GLASGOW CENTRAL MP WELCOMES EUROVISION SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT

GLASGOW LISTED ON HOST CITIES SHORTLIST

Glasgow has been officially revealed on the shortlist of potential host cities for Eurovision 2023.
 
Seven UK cities were announced as part of the shortlist this morning including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
 
The shortlist was revealed on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, with a guest appearance from Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl, declaring the Host City race ‘good to go’!
 
The selection of the Host City for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be decided by the BBC in conjunction with the EBU, and the successful city will be announced in the Autumn.
 
Commenting, Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss said:

“It would have been such a special moment to see Ukraine hosting Eurovision next year. But under the current circumstances, this is sadly not possible.

“It is such a proud moment to once again see Glasgow listed as a potential host of an international event.
 
“I think Glasgow has shown itself to be the number one choice to host next year’s Eurovision. Glasgow is a unique city full of life and culture, and I can see plenty of reasons why the banks of the Clyde would be the ideal location to step in for Ukraine and host the contest.
 
“COP26 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games brought the world to Glasgow and the city was recognised for the success of these events. The Hydro and the wider Scottish Event Campus have some of the best facilities in the UK and would be more than capable of hosting such a prestigious and adored event like Eurovision.
 
“With Glasgow’s location, experience and facilities combined, it forms the perfect place to host Eurovision next year.”

Available support for Glasgow Central constituents during cost of living crisis

During this cost-of-living crisis, it is important that the constituents of Glasgow Central are given as much support as possible. There are a number of services available in the Glasgow Central constituency to help during what will be a difficult time for many. These services can be found below:

Emergency Services

Emergency: 999

Non-emergency : 101

NHS 24: 111

Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers using a Textphone (minicom) should dial 18000 in an emergency.

General Advice

Citizens Advice Bureau – Bridgeton

35 Main Street

Glasgow 

G40 1QB

Book an appointment: https://www.bridgetoncab.org.uk/get-advice

Send an email: https://www.bridgetoncab.org.uk/get-advice

Tel: 0141 554 0336

Citizens Advice Bureau – Glasgow Central

3rd Floor, The Mitchell Library

201 North Street

Glasgow

G3 7DN

Drop-ins available Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm

Send an email: https://www.glasgowcentralcab.org.uk/get-advice

Tel: 0141 552 5556

Advice Direct Scotland

Scotland’s largest advice agency – provides advice on home heating, energy, money, etc.

Webstie: https://www.advicedirect.scot/contact/

Help with food and fuel 

Foodbanks around the Glasgow Central constituency

Trussell Trust Foodbank Finder: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/

Glasgow Community Food Map will direct you to free food parcels and free meals in Glasgow: https://www.urbanroots.org.uk/freefood/

Govanhill People’s Pantry

The People’s Pantry is a membership-led shop that provides good quality food at a subsidised rate.

488 Cathcart Road

Glasgow

G42 7BX

Tel: 0141 433 2999

Email: info@govanhillbaths.com

Website: https://www.govanhillbaths.com/pantry/

Garnethill Pantry

CWIN has been running a food security programme since 2012. In February 2022 we transformed our former food bank into a community food hub, enabling our community members to access community food provision with more dignity and have choice over the food they take home.

Garnethill Multicultural Centre

21 Rose Street

Glasgow

G3 6RE

Tel: 0141 573 0978

Website: https://www.cwin.org.uk/services/garnethill-multicultural-food-hub/

Pollokshields Community Food Point

Pollokshields Community Food Point is located at 423 Shields Road in Pollokshields, Glasgow. We stock fruit and vegetables, milk and bread, tinned goods and other groceries, and basic household essentials for those living in the G41 area of Glasgow and struggling to afford their weekly shopping. When possible, we also offer hot meals cooked by members of Pollokshields Mutual Aid.

423 Shields Road

Pollokshields

Glasgow

G41 1NY

Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 3pm to 5pm.

Website: https://www.pollokshieldsmutualaid.org/communityfoodpoint

Fuel Banks in Glasgow

Fuel Banks are currently available in selected foodbanks and advice agencies across Great Britain and provide a top up voucher that provides approximately two weeks’ worth of fuel to clients who use a prepayment meter to heat their home and to cook with, and who have been deemed as in ‘crisis need’ by an independent referrer.

