05 Aug 2016

SNP MSP for Shettleston has slammed ScotRail for cutting services to East End stations. Rail passengers in the east end of Glasgow are set to lose out following the completion of the Queen Street Tunnel upgrade.


The number of trains stopping at stations in the East End on the Glasgow-Airdrie-Edinburgh line, which include Easterhouse, Garrowhill, Shettleston, Carntyne and Bellgrove, will be halved during the day compared to the timetable before the tunnel works began.  Up to March there were four trains per hour to and from Edinburgh (two direct and two requiring a change).  But now there will only be two per hour.


And there are to be no direct trains between Edinburgh and the East End stations during evenings.  Previously there were two each hour.


Another reduction in service is that local trains will no longer run every 15 minutes but will be at less regular intervals.


MSP for Shettleston Constituency John Mason raised concerns with ScotRail before the timetable was announced.


He commented:


“I had hoped that the timetable would return to the previous position of trains stopping at East End stations every 15 minutes as was the case. It is a real let-down and incredibly disappointing that ScotRail are cutting our train service in this way.


“While it may have been reasonable to have a poorer service during the maintenance works it is not acceptable that my constituents should continue to suffer a poorer service going forward.


“I have written to ScotRail regarding my concerns and I very much hope they will look at reversing these cuts.”


You can find a copy of Scotrails response at the following link: 20160805124932214

Motion S5M-00905: End of Right to Buy

02 Aug 2016

That the Parliament welcomes the end of the right to buy scheme in Scotland; believes that the scheme promoted short-term gain for individuals above the long-term needs of society by directly leading to the fall in the construction of new housing; understands that the repeal of the scheme has been welcomed by housing bodies across Scotland, with the head of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations saying that the move “hasn’t come a moment too soon”; notes that nearly 500,000 homes had been sold since the scheme was introduced in 1980; further understands that, at a time of housing shortage, the removal of the right to buy will make it more viable for councils and housing associations to invest in long-term projects as they will no longer be forced to sell property at a loss, and believes that this can only be a positive step in terms of ensuring that everyone in Scotland has access to affordable housing.

Motion S5M-00724: Anniversary of Spanish Civil War

20 Jul 2016

That the Parliament notes the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War on 17 July 1936; acknowledges the place that the war had in the larger struggle against fascism across Europe in the years that followed; deplores the overthrow of a democratic government by military means; further deplores the human cost of the civil war with more than 500,000 people killed and almost as many displaced due to the conflict; further notes the sacrifices made by Scots and those of other nations who joined international brigades to fight for democracy, and believes that freedom will continue to endure as long as there are people willing to sacrifice themselves for it.


14 Jul 2016

SNP MSP John Mason has urged community groups in Shettleston to apply for a new £2 million fund to help local communities have a greater say in decision-making.

The Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund will allow community groups to organise participatory budgeting events. These events give communities the opportunity to make decisions on how and where investment is spent in their area.

Participatory budgeting is recognised internationally as a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local needs.

The Community Choices Fund is the latest step in the Scottish Government’s roll-out of participatory budgeting across Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP John Mason said:

“Every community in Scotland has different needs and challenges. We want to see more decision-making handed to local people – especially in choosing local spending priorities – and groups in Shettleston shouldn’t miss out.

“The new Community Choices Fund is a real opportunity for communities to vote on investment, shape services and address the issues that are important in their area.

“Participatory budgeting is gaining real ground in Scotland with a large number of councils taking the lead to date and helping to organise over 50 events this year. These events have included decisions on housing revenue, roads capital spending, and the procurement of a bus service.

“However, it’s important that community organisations and community councils are also able to take the lead and reach out to people in communities across our Constituency and Scotland. 

“The SNP want to give communities more control to shape their futures – and I hope there is a range of ideas and applications from organisations across the Shettleston Constituency.”