Welcome to my latest e-Magazine.

This month includes local and national updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also local updates on the Meadows – Greenbank Quiet Route as well as a planning update from Frogston Road.

As ever if you require any assistance please get in touch using the below details.

Email: ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk

Telephone: 0131 662 4520

Facebook: Ian Murray for Edinburgh South

Twitter: IanMurrayMP

Website: ianmurraymp.com

Casework

My mail bag this month was dominated by constituents difficulties accessing tests and test results and the Council’s Spaces for People programme.

Policy

For a full account of my voting please see the Public Whip website.

This month the biggest three issues were the tragic case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Immigration Bill and nurses pay.

Edinburgh South

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Meadows Quiet Route – Survey Results

In October we carried out an extensive survey on the then proposed Meadows Quiet Route scheme. It was clear from the feedback we had received on other Spaces for People initiatives that the lack of consultation was a real issue. Our survey was meant to not only inform residents about the proposals but allow for them to respond to them and comment on them.

Click here to read more

Covid-19: Business Support

Edinburgh has now been in some form of enhanced restrictions since 9th October when curbs were placed on hospitality. Whilst there is consensus on the need for measures to safeguard public health there is some real concern that many are getting left behind with the economic support.

Click here to read more

Frogston Rd Planning

In what feels like another Groundhog day for Edinburgh’s Green Belt developers Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes have submitted an application to develop the above site.

Click here to read more

Bonfire Night

As we approached bonfire night this year, a number of constituents contacted me with their concerns around the use of fireworks. While the UK Government is responsible for legislation on the sale of fireworks, laws concerning the unlicensed use in public are devolved in Scotland.

Click here to read more

Westminster

HMRC Update

HMRC have updated MPs to update us on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme. Please note this update is written by HMRC and not reflective of my views.

Click here to read more

Treatment of Asylum Seekers

It is clear that the Government has lost control and all sense of compassion when it comes to dealing with asylum seekers. From plans to send asylum seekers to remote islands, create waves in the English Channel to wash boats back, and buy ferries and oil rigs to process asylum claims, the Government is lurching from one inhumane and impractical idea to another.

Click here to read more

Cut to Universal Credit

The Government must urgently reconsider the planned £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit (UC) next April. Further measures also need to be taken immediately – the five-week wait for UC should be ended, the benefit cap suspended, the two-child limit in UC and tax credits abolished, and the savings limit should be removed.

Click here to read more
My video
My video

Grants and Funding

Funding for Small Charities in Scotland Supporting their Communities during COVID-19

The Weir Charitable Trust is accepting applications for an Emergency Fund worth £200,000. The fund was launched in response to the impact that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is having on the most vulnerable people in Scotland. The fund is available in addition to the Trust’s regular grants programme that supports projects in the areas of sport, recreational facilities, animal welfare, health, and culture.

Applications will be considered from small charities and community organisations with an annual income of less than £100,000 that are directly supporting people in their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly over the Winter holiday period.

Priority will be given to:

Projects addressing loneliness and isolation.

Mental health support.

Food and fuel poverty.

Supporting people with additional support needs, young people and families facing financial uncertainty due to redundancy.

The average grant size will be in the region of £5,000, however, applications for up to £25,000 will be considered. The Trust aims to support as many groups as they can through the Emergency Fund.

Successful applicants must be in a position to use the grants immediately to provide direct support in their communities.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 4 December 2020. You can apply here.

COVID-19 Funding for Residential Outdoor Education Centres in Scotland

A new £2 million Fund is now open for applications from third sector and private sector organisations in Scotland that deliver curricular relevant, residential outdoor learning opportunities for children and young people aged 3 to 18 years.

There will be two separate funding rounds with different criteria:

The objective of Round One is to support residential outdoor education centres to manage financial losses until June 2021, the end of the academic year in Scotland.

The objective of Round Two is to support educational outcomes by funding centre-employed staff to deliver outdoor learning with schools and other formal education settings during the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year.

During Round One grants will be awarded to support the following costs:

Essential non-staff running costs.

Staff costs integral to the continued operation of the centre as long as these costs cannot be met by other income streams.

Staff costs associated with planning bids for Round Two of this Fund as long as these costs cannot be met by other income streams.

There is no specified minimum or maximum grant size.

Round One is now open for applications and the deadline is 1pm on 11 December 2020. You can apply here.

Bank of Scotland Foundation’s Reach Programme Opens 23 November

The Bank of Scotland Foundation’s Reach Programme provides funding for Scottish charities that are creating positive and lasting changes for Scotland’s people and communities by supporting people through varying stages of their lives.

Charities must demonstrate that they address disadvantage or social exclusion, reaching the most vulnerable people across Scotland, to provide them with opportunity and equality.

Examples include charities addressing:

Disadvantages such as:

Homelessness.

Abuse.

Mental health issues.

Poverty.

Debt issues.

Learning disabilities.

Illiteracy.

Lack of employability skills.

Health issues.

Exclusionary challenges for:

Minorities

People with disabilities.

LGBT people.

Drug users.

Institutional care leavers.

The elderly.

The young.

The final application round in 2020 will open at 12 noon on Monday, 23 November, and charities will be able to apply for grants of between £1,000 and £25,000.

Charities must have been operational for more than one year and have an annual income of £1.5 million or less to be eligible to apply.

Applications will be accepted from noon on 23 November to 26 November 2020. You can apply here.

