Welcome to my latest e-Magazine.

If you are having issues viewing this email you can read the e-Magazine via my website here.

This month’s edition contains updates on my community engagement leading up to COP26, Liberton High School and my community hero awards. There is also an update from the situation in Israel Palestine and one on the Black Lives Matter campaign – one year on from the murder of George Floyd.

REMINDER: the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30th June 2021. If you are an EU national please make sure you have signed applied before then.

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

Email: ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk

Telephone: 0131 662 4520

Facebook: Ian Murray for Edinburgh South

Twitter: IanMurrayMP

Website: ianmurraymp.com


This month the most popular items in my mail bag were constituents contacting about the vaccine, housing and visas and immigration.


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

This month by far the biggest policy issue in my inbox has been the ongoing conflict in Israel Palestine.

Edinburgh South

COP26 Glasgow 

I am running a series of local engagement events in the run up to COP26 and plan to submit an Edinburgh South manifesto to Alok Sharma and world leaders.

Liberton High School

The SNPs pre-election pledge on the location of a Gaelic secondary school has put plans for a new Liberton High in doubt.

Community Hero Awards

Over the course of the pandemic many groups and individuals have gone above and beyond for their local community. Whilst the pandemic has been brutally hard for everyone it has also brought out the best in us and rekindled a community spirit which I think is so important.

St Crispin’s site

St Crispin’s School will soon move to a new building on the former site of Burdiehouse Primary School with the current St Crispin’s site being redeveloped.


G7 and Children’s Health

As the G7 gathers in the UK this year many constituents have contacted me about children’s access to health care, education and welfare.

Voter ID for UK elections

My response to constituents in light of the government’s plans to require photo ID to vote in UK elections.

Israel Palestine

My response to constituents who contacted me about the violence in Israel and Palestine. Please note this is a long update and some of the issues may have been superseded by more recent events.

Black Lives Matter Update

I have written to constituents one year on from the murder of George Floyd to take stock of the campaign.

Grants and Funding

Funding to Protect Places of Worship in Scotland

This is a limited, one-off £500,000 capital fund which aims to ensure that everyone attending a place of worship feels safe and is not subjected to prejudice and hate crime. This includes but is not limited to criminal damage (vandalism, graffiti, wilful fire-raising), and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Grants of up to £20,000 will pay for a maximum of three security measures to mitigate the risk from hate crime. These can include, but are not limited to, CCTV, security doors, alarms, fencing, video intercoms and improved lighting. The security measures should be installed within three months of receiving the grant.

Organisations should be applying on behalf of a Place of Worship in Scotland. Applications will be accepted for all faiths including Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or other. Organisations do not need to be a charity to apply.

The deadline for applications is 21 July 2021 (5pm).

Garfield Weston Foundation Accepting Applications Again

After closing its capital funding streams last year to focus on revenue grants during the Covid-19 crisis, Garfield Weston Foundation is now open to applications across all its grants programmes: capital, core costs and projects.

Regular grants of up to £100,000 can be used for:

Capital costs – for tangible things, such as a building project, repairs, equipment etc.

Revenue/unrestricted core costs – towards the general running costs of the organisation. The grants are typically unrestricted and can be used towards costs such as general salaries (but not a specific position or job), rent, programme costs etc.

Project costs – for a very specific project or activity and would include all the costs involved in delivering the project, including staff costs and a reasonable percentage of overheads if relevant.

The following types of organisations working in the areas of welfare, youth, community, arts, faith, environment, education, health, and museums and heritage can apply:

UK registered charities working in the UK.

Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs).

Schools, universities or registered educational charities that are either exempt under Charity Commission guidelines or are registered charities.

Faith-based organisations that are either exempt under the Charity Commission guidelines or are registered charities.

Housing associations.

Museums and galleries.

Organisations must be based and operate within the UK.

Match funding is required. The Foundation recommends that applicants have around half of their funding identified before applying. A grant is unlikely to be for more than around 10% of the total costs of the budget.

There are no deadlines. Applications for grants of up to £100,000 can be made at any time and are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Support for South East Scotland’s Creative Leaders

The aim of the Connected Innovators programme is to allow emerging leaders to take time out to conduct research and development that will enable them to advance their own careers and/or business, as well as benefiting the wider creative community.

Support and funding of up to £10,000 is available. The funding can be used to develop and explore a specific area of the applicant’s creative practice or business using data or data-driven technology.

Connected Innovators can be one person or a partnership (of up to two people), including limited liability partnerships and registered companies limited by guarantee. Applicants do not have to be registered as a sole trader, company, or limited liability partnership to apply.

Applicants must be based in and/or be undertaking work that has impact for the creative industries/creative community within Edinburgh and/or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region.

Applications for Round 3 Connected Innovators are open now and close on Monday 28 June 2021 (17:00 BST).

Funding for Small Charities to Improve Lives of Disadvantaged People – 28 May Deadline

Global’s Make Some Noise is inviting UK registered charities that are delivering a key project or service addressing one of the following four key areas to apply for a grant of between £20,000 and £30,000:

Providing safety and shelter

Supporting physical and/or mental health

Developing life skills

Reducing isolation or improving inclusion

There is particular interest in projects or areas of work that:

Address digital inclusion or providing technology-based solutions.

Address diversity and equality and supporting minoritised communities.

Support mental health and wellbeing.

Work to address poverty and deprivation.

Charities can apply for a minimum of £20,000 and a maximum of £30,000 for 12 months of funding from 1 April 2022. Applicants will not be awarded more than 40% of their annual income.