Available at:

Glasgow SE Foodbank

Distribution Centre

Glasgow Elim Church

42 Inglefield Street

Glasgow, G42 7AT

Glasgow NW Foodbank

36 Millbrix Avenue

Scotstoun

Glasgow

G14 0EP

Website: https://www.fuelbankfoundation.org/

Support for customers of energy companies

Many energy companies have advice and support pages for customers struggling to pay their bills.

Scottish Power: https://account.scottishpower.co.uk/affordability

Eon: https://www.eonenergy.com/more-for-your-home/energy-fund.html

SSE: https://sse.co.uk/help/bills-and-paying/trouble-paying-your-bills

Scottish Gas: https://www.scottishgas.co.uk/energy/help-if-youre-struggling-to-pay.html

EDF: https://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/help-support/energy-bill-debt-advice

Help with housing

Shelter Scotland

We strive every day to give people struggling with bad housing or homelessness the help they need, through our advice, support and legal services. Our advice helpline is the best way to contact us for any emergencies.

Tel: 0808 800 4444

Homelessness Services (Glasgow City Council)

We have a legal duty to help people who are homeless or are threatened with homelessness. During office hours, you should contact your nearest Community Homeless Service.

Find your Community Homeless Service: https://www.yoursupportglasgow.org/directory/providerlist/455

Out of hours tel: 0800 838 502

Simon Community Scotland

Every day we help make good things happen for people facing extremely difficult circumstances. We’re here to provide consistent, friendly and informed support so that people can explore options and take the next step towards a positive future.

Drop in address:

The Access Hub

389 Argyle Street

Glasgow

G2 8LR

Urgent help tel: 0800 027 7466

General enquiries email: contact form available on website (https://www.simonscotland.org/contact-us/)

Website: https://www.simonscotland.org/

Social Work (Glasgow City Council)

We provide a variety of services which aim to:

  • Ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable adults, young people and children
  • Support individuals and families to maintain independence and to exercise choice about the way they live their lives

Tel: 0141 287 0555 (office hours)

Out of hours tel: 0300 343 1505

Help with mental health

Breathing Space Scotland

Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can overwhelm us. It helps to get some Breathing Space. Pick up the phone – we’re here to listen.

Tel: 0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Thurs 1800-0200, weekends Fri 1800 – Mon 0600)

Website: https://breathingspace.scot/

Samaritans

Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Tel: 116 123

Legal and money advice services

Govanhill Law Centre

GhLC’s aim is still to “root out discrimination and exploitation” and improve the wellbeing of local people. We provide the full range of legal services.

Govanhill Law Centre

Samaritan House

79 Coplaw Street

Glasgow

G42 7JG

Tel: 0141 433 2665

Email: m@govanlc.com

Website: https://govanlawcentre.org/govanhill-law-centre/

Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre

Castlemilk Law & Money Advice Centre is a community controlled law centre providing legal advice and representation on social security, housing law, debt and employment law. We also provide advice on women’s rights and disability rights.

155 Castlemilk Drive

Glasgow

G45 9UG

Tel: 0141 634 0313

Email: mail@castlemilklawcentre.co.uk

Website: https://www.castlemilklawcentre.co.uk/

Money Matters Govan

Money Matters has adopted a holistic approach to dealing with advice issues. Our Welfare Rights service includes representation at Social Security and Disability appeal hearings.  We are pro-active at providing in-work benefits advice such as Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

For all enquiries about Money Matters’ services or to arrange an appointment for the Energy team, please contact us via telephone, fax or email.

Money Matters Money Advice Centre

Orkney Street Enterprise Centre,

Unit 1, 18-20 Orkney Street,

Glasgow 

G51 2BX

Tel: 0141 445 5221

Email: advice@moneymattersweb.co.uk

Website: http://www.moneymattersweb.co.uk/

Money Advice Scotland

Money Advice Scotland is Scotland’s money charity. Our mission is to be the driving force towards financial wellbeing for the people of Scotland.

We offer anonymous, confidential, and non-judgemental ways to chat with someone. You can talk to a friendly adviser using our webchat service, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or email. These services can all be accessed on the website.

Website: https://www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk/help-for-people-with-money-worries

Law Society of Scotland

Tel: 0131 226 7411 

Website: www.lawscot.org.uk

Employment rights advice

Acas Scotland

Website: www.acas.org.uk 

Tel: 0300 123 1100

Help for refugees

Refugee Survival Trust

We provide refugees and people seeking asylum with practical support when it is most needed, build connections between people and use what we learn to campaign for change.

