Local Deli-Café Launches Dunfermline Beer

Dunfermline once again has its own beer, after more than a century — thanks to David Austin of popular New Row deli-café, Reuben’s.

The ‘de Brus’ blonde ale is named after the Bruce clan and already has the seal of approval from the current Clan Chief, Lord Elgin. Read more of this post

Suggestions Invited for Dunfermline Heritage Plaques

Dunfermline Delivers is inviting suggestions for local heritage plaques to bring the history of Dunfermline up to date. Read more of this post

Question S4W-06446: Hydroelectric Schemes

Bill Walker: To ask the Scottish Executive what incentives are in place to encourage the implementation of run-of-river hydroelectric schemes in West Fife and the rest of the country.

Date Lodged: 26/03/2012 Read more of this post

S4M-02482: West Fife Multi-Cultural Group Brings Community Together

That the Parliament congratulates the West Fife Multi-Cultural Group on receiving grants of over £25,000 from LEADER, Awards for All and Fife Council; understands that the group will use this funding for classes in glass-fusion jewellery-making; considers that local voluntary groups provide a valuable service by bringing communities together; encourages other community groups to be aware of possible funding options available for voluntary projects, and wishes the West Fife Multi-Cultural Group well with its project.

Supported by: Kevin Stewart, Margaret Burgess, Dennis Robertson, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Gil Paterson, Colin Beattie

Date Lodged: 26/03/2012

Parliamentary Progress on High Hedges Bill is Good News for Dunfermline

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has welcomed the progress of his parliamentary colleague Mark McDonald‘s efforts to legislate for high hedges. Read more of this post

S4M-02459: Next Phase of Aircraft Carriers Project at Rosyth Dockyard

That the Parliament welcomes the arrival of the second bow section for the aircraft carriers being assembled at Rosyth Dockyard; believes that the dockyard is uniquely placed to undertake projects of this complexity and scale, due to having both the largest dry dock in the UK and a workforce with first-class experience and skills; understands that, as a result of this, Rosyth will undertake not only the current assembly of the carriers, but their future servicing and refitting, and welcomes the skilled jobs that it believes this project will create and maintain in west Fife for decades to come.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Colin Beattie

Date Lodged: 22/03/2012

Dunfermline MSP Dismisses “Scaremongering” Rosyth Dockyard Claims

MSP Bill Walker has referred to a question about Rosyth Dockyard, raised by Labour MP Thomas Docherty to the UK Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, as “scaremongering at its absolute worst”. Read more of this post

S4M-02414: Beattie Passive Affordable Social Housing in Dunfermline

That the Parliament welcomes the construction of four social housing homes by Beattie Passive in Inchkeith Drive, Dunfermline; understands that Beattie Passive Build System Limited is a patented build system that uses traditional, readily available construction materials in an energy efficient way to build properties of Passivhaus certified standards, which it is understood require 90% less heating and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 100%; further understands that Beattie Passive has proved successful in the private residential market and that the build system could be used for schools, nursing homes and factories; considers that, in recent years, high fuel costs have combined with a shortage in affordable, energy-efficient social housing to trap many households in fuel poverty; considers that this style of construction could potentially eliminate fuel poverty; welcomes the fact that the build system will be manufactured and erected by young local trainees from the Fife Skills Development Centre in Kirkcaldy, and believes that the simplicity of this build system will help make more jobs available to young people throughout Scotland.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lyle, Maureen Watt, Kevin Stewart, Gil Paterson, Mike MacKenzie, Colin Beattie, Stuart McMillan

Date Lodged: 20/03/2012

People Affected by Prostate Cancer Can Have Their Say

MSP Bill Walker has called on Dunfermline people affected by prostate cancer to provide feedback on a draft set of standards for quality prostate cancer care. Read more of this post

Fife Hospitals and Legacy of ‘Right for Fife’

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has responded to a Labour Fife councillor’s criticisms of the Victoria Hospital by pointing out that the decision to shift services from Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital to Kirkcaldy was made by Labour. Read more of this post

