By

Lesley Laird
I supported having an election not just because of the Brexit bind we find ourselves in but so we can bring an end to the intolerable levels of rising poverty, especially child poverty, resulting in deepening inequality and widening divisions in our country. However, I am not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of a...
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Crunch talks with the DWP to discuss Universal Credit’s impact on local communities has exposed “fundamental flaws” in the flagship benefit system, an MP has warned. Lesley Laird, who represents the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, met with Will Quince MP, the Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance in London this...
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Don’t believe the hype and don’t, please don’t, give up. With no resolution in sight, endless debate in parliament and endless coverage on TV, people are understandably weary of Brexit. It would test the patience of a saint. But Boris Johnson’s no daft, as we say, and he’s capitalising on it, pouring fuel on the...
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A new online forum has been launched for ‘50s-born women affected by state pension changes in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath area. The Facebook group ‘WASPI Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath – Women Against State Pension Injustice’ is actively looking for members and link them together. It was established after Lesley Laird MP held two awareness-raising events in...
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Eliminating low-paid work and abolishing Universal Credit must be top priorities in reducing chronic poverty in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath area. That’s according to Lesley Laird MP, who invited five front-line agencies to speak out as part of Challenge Poverty Week which starts today. Kirkcaldy Food Bank, the Cottage Family Centre, Kirkcaldy YMCA, Fife Voluntary...
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Local MP Lesley Laird, met this week with the new Ministry of Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan who is now responsible for the project to clean up the long standing issue of radiation on the beach at Dalgety Bay. Lesley said, “The meeting was a positive one and I am now feeling more confident that this...
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Flaring will occur when Fife Ethylene Plant restarts by December, Mossmorran Working group learned today (Friday). ExxonMobil, working alongside SEPA to manage the start-up process, confirmed planned flaring would be publicised in advance to residents. It would not be as severe as flaring witnessed in April, the company pledged. The Kirkcaldy meeting, co-hosted by Lesley...
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Scottish Labour MPs have written to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to express “deep concern” over the proposed 25 per cent tariffs on Scotch whisky imposed by Donald Trump’s US government. The Scotch whisky industry provides £5.5bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy. The MPs call on the Tory government to “leave...
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This week the Tory Party faithful, or at least what’s left of them amid the Brexit chaos, descended on the city of Manchester for their annual conference. Despite the fact that Parliament voted against Boris Johnson’s proposal that the House of Commons should close while the conference took place, the conference went ahead and the...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on ScotRail’s boss, Alex Hynes, to act “honourably” and return to Kirkcaldy for another public meeting. The move comes after a Scottish Labour-led debate urging Holyrood to break Abellio’s franchise was voted down by the SNP and Scottish Conservatives today (Wednesday). Mr Hynes met a packed-out audience at Kirkcaldy Town...
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MSPs have been urged to return Scotland’s railways to public ownership after it emerged almost 75,000 trains have been cancelled under Abellio’s stewardship of ScotRail. The call by Lesley laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath for MSPs to stand up for their constituents comes ahead of Scottish Labour’s move tomorrow (Wednesday) to force a vote...
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I supported having an election not just because of the Brexit bind we find ourselves in but so we can bring an end to the intolerable levels of rising poverty, especially child poverty, resulting in deepening inequality and widening divisions in our country. However, I am not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of a...
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Lesley Laird MP has called for a location for a new Inverkeithing High School to be decided by the end of the year. As of May, six locations have been considered for further assessment. They are: land north of the A921; Rosyth Waterfront; the Fleet Grounds in Rosyth; the HMS Caledonia site in Rosyth; and West Rosyth. ...
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‘Take back control’ was the mantra of the Brexiteers during the 2016 referendum. Ensuring the UK parliament was sovereign above all others, and who can forget the famous £350m on the side of the bus? What better way to take back control than a Tory ruse to prorogue parliament and limit the time left for...
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‘Take back control’ was the mantra of the Brexiteers during the 2016 referendum. Ensuring the UK parliament was sovereign above all others, and who can forget the famous £350m on the side of the bus?   What better way to take back control than a Tory ruse to prorogue parliament and limit the time left...
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Universal Credit has already shown just how cruel the Tories can be, but even more pain could be heading our way. The Centre of Social Justice (CSJ) think tank proposed recently to move the pension age to 75 by the year 2035. The same think tank which, while chaired by Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith,...
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A mum who lost her teenage son is forging ahead with Fife-wide charity plans aimed at pulling people out of a life of crime. Josee Scott, who lives in Dalgety Bay, established Freedom Unlimited Enterprises six years ago to offer employability skills to ex-offenders. The charity also works with prisoners at HMP Glenochil and HMP...
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Lesley Laird MP has praised the Kirkcaldy community for rallying around Havelock’s workers at a support employment event on Monday. Described as “potentially the biggest PACE event ever hosted”, the event saw 56 exhibitors at Dean Park Hotel, including employers, recruitment agencies and support agencies. Lesley said: “The main focus for everyone right now is to...
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With temperatures soaring across Scotland, Labour is announcing a ‘maximum workplace temperature’ that will protect workers and force bosses to introduce effective temperature controls. Most workers in the UK have no legal safeguards protecting them from working during uncomfortably high temperatures or dangerous extreme heat. The current guidance states a minimum working temperature but does...
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“Tangible progress appears to have been made” to secure a share of the Neart Na Gaoithe contract for BiFab, according to Lesley Laird MP. The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP, who has been in regular contact with EDF and BiFab’s owners, DF Barnes, described a ‘change of mood’ in talks with both firms on Friday. “I...
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Lesley Laird MP yesterday (Tuesday) lent support to a campaign calling for better support for disabled people at a Parliament launch event for the report ‘Has welfare became unfair?- the impact of changes on disabled people’. Funded by the Three Guinea’s Trust and commissioned by the Disability Benefit Consortium (DBC), the research found that changes...
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As the circus masquerading as the Tory Leadership campaign continues to wind its way across the country, I am regularly reminded of the phrase that a week is a long time in politics, and that now every week brings yet another drama, writes Lesley Laird. Reflecting on everything that has happened since 2016, it really...
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Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has written to the Chief Executive Terry A’Hearn calling on SEPA to up its game in relation to its regulatory role with Mossmorran. Lesley said “There are issues with the operators in relation to trust and confidence and now there is a real test for SEPA as the...
