This Week #17

Monday (2nd May 2016)


Tuesday (3rd May 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion was in the constituency working from her office in the Dalziel Building. Full contact details for Marion’s constituency office can be found here, with information about surgeries here.

Wednesday (4th May 2016)


On Wednesday, Marion received a response from the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) in relation to a written question regarding the Child Support Agency and Child Maintenance Service.

Marion had asked:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what mechanisms his Department has put in place for redress and backdated payments to the parent with care in the event that it is found that the non-resident parent (a) provided false information about their income and (b) failed to inform the relevant body of an increase in their income under (i) the Child Support Agency scheme and (ii) the Child Maintenance Service scheme; and what the timescales are for such redress or payments.

The Minister’s response was as follows:

All three statutory maintenance schemes allow the Secretary of State to revise any maintenance liability decision found to be incorrect as a result of misrepresentation by either parent. There is no timescale within which the misrepresentation must be discovered, before a revision may be completed.

Under the 2012 scheme, in the first instance maintenance is assessed using historic income information from HMRC. Annual reviews are carried out using HMRC income data and liabilities are adjusted accordingly. Over the lifetime of a case changes to income should therefore be reflected appropriately.

Where an individual is assessed on current income, they are obliged to inform the Child Maintenance Service of any increase to their income of 25% or over. If they fail to do so and the Child Maintenance Service subsequently becomes aware of an increase in their income, the Secretary of State may still calculate a new assessment, taking effect at the point the income increased.

Any arrears that result from such “retrospective” action will nonetheless be due and CMS will take enforcement action if the Paying Parent does not arrange to pay them themselves. The CMS has a comprehensive range of enforcement actions at its disposal, to help ensure that parents fulfil their obligations.

All maintenance liability decisions carry an underlying right of appeal to an independent Tribunal.

Thursday (5th May 2016)


Thursday brought with it polling day for the Scottish Elections. Marion was out and about in the constituency campaigning for Clare Adamson as MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw and #BothVotesSNP.


Friday (6th May 2016)



This Week #14

Monday (11th April 2016)


Tuesday (12th April 2016

On Tuesday, an emergency steel debate was called in Parliament. Although the Scottish Government and Steel Task Force, of which Marion was a member, were able to find a buyer for Scotland’s steelworks, the UK Government still needs to form a full and proper plan for the manufacturing and steel sector for the UK.

The UK Government also needs to oppose market economic status for China to prevent further dumping of Chinese steel in Europe. However, the Tories care far more about forming cosy relationships with Beijing than they do about saving the livelihoods of steelworkers and a long term future for steel.

Marion also submitted an Early Day Motion praising the Scottish Government and Scottish Steel Taskforce for their hard work in ensuring a new owner was found for the steelworks at Dalzell and Clydebridge.

Wednesday (13th April 2016)

Marion spoke in a debate on education on Wednesday. Education is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, however Marion was on hand to advise Westminster MPs using my experience in further education in Scotland. It is essential that when creating new, independent academies the cost is acknowledged and that focus is not lost to the detriment of English pupils. Marion wishes her Westminster colleagues the best in securing a bright future for their youngsters.

Thursday (14th April 2016)


Friday (15th April 2016)

On Friday, Marion was in Motherwell’s Asda to meet local people and provide contact information for assistance with any issues they may be having. It was a very productive visit which allowed Marion to meet a number of people living within the constituency, keen to discuss a variety of matters.


Saturday (16th April 2016)



This Week #13

Monday (4th April 2016)


Tuesday (5th April 2016)

With the parliament still in recess, Marion used Tuesday to work from her constituency office. The Motherwell & Wishaw MP was also keen to meet local people, visiting the Woolpack Knitting Club at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre with Motherwell & Wishaw’s SNP candidate for the Scottish elections Clare Adamson.

Marion & Clare discuss local issues at the Knitting Club.
Marion & Clare discuss local issues at the Knitting Club.

Wednesday (6th April 2016)

On Wednesday, Marion and Clare visited the Basics Food Bank at Motherwell Baptist Church before meeting local people in the Well Cafe, also in the church. Marion and her staff have been present at the Well Cafe on a frequent basis over the last few months in order to provide any assistance they can to local people, particularly those having to resort to using the foodbank to get by.

Marion & Clare with volunteers & Pastor Baxter at the Well Cafe.

Thursday (7th April 2016)


Friday (8th April 2016)

Friday brought with it the Dalzell handover, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joining Marion, Margaret Ferrier MP (Rutherglen & Hamilton West) and Clare Adamson (SNP MSP candidate for Motherwell & Wishaw) to the mark the occasion. The First Minister had vowed to leave no stone unturned in finding a new owner for the steelworks and, after a lot of hard work, the Steel Task Force was successful.

Marion, Margaret Ferrier MP, FM Nicola Sturgeon & Clare Adamson.

Later in the day, Marion joined Fergus Ewing MSP (Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Energy & Tourism) and Clare Adamson at the opening of the Motherwell & Wishaw SNP hub on Windmillhill Street ahead of next month’s Scottish elections. In order to ensure both an SNP majority government at Holyrood and an SNP MSP for Motherwell & Wishaw, make it #BothVotesSNP on the 5th of May.

Clare Adamson with Fergus Ewing MSP & Marion.

Over the course of the day, Marion and her staff were also at Theo’s Cafe in Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre to hold this month’s surgery.


This Week #12

Monday (21st March 2016)


Tuesday (22nd March 2016)

On Tuesday, Marion was busy in London with a day of parliamentary duties and meetings, including that of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People.


Wednesday (23rd March 2016)


Wednesday brought with it the weekly meeting of the Education Select Committee, focussing on social work reform. This was also the day the Huffington Post published a fantastic guest blog written by Marion on the lack of visible older women in public life, in which the MP discussed her new All Party Parliamentary Group set up to combat the issue:

As a women who entered politics later in life I want to encourage other women to realise their full potential and help others to get involved in public life. Women have a wealth of experience and expertise but unfortunately we are less likely to put our head above the parapet.

That’s why I decided to set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Encouraging Older Women in Public Life to raise awareness of the skill-level and experience that older women can bring to organisations and campaigns.

Women over 50 make up 19% of society but this isn’t reflected in public life – there is a dearth of older women on TV and radio and we are under-represented on local authorities, in Parliament and in other public arenas. The life skills older women have to offer greatly enrich public life and helping more women into these areas of influence will help to truly reflect our society.

Later in the day, Marion took part in a Westminster Hall debate on enforcing the National Minimum Wage for those who work in the care sector.

Thursday (24th March 2016)


On Thursday, the news that Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing had secured a deal with Liberty House to buy and operate the Dalzell and Clydebridge steelworks was confirmed. The Scottish Steel Task Force, of which Marion was a committed member, had worked tirelessly over the last few months to find a buyer.


Friday (25th March 2016)


Friday marked the beginning of the parliament’s Easter Recess which will run until the House returns on the 11th of April. Marion returned home from London in time to speak at the SNP Youth‘s band night at Jack Daniels, endorsing Clare Adamson for the Motherwell and Wishaw seat in May’s Scottish elections and #BothVotesSNP.