Anne McTaggart Congratulates Holyrood Rocks Glasgow Heat Winners

HolyroodRocks_GlasgowHeat

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has congratulated Single by Sunday, the winners of the Holyrood Rocks Glasgow heat.

Ms McTaggart attended the event which took place on Thursday 2nd October at the St Lukes music and art venue in the Calton area of the city.

Single by Sunday beat off competition from The Static Union and Katie Doyle to win the heat and will now represent Glasgow at the National Final which will take place on 31st October (you can find out more about the event and register for tickets here).

Ms McTaggart said “I was delighted to be able to attend the Glasgow Heat of Holyrood Rocks and I’d like to offer my congratulations to the three fantastic acts who performed, especially Single by Sunday who will now represent the city at the National Final. It’s vitally important that we get more young people involved in the democratic process and in the arts so I’m really pleased with the success of the Holyrood Rocks initiative.”

Holyrood Rocks aims to :

• Encourage every 16 – 25 year old to vote in the upcoming elections.
• Promote young people’s participation across the artistic spectrum.
• Raise awareness of the abundance of career opportunities available in Scotland across the creative industries.
• Emphasise the importance and value that the creative industries brings to Scotland’s economy.
• Promote active citizenship, respect and tolerance amongst young people, irrespective of social, ethnic or economic background.

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Growth of the Hospitality Industry in Glasgow

Motion S4M-14337: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/09/2015

That the Parliament congratulates the city of Glasgow on becoming what it understands is the fastest-growing city in Scotland for new bar and restaurant openings in the last 12 months, as well as the fifth quickest riser in the British hospitality industry; considers that the rise in the number of eating and drinking outlets in Glasgow comes as the city is increasingly been favoured by national operators owing to the vibrancy of the eating and drinking scene as well as its status as a destination for business conferences and tourists; believes that demand for restaurants and hotels has been boosted by the emergence of major music and events venues such as the SSE Hydro, which has given a massive fillip to the sector in the Finnieston area, and considers that this recognition will promote and enhance the hospitality industry in Glasgow, boost the local economy and do so for many years to come.

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Anne McTaggart MSP Promotes the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) with Ofgem

Promoting the ECO at Holyrood

Promoting the ECO at Holyrood

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart last week visited the Ofgem stand at the Scottish Parliament to find out more about the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme to obligate larger suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic premises in Britain.

ECO has three obligations:

  1. Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation
    Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote ‘primary measures’, including roof and wall insulation and connections to district heating systems. Other ‘secondary measures’, which improve the insulating properties of a premises can also be installed at the same premises as primary measures.
  2. Carbon Saving Community Obligation
    Under the Carbon Saving Community Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote insulation measures and connections to district heating systems in areas of low income. The CSCO target has a sub-obligation, which requires that at least 15% of a supplier’s CSCO must be achieved by promoting measures to low income and vulnerable households in rural areas or deprived rural areas.
  3. Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation
    Under the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the ‘affordable warmth group’) to heat their homes. This includes actions that result in heating savings, such as the replacement or repair of a boiler.

You can find out more information about the ECO here.

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Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in Holyrood in Aid of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Scotland's MSP's Wear it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart MSP has shown her support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging Glaswegians to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 23rd October.

Wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country to ditch the day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

 
Anne McTaggart MSP joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Holyrood this week to encourage people across Scotland to get involved. Now in its 14th year, wear it pink raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it is back and bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before.

 
Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

 
Anne McTaggart MSP said:

 
“Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. Every year in Scotland around 4,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 1,000 people still lose their lives to the disease. This is why we all must come together to support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in wear it pink, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

 
“Together, we can make a big difference for women with breast cancer, now and in the future; I hope everyone in the local community will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

 
Launched in June 2015 with the ambition of ensuring that no one dies from the disease by 2050, Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

 
This is a day when we stand out, stand together and stand for something: wear it pink on Friday 23 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

For more information or to register for wear it pink visit http://www.wearitpink.org.