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I have shared deep concerns about potential violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen for several years now. This is why I have repeatedly called on the Government to immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in the war on Yemen pending a comprehensive and independent investigation of all alleged war...
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Residents have voiced anger after yet another spell of flaring at the Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran. The incident, which came just a day after the Mosmorran Working Group met, reportedly involved “very loud booms” and a strong chemical smell on Saturday morning. The plant could be seen visibly flaring on a number of occasions,...
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With Parliament in gridlock I have expressed my fears that there were significant challenges for Parliament to overcome to be able to deliver a confirmatory vote. Sadly, my fears were borne out, and no consensus was found through the recent voting process. With Parliament unable to reach agreement,  a confirmatory vote, I believe, is a...
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Nearly 2,200 older people in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath are missing out on a combined Pension Credit payout of over £5.7m every year. That’s according to research by charity Independent Age, whose campaign ‘Credit Where it’s Due’ is backed by MP Lesley Laird. Lesley said: “Far too many people in my constituency are not getting the...
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Planning. The clue’s in the name. It’s a word which suggests rigour, methodology, decisions based on reliable data. Or so you might think. In Scotland our planning process is descending into a shambles, and we don’t need to look far to see a prime example of why that’s the case. The recent approval of Cala...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on EDF to engage with Fife’s trade unions following a community meeting in Buckhaven to discuss the company’s upcoming NnG wind farm contract. On Thursday night the STUC comprising Unite and the GMB led the meeting at Buckhaven community education centre, inviting local representatives and EDF Renewables to take part...
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Both the UK and Scottish governments have put climate change at the top of their agenda. Yet, despite the newfound enthusiasm for all things green, there is an irony in the fact that this golden opportunity to be a world leader in the market may simply pass Scotland by. BiFab, nestled on the coast of...
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A BBC-commissioned report last year warned hundreds of thousands of the UK’s poorest pensioners would be impacted by means testing free TV licences for over-75s. Nevertheless, Tony Hall, Director of the BBC, maintained this week that the corporation’s decision to adopt the new scheme next year was “fair”. Lesley Laird MP called on the government...
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Lesley Laird MP has teamed up with charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust during Cervical Screening Awareness Week to encourage people to attend their smear test in order to prevent cervical cancer. Around 220,000 women are diagnosed with cell changes (abnormalities) every year in the UK following a smear test. Treatment for cell changes, given to...
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The government must stop lining its pockets from the pensions of poverty-stricken miners, says Lesley Laird MP. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath attended a debate in the House of Commons sparked after more than 100,000 people signed a petition about the Mineworkers Pension Scheme surplus sharing arrangements. She said: “Since 1994 the Government has...
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Lesley Laird MP has branded the government as heartless if it upholds the BBC’s decision to scrap free tv licences for over 75’s. Under the new rules, only low-income households where one person receives the pension credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence. The move means the Government will pocket £745 million across the UK in...
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The government must step in to protect free TV licences for pensioners, says Lesley Laird MP. Her comment comes after a recent Labour-led debate in the Commons calling on the Government to uphold a 2017 promise to protect the BBC concession. The benefit was originally introduced in November 2000, when the Department for Work and...
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Lesley Laird MP has urged the new UK Defence Secretary to guarantee the £1bn Fleet Solid Support Ships contract will be built in Britain. The letter to Penny Mordaunt MP follows Lesley Laird’s recent tour of HMS Prince of Wales – due to be commissioned next year – at Rosyth Dockyard. The MP for Kirkcaldy...
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The flames have subsided but public sentiment towards Mossmorran after its latest flaring episode has definitely not. While nearly a year had passed since the previous incident, the volume of smoke emitted for two hours on the first day and the intensity of the flaring over the week was highly unusual. It was hardly surprising,...
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A Fife MP has accused Scotland’s transport minister of peddling excuses to dodge Fife’s hard-pressed ScotRail commuters. Lesley Laird MP requested an urgent meeting with Michael Matheson MSP and Alex Hynes in April to discuss constituents’ ongoing concerns with overcrowded carriages, cancellations and compensation issues. Mr Matheson responded last week stating that “due to a...
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This week’s events in the House of Commons remind us of two things: some things are more important than Brexit, and, unlike Brexit, some things we can all agree on – we are undoubtedly facing a climate emergency. Labour’s 2017 manifesto was alive to the magnitude of the challenge facing us. We committed to ensuring...
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Lesley Laird MP has urged the UK Government to intervene to help safeguard the future of BiFab’s Methil and Burntisland yards. The call comes after parent company, DF Barnes, told Holyrood it lost out on vital offshore wind contracts to rival companies flouting state-aid rules. Sean Power, Vice President of Business Development at DF Barnes,...
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Lesley Laird MP has welcomed confirmation that Dalgety Bay’s radiation clean-up operation will go ahead in summer 2020. The Ministry of Defence gave the project the green-light following a meeting with the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in March. Final confirmation was subject to financial scrutiny by the Cabinet Office, which signed-off the project last...
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Today (Wednesday), Labour will use its opposition day debate in the House of Commons to declare a climate emergency across the U.K. The move comes after Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, met climate change protesters who shut down vast swathes of London and cities across the U.K. Speaking ahead of the debate, Shadow Scottish Secretary, Lesley...
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I strongly believe that the practice of importing hunting trophies is wrong and requires firmer action. I share the concerns that the UK must tackle the illegal wildlife trade and work to end trophy hunting. Killing endangered wildlife for pleasure only helps push them even further towards extinction. We must also protect these wild animals...
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The environment is the bedrock of our economy, our security and our wellbeing. Healthy soils, oceans and woodland are vital for our food security, for mitigating and preventing flooding, supporting pollinators and biodiversity more broadly, and storing carbon. As you are aware, in December last year, the Government published its Draft Environment (Principles and Governance)...
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I am aware there have been calls for a ban on the use of the whip in racing, except for safety purposes. It is vital that the racing industry follows high animal welfare standards for all horses and that whips are used with minimal force and on minimal occasions. As you know, the sport’s governing...
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Front-line organisations have laid bare the “nightmare” impact of Universal Credit at a meeting held in Kirkcaldy this week. An upsurge in poverty, addiction, crime and prostitution have been ascribed to the flagship welfare policy, which was rolled out in Fife in December 2017. The meeting at Templehall Community Centre on Tuesday was organised by...
