Welcome to my latest e-Magazine.

This month there are updates on the vaccine roll-out in Edinburgh, bank closures, the Sick Kids and anti-social behaviour. There is also update from Westminster on the Policing Bill and conversion therapy.

Please do feel free to get in touch if there is anything I can assist with.

REMINDER: Voting from home is the most Covid safe way to vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections. If you would like a postal vote it only takes a few minutes to sign up. You only have a short time in which to register.

Email: ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk

Telephone: 0131 662 4520

Facebook: Ian Murray for Edinburgh South

Twitter: IanMurrayMP

Website: ianmurraymp.com

Scam Alert! Please be vigilant


Sadly fraudsters are ruthlessly exploiting the pandemic to try and catch us off guard.  Theses scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and people are falling victim to scams by email, text and phone call. The latest is a Royal Mail scam.  Th​e scam starts with a text message, apparently from ‘Royal Mail’, claiming that a parcel was being held due to an unpaid shipping fee. the text directs you to a fake website when you’re asked to enter your card details, which are then stolen.

Which? offers a free scam alert service and you can find out more about the latest scams on their website here


This month the most popular items in my mail bag were constituents contacting about the vaccine mess, housing and questions relating to the new lockdown measures.


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

Every month hundreds of constituents get in touch on a whole host of policy issues ranging from bees to the nuclear deterrent. This month the most popular topic was the tragic murder of Sarah Everard and the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill.

Edinburgh South

Vaccine update

My office continues to be busy with enquiries in regard to the vaccinations although it is great to hear that second vaccinations have started in the Lothians.

Local bank closures

This month has seen more bad news for our high streets and local retail centres. The Bank of Scotland branch at 1 Liberton Drive closed on 31st March and the Santander on Morningside Road which will close on 29th July.

Youth anti-social behaviour

There has been a marked increase in youth anti-social behaviour in South Edinburgh and across the city recently.

Sick Kids move

I am delighted that after years of delay and millions of pounds wasted the Sick Kids Hospital has finally been relocated to the Little France site.

HMRC Update

The following update was sent to MPs on 18th March by HMRC and covers SEISS, CJRS and other HMRC initiatives.


Conversion Therapy

I am committed to ensuring that LGBT+ people can live in safety and dignity, and for that reason, conversion therapies must be banned. I firmly believe conversion therapies are exploitative and damaging.

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

The tragic death of Sarah Everard has instigated a national demand for action to tackle violence against women. She was abducted just a couple of streets away from where I stay when I’m at parliament in London and I can tell you that the fear, anxiety and anger at what happened has been palpable in the local community and wider.

House of Commons

My video
My speech on Scottish Independence was all about political priorities and what we should be debating at a time of national crisis.
My video
In a debate about Brexit I highlight the damages Brexit has done to our economy or society as well as highlighting some of the parallels between it and Scottish Independence.

Grants and Funding

Launch of £250,000 Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs Competition

The Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs Competition aims to help businesspeople bring their enterprising ideas, imagined during the coronavirus lockdown, to fruition.

Successful participants will be awarded grants to grow or buy the basics they need to commence trading.

The competition has an overall budget of £250,000.

Prizes are as follows:

25 grants of £5,000 will be given to existing small businesses looking to expand.

25 grants of £5,000 will be given new businesses needing some funding to get started.

Applications are open to entrepreneurs and micro business owners who are residents of the UK and aged 18 or over.

A panel of experts will choose the winners and grants will be allocated in June and July.

The deadline for applications is 22 May 2021 (23:59 BST).

Click here for more info

Scottish Enterprise Green Jobs Fund Opens Soon

Scottish Enterprise Green Jobs Funding has been established to help businesses generate and maintain jobs that improve the environment and support projects that align to the Scottish Government’s net zero policies (ie achieving net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2045).

Grants between £50,000 and £500,000 are available (between 10% and 50% of eligible project costs to support the following activities:

Creation of green jobs.

Capital equipment purchases (such as buying new machinery).

Investment in premises (for example, to help expand activities that contribute to the green economy).

Research and development activities (for example, to develop innovative new products and services or improve existing products and services to make them more sustainable).

Businesses of any size, registered or trading in the Scottish Enterprise area or looking to set up a trading location in this area before 1 October 2021, may apply.

Applications for Round One open on 18 May 2021 and close on 15 June 2021.

