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This week in Parliament,  I highlighted the devastating impact of loneliness, which even before the pandemic was widespread with every street in Scotland housing a chronically lonely older person, according to estimates by Age Scotland and this issue is, unfortunately, only getting worse.

 

I pressed the First Minister on the urgent need for a national loneliness awareness campaign to be introduced to help vulnerable people in need of comfort and support and I will continue challenge the SNP Government to act on this.

 

Age Scotland do a fantastic amount of work; however it should not be left to them – the Scottish Government needs to step in and help anyone who feels that they don’t have anyone to turn to.

 

Age Scotland have a free helpline for advice, information, or just a chat on 0800 12 44 222 and I would urge anyone who feels alone to reach out for help and support.

 

I also challenged the First Minister on newly released figures this week showing that more than 40% of the several hundred prisoners released early by the SNP last summer as a result of the pandemic were already back in Jail and asked why a robust monitoring strategy was not put in place to protect the public, despite repeated warnings. You can view this exchange here: https://www.facebook.com/liamkerrmsp/posts/2885672138420945

 

I was delighted to see the UK Government continuing to invest in our region with over £34million allocated for Aberdeen and the North East to transform our area into a globally competitive hub for cleaner energies. This investment is coupled with the extension of the furlough scheme, two further grants for the self-employed, the VAT cut for hospitality and leisure extended until September and the uplift in Universal Credit showing once again the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom.

Liam Kerr MSP call for a National Loneliness Awareness Campaign

Alexander Burnett MSP launches petition calling for further funding for Aberdeenshire Council

More than 60 bridges in Aberdeenshire are at risk of closure by 2030. Those familiar with Park Bridge will know just how vital it is that we fix our bridges and keep our communities united, yet the SNP Government refuse to listen.

 

I’ve therefore opened a petition calling on the SNP government to provide more funding to Aberdeenshire Council, and I’d be grateful if you could add your support here: https://bit.ly/3rj8DXR.

 

I put my petition to the SNP Minister this week and questioned them on the failures to provide councils with the funding they desperately need: https://bit.ly/30chuPn.

 

I was also honoured to open the Members Business debate on improving support for those with autism.

 

Since Co-Founding the CPG on Autism in 2017, I have been calling for the SNP Government to improve diagnosis, management and support for those with autism and their families.

 

With the ongoing pandemic posing new challenges to the autistic community, it’s vital - now more than ever - that the Scottish Government improve support for autistic people and their families. If you would like to watch my speech, please visit: https://bit.ly/3uUqVRt.