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Over 200 women born in the ‘50s gathered in Kirkcaldy on Saturday at a Fife-wide WASPI event rallying against state pension injustice. The event at St Bryce Kirk was organised by Lesley Laird MP and featured speakers from WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality), trade union UNISON and CARF (Citizens Advice Rights Fife). State pension...
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Fife’s politicians have been urged to join forces to help get “scunnered” rail commuters a fair deal. Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Labour MP Lesley Laird said all the region’s MPs and MSPs should use their collective representative voice to call for cheaper rail fares to and from the kingdom, as compensation for months of chaos on...
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Lesley Laird MP vowed the “fight will continue” as the first anniversary report of the Votes at 16 Parliamentary Committee was released this week. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath – a long-standing advocate for Votes at 16 – was delighted to support the campaign in Westminster on Wednesday. Lesley said: “While here in Scotland...
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A Fife man who survived one of the world’s rarest forms of cancer has launched Scotland’s first prog rock indoor festival. The Prog in the Park event, which takes place at the Glen Pavilion in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline on Saturday, April 6, will raise funds for Maggie’s Fife and Sarcoma UK. Kevin O’Neil (49) from...
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The free TV licence was introduced in 2000 in recognition that the licence fee could be a source of concern for many people over the age of 75, nearly 50% of whom were in the lowest three income deciles. However, in 2015, the BBC reached an agreement with the Government to take on the cost...
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It is shocking that we had not had a full debate in the House of Commons chamber on climate change for over two years. It is also disappointing that the debate took place at a time when it is difficult for all MPs to attend. I believe the Government needs to give this issue proper...
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There are many negatives aspects of the Tories’ handling of Brexit. Perhaps the most damaging is the sheer amount of parliamentary time Brexit continues to soak up. I came into politics to try and help reshape society for the better, to bring about a Labour government that invests in public services, from hospitals to schools,...
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A Fife MP has stepped in to ongoing dialogue over accessibility funding for Burntisland, warning against “setting false expectations”. Lesley Laird’s intervention comes after David Torrance MSP recently rubbished Cllr Kathleen Leslie’s calls for “greater clarity” over the way communities apply for UK-wide Access For All funding. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is due...
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Commenting ahead of the proposed second ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit at Parliament today (Tuesday) Lesley Laird MP said the Commons must reject the deal. The Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland said “After weeks of the Prime Minister trying to run down the clock the Commons must again vote down Theresa May’s dreadful deal. “Labour has...
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Scotrail Public Meeting Report  28th February 2019  Summary of points covered    Service     Q:   Why is the service so poor? Train cancellations, delays and filled carriages?     A:   We agree with you that customers are not getting the service they deserve.  That’s why we’re spending two billion on Scotland’s railway to make it better. ...
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Scottish Labour conference today (Friday) will set out an anti-austerity vision of hope in stark contrast to another decade of cuts under the Tories and SNP. Speaking ahead of the first day of the conference in Dundee, Leader Richard Leonard said the Party will be outlining radical policies to end austerity, tackle poverty, inequality and...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on the Scottish Transport Minister to use his power and intervene to reduce rail prices for Fife passengers by “a minimum of 30 per cent”. The letter to Michael Matheson MSP comes after ScotRail boss Alex Hynes told a packed audience in Kirkcaldy Town House last week that services would...
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I am very concerned at the way our withdrawal from the EU has been handled. I believe the Prime Minister’s approach resulted in a deeply flawed Brexit deal that will not protect jobs, workplace rights or environmental standards, and will not ensure frictionless trade for British businesses. Following Parliament’s decisive rejection of her deal, I...
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The MoD will clean-up radiation on Dalgety Bay beach in summer next year, Lesley Laird MP has revealed. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath met Tobias Ellwood MP, Government Minister for the Ministry of Defence, in London this week to press for assurances the delayed project would go ahead. Lesley said: “After years of inaction...
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Scottish jobs are being put at risk by a bungling Tory Brexit, Lesley Laird has warned. Pressed at Scottish questions today, Tory Scottish Secretary David Mundell could not identify a single Scottish business that had received a Nissan-style package of state aid, despite promises Scotland would get the same support as England. The car manufacturer was...
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Fed-up Fife train passengers will have a chance to quiz ScotRail directly at a public meeting next week. The event, organised by Lesley Laird MP, will take place at 7pm on Thursday, February 28 at Kirkcaldy Town House. ScotRail director Alex Hynes has accepted an invitation to attend the open meeting and answer questions from...
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Key report findings on flaring at Fife Ethylene Plant are due out in April, Mossmorran Working Group has learned today (Friday). The well-attended meeting, held in Kirkcaldy, was co-chaired by Lesley Laird MP and Prof. Wilson Sibbett, chairman of the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Independent Air Quality Review Group. The group heard that the Best...
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Scrapping free TV licences to over-75s will cost pensioners in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath nearly £1m a year – money which will go straight to the Treasury’s coffers. That’s according to Labour research, as the BBC’s consultation on the future of free TV licences for over-75s closes tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12. As part of the last...
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I sympathise profoundly with anyone affected by ME. It is a highly complex condition affecting around 21,000 people in Scotland and I believe it is vital that patients receive the best treatment and care that takes account of their particular needs. I also pay tribute to the work undertaken by groups such as the ME...
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The sale of The Postings shopping centre is to be broadcast live from London, it has emerged. The Kirkcaldy mall, listed on the market with a reserve price of just £1, will be sold by auctioneers Allsop at Barclay House on February 5. Current owners Columbia Threadneedle held talks with Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy...
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I understand the frustration experienced by many people living with diabetes who still cannot use Flash GM and Continuous Glucose Monitoring technologies for the purpose of driving. I know that these types of monitoring devices are easier, quicker and less painful than routine finger-prick glucose monitoring and can transform peoples’ lives. I appreciate that the...
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MP Lesley Laird has raised concerns with Santander about the upcoming closure of the bank’s Kirkcaldy branch. During a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) it was revealed the closure – earmarked for June 13 – would place eight jobs at risk. Across the UK, 140 Santander branches face the axe, with a loss of 1,270 jobs. A...
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LOCAL MP Lesley Laird is urging constituents in low income households to consider switching suppliers during this Big Energy Saving Week According to Citizens Advice Scotland, only 21 per cent of customers in the Kingdom of Fife switch supplier, meaning many are still paying over the odds for gas and electricity. The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath...
