Weekly Bulletin 12th – 18th May

This week, Ruth has:

  • Attended the 2017 presentation of the Charlie programme, Silent Voices, at the Harbour Arts Centre. Charlie is a 30 week group work programme for 8- 12 year olds impacted upon by parental substance misuse. Every year, the programme culminates with a show that affords the young people the opportunity to demonstrate some of what they have learnt to family, friends, teachers, social workers and others.  This year theme was silent voices.


  • Welcomed visitors from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates in the USA to the Scottish Parliament. Ruth, who is the convenor of Holyrood’s Cross Party Group on Credit Unions, chaired an event entitled “What can we learn from credit union partners in the USA?” – where the credit union sector serves over 45% of the economically active population.



  • Used a debate on Scotland’s first Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy – published by the Scottish Government last month – to highlight the need for the sex industry, in particular the demand that underpins it, to be tackled in the campaign to eliminate the wider evil of human trafficking and exploitation



  • During Portfolio Question time, asked the Scottish Government what work it is doing to address the under-representation of women and girls in STEM subjects and careers, and commended Ayrshire College on staging a ‘Girls with Grit’ event – an initiative to support women and girls studying or working in the STEM sector



  • In Education Committee, took evidence from a range of people and organisations, including Professor John Cole and Paul Mitchell of the Scottish Building Federation, about school infrastructure. The Committee also considered its draft report on teacher workforce planning.


  • Pledged support to the Fair Hospitality Charter – which was launched by Unite the Union and aims to ensure a more balanced relationship between workers and employers in the hospitality sector. The Charter includes calls for the payment of at least a real living wage of £8.45-per-hour, regular rest breaks, equal pay for young workers, minimum hour contracts, and for workers to be consulted on rota changes.


  • Lodged a parliamentary motion commending the efforts and dedication of Lee Quinn, who is from Kilwinning, on setting up the Scott Laughlan Together Fund to raise money for research into cystic fibrosis in memory of his late friend, Scott


  • Spoke in a debate about the largely unknown topic of ‘stink pits’ – which are piles of dead and rotting animal carcasses dumped on the ground and surrounded by snares to capture other animals, which are attracted by the smell of rotting meat. They are used mainly by gamekeepers on shooting estates to kill predators. During the debate, Ruth Maguire supported the stance of trusted animal welfare organisations, such as the Scottish SSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports – who are unanimous in their calls for a ban on stink pits – on the grounds of both animal welfare and public health.


  • Held MSP Advice Surgeries at Castlepark and at the Irvine constituency office


  • Praised the dedication and commitment of carers and welcomed the Scottish Government’s new drive to increase young people’s uptake of Carer’s Allowance during Carers Week 2017
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