Constituency Office: Christmas Closure Details

Please note that my constituency office in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell will close this evening, opening again on Monday 8th of January 2018.

During this period my staff and I will not be on hand to respond to e-mails or receive telephone calls. However, should you e-mail me or telephone my office and leave a message, someone will be able to deal with your enquiry upon the office’s re-opening in January.

If you are experiencing a local issue of some urgency the following emergency telephone numbers at North Lanarkshire Council may be helpful:

  • Environmental enquiries – 01698 403110 (including special uplifts and bin collection, road repairs, lighting faults, abandoned vehicles and pest control problems)
  • General enquiries – 01698 403200
  • Housing Repairs – 0800 678 1166
  • Gas/solid fuel heating repairs – 0845 606 1555
  • Homelessness – 0800 953 2424
  • Anti-social behaviour – 0300 123 1382
  • Social Work Emergency Service – 0800 121 4114

For more contact details on helpful organisations, also check out the Support section of my website.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Chirstmas Card Competition: Winners!

A big thank you to all the pupils across the constituency who took part in my annual Christmas card competition, my office received a huge amount of wonderful and creative entries. Thanks too, of course, to the staff at primary schools across the area who facilitated the children being able to take part.

The job of choosing just three winning entries was as difficult as ever but, after some long deliberation, I am happy to announce the following winners:

Infants: Oskar Lysek (Christ the King Primary)
 Alistair Millward (Logan’s Primary)
Abigail Craig (Wishaw Academy Primary)

A big congratulations to Oskar, Alistair & Abigail, and a huge well done for their fantastic entries!

I was privileged to be able to visit all three of the winners at their respective schools, photos of which can be found above.

Thanks again & merry Christmas!


The Scottish Government’s Budget

The Scottish Government’s Budget today has ensured that many of our public services are protected from Tory cuts. While our budget has been cut from Westminster, using the powers we have the Scottish Government has reformed the income tax system to ensure those on lower incomes do not pay the price while making those on higher incomes pay their fair share. It is the most progressive income tax system in the UK. Here’s some key facts:

70% of tax payers will be paying less next year than they are now 

Over half will pay less income tax than is paid in the rest of the UK 

Public sector pay increase 

Additional funding for mental health services, particularly child and adolescent services 

£4 billion Investment in infrastructure 

£756m investment towards 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 goal (a portion of an overall £3billion investment) 

£400m increase in health resource funding and £110m investment in GP services and primary care 

£22.5m funding to protect culture and the arts 

Funding for ‘Ending Homelessness Together Fund’ 

£20.4 million of additional investment to protect the police revenue budget and an additional £5.5 million for the fire service 

£94m real terms increase in local government budget 


Brexit: One shambles after another!

ARTICLE: DUP vows to block any move that “separates” Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK

The UK Government is moving from one shambles to another over Brexit.

Scotland wants to be kept in the single market, but Theresa May has refused this. Yet, Northern Ireland is set to have economic frameworks in place that would keep it in the single market and trading with the Republic of Ireland. And when this was announced, the DUP – who are propping up the ailing Tories in Westminster – made a statement saying that they would oppose anything that would mean Northern Ireland has different economic frameworks from the rest of the UK.

If Northern Ireland can have different arrangements, then so too can Scotland. The Scottish Government outlined how it was possible last year in a detailed document.

We have seen fiasco after fiasco from the UK Government which is unwilling to listen. It’s time they got a grip and started acting in the interests of all parts of the UK rather than allow far right Brexiteers in her party dictate what happens.



I  was delighted to nip into Tesco and support their Food Bank Collection!

They are asking customers to buy an extra can with their shopping to donate! #everycanhelps

I am pictured with Liz who said that there has been magnificent support from the local people.

I am proud to represent such a caring and generous community.


ALDI Christmas Eve Food Surplus

ALDI is offering local organisations the opportunity to receive surplus food from their stores on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Please contact your local store to find out if they are participating in this and see below information on how organisations can access this:

As our stores will shut at 4pm on Christmas Eve until the 27th of December, we will have a variety of good quality surplus food products that we wish to redistribute in support of less fortunate individuals and to prevent food going to waste.

We will have the following food product types available to collect on Christmas Eve, subject to store sell-through and stock levels: 
• Fresh fruit and vegetables
• Fresh meat
• Fresh fish
• Bread and bakery products
• Other chilled products (e.g. dairy, desserts, ready meals etc.)

It is important to note that these products will have a relatively short best before / expiry life left at this stage, however all products will have at least one day remaining.

