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eBrief from

Cathy Jamieson MP
23rd July 2012 5th December 2011

Summer surgeries under way


With Parliament now in recess for the summer, its time to get out and about in the constituency and hear directly from constituents about the issues that matter to them. In addition to my regular drop-in surgeries around the constituency, I held the first new style pop-up surgery at Asda in Kilmarnock. Rather than only waiting for people to come to me, I will be taking my surgery out to shopping centres and other venues, to give local people a chance to have a quick chat or raise issues. I will also be continuing with my doorknocking street surgeries. If you would like me to come to your area or to a club, organisation or workplace for a pop-up surgery, please get in touch!

I returned to the project to see the former wasteland transformed, with greenhouses ready for fruit and vegetable growing, apple trees planted and areas for sitting to admire the flowers and plants when the hard work is over. It was good to hear that a number of local companies were awarded contracts for work on the site, and that volunteers from the village are actively involved. The project has also received funding from Social Investment Scotland, showing that it is worth looking to new opportunities to support local work.

Post Code Lottery


The Post Code Lottery, a report by the Industrial Communities Alliance was presented at a recent meeting of the All Party Group for Coalfield Communities. It showed that the East Ayrshire Coalfield area is well down the league of successful applications for Lottery Funding. I will be pursuing this with the Lottery, and it would be helpful to know if local groups have been turned down, or have been discouraged from submitting applications for any reason.

Green Grow Catrine latest


Regular ebrief readers may recall that I gave my support to the project which aimed to create a community garden in Catrine, and I was delighted when they were awarded lottery funding from the Peoples Millions after a close vote!
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Community Covenants show Support for Armed Forces


I attended an event in Parliament recently to promote the creation of Community Covenants across the UK. Organised by The Royal British Legion, the event highlighted the importance of local communities getting behind the Armed Forces community in their own area and honouring the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant in practice on the ground. The Legion is encouraging local authorities to sign a Community Covenant as their own unique commitment to develop mutual understanding, meet the needs of the Armed Forces community and identify opportunities for closer working in their area. I was pleased to hear that all three Ayrshire Councils have signed up and look forward to hearing more about their actions to support the Covenant. I was also pleased to support the launch by the Shadow Defence team of a new scheme in which companies voluntarily guarantee an interview for job seeking ex-Forces and other forms of employment support for veterans. 22 leading UK employers have signed up, including O2, Crossrail, Greggs, Centrica, John Lewis and New Look. Other organisations taking part include the English Rugby Football Union, the Scottish Football Association as well as Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur Football Clubs.

Cost of flying prompts campaign


I have been contacted via the Fair Tax on Flying Campaign by a number of constituents who are concerned at the cost of flights, and in particular the amount paid in Air Passenger Duty. I tabled Parliamentary Questions for the Government on this, as despite a review being held, no action was taken. I would like to see the

Government look more closely and strategically at all aviation taxation. Meanwhile I was please to see that following Office of Fair Trading enforcement action, Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air have agreed to include debit card surcharges in the headline price rather than surprise consumers at the end of the booking process. Following recommendations from the OFT last year, the Government has also announced plans to bring forward legislation to ban excessive debit and credit card surcharges across the economy. The OFT estimated that debit and credit card surcharging in the airlines sector cost consumers 300million a year.

For details of summer surgeries www.cathyjamieson.com or call 01563 522361