Carnegie Primary School

I was pleased to learn that Carnegie Primary School in Duloch, Dunfermline, had  earned an “Outstanding” BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) award for its environmental credentials. A couple of years ago, I attended the dedication ceremony when First Minister, Alex Salmond, opened the School.

The new School building and grounds are very spacious and have extensive outdoor facilities. The School has a combined heat and power plant, a wind turbine and external cedar cladding, which makes it one of the most environmentally friendly primary schools in Fife.  Moreover, the facilities in the school grounds mean that pupils can benefit from learning outdoors and be encouraged to become responsible citizens who value and protect our natural world.   Read more of this post

Entrepreneurism in West Fife

I recently met glass-painter Jacquelyne Davidson who is encouraging other young mothers to follow their creative instincts and take the plunge in setting up their own businesses.

Jacquelyne, mother to six-year-old Christopher-Luke, launched hand-painted glassware business “Jac By Design” in November 2012, after twelve years of glass-painting as a hobby. She sells her glassware online and at the Kilns gift shop in Limekilns, Potter About in Burntisland and Piggy Bank Gifts in Leslie. Read more of this post

Funny who you meet in the Scottish Parliament!

Mr QOn a recent visit to Holyrood, MSP for Dunfermline Bill Walker bumped into a few interesting characters in the parliament’s hallways… And being a politician he, of course, did not miss out on the photo opportunity!

Fife Councillor for Lochgelly and Cardenden, Ian Chisholm, had been attending First Minister’s Question Time along with Tam Livingstone, a well known local activist and community campaigner.  Afterwards, the pair met fellow Fifer, Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker, who treated them to lunch.  Luckily for Ian and Tam, there were a couple of far more interesting encounters to come. Read more of this post

West Fife businesswoman encourages mums to get creative

1A west Fife glass-painter is encouraging other mothers to follow their creative instincts and even take the plunge in setting up their own businesses.

Jacquelyne Davidson, mother to six-year-old Christopher-Luke, launched hand-painted glassware business Jac By Design in November 2012, after twelve years of glass-painting as a hobby. Read more of this post

S4W-16217: New roads and road maintenance

To ask the Scottish Government whether it would, in an independent Scotland, consider ringfencing a proportion of taxes raised through vehicle excise duty, petrol and diesel for new roads and road maintenance.

Date Lodged: 02/07/2013

Answered by Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, (23/07/13):   Read more of this post

S4M-07232: Carnegie Primary’s ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM award

That the Parliament congratulates Carnegie Primary School in Duloch, Dunfermline, on earning an “Outstanding” BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) award for its environmental credentials; notes that the £9.6 million school includes features such as a combined heat and power plant, a wind turbine and external cedar cladding; considers that BREEAM is one of the world’s most comprehensive and foremost environmental assessment methods and ratings systems for buildings, which sets the benchmark for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation, and believes that Carnegie Primary School is an outstanding example of low-carbon and low-impact design for future schools to note.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie,  Dennis Robertson, Nigel Don, David Torrance, Kenneth Gibson, Sandra White

Date Lodged: 04/07/13

Carnegie Primary Schools earns “Outstanding” BREEAM award

CPSA Dunfermline Primary School opened by First Minister Alex Salmond in 2011 has won an “Outstanding” BREEAM award for its environmental credentials.

The £9.6m Carnegie Primary School is the only Scottish school to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ award. Its environmentally sustainable features include a combined heat and power plant, a wind turbine and external cedar cladding. Read more of this post

S4W-16208: National conservation scheme for preservation of wildcats

 To ask the Scottish Government whether it will establish a national conservation scheme for the preservation of wildcats and, if so, how much this will cost.

Date Lodged: 01/07/13

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs Transport (30/07/13): Read more of this post

S4W-16207: Protected areas for preservation of wildcats

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to establish protected areas where feral cats can be neutered to avoid cross-breeding with wildcats.

Date Lodged: 01/07/13

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs Transport (30/07/13): Read more of this post

S4W-16206: Programmes in place to protect wildcats

To ask the Scottish Government what programmes are in place to ensure the survival of wildcats outside captivity.

Date Lodged: 01/07/13

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs Transport (30/07/13): Read more of this post

S4W-16205: Estimate of wildcat numbers

Bill Walker: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an estimate of the number of wildcats living outside captivity.

Date Lodged: 01/07/13

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs Transport (30/07/13): Read more of this post

Funding available for groups to reduce community carbon footprints

KSBDunfermline MSP Bill Walker is encouraging west Fife community groups to find out if their projects for reducing the carbon footprint of their communities are eligible for funding through the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

The CCF makes grants of up to £150,000/yr and includes a Junior Climate Challenge Fund of the same amount. Development Grants of £750 are available to help young people, disadvantaged communities and ethnic minority communities develop their applications. Read more of this post

Oakley holiday scheme receives £8,773 Coalfields grant

Coalfields Regeneration TrustOakley Centre Management Committee has received £8,773 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme to extend an existing holiday play scheme.

The scheme will give 24 local young people the chance to participate in supervised activities such as sports, photography, gardening, crafts, indoor games and music. Read more of this post

Dunfermline Reign Basketball Club receives Lottery funding

Big Lottery FundDunfermline Reign Basketball Club has received a £1,837 award from the Big Lottery Fund’s 2014 Communities programme.

The Reign, home of Fife’s only national and local league basketball team, provides basketball development for youths and adults in the Dunfermline area. They will use the award to organise five competition evenings for four high school teams from Dunfermline.