The best way to get in touch is to email info@rst.org.uk, but if you would prefer to communicate by telephone, leave a message providing your contact number and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Floor 3, Robertson House

152 Bath Street

Glasgow

G2 4TB

Tel: 0141 353 5602

Email: info@rst.org.uk

Refuweegee

Refuweegee is a community-led charity that gives people a way to welcome and embrace those newest to arrive. We strive to ensure that people who have been forced to flee their homes arrive in Scotland to a warm welcome and some of the things that will help them to feel more at home here.

249 W George Street

Glasgow

G2 4QE

Visiting by appointment only. To arrange an appointment, please contact enquiries@refuweegee.co.uk

Tel: 0141 401 0756

Email: enquiries@refuweegee.co.uk

Website: https://www.refuweegee.co.uk/

Scottish Refugee Council

We are an independent charity dedicated to supporting people in need of refugee protection. Through our direct services we provide practical support, advice and a listening ear to help people rebuild their lives in a sustainable and meaningful way. We work with communities and community groups. And we speak out against an unjust asylum system and campaign for policy changes that make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Scottish Refugee Council

6th Floor, Portland House

17 Renfield Street

Glasgow, G2 5AH

Tel: 0808 1967 274

Website: https://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/

Help for the elderly and disabled people

Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living

Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living is run by disabled people for disabled people. We believe that barriers disable people, not impairments. Our support, payroll, training, housing, employment and consultancy services enable disabled people to assert more control over their lives as equal citizens.

117-127 Brook Street

Glasgow

G40 3AP

Tel: 0141 550 4455

Contact form: http://www.gcil.org.uk/contact-us.aspx

Website: http://www.gcil.org.uk/

Glasgow Disability Alliance

Run by and for disabled people, we have 5000+ members across Greater Glasgow — diverse disabled people, people with long term conditions, and member organisations led by disabled people; and a thriving network of associate members — people, partners and allies who support our aims.

Our programmes support disabled people and those with long term conditions across Glasgow – you do not need to be a member to take part.

Glasgow Disability Alliance

Suite 301, The White Studios, Templeton Business Centre

Templeton Court

Glasgow

G40 1DA

Tel: 0141 556 7103

Email: info@gdaonline.co.uk

Website: https://gda.scot/

Golden Generation

Glasgow’s Golden Generation offers a range of support to Glasgow’s older population.

You can phone our head office with any enquiries, and we will direct you to the best person to speak to. 

Tel: 0141 221 9924

Email: mailbox@glasgow.gg.org.uk

Website: https://www.glasgowgg.org.uk/

Number One Befriending Agency

In order to tackle loneliness and isolation, The No.1 Befriending Agency runs a befriending service where trained volunteers visit isolated older people and spend some time with them to have a wee chatter, a cup of tea, and to hear their stories.

Drop us an email anytime or call us during our office hours, Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM. 

Tel: 0141 465 6998

Email: info@befriend.org.uk

Website: https://www.befriend.org.uk/

Note: Due to COVID-19, our office is currently closed. We hope to welcome you back soon.

Support for victims of domestic abuse

Glasgow Women’s Aid

We have a range of different services to support you with your own experience of domestic abuse. Our support is women cantered meaning that you are at the centre of the support and your thoughts and opinions are always taken into consideration.

4th Floor

30 Bell Street

Glasgow

G1 1LG

Tel: 0141 553 2022

Email: getsupport@glasgowwomensaid.org.uk

Website: https://glasgowwomensaid.org.uk/

Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid

Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid provides safe temporary refuge accommodation to women, children, and young people, and provide crisis support to people living in the community. They can meet you in a place of safety to talk.

Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid

Flat 0/1

24 Willowbank Street

Glasgow

G3 6LZ

Tel: 0141 353 0859

Email: womensaid@hematgryffe.org.uk

Website: https://www.hematgryffe.org.uk/

Scottish Women’s Aid

If you feel scared of or around your partner or if you are worried about someone you know, get in touch with Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline, email, or visit the website.

Tel: 0800 027 1234

Email: helpline@sdafmh.org.uk

Website: http://sdafmh.org.uk

Daisy Project

The Daisy Project provides an integrated domestic abuse advocacy and support service. We offer one to one advocacy and advice in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Our Support Workers (IDAA’s) use a Risk Assessment tool to allow them to discuss your particular level of risk with you as well as highlighting any potential issues around your safety.

