Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, met with RBS officials at her constituency office last Friday to discuss the bank’s closure of its Carluke branch, as well as changes to opening hours in Carnwath and Douglas. At the meeting were Vicky Loch, Local CEO; Bridget Heaney, Senior Business Manager for Business Banking Scotland and Jamie Black, Consumer Affairs Manager. The branch hours will change on August 15 with the Carluke branch closing on the 16th.
Commenting Ms Campbell said:
“It was clear that, unfortunately, the bank are committed to closing the Carluke branch as part of their nationwide round of closures. Whilst this is very disappointing for Carluke, I‘m keen to ensure the bank makes the transition as smooth as possible for their customers who will now be using the Wishaw or Lanark branches.
“The bank was also able to assure me that the staff were either being redeployed locally or taking voluntary redundancy.
“Furthermore, the bank also reassured me that they are committed to maintaining the building after the closure and either leasing it or selling it to interested parties. Hopefully we will see a new business in place quickly which could attract more people to Carluke town centre.”
Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, has raised a number of serious concerns with NHS Lanarkshire about the recent decision to close the doors at Lockhart hospital to new patients, this comes on the back of local meetings the MSP had. Campbell also attended a Lanark Community Council meeting where the issue was discussed with the health board on Monday night.
Due to a lack of GP cover the hospital was closed to new patients and the remaining patients were given alternative care arrangements. Local concerns about this development were also included in correspondence sent by Campbell to the Health Secretary Shona Robison.
Commenting Aileen Campbell said:
"I have demanded strong reassurances that there is no long term plan to close this much loved and used local facility. Facilities like the Lockhart should be utilised as much as possible as they allow people to be treated closer to home, rather than going to Wishaw. I am pleased that at the recent community council meeting, and in correspondence to me, that NHS Lanarkshire say they 'remain committed to Clydesdale's cottage hospitals' but I need them to show this commitment in the coming days by endeavouring to reopen the hospital as soon as possible. I have also sought to ensure communication with the community is open and transparent to guard against unnecessary scares and rumour.
"The community are greatly concerned that the hospital is being effectively mothballed. NHS Lanarkshire must ensure that they do their utmost to reassure the public as to their commitment to Clydesdale's cottage hospitals and to reopen Lockhart Hospital as soon as possible."
Aileen Campbell MSP for Clydesdale has welcomed the announcement made by the First Minister that the SNP will deliver superfast digital broadband to 100% premises across Scotland over the next parliament.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon used her keynote speech at SNP conference on Saturday to mark the achievements of the Scottish Government and make the broadband announcement.
The current broadband delivery schedule will reach 95% of premises across the country by the end of 2017. Scotland’s rural parts make up the 5% of areas missing out on the current plans and the First Minister said, “…in the digital age, it’s simply not acceptable any longer for anyone to be left behind.”
Commenting, Aileen said:
“This announcement will have a hugely positive impact on rural Scotland.
“Broadband is an issue often raised by my constituents and that given we have so many people experiencing poor coverage, it's especially welcome news for Clydesdale.
“Superfast digital broadband will be delivered to 100% premises across Scotland which will vitally provide a social and economic boost to many communities.
“The SNP recognises the need to ensure we have an inclusive programme of digital connectivity where everybody can access Superfast Broadband.”
Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell last week met with Clydesdale farmers who were at Holyrood raising concerns about the delayed farm payments. The Scottish Government has been clear that the payments have not been getting made as quickly as they would like given new EU rules. Now the Scottish Government is paying £200 million of Scottish Government funds to support any farmer who is still awaiting a direct subsidy payment at the end of March.
Commenting Aileen said:
"The transition to the new CAP scheme has led to problems across the EU, with new EU rules stipulating that claims have to be fully processed before any payment is made. The Government has been keen to work with farmers, the NFU and commercial banks to see what additional support can be offered.
"Now that the Scottish Government has offered further cash support, that should provide farmers with an additional layer of certainty for the weeks ahead. I know my colleagues have been extremely frustrated by some of the conditions of the new system, however, we are now seeing the majority of claims have been paid. The Government are keen to stress that they are working to process all payments as quickly as possible.
"This support in Scotland contrasts with the recent announcement that the Tory farming minister in Westminster is in favour of leaving the EU altogether. That would only create additional uncertainty for our farmers and for our rural communities."
SNP CONFERENCE SETS OUT PROGRESSIVE POLICIES
Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell has today welcomed a series of policy announcements made by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Spring Conference in Glasgow. There was a strong emphasis on policies for children and young people and also a commitment to promote rural superfast broadband across Scotland.
The First Minister confirmed that a re-elected SNP government will:
• Increase Maternity Grants for the birth of a first child; reintroduce payments for subsequent children; and introduce payments for children beginning nursery and starting school.
• Extend free school meals to all 2, 3 and 4 year olds in our nurseries.
• Invest an extra £750 million over the next Parliament, partly paid for by making the Council Tax fairer, to raise the attainment of the most disadvantaged young people.
• Protect NHS funding in every year of the next Parliament and invest an additional £50 million in cancer treatment.
• Extend superfast broadband to every community in Scotland.
Commenting, Aileen Campbell said:
“At the SNP Conference this weekend the First Minister set out a number of policies that I will be proud to take to the people of Clydesdale in the Scottish Parliament election in May.
“The SNP already has a record to be proud of: crime is at a 41 year low; Council Tax bills have been frozen for nine years; more school leavers are in work, education or training than ever before; the health budget has reached a record £13 billion; and we have fully mitigated the Bedroom Tax.
“The bold agenda set out by the First Minister will build on this record of achievement – to deliver a fairer, more prosperous and confident country.
“It is clear that the only way to secure this progressive vision for Scotland is to vote both votes SNP and re-elect a strong SNP government led by Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister.”