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October 2017


Despite the Parliamentary recess, October has been a busy month both here in the constituency and in Parliament!

Between surgeries, I have continued to make speed on my commitment to visit all schools in the Mid-Fife and Glenrothes constituency. I have currently visited over 30 schools, with more meetings planned in the coming months.
I've also met with a number of local businesses and community groups, including the Glenrothes Paper Mill and Leven Women's Group. I was also delighted to welcome members of Leven Community Council to Parliament this month.

In Parliament I've been hard at work in my role as a committee member. This month, with the Local Government and Communities committee, I met representatives from Finland to discuss their success in tackling homelessness. I have also been active in the chamber, speaking on both the Scottish Government's Diet & Obesity Strategy and STEM strategy. I have been happy to support a number of groups including the Scottish Women's Commission in their goal to gain fair representation for women in Scotland.

Early in October the SNP's Autumn Conference was held in Glasgow. I was pleased to speak at event, chaired by fellow MSP Gillian Martin, about female inclusion in STEM industries. I also chaired an event hosted by about housing needs of the elderly – amongst others the panel included Jim Eadie of Age Scotland and Local Government and Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP. On the final day of conference, I spoke in support of Stewart McDonald MP’s bill that looks to ban the practise of unpaid work trials. I wholeheartedly believe that Scotland’s workers deserve fair pay for their work, so I was pleased to see the resolution being unanimously supported by party members. I hope the bill continues to attract cross party support in Westminster and the UK Tory Government are held to account for the serious lack of protection offered to workers.

I was delighted to see the partial re-opening of the Forth Road Bridge this month - yet another important step forwards towards improving links between Fife and Edinburgh as part of the Managed Crossing Strategy. I look forward to welcoming even more Fife bus services returning to normal schedule in the coming weeks!

Yours for Scotland,
In the Constituency
Local School Visits
 
With over 30 visits since my election last year, I have continued to work on my commitment to visit all schools in the Mid-Fife and Glenrothes constituency.

This month, I met with pupils at Star Primary School who gave me a tour of their wonderful school and also spoke with members of the Pupil Council at Levenmouth Academy about a range of issues - from their own education to issues effecting our constituency.

Next month, I'll be paying visit to Parkhill Primary, South Parks Primary, Glenwood High and Glenrothes High. While pupils from Auchmuty High will  be in Edinburgh to visit the Scottish Parliament!
 
Leven Women's Group
I was privileged to be invited along as Guest Speaker to the Women's Group at Leven Parish Church last week. There was real positive discussion on how best we can work together and improve the town.
Levenmouth Foodbank Appeal
 
I was concerned to note that Levenmouth Foodbank has put out an urgent appeal in the local newspapers, urging the community to help provide more food for those in need as its number of visitors increases. Specifically, the foodbank is in urgent need of tinned fruit, tea bags, dried pasta, UHT milk and breakfast cereals.
 
Levenmouth Foodbank is open at the Methil Parish Church on Monday and Friday’s between 4pm to 6pm – food donations of any size would be hugely appreciated!
In Parliament
Committee Work
 
Health and Sport Committee 

Recently, the Health & Sport Committee has been taking evidence regarding staff governance in the NHS in Scotland and leading an enquiry into Sport for Everyone, where last week we heard from the Minister for Public Health, Aileen Campbell MSP. We have also taken the views of various experts on how to modernise our health care service in Scotland through innovative technologies.

Myself and the committee will continue to work on these issues throughout November.

Local Government and Communities Committee

For some time now the Local Government and Communities Committee has been busy taking evidence regarding fire safety and building regulations following the tragic Grenfell tower incident.

Recently, the committee has also been taking evidence regarding homelessness in Scotland. Early in October the committee went on a fact finding mission to Finland to better understand how Finish Government policies have helped reduced homelessness in the country. The committee met with Finland's Minister for the Environment and the Mayor of Helsinki as well as visiting a supported housing facility for long-term homeless people. The trip was extremely informative and I hope we can replicate the Finnish Government's success in tackling the serious issue of homelessness in Scotland.

Looking forward, the Local Government and Communities Committee will hear evidence regarding Scotland's City Deals. Specifically we will hear from Fife Council and the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Deal Partners. I look forward to learning how the city deal could help investment in Mid-Fife and Glenrothes.
 
 
In the Chamber
On 26th October, I spoke in the chamber on both the Scottish Government's Diet and Obesity Strategy and the STEM Strategy that demonstrates to young people the benefits of a career in the science and technology industry.

I asked the respective Scottish Government Ministers, Aileen Campbell MSP and Shirley-Anne Sommerville MSP, how the new strategies will link with the curriculum for excellence programme.

I also spoke in a debate on the presumption of mainstreaming within our schools following the launch by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, of a consultation on ‘Excellence and Equality for All: Guidance on the Presumption of Mainstreaming’, which seeks to bridge the gap between legislation, policy and practical experience so that pupils have equitable access to a quality inclusive education.

I'd like to encourage my constituents of Mid-Fife and Glenrothes to take part in the consultation as responses will be used to inform the final draft of guidance put forward by the Scottish Government. You can take part here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/11/9153

You can also watch my contribution to the Scottish Government debate on Presumption of Mainstreaming here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/debate-presumption-of-mainstreaming-november-2-2017
 
Leven Community Council Visit
I was delighted to welcome members of the Leven Community Council to the Scottish Parliament this month. The group were given a tour of the building, before watching First Minister’s Questions in the debating chamber. I will continue to work closely with all Community Council groups in Mid-Fife and Glenrothes to hear first hand, the issues of most importance to our community.
Parliamentary Motions

In my role as an MSP, I lodge a number of Parliamentary motions each month to congratulate achievements within the constituency. This month, I lodged motions on the following:
  • Motion to recognise the amazing work of Respite Fife and Care Manager Heather Clarke on the organisation's 30th anniversary.
 
  • Motion to congratulate Ian Sword on his retirement from Balbirnie House Hotel.
 
  • Motion to congratulate Laura Wadha from Glenrothes on the planned screening of her film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.
 
  • Motion to congratulate Glenrothes Boxing Club for their success at the Celtic Box Xup in Ireland.
 
  • Motion to congratulate the  Fife Coast and Countryside Trust on its award of funding from Suez Communities Trust.
Constituency Surgeries in November
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.
 
Fridayday 10th November
Constituency Office, Markinch
1pm - 2pm
 
Friday 24th November
Sainsbury's Leven
10am - 11am

Monday 27th November
Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
11am  - 12noon

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:
 
Copyright © 2017 Jenny Gilruth MSP, All rights reserved.


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