Wheelhouse Backs Small Business Saturday

27th November 2015

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, (SNP South Scotland) is urging Borderers to once again back Small Business Saturday next weekend (5th December) and support local businesses across the region.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking everyone to do their bit in backing Small Business Saturday by choosing, where possible, to buy their Christmas gifts and shopping with independent businesses.

Paul said:

“With all the hype over ‘Black Friday’, ‘Cyber Monday’ and even ‘Pre-Black Friday’, which leaves me cold, I am very consciously supporting Small Business Saturday and will be showing my support to local businesses, as I do throughout the year in various towns in the Scottish Borders.

“Small businesses have traditionally been at the heart of the Scottish Borders economy and it is so important that we back them by shopping local whenever we can – throughout the year, but especially when we are looking for special gifts at this time of year. 

“I appreciate that household budgets are stretched and many people are often keen to cut back at Christmas, and I recognise that individuals need to be careful not to over extend themselves, but knowing we are contributing to the local economy while doing our shopping, where we can do so, makes our spending a little more community spirited.

“Strengthening Scotland’s economy has been a top priority for the SNP Scottish Government throughout our time in office and a strong economy is an essential part of a fairer society.  We are determined to provide the best possible support to Scotland’s small businesses.  

“So, where they can do so, I hope shoppers throughout the Borders can find time to support our local, independent businesses when carrying out their Christmas shopping this year.  I am sure local spending will be very much appreciated by local retailers and their staff.”

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Wheelhouse Welcomes Multi-Million Pound Kelso High School Funding From Scottish Government

26th November 2016

SNP MSP for South Scotland, Paul Wheelhouse, has welcomed today’s (Thursday) Scottish Government announcement bringing forward funding for the development of a new Kelso High School.

Announced by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, John Swinney MSP, following significant delays earlier this year caused by a European funding ruling, the new school will provide a much needed upgrade to the current facility and will allow Scottish Borders Council to progress the relocation of the old Kelso High School to the new site at Nethershot on Angraflat Road as previously planned.

Following the announcement in the Scottish Parliament Paul said:

“This is a welcome relief for all concerned following the delay to funding announced in February this year and I have expressed my gratitude, on behalf of my constituents, to Mr Swinney and the Scottish Government for stepping in to find a solution with this multi-million pound investment in developing a new High School that will bring the facilities for pupils up to 21st century standards.

“There can be few issues of greater importance to communities than investing in the education of our young people and I am really delighted that the new Kelso High School relocation can go ahead as planned and I look forward to seeing it progress, as I am sure are all pupils, parents and staff.”

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Wheelhouse Thanks RSPB Scotland for Politician of the Year Award

25th November 2015

SNP MSP for South Scotland, Paul Wheelhouse, has thanked the judges of the fourth annual RSPB Scotland Nature of Scotland Awards after winning the “Politician of the Year” category.

Following the ceremony held in Edinburgh Paul said:

“My time as Minister for Environment and Climate Change was an enormously enjoyable experience and it was a portfolio entrusted to me at an early stage in my political career by the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, for which I am truly grateful. 

“During my tenure I met some extraordinary people doing fantastic work to secure the future of our environment and championing species, our natural heritage and land for future generations and in tackling wildlife crime.  It was my honour to work alongside them to help inform policy and ensure the Scottish Government supported their efforts.

“To be presented with an award for doing a job I enjoyed so much is a humpling experience and I would like to also dedicate the award to the team I worked with within the Scottish Government, who I know continue to work tirelessly on their brief, and to the countless volunteers who support conservation work across our most beautiful countryside.”

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Wheelhouse Asks Are You Ready For Winter?

20th November 2015

Paul Wheelhouse (SNP MSP for South Scotland) is asking his constituents, are you ready for winter?

Research has revealed that two thirds of Scottish residents admit they could be more prepared for winter weather and with last week seeing the first amber weather warning of the winter and yellow warnings in force for snow this weekend, Paul is urging constituents across the Scottish Borders to make sure they are prepared for all eventualities this winter.