Castlemilk Community Centre

121 Castlemilk Drive

Glasgow

G45 9UG

Tel: 0141 634 4053

Email: office@thedaisyproject.org.uk

Website: https://thedaisyproject.org.uk/

Support for single parent families

One Parent Families Scotland

One Parent Families Scotland aims to enable single parent families to achieve their potential, to reach a decent standard of living and contribute to Scottish society.

Tel: 0808 801 0323

Email: info@opfs.org.uk

Website: https://opfs.org.uk/

School Uniforms

School Clothing Grants

Families on low incomes may be eligible to receive a School Clothing Grant award of £120 for a Primary aged child or £150 for a Secondary aged child. The award is given annually to assist with the cost of purchasing essential school clothing for families who are on a qualifying benefit.

More information and application form: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17885

Second-hand uniforms

Glasgow’s Pre-loved Uniforms provides school uniform to all families who need it, ensuring that children and young people can wear warm school uniform, shoes and jackets regardless of their family’s financial situation.

249 Govan Road

Glasgow

G51 1HJ

Tel: 07565 726446

Email: glasgowspreloveduniforms@outlook.com

Funds for people who are struggling

Scottish Welfare Fund

Glasgow City Council provides several grants as part of the Scottish Welfare Fund, including Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

For more information and to apply, check the Scottish Welfare Fund webpage: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17160

Discretionary Housing Fund

If you are receiving housing benefit or housing costs within universal credit but are still having difficulty meeting your rent payments, you may be able to get extra help from the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) Fund.

For more information and to apply, check the Discretionary Housing Payment webpage: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17168

Glasgow Key Fund

The Glasgow Key Fund is a service provided by Ypeople with two separate strands of service provision: a rent deposit guarantee scheme and temporary accommodation sourced from the private rented sector. 

Access to both strands of the service is managed by Homelessness Services Community Casework and Prison Casework teams.

Glasgow Key Fund

17 Dava Street

Glasgow

G51 2JA

Tel: 0141 565 1212

Email: glasgowkeyfund@ypeople.org.uk

Website: https://glasgow.gov.uk/article/19426/Glasgow-Key-Fund

Activities for younger people

The Children’s Holiday Food Programme

The Glasgow City Council Summer Children’s Holiday Food Programme Summer 2022 starts on Monday, 27 June 2022.

Find out what free activities are on offer for children and young people in your local community.

Website: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/24610/The-Childrens-Holiday-Food-Programme

PEEK – Possibilities for Each and Every Kid

PEEK offers local children, young people and families three very distinct programmes through Play, Create & Thrive sessions and events

PEEK – Possibilities for Each and Every Kid

The Legacy Hub

301 Springfield Rd

Glasgow

G40 3LJ

Tel: 0141 554 3068

Email: info@peekproject.co.uk

Website: https://www.peekproject.org.uk/

Pyramid

The Pyramid is a community space in the heart of Anderston, Glasgow. We have spaces available to hire – and run a welcoming, inclusive programme of events and activities for all!

759 Argyle Street

Glasgow

G3 8DS

Tel: 0141 226 3277

Email: info@thepyramid.scot

Website: https://thepyramid.scot/contact/

Barn Youth Centre

The Barn is also a dedicated youth centre with a concern for the welfare and informal education of young people aged between 8 to 24 years old. It is a place where young people come along voluntarily and choose to be involved.

Barn Youth Centre

37 Abbotsford Place

Glasgow

G5 9QS

Tel: 0141 429 3254

Email: thebarn@cyca.org.uk

Website: http://www.cyca.org.uk/thebarn/index.html

Find upcoming events on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BarnYouthCentre

Community Centres

Central and West Integration Network

Central and West Integration Network is a Scottish Charity which works with individuals and groups to support asylum seekers and refugees, migrant workers and  black and minority ethnic people, and works with all communities to promote integration, in the City Centre and West End of Glasgow, across the city of Glasgow and beyond.

Garnethill Multicultural Centre

21 Rose Street

Glasgow

G3 6RE

Tel: 0141 573 0978

Website: https://www.cwin.org.uk/

Nan McKay Memorial Hall

Run by volunteers for over 37 years, the Nan McKay Memorial Community Hall has a comprehensive programme that brings together resources to improve the quality of life for all residents of Pollokshields.

