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Sophie Smith and Scotland's Success at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

That the Parliament congratulates Sophie Smith, who is from Arbroath, on her success at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, at which she won silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m freestyle events, contributing to Scotland’s overall tally of eight golds, six silvers and seven bronzes, finishing an impressive fourth in the table, and hopes that these achievements will help encourage all children and young people to get involved in sport and attempt to emulate such success.

Supported by: Clare Haughey, Emma Harper, Ben Macpherson, Rona Mackay, Bill Kidd, George Adam, David Torrance, Miles Briggs, Stewart Stevenson, Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lochhead, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Joan McAlpine

Rebecca Cottage Receives £10,000 Donation

That the Parliament welcomes the £10,000 donation that has been given by Aberdeen Asset Management to Rebecca Cottage in Carnoustie to help support its upkeep; understands that, for over 40 years, the cottage has been a lifeline for families who are affected by lifelong complex disability by offering them the opportunity to holiday together in accessible accommodation in tranquil surroundings; notes that it is run by Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, and welcomes the work of this charity in supporting families affected by spina bifida, hydrocephalus and other related conditions.

Supported by: Gillian Martin, Clare Haughey, Joan McAlpine, James Dornan, Sandra White, Ben Macpherson, Ruth Maguire, Ash Denham, David Torrance, Richard Lyle, Stuart McMillan, Bill Kidd, Jenny Gilruth, Stewart Stevenson, Fulton MacGregor, Tom Arthur, Ivan McKee

Strathmore Estates Gains Wildlife Estates Scotland Accreditation

That the Parliament congratulates Strathmore Estates on being one of eight farms and estates to have been presented with Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation at the Scottish Game Fair in recognition of its work in wildlife management and conservation; understands that the scheme is a national version of the EU wildlife estates initative and is endorsed by the European Commission’s environment directorate; notes that, to achieve this, a rigorous independent assessment of its game, wildlife and habitat management, as well as its social and economic contribution to rural life, was carried out and that it will be expected to maintain the standards recorded throughout the lifetime of the accreditation; understands that WES operates a transparent benchmark system that helps land managers deliver multiple benefits to rural areas and supports the Scottish Government’s land use and biodiversity 2020 route map strategies; believes that over one million acres, comprising 52 farms and estates, have such accreditation, and commends Strathmore Estates on the initiatives that it has undertaken to achieve it.

Supported by: Ben Macpherson, Miles Briggs, Joan McAlpine, Clare Haughey, James Dornan, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Bill Kidd, Stewart Stevenson, Jenny Gilruth, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor, Tom Arthur, Gillian Martin

Chloe Todd, Keep Scotland Beautiful's Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month

That the Parliament congratulates the Arbroath youngster, Chloe Todd, on being presented with Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month Award; notes that Chloe has put up posters around Keptie Pond in Arbroath to encourage owners to clean up after their pets; understands that she has also been distributing bags of birdseed to visitors as part of the Bread is Bad for the Ducks initiative; believes that the eight-year-old is a member of Keptie Friends, and commends Chloe on her efforts to improve the environment of her local community.

Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, Joan McAlpine, Ruth Maguire, Ben Macpherson, Clare Haughey, David Torrance, Stuart McMillan, Emma Harper, Jenny Gilruth, Richard Lochhead, Bill Kidd, Ash Denham, Fulton MacGregor, Ivan McKee, Gillian Martin

Awards for All Scotland Funding for Angus South Groups

That the Parliament welcomes the £65,752 of Awards for All Scotland funding being provided to groups undertaking work in the Angus South constituency; notes that Hayshead Playgroup has been awarded £9,967 to develop and improve its outdoor space to provide increased opportunities for outdoor play; believes that the South Angus District Scout Council has recently received £9,405 to buy a new marquee that will be used for its activities and also for hire by the local community for private parties and community events; understands that Showcase the Street has been given £10,000 to deliver a project based in Arbroath, which will deliver free performing arts tuition to young people; acknowledges that Warddykes Primary School has been awarded £10,000 to buy play equipment to improve the new playground; believes that East Haven Together has received £1,910 to introduce a defibrillator and Village Emergency Telephone System (VETS) to ensure that residents and visitors in the area have the best chance of survival following a cardiac arrest; notes that Letham Bowling Club has been presented with £4,225 to carry out improvement work to the group’s clubhouse; believes that The British Eventing Charitable Foundation has been awarded £8,110 to run a series of workshops in Kirriemuir, as well as in Dalkeith and Kelso, for young people in the area to access and participate in the sport of eventing; understands that Friockheim and Kinnell Church Playgroup has been given £4,188 for wooden play equipment; acknowledges that Strathmartine Primary School has received £7,947 to purchase outdoor play equipment to encourage the pupils to be more active, and wishes all of these groups every success as they utilise these funds for the benefit of the people of Angus South.