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Santander has announced its Kirkcaldy High Street branch will close on June 13, 2019, resulting in an unspecified number of job losses. The decision, which followed an internal review, was communicated to Lesley laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath today (Wednesday). The bank stated that 87 per cent of customers were using “a variety of...
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Everywhere I go people ask me “What’s going to happen on Brexit?” Everyone has their pitch on what should happen next. Everyone is frustrated with a process dominating the news feed 24 hours a day. But the danger is everyone is also sick of it. And while the proverb of choice for some right now...
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Everywhere I go people ask me “What’s going to happen on Brexit?” Everyone has their pitch on what should happen next. Everyone is frustrated with a process dominating the news feed 24 hours a day. But the danger is everyone is also sick of it. And while the proverb of choice for some right now...
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We are in a tumultuous situation on Brexit. This is the result of the Government’s failure and refusal to adopt the kind of approach I and the Labour Party have been calling for, that can safeguard jobs and the economy. It is very clear that Parliament has zero faith in Theresa May’s deal and that...
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At Scottish Questions today (Wednesday) Lesley Laird called on David Mundell to stand up for the shipbuilding industry and back Labour’s campaign to build new Fleet Solid Support vessels in the UK. Ill-thought out changes to Government tendering rules redefined the vessels, meaning that they are not classified as complex warships and therefore need not...
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Lesley Laird MP has signed cross-party letter to Theresa May urging her to safeguard manufacturing jobs by ruling out a no-deal Brexit. The cross-party letter, which comes ahead of Tuesday’s Meaningful Vote, warned the UK “must not crash out of the EU without a deal.” The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also advised MPs this week...
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A review of convictions of miners during the 1984/85 strike should consider pardons, says Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Scores of miners were convicted during the strike, with an estimated 500 arrests in Scotland during the dispute. Scottish miners were disproportionately arrested, with 30 per cent of the sackings after arrest in Britain occurring...
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Lesley Laird MP has blasted Tory benefit caps for pushing more families into poverty as figures reveal over 11,000 children across Fife could be affected. DWP figures published this month reveal 11,510 Fife children live in out-of-work households – the third highest regional number in Scotland, second only to Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. A hallmark...
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A Fife MP is urging young people struggling with fuel poverty to seek help from Fife charity Cosy Kingdom over winter.   The advice from Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath comes after Scottish Government statistics show over a third of under 35s – around 140,000 households – are living in fuel poverty across...
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Train bosses are aiming to restore Fife Circle services to normal by January 7, according to Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. The pledge was made by Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, during a call with the MP today (Friday) to discuss constituents’ concerns about train reliability issues in recent weeks....
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After 20 months of negotiations, I believe the Government’s approach to Brexit has resulted in a bad deal that does not work for our country and is unlikely to be endorsed when it comes before Parliament now in the next few weeks. This is a result of the Government’s failure and refusal to adopt the...
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No matter where I go people have been saying to me, what is going on? Along with a few other words that aren’t suitable to print. One thing is now certain – if there was any doubt about the Tory rank incompetence, then the last two weeks have shown it in all in its full-unadulterated...
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Lesley Laird MP visited Kirkcaldy Royal Mail Delivery Office today (Friday) to pass on Seasons Greetings to its dedicated team. Lesley was shown around the office by Keith Brown, Delivery Office Manager, and introduced to the postmen and women, who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in Kirkcaldy in the run up to Christmas. The...
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Lesley Laird MP has issued advice to constituents who were mis-sold Green Deal improvement schemes with the now-defunct HELMS company. Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Ltd, based in Cambuslang, offered customers ‘free’ Green Deal improvements such as solar panels, wall cladding, a new boiler or underfloor heating. However, 460 customers have since complained, with some...
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Lesley Laird MP has blasted David Mundell for ignoring the plight of around 2,000 workers at Rosyth in fear for their jobs. The Scottish Shadow Secretary was the first politician to take up an invite from Unite, GMB and Prospect to hear joint trade union concerns about the yard’s future. Following the successful completion of...
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The winner of Lesley Laird MP’s Christmas card competition has visited the printers to see her finished design – and pick up her prize! Seraphina Brown (12), an S2 pupil at Lochgelly High School, drew a snowman holding a tiny robin in its hand which caught the eye of the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP. The talented young...
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So, the deal is done. Just not one that anyone wants. After two years of wrangling that’s one thing we can all agree on. But don’t judge this book by its cover. This deal bears no resemblance to the easy promises of the Brexiteers. No resemblance to taking back control of our laws and our...
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So, the deal is done. Just not one that anyone wants. After two years of wrangling that’s one thing we can all agree on. But don’t judge this book by its cover. This deal bears no resemblance to the easy promises of the Brexiteers. No resemblance to taking back control of our laws and our...
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A leaked draft document setting out the UK-EU’s future relationship post Brexit makes a mockery of the Scottish Tories, says Lesley Laird. The text confirms that both sides have not yet agreed a way forward on fisheries, fuelling fears from the UK fishing industry that the EU will demand full access to UK waters in return...
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Lesley Laird MP and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan have praised residents in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency registered as stem cell donors. Anthony Nolan’s campaign, Communities vs Blood Cancer, shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor....
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Lesley Laird MP has requested an urgent meeting with JPI Media bosses to seek clarity on the future of the company’s Scottish newspaper titles.  Johnston Press filed for administration on Friday but new parent company JPI Media – a consortium of the group’s creditors – took the troubled firm over the next day. The pre-pack...
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Lesley Laird has blasted David Mundell for proposing a bad Brexit deal as the only alternative to a no deal. Quizzed on his support for Theresa May’s half-baked Brexit deal on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland today (Monday), Scottish Secretary David Mundell failed to make any positive case for it , instead simply repeating that...
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John Healey MP, UK Shadow Housing Secretary, visited Kirkcaldy on Friday to learn more about Fife’s UK-leading affordable housing programme. He was accompanied by Lesley Laird MP on a tour of Overton Road, where 161 homes were recently built by Robertson Partnership Homes on behalf of Fife Council. Also present were representatives from Fife Council,...
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating high-cost credit in the UK. I know that in a letter to payday lenders in October 2018, the FCA said they should reassess the quality of their affordability tests. The Government says the FCA has tough enforcement powers to protect consumers and act against firms that...
