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Rise in European Visitors to Scotland

That the Parliament welcomes reports that the number of visitors to, and tourism spend in, Scotland continues to increase; believes that, in the 12 months to the end of September 2018, there was a 22% rise in the number of visitors from Europe and that their spending increased by almost 7%, from £1.08 billion to £1.15 billion; recognises that official figures record a 14.3% increase in the number of overnight visits from people from overseas, and an overall 3.3% increase in tourism expenditure; considers that Scotland has a fantastic tourist offering and that tourism is growing in a number of areas, including Greenock and Inverclyde; acknowledges that official statistics indicate that, in the first nine months of 2018, visitors from EU countries to London fell by around 750,000, which is a fall of approximately 9%; understands that this is because of what has been described as a "Brexit boycott", and believes with regret that Brexit will have a potentially negative impact on tourism once the UK has left the EU, including in Scotland, where 62% of the electorate voted to remain.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Fulton MacGregor, Richard Lyle, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Mark McDonald, Sandra White, John Mason, Bruce Crawford, Bill Kidd, David Torrance

Current Status: Eligible for Members’ Business, Pending Cross Party Support
Inverclyde Weightlifters Break Records

That the Parliament congratulates Denise Trayling, Graeme Nicol and David Owens, who are from Inverclyde, on their wins at the Scottish Weightlifting Masters Cup in Easterhouse, with all three breaking national records in the new weight classes; recognises that the trio have now qualified for the British Masters, which will be held in Lilleshall National Sports Centre in March 2019; understands that Denise, Graeme and David are thinking of starting an Olympic weightlifting club for anyone in Inverclyde who would like to give the sport a try; commends them on their hard work and determination and their efforts to encourage more people to take up weightlifting; considers that making sport accessible and providing opportunities to try new and different activities is key to improving people’s fitness and participation levels; thanks Denise, Graeme and David on being ambassadors for the sport, and wishes them all the best at the British Masters and all other competitions.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Miles Briggs, Stewart Stevenson, Bill Kidd, David Torrance, Sandra White, Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor, Angela Constance, Angus MacDonald, Tom Arthur

Bernie Langan Retires After 23 Years of Voluntary Service

That the Parliament recognises that the dedicated volunteer driver, Bernie Langan, who has ferried hundreds of people to and from hospital, is stepping down from his role, aged 83; notes that Bernie has served the Inverclyde League of Hospital Friends’ patient transport service for 23 years; understands that this group, which also runs the Helen Wyllie Tea Bar at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital, is a pool of committed volunteers who take around 200 people every year to hospital appointments as far afield as Edinburgh, providing the service in partnership with the Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership; acknowledge that its members paid tribute to Bernie as one of its longest serving volunteers at a recent presentation; backs Bernie's calls for others to volunteer with the league; sends its sincere thanks to him for dedicating over two decades of his life to serving the community, and wishes Bernie a very happy retirement.

Supported by: Fulton MacGregor, Miles Briggs, Richard Lyle, Bill Kidd, James Dornan, Jenny Gilruth, Maureen Watt, Stewart Stevenson, Alison Johnstone, Sandra White, Bob Doris, David Torrance, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin, Angus MacDonald, Tom Arthur

Mhairi McCann, Inverclyde’s Eco Warrior and Science Editor

That the Parliament commends Mhairi McCann from Inverkip, who was one of five members of the FanPlastic 5 team that was named the winner of VentureJam 2018, which is a Dragon’s Den-style competition at the Curiosity Live event in the Glasgow Science Centre; understands that the team was tasked with devising a solution to plastic pollution and proposed the idea of having a juke box, incorporating reverse vending technology, in which people can deposit plastic cups and bottles in return for choosing a song that the team would perform; recognises that, as winners of the competition, Mhairi and her teammates will get to see their idea put into practice, with the SSE Hydro willing to implement it in a bid to lead the way in tackling plastic waste in the events and entertainment sector; congratulates Mhairi on also having her team’s idea showcased at Blue Planet II Live in Concert at the SSE Hydro in March 2018, where they will attend the show as special VIP guests; notes that Mhairi is also the first Scottish chief editor of the Young Scientists Journal, which is an international peer-reviewed journal written, reviewed and produced by school students aged 12 to 20; believes that Mhairi’s achievements highlight that no one is too young to contribute to the world of science and turn the tide on plastic pollution, and wishes her and her teammates all the best for the future.

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Clare Adamson, Angus MacDonald

Inverclyde Groups Share Over £20,000 in Lottery Funding

That the Parliament congratulates four Inverclyde groups on securing a total of £22,364 of lottery funding; notes that Eastern View Residents Association, which received £730, will use its money to buy equipment and materials for its new hobbies room; understands that Jissen Ryu Karate Club, which provides karate to children and young people in Port Glasgow, was awarded £5,634 to buy a van to move its equipment between venues; recognises that Greenock Sea Cadets Unit No 161 Gold River was given £6,000 for it to invest in five new boats to support basic sailing lessons; appreciates that Lyle Gateway, which provides activities for older people who may feel isolated and lonely, received £10,000 to engage a community development worker for the group; commends all of these groups for the work that they do in the community, and wishes them all the best for the future.