 
For more information on Breast Cancer Now’s work, visit breastcancernow.org or follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

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Majority of Scots Back Automatic Organ Donor Register

***EVENING TIMES ARTICLE – 23RD SEPTEMBER 2015***

The majority of Scots would back a move to an automatic organ donor register to help save more lives, according to new research.

An online poll found that 55% were in favour of a move to a ‘soft’ opt-out system, where consent is assumed unless individuals register an objection.
Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart is driving forward a bill calling for the change on the back of the Evening Times’ Opt for Life campaign.

More than 500 people are currently waiting for a transplant in Scotland.

Figures released earlier this year shows that donation rates fell by 3% in Scotland, with 5% less people receiving a transplant.

Major charities including the British Heart Foundation believe the change has the potential to increase the number of life-saving transplants carried out.

An online poll carried out by the Evening Times showed that 55% of readers were in favour, with 45% against. A total of 535 readers took part.

Ms McTaggart said: “I’m pleased to see that a clear majority of Evening Times readers support my proposals to introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation in Scotland.
“While I have applauded the work the Scottish Government has done in increasing the number of people registered on the organ donation register in Scotland in recent years, the truth is that Scotland is now the worst performing part of the UK in terms of donation rates.

“For me the bottom line is that our current situation is not working; three people die every single day across the UK in need of a transplant. The available evidence shows that this move would help save these lives. Wales are introducing a ‘soft opt-out’ system in December and other countries around the world have been operating this system for decades.

“It’s about time Scotland did the same.

“I’m grateful for the continued support of the Evening Times #OptForLife campaign and look forward to making the positive, progressive case for change at the Scottish Parliament in the near future.”

The head of organ transplantation for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Marc Clancy, has said that a change to an opt-out policy would help normalise organ donation.

On December 1 Wales will switch to a ‘soft’ opt-out system, which means that families are consulted about the final decision.

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Anne McTaggart MSP Backs Local Action on Debt As More People in Glasgow Seek Help

Speaking with a debt adviser

Anne McTaggart MSP speaking with a debt adviser

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has urged constituents who may be struggling with debt to get advice as soon as possible.

Ms McTaggart’s comments come after she visited the charities Bothwell Street headquarters in the city centre on Friday 9th September and as new figures from StepChange Debt Charity show a 75% increase in the number of calls for help from people with debt problems in the area between 2012 and 2014. The charity offers free debt advice to people across the United Kingdom and helped over 2,000 people in Glasgow in 2014 – up from 1,100 in 2012.

Research shows that 50% of people with problem debt struggle for more than a year before seeking advice – so the need for urgent debt help is likely to be far greater than the figures suggest.

Local MSP Anne McTaggart says increased awareness of free debt advice services in and around Glasgow can make a real difference:

“I was delighted to be able to visit StepChange and see first-hand some of the fantastic work they are doing. It is important to know that if you are struggling to make ends meet, expert debt advice can help.

“StepChange Debt Charity does valuable work to help local people deal with their debts and get back on their feet.

“I would encourage anyone struggling with debt to seek free, charity-run debt advice at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Figures from StepChange Debt Charity Scotland show that people seeking debt advice in Glasgow on average owe over £10,600 to credit card companies and other consumer lenders. Around one-third of clients in the city have fallen behind on essential livings costs such as housing, Council Tax and energy bills.

Commenting on the figures, Head of StepChange Debt Charity Scotland Sharon Bell said:

“Problem debt is often the result of a negative change in circumstances. Unemployment, reduced income or ill health can happen to anyone so it is really important people hear about the free debt help available.

“MSPs can help people take positive action on debt by raising awareness of services such as StepChange Debt Charity in the local community.

“If you are borrowing to cover household bills or stuck in a cycle of minimum payments, the time to act is now.

“Our message to anyone struggling with household debt in Glasgow is simple: seek free advice from a debt charity as soon as possible. The earlier you seek advice, the easier the problem will be to solve.”

