"Politics is all about people. As a Central Scotland MSP it is both a pleasure and a privilege to meet and become involved with a hugely diverse number of people and organisations"

Margaret Mitchell

Archive for December 2011

Motherwell FC Helps to Promote Internet Safety

Dec. 13th 2011

That the Parliament welcomes the development by Motherwell FC in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council of a new interactive website that highlights the importance of internet safety to children; notes that the site was developed as part of the club’s community programme in collaboration with the council’s child protection team; acknowledges that the site provides children with five golden rules to stay safe online and gives advice and tips on social networks, chat rooms and how to handle cyber-bullying; further notes that the message of internet safety will be delivered to all North Lanarkshire primary schools as part of Motherwell FC’s community coaches programme; considers that this is an innovative method of raising awareness of the importance of staying safe online using children’s interest in football, and hopes that this initiative will encourage other local authorities to look into developing similar local campaigns to raise awareness of what it believes is a vitally important issue.

Posted by Kate | in Motions, Parliament

Number of Appeals by Businesses on Rateable Value Rising

Dec. 13th 2011

Following the Scottish Government’s Local Government Finance Settlement Statement last Thursday, Margaret asked John Swinney if the Scottish Government had considered the impact of the recent landmark appeal won by shop-owners and the landlord of the Mercat shopping centre in Kirkcaldy, which could see business rates cut by up to 45%.

 Commenting on the statement, Margaret said:

“The number of appeals by businesses to their rateable value has risen by 22% compared to the previous revaluation period. To put this in perspective, this represents a staggering 71,210 businesses appealing their rates. The recent landmark ruling for businesses in the Mercat shopping Centre, Kirkcaldy could see business rates cut by up to 45% leaving a funding gap amounting to millions in local authority budgets which the government has to underwrite.

However, when asked if the Scottish Government had considered this in their calculations or carried out an impact assessment, the Cabinet Secretary did not address this issue in his response to my question or say how he would tackle this further possible shortfall in his already over optimistic projections. 

The Cabinet Secretary did re-affirm that the Scottish Government is committed to meeting the funding for local authorities, but if there is a shortfall due to successful business rates appeals, it will be up to the Scottish Government to decide where from within the Scottish budget this money will come from.”

Posted by Kate | in Issues and events, Parliament