End of St John’s Road, Adjacent to 29 St Andrews Drive

Glasgow

G41 5SR

Tel: 0141 429 5370

Email: info@nanmckay.co.uk

Website: http://www.nanmckay.co.uk

Larkfield Community Centre

39 Inglefield Street

Glasgow

G42 7AY

Tel: 0141 424 1797

Email: larkfieldcentre@btconnect.com

Website: https://larkfieldcentre.weebly.com/

Toryglen Community Hall

Toryglen Community Hall is a cultural hub, enriching the lives of individuals and surrounding communities, thus helping to improve their quality of life and health and well-being. The hall is a social hub for a variety of activities, tackling social isolation and fostering community cohesion.

Toryglen Community Hall

199 Prospecthill Circus

Toryglen

G42 0LA

Tel: 0141 569 1031

Email: manager@toryglencommunityhall.org

Website: http://toryglencommunityhall.org/

Townhead Village Hall

Townhead Village Hall (TVH) Community Centre is designed to be friendly and flexible to offer services to and a base of operation for various community groups and a host space for other activities within Townhead and surrounding area.

Townhead Village Hall

60 St Mungo Avenue

Glasgow

G4 0PL

Tel: 0141 212 0046

Email: contact form available on website (http://www.townheadvillagehall.org.uk/contact-us)

Website: http://www.townheadvillagehall.org.uk/

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap is recognised across Scotland for its innovative, exciting and challenging work in schools transition, tackling sectarianism and building community.

Bridging the Gap

Greyfriars Centre

270 Ballater Street

Glasgow

G5 0YT

Tel: 0141 418 0241

Email: secretary@bridging-the-gap.org

Website: http://bridging-the-gap.org/

Calton Heritage and Learning Centre

The Calton Heritage & Learning Centre (CHLC) is a community hub that aims to promote and celebrate the area’s heritage as well as providing a hub for the people of the area to access services, particularly learning opportunities.

Calton Heritage and Learning Centre

423 London Road

Glasgow

G40 1AG

Tel: 0141 550 9573

Email: bookings@thenuecommunities.co.uk

Website: https://www.thenuecommunities.co.uk/

SNP MP CALLS ON CHANCELLOR TO STOP CUTS TO DEVOLVED GOVERNMENTS

By Ross Barclay

On Tuesday, Glasgow Central MP and SNP Treasury Spokesperson, Alison Thewliss, called on the Chancellor to either mitigate real-terms cuts to the budgets of devolved governments or give them the power to raise funds to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
 
Inflation has tripled since the UK Spending Review, where benefits and tax credits were set to be uprated by 3.1% in April this year – it’s now running at 9.1%. The Spending Review also predicted that inflation would peak at 4.4% in Q2 2022, which is less than half of the current rate. 
 
A real-terms cut to the Scottish government budget of 5.2% this year will impact Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic and put further pressure on services and public sector wages.
 
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“The UK Tory Government continue to exacerbate the pain felt by people across the country as inflation worsens by cutting budgets to devolved governments.
 
“Inflation is a global problem but the Chancellor is presiding over the highest inflation rate in the G7.
 
“Allowing real-terms cuts to go ahead means further pressure on public sector wages and vital services for those in need.
 
“It comes at the worst possible time for people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
 
“Independent countries across the world are introducing measures to ease the burden on the public. Ireland has reduced public transport fares to help people save on ticket and petrol prices.
 
“These measures are funded by borrowing. Scotland does not have the ability to help in this way because of the devolved funding arrangements.
 
“The Scottish Government has done all it can with its fixed budget – uprating the Scottish Child Payment, making public transport free for under-22s, and expanding energy efficiency schemes to cut energy bills – but providing further support requires having control of more finance levers.
 
“If Rishi Sunak refuses to mitigate cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget, he should support giving the devolved parliament the borrowing powers to do so itself.”

Thewliss supports Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week

Last week, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the national charity and leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding training across the UK and Ireland, brought its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign to Westminster.

Alison Thewliss came together with the RLSS UK CEO and Charity Director, lifeguards, Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, and over 50 other Parliamentarians to discuss the importance of spreading water safety awareness, as well as what practical steps could be taken in Glasgow Central to address the issue.

At the event, Thewliss had the chance to see this guidance first-hand, including how to use throw lines, how to respect bodies of water, among other resources and also check out the cutting-edge equipment that is now being used to keep our shorelines and lakes safer than ever.

