Too many pupils with mental health challenges are not receiving adequate support in our schools

Ross Greer MSP Fri 13 Oct, 2017

This Tuesday was World Mental Health Day. People all over the world shared personal stories and helped to raise awareness. The day encourages the millions who have suffered from poor mental health in one form or another to speak openly about their experiences and challenge the stigma which has caused so many to suffer in silence. When people speak out, we need to make sure that the right support is available. Right now, that is not the case for young people in Scotland’s schools.   

The government must be ready to listen before putting a budget before parliament

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 6 Oct, 2017

Party conference season is upon us. With Theresa May’s farcical performance in Manchester earlier this week, every other leader can be confident that’d be hard put to do any worse. This weekend it’s the turn of the SNP, whose members will no doubt be eager for some positive, upbeat announcements to cheer.

The first of these was announced on Tuesday; the temporary moratorium on fracking and other forms of extreme energy production will be extended. These technologies will not be deployed in Scotland, and this will certainly feature prominently in the First Ministers speech.

Forget air tax cuts, let's invest in the public transport we all use

John Finnie MSP Fri 29 Sep, 2017

Rail passengers in Scotland will see another rise in regulated rail fares from January next year, this time by 3.6%. So when I heard that the Scottish Government was to announce a transport policy aimed at reducing fares, I thought great! Only, this wasn’t for public transport, but airline tickets.

Plate up for the planet

Patrick Harvie MSP Wed 27 Sep, 2017

Last week I signed up, as over 10,000 people have this summer, to the Plate Up for the Planet campaign. It’s a 7-day pledge to try out a vegan diet, and the idea got a few of us in the Green Group interested. As today is the last day of my pledge, I wanted to get a few thoughts down on how I’ve found it and what, if anything, it might change for me.

Our future prosperity lies with the low carbon economy

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 22 Sep, 2017

I promise not to ask readers of the National for any more favours (at least until next month) if you could all do me one tiny thing today: respond to the Scottish Government’s climate change bill consultation before it closes at midnight.

JOHNSTONE OPPOSES WALLYFORD GREYHOUND EXPLOITATION

Alison Johnstone MSP Thu 21 Sep, 2017

Alison has joined local campaigners and leading animal welfare charity OneKind, in calling for a halt to plans to open a new greyhound racing track in Wallyford, East Lothian.

In March, plans for a car park and 94 ‘high end’ houses to enable development of the stadium, at the site originally identified for business use, were approved by councillors after an application for development was rejected in 2011, with that decision overturned by the Scottish Government on appeal.

Alison said:

When it comes to fairer, greener ways of travelling, we still have a journey ahead of us

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 15 Sep, 2017

With exceptional timing, Storm Aileen breezed into Scotland on Wednesday - National Cycle to Work Day. I dared myself to cycle all the way to the Scottish Parliament from home in Stirlingshire and managed the 48 miles in a little over 3 hours. Given I'm middle aged, average fitness and borderline overweight, cycling even a couple of miles to work is still worth a go and not beyond what most people can do with the right support and facilities from their employer.

We must keep pushing the Scottish Government beyond its comfort zone

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 8 Sep, 2017

Over the summer I’ve spoken with both supporters and critics of the SNP who agree that the mood has been somewhat flat in recent years, compared with the more dynamic and innovative years of their first spell of minority government from 2007-11. The First Minister seemed to recognise this, indicating over the recess that her government had a need for a reset.

We must do more to mitigate the effects of the benefit cap

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 1 Sep, 2017

The schools are back and a new session of Parliament beckons. While most people will have had a break with family and friends, summer isn't such an enjoyable time for all. Many families face the extra cost of meals and activities which would usually be provided at school.

Last July and August, Trussell Trust UK provided 4,412 more three-day emergency food parcels for children than during the previous two months. 27% of these went to children younger than 4, including newborns, and I fear that we will see similar numbers this year.

Don't let tax cuts for frequent flyers take off

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Aug, 2017

Summer, such as it is, nears an end; politicians are gearing up for a return to debating chambers around the country. Councillors have returned already, sadly including the racist and sectarian ones whose leader Ruth Davidson seems to regard their voting numbers as more important than any principle. Holyrood and Westminster will start their business again at the start of September. Not before time.

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