MSP LEADS CALL FOR COP HQ MOVE TO EAST END

15 Dec 2011

Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, today pressed Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, on the Scottish Government’s plans for the future HQ of a Scottish Police Service.

The local MSP asked the Justice Minister about the timescale for a decision to possibly relocate Strathclyde Police’s Headquarters from its current Pitt Street base to Clyde Gateway’s Dalmarnock regeneration area in the East End.

Commenting, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason MSP, said:

“Strathclyde Police have made it clear that their current City Centre HQ is costing too much to run and a move to the East End would reduce running costs. At the moment these are some £3.7m a year. A new Dalmarnock HQ could cut that to £2.4m, a saving of £1.3 million every year.

“As well has having a strong Police presence in my constituency – in addition to the 1000 extra officers on Scotland’s streets since 2007 – this would also be a great investment in the East End, which is undergoing some massive regeneration work spearheaded by Clyde Gateway. The advantage of the Police offices moving here would be that it would boost confidence in the area and encourage private sector organisations to consider moving here too.

“The Scottish Government is committed to a single Scottish Police Service for Scotland, which I fully support. I understand that plans are still being formulated – including where the prospective HQ would be – but Glasgow and the West of Scotland would still need a big base and it would be helpful if plans could be made as soon as possible both to start making savings for the Police and, more locally, to bring investment to the East End”.

Local SNP Councillor for Calton ward – which covers Dalmarnock – Alison Thewliss, added:

“The proposed Police HQ would bring this part of Dalmarnock back to life. The building is a big part of the regeneration of the area but, much more importantly, the Police employees based here will also give a boost to small businesses in the area and spark further private investment.”

SHETTLESTON MSP HIGHLIGHTS HOME HEAT HELPLINE

13 Dec 2011

New figures reveal that almost 8,000 households in the East End of Glasgow are entitled to some form of assistance with their fuel bills. That help is worth an average of £250 per household and a free helpline is available for more information.

Drawing attention to the campaign, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, said:

“Some 7,800 homes in the East End are entitled to some form of support, so I am pleased to be promoting this campaign as we head into what could be a harsh winter.

“Anyone who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline.”

“The number for the Home Heat Helpline is 0800 33 66 99 or you can visit the website, www.homeheathelpline.org.uk. It is a free service that provides independent advice to people on low incomes on how to get help with their gas and electricity bills as well as other help such as grants for insulation or a new boiler.”

Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption. Commenting, she said:

“As well as calling the Home Heat Helpline to find out what financial assistance is available there are some other simple steps people can take. For example:

• turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally
• switch your lights off when you’re not using them
• turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used
• replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones
• regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency
• draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room
• move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room
• open internal doors of any rooms which get more sun than others and let the warm air travel around your home”

EAST END MSP ENCOURAGES CONSTITUENTS TO BE “GOOD WINTER NEIGHBOURS”

05 Dec 2011

Shettleston MSP, John Mason, today urged people across the East End to respond to the current cold weather by looking out for vulnerable people in their communities.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, said:

“As we head into winter, and with conditions forecast to remain very cold for some time to come, it seems likely that the City Council and our emergency services will be at full stretch trying to keep major routes open and attend to the most pressing emergencies.

“If you are able to, it would be an ideal time to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, make sure they have heat and that their pre-payment meters are topped up. If you are in an area where the footpaths are still affected by snow and ice, you may be able to help clear paths. I myself was out this morning clearing the pavement adjacent to my Parkhead Constituency Office.

“It is also very important to recognise the hard work being put in by local council workers, who will be doing their best to keep Glasgow moving during the winter”.

JOHN MASON WELCOMES £30M INVESTMENT IN YOUNG SCOTS

01 Dec 2011

Glasgow Shettleston MSP, John Mason, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will have a dedicated Youth Employment Minister and invest an extra £30million in young people.

The funding will help Scotland’s youth back into training, work or education to secure a strong workforce of the future.

Details of the Ministerial post and allocation of the £30m will be outlined before Parliament breaks for recess.

Commenting, SNP MSP for the East End of Glasgow, John Mason, said:

“This is a fantastic announcement from the Alex Salmond that will help get our 16-19 year olds back into work, education or training.

“While Scotland’s youth employment rate is higher than the rest of the UK, we cannot be complacent. More needs to be done during these tough times and the SNP is focussed on getting young people into work

“Appointing a dedicated Youth Employment Minister shows how committed the SNP is to equipping all our young people with the skills they need for life – and getting them into employment.

“The SNP has a strong track record in standing up and fighting for young people and this latest announcement shows how serious we are about tackling youth unemployment and ensuring that young Scots have a bright future in a successful Scotland”.