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Keeping up with you

Hello and welcome to all of you in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

Thank you for taking a moment to look at this email. I want to keep everyone in touch with what’s going on in the constituency and what it might mean for you.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all working from home. If you need help, phone the office as normal and leave an outline message. Someone will soon get back to you. You can also email me at any time. Att the contact details are at the end of this email.

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My re-selection for May’s Scottish elections
Great news. It’s a little like sitting an exam when you’re fairly confident of the result but who knows what might happen!
 
That the SNP has confirmed that I will be standing for election to the Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse seat once again is music to my ears.
 
I would like to thank all of you who voted for me in 2016 and I hope that you will continue to do that. I take nothing for granted.


If you have any questions or you would like to find out more about the issues in the constituency that I will be campaigning with, please do get in touch with me. Contact details are below.

And if you are interested in becoming involved with the campaign, then do either email me or phone the office for more information about that.
 
It has been brilliantly good to hear your support on social media. Here’s just a smattering. There are many more at @christinaSNP, I’m happy to say!
 

  • Mark Young Best candidate for the job! Congratulations! Glad that Hamilton will still have the one of the best MSPs in Scotland in 2021 and beyond!! 😎

    If I could still vote in Hamilton you know I'd have been first in the queue for Townhill that morning (while Colin Dewar likely still sleeping even though he lives closer 😂)
  •  

Christine Hunter Your a really nice approachable lady and care about your constituents, you have my vote x

  • David Bell It was never in doubt. We have an excellent MSP, and we look forward to keeping it that way in 2021. Congratuations.
  •  

Cllr Maureen Chalmers SNP Ward 15 Blantyre Congratulations Christina! xx
Charlie Bent Thoroughly deserved Christina.

 

People on low incomes may receive £500 support 

An announcement from Nicola Sturgeon will help those on low incomes who will lose money as a result of having to self-isolate. Applications will open on 12 October and will be delivered through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund which is administered by local authorities.

The new Self-Isolation Support Grant will help those who would lose income if they needed to self-isolate, such as those unable to carry out their work from home.



Recipients are likely to be people in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits but with discretion to pay the support to others in financial hardship.The First Minister said: “Where people who are self-isolating and are well and can work from home, they should of course continue to be supported by their employers, and I would ask again today, that all employers play their full part in making sure that their employees are able to comply with the self-isolation requirement when they are asked to do so.

“However the self-isolation support grant will help people on low incomes who will lose money as a result of self-isolation and who therefore might find it financially challenging, or in some cases even impossible, to comply unless they have support.” 

And Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Self-isolation can be tough, but it is essential to protect people and reduce the spread of coronavirus. To ensure people do not experience financial hardship as a result of doing the right thing, we are introducing this new £500 grant for people on low incomes who have been told to self-isolate.

 



“While we continue to press the UK Government for clarity around consequential funding for the support scheme they recently announced, it is essential that we act swiftly so that people who need support are able to access it. I am glad that the scheme has the support of local authorities and that we have a means of delivering it from next month.”

COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson Councillor Kelly Parry said: “COSLA, on behalf of Scottish local government, welcomes this scheme.  It will help ensure those who are affected and qualify are looked after and won’t need to go to work, which will help reduce the community spread of the virus. 

“Councils have vast experience of providing local support of this type to communities and are the best placed to deliver this measure.  We are keen to agree the details with the Scottish Government as soon as possible and look forward to getting much needed support to the people who need it.”
 
 
Larkhall TSB
I am incredibly disappointed that the Larkhall branch is on the list of local branches earmarked by TSB for closure.



The digital by default model excludes many of my constituents especially older people and those with disabilities. This is especially true at a time when many are feeling isolated, a face-to-face banking service in the local community is indispensable for my constituents.

I have requested a meeting with TSB bosses regarding the future of services in the area – the bank need to rethink this decision and allow our high streets to fully recover from this pandemic. I'll be pushing TSB to reverse this short sighted decision.
 
SNP MSPs have demanded an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of TSB after the shock announcement that the bank is to close 73 branches in Scotland and cut 300 jobs as part of wider UK cuts.

