Fort Kinnaird retail park sits in my constituency of Edinburgh Eastern. A buzzing shopping centre, it boasts a great selection of restaurants and cinema screens – attracting 14 million visitors last year alone.
Until June, it was part owned by the UK Crown Estate, which manages a variety of businesses, properties and land assets.
Every Crown Estate property and asset in Scotland were devolved to Crown Estate Scotland two years ago following the Scotland Act 2016 – except for Fort Kinnaird.
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”.
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Families in Edinburgh Eastern will benefit from almost £1 billion of Scottish Government investment in free childcare, SNP MSP Ash Denham has said.
Following extensive engagement to reach a shared understanding of the costs of the expansion, Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders have reached agreement on a multi-year funding package.
The Scottish Government will invest an additional £567 million per year by 2021-22, bringing total spending on early learning and childcare to around £990 million.
All three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds, will be entitled to 1140 hours of free childcare – effectively mirroring the primary school week.
Recent figures released have revealed that over 6,000 online adverts were posted in the last year for dogs, cats and rabbits in Lothian.
The stats come as the Charity Blue Cross for Pets aims to raise awareness in potential pet owners of the dangers of buying household pets through the internet.
With tens of thousands of pets sold online each year in Scotland, Charity Blue Cross is calling for a change in legislation to protect animals bred for sale.
Ash Denham, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, has criticised the UK government for “driving families to food banks” after new figures reveal the number of food parcels has increased over the past year.
The Trussell Trust’s annual foodbank statistics show that the number of food parcels distributed in Scotland surged by 17% in 2017-18 to record levels – with Tory welfare policy remaining the main driver.
Benefit delays and sanctions are the primary reason for referrals, with the roll-out of universal credit a factor in the rise.
The SNP have called on the UK government to reverse the benefits freeze and introduce a real living wage to help ensure families have enough money to live on.
Like anyone, Ash Denham can be infuriated by litter. It blights the landscape, and even as there appears a move towards more enlightened times, user behaviours and a throw away culture are hard to combat.
But unlike others, she has to do something about it. She is MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, after all, with a responsibilty to a constituency that covers a diverse area of the capital.
It includes suburban residential areas, but and also the sprawling beachfronted community of Portobello, and surrounding coast. And she says the people she represents see and feel the issue keenly.
“The impact of litter, plastic and pollution on the local communities is a common, pressing concern for all my constituents,” she says, “Large amounts of litter and flytipping occur within inland areas, such as Gilmerton, Craigmillar.
Edinburgh Eastern MSP, Ash Denham, has joined forces with pupils from Brunstane Primary School and us to encourage residents to roll up their sleeves and help remove rubbish from their local area.
The MSP kicked off our Clean Up Scotland Spring Clean 2018 initiative at Brunstane Primary School, where she joined pupils to pick up litter from in and around the school grounds.
Ash Denham MSP joined us to call for volunteers from across the country to take part in the biggest clean up of Scotland yet – to work together to help transform the areas that they live and reduce the amount of litter on Scotland’s streets.