Wishart supports NFU Scotland call for continuation of less favoured area support schemes

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart is supporting calls from NFU Scotland for the continuation of support schemes that provide vital income for crofters and farmers in island and remote rural areas.

NFU Scotland has launched a new policy document, ‘Less Favoured Areas - Delivering for Scotland,’ which highlights the value generated by crofters and farmers in less favoured areas, like the islands, and proposes changes to the schemes that would better target support.

NFU Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to fully reinstate LFASS payments to 100% of 2018 rates and retain the scheme with a £65 million budget until at least 2024.

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Wishart supports Challenge Poverty Week

 

This Challenge Poverty Week (5 to 11 October), Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart is encouraging anyone who is worried about their income and the cost of living to seek help as soon as they can.  

Challenge Poverty Week aims to build awareness and support for solutions to poverty, change the conversation around poverty and help end the stigma of living on a low income.

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Wishart: Extra support must follow exams announcement

Responding to the publication of the review of the recent exams fiasco and the Scottish Government's announcement of its plans for 2021, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP commented:

"The review today highlights the countless opportunities the Education Secretary had to avoid dealing a crushing blow to pupils' ambitions and penalising those from poorer backgrounds. They fell on deaf ears, and the scramble to undo the damage is still being felt.

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Wishart responds to First Minister’s restrictions

Responding to the First Minister’s announcement of further restrictions across Scotland, Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart commented:

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7 October: COVID-19 Update

National Updates

Following an increase in cases in COVID-19 cases across Scotland, the following changes to coronavirus restriction were announced by the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament on 7th October.

Across Scotland

These measures will be in place for 16 days, from Friday 9th October to Monday 26th October.

  • Pubs, bars restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors during the day, from 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.
  • Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and without alcohol
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm
  • Current regulations and limits on meeting a maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still apply
  • There will be exemption to these rules for celebrations associated with specific life events such as weddings that are already booked and funerals
  • From this weekend shops are being asked to return to 2 metre physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic - for example, one way systems
  • Shops are asked to return to 2 metre physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic - for example, one way systems.
  • People are advised not to travel to the Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health board areas.
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Wishart supports Changing Miscarriage Care campaign

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart will use a speech in Parliament today (Tuesday) to add her support to a campaign to improve miscarriage care.

Ms Wishart will be speaking in a Members’ Debate this afternoon on Changing Miscarriage Care. The campaign launched by Shona Robison MSP and supported by the charity, Tommy’s, aims to breakdown the stigma surrounding miscarriage and make practical improvements to miscarriage services across Scotland.

In her speech Ms Wishart will note the importance of raising awareness of the emotional and physical toll miscarriage can have on the lives of women and their partners. Ms Wishart will highlight the need to ensure equity of care, both physical and mental, across Scotland.

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2021 exam solution can't pile more work on teachers

Commenting ahead of the statement by the Education Secretary tomorrow on exams, expected to set out policies for the current school year alongside the review of the 2020 exams fiasco, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP commented: 

"Pupils and teachers deserve long-overdue clarity about what will happen with exams this year. They are reaching the mid-term break but still don't know what they are being assessed on or how.

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Wishart: Government leaving childminding services to fail

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has repeated warnings that the Scottish Government is leaving childminder services to fail following an exchange in parliament this afternoon.

Ms Wishart pressed Childcare Minister Maree Todd for the government to provide financial support for childminding services at a comparable level to that available to the rest of the childcare sector. The Minister responded that childminders are able to operate close to normal.

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Wishart writes to Education Secretary on guidance for island students

Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart has today written to the Education Secretary, John Swinney, to ask him to address an anomaly in guidance for students that currently prevents islanders returning home in the same way that those on the mainland can.

Extra measures were imposed on the student population last week after a series of COVID-19 outbreaks across university campuses. Students who moved to attend university are now considered to be a “new household”, and as a result are not allowed to return home.

This has been partially rolled back, with guidance published over the weekend offering a “reasonable excuse” defence for those who need to travel home. This extends to students who are self-isolating, but states that public transport should not be used.  

Ms Wishart has now written to the Education Secretary to point out the obvious problem this creates for students from the isles, and to ask that island students are fully considered in guidance going forward.  

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Real risk childminder services "won't see the other side" of the pandemic without support

Responding to the latest snapshot survey by the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA), Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has warned of the potential for a “near wipeout” of childminders in Scotland.

The SCMA survey found:

  • almost half of childminding businesses do not believe they will remain financially viable for more than six months without financial support or an increase in business;
  • around 80% of childminders have experienced a ‘significant reduction’ or ‘reduction’ in children in their settings linked to Scottish Government guidance that parents should work from home;

and childminders are also experiencing an increase in operating costs and additional hours to meet the requirements of COVID-19 operating guidance.

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