After CultureNL – the department responsible for the management and operation of North Lanarkshire’s cultural services – announced their decision to close both Craigneuk and Newarthill libraries, Marion supported local grassroots campaigns in their bid to reverse the decision. The MP was also able to take the fight directly to the Chair of CultureNL. Sadly, Craigneuk library closed despite opposition but Newarthill library was saved as a result of the campaign.
At the beginning of 2016 Marion formed the Poverty Action Network – a project designed to link together public
representatives, organisations, churches, and charities from the community, who aim to combat poverty in the local area. Regular meetings allow member organisations to share expertise, awareness, and knowledge, with the first meeting of PAN having been convened in March 2016. The Poverty Action Network has went from strength to strength since, allowing closer ties and successfully facilitating working relationships between valuable community organisations and individuals.
As a result of Tory privatisation of public assets, the Brandon Post Office in Motherwell faces being franchised, a move Marion and many in the local community oppose. Marion was quick to act after this news, meeting with the Post Office and CWU to see what could be done to protect both the branch and jobs, and taking to the streets to discuss the issue with local people. Marion also set up an online consultation and petition, as she continues to champion the importance of the Brandon Post Office.
The ‘Well Society is one of a growing number of football supporters’ groups in Scotland who believe in the merits of fan-ownership of their local clubs. The Society now owns Motherwell Football Club, after successfully assuming a 76 percent shareholding from Les Hutchison in 2016, and aims to “be an exemplary community-centred club, democratically run by and for its fans and the citizens of Lanarkshire and beyond.” Marion is a supporter of community-owned football clubs and has been a member of the Well Society since the summer of 2016, saying: “as MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, I recognise the positive impact a stable, family-friendly and community-oriented football club can have in our constituency.”