The RLSS UK also showed MPs the charity’s brand-new animation aimed at educating parents and their children about water safety and starting conversations of how their family can enjoy the water safely this summer. 

Over 400 people die every year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning, yet every drowning is avoidable. Of those who drown, some 40% had no intention of entering the water in the first place. Yet people should still feel free to enjoy the water, as with the correct education and awareness, this can be done safely.

Drowning Prevention Week, which began on 18th June and continues until 25th June, encourages the public to be ready to enjoy being in, on, or around water this summer by ensuring that they and their families have a good understanding of water safety. 

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said:

“With June, July, and August proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone understands water safety, especially during the summer months. 

“We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy their summer break and enjoy being in or around water but be safe in the knowledge that they, and their children, have the skills and understanding about water safety, which could potentially save a life.”

“It is fantastic to have Alison Thewliss supporting our Drowning Prevention Week campaign and highlighting the issues surrounding water safety education and helping to educate communities in Glasgow Central.”

Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, said:

“I have been privileged to work with the Royal Life Saving Society UK for many years, as we strive to spread awareness around water safety and help people to enjoy water safely.

“Every MP who came along to our event, and who helps us spread the message and awareness of this important campaign is helping us reach our ultimate goal of zero water deaths, and for that I am grateful.”

Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, said:

“While swimming ability is of course crucial, far more worrying is the statistic that some 40% of people who drown had no intention of entering the water in the first place. Only by spreading greater awareness of water safety can we help people to enjoy water safely and reduce fatalities.”

The event came quickly after the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Water Safety. This took place earlier this month and aims to establish more accessible water safety education across the UK to prevent future drownings.

Damien Moore MP, Chair of the APPG on Water Safety, said:

“Every drowning is a tragedy, and despite the RLSS UK’s excellent education campaign having reached an estimated 20 million people across the UK, these horrific accidents continue to happen.

“It is my sincerest hope that by hosting this event in Parliament, we have helped to further spread awareness of how best to enjoy water safely, so that ultimately lives can be saved.

“I want to thank the RLSS UK, along with every MP who came along to our event, for the vital work that they are doing in spreading awareness.”

THEWLISS DEMANDS IMMEDIATE ACTION ON FOOTBALL INDEX IN PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

Alison Thewliss, Shadow Chancellor for the SNP and MP for Glasgow Central, has demanded that the Government takes immediate action on collapsed betting company, Football Index.

A debate was held today, Tuesday 6th June, on the impact of the collapse of the company, which took place in March of 2021. The company had its licence stripped by the Gambling Commission and was forced to enter administration.

It has been estimated that customers collectively have over £90 million in open stakes trapped in the platform following its collapse – leaving average losses of around £3,000 per customer.

Following confirmation that a debate would be taking place on the company, Thewliss has demanded that the time is now to ensure the customers affected by the collapse are compensated for.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The Government have been tiptoeing around the issue of Football Index for over a year now. Constituents in Glasgow Central have contacted my office and explained the distress they felt, having invested significant money into the company. They now feel completely betrayed by the lack of support following the collapse, and frustrated by the lack of action by regulators.

“A support package must be put in place for victims of the scandal, particularly given the precedent set by the UK Government on the London Capital and Finance failure. It is entirely unfair that those who continue to have money locked away in the accounts of the now-collapsed firm are being left in the dark.

“There remains a real worry that scandals such as Football Index could be repeated unless action is taken by the Gambling Commission. The Government must acknowledge the recommendations made by Michael Sheehan QC and implement these as soon as possible. 

“I am deeply disappointed that the Minister didn’t recognise that the Football Index scandal isn’t about people being compensated for gambling losses – it is a clear failure in regulation. On that basis, compensation should be due to those that have lost their life savings to a government-regulated Ponzi scheme.”

THEWLISS PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR IMPROVING LIVER HEALTH IN SCOTLAND

Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss demonstrated her support for improving liver health in Scotland by attending the Love Your Liver roadshow, hosted by the British Liver Trust, in Glasgow on Thursday 19th May 2022.  

Ms Thewliss is an advocate for the British Liver Trust’s work and recognises the importance of improving early diagnosis of liver disease. She encouraged her constituents and the people of Glasgow to attend the roadshow and find out the steps they can take to improve their liver health.  