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NC7 was an amendment to increase accountability of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and senior officers of Northern Ireland departments, for their role in ensuring human rights compliance in Northern Ireland, in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers. This amendment was designed, not to change the law, but to address incompatibilities between legislation...
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Lesley Laird MP has welcomed a move by Scottish Labour to force a vote tomorrow (Wednesday) on whether the government should enforce the ScotRail break clause to bring the current franchise to an end in 2022. Under the terms of the Scottish government’s agreement with the train operator Abellio, the SNP can exercise an opportunity...
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Lesley Laird MP has planted five trees in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy, to mark the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative. The event, which was witnessed by local councillors, community group representatives and pupils from Kirkcaldy West PS, commemorates Her Majesty’s lifetime service to the Commonwealth. The pack of trees contained five UK-sourced and grown native broad leaf trees...
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The SNP has voted against proposals to give communities the right to appeal planning decisions. Scottish Labour amendments to the Planning Bill attempted to ‘level the playing field’ and make the planning system fairer. If passed, a new community right of appeal would have been introduced along with restrictions on developer appeals. Scottish Labour argue...
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Scottish Labour’s two most senior figures have written a joint letter calling on the UK and Scottish governments to do everything possible to save the jobs of the workers at the Michelin factory in Dundee. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Lesley Laird have urged both the Tory and...
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A controversial housing development proposal for 80 houses in Aberdour has been dismissed by the Scottish Reporter. The proposal, submitted by Campion Homes, attracted over 700 letters of objection before being rejected by West Area Planning Committee in July. Following submission of an appeal, the Scottish Reporter today (Tuesday) agreed the development would be a “prominent and unwelcome” intrusion in the landscape setting...
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It’s official! More has been done in Fife to support and encourage entrepreneurial spirit than anywhere else in the UK. At a ceremony held in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday), Cllr Altany Craik, alongside other Fife council representatives, collected two prestigious Enterprising Britain awards from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Fife was...
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Universal Credit (UC) is a single payment which will replace six means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age individuals and families. It is the Government’s flagship welfare reform and I am concerned that it has been plagued by problems in its design and delivery having experienced the cases of many of my own constituents where...
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An MP has praised a Fife support agency providing frontline help for people affected by sexual and domestic abuse. Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, visited Kingdom Abuse Survivors Project (KASP) in Kirkcaldy, where she chatted with manager Joy Patrick and members of the team. The project, which operates throughout Fife, provides free one-to-one...
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Lesley Laird MP has blasted the Scottish Government for continuing to prop up ScotRail’s failing franchise – despite continued misery for passengers. ScotRail’s performance breaches resulted in the franchise being fined over £2m in the first six months of this year. The ScotRail franchise, operated by private company Abellio, is fined by Transport Scotland when...
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The art of the resignation. You’ve either got it, or you haven’t. Whether on a point of principle, Machiavellian manoeuvring to depose a wounded leader, or even a bit of both, Tory ministers have been putting a lot of practice in these past few weeks. But for others, the real art is in the “unresignation”. And the undisputed masters...
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Lesley Laird MP has warned of a “potential nightmare” for Aberdour residents if three major housing developments are given the green-light. A proposal to build 125 houses at Hillside – rejected by Fife Council planners in February this year due to ‘insufficient information’– is back on the table. Meanwhile appeals for developments by Cala and...
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Lesley Laird MP has expressed “disappointment and shock” at the decision by Marks and Spencer to close its Kirkcaldy High Street store early next year. The decision, which M&S said formed part of its store transformation programme, was announced today (Wednesday) after staff were informed. Lesley said: “I am extremely disappointed and shocked at this...
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It is an important principle of the BBC’s Charter that the BBC is operationally and editorially independent. The BBC also has a duty under both the BBC Charter and the Broadcasting Code to deliver impartial and accurate news. Indeed, the agreement accompanying the BBC Charter requires the BBC to do all it can to ensure...
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Instead of encouraging the use of fossil fuels by making the planning process easier for their development, we should be boosting renewable energy projects. In 2016, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a report on shale gas and our climate change targets. It found that fracking was not compatible with these targets unless it...
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I agree that multinational companies that accrue large amounts of revenue in the UK should pay their fair share of tax. Taxation is what underpins our shared prosperity. All of us, including businesses, benefit from a healthy, educated and skilled population, with access to basic services and secure housing. I am concerned that the small...
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Google’s Digital Garage is making its way to Kirkcaldy as part of its Scottish tour to offer locals a chance to learn the latest online skills – for free. The customised double decker bus, which boasts a dedicated upstairs classroom, will be parked up outside Kirkcaldy Galleries all day on Friday, October 12. Lesley Laird MP, who...
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Fife’s charities are at the frontline dealing with the impact of poverty in our communities – and pressure on their services has increased following the roll-out of Universal Credit. That impact is especially cruel at Christmas which is why the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy launched a festive appeal back in 2011 to ensure families...
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The impact of Universal Credit has led to soaring debts. Rent arrears owed by Fife Council tenants have now reached £120,000 a month – money which should be used to build new homes and repair existing council properties. In August a report which went before town councillors confirmed that two thirds of 3060 council tenants in Fife...
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Kingdom Community Bank, Fife’s largest credit union, launched a new Cowdenbeath collection point at the Maxwell Centre today (Thursday). The launch, which coincides with Challenge Poverty Week, will further extend Kingdom’s aim to offer everyone in the local community a stake in their own ethical bank, and access to affordable loans, secure savings and other...
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We’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in use of food banks across Fife over the past year – and a change in the demographics accessing them. Volunteers report more and more pensioners are coming forward seeking help, because for many elderly residents they face a stark choice between eating and heating over winter. According to the...
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“When we opened our doors in 2013 we thought we would run for a couple of years until things got better. We thought something would happen … but it hasn’t happened.” Those were the exact words spoken by Joanna Tait, treasurer of Kirkcaldy foodbank, as she made a plea to the local community recently to...
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Today (Monday) marks the beginning of Poverty Week – a chance for us all to raise awareness of the impact of poverty in our own communities. I’ve written a series of blogs on various aspects of poverty which I’ll be posting up every day this week. It seems appropriate to start with Universal Credit; the...
