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Local MSP Welcomes New Powers On AirBnB Lets

Edinburgh Pentlands MSP, Gordon Macdonald, has given his backing to an announcement from the First Minister that councils will be handed powers to regulate and control short term holiday lets. The move follows concerns that the number of short term accommodation lets in Edinburgh, offered by platforms such as Airbnb, is restricting the volume of available residential properties available in our capital. Gordon Macdonald MSP is encouraging local residents to have their say on the Scottish Government’s plans as part of an online consultation that runs until 19 July 2019. The proposal is part of a package of new housing initiatives announced at the SNP’s spring conference in Edinburgh this wee

Tory Welfare Cuts Drive Record Foodbank use

The number of emergency parcels handed out by food banks in Scotland rose by nearly a quarter over the last year, according to the UK’s largest food bank provider. The Trussell Trust said its food banks provided more than 210,000 packages to people in crisis in 2018-19 – up 23% from the previous year. In Edinburgh, 19,128 of three day emergency food supplies were provided to people in crisis by food banks. The food bank provider said that issues with the Tories flagship welfare reform Universal Credit were a “key driver” of increasing food poverty. In Scotland, 42% of food bank referrals made due to a delay in benefits were linked to Universal Credit. DWP ministers recently admitted the dir

SNP MSP Demands Action On Bank Closures In Edinburgh

SNP MSP, Gordon Macdonald, has called for re-assurances that local bank branches will remain open in Edinburgh, after concerns over the number of banks and building societies which have closed across the country were raised. A Which? study revealed that 52 banks and building societies have shut their doors in Edinburgh, and almost 400 banks and building societies have closed across Scotland since 2015. Communities across Scotland are rightly concerned about the impact of the decision to close will have on local businesses, employees, the elderly and vulnerable and all those who need access to banking services. SNP MSPs and MPs have been arguing for the reversal of hundreds of bank branch clo

Labour Must "Get on Board" With Full Devolution Of Rail

SNP MSP, Gordon Macdonald, has called on Labour MSPs to get behind the full devolution of rail services to Scotland, after a former Labour transport minister urged that the Scottish Parliament be given full responsibility over Network Rail. Tom Harris, a senior adviser to the Rail Review, said that all lines, signals, stations and infrastructure under the control of Network Rail should be transferred to a new body, answerable to the Scottish Government. At the moment, Network Rail is responsible for railway infrastructure and is accountable to Westminster, not Holyrood. In November, Labour MSPs were criticised for voting against the full devolution of rail, despite almost 60% of delays on Sc

Extension Of Free Tuition For EU Students In Edinburgh

Local MSP, Gordon Macdonald, has said that “Scotland remains open and welcoming” following an announcement from the SNP Government that free tuition for EU students will be extended beyond 2021 despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty. EU citizens who study a Further or Higher education course in Scotland in the 2020/21 academic year will be charged the same tuition fees and will get the same fee support as Scottish students for the entirety of their courses. This offer of tuition fee support will stand even if current legal obligations to EU students cease to apply when the UK exits the EU - making Scotland the first nation in the UK to offer this commitment. EU nationals accounted for more than

EU Citizens Urged to Stay in Edinburgh

SNP MSP, Gordon Macdonald, has made an impassioned plea to EU citizens living in Edinburgh to stay in Scotland amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty. This week First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, made a commitment to EU citizens that Scotland remains their home - promising to continue making a strong case for their rights to be protected in any EU exit scenario. The SNP leader has written an open letter to EU citizens to confirm a new ‘Stay in Scotland’ package that will consist of: £250,000 for community based support across Scotland; A support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenges; and, A toolkit for employers, including posters, factsheets, digital con

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