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Spring Newsletter

I was delighted to take my regular open surgeries on the road last week, travelling across the constituency  to meet with residents in Leven, Upper Largo, Lundin Links and Windygates.

Earlier in the month I welcomed Transport Minister , Humza Yousaf MSP, along with representatives from Transport Scotland, to Glenrothes to meet with myself and local campaigners from the North Glenrothes Community Council.
During our meeting to discuss the hazards of the A92, a commitment was secured to move the options study forward which will explore what interventions can be made to improve road safety, including a roundabout option at the Balfarg junction now being actively considered. This is great news and I look forward to seeing the findings of the options study later this year.

I have also been busy in Parliament, speaking in a number of debates. Most recently, I raised Fife Council’s proposals to cut school admin support across the Kingdom. I also exposed the money trail which directly links Mars Incorporated to Glenrothes town centre.

It was a privilege to host a Parliamentary reception on behalf of Scottish National Heritage and Young Scot, to celebrate Scotland's Year of Young People.

You can find out more about my role as your MSP in the newsletter below. 

 

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Yours for Scotland,
Jenny Gilruth MSP
MSP for Mid Fife & Glenrothes
In the Constituency
A92 - TRANSPORT MINISTER VISIT

The Transport Minister’s visit marked a pivotal point in the campaign for road safety on the A92, with a commitment to move an options study forward. I was glad to hear that one of the options now being considered is a roundabout at the Balfarg junction.

As a Markinch resident I know only too well of the difficulties and dangers associated with that stretch of the road; so I welcome this commitment and I look forward to working with the campaigners when the results of the study are published this Summer.

Many thanks to the members of North Glenrothes Community Council for their tenacious efforts to improve road safety on the A92 and to keeping this issue high on the political agenda.

Pictured with members of North Glenrothes Community Council, Transport Scotland Officials and the Transport Minister.
 
GLENROTHES TOWN CENTRE
 

I was saddened to hear of the closure of Dunnes Store in Glenrothes last month – the Kingdom Centre's largest unit. The closure of the store compounds the issues we have in the town centre with empty units.  I believe that businesses like Dunnes have a social responsibility to the communities they serve. I have written to the CEO of Dunnes Store, but after weeks of chasing, I am yet to receive a response. Glenrothes deserves better.

Last year I wrote to every business in the Kingdom Centre. The findings of this survey were frankly appalling.
I had constituents responding with their dreadful experiences dealing with the town’s managing agents James Lang LaSalle. In addition I have met with a number of business owners to discuss their concerns.
Following a meeting with the agents that oversee the running of the Kingdom Centre, James Lang LaSalle, I remain shocked by the lack of communication with businesses, who remain in the dark about their future, particularly those in Albany Gate.

The issue in Glenrothes is that no one actually knows who owns our town. That creates a feeling of worthlessness for business and employees who can’t see the fruits of their labour being invested in the place they work.

Speaking in Parliament during a debate on Fair Work, I revealed the complex web of companies, who all have an attachment to the Kingdom Centre -  According to information gathered from Companies House, no one person or company has control of Effem Holdings, however a Mr Ian James Langer is listed as a shareholder in all three of the companies mentioned. As of the 22nd March 2018, Effem Holdings Limited has a capital balance of over £2 million. The company are a holding subsidiary of Mars Incorporated. Mars Incorporated are listed as the 6th wealthiest business in America, with a $35billion turnover.

Enough is enough. We cannot sustain a position whereby faceless investors run our town. These individuals are extremely wealthy. Look at the downward spiral of businesses leaving Glenrothes - we need a plan to attract new jobs. We need Mars to step up.

My appeals to the 6 shareholders in February have gone ignored. I have now written to Mars Incorporated chair, Victoria B Mars & to the Company’s President Grant F Reid, at their  U.S Headquarters.

SPRING SURGERY TOUR

I was delighted to take my  regular open surgeries on the road in March, travelling across the constituency  to meet with constituents.

I visited Leven, Upper Largo, Lundin Links and Windygates during the tour – meeting with locals who raised a number of issues, ranging from housing matters and street repairs through to the condition of Lower Largo Pier (which is causing concern for many constituents).

Since my election in 2016, I have held regular surgeries in Glenrothes, Markinch and Leven. However, in a commitment to remain accessible to constituents with limited mobility or transport – I have also held a number of surgery tours over the past two years. It is vitally important that I make it as easy as possible for constituents to contact me and that is why I try to visit as many places, and speak to as many people, as possible.

I hope that by travelling to new locations I will encourage more constituents across Mid Fife & Glenrothes to get in touch and discuss their issues with me.

Meeting with Asda Glenrothes apprentices.
CONSTITUENCY VISITS
 
As part of Modern Apprenticeship Week, I visited Asda in Glenrothes. The Asda apprenticeship scheme has been invaluable in giving these young people the opportunity to experience the workplace whilst gaining a qualification. Apprenticeships work, they provide experience and flexibility for those who wish to further their career. Thanks to everyone I met and best of luck to all for their future careers.