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Lesley Laird MP has joined the call by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to make period products free for anyone who needs them. At the parliamentary event in Westminster on Wednesday, September 12, Lesley met with representatives from the Union to hear about their campaign to bring forward the day when no one has to...
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Since 2011, the Scottish Government has made local government funding cuts to the tune of £1.5 billion, making it impossible for councils to deliver the full range of public services that our communities need. I am also concerned by the results of the 2017 Scottish Household Survey which found that public satisfaction in public services...
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Sir Keir Starmer MP was quizzed by bosses from around twenty Fife businesses at a ‘Brexit breakfast’ held in Lochore yesterday (Tuesday). The Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union was invited to Fife by Lesley Laird MP at the request of Fife Chamber of Commerce. The business breakfast event, which took place...
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The results of an investigation into prolonged flaring at Mossmorran are expected to be announced before the end of the year. That’s according to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE), whose representatives attend the Mossmorran Communities Working Group. Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath said: “While there have...
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A Fife MP has backed a motion calling on the UK Government to scrap “shocking and cruel” PIP health reassessments. The call from Lesley Laird comes after a Kirkcaldy constituent was stripped of his mobility car, despite having had mobility allowance for over 30 years. Lesley said: “This man had been on Disability Living Allowance...
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Sir Keir Starmer MP is expected to speak to Fife businesses about Brexit concerns at an event in Lochore next week. The Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union was invited to Fife by Lesley Laird MP at the request of Fife Chamber of Commerce. The business breakfast event, to be held at...
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I respect and accept the outcome of the June 2016 referendum on our membership of the EU. However, this does not mean that I accept the Prime Minister’s definition of Brexit. Nor does it mean we should just automatically support the Government’s chaotic approach to the negotiations. The referendum was a vote to mandate the...
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Performance coaches in elite sport look for marginal gains, the tiny improvement which will give them the edge over rivals. But in the race for power, the Conservatives have abandoned all pretence about aiming higher. This is about holding on at all costs. For them it’s no longer about marginal gains, but instead about gaining...
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Lesley Laird is to meet with representatives from Kirkcaldy’s high street shopping centres in a bid to turn around the town centre’s fortunes The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath will meet with Simon Usher, national director of LaSalle Investment Management on Wednesday in London. The meeting was arranged after the MP wrote to LaSalle asking...
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I am deeply concerned by the situation faced by the Rohingya population and the widespread violations of human rights that have occurred in Burma. More than 680,000 people have fled from Burma to Bangladesh since August 2017 and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described the situation in Rakhine State as an example of...
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I recognise the serious concerns about the human rights situation in Bahrain, particularly on the position of opposition and civil liberties groups, the detention of political prisoners and allegations of torture. The 2011 Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) into human rights abuses made no fewer than 26 recommendations. On 9 May 2016, the King...
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There are around ten million people in the UK living with arthritis, with the number of Scots with arthritis set to double by 2030. Too often it can go unnoticed or ignored by wider society. I therefore welcome efforts to raise awareness of the condition and the impact it can have on people’s daily lives....
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As you know, in August 2018 the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation which examines the possibility of creating a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving for cyclists. The DfT has said the consultation seeks views on the scope and penalties for new and existing offences and aims to...
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I sympathise profoundly with anyone affected by Parkinson’s disease and I pay tribute to Parkinson’s UK for the crucial work it does in funding research, providing support and information to individuals and families and campaigning on behalf of patients for improved health and social care services. I recognise the issue you have raised about enabling...
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As you know, in 2016 the Government committed to launch a Pensions Dashboard by 2019. The dashboard was designed to be a one-stop-shop digital platform, where any individual could view their various pension pots and see how much they have saved for their retirement. The Opposition has long supported the creation of a Pensions Dashboard,...
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I agree that the Government must ensure the UK advocates strongly for the establishment of a Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea. Such a protected area would help safeguard one of the last pristine regions in Antarctica and ensure the conservation of vital ecosystems settled in these waters and the surrounding coast. A number...
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The Scottish Government’s announcement of its programme for 2018  has left Fife school rebuild plans in limbo, a Fife MP has warned. Lesley Laird, who pushed for a new Inverkeithing High School in her former role as a Councillor, said it was time for the SNP Government to “put its hands in its pocket” and...
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A Fife MP is calling on the Scottish Government to back amendments which would put an end to communities being placed under siege by developers.  Lesley Laird, who supported Aberdour campaigners in multiple bids to block large-scale housing developments in the village, claimed Planning Bill reform was urgently needed. Amendments to the Government’s Bill, which...
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A Fife organisation providing vital frontline legal services to vulnerable people has reported a surge in referrals due to Universal Credit. On a recent visit to Fife Law Centre in Lochgelly, Lesley Laird MP learned the team had represented people forced to endure months of poverty under the new benefits system. “In one recent case...
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Lesley Laird MP is calling on Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops Competition. The free competition is designed to celebrate the creativity of small shops and representatives from a shortlist of 25 entrants across the UK will be invited to Westminster in November, where the national winner will be announced....
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Lesley Laird MP is backing Leonard Cheshire’s innovative Change 100 programme to help more people with disabilities into employment. The charity’s Change 100 programme brings together top employers and talented disabled students and graduates to offer three months’ paid work experience. Following a visit to Leonard Cheshire in Glenrothes, where she met manager Isobel Thomson...
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Wee Jimmies is Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency’s favourite pub – and that’s official! The Cowdenbeath pub was a resounding hit when Lesley Laird MP put a call out last month looking for suggestions for nominees for Parliamentary Pub of the Year. And she popped along to the bar to meet manager Gary Roy, whose family...
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An MP is urging victims of a Santander bank scam to come forward after a Fife couple lost nearly £300,000 last month. The professional couple, who wish to remain anonymous, fell prey to an ‘authorised push payment’ scam on July 12 and approached Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, for help. Lesley said: “This...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on Scottish Secretary David Mundell to reveal his next steps for devolution as the clock ticks down to Brexit. The move by the Shadow Scottish Secretary follows the publication of a damning report by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee which criticised Westminster’s lack of consultation with devolved governments...
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Lesley Laird MP has called for the Tory government to ‘halt and fix’ Universal Credit as new data reveals four in 10 working people on the benefit are being told to seek more work. New figures show that in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, where Universal Credit was introduced in December, there are now more than...
