Nigel’s Notes - Proud of Scottish Govt

If like me you consider yourself to be decent, honest and principled and caring of others you will have been as appalled as I have been at the scenes shown across our airwaves of the treatment of refugees searching for sanctuary in Europe.

These people, many of whom are very young children are the victims of a crisis in their own country in which they have played no part whatsoever.

I am proud of the Scottish Government’s willingness to do the right thing for as many of these people as we can and the establishment of an online resource is to be created to register public support.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland stands ready to take at least 1,000 new refugees as an immediate priority and the majority of Scotland’s 32 councils have already indicated a willingness to accommodate refugees.

I am also on the side of honesty and proper behaviour in public life.

Readers of The Herald, The Scotsman and even commuters who read the Metro on their morning train will have seen me quoted this month on the vast payouts senior managers at Coatbridge College allocated to themselves,

I said this is a “particularly bad example of misuse of funds, deliberate withholding of information and of feathering one’s own nest”.

And I am working on a law change to stop this in future. Previously it was bankers who got away with it. We can and must do things differently.

Speaking in Parliament last week I once again impressed upon the Scottish Government of the need to do something about the Laurencekirk junction. Transport Minister, Derek Mackay responded by saying that he has “established a team to take that work forward by way of a funding commitment as a further intervention”. I look forward to more detail as to how the project will now be progressed.

Despite the rain it was a great pleasure to attend Saturday’s official opening of the new football and rugby pitch at Mineralwell Park, Stonehaven.

The Scottish Government’s initiative ‘Cashback for Pitches’ provided £300,000 towards the cost of the new pitch with partner funding amounting to a further £300,000 from Aberdeenshire Council.

I look forward to seeing how it is used, I understand it is even suitable for cricket.