Motion S5M-09563: Hampden Park

15 Dec 2018

That the Parliament notes with affection the tremendous role that Hampden Park has played in the history of Scottish football at both international and club level over many years; further notes that Glasgow has two other excellent large stadia at Celtic Park and Ibrox, while Edinburgh has the larger and also excellent Murrayfield; considers that the present Hampden is a poor shadow of its former self; believes that, without Hampden, Glasgow can still be the venue for major football matches, but that Murrayfield and medium-sized club grounds such as Tynecastle, Easter Road and Pittodrie could be used as appropriate, and hopes that the Scottish Football Association will seriously consider whether Scotland really needs four large sports stadia.


05 Dec 2018

The Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected Theresa May’s false choice of a bad Brexit or No Deal.


The joint motion agreed by the SNP, Labour, Greens and the Lib Dems stated that a better alternative must be found – leaving the Tories isolated in their support for Theresa May’s discredited proposals.

Commenting, John said:


“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, but our interests have been ignored by the UK government since day one.


“With the Scottish Parliament now overwhelmingly against the false choice of Theresa May’s deal or No Deal, it is time for the UK government to listen.


“Theresa May’s deal is at this point little more than a hypothetical exercise, with all sides of the House of Commons determined to defeat it on Tuesday.


“The clock is ticking. It’s time for a new approach and to look at the real alternatives which will protect jobs and livelihoods in the East End – whether that be a second referendum giving Scotland the opportunity to remain in the EU, or the compromise proposal of staying in the single-market that the Scottish Government unveiled two years ago.”

Pregnant or recently had a child? You could be due £600

23 Nov 2018

The Scottish Government, has increased the payments available to lower income families for each child they have. The Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment will help children across Scotland have a fairer start by providing cash sums to families at crucial times in a young child’s life.

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which will be delivered by Social Security Scotland, is a one-off payment of £600 for your first child then £300 for each younger sibling. You do not need to pay this back. Itis there to help you with pregnancy or baby related expenses, including clothes and nursery items.

The new Pregnancy and Baby Payment will launch on 10 December 2018 and you can apply from the 24th week of your pregnancy, up until the child is six months old. Either parent or carer can apply.

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment is part of Best Start Grant – a package of three payments that will give extra money to lower-income families during the key early years of a child’s life. Following the Pregnancy and Baby Payment two additional payments of £250 will help with early learning costs and school preparation costs and will be open for applications by summer 2019 – to those who are eligible.

To be eligible for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, you must live in Scotland and be in receipt of a qualifying benefit from the list below:

• Income Support

• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Pension Credit

• Universal Credit

• Housing Benefit

• Child Tax Credit

• Working Tax Credit

If you are under 18 or 18/19 and still dependant on your parents and in full time education or training – you do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment will not affect your other benefits or tax credits.

You can apply online, by phone or post. Visit payment or call 0800 182 2222 to find out more.

Motion S5M-14705: Passing of Reverend Laurence Whitley

12 Nov 2018

That the Parliament notes with sadness the passing of Reverend Laurence Whitley, the former Church of Scotland minister of Glasgow Cathedral, at the age of 69; understands that Reverend Whitley was born in Port Glasgow to a family experienced in church service, with his father, Dr Harry Whitley, being minister of St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh; further notes that Reverend Whitley stood as a candidate for the SNP in the two 1974 General Elections, contesting the Dumfries seat and increasing the SNP share of the vote by 7%; understands that, after graduating in arts from the University of Edinburgh, he moved to St Andrews to study divinity; recognises that his probationary year was spent as minister of St Andrew’s Church in Dundee before taking over the linked charges of Busby West and Busby East; notes that he spent 10 years in Busby, which is where he met his future wife; understands that he then moved on to become the minister for Montrose Old, spending more than 20 years there before being called to service at Glasgow Cathedral in 2007; welcomes the efforts made by Reverend Whitley to improve the representation of the Kirk Session of the Glasgow Cathedral through the introduction of women to the membership; further welcomes his efforts to improve ecumenical relations, with Archbishop Mario Conti giving him praise for his work, and sends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.