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Recent School Visits

It is always a pleasure to be invited to speak to schools about my role as an MP.  Today I was in St Aidan’s High School, Wishaw and met with S1 through to S6 classes. 

Pupils spoke passionately about lots of issues affecting them including minimum wage, 16yr olds right to vote and the hot topic Brexit.

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Small Business Saturday!

It’s been a fabulous day out and about in the community!

It started with a surgery in Wishaw Library then on to Tesco, Wishaw to support the Food Bank Collection! Thanks to Laura and her team for the work they do supporting local communities all year round.

I popped into Gowkthrapple to the CentrePoint Christmas Fayre before heading to meet Kirsty Paterson of Paterson’s Engraving to celebrate Small Business Saturday!

I managed to catch the Wishaw Christmas Light Switch on and the fabulous dancing from the Melanie McCready School of Dance.
Thanks to Town Centre Activities for their hard work and Avenue Cafe for the free kids hot chocolates!

I finally made it back to CentrePoint to meet Santa’s little helpers setting up for tomorrow’s Toy Giveaway! Wow! Martine Nolan and her team are amazing!

I am proud to represent a Constituency with such resilience and community spirit!

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POVERTY ACTION NETWORK TALKS SEASONAL STRATEGY

The Poverty Action Network (PAN), set up and hosted by Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, met again today to discuss groups’ strategies and services for winter.

PAN, which meets quarterly, is made up of organisations which aim to tackle poverty and its indirect effects through services and support to local people.

Topics for discussion included social isolation, mental health and poverty that comes with the winter months, including fuel poverty.

PAN agreed to publish a newsletter later this year to highlight issues with the winter season and what support is on offer.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

With winter fast approaching, it’s essential for local groups to liaise with each other to meet the seasonal needs of the community and ensure everyone can access the services they need.

It’s a disgrace that today, families are still choosing between heating and eating. As a community, we need to come together and support each other. Food and fuel poverty should be non-existent.

Winter also brings social isolation – especially for the elderly who may find it difficult to get about – and also poorer mental health. Please do not suffer in silence, reach out to local groups who can offer mental health support and befriending services.

Speaking with representatives today has inspired my staff and I to launch a newsletter and see what more we could do in the coming months to support people. We’ll be rolling out a campaign soon to address winter issues.

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Coffee Morning Success!

It was a fantastic time at our Coffee Morning in support of MacMillan Cancer Support.

Thank you so much to all those who contributed cakes and other treats and all those who came along to support such an important cause that is extremely close to my heart.

We’ve raised an additional £266.39 in the space of two hours – all while stuffing our faces with cake.

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VJ Day Commemoration

This afternoon, I joined veterans, the public and local representatives at a service to lay a wreath in commemoration of VJ Day and all those who were lost in the war in the east – whether that be due to fighting or as prisoners of war.

Many local soldiers were lost in that fight and it was touching to see their sacrifice – and the sacrifice of those from other nations – be remembered.

It was not the events of WWII that we were remembering, but the people who experienced those events who are not here today. Today, we must be thankful to them.

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Council Budget Demo

This morning, North Lanarkshire Councillors met at the Civic Centre in Motherwell to discuss the council budget which could see cuts being handed down to workers and the wider community.

I was keen to get along to the demonstration outside the meeting to show support for those who will be directly affected by a potential Labour-Tory budget of cuts.

I was pleased to discuss concerns with members of Unison and GMB, as well as others promoting causes such as the Save Newarthill Library campaign.

It was an impressive turnout and those within North Lanarkshire Coucil seeking to pass such cuts cannot have missed the anger on show.

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Last night’s WASPI event…

Last night’s WASPI event in Motherwell was fantastic.

There were loads of new people in attendance ready to join the cause for pension justice.

The WASPI women are not going away. It’s time the UK Government paid up!

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New College Lanarkshire Visit

I was delighted to accompany Shirley-Anne Sommerville, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Science, to New College Lanarkshire this morning.

We discussed the STEM Strategy and NCLs role in school/college partnerships, links with businesses and Foundation Apprenticeships.

I also met Besty Crosbie who is a shining example of young women excelling in Engineering.

Betsy has competed within the UK, as the only female competitor at Euroskills and one of two at the World Skills in Abu Dhabi.

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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)
Juniors:
 Alistair Millward (Logan’s Primary)
Seniors: 
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!

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Basics Food Bank: Afternoon Tea Fundraiser

Delighted to support Basics Food Bank today at their afternoon tea fundraiser!

Lovely to meet with David Shaw, Martine Nolan and all the fabulous volunteers.