***STOP PRESS*** – ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY GLOBESPAN COLLAPSE

17 Dec 2009

John Mason has received information, from the Under Secretary of State for Scotland, that those stranded abroad are being offered reduced rate emergency flights from Easyjet, Ryan Air and possibly also Flybe.

East End constituents whose travel plans have been hit are advised to check out the websites of these carriers and also the website of the Civil Aviation Authority on www.caa.co.uk.

EAST END MP WELCOMES BINGO DUTY DECREASE

10 Dec 2009

Commenting on the Chancellor’s pre-budget report commitment to cut bingo duty from 22 per cent to 20 per cent, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, has expressed regret that the Treasury has not listened to calls to bring Bingo taxation into line with taxation of other gaming activities.

The Scottish National Party’s MPs have long campaigned for an end to the unfair taxation scheme which has put great strain on business and played a contributing role in the closure of 31 clubs in 2008 and 2009.

Commenting, John Mason said:

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough towards bringing bingo taxation into line with other gaming activities.

“Bingo actually has a serious social role to play because research has shown that provides a great many people who are elderly and live alone with a social focus.

“The eastern part of Glasgow is lucky enough to have access to a number of large bingo venues, and these provide a number of valuable jobs in the East End. As such, it is vital to our area that the UK Government’s discrimination against bingo is ended.

“Other gambling activities are taxed at 15 per cent and the bingo industry should not be singled out for harsh treatment. It’s good news that Labour is starting to see the error of its ways and beginning to back bingo.”

MP delighted as East End benefits from Scottish Government’s school building programme

26 Nov 2009

John Mason, the MP for Glasgow East, has welcomed the announcement that the construction of a new-build Garrowhill Primary is to go ahead, thanks to the Scottish Government’s £1.25 billion school building programme. The good news for Garrowhill was announced by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, Fiona Hyslop MSP, earlier today (Thursday 26 November).

The £1.25 billion school building programme was set up by the Scottish Government to assist local councils with improvements in their schools. The City of Glasgow had asked the Scottish Government for money to re-build two primaries, Garrowhill and Glendale. However, under the plan unveiled today, the City Council will also be allowed to nominate a third primary school project.

Local MP, John Mason, had previously written to the Scottish Government in support of the Garrowhill bid. Welcoming the announcement, John Mason expressed his personal views as follows:

“This is great news for Garrowhill and for Glasgow. I have been pressing for improvements at Garrowhill Primary ever since I was elected as a councillor for the area in 1998. However, it is important to put on record that this new school is only possible thanks to the Scottish Government and the £1.25 billion school building programme that it has set up.

“Although this is a day for celebration, I am very aware of the fact that there are other schools in my area which also urgently require improvement. These include St Bridget’s Primary School and Caledonia Primary in Baillieston, Thorntree Primary and St Timothy’s Primary in Greenfield, as well as Wellshot Primary in Tollcross.”

Mason highlights fireworks concerns in the House

04 Nov 2009

John Mason has taken part in a House of Commons debate on fireworks sales and safety. The Glasgow East MP would like to see fireworks sales restricted to the week before Guy Fawkes Night, and see a reduction in the maximum noise level that fireworks are legally permitted to create.

Commenting after having spoken in the House of Commons, the East End MP said:

“Like most people, I appreciate a well-organised fireworks display. But fireworks do create extra problems with anti-social behaviour in our communities. Many of our pets are also terrified by fireworks noise, and sometimes animals can iterally be stressed to death.

“I am not calling for a complete ban on fireworks, or a complete ban on sales to the public, but I think we could tighten the rules a bit.

“I have seen fireworks being fired across our streets, and people have told me about having fireworks put through their letterboxes. We clearly have a problem that needs to be addressed.”