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MARION READY TO HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL

JOBS, PUBLIC SERVICES AND SCOTLAND’S WILL KEY PRIORITIES

The SNP’s candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw, Marion Fellows, has said she is ready to fight the December General Election and will put jobs, public services and Scotland’s sovereignty first.

Elected as the Member of Parliament in 2015, Mrs Fellows acts as the SNP’s Small Business spokesperson at Westminster and has fought against Tory austerity policies such unfair disability assessments, unpaid child maintenance, low pay and precarious work, and the managed decline of the public Post Office network locally and nationally.

Locally, Marion has fought to protect libraries and bin collections from the Labour-Tory Council Coalition cuts, the Autism One-Stop Shop, Overtown village status; and called for action by the council on rat infestations, improvements to the railway bridge in Cleland and the Shieldmuir station park and ride, and litter and chip vans.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“I am ready to fight this election for communities in Motherwell, Wishaw and Bellshill. A vote for the SNP is a vote to protect Scotland’s jobs, public services and the democratic will of the Scottish people. I will fight Scotland’s corner against any UK Government and protect our right to decide our EU membership with a peoples’ vote. Scotland must have the right to choose its own future.

“If Labour aren’t fighting each other, they’re cosying up to the Tories by voting for Johnson’s damaging Brexit deal or being in coalition with them in North Lanarkshire Council. Labour are all over the place. But the SNP are clear: we want to stop the Tories and protect Scotland’s sovereignty.

“I am fighting for the disabled denied Personal Independence Payments; families pushed into poverty by Universal Credit; workers earning poverty wages on zero-hours contracts; the small businesses put to the bottom of the pile; the WASPI women denied their pensions; the children living in poverty who have been denied the support to secure them a promising future.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working for and representing communities over the past four years. I want to keep fighting for them.”

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World Autism Awareness Week

It is World Autism Awareness Week. I want to pay tribute to all those with autism and their families as well as the different organisations that work extremely hard to support them. Particularly to the people and staff from the former Lanarkshire Autism One Stop Shop, in Motherwell, that fought so hard to save it.

In such a week, we should take the effort to further our understanding of the condition and learn of the simple things that can be done to accommodate people with autism in society.

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This Week #18

Monday (9th May 2016)

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Tuesday (10th May 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion was back in London undertaking a busy day of meetings, briefings and other parliamentary business.


Wednesday (11th May 2016)

Wednesday provided Marion with the opportunity to question the Scottish Secretary on the importance of the EU in developing Scotland’s energy policy. A report from EY was critical of the UK Government’s approach to the energy sector stating that it’s not only stalling project development and investment, but jeopardising UK energy security. Energy is an essential part of any society, but it is particularly important to Scotland’s current economy and also in the future as we seek to expand and develop renewables.

Marion asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP:

This week’s EY report was critical of the UK Government’s approach to the energy sector, stating that it is not only stalling project development and investment but jeopardising UK energy security. Does the Secretary of State agree that the best way for Scotland’s energy policy to develop is within the EU?

Mr Mundell replied:

I absolutely agree that it is in the best interests of Scotland to remain in the EU, and it is also in the best interests of Scotland to remain in the UK, because it has been clearly set out that what is best for the future of Scotland’s energy sector is a UK-wide common market.

Later in the day, Marion spoke in a debate on pension uprating for British pensioners living abroad. Currently, there are 550,000 British pensioners who live abroad who, despite having worked hard and paid their national insurance all their lives, are declined pension increases whereas domestic pensioners are not. 80% of these pensioners live in Canada and Australia – our Commonwealth partners. The government claims that it would be too expensive to implement universal uprating, but they have no issues finding millions for bombing abroad and billions for Trident; whereas our pensioners abroad are left to suffer from real term decreases on their pensions year on year.

Furthermore, the government has failed to consider a change in current pension policy or even a review. Pensions are not a benefit; they are not a privilege; and they are not a handout. They are a right and no one should be declined what is rightfully theirs. Marion’s contribution can be read in full here.

Also on Wednesday, the local newspapers broke the news that Marion had “smashed” Frank Roy’s parliamentary contributions record in her first year as MP for Motherwell & Wishaw.


Thursday (12th May 2016)

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Friday (13th May 2016)

13thMay

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This Week #16


Monday (25th April 2016)

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Tuesday (26th April 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion had the usual busy day of meetings, parliamentary business and whip duties.


Wednesday (27th April 2016)

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday Marion quizzed David Cameron on why the promises made by the Tories and Labour during the referendum to protect steel and shipbuilding jobs were broken:

The Prime Minister and his Government did next to nothing to save the Scottish steel industry; it was left to the Scottish Government to do that. The UK Government are now breaking the promises made by Tories and Labour to protect the Scottish shipbuilding industry. Why does the Prime Minister think that Scottish jobs are so expendable?