90% of liver disease is preventable and if caught at an early stage liver damage can be reversed. However, the alarming reality is that three-quarters of people with cirrhosis are diagnosed when it is too late for effective intervention or treatment. 

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said: “I am delighted to support the Love Your Liver campaign and the charity’s work to improve early detection.  Liver disease is a public health crisis and thousands of Scots are at risk.  The Love Your Liver roadshow is a really important campaign, which is helping people better understand the importance of looking after their liver.”

Members of the public were encouraged to pop along to the Love Your Liver mobile unit in Argyle street to take a free liver screener, which assesses the potential for liver damage against the three main risk factors of alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. A free FibroScan was offered to those who had a potential risk and those with high readings were recommended to speak to their GP.

Scotland has a significant liver disease crisis with around 900 deaths each year. In 2020, it was one of the leading causes of death in Scotland in those under the age of 75. Mortality rates are also four times higher in deprived areas compared to more affluent areas.  

Pamela Healy OBE, Chief Executive of British Liver Trust, said: “One in five of us are at risk of liver disease and the numbers of people being diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate. Liver damage develops silently with no signs or symptoms and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until symptoms appear, the damage is often irreversible.

“Our Love Your Liver roadshows are a great opportunity for people to find out their risk of liver disease and receive a free liver scan to see if there is any early damage. Approximately one in five people that are scanned are advised to have further checks.”

The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps for liver health:

1.    Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week

2.    Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat, and take more exercise

3.    Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk

You can find out if you are at risk and check your liver health online by doing the online screening test at https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener

For more If you couldn’t attend the events you can still find out if you are at risk and check your liver information on our Roadshows, visit: Love Your Liver Roadshows

THEWLISS CALLS ON IMMEDIATE GOVERNMENT ACTION ON PASSPORT WAITING TIMES

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has called upon the Government to step in immediately to stop the rising waiting times for passport applications.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has warned that applicants for new passports should “be prepared” for significant delays to applications in the coming months.

The impact of the pandemic saw over five million people delaying their renewal of passports between 2020 and 2021. With travel returning back to normal, applications for new passports for travellers are now reaching record highs.

Speaking on the impact of these delays, Thewliss described how difficult it has been for Glasgow Central constituents to receive their passports after applying for them.

Alison Thewliss said:

“Glasgow Central constituents have been contacting me to express their concerns over lengthy delays from the Passport Office – despite applications going in months ago.

“With a huge backlog of applications to deal with after the pandemic, I completely appreciate how difficult it must be for the workers in these offices to process the requests in a timely manner. I am hopeful that the UK Government will acknowledge the pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country and employ more people to deal with the backlog of cases.

“I am deeply concerned, however, by accounts from my constituents of being let down and lied to about their applications during a time of stress and uncertainty for them. One constituent in particular, Scott came to me with a list of false information he was given in relation to his passport application.

“This ranged from being told people could go to collect their passport, which he said was not possible, to being told he would only need to wait 10 weeks to receive his passport, despite eventually waiting 12 weeks to receive it.

“It is clear that there is immense pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country, but it remains completely unacceptable that my constituents are being given a false sense of hope during a time where they will no doubt be extremely nervous about being able to receive their passport in time.

“The Government must ensure that the information being provided by Passport Offices is honest and accurate.”

UK GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF “ALL TALK NO ACTION” OVER TORY COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS

The SNP has accused the UK government of “all talk no action” over the spiralling Tory cost-of-living crisis, with new research revealing that people face another hit to their pockets with continued higher food bills this year.
 
Analysis by Kantar found that grocery prices were 5.9% higher this month than a year ago – the biggest rise since December 2011 – and that the average food bill could increase by £271 this year.
 
It follows recent figures this month that highlighted that prices are increasing at their fastest rate in decades with inflation rising to 7% – a staggering 30-year high.
 
It comes after the scandal-hit Boris Johnson urged his Cabinet today to promote the UK government’s inadequate measures and to look at ways to tackle the crisis – despite ignoring the SNP’s repeated calls for an Emergency Budget to deliver real support to struggling households.
 
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“The Tory government is too engulfed in scandal to get on with the day job of tackling the cost-of-living crisis spiralling out of control under its watch.
 
“With new research revealing that people face yet another hit with the average food bill potentially increasing by a staggering £271 this year, families need action not more hot air from this out of touch Tory government.
 
“The reality is that the Prime Minister’s remarks are all talk and no action.
 
