Promoted by Steve Robertson on behalf of the Scottish Conservative Party, both of 8 Robert Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2DN
During Portfolio Questions this week I raised concerns after 83% of EIS teaching union members in Aberdeen reported no reductions in class sizes, despite guidance from the Scottish Government to enable social distancing wherever possible. Aberdeen City Council have said that their schools will need twice as many staff for this to happen and the local union secretary has said that this money must come from the Scottish Government.
I asked John Swinney whether the SNP would finally step up and provide the money required to allow Aberdeen schools to follow his own guidance or if he will leave teachers and pupils at risk from Coronavirus and schools at risk of closing. Rather than address the very real concerns that teachers are communicating through their unions, the Education Secretary resorted to a needless personal attack. You can view this exchange here.
I was disappointed that, despite warning the SNP for weeks about the avalanche of opposition to their Hate Crime Bill and the direct threat that Part 2 poses to freedom of expression, Humza Yousaf squandered the opportunity to address these problems during his Ministerial Statement on Wednesday and flat out refused to remove the stirring up offenses section of the Bill.
I have been clear that the minor amendments offered do not go anywhere near far enough and the most controversial piece of legislation in Scottish Parliament history won’t be fixed by tinkering around the margins. Our fundamental right to freedom of speech remains under threat.
As always, please let me know if there is anything I can help with.
Liam Kerr MSP: North East teachers must be supported
Alex Burnett MSP calls for more funding for local infrastructure
I am regularly holding virtual surgeries and have begun conducting face-to-face surgeries to meet with constituents and discuss their local concerns. It is great to finally be able to meet with people in person!
Please get in touch or visit my website for updates on my upcoming surgeries https://www.alexanderburnett.com/news/surgeries-0.
This week I questioned the Scottish Government on what further support they will be providing to our councils, who have been underfunded and overstretched throughout the Covid-19 crisis. You can watch my question here: https://bit.ly/303M3H1.
Across Aberdeenshire there are over 60 bridges which are in need of serious repair, including Park Bridge which has now been closed for over 18 months.
The SNP Government must provide more support and give our local authorities the funding they desperately need to deal with the backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects that will keep our communities united.
Whilst the SNP may think that these are “wee pet projects”, I know that many communities are devastated from the ongoing social and economic disadvantages they face from not being connected to other communities.
As ever, if there is anything you think I should be working on or holding the SNP to account on, please do not hesitate to contact me.