Angus & Mearns Liberal DemocratsWorking Year Round for Angus, Mearns & Stonehaven

By David May

A few weeks ago having had complaints about tv reception in Southesk Court which is a local sheltered housing complex in Ferryden, I visited the complex and spoke to several of the residents and they gave me details of the problems they had been facing for some time. It was clear to me that as many of the residents are not too mobile they have a higher dependence on their televisions than many others. I made contact with the head of housing and was pleased to inform the residents, that the council are intending to provide digi satellite boxes for tenants at southesk to combat this. However as we approach Christmas, and as many of the residents in the court depend on their tv at this time, I have subsequently found out that the tv reception was still a problem there, so made further contact with the officer, and I am pleased to inform the residents that the work to improve reception has been started and should be resolved in the next few days.

From:: David May

Dec/14

18

North Craigo Speeding

By David May

Having had many complaints from several people who lived in the area, about the excess speeding of drivers through North Craigo I met one of the residents and it was clear to me that many drivers go above the speed limit. Consequently, I made contact with the senior traffic officer and he readily agreed to get a speed check done, and the evidence from this has shown that many drivers did not keep to the speed limit. I have now been told that the police have will provide additional enforcement and the council have re- marking the 40mph limit roundels as well as the “slow markings” and this should help to remind drivers about the need to keep to the speed limit.

From:: David May

Dec/14

18

Great result from fund raiser

By David May

As a Montrose Day Care Centre director I was delighted to hear that the recent Christmas coffee morning raised over £500 for the new day care centre being built. It is named the Adam Centre in recognition of a generous donation towards the new building from the Adam family. However, much fund raising is needed for the new purpose built centre, which will be a state of the art facility and provide the best possible facilities for the present and future users of the centre so that the money raised at the Christmas event was a great help.

From:: David May

Dec/14

18

Dropped Kerb at Rosehill

By David May

A constituent , several months ago, raised the issue of the problems faced by mobility scooter as well as wheelchair users and others in the Rosehill/ Wishart Gardens area of the town. Following a site visit it was clear to me that a dropped kerb was needed so I made contact with the council roads department. Although it has taken much longer than I had hoped, I have been told that work to establish a dropped kerb in place will finally be done early in the new year. This will be welcomed by many people as crossing from the Wishart Gardens to the other side of the road to the path/ cycle track will be much easier.

From:: David May

Dec/14

13

SUPPORT ANGUS FOODBANK APPEAL

By David May

I back Angus Council as they urge Angus residents to give our vulnerable residents a helping hand this Christmas. Having delivered some food from my church to our Montrose food bank centre, it is important for all of us to help vulnerable individuals and families in this way at all times. However the council is supporting Angus Foodbank’s Christmas appeal and residents are urged to give their support and donate any of the following items:

tinned ham
Christmas pudding
Christmas cakeAngus Foodbank Appeal
box of biscuits
children’s selection box
box of chocolate
large bar of chocolate (150/200g)
snacks and nibbles
Christmas crackers
sugar (500g)
UHT milk
fruit juice (long life)
Your festive contributions can be made at: Angus House, William Wallace House, St Margaret’s House, County Buildings, Bruce House, Dewar House, Forfar ACCESS Office, Arbroath ACCESS Office, Brechin ACCESS Office, Carnoustie ACCESS Office, Kirriemuir ACCESS Office, Monifieth ACCESS and Community Police Office, Montrose ACCESS Office, Members Services /CHT, Arbroath Sports Centre, Brechin Leisure Centre, Carnoustie Leisure Centre, Forfar Swimming Pool, Forfar Leisure Centre, Montrose Leisure Centre, Saltire Leisure Centre, Kirriemuir Leisure Centre, Arbroath Library, Brechin Library, Carnoustie Library, Forfar Library, Kirriemuir Library, Montrose Library, Monifieth Library.

Please make any donations by Friday 19 December, when the bins will be collected to enable the Foodbank to sort and distribute items before Christmas.

Find out more about the work of the foodbank at www.angus.foodbank.org.uk

From:: David May

Dec/14

12

Jamieson Park Lights

By David May

I was informed that the lights at Jamieson Park Lights on the Links in Montrose, have been out for some time so I made contact with the relevant council officer. I was delighted to be told that at long last action will be taken as an order has been placed with Property to investigate and repair the faulty lights.