“The SNP has been consistently clear that the UK government must deliver an Emergency Budget that finally puts money into people’s pockets.
 
“That Emergency Budget must include at the very minimum converting the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant, scrapping the National Insurance tax hike, reversing the £1040 cuts to Universal Credit, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, introducing a Real Living Wage to boost incomes, reducing or removing VAT on household energy bills, and following the Scottish Government’s 6% uprating of benefits.
 
“On 5th May, people in Scotland can send a message to Boris Johnson and prioritise action to tackle the cost of living by voting SNP in the local elections.”

THEWLISS TO LEAD DEBATE ON ‘UNSPEAKABLY CRUEL’ TWO CHILD CAP

SNP MP, Alison Thewliss, will lead a debate today in Westminster Hall calling on the UK government to scrap the two child cap and ‘rape clause’ on working tax credits and Universal Credit. 

The Glasgow Central MP described the policy, which limits the social security claimants can receive based on how many children they have, as ‘unspeakably cruel’ and demanded Tories end their dystopian policies punishing families and forcing survivors of sexual assualt to relive trauma.

Over 1.1 million people are affected by the policy which the UK is alone in the world in implementing, being the sole country to limit benefits past 2 children.

Alison Thewliss, the party’s Shadow Chancellor, said that due to the cost of living crisis the Tories must reconsider the policy and introduce further measures to alleviate households’ cost concerns.

The SNP are also calling for the introduction of the Real Living Wage, a reversal to Tory Universal Credit cuts, the turning of the energy support loan into a more generous grant and a u-turn on national insurance hikes. 

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“This is an unspeakably cruel policy that hasn’t worked to achieve its dystopian purpose and is now only exacerbating the cost of living concerns families are experiencing – with over 1 million people affected by this policy. 

“Families shouldn’t be punished for having children, nor have limits placed on them by the government over how many they can have, and in no civilised country should survivors of sexual assault be made to relive trauma to prove they’ve been raped to access vital benefits – that is disgusting. 

“The policy has been wrong from the beginning, that the Tories haven’t scrapped it on moral grounds is nothing short of a disgrace but they must at least now listen to our concerns given its impact on the cost of living crisis.

“This policy is yet further proof that it hasn’t just been Tory inaction that has led to this crisis, but also direct Tory action with cruel policies such as this one.

“In stark contrast the Scottish Government is providing for families with a, recently doubled, Scottish Child Payment – putting over £1,000 a year into the pockets of families in Scotland.

“If the Tories won’t listen to us now it’ll prove, once again, that only with the full powers of independence can we provide support to families with the dignity and fairness they deserve and put more support on the table for households.”

THEWLISS SHOWS DISGUST AT RWANDA PLANS

In response to UK government’s recent announcements that it will begin sending people claiming asylum to Rwanda, and also that it will open a new asylum accommodation centre in Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, Alison Thewliss MP, Chair of the APPG on Immigration Detention, has made the following statement: 

“The plans introduced by the UK government to send asylum seekers to Rwanda from Britain are utterly appalling. 

“The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has already condemned these plans on ethical and legal grounds, while senior Home Office officials say there’s no evidence the arrangment will provide value for money. There are serious questions of transparency and how the Home Office can ever be held to account for what happens to the individuals it sends to Rwanda. But this is just another example of the Government abandoning its responsibility to offer sanctuary and support to those fleeing persecution. 

“My recent visit to Napier Barracks allowed me to see first-hand how profoundly unsuitable and dehumanising such sites are for asylum seekers. The dilapidated former barracks used by the Government to house asylum seekers are inadequate, lacking in facilities and people there struggle to get access to lawyers and adequate healthcare. It is frightening to imagine what a facility located in another country thousands of miles away from scrutiny will be like.

“I would have hoped that the Tory Government would learn from the comments made after our visit. Yet despite the warnings given to them about the conditions in Napier, the government is proceeding with plans at Linton-on-Ouse. With other members of the APPG, I have repeatedly called for Napier Barracks to close and for the UK government not to open any further similar sites. I reiterate that call today.

“It is time for the government to get a grip and stop with these tactics to divert the attention away from the chaos within this Government. Thousands of human lives are at risk here, they must be protected. During the worst cost of living crisis to date, the Government should be focusing on allowing all people to have enough money to feed themselves, rather than pandering to the dog whistle politics of the far right.”