Dunfermline charity receives £5,000 award

Lloyds TSB FoundationDunfermline-based charity Safe Space has received a £5,000 award from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

Safe Space provides support services and counselling for survivors of sexual abuse. It welcomes clients regardless of where they live, provided they can make the journey to Fife.

Local MSP Bill Walker said: “This is very good news for Safe Space, who provide an important service in Dunfermline and to the wider community. It is always welcome to see local charities receiving support, especially in these financially difficult times. Read more of this post

Dunfermline business networking groups make a festive toast to the year ahead

Invchristmasparty4As 2012 draws to a close, Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has spoken of an encouraging strengthening of Dunfermline’s business community.

Mr Walker said: “We’ve seen the launch of several businesses in Dunfermline over the last year or so, including in the hospitality and retail sectors, and we’ve also seen encouraging efforts to strengthen links between smaller businesses to help them thrive.

“In October, I met Tim Thomson of the Vine Venue and InVite Business Networking, who holds regular meetings to encourage networking among local small businesses. I think Tim is doing a great job, so I was delighted to hear today of InVite’s successful joint Christmas night with Dunfermline Talks Business.” Read more of this post

MSPs Visit Duloch Primary School

MSP visit to Duloch Primary SchoolThree Fife MSPs were recently put through their paces by some of Dunfermline’s most exacting constituents – pupils of Duloch Primary School.

One of the trio, Dunfermline Constituency MSP Bill Walker, said: “Last Friday I was pleased to make an MSP joint visit Duloch Primary School in Dunfermline.

“Along with regional colleagues, Willie Rennie MSP and Clare Baker MSP, we were hosted by Headteacher Mrs Deborah Davidson and her Deputy, Mrs Jackie Carwell.  But the stars of the show were the pupils of Primaries 4 and 5. Read more of this post

MSP becomes meningitis champion

Basic CMYKDunfermline Member of Scottish Parliament, Bill Walker, has joined the fight against meningitis by becoming a Meningitis Champion for national charity the Meningitis Trust.

This important role, which is part of the charity’s Meningitis Changes Futures campaign, will see meningitis kept high on the political agenda, whilst supporting victims and their families and helping to educate others on the dangers of the disease.

The campaign, aimed at highlighting the true impact of meningitis and creating positive change for victims and their loved ones, was launched last year after research by the charity found that more than a third of bacterial meningitis victims are left with after-effects, a number that was previously thought to be much lower. Read more of this post

S4M-05151: £10,000 Awards for All Grant for Link Church

That the Parliament congratulates the Link Christian Fellowship Church in Dunfermline on receiving a £10,000 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund; understands that this will be used to improve community access to the church hall through the installation of disabled facilities for the benefit of the congregation and for local community groups who use the hall; commends the church on the good work that it performs in the community, such as providing flip flops, foil space blankets and bottle protectors for young people on nights out, and wishes it well with its ambition to continue developing the hall as a busy community hub for diverse groups, where people can find support and learn skills.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie, Mike MacKenzie, Kevin Stewart, Bill Kidd, Nigel Don

Date Lodged: 07/12/12

Scottish Labour no-show on crucial Public Service Pensions vote

Independent MSP for Dunfermline, Bill Walker, has criticised Scottish Labour MPs for failing to turn up for a crucial House of Common’s vote on Public Sector Pensions. The no-show follows months of noisy opposition from Labour ranks over the Conservative-Liberal Democrat’s planned pension raid, which will now pass into law.

Thirty-five Scottish Labour MPs failed to take a stand at the crucial moment, including Dunfermline’s Thomas Docherty and Shadow Secretary Margaret Curran.

Mr Walker said: “Labour have been quick to criticise the Coalition’s plans and to blame the Scottish Government for being caught between a rock and a hard place in being forced to implement them, but by failing to even show up for the vote they have proven that their protests are just hypocritical huffing and puffing. Read more of this post

Dunfermline’s Link Church granted £10,000 Lottery award

Big Lottery FundThe Link Christian Fellowship in Dunfermline’s Priory Lane has received a £10,000 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The church will use the award to improve community access to their hall with the installation of disabled facilities.

