Call for Councils to develop plans to commemorate the First World War

 Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife has written to Councils across the Mid Scotland & Fife Region to ask what plans are being developed to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014. In a letter to the Chief Executives of Perth & Kinross, Fife, Clackmannanshire, and Stirling Councils the Mid Scotland & Fife MSP has asked what plans and support will be put in place to help communities to organise events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.      Scottish Conservatives have called on the SNP Scottish Government to match the UK Conservative Government scheme to send high school pupils and teachers to tour battlefields including the Somme, Verdun and Fromelles between 2014 and 2019.

Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth Questions

During Portfolio Question time, Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser questioned John Swinney on Scottish Government aid to the Amazon Distribution Centre in Fife. Amazon were initially granted Scottish Government support after the online retailer claimed the plant would support 750 jobs, yet today only half that number are employed.

UK Government Broadband cash for Perth

Businesses and residents in Perth were today handed a massive boost thanks to the announcement that ‘Britain’s newest city’ will benefit from the UK Government’s Urban Broadband Fund. This £50 million bounty aims to improve broadband speed and interconnectivity, which will allow Britain to have the fastest and best connected communications network in Europe.  A further boost also came in news that the planned January 3p increase in fuel duty will also be scrapped, thus alleviating pressure from motorists.

Perth set to become super-connected City

Commenting on the news that Perth has been named as one of 12 UK cities which will benefit from expansion of ultra-fast broadband following a successful bid to secure a share of the UK Governments £50m broadband ‘super-connected’ city fund.

Save the high street? Shop Local this Christmas!

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has urged his constituents to avoid online retailers and support local shop owners to help revitalise the high street.Local retailers reportedly rely on the ‘golden quarter’ between October and December to bank their greatest levels of profit. Depressed levels of consumer spending and the advent of discount online retailers has critically affected the sustainability of rural high streets.

NHS Tayside ‘fiddle’ waiting list stats

During the Scottish Parliament’s Topical Questions session Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser quizzed the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil on the alleged manipulation of waiting list statistics by NHS Tayside. Earlier this year former Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon was forced to lead a full scale investigation into waiting list manipulation by NHS Lothian. Back in March the NHS Lothian incident was viewed as an isolated event. However, it now appears that waiting list manipulation is tool a used by under pressure health boards to meet Scottish Government targets.

Increase HGV Speed Limits

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has signed a motion in the Scottish Parliament that supports a campaign aimed at increasing the speed limit of HGV’s on single carriageway roads from 40mph to 50mph. Started by Inverness based driver Conor McKenna, the campaign aims to increase the speed limit for HGV’s in order to reduce accidents caused by frustrated drivers. This campaign has particular resonance for the A9 which has witnessed many accidents caused by frustrated drivers caught behind slow moving HGV’s on single carriageway portions of the road.

Royal Mail Press Release

Murdo Fraser MSP and Liz Smith MSP deliver Christmas encouragement to Royal Mail posties at Perth Delivery Office. Murdo and Liz have visited Royal Mail’s Perth delivery office to pass on best Christmas wishes and encouragement to the postmen and women at their busiest time of year. Mr Fraser and Ms Smith were shown round the office by local Delivery Office Manager Ian Jamieson and were introduced to all the postmen and women who are working hard doing their bit to sort and deliver all the cards and parcels in the Perth area in the run-up to Christmas.

Quick on the draw’, Breadalbane Academy Pupil’s Art Included in Calendar

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has congratulated primary seven pupil Anya Smith for her winning artwork that was included in ‘SCARF’s’ national calendar. Save Cash and Reduce Fuel (SCARF) chose the Breadalbane Academy pupil’s sketch for the November image in their annual calendar. SCARF’s vision is to encourage the sustainable use of energy which will allow affordable warmth for everyone. To achieve this they provide free impartial advice, encourage sustainable jobs and push for investment in energy efficiency.  Anya’s winning entry included bright colours, 3D lettering and a message to encourage car-pooling.

World AIDS Day

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament raising awareness of World AIDS Day. Saturday the 1st of December marks the 25th annual World AIDS Day, in 1988 it became the first global health awareness day.The main goal of the campaign is to show support for those suffering with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate and remember those who have died at the hands of the disease. The Parliamentary Motion reads as: That the Parliament recognises 1 December 2012 as World AIDS Day; understands that AIDS is a real problem in Scotland and throughout the world, with 90,000 people in the UK affected; urges education about HIV, acknowledging that HIV is spread in four main ways, through unprotected sex, sharing needles, mother to baby infection and infected blood; congratulates World AIDS Day for 25 years of raising awareness; acknowledges World AIDS Day as the first ever global health day; hopes that this latest event can help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS; encourages participation in World AIDS Day activities, and promotes the wearing of a red AIDS ribbon on World AIDS Day.