Parliament

22 November 2016

In order to congratulate Andy and Jamie Murray on their achievement of both finishing the year as world number ones Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Andy and Jamie Murray on finishing the year as the number one players in the world in men's singles and doubles respectively; recognises that Andy retained his number one ranking by beating Novak Djokovic in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, while Jamie and his doubles partner, Bruno Soares, secured their number one team ranking thanks to their wins at the same tournament; notes that these wins mean that the Murrays became the first brothers to occupy the world number one places when the year-end rankings were released on 21 November 2016; congratulates Andy, Jamie and their coaching teams on a successful 2016, and looks forward to further successes for these Scottish tennis champions in 2017.

In recognition of Book Week Scotland 2016 Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the start of Book Week Scotland, which runs from 21 to 27 November 2016; understands that the week is being marked by a series of events taking place in Aberdeen and the north east, which aim to encourage people of all ages to get involved in reading; welcomes the news that Aberdeen City Libraries has arranged for the authors, Simon Scarrow, Malachy Tallack and the Aberdeen-based, Leila Aboulela, to give talks to the public as part of Book Week Scotland, as well as organising fun activities for younger children to introduce them to books and reading; commends all those involved in organising the series of events in Aberdeen and the north east, and looks forward to a successful Book Week Scotland 2016.

21 November 2016

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the launch of the ECO Stars scheme with the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the ECO Stars scheme in the north east, through a joint initiative between Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council; understands that the scheme encourages and supports operators of HGVs, vans, buses and coaches to run their fleets more efficiently, and that scheme assessors award businesses a star rating based on their current performance, while also producing recommendations that will help operators to reduce vehicle emissions and operating costs; considers that Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council are leading by example and are among the first organisations to sign up for the scheme, along with DHL, Dyce Carriers, Freelands Freight Services, Hargreaves Logistics and William Walker Transport; welcomes the support of the North East Scotland Freight Forum and Nestrans for the launch of the ECO Stars scheme in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and looks forward to many more north east business and organisations signing up for this worthwhile initiative.

In order to congratulate the Aberdeen organisations that were recognised at the It's Your Neighbourhood Awards Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the 23 Aberdeen community groups, charities and schools that have been recognised in the It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards, organised by the British Horticultural Society as part of Britain in Bloom; understands that the campaign is based on the three themes of community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement, and is for volunteer-led community groups that are cleaning and improving their neighbourhoods; recognises that Friends of Duthie Park, Friends of Seaton Park, Friends of Union Terrace Gardens, Hazlehead Primary School, Slopefield Allotment Association, Garthdee Field Allotments Association, Brighter Bucksburn and Nether Loirston Growers Association were all awarded the highest recognition of "Outstanding"; commends all the Aberdeen projects that were included in the It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards, and thanks all the volunteers for their hard work to improve their communities.

08 November 2016

To congratulate Sophie Ewen on being named Apprentice Ambassador of the Year Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen’s Sophie Ewen on being named Apprentice Ambassador of the Year at the recent Scottish Apprenticeship Awards; understands that Sophie, who started her apprenticeship with Aberdeen Asset Management four years ago and now has a permanent role within the company, was recognised for her work in continuing to inspire other young people to choose apprenticeships as a potential career path, through workshops that she organises for school-leavers in Aberdeen to prepare them for the world of work, and that she now co-ordinates Aberdeen Asset Management’s entry-level programmes for apprentices and graduates; commends Sophie on the hard work that led to her Apprentice Ambassador of the Year award, and wishes her all the best for a successful career.

07 November 2016

Lewis Macdonald highlighted Andy Murray's success of being world number one when he tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament notes Andy Murray's success in winning the final of the Paris Masters, making him the first British tennis player to reach world number one since world rankings were introduced in their current form in 1973; notes that the achievement is the culmination of an exceptionally successful season, with the final marking four tournaments won and 19 matches won in swift succession, which has taken Andy Murray to top spot against very high quality competition; celebrates the contribution of his family and everyone in Scotland and beyond who have helped him rise to the very top; congratulates Andy Murray on becoming world number one, wishes him all success in future seasons, and looks forward to the power of his good example inspiring a whole generation of young Scottish tennis players and Scottish sport in general.

03 November 2016

Welcoming the launch of the Great Aberdeen Run Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run, which will take place on 27 August 2017; understands that the event, which will feature a half marathon, a 10k run and a family mile for younger children, will be organised by the Great Run Company with the support of Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, VisitAberdeen and Aberdeen Inspired; recognises that the route of the half marathon and 10k races will take in many Aberdeen landmarks, including Union Street, Pittodrie, Brig O’Balgownie, King’s College and the beachfront promenade; congratulates everyone involved in organising and promoting the event, and wishes all the participants the best of luck for the race.

Lewis Macdonald brought to the attention of the Scottish Parliament the scale of job losses in the oil and gas sector by tabling the following motion:

That the Parliament understands that the number of jobs lost as a result of the downturn in the UK oil and gas sector could be over 120,000 by the end of 2016; considers that the sector is of vital economic interest and cannot be left exclusively to market forces; further considers that the sector needs to have confidence that it can invest for the future; supports the use of Scottish and UK Government borrowing powers to leverage money into the sector, including active consideration of strategic public stakes in infrastructure investment, and notes calls on the Scottish Government to facilitate and take part in discussions with the UK Government, industry and trade unions to create a plan for co-investment that will support jobs, including in the north east, increase confidence and create returns to the public sector.

