Read my award winning Winter eMagazine



Ian Murray MP’s award-winning eNewsletter
for Winter 2014
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Welcome to my eNewsletter for
Winter 2014

I can’t include everything in the eNewsletter but please get in touch if you would like to raise or get my thoughts on any issues. If you want more information, just click on the “Read More” links.
Marchmont to King’s Buildings Cycle Route
The City Council are currently developing a scheme to improve cycling conditions between Marchmont and the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings campus.

As a keen cyclist myself, I would be delighted to see these positive additions for cyclists in our community implemented.
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Visits to Edinburgh South FC and Fernieside FC

I had the pleasure of refereeing the Charlie Adams Memorial Challenge between local rivals Edinburgh South FC and Fernieside FC at the home of football, Inch Park.  It finished 9-3 to Edinburgh South FC!

Earlier in November, I went along to see the brilliant work being done by Edinburgh South FC Soccer School at Inch Park.  There were over 100 kids aged from 5-10 years old in attendance having a brilliant time.

I also spent time with the coaches at Fernieside FC to see how they are inspiring local youngsters to get involved in football.
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Helping Tesco’s Neighbourhood Food Collection
I joined the staff at Tesco in Gracemount last week for their Neighbourhood Food Collection which is run in partnership with the foodbank charity The Trussell Trust, and food redistribution charity FareShare.
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Visit to the inspiring Sick Kids Hospital
The Sick Kids is a fantastic medical facility in the centre of the constituency, serving all of Edinburgh and further afield.  I am very grateful to staff members who took valuable minutes out of the day.  The most striking thing about my tour was the dedication and professionalism of the staff.

I was also lucky enough to meet and laugh with the Clowndoctors, bringing fun, therapeutic visits to the children staying there.  Their work is so valuable, and I would encourage anyone who is able to to donate to this very worthy cause.
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Their name liveth for evermore
I recently had the opportunity to visit Commonwealth War Graves at Newington Cemetery to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

I’m hugely grateful to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for providing the opportunity to learn more about the war graves in South Edinburgh and for enabling me to pay my respects during this visit.  Visiting the graves of the fallen is a simple but profoundly important way to commemorate the horrors of the First World War.
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Gilmerton Cove – can you solve the mystery?
Listed on popular travel website, Trip Advisor, are 155 Attractions in Edinburgh. In the top ten highest rated -; nestled among the Royal Botanic Gardens, Holyrood Park and Royal Yacht Britannia -; is a lesser known attraction, Gilmerton Cove.

I visited recently to explore the small underground maze of rooms and passageways, hidden below Gilmerton’s main streets.   I’d thoroughly recommend a visit.
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GUEST BLOG – Johanna Carrie – Keep our investment incentives to encourage good actions
In a guest blog, environmental campaigner and constituent Johanna Carrie has written about building strong communities and reducing the risk of climate change, with some examples of brilliant initiatives already going on in the city.
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If you would be interested in writing a guest blog, please do get in touch.

Other highlights…

  • Shop locally to drive the economy – Edinburgh Evening News column    Read more
  • Police Scotland statement on Meadows attack    Read more
  • Visit to James Gillespie’s High School    Read more
  • Road Safety – Look out for each other    Read more
The Vow Delivered – The Smith Commission report
Two months ago, in Edinburgh and across the country, people voted No in the referendum. I said after that result, however, that it was clear that there needed to be positive change for Scotland. That is becoming a reality over the past week, with the publication of the Smith Commission recommendations for a set of powers all parties have agreed to devolve to the Scottish Parliament.

Below, you can see the powers the Scottish Parliament already has, and the powers on their way.  Now that those new powers are on their way, it is time for us all to discuss what we do with those powers to help those in society who need help most.

Read more

Protect our NHS – Back the Bill
Last month, I voted for Labour MP Clive Efford’s NHS Bill which would ensure the proposed EU-US trade treaty, known as TTIP, cannot impose procurement or competition obligations on the NHS, as well as scrap David Cameron’s new market framework for the NHS. 

Hundreds of constituents contacted me about the Bill, sending a clear message to Tory and Lib Dem MPs that their devastating top-down reorganisation must be reversed.  The Bill passed Second Reading and will now be considered further.
Read more

I Back 0.7%
British aid makes a huge difference to millions -; we should be proud of what our generosity can do for those in need and what it says about us as a country. 

That’s why I’m proud to support  legislation to enshrine the UK’s commitment to donate 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) in Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Read more

Small Business Saturday 6th December
Small and independent businesses in Edinburgh South make a vital contribution to our community and economy, as well as adding to the character of the town and are a source of local jobs.

That’s why we’ve got to get behind our local shops and firms as part of this year’s Small Business Saturday.  I’ll be working with small and independent businesses in the constituency to support special events to celebrate their contribution to the local economy and the local community. I would encourage all small businesses to take advantage of the day and the huge amount of national publicity that will be surrounding it.
Read more

Pictured below are a few small businesses in Bruntsfield and Morningside I visited last week to promote.  They included Bruntsfield News, Dig-In, The Edinburgh Bookshop, Food for U, Acanthus

Join the ‘Nation of Lifesavers’
I’m urging people to join the campaign to dramatically increase the number of local people trained in life-saving CPR and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland says that the Nation of Lifesavers initiative could save around 5,000 additional lives a year in the UK, based on survival rates in countries like Norway (25%) where CPR training is mandatory in schools.
Read more

Speaking Up
Scottish Questions

I’ve campaigned on the Living Wage since I became MP in 2010.  Whilst Labour has a plan to encourage businesses to pay the Living Wage, it’s clear the UK Government doesn’t and the Scottish Government have voted against its implementation in public sector contracts.  I asked the Scotland Office Minister to support our proposals.
Read more

Prime Minister’s Questions
At PMQs last week, I asked David Cameron about the recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which found that the top 1% of earners in the UK have seen their incomes rise, whilst poorer households have lost out.
Read more

Treasury Questions
I asked the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for his assessment was of the effect of tax receipts on the deficit in the last twelve months.  I believe the lower tax take reflects the trend that more people are working zero-hour contracts and for low pay which I’m really concerned about.
Read more

Other highlights…

  • International Day of the Girl Child    Read more
BIS Questions – Supporting Exports
This government promised an export-led recovery but the reality is that Ministers are massively off the pace to meet the £1 trillion export target. 

At monthly questions to the Business Secretary, I raised concerns about budget changes to the tradeshow programme which supports businesses that want to export.
Read more

Arms Exports – A Heavy Responsibility

I spoke in the debate on a recent report by Parliament’s Committee for Arms Exports and Controls.

It was an important opportunity to restate Labour’s belief that an important responsibility rests with the arms trade industry.  I was also able to press the Government on the arms trade treaty that would significantly boost efforts to stem the flow of arms to some of the world’s most volatile places and help end the transfer of weapons used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Read more

Small Business Bill – Pubco success but not enough on zero hour contracts
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Bill reached its final stage in the House of Commons last week before it moves to the Lords for further consideration.

Whilst some of the Bill is a step in the right direction for helping small business, the government just haven’t gone far enough to improve the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and to tackle the exploitative use of Zero Hour Contracts.

Meanwhile, there was success to protect local publicans from the predatory practices of large pub owning companies (known as pubcos) with backing a new cross-party clause in the Bill.
Read more

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