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Inverclyde Buzz Wins Pollinator Friendly Award

That the Parliament congratulates the eco-group, Inverclyde Buzz, on receiving the new joint annual Pollinator Friendly Award from Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Natural Heritage; understands that volunteers, led by the Wemyss Bay beekeeper, Laura Reilly, are transforming the land at Belville Gardens and are aiming to let wildflowers and natural habitat flourish in order to encourage pollinating insects to return; notes that the volunteer group has also been responsible for the creation of the Inverclyde Pollinator Corridor Project, with hopes of renewing local areas with wildflowers, and wishes everyone at Inverclyde Buzz well for the future.

Inverclyde Groups Share £36,565.82 in Scottish Government Funding

That the Parliament congratulates Cycling UK, Inverclyde Community Development Trust (ICDT) and Inverkip Community Hub on being awarded £2,390, £18,080 and £16,095.82 respectively through the Scottish Government’s Cycle Friendly Community Development Fund; notes that Cycling UK will use its share of the funds to support The Bothy in Gourock to encourage cycling in Inverclyde through the purchase of bikes and equipment; understands ICDT will use its award to provide maintenance training and install bike repair stands throughout Inverclyde, increasing cycling infrastructure overall; notes that Inverkip Community Hub is also using its funding to increase cycling infrastructure in the area through the purchase of a bike shelter and repair station, as well as improving access to bike equipment and training; believes that this funding will help to provide greater access to bikes and more opportunities to cycle in the Greenock and Inverclyde area; considers that there are many personal and environmental benefits that come with choosing to cycle, and that continuing to fund innovative projects such as these is helping to build an "active nation"; thanks the Scottish Government for this funding, and hopes that it leads to more people in Inverclyde and Scotland taking up active travel.

Supported by: Ross Greer, Emma Harper, Sandra White, Ruth Maguire, Colin Beattie, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Fulton MacGregor, Angela Constance, Jenny Gilruth, David Torrance, Gail Ross

Universal Credit's Impact on Food Bank Usage in Scotland

That the Parliament notes with concern recent reports suggesting that food bank usage has risen across Scotland, particularly in local authority areas where Universal Credit (UC) is being rolled out; understands that, in Inverclyde, usage has increased by 350% since 2012, with the biggest increase rise in 2017, the year following the introduction of UC; believes that this highlights what it sees as the harsh reality of the UK Government’s austerity agenda and welfare reforms; considers that these have had a disproportionate impact on people on low incomes and other vulnerable groups, such as women, disabled people and people from minority ethnic backgrounds; understands that there have been billions of pounds in cuts to social security support since the Conservative Party came to power in 2010, which have directly influenced poverty levels; believes that, at the same time, the UK Government has chosen to spend and earmark billions towards the renewal of Trident; considers that austerity is a political choice that has plunged people into crisis, and believes that it was a decision taken alongside the choice to invest heavily in nuclear weapons, while families struggle to put food on the table.

Supported by: James Dornan, Joan McAlpine, Angus MacDonald, Richard Lyle, John Mason, Kenneth Gibson, Fulton MacGregor, David Torrance, Maureen Watt, Stewart Stevenson, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Jenny Gilruth, Angela Constance, Gail Ross

Current Status: Eligible for Members’ Business, Pending Cross Party Support
Greenock Businesswoman Named Scotland’s Top Female Entrepreneur

That the Parliament congratulates Poonam Gupta OBE, founder and chief executive of the global export firm, PG Paper, which is based in Inverclyde, on being named Businesswoman of the Year at the annual Businesswomen Scotland and Women’s Enterprise Scotland Awards 2018; recognises that Ms Gupta started the company from her kitchen table in 2003 and has built it into a leading distributor of paper-based products in 55 countries, with an annual turnover of £35 million; understands that she was appointed an OBE in The Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours List for her services to business and charity, having raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for worthy causes over the years; notes that Jillian Anderson, chief executive of the Greenock-based firm, Kilpatrick Blane Services, was also shortlisted for the award; believes that this highlights the immense entrepreneurship of businesswomen in Inverclyde and is a celebration of their contribution to the local, national and global economy; thanks both Ms Gupta and Ms Anderson for their hard work, and wishes them and their businesses all the best for the future.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Rona Mackay, Sandra White, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie, Maureen Watt, James Dornan, David Torrance, Emma Harper, Kenneth Gibson, Fulton MacGregor, Jenny Gilruth, Angela Constance, Gail Ross

Oceans Youth Trust (Scotland) Awarded £10,000

That the Parliament welcomes the news that Oceans Youth Trust (Scotland) (OYTS) has received £10,000 in lottery funding; recognises that the Inverclyde-based group will use the award to refit one of its yachts, which it uses to enable young people aged between 12 and 25 from a diverse range of backgrounds experience sailing; understands that the charity is the only national voluntary organisation of its kind; notes that OYTS works with groups and individuals to support schools, young carers, youth groups, young people with additional support needs and sailing clubs; thanks the charity for the unique services that it offers, which help build young people’s confidence and develop their social and life skills, as well as teaching them about the environment, and wishes everyone involved all the best for the future.

