Small Businesses in Fife Scoop Record Rates Relief

Small businesses in Fife have benefitted from more than £26m in rates relief since the launch of the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) in 2008 — more than any of the 33 Scottish local authority areas outside Glasgow, Highland and the City of Edinburgh.

Moreover, in the latest figures for 2011-12, Fife scooped nearly double the assistance as it did in 2008-9. Read more of this post

Local Elections

The Local Council Elections are almost upon us. On 3rd May we will each vote for a total of three or four councillors, in order of preference, to serve on Fife Council.

When elected Dunfermline MSP, I announced my decision to stand down as Councillor for West Fife and Coastal Villages. I now wish the best of luck to Kate Stewart and Len Woods, who are standing for election in my current Villages ward. Read more of this post

Scotland Bill

Last week in Parliament I was pleased to vote for the Scotland Bill, which passed unanimously.

This Bill will allow the Scottish Government to raise £5 to £6 billion of Scotland’s budget. Scottish ministers will also be able to borrow around £2.7 billion, which can be used to fund projects to boost Scotland’s economic recovery. Read more of this post


Having considered my options and consulted with family, friends and supporters regarding my recent expulsion (pending appeal) from the SNP, I am now advising SNP Headquarters how I wish to proceed with an appeal to the Party. I will not be issuing any further comments on this SNP matter, or on allegations made against me, beyond my update for Dunfermline constituents, dated 18th April 2012, published on my website at, and any further information carried in my regular column in the Dunfermline Press. Any questions regarding an appeal should be put to the SNP.

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

Dunfermline MSP Welcomes £80K Funding for Veterans

MSP for Dunfermline, Bill Walker, has welcomed news that projects assisting ex-servicemen and women back into civilian life are set to receive an £80,000 funding boost.

Scottish Government Veterans Minister, Keith Brown, has earmarked allocations from the Scottish Veterans Fund for eleven projects across Scotland, including Veterans Scotland and Officers Association Scotland. Read more of this post

Fife Colleges Collaboration

Following months of consultation, Carnegie College has confirmed it will seek the creation of a Regional College for Fife before a Tertiary Education Institute with Edinburgh’s Napier University.

The College has consulted extensively with students, staff, the community and industry stakeholders, as well as holding intensive discussions with Adam Smith College, Elmwood College and Edinburgh’s Napier University. Read more of this post

Further Update for Dunfermline Constituents

I have tried to avoid fuelling a media feeding frenzy regarding allegations in relation to my former private life. However, the allegations have become so distressing that I feel compelled to issue a brief statement. Read more of this post

Tourism Boost to Dunfermline and West Fife

Tourism in Dunfermline and West Fife looks set to enjoy a boost, thanks to a Fife-wide series of visitor guides and a new branding strategy — initiatives welcomed by local MSP Bill Walker.

The colourful, up-to-date 32-page guides highlight Fife’s many attractions and include maps setting out sections of the Fife Coastal Path. They are free to pick up at visitor attractions, transport hubs and in tourist accommodation. Read more of this post

S4M-02604: Valleyfield Heritage Project Woodland Clean-up

That the Parliament commends what it considers to be the hard work and dedication of the Valleyfield Heritage Group in West Fife; understands that the group consists of local volunteers whose stated aim is to preserve the Valleyfield woodland and return the area to its former glory; congratulates the group on the success of its recent clean-up, in which volunteers of different ages removed rubbish and undergrowth, and hopes that the enthusiasm and energy of the volunteers will encourage more villagers and young people to take interest in the woodland and preserve it for their own children and grandchildren and also for visitors to the area.

Supported by: Alison Johnstone, Dave Thompson, Mike MacKenzie, Colin Beattie, Richard Lyle

Date Lodged: 11/04/2012

Dunfermline School Children Recipients of Big Lottery Awards

Schoolchildren from Dunfermline are the latest to benefit from Big Lottery grants, aimed at encouraging involvement in sports.

Five primary schools and Dunfermline Athletic Girls Football Club received awards totalling £7,758. Four of the schools — Blairhall, Wellwood, Milesmark and Pittencrieff — will use their funding for Olympics-themed sports, while Cairneyhill Primary School aims to provide a wide range of sporting opportunities for all pupils, including those with significant additional support needs. Read more of this post

S4M-02554: Dunfermline’s New Local Beer

That the Parliament congratulates David Austin, owner of the Dunfermline café-deli, Reuben’s, on brewing what it understands to be the town’s first beer in over 200 years; understands that Mr Austin has named the beer, de Brus, after the Bruce clan, and that it has been given the “thumbs up” from Lord Elgin; notes that it is a traditional Scottish beer with a nod to the past brewing history of Dunfermline; considers that innovation is important for small businesses, particularly in what it believes are difficult economic times, and wishes Mr Austin every success with his efforts to have de Brus adopted as Dunfermline’s local beer.

Supported by: Kevin Stewart, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie

Date Lodged: 30/03/2012

Update for Dunfermline Constituents

On Saturday, 7th April 2012, following a Hearing with the Disciplinary Committee, I was expelled from the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The Committee upheld the Complaint from the Party’s National Secretary that I had withheld from the Party information about unproven allegations concerning my former marriages when applying to become an approved Parliamentary Candidate for the 2011 Scottish Elections.  I deny that such was the case and still maintain that I completed the relevant application form in a full and proper manner. 

At no time during the vetting, selection and confirmation processes was I ever asked about my declared previous divorce proceedings and related matters. Read more of this post

Aircraft Carriers

The second bow section for the aircraft carriers being assembled at Rosyth Dockyard has arrived, excellent news for the many people in Dunfermline employed at the Dockyard. Read more of this post

Hydro-electric Schemes in Fife

The Scottish Government’s target of producing all of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 is ambitious but it can be met — and for the sake of future generations, I believe it must be. Read more of this post

Prostate Cancer

Despite claiming the lives of two men every day in Scotland, prostate cancer — the most common cancer among men — receives less media attention and funding than many other major cancers. Read more of this post

West Fife Villages Councillor Wishes Council Candidates Good Luck!

With council candidate nominations now closed, West Fife and Coastal Villages councillor, Bill Walker, has wished the best of luck to two candidates hoping to replace him in Fife Council in May. Read more of this post