Supported by: Gillian Martin, David Torrance, Ash Denham, Joan McAlpine, Richard Lyle, Stuart McMillan, Stewart Stevenson, Ben Macpherson, Sandra White, Clare Haughey, Ivan McKee, Bill Kidd, Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor

Young Start Funding for Angus South Organisations

That the Parliament congratulates Angus Women’s Aid and DD8 Music on receiving grants of £49,739 and £50,000 respectively from Young Start, which is a grants programme run by the Big Lottery Fund to create opportunities for children and young people; acknowledges the work of Angus Woman’s Aid, which it believes will use the grant to set up a young experts group that will develop, promote and deliver various initiatives focusing on domestic abuse and its impact, as well as running a series of domestic violence group work sessions in local schools and youth clubs; notes that the Kirriemuir-based DD8 Music will use this funding to continue to provide a range of music-based activities for local young people, and welcomes what it sees as the importance of local organisations in helping young Scots realise their potential.

Supported by: Ben Macpherson, Stewart Stevenson, Bill Kidd, David Torrance, Clare Haughey, Richard Lyle, Clare Adamson, Angus MacDonald, Kenneth Gibson, Sandra White, Joan McAlpine, Fulton MacGregor, Jenny Gilruth, Ivan McKee

DD8 Music Receives The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

That the Parliament congratulates the Kirriemuir community group, DD8 Music, on receiving The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, and understands that the Angus South music group has been honoured for its hard work and determination in the local community to provide a non-profit recording and rehearsal studio to allow people of all ages to experiment with music.

Supported by: David Torrance, Richard Lyle, Stuart McMillan, Gillian Martin, Sandra White, Joan McAlpine, Alison Harris, Ben Macpherson, Stewart Stevenson, Ash Denham, Clare Haughey, Bill Kidd, Fulton MacGregor, Angus MacDonald, Clare Adamson, Jenny Gilruth

Congratulations to Angus Redford

That the Parliament congratulates Angus Redford on being presented with the 2017 Cochlear Graeme Clark Scholarship Award; understands that this prize celebrates students who have been affected by hearing loss; notes that the 19-year-old mathematics student from Kirriemuir was awarded the accolade in recognition of his remarkable achievement to overcome hearing loss and earn himself a place on a masters course at the University of St Andrews; understands that Angus has a cochlear implant, and wishes him continued success.

Supported by: David Torrance, Gillian Martin, Gordon Lindhurst, Edward Mountain, Stuart McMillan, Richard Lyle, Alison Harris, Joan McAlpine, Ben Macpherson, Stewart Stevenson, Kenneth Gibson, Ash Denham, Clare Haughey, Bill Kidd, Ivan McKee, Fulton MacGregor, Angus MacDonald, Clare Adamson, Jenny Gilruth, Alexander Burnett

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to provide disabled people with the necessary skills and tools to have an equal chance of competing in the labour market.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (28/06/2017):

There is no doubt that the employment gap for disabled people in Scotland is too high and I am determined to meet our commitment to halve that.

A commitment that requires concerted action across all areas of government and with public and private sector employers, unions and crucially, disabled people.

This includes improvements through our devolved employment programmes, increased programme of internships, increased flexibility in modern apprenticeship programme and work with partners to agree a public sector employment target.

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 28/06/2017
Angus South Residents Receive Honours

That the Parliament congratulates the Angus South constituency residents, Keith Hopkins and Sheena Glover, on receiving honours; understands that Keith has been appointed an MBE for services to charity and community after raising more than £100,000 to help brain damaged children and those with leukaemia; notes that Sheena, who was Arbroath’s 2016 Citizen of the Year, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to music and charity in Angus, and welcomes the contribution made by Keith and Sheena to improving the lives of others and their local communities.

Supported by: Ben Macpherson, Gillian Martin, Liam Kerr, Clare Haughey, Bill Kidd, Colin Beattie, Stewart Stevenson, David Torrance, Richard Lyle, Jenny Gilruth, Stuart McMillan, Ivan McKee, Fulton MacGregor, Clare Adamson, Gordon Lindhurst