Kenneth Gibson MSP, who raised the closures at First Minister's Questions, said: “Closing local bank branches amidst a global pandemic, when people need financial advice and support more than ever, is not just an inconvenience. Every one of these branches is hugely important to the community it serves.

“Alongside my SNP colleagues, I have requested an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of TSB regarding the future of services in Scotland. TSB must urgently reverse their plans to close these branches.”
 

Independence for Scotland
 
A new study has found that business leaders across the UK are confident that their companies would thrive in an independent Scotland.

The Ipsos MORI survey, which interviewed 102 British business leaders between February and July discovered "little resistance" to the concept of an independent Scotland.

It revealed that 95% of business leaders are confident that “my company would adapt to the consequences if Scotland became an independent country" with just 4% saying they didn’t believe Scotland would become independent.

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: “This poll of business leaders shows that, overwhelmingly, they are confident that independence will prove beneficial for businesses and the economy.

 

"Scotland is already one of the most productive parts of the UK outside London, with resources few countries can match, and independence would allow us to make the most of that huge potential.

“With independence, we will gain the tools we need to ensure that decisions over our economy always match Scotland’s needs and priorities.

“This stands in stark contrast to a Westminster government intent on leaving the EU and a single market eight times bigger than the UK's alone - and the catastrophic no-deal outcome the Tories are now preparing for.

“Majority support for independence is now the established position of the people of Scotland. And no wonder, when only independence will enable the people of Scotland to build a more prosperous country which reaches its full potential on the global stage.”

 

High levels of trust in Scottish Government
A new study has found that business leaders across the UK are confident that their companies would thrive in an independent Scotland.

The Ipsos MORI survey, which interviewed 102 British business leaders between February and July discovered "little resistance" to the concept of an independent Scotland.

It revealed that 95% of business leaders are confident that “my company would adapt to the consequences if Scotland became an independent country" with just 4% saying they didn’t believe Scotland would become independent.

Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said: “We are currently dealing with the biggest crisis our country has faced since wartime so, even though these data were collected before lockdown, it is heartening to see public trust in the Scottish Government remain so high.

 
“Throughout the pandemic we have recognised the importance of maintaining public trust and confidence in Government which has been absolutely vital in allowing us to control the virus effectively. We will strive to do all we can to maintain and deliver upon this trust and see the country through this challenging period.”

Meanwhile, trust o the Government in Westminster has slumped to a record low. Scots are not fools. We can see the direction of the Westminster government and we don’t want to be part of it against our will. We don’t want to process refugees either on the Scottish islands or in Ascension Island 4,000 miles away.
 
We don’t want to levy huge fees on employers who may be seeking staff across Europe after January. We have no desire to see chaotic traffic build ups and a lack of the foods we are used to buying through EU trade deals. Regarding medicines, we really have no idea about security of supplies for the drugs that many of us are life-dependent upon.

 

Early medical termination available from home

During the pandemic, women have been able to take both pills required for an early medical termination of a pregnancy at home where this is considered clinically appropriate for the patient.

The current arrangements will remain in place as long as the virus remains a risk, but a wide range of views – including from women who have had the treatment - are now being sought through a consultation on making the current arrangements permanent.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “All women in Scotland should have access to clinically safe abortion services, within the limits of the law.”

The consultation is available here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/protecting-scotland-renewing-scotland-governments-programme-scotland-2020-2021// and will run from 30 September until 5 January 2021.

 
£1.18 bn for health and social care sector 

Scotland’s health and social care sector will receive £1.1 billion in additional funding to support its work through coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has announced.

The funding will be allocated to NHS Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships across Scotland to help them meet COVID-19 related costs such as additional staffing or sickness expenditure, enhanced infection prevention and control measures, and the purchase of PPE.

Jeane Freeman said: “As we continue to safely remobilise our health and social care sector, the Scottish Government is taking action to support services’ capacity to deal with the ongoing presence of COVID 19 and continue preparations for the wider pressures of the winter season.”