S4M-02393: Abbeyview Project Supports Unemployed People in Dunfermline

That the Parliament congratulates the Abbeyview Project in Dunfermline, which it understands provides a successful training, advice and support service; notes that it aims to help local unemployed people, especially young people, into work; understands that the scheme offers a variety of support, including assistance with application forms and CVs, advice about interview skills and dress codes, and also supplies stationery, newspapers, stamps and internet access; congratulates the project, which, since launching in January 2012, has already helped several people into employment, including an apprenticeship for a 16-year-old girl; commends the centre manager, Jackie Walls, for what it sees as her hard work and dedication in launching and running the project, and considers that the Abbeyview Project is a valuable service to the community.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Kenneth Gibson, Kevin Stewart, Colin Beattie, Margaret Burgess, Gil Paterson, Sandra White

Date Lodged: 16/03/2012

Reduction in Fife Road Casualties

Casualties on Fife roads are at a record low, with fatalities having already dropped to the Scottish Government’s target for 2020 and serious injuries falling to the 2015 target. Read more of this post

Living Wage

I was pleased to speak recently in a Chamber Debate about the living wage. Supply and demand can drive progress, but there must be a manageable system based on human values — a decent living wage as part of the regulated limit below which no one should fall. Read more of this post

Saline First Responders

Another community group, this time in the West Fife Villages, is providing a valuable service and is currently seeking volunteers and fund-raisers.

The Saline First Responders cover Saline, Blairhall, Comrie, Oakley, Carnock, Gowkhall, Steelend and outlying farms, delivering emergency medical assistance while ambulance crews make their way to patients. Read more of this post

Tourism Boost

Dunfermline and West Fife Local Tourist Association are progressing with an innovative idea that they say could boost the Fife economy by £1.1 to £2.25 million p.a.. Read more of this post


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Living Wage – Meeting of the Parliament, 01 March 2012

As a member of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, I was pleased to take part in the inquiry into the living wage in December and January. I wholly support the committee report, and I would like to address both the wider economics and the morality of the living-wage argument. Read more of this post

Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 21 February 2012

Good afternoon. I want to follow that up at a local level. In Fife, we have a pretty good relationship between Fife Council and the police, especially at local level. We have wards, area committees and so on, and as a councillor I regularly meet constables, sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors…

Building Repairs (Scotland) Bill – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 08 February 2012

Good morning, Mr Stewart. My question goes back to the consultation that you have done so far, particularly with the Scottish Government, which has history in this regard, so I reckon that there is quite a lot of information. I am not asking you to praise the Scottish Government, but are you satisfi…

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (Review) – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 08 February 2012

Good morning, Mr Muir. I am very interested in this subject. You want the Government to carry out “an independent ‘fit for purpose’ review” because the SPSO is set up by the Parliament. How do you see an investigative body being selected, bearing it in mind that you are asking …

Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 08 February 2012

I will follow that up on a practical level. I am still a local councillor in Fife and we have a pretty good relationship with the police. For example, at ward level we work with constables and sergeants; at area committee level, we work with chief inspectors; and at Fife Council, we work with the ch…

Budget (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – Meeting of the Parliament, 08 February 2012

I hear what Claudia Beamish says about wanting more money for certain things and reducing the cuts. I do not like the word “cuts”, but sometimes that is what they are. If we are not to implement the cuts that she mentions, will she and her colleagues please tell us which budgets they would cut?

NHS 24 (Free Calls from Mobile Phones) – Public Petitions Committee, 07 February 2012

I support that. Until recently, I was not aware how many people call NHS 24 from mobile phones, which is pretty expensive. People phone when there is a serious matter that does not merit a 999 call. I hope that consideration of the 111 number will be concluded soon, so that we can merge consideratio…

Child Sexual Exploitation – Public Petitions Committee, 07 February 2012

Perhaps I should declare an interest. I am still a member of Fife Council.

My question leads on from what colleagues have said. In the complex situation that we are in, unfortunately, with child sexual exploitation, how does the Scottish Government hold the 32 councils to account for what…

Broadband – Meeting of the Parliament, 02 February 2012

Everyone else is getting a geographical mention. I am one of the poor souls in the constituency of Dunfermline in West Fife who does not have broadband in his house. I have petitioned the cabinet secretary, but to no avail.