The funding can help with the following costs:

Staff salaries predominantly associated with direct delivery work with beneficiaries.

Any programme, service or project delivery costs.

Equipment, technology, materials or refurbishment costs which are related to direct service delivery work with beneficiaries.

Running costs/overheads (in contribution to a wider direct-delivery programme).

There is a three-stage application process.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 28 May 2021.

Nationwide Building Society Community Grants Opens for 2021 Applications

Nationwide Building Society is offering grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 for projects of either one year or two years.

Projects should target one of Nationwide’s three outcomes:

Preventing people from losing their home.

Helping people in a home.

Supporting people to thrive within the home environment.

The funding will support core costs (up to 20% of the grant amount requested); staff and volunteer costs; small-scale capital costs; activity costs; development and capacity building costs ; and building works and refurbishment costs.

Nationwide has made two changes to its 2021 programme:

Charities should have been running for at least three years and have a £25,000 minimum average income over three years.

There is now a cap on the number of applications per region. This has been introduced in order to manage volumes and to preserve a success rate of approximately one in four (25% of those who apply within each region will receive funding). The cap means the date on which applications close in different regions may be earlier than 17 June 2021.

Applications will be accepted from 17 May to midnight on 17 June 2021.

Covid Recovery Loans for Small Businesses Trading on eBay

The Capital for eBay Business Sellers (CEBS) Initiative has been set up to offer finance to eBay business traders as a means of helping them bounce back after the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The initiative will offer loans ranging from £500 to £1 million, which will be repaid directly from the sales a company makes through eBay’s platform. Offers will be based on sales both on eBay and outside of eBay (eg in physical stores).

Businesses will also be able to receive same-day flexible funding top-ups.

Repayments are made with against a small, fixed percentage of daily sales on eBay, typically 5-20%.

The funding can be used for any business purpose. Most merchants will use the funding to buy stock, invest in advertising, carry out refurbishments, add a new location, or to manage a temporary disruption such as a lockdown.

Small businesses across the UK that are trading on eBay may apply.

Murray Lambell, general manager, eBay UK said:

‘With 300,000 UK small businesses trading on eBay, this proposition will help them reinvest, protect jobs, and succeed, even as the Government’s support schemes dry up.’

Applications can be made at any time.

Scotland’s Cycling Friendly Employer Development Fund Now Open

Cycling is widely regarded as a positive way of easing congestion, improving the environment and enhancing corporate social responsibility by reducing carbon footprints, as well as supporting good physical and mental health for staff within workplaces.

The Cycling Friendly Employer Development Fund aims to encourage and support employers across Scotland to take a leading role in increasing cycle to work rates, by funding the development of capital facilities in the workplace.

The scheme recognises institutions that have made a commitment to promoting cycling, as a healthy, sustainable travel choice. It also sets out a pathway for those committed to becoming a Cycling Friendly Employer.

Cycling Scotland will award individual grants of up to £25,000 per site to be spent on facilities such as showers or bike racks, that will encourage staff to travel by bike.

The Fund is open to all employers in Scotland who are working towards becoming Cycling Friendly.

The deadline for applications for the current round is 25 June 2021.

Local School Grants to Support Learning in Nature

Learning through Landscapes is a UK charity specialising in outdoor learning and play in education.

The Learning through Landscapes Local School Nature Grants Programme, supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery, is providing support to schools and early years settings to enhance learning training for staff and purchase equipment.

The fund has two elements:

Fully funded outdoor learning training for staff. Schools will be able to select a training topic from a range of themes. Learning through Landscapes’ skilled staff will deliver a session for staff for up to half a day. The training will take place at the school’s own site and will be outdoors and interactive or delivered remotely online due to lockdown restrictions. Up to 25 staff can take part.

£500 of equipment for outdoor learning. The packages offer a wide mix of products to appeal to a broad range of ages. Schools are welcome to select the same item multiple times, as long as the £500 budget is not exceeded. Items will be delivered within three months of a successful application.

All schools (Infant, Primary and Secondary) are eligible to apply. Early years providers must have at least five staff and a building – either stand alone or part of a school.

The grants are available in England, Wales and Scotland only.

Individual childminders are not eligible to apply. Also, those that have been awarded a Local School Nature Grant in the last five years will not be eligible in 2020-21.

Applications must be submitted on Learning through Landscapes website by the following deadlines:

Round 1: Friday 30 April 2021

Round 2: Friday 25 June 2021

Round 3: Friday 3 September 2021

Round 4: Friday 12 November 2021


As Boris Johnson’s handling of pandemic is condemned as a disaster by Dominic Cummings, we need a public inquiry and quickly

“Disastrously short.” That is the verdict from the PM’s once-trusted sidekick, Dominic Cummings, on the decisions taken by government ministers, officials and advisers as the coronavirus pandemic first gripped the UK.

John Smith was right in 1993, and he’s still right now

To seasoned political observers, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Having spent an election campaign insisting that another independence referendum wasn’t a priority, as soon as the votes were counted the SNP made another independence referendum their only priority.

Scottish election 2021: Labour will keep pressure on Nicola Sturgeon over Covid recovery

After six weeks of campaigning, millions of pounds, all-night shifts and an unexpected amount of dancing, the results are in… and not much has changed.

Boris Johnson’s sleazy Tories are a gift to Nicola Sturgeon and a threat to the Union

At Westminster we have a Tory government engulfed in sleaze again and a Prime Minister with a track record of repulsive comments accused of yet more.

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