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I have warned the Tory government against increasing the state pension age, which would have dire and disproportionate consequences in Clydesdale and across Scotland.

The Tories’ threat comes following a report by the Centre for Social Justice - chaired by close Boris Johnson ally, Iain Duncan Smith - which concludes that the state pension age should rise to 75 over the next 16 years.

Any further increases in the state pension age could have a hugely disproportionate impact on Scotland due to its unique demographic needs.

The UK government must heed warnings raised in a new report that found the proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty in the UK is five times what it was in 1986 - the largest increase among western European countries.

The Tory’s government’s approach to the UK’s elderly population and state pension policy has been cruel and callous.

From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension, to the stripping away of free TV licences for the over 75s, this government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful.

Instead of taking on board policies written up by one of the architects of Tory austerity, the new Prime Minister must take action to address the dire levels of pensioner poverty in the UK.

The Tory government must take a step back and tackle these injustices - rather than ramping up the threats.

 

 

Caithness Row web

On the roof of Caithness Row with the renovation team.

I got a real bird's eye view of New Lanark this week, from the rooftop of Caithness Row during a scaffolding tour. 

 

Originally built for Robert Owen’s millworkers, Caithness Row was renovated to provide modern housing when conservation work began in the village some 50 years ago, but now the stonework and the roof are being renewed again with funding from Historic Environment Scotland.

 

As Catriona Burnett, Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme project co-ordinator told Aileen, renovating the New Lanark Trust buildings is like painting the Forth Bridge!

During the tour Graeme Frame, director of stonemasonry contractor CBC, spoke of some of the challenges in obtaining suitable materials – both the stone and the tools to work it - for conservation areas, and he showed her slates being checked before being recycled and reused on the roof.

CBC is a member of Stone Federation GB  which is working with the scheme to give Lanark Grammar pupils a mini-masterclass in traditional building skills in October, as they consider future careers. Aileen had the chance to meet two of CBC’s apprentices learning these skills working high above the ground during the tour.

It was great to watch traditional skills being put into practice and to see this historic building, already over 200 years old, being renovated so it can continue to provide homes for future generations.

Aileen Campbell MSP got a real bird's eye view of New Lanark this week, from the rooftop of Caithness Row during a scaffolding tour.

Originally built for Robert Owen’s millworkers, Caithness Row was renovated to provide modern housing when conservation work began in the village some 50 years ago, but now the stonework and the roof are being renewed again with funding from Historic Environment Scotland.

As Catriona Burnett, Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme project co-ordinator told Aileen, renovating the New Lanark Trust buildings is like painting the Forth Bridge!

During the tour Graeme Frame, director of stonemasonry contractor CBC, spoke of some of the challenges in obtaining suitable materials – both the stone and the tools to work it - for conservation areas, and he showed her slates being checked before being recycled and reused on the roof.

CBC is a member of Stone Federation GB  which is working with the scheme to give Lanark Grammar pupils a mini-masterclass in traditional building skills in October, as they consider future careers. Aileen had the chance to meet two of CBC’s apprentices learning these skills working high above the ground during the tour.

“It was great to watch traditional skills being put into practice and to see this historic building, already over 200 years old, being renovated so it can continue to provide homes for future generations,” said Aileen.

 

RWScotta

I had a lovely morning meeting the management team of R&W Scott in Carluke this week to hear a bit more about the company, founded in 1880, but also to congratulate them on their Living Wage Employer status. This is an important investment in their workforce and a clear commitment to the local area. I loved seeing the chocolate and jam get made too!
Many thanks to managing director John Easton and the team for welcoming me, and to Paul McMahon, head of manufacturing, for the tour.

RW Scott web 20190730 124927

 

 

PPL lottery logo large

 

 

 

Calling all Clydesdale charities and community groups - move fast and you could win a share of funding from a pot of over £3m raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Grants range from £500 to £20,000, but applications must be in by August 14.

The funding is given through three different trusts, with set themes, and groups should apply to the trust which best fits their project.

Past beneficiaries include Lanark Tennis Club, who received funding for equipment in 2012, and Equitots with a grant last year for its work in equine-assisted learning. In earlier years Lanark Playpark Action Group received £10,000 for its Lanark Loch project, and others receiving grants included Coalburn Miners Welfare Charitable Society, Milton Rovers Youth FC, and Lanark Triathlon Club.

We have already seen the difference these grants can make to projects improving to the lives of people locally. There are countless other organisations doing fantastic work across Clydesdale, who could also put these grants to good use and this is a great chance for them to obtain funding to get a new project off the ground, or to help extend an existing one.

The three trusts offer a wide scope for projects, especially in our rural area, but you will need to move quickly as there is a tight deadline for applications.

Groups should check out the funding guides for each Trust:.

• People’s Postcode Trust wants applications from projects aimed at promoting human rights, combatting discrimination and poverty prevention
• Postcode Community Trust supports initiatives working to improve the health and wellbeing of communities, including arts and physical recreation projects, as well as those with a focus on reducing isolation
• Postcode Local Trust provides funding that’s dedicated to improving outdoor space, in addition to increasing access to it. Groups looking to implement renewable energy strategies are also encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply, visit the trusts’ websites:
www.postcodetrust.org.uk

tarbrax collage

Enjoyed my visit to the WAT IF? community cafe (with its delicious baking!) in Tarbrax with Angela Crawley MP this week. It was a good chance for a blether with people and to learn more about the children's services run by the Haven, which supports families affected by life-limiting illnesses.

Surgeries

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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