A VOICE FROM WESTMINSTER
The Covid risk has reduced enough for me to be able to restart some physical visits in the constituency. I was pleased to start by calling in to Collydean Community Centre and Glenrothes Foodbank to thank their staff and volunteers for the vital support they’ve been giving to vulnerable people throughout the pandemic. It was also my first chance to see the new look Collydean centre since they had improvement made to the building. A few days later I was at Bats Wood behind Levenmouth Academy to see some of the work that has led to The Leven Programme being named as Fife’s “Climate Beacon” ahead of the COP21 climate change summit in Glasgow later this year.
I had two chances to highlight the regulatory failings that allowed a company called Blackmore Bond to take more than £45 million of other people’s pensions and life savings in just over three years before going bust, leaving the investors facing the loss of all their money. There are serious questions to be asked of the company’s directors but government bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority and Companies House should have acted much quicker after they were warned about what the company was doing. I’ve seen some heart rending stories from people who were persuaded to trust this company with their pensions and have probably lost everything.
It’s in the nature of politics that people don’t always agree with each other but there are standards of honesty and integrity that (usually) everybody agrees must be kept. Last week we saw not one but two UK Government ministers saying publicly that the public don’t care whether our politicians are honest, and that the only moral standard politicians need to worry a out is what the electorate will let them away with. I don’t think that’s an acceptable way for anyone in public office to behave and I don’t think many of my constituents would think so either.
Westminster’s summer recess starts later than Holyrood (it follows the English school holidays) so parliament will sit until 22 July. During the recess I’m hoping to restart face to face advice surgeries which have been on hold since the start of the pandemic. We’re having to completely rethink how we run these; some of the venues we’ve used in the past will be just too small to allow safe distancing, and we may need to use an appointment system so we don’t get too many people turning up at once. Keep an eye on my web site and facebook page for updates.
And finally, congratulations to Mrs Williams’ P6/7 class at Balcurvie Primary School in Windygates who finished top in the P6 and 7 category in a national creative arts competition run by Show Racism the Red Card. It was a fantastic achievement to end what’s been an extremely difficult year for all our school pupils.