The research was revealed as the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter campaign launched last week, which encourages people and communities to take simple steps in readiness for tough weather conditions. For individuals this means staying informed on imminent weather conditions, knowing what to do to get ready, such as having a working torch or knowing how to turn off your utilities, and watching out for those who are more vulnerable to severe weather.

Despite more than a third of people (33%) saying they had been hit financially through disrupted travel, time off work or home repairs many don’t have the essential supplies to help them in an emergency and 46% of respondents said they were not worried about the prospect of severe weather this winter.

Paul said:

“We have a fantastic resilient communities resource in the Scottish Borders led by a highly respected and pioneering resilience team at Scottish Borders Council who are very much on top of their game when it comes to preparedness and I am in no doubt that constituents in the Scottish Borders will once again be served well by them this winter in terms of emergency planning.

“However, there are steps we can all take to ensure we are prepared for the cold snaps our often unpredictable weather can bring, including storms, flooding and high winds – all of which affect our homes, travel plans and especially our vulnerable neighbours.

“Being prepared for winter can make all the difference when severe weather strikes and this can be as simple as having a shovel and grit ready to keep paths clear and keeping a scraper and de-icer in your car.

“It is important to remind ourselves of the actions we can take to get ready in the home, before a journey, at our place of work and in our communities and to avoid complacency when it comes to being ready for winter.

“It’s well worth taking a few minutes to ask yourself whether you’re ready for winter and have a look at the advice and suggestions which are available at www.readyscotland.org in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe this year.”

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Tory Welfare Cuts Costing 200 Jobs in Scottish Borders

1st October 2015

Paul Wheelhouse (SNP MSP for South Scotland) has highlighted new figures showing Tory welfare cuts are costing 200 jobs in the Scottish Borders – confirming that the policy agenda is “failing by every conceivable measure”.
New research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) based on methodology used by Professor Steve Fothergill in a study on Wales also shows that the financial impact on the Scottish Borders as a result of welfare cuts is estimated at £27 million.
This new data comes on the back of expert evidence from Sheffield Hallam University to the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee making clear that Tory social security cuts had “no relationship with employment growth” and that “the evidence provides little support for the view that welfare reform is having important and positive impacts on the labour market in Scotland.”

Paul said:

“It’s abundantly clear that the callous, punitive Tory cuts to social security have failed even by their own standards – and it is people in the Scottish Borders who are suffering at the hands of the Tories.
“Not content with pushing vulnerable people even further into poverty while doing nothing to support people into employment, we now know that Tory social security cuts are estimated to have cost 200 jobs in the area by sucking spending power out of our most vulnerable communities when it comes to rural poverty.

“With less money in the economy in communities across the country as a result of these welfare cuts, 200 people in the Scottish Borders now find themselves without work as the consequences of the Tories’ outright attack on those who are in need of the most support, creating a vicious circle of unemployment in areas where this is already acutely felt.

“With their welfare cuts failing by every conceivable measure, it’s time for the Tories to finally admit that their unfair policies simply don’t work – and for a long overdue U-turn from the Tory UK Government who are more interested in punishing unemployed people than in supporting them back into work.

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Wheelhouse Wears It Pink for Breast Cancer Now

22nd September 2015

SNP MSP for South Scotland, Paul Wheelhouse, has once again shown his support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging constituents across the region to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s annual wear it pink fundraiser on Friday 23rd October.

wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country to ditch the mundane day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research and raise awareness of the disease.

Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

Paul said:

“Every year I join my fellow politicians in having a laugh by dressing up in pink for a photo to highlight this hugely important campaign, but while we have fun in publicising it there is an enormously serious point underlying this issue.

“Every year in Scotland around 4,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and while many will seek help and can beat the disease, sadly nearly 1,000 people still lose their lives to breast cancer. That is why I strongly support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in ‘wear it pink’, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

“Together, by supporting this event everyone can make a big difference for women with breast cancer, now and in the future; I do hope everyone in the Scottish Borders will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now and help ensure we beat breast cancer.”

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