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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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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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New analysis from the GMB Union shows that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal could put up to 10,000 jobs at risk in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency. The GMB point to the fact that there are 3,500 manufacturing jobs in the constituency and 6,300 jobs supported by manufacturing in the area’s wider economy. This creates around £183m...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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A public meeting to discuss a controversial new flight path proposal over Fife’s skies is to take place on Friday night. Edinburgh Airport launched a four-week public consultation in late May for a revised route (E7a) mainly affecting Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing, North Queensferry, and other surrounding coastal areas. However, following intervention by Lesley Laird MP,...
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Budding and independent local filmmakers are being urged to grab the chance to gain wider exposure in a Westminster-run competition. Lesley Laird MP is inviting scriptwriters and directors in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency to submit entries to Film The House 2018, which showcases filmmaking talent across the UK. Entrants can submit work in two...
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A new family support service at Lochgelly High School has been praised by Lesley Laird MP. The Family Zone – the first of its kind in Fife – is run by Fife Gingerbread and supports families where a young person is having difficulties accessing education. Funded by the school through Pupil Equity Funding, the partnership...
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Lesley Laird MP recently pledged support to the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign which takes a stand to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence. The campaign seeks to unite and strengthen members of the public and organisations to take a stand against domestic abuse – and offer greater support to children affected by it. The...
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Shadow Scotland Secretary Lesley Laird is set to confirmed as Scottish Labour’s deputy leader in the coming days. As of the 12 noon deadline for nominations today (Monday 28 May 2018), Laird was the only nominated candidate for the vacancy. Lesley Laird will be formally confirmed as the party’s deputy leader in the coming days at a...
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Kirkcaldy politicians Lesley Laird MP and Claire Baker MSP visited the K107 FM studios recently to congratulate the team as it marks a double celebration. Kirkcaldy Community Radio has installed national news from the Sky News Network, which will allow presenters to link direct for live new updates at the top of the hour. Additionally,...
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Lesley Laird MP has called for answers “sooner rather than later” as communities continue to suffer noise and light pollution from unplanned flaring at Mossmorran. Flaring began at the weekend after a pump on the site failed and specialist contractors are on site working ’round the clock’ to bring the plant back to normal. However,...
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MP Lesley Laird got a taste of what its like to work for Royal Mail when she became a postie for a day in Kirkcaldy. She met the team at Kirkcaldy depot, where she was briefed, before being taken out on a local delivery round accompanied by postwoman Kelsey Gunn. The MP for Kirkcaldy and...
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Staff at Kirkcaldy’s Mothercare face an anxious wait after the firm announced plans to close 50 UK stores, with the loss of hundreds of jobs. The company, which has experienced financial difficulties in recent years, intends to carry out the closures through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) – a move which allows companies to close loss-making...
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Lesley Laird MP joined Jeremy Corbyn in Govan today to demand the UK government to build three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels in British shipyards. The call comes as the UK Government prepares to put a £1 billion contract for building the ships out to international tender. Lesley Laird said: “Just over a year...
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A proposed £7.3bn merger between ASDA and Sainsbury’s could present “key concerns” for Kirkcaldy, Lesley Laird MP has warned. The supermarket giants enjoy an average 30 per cent share of the market nationwide, but despite the presence of competitors such as Marks and Spencer, Lidl, Aldi and Morrisons, the duo dominate in Kirkcaldy with a 50 per...
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A government u-turn has exposed the ‘incompetency’ of SNP policy on controversial fracking , Lesley Laird MP has claimed. At the Court of Session yesterday (Tuesday) government lawyer James Mure QC dismissed a legal bid by Ineos to overturn the government’s fracking ‘ban’, stating any concept of a ban “was gloss” and “the language of...
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Lesley Laird MP is delighted to announce that MKM Building Supplies Kirkcaldy has been nominated “Responsible Business Champion” in the constituency. The scheme, run by the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG), asks MPs to nominate an exemplary local firm and invite its representative to a Westminster reception. Three businesses – Cupcake Coffee Box, Robert...
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Welcome to my first newsletter! Since being elected MP it’s been a whirlwind of activity and I wanted to share some of what I’ve been doing in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency. Read it by clicking here Newsletter – Spring 2018 I hope you enjoy it – and also take up the opportunity to receive regular newsletters in...