I also paid a fascinating visit to Cameronbridge this month, which has been distilling since 1824. I was very interested to learn that every bottle of Tanqueray gin on sale today is made right here in Mid Fife and Glenrothes!
Pictured here with Paul from Diageo at Cameronbridge Distillery.  
MENTOR PROGRAMME
 
On International Women’s Day, I launched a mentoring scheme to support a young woman in Mid Fife and Glenrothes to achieve her goals and reach her full potential.

The First Minister’s ‘First Mentor’ scheme, now in its second year, is supported by organisations such as the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Sports Association, and the First Minister has called on more women who feel that they have something to offer to launch their own mentorship schemes. 
 
I am really looking forward to giving my time and sharing my experiences with a young woman in Mid Fife and Glenrothes to help them achieve their dreams – whatever they may be. And I have absolutely no doubt that I will gain a lot from the experience myself.

Changing perceptions is really important – if young women don’t perceive a glass ceiling, they are more likely to set higher goals for themselves. Nicola Sturgeon’s gender-balanced Cabinet is just one example of ways in which we can stoke the ambitions of the next generation and remind them that their gender is not a barrier.

I hope that I can inspire whoever applies to my mentorship scheme to believe in themselves and believe that they can do whatever they set their minds to.

Please keep an eye out on my social media for further information shortly!
In Parliament
In the Chamber
 
I have contributed to a number of parliamentary debates recently.

In February I was  very proud to speak in a Scottish Government debate marking 100 years of women getting the right to vote. I raised the story of a local group of Suffragettes, who in 1916, sabotaged a public meeting in Leven with Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. One campaigner was taken to Methil Police Station, where she smashed windows and flooded the jail cells. You can watch my speech here:   
https://www.facebook.com/JennyGilruthMSP/videos/1621640357928763/

I also spoke in the Conservative's debate on Early Years and Childcare, highlighting the huge benefit the Scottish Government's expansion of childcare will bring when implemented in 2020. I highlighted Fife Council’s refusal to use childminders to meet entitlement demands which potentially limits the flexibility offered by the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare. You can watch my speech here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/debate-early-years-and-childcare-february-28-2018?clip_start=15:26:01&clip_end=15:32:13

I contributed to the Labour Party's debate on procurement - one of the powers the UK Government have identified as part of their ‘power grab’ on the devolution settlement in the Brexit negotiations. Watch my speech here: https://www.facebook.com/JennyGilruthMSP/videos/1659052174187581/
 
Parliamentary Events
 

I was delighted to host a reception in Parliament in conjunction with Scottish National Heritage & Young Scot, with Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform as the guest speaker.

The event was a fantastic celebration of environmental education, outdoor learning and how young people’s voices are helping to contribute to a change for the better. It was also great to bump into two former pupils and the man who gave me my first job as a trainee teacher!

On the evening everyone was asked to pledge one thing to make a difference to the lives of young people.  I pledged to hold surgeries in every one of the three High Schools I represent; to listen directly to the views of young people. These will take place at the end of April.

Parliamentary Motions
In my role as an MSP, I lodge a number of Parliamentary motions each month to congratulate achievements within the constituency. Recently, I have lodged motions on the following:
  • Wishing Pinkerton's Bar the best of luck in their hope to win Best Bar None Award. 
  • Welcoming ReimagiNation: Glenrothes event to take place in light of the town's 70th anniversary. 
  • Commending the family of the late Angus McKain on their donation to Victoria Hospital after gallant fundraising efforts. 
  • Congratulating Glenrothes Curling Club on marking their 40th anniversary.
  • Welcoming the re-opening of Leslie Post Office.  
  • Highlighting the Life in Limbo campaign. 
  • Congratulating Levenmouth Gymanastics on receiving funding grant. 
  • Congratulating Our Place Auchmuty on receiving a funding grant. 
  • Welcoming the annual launch of Glenrothes Art Club's exhibition, which runs until May 26th 2018. 
  • Congratulating Lomond Court Care Home in Glenrothes on being named one of the best care facilities in Scotland. 
  • Congratulating nine year old dancer Tiyan Shek on claiming victory in the Under 10's category. 
  • Applauding Stacey Nelson from Markinch on her dedication to her education, resulting in an SQA award. 
  • Congratulating Chloe Dickson on being names Sports Personality of the Decade. 
  • And, highlighting the successful art exhibition organised by Collydean Nursery
 
 
Upcoming Constituency Surgeries
If there are any issues which you feel I may be able to help you with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at one of my constituency surgeries.
 
Monday, 16th April
Constituency Office, Markinch
11am - 12 noon


Friday, 20th April
Sainsbury's Café, Leven
11am - 12noon


Monday, 30th April
Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
11am - 12 noon

Monday, 30th April
Collydean Community Centre
1pm - 1.45pm

Monday, 30th April
Leslie Library
2pm - 2.45pm

Monday, 30th April
Kinglassie Miners Welfare Institute 
3pm - 3.45pm

If you aren't able to come along, please contact my office on 01592 764815 or 0131 348 5792. Alternatively, I can also be reached by email at:
 
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Jenny Gilruth MSP · 12 Commercial Street · Markinch, Fife KY7 6DE · United Kingdom

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