The Scottish Government has launched the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Mobility Fund, offering cash incentives and Travel Better vouchers, if non-compliant vehicles are removed from Scotland’s roads.

Administered by Energy Saving Trust, this programme is means-tested and offers help to those most impacted. It provides people and micro-businesses with financial support to travel more sustainably and comply with forthcoming measures to improve air quality and protect public health.

The £2 million LEZ Mobility Fund provides households with a grant of £2000 to incentivise removal of a non-compliant vehicle. Secondly, the Fund will offer up to two £500 mobility grants or Travel Better vouchers to purchase a bike, e-bike or public transport voucher. For micro-businesses, the Fund provides a flat incentive of £2500 per car or van to remove a non-compliant vehicle, replace it with a compliant vehicle, or to invest in an alternative mode of transport such as an e-cargo bike.

In addition, £1 million pounds is again being made available in 2020/21 to support the retrofitting of light goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and taxis through the LEZ Retrofitting Fund for micro-businesses. Collectively, these two funding steams represent the Low Emission Zone Support Fund – and both are delivered through Energy Saving Trust.

This funding supports the Programme for Government commitment to restart work on LEZs and supports earlier commitments to help those who will have the most difficulty in making the transition to the introduction of LEZs.

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Commenting MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Constituency Christina McKelvie:

"The Scottish Government are dedicated to tackling the climate emergency that faces us all. Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are just one way the SNP are delivering on this in Government. The LEZs are vital to protect public health and improve air quality in our city centres.

"It is vitally important however that we move forward in a just and fair way and that is why the LEZ mobility fund announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson will provide immediate assistance to households and businesses that are most impacted by the new emmissions standards.

"This fund will encourage the disposal of non-compliant vehicles through new Travel Better vouchers in advance of the introduction of these LEZs.

“For taxi drivers or small businesses that wish to retrofit existing vehicles, in order to comply with forthcoming emissions standards, support remains available. I would encourage everyone to think about how Low Emission Zones may affect them and to visit www.lowemissionzones.scot for the latest information.”

Ellie Grebenik, Senior Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust said: "The development of low emission zones is essential to reduce road transport pollution, improve air quality across urban areas, enhance people's health and protect our environment. Ensuring a just transition is vital and the Low Emission Zone Support Fund will play a crucial role in encouraging Scottish households and businesses to transition to more sustainable transport alternatives through funding to those who need it most."

Energy Saving Trust’s website has full information and conditions relating to the Mobility Fund.

Labour MSPs have voted against an amendment calling for the UK government to extend the furlough scheme - despite repeated calls for an extension from both Kier Starmer and Richard Leonard.

Scottish Labour today voted against an SNP amendment which “notes the importance of government measures, such as the job retention scheme, to aviation businesses and calls for it to be extended.”

According to new research, extending the furlough scheme by eight months could save 61,000 jobs in Scotland.

A Scottish Government report estimates that the direct cost of extending the furlough scheme in Scotland to June is around £850 million – and wider economic benefits, such as increasing GDP, mean that it could pay for itself.

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Commenting, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Christina McKelvie said: 

“The very real damage that will be done to those across Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Constituency and Scotland who are reliant on the furlough scheme should shame the UK Government. And for Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories to vote against an amendment to support extending these schemes is unconscionable. The 61,000 people across Scotland whose jobs are on the line will lay the blame solely at their door.

“This is just the latest example of why we need the normal powers of an independent country. If we were independent then Scotland could follow the example of our European neighbours and extend the furlough scheme and deliver a scale of fiscal stimulus needed to properly protect our economy.

“Instead of sitting on their hands, Labour should join the SNP in calling for this Tory government to hand Holyrood the financial powers it needs to protect Scottish jobs.

“It’s simply unbelievable that the Labour party actually voted against extending the furlough scheme today - instead siding with the Tories to put thousands of Scottish jobs at risk when the scheme ends in less than six weeks. Voters will remember this.”

This year, NHS Lanarkshire is delivering flu vaccinations to everyone who is eligible – this is more than 300,000 people.

Dr Linda Findlay, Medical Director South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The scale of the programme and the need to observe physical distancing means that clinics need to be held in large community venues. We expect there to be a high demand for this year’s vaccine and would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience with this new way of delivering this important vaccine.”

The eligible groups are:

·         2 to 5 years (not yet in school)

·         Everyone aged under 65 at risk

·         Everyone aged 65 and over

·         People who have been shielding and members of their households

·         55 to 64 years (who are not otherwise eligible, if vaccine supplies allow later in the programme)

If you are eligible for the flu vaccination you will receive an invite with an allocated appointment at a local community vaccination clinic. If this appointment is not suitable, please call the number on your invite to reschedule. Invites will be sent in batches, from mid-September, to make sure that the service can cope with the demand. You may receive your invite on a different date than usual, but you will receive one.

Appointments need to be allocated this year due to the sheer number of people to be vaccinated. There will be no drop-in clinics as we need to manage the number of people at each clinic to ensure physical distancing.

Pregnant women will receive their vaccine from their midwife and primary school children will receive it at school.

Dr Findlay added: “This year, more than ever, it is important that you receive your flu vaccine if you are eligible. Flu is serious and with covid-19 still circulating in the community we all need to play our part to keep ourselves as healthy as possible over the winter months. Receiving the vaccine will help protect you, your loved ones and the NHS.”

For more information on the delivery of the local flu programme, visit http://www.nhslanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk/flu.

Regular updates will be posted on NHS Lanarkshire’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please do not contact your GP practice, as they cannot book or reschedule your appointment. Please wait on your invite.

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