Greer warns teachers at "breaking point" as figures show Additional Support Needs teachers at lowest level in 10 years

Thu 11 Jan, 2018

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Jan) warned that classroom teachers are at "breaking point" after new figures showed the number of Additional Support Needs teachers is at its lowest level since the current government took office a decade ago.

In answer to a parliamentary question from Mr Greer, Scottish Ministers have confirmed that the number of full-time equivalent ASN teachers - who support pupils with issues such as health or communication difficulties - has fallen by almost 500 from a high of 3,942 in 2009 to 3,459 in 2016.

Finnie urges protection for officers and staff who have raised concerns about Chief Constable

Wed 10 Jan, 2018

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (10 Jan) urged Scottish Ministers to ensure protection for the police officers and staff who have raised concerns about Chief Constable Phil Gormley, who remains on special leave while allegations of gross misconduct are investigated.

Mr Finnie welcomed today's statement from the Justice Secretary clarifying recent events.

John said:

Finnie says lessons must be learned amid surge in cases of flu and A&E waiting times rise

Tue 9 Jan, 2018

Scottish Green MSP John Finnie today (9 Jan) said lessons must be learned amid a surge in cases of flu and as Accident & Emergency departments record their worst performance against a key waiting target since weekly reporting began.

Figures for the week ending December 31 show that 78 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, well below the Scottish Government's 95 per cent target and the 92.5 per cent recorded a year ago.

John Finnie MSP said:

Fracking ban challenge is predictable and desperate say Greens

Tue 9 Jan, 2018

Ineos’s decision to challenge Scotland’s fracking ban has been called predictable and desperate by a Green MSP.

Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens’ climate and energy spokesperson, also says the multinational chemicals company should accept they “lost the democratic debate” instead of throwing their toys of the pram.

Ruskell said:

“This is a predictable and desperate attempt by an industry sinking under public protest in England to try and salvage the last drop of commercial benefit in Scotland.

Holyrood is given the opportunity to reform the planning system once a decade, let's take it

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 5 Jan, 2018

On the Thursday before Christmas, Scottish ministers issued a decision letter approving the construction of a film studio and power station at Damhead in the greenbelt to the south of Edinburgh. In a brilliant circular argument, the development was deemed to be of national importance by ministers, thus justifying its incorporation into the local development plan which was then used by ministers to justify their decision.

Half of homes need repaired say Greens

Wed 3 Jan, 2018

Fuel poverty will not be eliminated in Scotland until the government takes action to fix the one in two homes that have issues with weather-tightness and structural stability says a Green MSP.

Andy Wightman MSP says it’s unacceptable for ministers to ignore the latest Scottish House Condition Survey, which shows that 48 per cent of homes have “disrepair to critical elements”, adding that the finance secretary is therefore not in a position to turn down the Greens’ budget demand of a move towards 70 per cent of capital spend on low-carbon infrastructure projects.

2018 can be a year of progress, from equality and human rights, to environmental protection and investment in our public services

Sun 31 Dec, 2017

In their New Year message, Scottish Green Party co-conveners Maggie Chapman and Patrick Harvie MSP said 2018 can be a year of progress on human rights and public services, and they pledged to continue to fight for "justice, solidarity and our shared environment."

Maggie Chapman said:

"It has been clear that the world is in crisis for some time. Since the financial crash elites have used almost every trick in their box to keep control. The old world is dying. But by deepening inequality and accelerating climate change they have made the situation worse for themselves. 

Homes First report reveals 1 short-term let host has 80 properties for let in Edinburgh

Fri 29 Dec, 2017

More than 30 landlords are operating lucrative short term letting businesses in Scotland’s capital, a new report reveals, adding to the pressure on Edinburgh’s housing stock. 

The report by a University of Sheffield academic, in partnership with Green MSP Andy Wightman, shows how, as of September 2017, one host on a leading short term letting site had 80 listings in Edinburgh, 28 hosts had ten or more listings and seven hosts had more than 20.

Let's create a modern set of minimum labour standards to protect Scottish workers from exploitation

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 29 Dec, 2017

It will be a happier new year than expected for some of the people working through the chilly night forecast on the 31st. Edinburgh’s annual Hogmanay celebration is one of the events that gives Scotland’s capital a global prominence, with visitors and locals joining together to see in the new year. But after budget cuts from the local council, the commercial organisers of the event decided to recruit volunteers to take on what had previously been paid roles, as ‘Hogmanay Ambassadors’.

Finnie hails amendment to Forestry Bill ensuring funds raised are reinvested in forestry

Thu 28 Dec, 2017

Scottish Greens Rural Communities spokesperson John Finnie MSP is hailing an amendment to the Forestry Bill which will ensure that all funds raised by the National Forestry Estate (NFE) in the disposal of any of its property are reinvested in forestry rather than be spent on other government portfolio areas as is currently the case.

 

Mr Finnie moved the amendment as a Member of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee which is the lead committee scrutinising the bill.