From:: David May

Dec/14

12

SNP FAILING OUR COLLEGE STUDENTS

By David May

“I am really concerned about the effect this decision that our local Angus and Dundee college will only receive a very small amount of what they needed to encourage youngsters from poorer backgrounds in Angus to go to college. So much for what the SNP have said about of their claims to be widening access as they are failing our college students.

Alison McInnes Scottish Lib Dem MSP is spot on with her comments as she said that SNP ministers are failing the college students who need their help the most after new figures revealed that Dundee & Angus College only received a fraction of the bursary funds requested.”

The NE MSP added “The college requested £800,000 for student support. It was confirmed today that the college would only receive £160,000.

Across Scotland, colleges asked for £14.7m to meet demand from students but will receive only £3.5m. Five colleges which requested funding will receive no support at all.

The North East MSP commented: “The SNP’s raid on college budgets is having a direct impact on our young people’s pockets. They are failing the students who need their help the most. Students need this bursary funding to help them manage the cost of living while studying.

“Dundee & Angus College requested for funding to help students struggling with the costs of studying but only received a fraction of that. What will happen to these students if they cannot get the support they need for basic living costs?

“We know that the college offers students in Tayside the opportunity to gain new skills and get on in life. These cuts will strike a damaging blow to the people who need help the most and blows a further hole in the SNP’s claims to be committed to widening access.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats know that we can only build a fairer society through creating opportunities for all. This is the real test for new education secretary Angela Constance to prove if she will adopt a different, more constructive approach than her predecessor and finally deliver for college students.”

From:: David May

Dec/14

11

Call for extra help for the disadvantaged.

By David May

I call on the Scottish Government to do the same as Westminster by using the ‘Pupil Premium’ money they were given, in the same way as Clegg did on England, as this would also make a difference to our disadvantaged pupils in Angus and Scotland. The Scottish Government need to target the extra money they received from Westminster on the poorer groups in Scotland as this helps them to achieve more. It is not clear to me what the pupil premium money was used for

The evidence shows that poorer pupils in England are doing better at school as the Pupil Premium championed by Nick Clegg was responsible for the success.

Two-thirds of pupils (67%) on free school meals gained improved grades in reading, writing and maths this year, which is four percentage points on 2013.

This compares with 83% for non-disadvantaged pupils, reducing the attainment gap to 16 percentage points.

The data is based on tests taken by 11-year-olds in 16,000 school

Schools Minister David Laws said it was “encouraging to see the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers continue to narrow and parents, teachers and pupils deserve to be congratulated for their efforts”.

He added: “But we know there is more to do and there are still too many areas with simply unacceptable levels of attainment for disadvantaged pupils.”

There are some really tough things about being in Government, but when you look at things like this, giving disadvantaged kids extra help so that they can have better opportunities in life, it makes it all worthwhile

From:: David May

Dec/14

10

Concerns about a council tenant’s garden.

By David May

Contact from some local residents about their concerns about a council tenant’s garden In Montrose led me to contact the head of housing about the issues raised. I was delighted with the officers very prompt response and the speedy action which was taken by the officer to resolve the problems.

From:: David May

Dec/14

3

Good news on much needed affordable housing

By David May

“One of the issues raised regularly with me is the lack of affordable housing in Montrose and also across Angus, so I am delighted to hear the good news that the Scottish Government will be moving forward to build more of this housing. I agree with the Scottish Liberal Democrats who have today praised the SNP Government for listening to their calls to use special ‘financial transaction’ consequentials received last year from the UK Government to build more affordable housing.

The idea, put forward by the Scottish Liberal Democrats as part of Budget Bill 2014-15 discussions in December last year, has today been announced formally by Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil.

Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“I am delighted that, one year on, the SNP government has listened to our sensible and innovative proposals to deliver more affordable homes. As a result of this dialogue between Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Government hundreds more households in Scotland will have the opportunity to get on in life.

“When these consequentials were first announced the SNP Government dismissed them as ‘funny money’. I’m glad that they have put that unconstructive attitude to bed and now seem willing to listen.”

From:: David May

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