Local MSP Bill Walker said: “Congratulations to Mrs Maureen Altman of the Link Christian Fellowship Church. This award will ensure their hall is accessible for the congregation and for local community groups who use the premises.

“The Link Church does a lot of good work out in the community and abroad, for example with their street pastors and the Zimbabwe sponsorship scheme. They also have a stated ambition of developing their hall as a busy community hub for diverse groups, where people can find support and learn skills. It is essential that the hall is easily accessible for everyone, which is why this award is such welcome news. Read more of this post

Remembrance Ceremonies

On Remembrance Saturday and Sunday, I was honoured to lay the Scottish Parliament’s wreaths at the Royal Naval Memorial and First and Second World War Memorials.

The Remembrance Parades held across Scotland were especially poignant in light of the UK’s on-going operations in Afghanistan. Regardless of whether we agree with the conflicts our service personnel take part in, we should never forget those who have lost their lives and those who risk them every day. While I do not glorify war, I believe in paying respect to the fallen, including the generations who, during the World Wars, had little choice but to face unthinkable horrors in distant fields.

I was particularly impressed by the respectful conduct of all the senior pupils who laid wreaths on behalf of the local high schools. I was also heartened by the exceptionally high turn-out at both Douglas Bank Cemetery in Pattiesmuir on Saturday and the World War Memorials in Dunfermline on Sunday.

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

Parliamentary Conduct

The behaviour of MSPs in Parliament has deteriorated to such an extent that not only has First Minister’s Questions on Thursdays become half-an-hour of ritualised invective from political leaders, but this atmosphere has seeped into Chamber debates, such as the recent one on college education, and even committees.

Politicians name-call across the Chamber and while asking or taking questions. The latest tactic is to persistently question human errors for which an MSP has clearly apologised. Disrespect has extended to bad-mouthing the Presiding Officer in the chair, previously unheard of. Read more of this post

Public Service Pensions Bill

Many of my constituents have contacted me about the Public Service Pensions Bill being considered at Westminster. This will require the Scottish Parliament to bring public sector pension schemes into line with those in England and Wales, even where this does not reflect Scottish circumstances. To quote a letter: this is “unwarranted interference by the Treasury in Scottish provisions”.

Public sector workers who have responsibly paid over the years into a pension have had their confidence undermined. They want the Scottish Parliament to have regulatory powers so a remote Westminster Treasury cannot “narrowly prescribe the scope of those negotiations or change the rules at will.” Read more of this post

Mo-mentous campaign to fight prostate cancer

Prostate CancerBill Walker MSP has signed a parliamentary motion backing the success of the Movember campaign and applauded the thousands of ‘Mo Bros’ across Scotland who grew moustaches to help change the face of men’s health.

In backing the motion, Mr Walker showed his support to the Holyrood group who gave their top lips a month long razor rest and instead grew and groomed moustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.

Movember – which aims to ‘change the face of men’s health, one moustache at a time’ – has chosen Prostate Cancer UK as its principal partner and beneficiary for funds raised in the UK. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Scotland. It is almost as common – and deadly – for men as breast cancer is for women. Read more of this post

£170,000 funds raised for Carnock children’s park

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has praised the efforts of Carnock villagers who raised £170,000 for a children’s park.

The existing facility located between Carneil Road and Main Street will be upgraded to include a toddlers’ and junior area, dynamic zone, exercise area and winter sledging slope.

Mr Walker, whose constituency includes Carnock, said: “I’m delighted to see the efforts of the community fund-raising group now paying off. They’ve managed to raise an extremely impressive sum. Read more of this post

MSP delivers Christmas encouragement to Royal Mail posties at Dunfermline Delivery Office

Royal Mail

Bill Walker MSP has visited Royal Mail’s Dunfermline delivery office to pass on Christmas wishes and encouragement to the postmen and postwomen at their busiest time of year.

Mr Walker was shown round the office by local Delivery Office Manager Colin Darling and was introduced to the staff who are working hard to sort and deliver all the cards and parcels in the Dunfermline area in the run-up to Christmas.

Mr Walker said: “It was great to meet the hard-working Royal Mail postmen and postwomen at Dunfermline delivery office and to see first hand just how much effort they put into delivering for people at this time of year.

Read more of this post