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister chose not to answer the question asked, instead continuing the peddle the inaccurate claim that the Scottish Government chose not to use Scottish steel in the construction of the Forth Road Bridge:

Frankly, the Scottish Government and the UK Government should work together. One thing we should work together on is procurement. It is worth asking how much Scottish steel was in the Forth road bridge—zero! None! Absolutely nothing! Yes. What a contrast with the warships we are building, which of course we would not be building if we had an independent Scotland. We back the steel industry with actions as well as words.

This was unfortunately a factually incorrect response from Mr Cameron. No Scottish steel firm made any bids for the steel contracts as confirmed by Transport Scotland. The Dalzell plant only makes steel plate; it is not a steel fabricator. However, 300 Scottish firms benefited by being awarded 76% of the subcontracts for the FRC.

Later in the day, Alex Salmond MP decided to raise a point of order in the chamber in direct response to the Prime Minister’s inaccurate response to Marion’s question:

On a point of order, Mr Speaker—a wider point of order —would it be possible for us to develop in our procedures an opportunity for the Prime Minister rapidly to correct any misleading impressions that he inadvertently gives during Prime Minister’s Question Time? For example, I know that he would be incredibly anxious today, following his general attack on the procurement policies of the Scottish Government with specific reference to the Forth crossing, to acknowledge that, in fact, 45% of the total orders, which amounted to £540 million, were placed with Scottish companies.

I know that the Prime Minister would also want to correct the misleading impression that there was no Scottish steel in the contract by acknowledging that steel from the Dalzell plate mill was used in the girders at either end of the bridge. And I fully understand that he would want to acknowledge that the reason why there was no Scottish bidder for the main subcontract was the closure of the Ravenscraig steel mill by a previous Tory Government in the 1990s, which removed our capacity to supply such steel.

I know, Mr Speaker, that the provision of such an opportunity would swallow up the entire time of the House, given the many mistakes that this Prime Minister makes, but in view of the clarity of this particular example, perhaps you could consider my new, innovative prime ministerial correction procedure.


Thursday (28th April 2016)

Over the past few weeks, Marion has received a number of heartfelt emails from constituents regarding the closure of the Autism One Stop Shop in Motherwell – and on Thursday, the Motherwell & Wishaw MP raised their concerns in Parliament.

The OSS provides invaluable support to those with autism and their families and it is essential that this service remains. Marion urges North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Councils to fund the scheme to aid these vulnerable families and will go on fighting for this valuable service.


Friday (29th April 2016)

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Save our Lanarkshire Autism “One Stop Shop” Petition

Petition: Save our Lanarkshire Autism “One Stop Shop”

The Scottish Government set up the Autism One Stop Shops to offer support and advice to both children and adults with autism as well their families and professionals. The funding is now due to change hands from the Government to the local councils. The local councils are not committing to funding them which is going to result in closure within the next two months.

The One Stop Shop offers an advice line, drop in sessions, one to one appointments, workshops, support groups, a resource room full of books and information. As a parent when your child is diagnosed you are given two things:- a list of books to read and the contact details of the local One Stop Shop. With no one to turn to I phoned them and spoke to an advisor who met with me later that day. They have been the most wonderful support for myself, my daughter and the rest of my family. Without them my life would have fallen apart.

The One Stop Shop supports the whole of both North and South Lanrkshire. Hundreds of families who will be affected by its closure.

Please save our One Stop Shop.

Please sign this petition.

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MP PLEDGES TO FIGHT FOR AUTISM ONE STOP SHOP IN PARLIAMENT AND WRITES TO COUNCIL LEADER FOR FUNDING

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, last week pledged to fight for the future of the Autism One Stop Shop based in Motherwell.

Marion made the commitment during a Westminster Parliamentary debate on Autism Awareness.

In the same week, Mrs Fellows wrote to council leader, Jim Logue, to press him to commit to funding to keep the shop open.

To date, the Autism One Stop Shop has provided comprehensive support to 320 people with autism; 945 parents; and to 323 professionals, including assistance with sleeping, dieting and learning.

The shop faces closure after South and North Lanarkshire Council declined to fund the continuation of the scheme. All other councils in which an OSS is based have agreed to provide the funding to keep them open.

Marion commented:

“Over the past few weeks, I have received a number of heartfelt emails from people in the community – and I have raised their concerns in Parliament.

“The OSS provides invaluable and comprehensive assistance to those with autism and their families through support, education and even respite.

“NLC have recommended the HOPE service as an alternative. Although the staff there do fantastic work, it only provides assistance to children; after diagnosis; and only offers support for socialising. The service also charges a fee which will limit access to low income families.

“The SNP group at NLC made provisions to secure funding for the OSS in their proposed budget, but this was rejected by the Labour council.

“Labour at NLC pledged during the budget process that they would try to “protect the services which provide support to the most vulnerable people” – this is one such service and it is therefore imperative that NLC secures funding to protect it.”