Another month has passed, and parliament is now on recess. It’s an odd recess – usually the Easter break is a mixture of having a few days off to spend with family and catching up with lots of constituency visits. Currently most of that isn’t possible, though my team and I are still working hard to help constituents who need my support.
The Scottish parliament is now in a longer than normal recess, ahead of the Scottish general election on 6th May. If you haven’t registered to vote, you still have time to do so and, remember, if you’re a citizen of another country live in Scotland with permission to enter or stay in the UK (including EU nationals), you can vote in this election (find out more here). Given the Covid-19 restrictions, you may also wish to consider registering for a postal vote. The deadline for this is the 6th April so don’t delay – you can find out more here.
As ever, the best place to get the most up to date advice about Covid-19 remains the government and council websites:
Scottish Government: www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Support and funding for businesses: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice
UK Government: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Edinburgh Council: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus
You can also find a list of further helplines including those for parents, older people and those concerned about their mental health on my website. And while my office remains closed to the public, you can still contact myself and the team on 0131 661 8023, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think my views on Brexit, and on how EU citizens living here have been treated by the UK government, have been pretty clear. However, much as I don’t like the system, it is important that people know what action they must take in order to be able to remain in the UK.
The deadline of the 30th June 2021 for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their families to apply to the free of charge EU Settlement Scheme is fast approaching. The Scottish Government has funded support services offered by Citizens Advice Scotland, including a free and confidential helpline on 0800 916 9847.
A factsheet detailing your rights can also be found here: https://justcitizens.scot/eu/.
In case you missed it, Children’s A&E in Edinburgh moved to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People on Tuesday 23 March. If your child or young person needs urgent care this is where you should attend. Looks like they moved out of their old home in the nick of time! A new resident appears to have moved in…
Lots of constituents have been in touch with me about the proposed Controlled Parking Zone at ‘Willowbrae North’ (from the Meadowbank entrance to Holyrood Park to Willowbrae Avenue) and ‘West Leith’ (roughly, the area between Lochend Road and Restalrig Road). The Council has been consulting on these proposals and I have been encouraging those who live in the area to take part. I also met with Council officials and other elected members to discuss residents’ concerns.
The University of Edinburgh’s Community Grants scheme is now open. The scheme helps the development of projects, community activities and sustainable local action through funding and collaboration. The deadline to submit applications is 5pm on Friday 9th Apr 2021. Find out more here.
I had a positive and wide-ranging chat with Gary Love & Stephen Duncan of Historic Environment Scotland about the management of Holyrood Park. It’s an incredible asset for our city & we can all enjoy it more if through traffic is reduced, while ensuring that people with restricted mobility can continue to access the Park. I’m pleased that to say that the car free hours are being extended until 17:45 and I’m hoping HES will consider extending this further. I’ll keep engaging with them on this.