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It’s easy to be blindsided by events in politics. The best-laid schemes for the average week at Westminster are normally in tatters by Monday lunchtime. But amid the hurly-burly, I’ve watched the slow-motion car crash of the Tories’ failure to tackle the challenge to devolution posed by Brexit with a mixture of frustration and anger....
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Lesley Laird MP has pledged to back a bill which would extend the National Living Wage to young people – as part in a bigger bid to bring the UK out of poverty. The move comes after the National Living Wage (Extension to Young People) Bill ran out of time to be heard in Parliament recently and won’t be considered again...
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Lesley Laird MP visited volunteers at the Kirkcaldy branch of Samaritans this week to see first-hand how they support anyone in distress and work to meet the needs of the community. Samaritans is the leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and Ireland, providing a safe space for anyone who needs to talk. The service...
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Lesley Laird MP is calling on the Scottish Government’s new transport minister to ensure that, years after the community called for it, Burntisland Railway Station will become step-free. The move comes after recent figures reveal Burntisland is one of 104 railway stations across Scotland with platforms which are completely inaccessible to people with disabilities. The...
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A “damning” report calling for a complete rethink of devolution has vindicated warnings issued by Lesley Laird MP as Brexit talks ground to a halt. The report, compiled by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, urgently called on the government to produce a new ‘Devolution Policy for the Union’ which acknowledges, protects and harmonises...
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A Fife MP has written to air regulators to convince them a consultation for a new Fife flight path was “flawed from day one”. The move follows a recent meeting between Lesley Laird and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representatives to discuss Edinburgh Airport’s Airspace change proposal for flight path E7a. The altered flight path has...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on the Scottish Government and BiFab’s owners DF Barnes to reveal its plans to bring work back to the yards in Burntisland, Methil and Arnish. The move by the Shadow Scottish Secretary comes days after the Canadian firm – which took over BiFab in a rescue deal in April –...
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Kirkcaldy’s MP has blasted the impact of poverty and Universal Credit after a spike in demand threatens to bring a vital holiday programme for vulnerable children to breaking point. Lesley Laird paid a visit to Kirkcaldy YMCA to see the Active Kids programme – which organisers also fear is at risk through uncertain funding. For...
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Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Lesley Laird, last night highlighted the irony of a debate being held in government time on “Strengthening the Union”.   In her speech during the debate yesterday (Monday) she reminded Parliament of John Smith’s assertion in 1992 that there were two parties “sawing away at the legs that support the...
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In the run up to recess we continue to watch what has become the biggest soap opera in history unfold – Brexit.  This week it was the turn of the Trade Bill. While the name on the legislation might change, the issues are exactly the same.  Not least of which is a Tory party who...
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I share your concerns on this important issue. The Trade Bill gives the Government unprecedented powers to implement international trade agreements without a vote in Parliament. The Government argues that it simply aims to maintain after Brexit agreements that we are already party to as a member of the EU. However, legally the agreements in...
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I agree that this is an important issue and that proper scrutiny of trade deals is essential. As you know, the Government has introduced a Trade Bill to allow the UK to pursue an independent trade policy when we leave the EU. I believe we should have used this opportunity to ensure meaningful parliamentary scrutiny...
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Last week in the Commons, MPs were voting on the Trade Bill – one of the vital pieces of legislation that the UK requires to have on the statute book once we leave the European Union. The purpose of the legislation was essentially to ‘transition’ the EU’s trade agreements to UK agreements. It covers only...
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I was extremely saddened by the case of Seni Lewis, who tragically died after being restrained face-down in a mental health hospital in England. As health is a devolved matter, the Scottish Government has responsibility for this policy area in Scotland. While I am supportive of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill, it...
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I understand there are very strong views on this subject, which has been indicated to me by the large number of constituents who have been in touch to raise their concerns. I am aware it was recently featured in the press that Members of Parliament have reported 723 cases of suspected immigration abuse to authorities...
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It is important to recognise that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of violence against women and girls. It is therefore vital that vulnerable people are protected from abuse and that everyone who sells sex is protected from harm and exploitation. I believe women involved in sex work should have access to information, help and...
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The Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 – which extends to Scotland – was introduced to protect the public from dangerous dog attacks. However, I appreciate there has been debate about the effectiveness of BSL and I know several animal welfare groups support an approach where it is the deed, not breed, that determines whether a...
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With over 500 ATMs closing across the UK every month, Lesley Laird MP is backing a campaign to save cashpoints in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency Along with Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses, Lesley is demanding that the regulator urgently intervenes before more communities are left without free access to cash withdrawals. Cashpoints...
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Lesley Laird MP has backed UK defence workers in their campaign for Royal Navy ships to be built in Britain. Ahead of a debate in parliament tomorrow (Wednesday) Trade Union members lobbied in London calling for a contract for three new Fleet Solid Support ships to remain in the UK. The lobby, organised by the...
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Over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015 and the humanitarian situation in many parts of the country is extremely dire. Indeed, the UN estimates that almost 18 million people are food insecure and over 8 million people are at risk of starvation. Millions more also lack access to safe water and sanitation...
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Allegations that members of our security and intelligence services may have been involved in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries need proper and full investigation. I know that organisations such as Reprieve and others have called for a public inquiry into this issue. As you may know, an independent, judge-led inquiry was...
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Globally, an estimated 1 billion people have a disability and 80% of those with disabilities live in developing countries. People with disabilities face multiple challenges and significant levels of stigma and discrimination in schools, workplaces and accessing public services. Too often they are denied access to power and a voice, which contributes to inequality of...
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I agree that this is an important issue. As the campaign from Global Justice Now highlights, millions of people in the developing world are missing out on the medicines they need. Even here in the UK, the situation on drug prices is not serving patients or taxpayers as well as it could and concerns continue...
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In your letter, you provide suggestions on how to improve air quality and lower emissions. You argue that bulk fuel additives, engine performance optimisers, fuel enhancement technology and E10 could improve air quality without putting additional charges and taxes on motorists. These are interesting initiatives and I wanted to thank you for bringing them to...
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There are around ten million people in the UK living with arthritis, with the number of Scots with arthritis set to double by 2030. Too often it can go unnoticed or ignored by wider society. I therefore welcome efforts to raise awareness of the condition and the impact it can have on people’s daily lives....