Supported by: James Dornan, Tom Arthur, Maureen Watt, Richard Lyle, Miles Briggs, Bill Kidd, Mark McDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Jenny Gilruth, Stewart Stevenson, Sandra White, David Torrance, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin, Angus MacDonald

Taylor Barnes Organises Free Christmas Dinner for 70 People

That the Parliament commends Taylor Barnes for organising a free festive dinner to bring lonely people together for Christmas in Greenock for a second year running; notes that the 21-year-old fed 70 people at Gibshill Community Centre thanks to her team of hardworking volunteers, including the TV star, Hardeep Singh Kohli, who was head chef on the day; recognises that everyone received a present as well as their three-course Christmas dinner, and that Taylor and her team gave up their time on Christmas Eve to prepare for the day; understands that guests ranged in age from a one-year-old to a senior citizen of 82, with the majority of diners being elderly, many of whom were widowed; appreciates that, after the meal, everyone enjoyed a disco, and that entertainment was provided by the Greenock singer-songwriter, Anthony McElwee, and vocalist and songwriter, Jud Harron, and thanks Taylor, the volunteers involved, and the local businesses who supported the event.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Stewart Stevenson, Bob Doris, Monica Lennon, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Alasdair Allan, David Torrance, Miles Briggs, Jenny Gilruth, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Alexander Burnett, Gillian Martin, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur, Clare Adamson

Kathleen McMillan Named RSPB Young Nature Champion

That the Parliament commends Kathleen McMillan on being named RSPB Young Nature Champion at the Nature of Scotland Awards; notes that the dedicated Greenock conservationist volunteers at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre, has worked tirelessly to promote wildlife and conservation for future generations as a former ranger at the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, and is the current chair of the Greenock Cut Volunteer Group; appreciates that the 26-year-old also organises local beach cleans; understands that the former Ardgowan Primary and Greenock Academy pupil received her special award, which was made out of a tree stump, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh, and thanks Kathleen for her conservation efforts.

Supported by: Bob Doris, Richard Lyle, Stewart Stevenson, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Alex Rowley, Sandra White, David Torrance, Jenny Gilruth, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Alexander Burnett, Gillian Martin, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur, Clare Adamson

Heather Dougan and Ellie-Jayne Fabiani Win Gold at Aerial Hoop World Championships

That the Parliament congratulates the aerial gymnasts, Heather Dougan, 11, and Ellie-Jayne Fabiani, 9, from Inverclyde, on winning gold on their debut at the World Championships in Italy; notes that the girls won gold for a doubles routine in the Children’s Duo category and that Ellie-Jayne won gold for her solo routine in her age group; recognises that this is a big achievement for Heather and Ellie as they have only been training for a year, and wishes them all the best for future competitions.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, David Torrance, Edward Mountain, Miles Briggs, Jenny Gilruth, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Alexander Burnett, Gillian Martin, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur

Anna and the Apocalypse

That the Parliament acknowledges the recent release of a new Christmas zombie musical, Anna and the Apocalypse, which was filmed in Inverclyde; understands that the director, John McPhail, praised the area and its residents, stating that the people of Inverclyde contributed immensely to the film's success; notes that the film was shot in places such as Cathcart Square in Greenock, Kingston Dock housing estate and the former St Stephen's High School in Port Glasgow, and understands that the film was recently released and has already received excellent reviews from critics at film festivals.

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor, Clare Adamson

Inverclyde Carers Centre Awarded £149,526

That the Parliament congratulates Inverclyde Carers Centre on being awarded £149,526 by Big Lottery Fund Scotland; understands that the project will provide support to Inverclyde’s unpaid carers who are responsible for looking after friends or relatives with an addiction, illness or disability, which prevents them from living independently; notes that the project will provide support groups, social activities, and a volunteer befriending scheme that will be accessible to all carers that reside in Inverclyde; acknowledges that the Big Lottery Fund Scotland provides funding for Scotland’s communities and people in need through several avenues, including a five-year £250 million funding scheme, the National Lottery Awards for All Scotland programme, and other small grant schemes; welcomes Inverclyde Carers Centre's efforts to help people in its local community, and wishes it all the best in its future endeavours.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, David Torrance, Rona Mackay, Fulton MacGregor, Stewart Stevenson, Kenneth Gibson, Emma Harper, Miles Briggs, Colin Beattie, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Joan McAlpine, Gillian Martin, Jenny Gilruth, Jackie Baillie, Angela Constance, Tom Arthur, Clare Adamson

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