Applications Open for £20m SME Brexit Support Fund

The SME Brexit Support Fund has been established to help small and medium businesses with changes to trading regulations with the EU, including new customs, rules of origin, and VAT arrangements.

The Fund will help businesses prepare for the implementation of import controls which come into force from April and July 2021. The Government is introducing these new controls in stages, allowing traders and hauliers time to adjust to new processes. This means businesses do not have to complete new import declarations for up to six months, unless they are moving controlled goods.

This is a £20 million programme. SMEs that trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader. The grants will pay for practical support for importing and exporting, including training and professional advice to ensure businesses can continue trading effectively with the EU.

To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated prior to this date.

Apply here

Vaccine Information Fund Accepting Applications in Scotland

The Scottish Government wants to ensure that all people in Scotland have equal access to information about the Covid-19 vaccines. To this end, it is providing funding to enable communities to hold engagement sessions about the vaccine programme and develop information resources that can be used for different communities with particular interest in reaching asylum seekers, multi-generational minority ethnic groups, newer migrant individuals and communities, and African and Black communities which have their own specific issues that need to be addressed.

Grants of up to £1,000 are available for activities taking place between March 2021 and August 2021.

The funding could be used to:

Raise awareness of the vaccine and the vaccination programme

Run online engagement sessions to discuss the vaccine

Create written or visual information resources in members’ mother tongues

Overcome and dispel misinformation about Covid-19 and the vaccine

Other creative ideas are welcome.

Examples of activities include, but are not limited to:

Hosting a series of online events for the community to raise awareness about the vaccine and vaccination process and ask questions.

Develop a mother tongue resource that can be used to help share information to the community and others who share the same language.

Using an ongoing service or event to enable people to have an open discussion about the vaccine in any language that is best.

All activities must comply with all relevant COVID-19 social distancing rules as set out by the Scottish Government.

The programme is being managed by BEMIS, the national Ethnic Minorities led umbrella body supporting the development of the Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Sector in Scotland and the communities that this sector represents.

No application deadlines have been published.

Click here to apply.

Update to Adapt and Thrive Programme: Scottish Groups Have an Extra Three Months to Apply

Charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, and social enterprises based in Scotland whose work has been significantly disrupted due to the pandemic can apply for specialist advice and funding to help them make the necessary changes to move forward.

The funding includes:

Grants between £5,000-£75,000 to make the changes needed to operate sustainably.

Flexible, 0% interest loans from £25,000 to £250,000. All loans recommendations will be based on an assessment of the organisation’s ability to service debt.

In some cases, a blended approach of both grant and loan may be recommended. When this is the case, the minimum loan ‘portion’ that can be offered is £25,000.

The funding is intended to be flexible and will be awarded on an unrestricted basis. Organisations will be able to adapt and divert the funding to what their organisation needs if circumstances change (for example in the case of a local lockdown).

Examples of the types of costs that can be funded include:

Costs associated with adapting premises for re-opening (eg, PPE, perspex, glass).

Staff salaries (eg, bringing back staff who have been furloughed so they can support the implementation of the recovery plan).

Consultancy or short-term contracted staff.

Contributions towards capital expenditure.

Stock or materials required to support the implementation of the recovery plan.

Changes to services if these changes directly support the recovery plan.

Essential overheads and other fixed costs.

Priority will be given to organisations that fall within one or both of the following categories:

Those operating in areas or with individuals who have suffered disproportionately from the effects of COVID-19, and where ongoing support is needed to ensure they are part of and benefit from the recovery efforts.

Those working with people who have protected characteristics or the most vulnerable.

The deadline for applications has been extended from 31 March to 30 June 2021.

Scottish education can regain its reputation as a world leader and Labour has the plan to make it happen

This week has seen a number of significant reports rushed out before Holyrood shuts its doors for the election.

SNP focuses on Scottish independence when everyone knows Covid recovery is the real priority

Westminster rules mean that opportunities for opposition parties to lead their own debates are rare and precious.

Covid: Edinburgh has lowest vaccination rate in Scotland and yet vaccinators are being sent home early

In the coming days we’ll pass the major milestone of two million vaccinations in Scotland.

SNP and Conservative priorities are all wrong as shown by a tumultuous week in politics

It can sound clichéd to refer to monumental weeks in politics. But there really is no other description for the news cycle of the past week.


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