Food benefit scheme welcome but needs improvement, Greens say

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Green Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today welcomed the introduction of the Best Start Foods scheme but backed concerns that design changes are needed.

The scheme, which replaces the UK Healthy Start Vouchers, provides prepaid cards for pregnant women and parents to purchase healthy food for their children. 

The new policy increases the money available but reduces the upper age limit from 4 to 3. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Greens urge long term plan for Sauchiehall Street

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens have urged a long term recovery plan for Sauchiehall Street and the surrounding area, as the Scottish Parliament marked the first anniversary of the devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art.

Patrick Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP, told a members’ debate that local residents and businesses are still feeling the effects of the fire and deserve stronger commitments from local and national government.

WIGHTMAN: MORE ACTION NEEDED ON EMPTY HOMES

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens have welcomed progress in reducing the number of people owning second homes in Scotland but called for more action to address growing numbers of empty homes.

Figures out today show a 2.83% year-on-year drop in second homes – down more than a quarter from 2008 levels. However the number of homes sitting empty has grown by 21% since 2008, with 83,435 empty homes in 2018. In Edinburgh the number of empty homes is up 6% year-on-year, and in the Highlands it is up by 12%.

Andy Wightman MSP, the Scottish Greens’ housing spokesperson, said:

Greens call for climate action plan for farming

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Farming Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP will today (18 Jun) bring forward amendments to the Climate Change Bill to create a new action plan to tackle emissions from farming as part of the climate emergency. 

The system currently used to calculate Scotland’s climate change emissions separates agriculture from land use, meaning farming often is credited for emissions from agriculture, but not the positive sequestering effect of good land management and forestry, which also takes place on our farms. 

Mark Ruskell MSP said: 

Government must get on its bike to hit cycling target

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has slammed the Scottish Government for its failure to meet its own cycling target. 

Scottish Ministers set themselves a target that by 2020 10% of everyday journeys will be by bike, but with just six months to go the figure sits at just 2%, with official statistics showing the number of people cycling actually declined last year. 

The Transport Secretary is expected to make a statement to MSPs on this unacceptable performance today, following pressure from the Greens. 

Greens draw battle lines for fairer planning system

Mon 17 Jun, 2019

Scottish Green MSPs will stage a series of bids to radically overhaul Scotland’s planning system over three days of debate in the Scottish Parliament, starting tomorrow (Tuesday 18 June).

Amendments brought by Green MSPs at stage 3 of the Planning Bill will seek to improve natural habitats in response to the climate crisis and give communities more power over issues like short-term holiday lets, which blight local areas.

Greer questions plans for new gas power station at Hunterston

Thu 13 Jun, 2019

Plans to build a new gas fired power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire are incompatible with Scotland’s declaration of a climate emergency, according to West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer, who quizzed Nicola Sturgeon about the proposals at FMQs today (13 June 2019) after concerns were raised with him by local residents (1).

Johnstone demands improved funding for GPs 

Thu 13 Jun, 2019

The Scottish Government must increase the share of funding provided to GP practices so that people can be adequately cared for in their communities according to Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP. 

In April, parliament backed a green motion calling for an urgent review of GP recruitment, resources and funding. Yet no review has taken place, a point Ms Johnstone raised with the First Minister at FMQs this afternoon. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said: 

Harvie demands emergency action to stop asylum evictions

Wed 12 Jun, 2019

Scottish Green Party parliamentary co-leader and MSP for Glasgow, Patrick Harvie, has demanded emergency action to stop people being made homeless as a result of Serco’s announcement it will resume evictions of people who have sought asylum.

Mr Harvie blasted Serco and the UK Government for the inhumane asylum system but also said the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council had failed to deliver emergency housing despite previous commitments to do that.

Green leaders call on FM to give climate assurance

Wed 12 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leaders Alison Johnstone and Patrick Harvie have written to the First Minister expressing their concern at her government appearing to walk back a commitment to review all policies in light of the climate emergency.