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Liberal Youth Scotland backs Fred Mackintosh

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The Lib Dem team is campaigning for communities across all of south and south-west Edinburgh. Our Citizen and Focus teams have been actively campaigning in the city for over 40 years.

The Edinburgh South seat at Westminster remains one of the most marginal Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the country and we are determined to win back the Edinburgh South seat at Holyrood.

On this site you will find information on what is happening in south Edinburgh (that's Edinburgh South and Edinburgh Pentlands, and at Westminster, Edinburgh South and Edinburgh South West). And you can find out about the work we're doing on behalf of the people and communities amongst which we live.

STOP PRESS: A record of delivery - read what the LibDems have delivered in government (click here)

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Recent updates

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has welcomed aWillie RennieWillie Rennie survey published by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce today showing almost all key performance measures have returned to 2007 pre-recession levels.

    The survey showed business confidence increased further on the year.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "As part of the UK, Scotland is sharing in the economic recovery that has taken hold.

    "Businesses are driving the recovery which is why it is so important they are getting the backing they need from Ministers. With a big national insurance cut and support to boost exports, Liberal Democrats in government are helping firms grow and create more jobs. 16,000 more Scots have found work in the last 3 months alone.

    "I want Scottish businesses to be able to look to the future with confidence and this survey is full of positive news."

  • Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has saidJim HumeJim Hume that NHS Scotland and Scotland's health boards should move swiftly to consider action after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde removed all plastic bin bags from all of its mental health wards following two suicides.

    A report today revealed that the board was instructed by the Health and Safety Executive to remove polythene bin bags following reviews into two separate tragedies.

    Mr Hume said:

    "Whilst we will not comment on these specific and tragic individual cases, the recommendation by HSE to remove all polythene bin bags from mental health wards in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has clear implications for all health boards in Scotland. Our universal health service means that all mental health patients and their families should expect the same level of care regardless of where they are being treated.

    "In light of this recommendation ordered by the HSE, NHS Scotland must now move swiftly to consider whether this is an appropriate measure to adopt across Scotland's health boards. I know that NHS boards, responsible for managing their own procedures, will want to work quickly with all relevant partners to ensure any lessons are learnt.

    "One in four adults will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. We need to ensure that any issue around mental health care is resolved just as quickly as any other problem on our health boards."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today encouraged Scots toGeorge Lyon MEPGeorge Lyon MEP join a campaign calling on the EU to change tax rules and allow mountain and lowland rescue services to be made exempt from VAT.

    Commenting as an EU consultation on public interest exemptions from VAT entered its final few days, Mr Lyon said that changing tax regulations for mountain and lowland rescue teams would give these key services a real boost.

    Mr Lyon and fellow Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies met with EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemet earlier this year to discuss this issue.

    Backing the campaign, Jonathon Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, said that axing VAT would have real financial benefits for mountain rescue teams.

    George Lyon MEP said:

    "In 2011 alone a total of 573 incidents were responded to by Scottish mountain rescue teams, and these numbers are increasing every year. Mountain and lowland rescue teams are effectively front line emergency services in many parts of Scotland.

    "These volunteers put their lives on the line and deserve our full support. We know that cutting VAT for mountain and lowland rescue teams would make a real financial difference and I hope as many Scots as possible will back our campaign.

    "The consultation in Brussels is closing soon and this is our last chance to make the case for a change to the rules at the EU. it is important that we send a strong message that axing the VAT is the right thing to do."

    Jonathan Hart, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, added:

    "Mountain Rescue in Scotland is carried out by world class volunteers delivering a service free of charge to people in need of aid in the mountains of Scotland. The majority of our funding comes from private donation and we do receive money from both the UK and Scottish Governments.

    "We are not a political organisation and support any move toward reducing costs or increasing income for Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams. In the case of VAT we would like to thank all the MPs and MEPs who are involved in the campaign which if successful would undoubtedly benefit volunteer teams financially."

    People wishing to join the campaign can sign up here.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has welcomed news that South WestJim HumeJim Hume Scotland is set to benefit by nearly £40 million from a new scheme to help young people into work.

    The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) will provide £170 million of UK government funding to help young people aged 15-24 find work.

    This investment will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.

    Southwest Scotland, one of five areas selected to receive support, is in line to benefit by £38.6 million.

    Commenting, Jim Hume said:

    "More people are in work across the country than ever before but there is always more that can be done. Liberal Democrats are helping build a stronger Scottish economy in government and any initiative to get more people into work is welcome.

    "We know that long spells of unemployment at the start of a young persons' career can be damaging for years down the line. This new investment will make a real difference to young people in the south of Scotland and give them the best possible start to their working life.

    "With UK spending being matched by EU investment this new initiative is another reason why Liberal Democrats are working to keep Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe."

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said today's employment figures demonstrate the importance of sharing economic progress across the UK.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "Liberal Democrats in the UK government are building a stronger economyWillie RennieWillie Rennie and today we can see what that means for people in Scotland. 16,000 more Scots are in work, business confidence is increasing and positive growth continues for the Scottish economy as part of the UK. This is the positive economic progress which enables us to build a fairer society.

    "Sharing across the UK's broad shoulders, Liberal Democrats have delivered lower taxes, higher pensions, new jobs and more childcare. But figures showing a quarterly rise in the number of people out of work shows that we cannot become complacent. The Scottish Government must work closely with the UK Government to unlock further opportunities for jobs and growth for Scotland as part of the UK."

    Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said:

    "It is encouraging to see 16,000 more Scots move into work and theAlistair CarmichaelAlistair Carmichael number claiming jobseekers allowance fall for the seventeenth straight month. There are now 68,000 more people in work and around 32,000 fewer people claiming jobseekers allowance than one year ago. It is also very encouraging to see the number of women in work continuing to rise to a near record high.‬

    ‪"With business confidence increasing, inflation falling to a four and half year low and seven consecutive months of positive Scottish economic growth, Scotland is doing well as part of the UK.‬

    ‪"Tax changes the UK Government has introduced this month will make it easier for Scottish businesses to invest, to take on new staff and be even more competitive on a global stage. We have also ensured that every hard working Scot will not pay any income tax on everything they earn up to £10,000. ‬

    "Any rise in unemployment shows that challenges remain. We must ensure that as the economy recovers the benefits are seen in communities across the length and breadth of Scotland.‬"

  • Article: Apr 14, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesman Liam Mcarthur MSP todayLiam McArthurLiam McArthur warned Ministers they are putting teachers under enormous strain after new figures revealed a big fall in spending on supply staff over the last three years.

    Figures revealed through Freedom of Information requests show that spending on supply teachers fell by nearly £18 million between 2010/11 and 2012/13.

    In December 2013 it was confirmed that the number of teachers in Scotland had also declined for the sixth year in a row.

    Commenting, Liam McArthur said:

    "Supply teachers are an invaluable part of our education system but the figures show that spending on supply staff has fallen over the last three years. With reports suggesting this is at least in part down to fewer staff being available to work there are real questions over how Ministers will ensure that there are sufficient teachers available across our schools system.

    "With the number of full-time teaching staff also in decline, parents will wonder whether this will see regular teachers being asked to take on more responsibilities at a time of major change with the curriculum. That is a combination that is scarcely sustainable, putting teaching staff under enormous strain and pupils at a potential disadvantage.

    "In opposition the SNP promised to increase teacher numbers and reduce class sizes. In government, they have delivered the exact opposite. This government has failed teachers and pupils alike."

  • Article: Apr 3, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the relaunch of the Tavish ScottTavish ScottScottish Provosts' Association as good news for local democracy. The association was officially re-launched in Edinburgh today and will seek to promote the image of Scottish local authorities as civic institutions.

    It was announced today that Scottish Liberal Democrat Borders councillor Graham Garvie has been appointed President of the association. Shetland Islands Council Convenor Malcolm Bell is the new Vice President.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said:

    "This is good news for local democracy. These past 7 years have been testing times for local communities as the SNP government remove powers and responsibilities. The re-launch of the Scottish Provosts' Association, with a strong liberal and local voice at its helm, will help to promote the important role of local communities in shaping their own local services. "

  • Article: Apr 3, 2014

    Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, todayJim HumeJim Hume (Thursday 3rd April) led a heated members' debate in the Scottish Parliament on court closures in South Scotland during which he said SNP Ministers have it in their power to protect Selkirk and Jedburgh Sheriff Courts from further closures.

    The MSP also expressed his deep frustration at the lack of government accountability on the issue and referred to Kenny MacAskill's strong support for Peebles Sheriff Court in a 2002 Scottish Parliament debate.

    Last summer (June 2013), Scottish Ministers laid the secondary legislation or closure orders before the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee. The SNP majority committee, chaired by Borders MSP Christine Grahame, voted to close courts in Duns, Peebles, Haddington, Annan and Kirkcudbright.

    An FOI request submitted by Mr Hume at the end of last year uncovered a secret group looking into the future of Selkirk and Jedburgh Sheriff Courts. That group is due to report back on its findings in the spring/early summer.

    Speaking after the debate, Mr Hume said:

    "The SNP's instinctive lean towards removing key local services from rural communities is sadly evident across South Scotland with the closure of five courts in the region.

    "The impact of closures hasn't been lost on constituents who have contacted me in their droves about fears for access to local justice. Those same people talk about their local towns being raided of yet another key facility hot on the heels of police counters and control rooms.

    "It's a dangerous precedent to remove high value civil service jobs from rural areas with all the associated employment and economic benefit.

    "I'm deeply frustrated at the lack of government accountability on this issue. Time and time again Kenny MacAskill has passed the buck and it took freedom of information requests to get any information about the future of Selkirk and Jedburgh courts.

    "If the will is there, Kenny MacAskill absolutely has it in his power to stop further court closures in the Borders."

  • Article: Apr 3, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat George Lyon MEP has welcomed a vote in theGeorge LyonGeorge Lyon European Parliament today to abolish all mobile roaming charges across the EU.

    These include costly charges for data roaming, which are currently capped at 37.6p per megabyte in the EU. Liberal Democrats at the European Parliament had tabled amendments to EU proposals that would see roaming charges phased out by December 2015.

    Official statistics suggest that people from across the UK make more than 40 million trips to Europe every year.

    Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

    "Liberal Democrats have been clear that we want to see an end to sky-high mobile roaming charges and the vote today is another big step towards making this a reality.

    "Our amendment will see charges phased out by December 2015.

    "We now know that £8bn has been saved from EU reductions in roaming charges, and Scottish travellers now stand to save even more following today's vote.

    "This is a common sense move to make life that little bit easier for the millions of British tourists who visit Europe every year, as well as the many local businesses who rely on trade with the EU."

  • Article: Apr 2, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that equality between physical andJim HumeJim Hume mental health must be enshrined in law if Scotland is to tackle effectively the stigma attached to mental health issues.

    The Scottish Government did not agree to the move during the Scottish Liberal Democrat debate in parliament today on improving Scotland's mental health.

    Speaking after the debate, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Mr Hume said:

    "It's disappointing that SNP ministers did not agree to enshrine equality between mental and physical health in law. That is a move which would send out the clearest signal about Scotland's commitment to providing quick and full support to those who need it.

    "If we are to tackle effectively the stigma attached to mental health issues the Scottish Government must lead from the front. I will continue to push the Scottish Government to adopt our reasonable proposals."