New Round of Cashback for Communities Youth Work Fund Opens

Applications are being invited for a new funding round of the Cashback for Communities Youth Work Fund, with a total of £700,000 available.

Youth work organisations across Scotland can apply for funding for targeted youth work programmes that meet the following criteria:

Support young people most at risk of being involved in anti-social behaviour, offending or reoffending into positive destinations and support communities most affected by crime.

Help young people to:

Build their confidence and resilience.

Develop their physical and personal skills.

Improve their health and wellbeing.

Participate in activity which improves their learning, employability and employment options (positive destinations).

Contribute positively to their communities.

Divert from criminal behaviour or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Provide youth work opportunities which supports young people’s personal and social development.

Take a proactive approach to ensure the activities are accessible to the target group of young people.

Demonstrate a “place based” approach.

Support and encourage the involvement of young people in the development, management and running of the project.

To be eligible for this funding round, projects must be delivered between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

There is no specified minimum or maximum grant size. Each local authority area has its own allocation of funds and its own local assessment panel. Applicants operating in more than one area must submit a separate application for each area targeted.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on 18 December 2020. You can apply here.

Launch of Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund (SERF)

Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund (SERF) has been set up to help the events sector in Scotland plan and deliver events through to the end of 2021, and to provide support as the industry responds and adapts to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The fund aims to help restart the events sector as restrictions are eased, and address additional costs which may be incurred as a result of new safety requirements, allowing communities and the public to regain confidence in hosting and attending events.

A total of £2.75 million is available for events planned to take place before the end of 2021. It is anticipated that up to £1.5 million may be awarded for applications received up to 31 December 2020. The remainder will be retained to support applications received between 1 January and 31 March 2021.

There are two routes to funding available:

Community events and events with existing EventScotland funding offers. Awards of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for event organisers, including smaller scale/ community focused events which do not normally support the visitor economy. Funds can be used to support the core staging costs and safe delivery of an event, including any additional COVID-19 related hygiene measures.

Events supporting the visitor economy (eg regional and Scottish domestic tourism). Awards of between £5,000 and £35,000 are available to larger scale events. Funds can be used to support the core staging costs and safe delivery of an event, including any additional COVID-19 related hygiene measures.

Applications must come from the following types of organisations in Scotland: self-employed (through limited company or as a sole trader), partnerships and incorporated businesses, charitable organisations and community groups.

This is an open programme without a fixed application deadline. You can apply here.

Hardship Funds Reopen for Scotland’s Creative Freelancers

The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers supports those working in the arts and creative sector in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One-off awards are available to creative freelance professionals to meet their immediate financial need. Funds of between £500 and £2,000 can be requested.

Those working in the arts and creative sector can apply. Applicants must be based in Scotland and must be able to demonstrate they were working and making income as a freelance creative professional before the first lockdown began in March 2020.

Support is also being provided for freelancers in Scotland who work in film, television or professional photography, experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income. Through the separate Screen Hardship Fund, applicants can apply for a hardship bursary of up to £2,000.

Both schemes will remain open until all funds have been allocated. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Click here to apply.

Media

My video

Tories and SNP both lack the political will to build back better – Ian Murray MP

The UK Chancellor delivered his much-trailed “comprehensive” spending review yesterday. It was neither comprehensive, nor was it spending very much.

Click here to read article

Many Edinburgh businesses are being hung out to dry amid the pandemic – Ian Murray MP

The misery continues for Edinburgh’s vital hospitality, culture and tourism sectors.

Click here to read article

Scottish Government must be scrutinised over ‘confusing’ Covid decisions

Today we will officially find out which Covid tier Edinburgh has been attributed.

Click here to read article

SNP-Tory blame games risk damaging the fight against Covid

With power comes responsibility but blaming others comes naturally to SNP politicians.

Click here to read article

Noticeboard

I know that many of my constituents will be struggling with feelings of loneliness at this time of year. Age Scotland‘s new research shows that as many as two older people on every street here in Edinburgh South expect to feel lonely this Christmas. No one should be alone.

Age Scotland’s Friendship Line is here to listen, provide friendship and offer support. Anyone over 50 can call them on 0800 12 44 222. Calls are free and it is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Update from SGN: Cluny Gardens

I’m writing to you with an update on our project in the Cluny Gardens area of Edinburgh.

The final phase of our project is due to start on Monday the 30 November. Our contractor George Ritchie, Utilities will carry out the work on our behalf and will last approximately 13 weeks.

 

During this work we need to close the following roads:

Braid Avenue (south of junction) junction with Cluny Gardens

Nile Grove full street

Midmar Avenue junction with Cluny Gardens

To ensure everyone’s safety, signed local diversion routes will be in place for motorists. Emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times.

Parking suspensions will be in place for the duration of works although access to driveways will always be maintained where possible. There will also be a requirement from time to time to use temporary signals. These may cause delays during peak periods.

Our essential work will ensure the local community receives a continued safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come. We’re working closely with Scottish Government to make sure we carry out our project in line with all current coronavirus safety guidance.

 

We wish to assure you that work will progress as quickly as possible and we will make every effort to minimise any inconvenience caused by our works.

 

We have extra safety precautions in place to protect our colleagues and our communities while we work. There’s more information about our coronavirus response on our website: sgn.co.uk/coronavirus

 

We’ve written to residents and other local stakeholders to make them aware of our project and explain the details of our work. Please feel free to also share this information with anyone you think may be impacted by our project.

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