleased to share the news that the Scottish Child Payment has increased to £20 a week earlier this month. The Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Child Payment to help lift children out of poverty - with charities calling it a "game-changer". It’s now been doubled to £20 and by the end of 2022, it’ll be increased further to £25. This increase will help to support local families in these difficult times. 
Scottish Child Payment
In-person Surgeries
Since restarting in-person surgeries in March, I have held a number of constituent advice surgeries throughout my constituency. On Monday I held a busy surgery at the Together Levenmouth Hub, and I will be at the Collydean Community Centre in Glenrothes on Monday 27 June. 

Surgeries are a key part of my role as an MSP and I am always keen to meet with constituents and discuss any issues – if you can’t make it along, you can contact me via e-mail. I will continue to advertise any upcoming in-person surgeries on my social media pages.
Home Sweet Home Opening

Local businesses are going to be essential in our economic recovery from the pandemic. As such, I was honoured to help officially open Home Sweet Home Estate Agent's new office in Markinch this afternoon. Scott and Franki have a great new office and I can’t wait to hear about their future successes.

Independence Discussion Paper

In June, the First Minister unveiled a new paper which lays out how Scotland can become a fairer and wealthier nation through independence. It shows how comparable independent countries such as Sweden, Ireland, and Denmark create fairer societies and achieve economic success.

This is the first in a series of papers called 'Building a New Scotland' that will provide detailed information about Scotland's future before a referendum. High cost of living, increasing inequality, low growth and the many consequences of Brexit are all directly related to Scotland's membership of the UK. I am pleased that the Scottish people will have the opportunity to vote on Scotland's future, and I look forward to making the case for independence. 

Read the Scottish Government's paper online
Levenmouth Rail Link - Active Travel 
In May, I met with I met with officials from Fife Council and Sustrans to discuss active travel link plans for the upcoming reinstatement of the Levenmouth Rail Link. Active travel is crucial as we move to a more sustainable approach to transport and I am keen to work with both parties moving forward in the planning process.
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Jenny Gilruth MSP · 12 Commercial Street · Markinch, Fife KY7 6DE · United Kingdom

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