Bill Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, said: “Congratulations to the Dunfermline Reign Basketball Club. It’s good to see young people being encouraged to keep healthy and active. Read more of this post

Bruce Festival funding boost

Bruce FestivalThe Bruce Festival, which will form a key event in Homecoming Scotland 2014, has secured £30,000 funding from the Scottish Government.

The two-day celebration showcases Dunfermline’s status as the ancient capital of Scotland and burial place of King Robert the Bruce, who lies beneath the pulpit in the Abbey.

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker said: “The Bruce Festival, and indeed Homecoming Scotland, is important for so many reasons. Read more of this post

Iain Banks

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dunfermline-born author Iain Banks, one of Scotland’s most acclaimed writers of modern times.

Mr Banks received numerous accolades over the years, including The Times ranking him 38th in their list of greatest British writers since 1945. With 27 published novels, he has left a considerable legacy for his readers.

My sympathies go out to his wife, family, friends and readers.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.

Business Successes

In the current difficult financial climate, it’s always welcome to hear of local businesses thriving. It’s equally welcome when those businesses are recognised by their customers for outstanding services and products.

D&G Autocare’s Fast Fit garage on Pitreavie Industrial Estate was recently named Scotland’s “Garage of the Year” by Motor Codes, the motor industry’s regulatory body. In addition, customers have voted the D&G Autocare Group as best MOT centres in Scotland and fourth best in the UK. Read more of this post

Vote No to Dogma

The Independence Referendum next year is about the future of Scotland and her people, not a vote for or against the current SNP Government or any political party.

As former LibDem councillor Gerry McMullan pointed out in the letters page of last week’s Dunfermline Press, the Referendum is about whether Scots should make decisions about their future through an independent Scottish Parliament or remain dominated by Westminster. Read more of this post

Fife directory for elderly people

FEFDunfermline MSP Bill Walker has welcomed the launch of a Fife-wide online directory for older people, by the Fife Elderly Forum “Local Area Coordination (LAC) Project”.

The resource, available at, www.fife-elderly-directory.org.uk, covers a wide range of community-based resources and services.

The Fife Elderly Forum is expected to keep the directory updated. However, the wider community and other service providers are encouraged to amend or add to it wherever appropriate. Read more of this post

Congratulations to Pittencrieff Primary School

That the Parliament congratulates the parent teacher association (PTA) of Pittencrieff Primary School in Dunfermline on receiving a £10,000 award from the Big Lottery Communities and Family Fund; understands that the award, which is the maximum that can be granted, will be used to purchase play equipment for the school and nursery complex and will help volunteers maintain a garden that is open to the community in the evenings and at weekends, and believes that the PTA plays an important role in improving the early learning, health and wellbeing of the children.

Supported by: Nigel Don, Angus MacDonald, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Lyle, David Torrance, Sandra White, Maureen Watt, Bill Kidd, Fiona McLeod, Colin Beattie, Gil Paterson

Date Lodged: 25/06/2013

Local poet’s independence referendum tribute

West Fife poet Robert Sclater, a retired architectural designer, has written a topical new poem to commemorate the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Sclater’s extensive career has included working for Dunfermline architects Shearer and Annand and redesigning the visitor maps in Pittencrieff Park. He is a former pupil of Blacklaw, Woodmill and Queen Anne schools. Read more of this post

Pittencrieff Primary on Lottery funding

Big Lottery FundThe Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at Pittencrieff Primary School in Dunfermline has received a £10,000 award after applying to the Big Lottery Communities and Family Fund.

MSP for Dunfermline Bill Walker said: “I am delighted that one of our local primary schools has received such substantial funding and wish to extend my congratulations.

“The PTA at Pittencrieff Primary achieved the maximum award possible from the fund, reflecting the important role they play in improving the early learning, health and wellbeing of young children.  I hope other local community groups will be encouraged by Pittencrieff Primary’s success to apply for Big Lottery funding themselves.” Read more of this post

Asda Dunfermline Halbeath offers diabetes tests

Asda is now offering free diabetes tests to shoppers at its Halbeath store and in all Asda in-store pharmacies across Scotland.

MSP for Dunfermline Bill Walker said: “I would encourage people to take advantage of the free diabetes testing being offered at Asda’s in Halbeath.  Many people suffer with undiagnosed diabetes, and I hope this number can be reduced throughout Scotland as a result of the service. Read more of this post

Dunfermline residents encouraged to submit stories to new museum

Dunfermilne MuseumLocal MSP Bill Walker is encouraging anyone with an interesting or unusual Dunfermline story to contact the team behind a project underway for the new Museum and Art Gallery.

Mr Walker, who recently welcomed a £2.8m cash boost to the museum from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

“This is an exciting project, which I hope will generate more tourism for our local area.  It will great if lots of people get involved in the creation of our museum and art gallery, to help it become as interesting and personal to Dunfermline as possible. Read more of this post

Clarification on Queen Margaret Hospital services

QMHDunfermline MSP Bill Walker has welcomed clarification on the services currently offered at the Queen Margaret Hospital (QMH), after NHS Fife pledged to keep West Fifers up to date via their new “Queen Margaret Development Project” newsletter.

Mr Walker said: “West Fife residents have needed, in particular, clarity on what can and can’t be treated at the Minor Injuries Service at the Queen Margaret. Not knowing whether to head there, or go directly to the Victoria in Kirkcaldy, has caused many people a great deal of undue confusion and stress. Read more of this post

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