Dunfermline students encouraged to apply for Lloyds Scholars Programme

scholarsLocal MSP Bill Walker is encouraging prospective students in Dunfermline to apply to the Lloyds Scholars Programme 2013/14 before the closing date of 1st July.

Lloyds Scholars supports young people from families with below average income to get into some of Britain’s top universities.  It provides students with a complete package of financial and vocational support, including paid internships, access to a dedicated Lloyds mentor and volunteering opportunities in the local community. Read more of this post

S4M-06961: £249,210 Award for Dunfermline Gillespie Memorial Church

That the Parliament congratulates everyone at Dunfermline Gillespie Memorial Church on its award of £249,210 from the Big Lottery Fund; understands that this grant will enable energy efficiency measures to be carried out and internal refurbishment, which will include a café, meeting rooms, a touchdown work space and training facility, and believes that the grant will allow the church to continue playing an active role in the community.

Supported by: Colin Beattie, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Kenneth Gibson, Kevin Stewart, Richard Lyle, Nigel Don, David Torrance, Maureen Watt

Date Lodged: 11/06/2013

£249,210 funding for Gillespie Church

Big Lottery FundDunfermline Gillespie Memorial Church has received a grant of almost a quarter of a million pounds to develop its Community Hub Project.

The £249,210 Community Spaces Scotland award from the Big Lottery Fund will enable the church to undertake energy efficiency measures and internal refurbishment. On completion, the facilities will provide a cafe, meeting rooms, touchdown work space and a training facility. Read more of this post

Furniture Plus tackles poverty in Fife

F+_BillWalker_1Following a visit to the Pitreavie showroom of Furniture Plus, Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has commended the charity’s efforts to combat poverty and social exclusion in Fife.

Furniture Plus – voted Fife Social Enterprise of the Year 2012 – provides low cost, quality goods and furnishings to low income households. Additionally, it offers employment and training opportunities to help volunteers gain skills and confidence.

Mr Walker joined Sales Manager Gail Jackson and former Managing Director Daniel Rous for a tour of the site and to learn about the work of Furniture Plus. Read more of this post

S4M-06923: Iain Banks

That the Parliament is saddened by the death of Iain Banks, the acclaimed Dunfermline-born author of more than 25 literary and science fiction novels; considers Mr Banks to be one of Scotland’s most acclaimed literary figures; notes that he was named 38th on The Times list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945; notes that Mr Banks’ debut novel, The Wasp Factory, was ranked as one of the best 100 books of the 20th century by Waterstones and Channel 4; believes that he has left a considerable legacy for the enjoyment of his many readers across the world, and extends its sincere condolences to Mr Banks’ wife, family, friends and readers.

Supported by: Nigel Don, David Torrance, John Finnie, Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Neil Findlay, Kenneth Gibson, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Mike MacKenzie, John Mason, Fiona McLeod, Maureen Watt, Jean Urquhart, Graeme Dey, Colin Keir, Murdo Fraser, Dennis Robertson, Sandra White, Kevin Stewart, Gil Paterson, Colin Beattie, Stewart Maxwell, Dave Thompson

Date Lodged: 10/06/2013

MSP Bill Walker hopes new Tesco will aid regeneration of Dunfermline

begjune2013 013Local MSP Bill Walker has welcomed confirmation that Tesco hopes to open its new store on Carnegie Drive, Dunfermline, by autumn 2014.

Speaking at a public exhibition of the proposed store, the Dunfermline MSP said:

“The people of Dunfermline have waited a long time for the new Tesco, so I very much hope there will be no further delays. Tesco say they don’t anticipate any problems when they submit a new planning application in autumn this year, as permission for their original proposal was previously granted. Read more of this post

Scottish Parliament passes Forth Road Bridge Bill

Forth BridgeCompanies can now tender bids to become the new operator of the Forth Road Bridge (FRB) and the Forth Replacement Crossing, as well as maintaining the connecting trunk roads and equipment. This follows the Scottish Parliament voting unanimously to pass the Forth Road Bridge Bill.

Commenting after the debate on the Bill, Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker said:

“The Scottish Government believes that a single company managing and maintaining the FRB and Forth Crossing will provide a cost effective and coordinated approach. Staff from the existing operator, FETA, will transfer to the new operator, bringing expertise and continuity. Read more of this post

NHS Fife health and social care integration

NHSDunfermline MSP Bill Walker has welcomed Fife NHS Board’s recent establishment of a Shadow Integrated Health & Social Care Partnership Board, which will work alongside the current Community Health Partnership Committees and oversee developments.

The new board will take an integrated partnership approach for NHS and Social Work services in Fife. It will reduce barriers between the services and ensure those in need of support are able to remain as independent as possible. Read more of this post

Culross Abbey restoration open day

Bill Walker MSP at Culross AbbeyCulross Abbey recently held a well-attended open day, following the completion of £310,000 of repair and replacement work to the roof and to other parts of this historic church.

Among the many events held throughout the day were an Abbey exhibition, afternoon tea in the cloister garden and a talk in the manse garden by the National Trust on the history of Culross.

Attending the open day, local MSP Bill Walker said: “It’s been a lovely day, with lots to do. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the top of the refurbished Bell Tower and see the spectacular views across the Forth, even if there were a hundred steps to climb! Read more of this post

Former Pitreavie athlete Eilidh Child sets new Scottish record

Eilidh Child and Bill Walker MSPDunfermline MSP Bill Walker has applauded former Pitreavie Amateur Athletics Club member Eilidh Child on setting a new Scottish record after she won the 400m women’s hurdles in Geneva.

The Olympian and Commonwealth Games silver medallist held onto the number one spot in the UK rankings and achieved a new personal best by completing the race in 54.93 seconds.

Mr Walker said: “Eilidh Child is going from strength to strength as a full-time athlete. She took gold at Gothenburg a few months ago in the 4 x 400m women’s indoor relay and won silver in the individual 400m women’s race. I wish her every success in her goal of winning a place in the final at the World Championships in Moscow. Read more of this post

Dramatic rise in Fifers turning to payday loans

StepChangeThe dramatic rise in Fifers struggling with payday loans is a cause for ‘grave concern’, according to Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker.

New data shows that the number of Fife clients of StepChange Debt Charity with payday loans almost tripled between 2012 and the first three months of 2013, rising from 11% to 30%. Between 2011 and 2012, the average amount owed increased from £375 to £1,656, though this dipped to £1,385 in March 2013.

Mr Walker said: “The number of Fifers turning to payday loans is a grave concern. The interest rates charged can be extremely alarming, leaving people with no money for day-to-day expenses when they attempt to make their monthly repayment. Payday loans may appear to be a quick fix, but in reality what might begin as a relatively small loan can soon escalate out of control. Read more of this post

S4M-06835: Longannet’s £25 million upgrade

That the Parliament welcomes a £25 million upgrade of one of Longannet Power Station’s four generating units; understands that Longannet is the largest power station in Scotland and provides electricity to millions of homes and businesses; recognises that, for 40 years, it has been a large employer of skilled and professional Fifers and supports thousands of jobs across a wide and varied supply chain; notes that the upgrade is on Unit 3, which, alone, is capable of generating up to 600MW of electricity or approximately 10% of Scotland’s average peak electricity demand; understands that this project follows a £20 million upgrade last year on another unit, and believes that the station provides an important part of Scotland’s electrical energy mix.

Supported by: Nigel Don, David Torrance, Dave Thompson, Chic Brodie, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Lyle, Bill Kidd, Colin Beattie, Gil Paterson, Colin Keir

Date Lodged: 03/06/2013