Parliamentary Motions and Questions

Motion S4M-11851: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014

That the Parliament recognises the launch in Glasgow of a publicity campaign by the Go Safe Glasgow Road Safety Partnership about drink driving; notes that this has been timed to coincide with the recent implementation of the new law that lowered the acceptable level of blood-alcohol content; notes that, to raise awareness of the new limit, Glasgow City Council will be distributing posters, beermats and coasters, and believes that the change in the law will save lives and make Scotland’s roads safer.

 

Question S4W-23603: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on the development of a financial capability strategy.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 06/01/2015

Question S4W-23604: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support the financial capability of young people.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 06/01/2015
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anne McTaggart MSP – “Government Best When Local”

Anne Speaking in LGRC Debate - Government best when local

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has welcomed the publication of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee (LGRC) ‘Flexibility and Autonomy in Local Government’ Report, and backed its finding that devolution of powers must not start and finish at the national level.

Ms McTaggart, who is a member of the LGRC, was speaking in a Scottish Parliament debate on the report on Thursday 11th December.

The report was published following the publication of the Council of Europe report on local and regional democracy in the UK which found that whilst overall the UK was in compliance with its Charter obligations, some concerns did exist. It also took into consideration the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) initiative which resulted in the establishment of a Commission of Strengthening Local Democracy.

The report cited the COSLA statement that “Power should lie at the most appropriate level. Sometimes it is appropriate for it to be at community level; sometimes at local authority level; and sometimes at national level.”

In seeking to follow that suggestion, the Committee explored five strands, each of which represented an important area that required a determination about where power should lie. In each case, the Committees desire was to move power as close to the community as appropriate and to give local authorities the power to do so.

Ms McTaggart said: “I was delighted to be able to take part in this debate. I am happy to see the report published and I offer my support for the results, particularly in the areas of public engagement and interaction with local government, and local authority and community government funding.

We must recognize that the future goal of the Scottish Parliament should be to move more power to the local authorities, but, this should not be an impediment to any community. This is a local issue, and we must trust local authorities to devolve powers to the lowest appropriate level.”

 

You can read the LGRC ‘Flexibility and Autonomy in Local Government’ Report here.

You can read COSLA’s ‘Commission of Strengthening Local Democracy’ here.

You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Anne Mctaggart MSP in Call to Ban Rip Off Rent Rises

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called for a ban on rip off rent rises – and blasted the Scottish Government for backing rogue landlords instead of hard-pressed tenants

There are 42,000 private renting households in Glasgow and Ms McTaggart backs Scottish Labour proposals to stop tenants being exploited by landlords imposing excessive rent hikes.

The Glasgow MSP said that the plans would cap how much rent can rise, not set the level of rent initially, meaning that tenants can budget for rent rises once a year without the worry that it would be unreasonable.

However the SNP voted to block Scottish Labour’s plans during a debate on housing earlier this month.

The number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector.

Some parts of Scotland have seen rents rise by as much as 40% in the last 4 years.

Ms McTaggart accused the Scottish Government of backing rogue landlords over tenants, and has pointed to the Scottish Government’s own Expert Group on Welfare recommending a rent cap earlier this year as proof that it is time to reform the market.

Anne McTaggart MSP said: “Too many families across Glasgow are living paycheque to paycheque.  If the car breaks down or an unexpected bill drops through the letterbox they are in real trouble.

“The last thing 42,000 renters in Glasgow need is a bad landlord exploiting them with a huge rent increase.

“That is why I voted to ban rip off rent rises – good landlords would have nothing to worry about from these proposals, but they would stop bad landlords hiking up rents on unsuspecting tenants.

“But the SNP have now voted against this plan three times, despite their own expert welfare group recommending rent caps. Only Scottish Labour are willing to reform the market in Scotland to give Scots in the private rented sector some security and peace of mind.”

The Scottish Government’s own Expert Working Group on Welfare recommended rent caps

“We believe it is important to strike the right balance between supporting a well-functioning private rental market and preventing excessive rents that can arise through pressures in the private rental sector in areas of high demand and low supply. This means looking at the nature of tenancies, for example, giving tenants in the private sector longer-term tenancies than generally exist at present, as well as building into tenancy agreements that rents should increase in line with inflation but not above it, at least for the duration of a tenancy.”

Source here

Some parts of Scotland have seen rents rise by 40% in the last 4 years

Source here

Poverty in the private rented sector

“The number of households in poverty in the PRS has doubled in the last decade to 120,000, while the number in social housing has almost halved to 190,000.”

“At the start of the 2000s, poverty in Scotland was predominantly in the social rented sector but this is no longer the case. Two fifths of households in poverty live in social housing, compared to three fifths a decade ago. Meanwhile a quarter live in the PRS, up from 1 in 10.”

Source here

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow MSP backs ‘Go for a Grant’ Campaign

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has backed the Turn2us ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign.

The campaign is encouraging anyone in financial hardship to use the free online Turn2us Grants Search tool to check their eligibility for grants and other support depending on their particular needs and circumstances. This follows new research findings which have revealed a stark lack of awareness of the support available through charitable grants amongst those in financial hardship in Scotland.

Almost three-fifths (59%) of Turn2us website users living in Scotland said they were completely unaware of charitable grants before finding out about this help through Turn2us. Worryingly, over two-fifths (42%) had been struggling financially for over a year before checking what support could be available to them.

As a result of their situation, over two-thirds (70%) have had to rely on the financial support of family and friends and nearly two-thirds (65%) have been forced to cut back on food and heating.