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Cancelled operation figures released today show Fife’s NHS crisis is deepening, Lesley Laird MP has warned. Unseasonably cold weather impacted on 60 of 91 operations cancelled during March, but data compiled by ISD (Information Services Division) reports overall winter totals going up year-on-year. Over recent winter months, from November to March, 417 operations were cancelled in Fife for capacity or non-clinical reasons, compared to...
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Lesley Laird MP has joined 126 constituents in backing a petition calling for compensation for people penalised in the recent Windrush scandal. The petition, which is being debated in Parliament today (Monday), also called for an amnesty for minors who came to Britain as part of the Windrush generation. The move follows recent coverage of cases of Windrush...
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Lesley Laird MP has called on David Mundell to spill the beans on his “behind closed doors” talks with Mike Russell over the impact of the EU Withdrawal Bill on devolution.   On Monday the Scottish government announced they still have not reached a deal with the UK government over Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill,...
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A Fife MP has blasted the government for ‘abusing’ third sector groups, after Kirkcaldy Food Bank revealed demand has reached unprecedented levels. According to figures discussed at the food bank’s board meeting last night (Tuesday), March saw a record number of emergency food parcels (742) issued to a record number of people (1491). That amounted...
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Ferry operator DFDS has scrapped the Rosyth to Zeebrugge freight route after a fire broke out on its ship, Finlandia Seaways. The blaze, which occurred last Monday (April 16), injured a crew member who had to be airlifted to hospital, where he is being treated for smoke inhalation. The ship was towed to Immingham where an inspection revealed substantial damage...
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Former councillor Willie Clarke took centre stage on Friday to officially open the new Meedies’ hub at Lochore Meadows. The golf pavilion and new visitor centre – named in his honour  –  are new additions to the park and a fitting tribute to Willie, who has long championed the site, transforming the pit bing into a...
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Key stakeholders and community groups assembled today (Friday) for the first time ever in a bid to get to the root of flaring and safety concerns at Mossmorran. The Adam Smith Theatre event was hosted by Lesley Laird and chaired by Professor Wilson Sibbett of the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Independent Air Quality Monitoring Group. In addition...
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An independent watchdog has issued final warning notices on Mossmorran, following an investigation into flaring at the petrochemical plant last June. The seven-day incident – which sparked 74 complaints from the public –  was both “preventable and unacceptable” and breached environmental controls, according to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). The report concluded the incident was caused by the breakdown of...
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The killing in Syria as a result of the abhorrent and illegal use of chemical weapons has to stop, just as the killing from bullets and bombs has to stop. However, dropping bombs won’t solve the Syrian conflict – only a political settlement will result in the peace that the Syrian people so desperately need....
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Welcome news for troubled BiFab today (Tuesday) with the announcement that Canadian firm DF Barnes has taken over the firm, following months of negotiations behind the scenes. I’d like to pay tribute to BiFab’s workforce and the trade unions who have fought in partnership so determinedly to save their yards in Burntisland, Methil and Arnish over...
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Lesley Laird MP will call on RBS bosses to reverse surprise cuts to mobile banking services at a crunch-meeting this week. The RBS cuts, which are due to come into effect on April 30, will hit customers in nine locations across the Kingdom, including Cowdenbeath, Kelty, Dalgety Bay and Burntisland. Cowdenbeath, where the last bank in town – Bank of Scotland...
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Lesley Laird MP has expressed fears that a “deepening NHS crisis” could see a permanent closure of out-of-hours services in Fife’s community hospitals. Earlier this week Fife Health and Social Care Partnership announced that due to “staffing difficulties” from Monday, April 9, Primary Care Emergency Services would no longer operate from midnight to 8am. The hospitals affected by the three-month long...
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ScotRail has admitted services won’t begin to improve in Fife until 2019, when new rolling stock is expected to cascade through the network. That’s gutting news for hard-pressed commuters in Fife to hear, but it’s still not the full picture. Despite my repeated calls over recent years to Humza Yousaf to tackle fares, Fifers are...
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Late arrival, overcrowded carriages, stop-skipping. Sound familiar? That’s the daily grind of train travel for commuters across the Kingdom and do you know what else? We’re also having to pay more for it. Two to three times more per rail mile than passengers in other Scottish regions. This is an issue which the Scottish Government...
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Lesley Laird MP has warned the “time to act is now” to lay the groundwork for a brand-new Inverkeithing High School. In a letter to Steve Grimmond at Fife Council, the MP said the need to replace the deteriorating building – which is almost bursting at the seams – had now become urgent. Moreover, Fife...
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The Scottish Government should “take devolution to the next level” after Brexit, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Lesley Laird said yesterday (Tuesday). Lesley said it was time for a re-empowering of local authorities to “reignite the spark” they provide to local communities. On the final destination of powers returning from Brussels she criticised the...
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“Communities are sick to the back teeth,” Lesley Laird MP has acknowledged after residents woke up to another episode of flaring at Mossmorran today (Friday). ExxonMobil, operators of Fife Ethylene Plant, have issued a statement to say this  latest incident should be under control within 48 hours. “It’s an irony not lost on me that...
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Lesley Laird MP is urging residents to attend a public meeting to speak up on Edinburgh Airport’s new flight path proposal over Dalgety Bay. The meeting, which will be presented by campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch, takes place at the Kabin in Dalgety Bay on Monday, March 26, at 7pm. During an initial consultation in...
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Lesley Laird, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, has slammed the Tories’ approach to Brexit and UK fishing policy as “incoherent”. Today (Wednesday) she said the pledge by Ruth Davidson and Michael Gove to “take back control of our waters” just a week ago had “spectacularly backfired”. And she said the fishing communities of Scotland would...
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Two Kirkcaldy friends, whose family members were recently diagnosed with brain tumours, joined forces recently to raise over a thousand pounds for brain cancer research. Margaret Vass and Anne Marie Caira have been friends for years but were stunned when their daughters-in-law were both diagnosed with brain tumours within months of each other. However, rather than give in...
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Lesley Laird MP has issued a plea for new Kirkcaldy volunteers to come forward for this year’s Poppy Appeal. Her call comes after a trip to the Lady Haig factory in Edinburgh to visit the dedicated team of veterans who hand-make 5 million poppies for the appeal each year. Established by Lady Haig – wife of...
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Lesley Laird MP says Fife train passengers deserve “sustained” performance from ScotRail – and should be paying less for fares. ScotRail recently revealed that stop-skipping had reduced by 63 per cent in the last few months in Fife – from 376 missed stations in the four-week period to December 9 last year  to 138 in the four weeks to March...
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Lesley Laird MP has warned a clear immigration policy is “urgently needed” following a visit to Fife Migrants Forum to learn about issues facing migrants since Brexit. The Fife Migrants Forum (FMF), which is based in Kirkcaldy, works across a range of human rights issues and provides an interface between migrants and mainstream agencies. As...
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Lesley Laird MP has branded David Mundell as the Cabinet’s ‘invisible man’ over his handling EU Withdrawal Bill. The Secretary of State for Scotland, previously pledged to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure powers coming back from the EU that relate to devolved areas would rest with the Scottish Parliament. Instead the Bill remains unchanged, leading...
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In an interview with Gordon Brewer on Sunday Politics Scotland I reinforced Labour’s position on Brexit: that we bring grown-up politics to the debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill and will continue to fight to make sure jobs and the economy come first. Watch the link here: https://www.facebook.com/LesleyLairdMPKirkcaldyCowdenbeath/videos/485346978534428/
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Lesley Laird MP was given an update on vital services Citizens Advice provide constituents in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath at an event held in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday).  According to the charity, Citizens Advice helps to solve two in three people’s problems, reducing the number of people who turn to public services for support on welfare, health and housing issues.   For...
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Full of admiration and support for the @MNDpatients protest yesterday, despite the weather, calling on the Government to STOP forcing MND patients to undergo DWP reassessment for ESA benefits. The campaign has succeeded in changing this cruel policy for new claimants – but estimates around 600 dying patients are still affected. Terminally ill people should...
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I joined Unite at its protest outside RBS in Kirkcaldy to bring home the message to bank bosses ‘DON’T CLOSE OUR BRANCHES!’ The bank plans to close 52 branches across the country – despite announcing annual profits of £752m. This is galling for customers and speaks volumes about RBS’s priorities. I’m calling for Ross McEwan...
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The ‘Beast from the East’ has triggered Cold Weather Payments of £25 for KY4 and KY5 postcodes for the period of Feb 25 – March 3. The payment is automatically made to people on certain benefits – for more information visit https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
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Lesley Laird MP has called on Humza Yousaf to stop ignoring the misery endured by Fife passengers after it emerged ScotRail clocked up a £3m fine for poor performance. The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath contacted the Scottish Minster for Transport in January after receiving a flood of complaints from angry commuters left stranded at...
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Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has pledged support to a campaign which aims to stem Scotland’s ‘curry crisis’. She met dozens of restaurateurs who gathered at Shimla Palace in Cowdenbeath to discuss a skilled chef shortage across Scotland’s Asian restaurant sector. Addressing the audience, comprising around 70 people, campaign leader Hans Raj Ram, CEO...
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I’ve called on NHS Fife to take action after learning that 36 per cent of all GP practices in Fife have announced their patient lists are full. The extent of the problem across the Kingdom emerged after the Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing practice became the latest GP surgery to declare it was full recently. I...
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The winner of Lesley Laird MP’s first ever Christmas card competition experienced the thrill of seeing her design roll off the printing presses on Thursday. A drawing by Adela Friedrichova (12), a first year pupil at Viewforth High School, KIrkcaldy, was among over a hundred entries submitted by pupils from five local primary and high...
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It was an absolute honour to meet Ava Stark and her family as they were awarded the John Petchy Hero of the Year award at Westminster last night. The award was given by the Anthony Nolan Trust in recognition of four-year-old Ava and her entire family, who have become huge advocates for the Trust after...
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Four stores in Scotland could be hit by planned closures by Toys R Us. The retailer has put forward proposals to shut 26 of its UK premises as part a a company voluntary agreement (CVA), putting up to 800 jobs at risk. Among those in Scotland which could be hit include Aberdeen, East Kilbride, Kirkcaldy...
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Lesley Laird backs Terrence Higgins Trust’s #SeeRed campaign for World AIDS Day Lesley Laird has spoken out ahead of World AIDS Day by calling for an end to HIV stigma. She joined Terrence Higgins Trust’s reception in the Speaker’s House in Westminster at a reception which brought together politicians, campaigners, medics and people affected by...
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Bank of Scotland has announced it has made the “difficult decision” to close its Lochgelly branch on 27 February 2018. Staff affected by this closure have been informed and BOS will be writing to customers shortly. The company said it had decided to close the branch because of the “changing way customers choose to bank...
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https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/universal-credit-will-hit-fifers-like-a-brick-1-462714 The Government is set to press ahead with the roll-out of Universal Credit in Fife before Christmas – despite widespread concerns it will impact badly on many local families. It will begin on December 6, and any new claimants could face a wait of up to five weeks to get any money, leaving them...
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Babcock International’s announcement today that 250 jobs are to go at Rosyth Dockyard is a bitter blow for workers and underlines again the need for a proper shipbuilding strategy which avoids these fluctuations in the workforce. Coming in the week that the UK government announced an industrial strategy it shows that protecting jobs for the...
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Award for New Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Gallery Fife Council Deputy Leader, Lesley Laird expressed her delighted in hearing that the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Gallery has won an award before it’s doors are even open. Cllr Laird said, What a tremendous accolade for the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Gallery to win the...
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Today was the final council meeting of this Administration.  It’s been an amazing 5 years.  Council Leader, David Ross presented his Leader’s Report and it was a very significant list of achievements…  here are just a few 2700 affordable homes built – and this year the UK’s No1 social house builder – a phenomenal achievement...
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Over the last few weeks I have been out across the Ward.  Delivering letters and speaking to people on the door step.  There is a great deal of anger and frustration about national events – but in this election it is really important to remember that it is about local issues and ensuring you have...
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Over the last few weeks I have met with a number of very concerned residents regarding the proposed housing development at Fulmar Way.  There is real anger in the community, particularly in Otterstoun Grove and Markfield about the impact this development will have on their environment, outlook and quality of life. The background to this...
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Unfortunately due to car trouble I did not get along to the Dalgety Bay Consultation event on 3 April.  However, residents have been in touch with me about it asking what I am doing to support the community and their concerns. By way of background, I organised a meeting in Dunfermline just before Christmas and...
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Last night I attended the Fife Chamber of Commerce, Fife Business Awards at the Rothes Halls.  These awards are always very competitive and as part of the judging panel for one of the awards, I know just how hard it is to choose a winner. The night was a great success and it was fantastic...
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Delighted to attend the opening of the new Skatepark for Dalgety Bay.  This has literally been years in the making by the young people behind this project and they have shown remarkable patience and determination to stick with it and make it happen.  Fundraising has come from a variety of sources including Fife Council, via...
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Residents have been in touch with me regarding the closure of the RBS branch at Dalgety Bay.  This closure follows on the back of the closure of Aberdour and Inverkeithing and leaves local residents with a trip to Dunfermline if they want face to face contact. I have picked up this issue with the local...
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Over the last few weeks I have been approached by residents regarding issues with Virgin Media in the Dalgety Bay area.  Having taken up the issues on behalf of Mr Jamieson, they have now apologies.  However, I remain concerned about the quality of workmanship and am pleased so say that they have accepted the invitation...
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Hosted a meeting today with Sustainable Cupar in their quest to incorporate a district heating system into the proposed housing developments in Cupar.  Thanks too, to the developers who attended and to Willie Rennie MSP for co-ordinating the meeting. There is much merit in looking at how this type of approach can be taken forward,...
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Today, with Fife Council Chief Executive, I met the new Fife College Principle, Hugh Hall. Hugh takes over from retiring Principle Hugh Logan, and brings with him a huge range of experience and an extensive network of contacts in education and government agencies, which hopefully he can use to positive effect for Fife. I raised...
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Today I met with the Robertson Trust who are interested in partnering with Fife Council as a result of the work that we have done on employability, particularly in our support of those who face increased challenges in obtaining employment – such as Care Leavers, Young Carers, etc. Our success is of course down to...
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The regeneration continues and today we’re meeting on site to look at options in relation to ensure safe access for pedestrians as well as the best route for transport, and the local bus service.   A number of suggestions have been made regarding this and we now await an update as to how these proposals...
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Over the last few weeks I’ve been knocking doors and speaking to people in the Ward.  It’s been good to get out and talk to people about what matters to them.  What is clear is that people are finding it hard to separate national and local issues. But on 4 May it is about local....
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Last night I was delighted to be able to attend the Adam Smith Lecture, this year delivered by Ed Balls. A slight twist on the Economic with a few Strictly observations thrown in for good measure – made it an economic lecture that was thought provoking, amusing and left the audience with plenty to think...
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Delighted to meet this afternoon with the members of the Buchanan Institute.  They attended a recent Fife hosted event on Universal Basic Income, and have done considerable research into this subject. There is a lot of debate about reform of welfare, and one of the concepts that is being looked at is Universal Basic Income....
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It’s a week of finals.  Last Tourism partnership meeting I will attend in my role as Spokesperson for Economy.  It was a very up beat meeting with so many good things going on in Fife right now. The new Museum and Art Gallery is due to open in May, and having been on a tour...
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Last meeting of the SW Area Committee today.  Despite the political differences, all members reflected on the overall very positive working relationships at both area and ward level in the SW area.  Everyone is very focused on doing the best they can for constituents and we have achieved quite a lot for Ward 6 over...
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Following on from the meeting last year, I invited the Edinburgh Airport Consultation Team back to Fife to share their proposed plans and to hear what the public had to say about it. The meeting was held in the City Chambers in Dunfermline, and there was a very good turn out with some excellent questions...
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Today it was the final meeting of SESplan.  Not without a bit of drama.  We have been waiting for Transport Scotland to provide the cross boundary study in order to feed in to the overall SESplan 2.  They have quite simply failed to deliver despite re-assurances that they would.  The draft plan finally was sent...
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Following the first formal meeting of the Longannet Task Force which took place on Monday at the Longannet Site Cllr Lesley Laird, Deputy Leader & Spokesperson for Economy & Planning said “This a regrettable position for the employees and their families and even although the announcement was anticipated it is nonetheless a shock when faced...
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