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Aberdour residents have secured a victory after West Planning Committee rejected two major house development plans in the village. An 85-house application by Cala Homes on a field south of Main Street,  recommended for approval by planning officers, was unanimously rejected by members of the committee today (Wednesday). A Campion development for 80 houses at...
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I am committed to upholding the NHS’s founding principles as a universal healthcare system provided free at the point of use: a comprehensive, integrated and public NHS that is there for all of us when we need it. I also want an NHS that is free of privatisation. I therefore share your concerns about the...
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Lesley Laird is calling on councillors to take a “bold step to restore confidence in local democracy” when they decide on controversial housing plans this week. Two large scale developments are due to come before West Planning Committee on Wednesday – an 85-house application by Cala Homes on a field south of Main Street,  recommended...
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As you know, Parliament has been scrutinising the Government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill which prepares our legal framework for when we leave the EU. This legislation is not about whether we leave the EU – that was settled by the referendum and Parliament’s decision to trigger Article 50 last year. The UK will therefore leave the...
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I appreciate that this issue generates strong views on both sides. You raise several important points, particularly about the potential for Heathrow expansion to create jobs and promote economic growth. I would like to assure you that I recognise the need for additional airport capacity in the south east of England. On 5 June 2018,...
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The EU Withdrawal Bill has now completed its passage through Parliament and will soon become law. This Bill is not about whether we leave the EU – that was settled by the referendum and Parliament’s decision to trigger Article 50 last year. The Bill is instead about how we leave the EU, Parliament’s role in...
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Lesley Laird has called on the Civil Aviation Authority to answer directly to Fife communities – before a controversial consultation ends on Thursday. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath wrote to the CAA’s chief executive, Richard Moriarty, asking him intervene to “return some credibility” to Edinburgh Airport’s E7a flight path proposal “as a matter of...
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I am pro-trade and pro-investment. Our future prosperity depends on minimising the barriers that prevent us from exporting and creating the jobs and economic growth we need. In principle, I would therefore have welcomed a comprehensive trade deal with a longstanding ally such as Canada. However, our trade policy must also protect workers’ rights, as...
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MKM Building Supplies is now officially Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath’s Constituency Responsible Business Champion. Lesley Laird MP, who nominated the Kirkcaldy firm, was delighted to present the certificate to director Ian Watson and the team on Friday. The scheme is run by the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG) to recognise businesses across the UK who...
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The pub sector in Scotland supports 60,000 jobs and the brewing and pub industries contribute around £1.7 billion to the Scottish economy every year. In addition, around 30 million adults across the UK visit the pub every month. Pubs are at the heart of our communities. However, they continue to be under severe threat and...
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I sympathise profoundly with anyone who is affected by cancer and I pay tribute to cancer charities for their tireless efforts in funding research, developing policy and providing support to patients and their families. Improving early diagnosis must be a key priority for the both the UK and the Scottish Governments – key to this...
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I had the pleasure recently to pay a visit to the Olive Branch Community Café at Bennochy Parish Church in Elgin Street, Kirkcaldy. The event is popular with residents in the local community and, over a cuppa and some delicious home-baking, I got the chance to have a chat with Rev. Robin McAlpine and Louise...
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I know, from speaking to constituents affected by Universal Credit, just how acutely this policy damages people’s lives but a report issued last week laid bare the reality of its widespread impact for all to see. Despite being designed to streamline benefits – and cut administrative costs in the process – the National Audit Office...
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Edinburgh Airport has blocked an MP’s request to extend its consultation on the controversial E7a flight path proposal. In a letter sent on Friday, airport bosses also confirmed they would not hold another public meeting alongside the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) until after the consultation ends. Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, had sought...
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I welcome the recent announcement by the UK Government that it will remove the immigration cap on foreign doctors and nurses. I have consistently questioned the logic of turning away qualified medical professionals from working in the NHS at a time when it is struggling to fill vacancies. Our health service has always relied on...
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To mark national Carers Week 2018 I visited Fife Young Carers’ focus group afternoon tea and network event in Lochgelly yesterday (Thursday). I had an interesting chat with young carers about issues important to them and it was clear that having access to a peer support group in which they could talk openly about their...
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I agree that leaving the EU must not lead to any watering down of existing standards on the environment and I have consistently supported amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill designed to safeguard environmental standards. Of course, environmental policy is devolved in Scotland and I have therefore also supported amendments to implement a clear presumption...
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I share your concerns about the move by some NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England to establish wholly owned subsidiary companies to run a range of services. I therefore support the efforts of the Opposition in Westminster in calling on the UK Government to block the creation of wholly owned subsidiary companies and undertake...
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I agree that women should have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion. As you know, the Republic of Ireland recently voted to overturn its ban on abortion. I believe that this is a fantastic victory for women’s rights. Following this historic vote, focus has now turned to Northern Ireland where abortion law differs...
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Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has written to Edinburgh Airport urging bosses to rethink plans for the controversial E7A flight path proposal. Around 150 people packed the hall at a public meeting held at Inverkeithing High School on Friday night to protest the airspace change proposal. The meeting was organised at short notice...
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MOSSMORRAN Long-suffering communities secured a breakthrough last week with the news that Mossmorran will be subject to a joint investigation following recent episodes of unplanned flaring. The announcement was made during the Mossmorran Communities Work Group meeting on Friday and will mean that the plant will be investigated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)...
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Scotland’s MPs should ‘speak with one voice’ and back a bid to broker a Brexit devolution deal, Lesley Laird said today [Monday].   Scottish Labour’s deputy leader has called for MPs representing Scotland to back Labour’s amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure that the devolution settlement is protected. The party’s amendments would cut the proposed post-transition...
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Long-suffering communities secured a breakthrough last week with the news that Mossmorran will be subject to a joint investigation following recent episodes of unplanned flaring. The announcement was made during the Mossmorran Communities Work Group meeting on Friday and will mean that the plant will be investigated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and...
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Lesley Laird MP has praised the work of The Ecology Centre after a visit to the project in its 20th anniversary year. The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP was welcomed by Tony Payne (chairman) and David Stockwell (general manager) and given a guided tour around Kinghorn’s ‘eco-paradise’. The visit took in the new centre, a walk...
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Lesley Laird MP has today (Wednesday) tendered resignation as councillor for the Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay ward – effective from Friday, June 8. The move comes after the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was confirmed as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party on Monday. In a letter to Steve Grimmond, chief executive of Fife...
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