The StepChange Debt Charity free phone helpline 0800 138 1111 is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday. Online help is available any time from StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy at www.stepchange.org

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Speaking in ‘Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution’ Debate

With today being exactly a year since the referendum, it’s fitting that this week I took part in the Scottish Government’s debate on Scotland’s future, democracy and devolution at The Scottish Parliament.

I argued that the Scottish Labour Party is focused not just on making sure that the Scottish Parliament gets the powers that it needs, but on how we will use those powers to improve the lives of people across the country.

We know that Scotland is one of the most centralised nations in Europe, with our local authorities’ powers decreasing in recent years.

I believe that responsibility over key policy areas needs to be handed back to regional government, and the new powers that are coming to our Parliament will be a perfect opportunity to do that.

You can read my speech in full here.

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Glasgow MSP – ‘Global Response Needed to Address Refugee Crisis’

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has argued that the international community must come together and provide a global response to the on-going refugee crisis.

Ms McTaggart was speaking during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on the global refugee crisis on Tuesday 15th September.

During her speech, Ms McTaggart highlighted that so far in 2015, more than 350,000 desperate people have made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea. She also stated that more than 2,700 people have died trying to reach Europe, with the majority of them drowning in the Mediterranean.

Ms McTaggart played tribute to Glasgow City Council who have already provided homes to 55 Syrians who have fled the war in their home country with a commitment to taking in more. She also spoke of her pride in the success of the Glasgow sees Syria event which took in George Square on Saturday, and praised new council leader Frank McAveety for calling on the UK Government to accept more refugees.

Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said:

“We recently saw the almost unprecedented sight of seven different political parties in the House of Commons uniting behind a clear and simple message: the UK must do more to provide aid in the humanitarian crisis.

“The people of Scotland were quick to recognise that we must do more to help, and, in response, I am certain that we in this Parliament are united in adopting a strong cross-party approach. Councils around Scotland are already working to resettle refugees, and we will support the collection of aid for delivery to refugees

“We need a comprehensive global programme that can help those who have already made the deadly voyage to Europe and those who are displaced in their own country. We also need to go much further than what has been proposed to date. Britain has a long history of welcoming people who are fleeing war and persecution. This time should be no different.”

You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech in full here.

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Anne McTaggart MSP – “Collaborative Working in Creative Industries Vital”

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called on agencies in Scotland’s creative industries to work collaboratively to get the best results for Scotland’s people.

Ms McTaggart, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Minister for Europe and International Development, made her calls during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on the Economic Impact of the Film, TV and Video Games Industries in Scotland on Thursday 3rd September.

During the debate, Ms McTaggart argued that the establishment of a film and TV studio in Scotland is a priority for growing the sector, and that her own region Glasgow would be best placed to accommodate it.

She also made the case for greater spend in Scotland by public service broadcasters, stating that this represented a huge opportunity to increase skills and expertise in Scotland’s independent TV industry.

However, she did express concern that there is an apparent lack of ability among the creative agencies to work collaboratively.

Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said “There is no doubt that the creative industries bring valuable economic benefits to individuals, communities and the country as a whole. Scotland’s cultural and creative activities are as relevant to our international reputation, economic prosperity and trade and investment agenda as direct business support and the promotion of exports.

“It is important to note that, following the Smith commission, we will have a consultative role for the first time in the charter renewal process for the BBC, and it is vital that we work constructively across the parties to get the best deal for viewers in Scotland. The Scottish Labour Party is committed to calling for increased investment for BBC Scotland from within the licence fee settlement and for the retention of the quota system for commissioning from nations and regions.

“It is vital that all the agencies in the creative industries work collaboratively to achieve greater results and get the best results for Scotland’s people. Scottish Labour is open to working with the Scottish Government on providing better support to meet the needs of individuals and companies in the creative sector.”

You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.

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#RefugeesWelcome

 

refugees welcome final

Scottish Labour are matching our compassion with action. All our members and supporters will be mobilising to support those fleeing persecution.

#refugeeswelcome

Find out how you can help:

http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/blog/entry/we-will-match-our-compassion-with-action

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