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SCOTTISH BUDGET AGREEMENT REACHED

Agreement has been reached in the Scottish Parliament for the 2020/21 budget. As well as the original pledges, the SNP Scottish Government will deliver:

🚌 Free bus travel for under-18s.

🏢 An extra £95m for local authorities – including £6m for North Lanarkshire.

👮‍♀️ £13m for frontline Police and £5m capital.

🌅 £25m on energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty.

🚲 An extra £5m on rail and £15m on active travel.

Given the increase in North Lanarkshire Council’s funding, I hope Councillors of all parties will meet soon to agree how local people and services can be protected from the relentless onslaught of Tory austerity.

These pledges are in addition to those made earlier this month:

🏥 Record funding of £15bn for Health and Social Care – including £117m in mental health.

🏠 £800m and an additional £300m to build more homes beyond the 50,000 target of this Parliament.

🧒 £3.4bn – part of which will be towards the new Scottish Child Payment which will lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

🚆 £270m in rail investment and an extra £16m on concessionary travel.

👮‍♀️ £37m extra for Policing.

🏢 A real terms increase of 4.3% for local authorities.

💵 For the third consecutive year, more than half of Scottish income tax payers will pay less tax than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

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This Week #7 (2018)

Monday 22nd October

STORY: SNP MP OFFERS PERSONAL REFLECTION ON WORLD MENOPAUSE DAY



Tuesday 23rd October



Wednesday 24th October



Thursday 25th October



Friday 26th October



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This Week #48

20th – 26th March 2017





Marion was in London on Tuesday working hard, with a busy day of parliamentary duties and briefings within Westminster.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP also contributed to the Fuel Poverty debate in the House of Commons:

In Scotland, 58% of single pensioner households are in fuel poverty, as are 44% of pensioner couples. The UK as a whole has one of the highest rates of fuel poverty and one of the most inefficient housing stocks in Europe. Fuel poverty rates are higher in Scotland. It is an indisputable fact that more often than not it is colder in Braemar than in Bournemouth, and that means that houses must be heated from a lower ambient temperature and for longer periods throughout the year.

Today in London the sun is shining, and although it is cold, older and vulnerable people could probably venture outside. This morning I received two picture messages showing snow lying on the ground outside my Wishaw home. Not many older or vulnerable people will be venturing outside there until it thaws. They will need to heat their homes in the meantime, and the cost of heating those homes is a burden that many of them simply cannot afford. That is shameful. When people are old, infirm or immobile, the cost of heating can be excessive, especially for those on low fixed incomes.

Marion’s full speech can be found here.



On Wednesday, Marion had her usual morning engagements at the Education Select Committee meeting and Prime Minister’s Questions. The afternoon, however, was rocked by the attack at Westminster which led to the sad deaths of PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran, and Leslie Rhodes.



Despite being another busy day of hard work at Westminster, Thursday was also a day of reflection on the events from the previous day.

During the Business of the House session within the Commons, Marion stated:

I associate myself with all the remarks and condolences that have been expressed so eloquently this morning. I refer particularly to my hon. Friend Pete Wishart who mentioned going home; I am going home tonight, and I am very grateful to be doing so. Unfortunately, I will miss a rally at the bottom cross in Wishaw; it has been organised quickly to support the refugees that we will soon be welcoming and against a proposed Scottish Defence League march in Wishaw against refugees.



On Friday, Marion was back in the constituency, hosting a fantastic and very successful funding event for local people and organisations.

 

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This Week #10


Monday (7th March 2016)

On Monday, Marion travelled to London for parliamentary business, including lending support to the FairFuelUK campaign. FairFuelUK is the award winning Public Affairs Campaign that fights for lower fuel duty and fairer more transparent pricing at the pumps.

Freeze Fuel Duty
Marion & some SNP colleagues support the freezing of fuel duty.

 


Tuesday (8th March 2016)

OlderWomenInPublicLife


Wednesday (9th March 2016)

On Wednesday, Marion questioned the Minister for the Cabinet Office on the Government’s anti-advocacy policy which would disallow bodies which receive government grants, including charities, from attempting to influence government policy.

This would prevent the use of funding to inform public policy and bans organisations also from discussing issues related to the work funded by the grant with government officials or parliamentarians.

This means that the expertise, knowledge and insight from these bodies are removed from the policy making process. It is essential that these benefits are retained in government and reflected in policy.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House: 

Last but not least, I call Marion Fellows.

Marion asked: 

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Almost two thirds of people in Scotland want to see charities speaking up for those affected by Government policies, which is why the Scottish Government and the Scottish National Party are against the new anti-advocacy clause. Will the Minister commit to assessing the impact it will have on Scottish charities?

Matthew Hancock, Minister of the Cabinet Office & Paymaster General, refused to provide the request commitment: 

Once again, we have a request from the SNP for hard-working people to pay their taxes and for those taxes then to be used to lobby the very Government that are giving out the grants. That is wrong in principle. We have been using this clause in practice for more than a year and because it was working well we have extended it across government.

 


Thursday (10th March 2016)

Marion was delighted to appear on the Sunday Post Politics Podcast on Thursday, discussing PMQs, the Scottish whisky industry and the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on encouraging older women into politics and public life.

https://soundcloud.com/the-sunday-post/marion-fellows-richard-gere-sunday-post-politics-podcast-mar9

 


Friday (11th March 2016)

Friday was a very busy day back in the constituency for Marion, kicking off with the Coffee with a Cop event at Aroma coffee shop in Wishaw. This was a fantastic opportunity to meet members of the local police staff in an informal and accessible setting.

Meeting police & local people at Aroma.
Meeting police & local people at Aroma.

In the early afternoon, Marion met with Fiona Gallagher of Basics for Babies to discuss the fantastic work the project does in providing the most basic essentials for vulnerable babies and young children in the local community.

You can check out the Basics for Babies Facebook page here.

IMG_1991
Marion with Fiona Gallagher of Basics for Babies.

Later in the day, Marion held a Poverty Action Discussion Forum, bringing together organisations from the local community to discuss poverty tackling measures, build relationships, and look towards working together in the fight against poverty in Motherwell and Wishaw.

PovertyAction
The Poverty Action Discussion Forum was very well attended.

Also on Friday, members of Marion’s staff were at Theo’s Cafe in Orbiston to hold her monthly Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre surgery.

 


Saturday (12th March 2016)

On Saturday and Sunday, Marion attended the fantastic SNP Spring Conference at the SECC in Glasgow.

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Sunday (13th March 2016)

13Mar