In addition, almost a third (32%) have resorted to using credit cards to pay for bills and other essentials, and nearly one in three (30%) have taken out a short-term or payday loan.

Ms McTaggart said “It’s really important that people are aware of the funding that is available to them. In this area, knowledge really is power so I’m delighted to be able to get behind this campaign. Their online tool is really helpful and I would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage and make sure they’re getting what they’re entitled to.”

The ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign is encouraging anyone in financial hardship to use the free online Turn2us Grants Search tool to check their eligibility for grants and other support depending on their particular needs and circumstances.

There are over 3,000 grant-giving charities available in the UK, distributing £288 million in grants and services to individuals in need every year. Each charitable fund is set up to assist people on low incomes according to their current or previous occupation, the area they live or for a specific health condition or disability.

Individuals who have used the Grants Search tool have seen an average annual income increase of over £2,400 in regular charitable grants and over £550 in one-off grants.

Find out more here.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Motion: Congratulations to A&M Training on Guardian Charity Awards Win

Motion Number: S4M-11824
Lodged By: Anne McTaggart
Date Lodged: 05/12/2014

Title: Congratulations to A&M Training on Guardian Charity Awards Win

Motion Text:

That the Parliament congratulates the Glasgow-based Charity, A&M Training, on being selected as a winner of what it considers the prestigious Guardian Charity Awards 2014; understands that the awards highlight charities that have made a big impact with limited resources and that A&M were one of four winners selected from the 1,200 organisations that entered; acknowledges that the charity, which began over four years ago, runs free diversionary sporting and physical activities for more than 2,000 young people aged between five and 24 in some of Glasgow’s most socially deprived communities; believes that many of these young people go on to participate in its volunteering, employability and personal development programmes; further notes the charity’s plan to spend the prize money on a digital media project and to use the skills learned to redesign its website, and wishes A&M Training all the best with its work in the future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Anne McTaggart MSP Hails Fantastic Year for Glasgow Tourism

Tourism speech

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has paid tribute to the people of Glasgow at the end of what has been a fantastic year for tourism in the city.

Ms McTaggart was speaking during Fergus Ewing MSPs Members Business Debate at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 2nd 2014.

2014 saw both the Commonwealth Games and the MTV Europe music awards come to Glasgow, as well as the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.  Guests visiting for the Games spent a total of £282 million, which went directly into not only Glasgow’s economy but all of Scotland’s economy. In addition, one visitor in 10 intended to combine visiting the games with an extended trip throughout Scotland afterwards. More than 250,000 people came watched the Ryder Cup, comprising people from more than 75 countries.

Ms McTaggart said “I was pleased to be able to contribute to this debate which highlighted the increasing role of tourism as a means of benefiting business and the economy in Scotland.

But working to help our tourism industry goes far beyond economic gains for the cities of Scotland; it also directly benefits the people of Scotland by creating jobs and putting money into the businesses that are essential to the average person.

When a place such as Glasgow hosts a major event, the money that comes into the city goes to a diverse range of businesses, from the construction company that builds the new facilities to the pub that attendees go to after a long day. Bearing in mind the benefits that come from tourism to our national economy and to the wallet of the average Scottish person, we must move into 2015 with the same determination that brought the massive success of 2014.”

Read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Wi-Fi to Community Facilities in Glasgow

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has welcomed the development of Glasgow’s urban Wi-Fi network, which enables the local community, regardless of age or background to enjoy free Wi-Fi thanks to a partnership between Glasgow City Council, BT, and Glasgow Life.

Ms McTaggart lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament recognising that the network provides free Wi-Fi access to everyone on a drop-in basis. Venues will be advertising where internet access is available and staff will also be on hand to help people browse the web. It will allow people to stay in touch with family and friends on the go, as it will provide free 24 hour access to Wi-Fi. This will last the duration of the contact which is a minimum of 8 years.

Ms McTaggart said “This is a fantastic project which I was pleased to be able to bring to the attention of my fellow MSPs. It will provide training and support to those that are currently not engaged with digital technology. Additionally, Council Family partners, City Building will provide a range of digital hardware, so people who do not have devices that can connect to the web, can still make use of this service.

It will also help overcome the digital exclusion that many individuals may face, by providing training and support, that will remove the barriers that stop them from accessing vital information and services. This program provides the opportunity to get connected, which will, no doubt benefit the people of Glasgow and build a better future for them. It provides an outstanding example of businesses working with the council to enrich the lives of the people of Glasgow and I would like to congratulate all the parties involved in making this a reality.”

 

Glasgow Life aims to inspire Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture, sport and learning.

City Building is one of Scotland’s largest construction companies, employing over 2,200 skilled employees. City Building’s unique social ethos of ‘building a sustainable future’ underpins their drive to deliver excellence and to create training and employment opportunities for a diverse range of people, including minority and other under-represented groups.

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.

 

Motion S4M-11776: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014

Free Wi-Fi to Community Facilities in Glasgow

That the Parliament welcomes the development of Glasgow’s urban Wi-Fi network, which will be rolled out across the city, community facilities and public halls; understands that these facilities will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi access thanks to a partnership between Glasgow City Council, BT and Glasgow Life and that the free Wi-Fi is open for everyone to use on a drop-in basis, with venues identifying areas where users can browse the net; recognises that this is an opportunity for people not engaged in digital technology as training and support on how to get connected will be provided; believes that this will benefit many people in Glasgow, and wishes the partnership every success in the future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment