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post office

 

I am very concerned to learn that Strathaven Post Office is closed.

It is a temporary closure of the branch, which is a privately owned business, and the Post Office nationally apologises for the inconvenience this is causing.

It stresses that it aims to keep a service in Strathaven and it is working hard to find a solution that will allow it to be restored as soon as possible.

But given that RBS plans to close its Strathaven branch, citing the Post Office 100 yards away as the alternative for its customers, I have written to the Royal Bank arguing that the potential instability of the local PO should be a trigger to keep the bank branch open.

bank

Biggar branch - reprieved until the end of the year.

 

Local customers have to play their part in keeping open the Royal Bank of Scotland branches reprieved last week.

In announcing the closure of more than 60 branches nationally, RBS said that since 2012 the way people used the bank had changed dramatically.

Following an outcry, and pressure from the SNP – and following a meeting I held with RBS - it is now keeping 10 of the threatened branches,
including Biggar and Douglas, open until the end of the year when their use will be reviewed by independent research.

If that finds there is greater usage of a branch, there will be a further review of its future I made the point to RBS that this latest round of closures plus that of the recent past would leave only one branch in the whole of Clydesdale in Lanark.

I believe this disproportionately hits my constituents and I am glad there is a temporary reprieve for both Biggar and Douglas.

It is clear we must find a way to demonstrate to RBS that these branches do and can have a sustainable future and I will be seeking an urgent meeting with RBS to seek clarity in what they need to see in order that they make this temporary change of heart a permanent one.

What is clear for us in Biggar and Douglas is that customers must support these banks if the branches are to have a chance of surviving and this vital local service is not to be lost.

And I will continue to work to get the same recognition for the branches in Strathaven, Carnwath and Lesmahagow in a bid to also keep them open.

Bakery

The bakery - and some of the cakes which helped this family business win a top award.

 

I had a great visit this week to Jenny's Cakes at Crossford.

This tiny family business beat large bakeries from across the country to win a major wedding industry award at the end of last year.

Some 10,000 companies were nominated for the various categories in the Scottish VOWS awards, and at the end of all the judging, Jenny's Cakes were announced as the 2017 Wedding Cake Designer of The Year!

It is a terrific accolade for them, and engaged couples making the trip out to their bakery are boosting other businesses in the Clyde Valley.

Tom and Jenny Breen invited me to visit the Old Smithy Bakery and it was wonderful to see what goes on and realise how well deserved the award is.

And as someone who enjoys baking and "pottering" around with cake decorating, I also picked up a few tips on sugarcraft!

Congratulations and many thanks, Tom and Jenny.

 

overburns pic

Overburns

 

Councillors on South Lanarkshire council’s planning committee are being asked to approve the latest application from Paterson of Greenoakhill to extract sand and gravel on the Clyde at Overburns Farm, in Lamington in my constituency.

Local people have been fighting similar plans for the past nine years, arguing about the effect such a quarry could have on a rural beauty spot, and the potential knock-on effect on local tourism. It was an application that I, as the local MSP, conducted a local survey on to gauge local opinion in order to ensure the planning system was well aware of local views.

Over the years over a thousand objections have been received, and the Clyde River Action Group have spent over £123,000 of their own money gathering expert evidence and fighting this development. They tell me how scunnered they feel at having to respond again to what feels
like relentless pressure for this quarry to get the go-ahead.

I have written to the council asking it to reflect upon the research, independent evaluation and opinions of my constituents.

The planning hearing is on Tuesday, February 13 at 10am in the council offices in Almada Street in Hamilton, and it is open to the public.

surgeries

Surgeries

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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