This year’s summer break has not followed the usual recess script. Following my promotion to Minister for Community Justice in June, the past couple of months have felt like something out of Yes Minister- a whirlwind of meetings, reports and civil servants as I become familiar with my new role.
It is a huge privilege to be part of the Scottish Government, and I am looking forward to overseeing a variety of areas including improving access to justice, tackling anti-social behaviour, a review of the Child Scotland Act 1995 and interacting with the legal profession to keep communities across Scotland safe.
Ash Denham MSP has commended the generosity of her constituents for their continued donations to the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank over the summer holidays.
The Edinburgh School Uniform Bank provides good-quality school uniform and other clothing, equipment and supplies required for the school to children affected by poverty across the capital.
The charity aims to provide the children most affected by financial hardship go to school with dignity and the right uniform to make the most of their education.
Ash Denham MSP has commended Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company, located in her constituency of Edinburgh Eastern, on being chosen as the Scottish Parliament’s new tea and coffee supplier.
Based in Portobello beside The Firth of Forth, Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company has over 200 years of experience and remains one of Scotland’s oldest tea and coffee companies.
The new tea and coffee blends will be served throughout Scottish Parliament catering services from 30th July 2018.
SNP MSP Ash Denham has called on people across Edinburgh to get involved with the latest series of events to gather views on the proposed bottle deposit return scheme.
The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the scope of a deposit return scheme, to boost recycling and cut plastic waste – with the proposal being that customers would pay a deposit when they purchase a product, which would be refunded when the item is recycled. The scheme already operates in many other parts of Europe.
Zero Waste Scotland will be holding an event at Edinburgh Mela on the 1st and 2nd of September, to give people across Edinburgh the chance to put forward their views on the scheme.
Ash Denham MSP has called on beachgoers to listen to the advice of the coastguard following several recent incidents concerning inflatable pool toys.
The coastguard have advised beach swimmers not to take inflatable swimming toys to the beach after several call outs over the past week, with a young girl drifting out to sea last weekend and fears that children had been blown out to sea at Portobello on Sunday.
Rescue crews responded, with lifeboats and a helicopter deployed to search the area. Ash Denham commended the work of the rescue crews in responding to the emergency call outs.
Cases of vandalism across Edinburgh City have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.
In 2007/08, there were 265 instances of vandalism per 10,000 of the population in Edinburgh – which has fallen sharply to 106 by 2016/17, a drop of 60%.
The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland”.
MSP SLAMS TORIES OVER HANDLING OF FORT KINNAIRD SALE
Ash Denham MSP has slammed the UK Government over its handling of the sale of its share of Fort Kinnaird retail park, located in her constituency of Edinburgh Eastern.
The Crown Estate sold its 50% share in Fort Kinnaird for £167 million last month, after the UK Government refused to devolve the site to the Scottish Government two years ago following the passing of the Scotland Bill in 2016.
The SNP has repeatedly called for the money from the sale be returned to be invested in communities across Scotland.
Devolution is approaching its 20th anniversary. Yet, instead of preparing to celebrate all of its achievements, we are instead forced to defend the devolution settlement and the powers of our Scottish Parliament from a UK Government power grab. Devolution is extremely popular in Scotland, with the overwhelming majority of Scots wanting decisions impacting Scotland to be made here. For the UK Government to try to take powers away from Scotland is disrespectful of the devolution settlement, the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland. The SNP is committed to defending these powers so that Scotland continues to have a say over its future.
It appears that summer has come early, but the sunny weather of late has not been enjoyed by many of my constituents.
With the sun and summer heat, the year-long smell from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works becomes even more unbearable- a smell that continues to plague communities throughout the constituency. Local residents have raised concerns over the smells of sewage and burning rubber coming from the water works for many years.
And with the recent hot weather, I have had many complaints from constituents that the smell has been worse than usual.
Access to vital medicines for rare diseases is of pressing concern to many of my constituents and to many patients across Scotland. I am pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised this and has taken significant steps to widen access to medicines so that patients can access new medicines faster.