Supported by: Jamie Halcro Johnston, Joan McAlpine, David Torrance, Alison Harris, Sandra White, Emma Harper, Fulton MacGregor, Richard Lyle, Edward Mountain, Ruth Maguire, Bill Kidd, Angus MacDonald, Angela Constance, Tom Arthur, Jenny Gilruth, Gillian Martin, Neil Bibby, Gil Paterson, Mark Ruskell

Ferguson Secures Contract to Build Air Cushion Barge

That the Parliament congratulates Ferguson Marine Engineering on securing a contract to build the world’s first self-propelled air-cushioned barge; notes that Ferguson will build the 55m by 24m vessel capable of carrying up to a 150-ton payload over tundra, swamps, ice and water for Mangistau ACV Solutions Ltd, which is part of the CMI Offshore Ltd Group; believes that this contract will help support shipbuilding jobs in Inverclyde and is further evidence that Ferguson’s current diversification strategy is having a hugely positive impact on the business; understands that these types of contracts are essential in helping secure the long-term future of the yard, and thanks the Scottish Government for its continued support for shipbuilding on the Clyde.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Angus MacDonald, Joan McAlpine, James Dornan, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor, Clare Adamson, Bill Kidd, Emma Harper, Maureen Watt, Angela Constance, Tom Arthur, Jenny Gilruth, Gillian Martin, Gil Paterson

The Magnificent 7

That the Parliament recognises the "Magnificent 7", a group of young adults with additional support needs who attend the Fitzgerald Resource Centre, who have completed a new outreach football programme in Gourock to help young people develop and learn new skills; understands that the group took part in this one-day-a-week programme between May and October 2018 and focused on developing skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, spatial awareness, co-ordination and control throughout a variety of activities; notes that Gourock YAC is considering expanding its community programme as part of its development programme for children, youths and adults following the success of this programme, and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Jeremy Balfour, Sandra White, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Fulton MacGregor, Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie, Angela Constance, Stewart Stevenson, Emma Harper, Gordon Lindhurst, Angus MacDonald, Tom Arthur, Gillian Martin, Neil Bibby, Gil Paterson

Inverclyde Schools' sportscotland School Sport Awards

That the Parliament congratulates Greenock and Inverclyde-based All Saints, Moorfoot, St John's RC and St Patrick's RC primary schools on receiving the gold sportscotland School Sport Award, Gourock Primary School on it continuing to hold a valid gold award, and Aileymill, Inverkip, St Francis, St Mary's RC and Wemyss Bay primary schools on receiving the silver award; understands that the sportscotland School Sport Award is a lottery-funded national initiative that is intended to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and school sport opportunities; notes that the award encourages teachers and schools to place young people at the forefront of planning and decision-making in school sport, increase the opportunities for students to get involved and create sporting links between schools and communities allowing students to progress and achieve success, and wishes everyone involved continued success in the future.

More Europeans Visiting Scotland

That the Parliament welcomes the news that the number of overseas visitors from Europe increased sharply by 39% in the 12 months to the end of June 2018, according to official statistics; notes that, in the same period, spending by European visitors jumped by 21% to £1.6 billion compared to £959 million in the previous 12 months; recognises that across all international markets there was a 23% increase in overseas overnight visits, with almost 3.6 million visitors choosing Scotland as a destination in the 12 months to the end of June 2018; understands that, as part of the Glasgow City Region Deal, a new visitors centre at the Ocean Terminal in Greenock will be built, which is expected to welcome over 150,000 passengers to Scotland and, in turn, deliver £26 million in annual visitor and crew spend to the Scottish economy; considers that this new terminal will increase Greenock and Inverclyde’s capacity for cruise ships and provide a boost to the local economy, and believes that Scotland offers an unrivalled and memorable visitor experience for people who choose this country as their holiday destination.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Emma Harper, John Mason, Kenneth Gibson, Maureen Watt, Gillian Martin, Jenny Gilruth, David Torrance, Angela Constance, Fulton MacGregor, Clare Adamson

Success for Inverclyde Swimming Pair in UK Team Contest

That the Parliament congratulates the Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club (IASC) pair, Aimee Watson and Matthew Garrity, who were part of the Scotland West team that came second in the recent National County Team Championships 2018, which it understands is the best ever result by a Scottish team at the event; understands that the UK-wide event for regional swimming teams was held in Sheffield, with 36 countries and more than 900 swimmers taking part; notes that the Scotland West team was predicted to finish in 11th place with 332 points, but ended up scoring 431 points and recording 16 top-10 finishes to secure second place; recognises that Aimee and Matthew, who attend Clydeview Academy, recorded a new personal best at the event and both became Scottish champions in their age group in March; commends the IASC head coach, Shirley Redford, for her commitment to helping young people from Greenock and Inverclyde compete at the top level in swimming, and wishes Shirley, Aimee and Matthew all the best in the future as they prepare to fly to Lanzarote for the club’s annual training camp.

Supported by: Emma Harper, Stewart Stevenson, Monica Lennon, Neil Bibby, Richard Lyle, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Joan McAlpine, Sandra White, Bill Kidd, Maureen Watt, Jenny Gilruth, David Torrance, Angela Constance, Fulton MacGregor, Tom Arthur

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