We are unfortunately unable to deliver products on a locally, so it would be essential that your organisation is able to collect. We will expect the levels of food available to vary, however estimations of around 20-30 crates will be expected from each store. If you wish to collect all products available, we would therefore recommend providing a large car or van, or being prepared to make multiple journeys. However you are more than welcome to take as much of the products offered as you can use – you are not required to take all products. We would also ask to ensure that you bring appropriate collection containers (bags, crates, boxes, etc.) as we will only have a limited number of cardboard boxes potentially available for use.

As noted above, we are asking groups to collect from stores on Christmas Eve only at between 4:30 – 5:30pm after the store has closed. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate collections outside this time.

We would be grateful if you could please let us know if you would like to take us up on this exciting opportunity by Friday 8th December so that we can brief the stores and ask them to make contact with you to make arrangements. If you are not able to take advantage of this, but can recommend a different charity group local to you that may be able to, we would be grateful if you could pass this message on to them and ask them to get in touch with us by the aforesaid deadline and via the address above.

Please respond with the following details;

Charity / Group Name
Main Contact Name
Main Contact Telephone
City / Town
Store Postcodes Which You Would Like To Collect From
Type Of Products That You Wish To Collect

We look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully seeing food go to those who need it at Christmas time.

Kindest regards,

Nicki Monaghan

Energy and Environment Team

ALDI Stores Ltd
Holly Lane
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (1827) 711-800
Fax: +44 (1827) 710-899


Fir Park Toy Drive Tonight

Pleased to support the annual MFC Podcast Toy Drive at Fir Park tonight, which is being assisted by the fantastic Motherwell FC Community Trust.

The toy drive, which was first held last year, aims to collect as many toys & games as possible to then be distributed amongst children in our local communities this Christmas.

The collection of donations will be taking place between 6.30pm and 7.40pm outside the Davie Cooper Stand, ahead of the Motherwell versus Celtic game this evening.

If you’re heading along to the match, or just passing the general area, and can drop off a donation (be it a brand new item, or just a used toy or game in good condition), please do so and support this great cause.


Time for new heroes!

Honoured to make a short appearance in such an inspirational video!

The build up to Sunday’s final has been fantastic for the town and surrounding areas. Good luck to Motherwell FC in the Betfred Cup final, and I hope all supporters have a truly memorable day!


Yesterday’s Budget…

The Chancellor’s budget yesterday can only be described as business as usual. More cuts to Scotland’s budget. More damage to our economy. And more communities pushed into unemployment and poverty.

Economic growth forecasts show the consequences of allowing far right Brexiteers to steer the Government by taking us out of the single market. It is the first time in years that growth is forecast to grow below 2% every year. This Government has no plan.

Pressure from the SNP has resulted in changes to the Universal Credit system and also forced the UK Government into a U-turn on charging VAT to Scottish Police and Fire Services. Despite now admitting it was wrong to tax our emergency services, the Tories will not refund the £140million robbed from us since 2013.

The Chancellor tried to spin his concession as a win for Scottish Tory MPs. However, the SNP asked for VAT to be scrapped 139 times. I even asked a PMQ on it. If the Chancellor’s U-turn is the result of Scottish Tory MPs as he says, it means the UK Government only charged VAT – starving our services of vital funds – out of sheer spite of the SNP. They’re message is clear: vote Tory and they will offer a small umbrella in the middle of a storm – or they will punish vital public services.

If this is true, what does this say about David Mundell as Scottish Secretary if he could not fight Scotland’s corner pre-2017?

Despite the Chancellor’s claim that Scotland will be £2billion better off, this is not discretionary or day-to-day spending. £1.1billion of this money is a Financial Transaction which has strings attached and has to be paid back to the UK Government. The Fraser of Allender Institute – a reputable organisation – has said the Scottish block grant will continue to decline in real terms. By 2019/20, the block grant will be around £500million lower than in 2017/18.

Scotland is being punished by a Tory Government we did not vote for. Forced austerity and an extreme Brexit, the UK Government does not care about what happens to our economy and ordinary people. We need an alternative that will not result in communities being torn apart and economic ruin.


Good luck Motherwell!

As a member of The Well Society and a big supporter of the great work carried out by the Motherwell FC Community Trust in our local communities, I am wishing Motherwell FC the very best of luck this week ahead of the club’s Betfred League Cup final appearance on Sunday.

It has been a fantastic achievement for the club to reach this weekend’s cup final and it will be a great occasion for the town and surrounding areas.

I hope that all supporters heading to Hampden on Sunday have a memorable day and that the Steelmen put in a performance for us all to be proud of.