02 November 2016

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to celebrate the reopening of the Loch of Strathbeg RSPB Scotland visitor centre:

That the Parliament welcomes the reopening of the RSPB Scotland visitor centre at the Loch of Strathbeg in Aberdeenshire after a major refurbishment supported by the Coastal Communities Fund, the Friends of Strathbeg and the Aberdeen and District branch of RSPB Scotland; understands that the refurbishment has doubled the accommodation space at Loch of Strathbeg, which will allow an additional 30 volunteers to help out at the reserve each year, while the new visitor centre will allow even more tourists and visitors to enjoy the scenery and the wildlife; recognises that the Coastal Communities Fund awarded £60,000 to RSPB Scotland for the improvements at Loch of Strathbeg, which is home to 20% of the world’s pink-footed geese in autumn, as well as hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants; commends all those involved in the refurbishment project, and thanks all the volunteers and visitors who help make Loch of Strathbeg one of Scotland’s best natural attractions.

01 November 2016

To welcome the launch of the Scottish Refugee Council's Cup of Tea with a Refugee campaign Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the Scottish Refugee Council’s Cup of Tea with a Refugee campaign on 27 October 2016; understands that the campaign is designed to encourage people to share experiences and stories with the refugees making their home in Scotland and to have positive conversations with and about refugees, which will show just how much people have in common; recognises that the campaign has been launched to coincide with a new Scottish Refugee Council survey commissioned to gauge public opinion about the 20,000 refugees currently living in Scotland, which found that 56% of Scots agreed with the statement that “refugees are ordinary people like us”, while the same number also stated they were not very concerned or not at all concerned about the number of refugees in Scotland; commends the Scottish Refugee Council on the launch of the Cup of Tea with a Refugee campaign, and welcomes efforts by its staff, supporters and members of the public to help refugees settle safely in Scotland.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the success of the I Am Team GB event by tabling the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the success of the I am Team GB event, the nation’s biggest ever sports day, held on 27 August 2016 and supported by STV, the British Olympic Association and Join In; recognises that nearly one million people got involved in events across the UK, with 90,000 people trying out new sports and activities in Scotland; understands that Scotland’s flagship event was held at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow, but that there were dozens of local events taking place across the country; welcomes the involvement of STV, which stopped broadcasting for one hour on the morning of 27 August, in a bid to encourage viewers to take part in sporting activities, and commends all those involved in organising sporting events across Scotland as part of the I am Team GB event.

To celebrate the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital Play Service receiving a Scotland Play Award Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Play Service at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) on being awarded top place in the Positive Support for Play category at Scotland’s Play Awards, organised by the Nancy Ovens Trust; recognises that the RACH Play Service is the first hospital play service to receive a Scotland’s Play Award, and that the Nancy Ovens Trust noted the high standard of the service and the passionate staff in awarding the team first place; understands that the Nancy Ovens Trust aims to celebrate and promote forward-thinking projects that encourage children to play, and congratulates all the staff involved in the RACH Play Service on their success.

31 October 2016

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to welcome RMT's SOS 2020 campaign:

That the Parliament welcomes the RMT’s SOS 2020 campaign for equal employment and equality rights, higher maritime safety standards and more job and training opportunities for seafarers across the Scottish shipping industry; notes the estimated £2.7 billion annual contribution of nearly 55,000 maritime service workers, including an estimated 7,000 merchant seafarers, to the Scottish economy; is concerned that Scotland’s maritime skills base is in decline, with a significant number of ratings and officers at sea today due to retire from 2020 and major job losses on offshore supply vessels due to the fall in oil prices; applauds CalMac Ferries’ seafarer training programme, which includes 20 new ratings on modern apprenticeships; considers that qualified seafarers are at a disadvantage in an industry where it understands hourly rates of pay below the UK national minimum wage are common; recognises that the Scottish Government provides funding to the operators of a number of freight routes and contracts including on two Seatruck freight vessels, currently chartered as part of the public contract for lifeline ferry services from Aberdeen to Orkney and Shetland, and Scotland’s only maritime freight link to the continent between Rosyth and Zeebrugge, and calls on the Scottish Government to avert a maritime skills crisis by supporting the RMT’s SOS 2020 campaign and ensuring that all companies it charters vessels from for public ferry and other shipping contracts employ Scottish ratings and officers on collectively bargained pay and terms and conditions of employment.

27 October 2016

To celebrate the announcement that the Nuart Festival will be holding its first show in Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the decision by the Nuart Festival to hold its first UK show in Aberdeen in Spring 2017; understands that Nuart showcases street art and that, as part of the show, walls and buildings across the city will be painted by local and international artists; recognises that the Nuart Festival has been attracted to Aberdeen by the success of its existing arts festivals such as the recent Aberdeen Summer Arts Festival, which itself included a number of street art events; congratulates Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council on their success in attracting the Nuart Festival to the city, and looks forward to enjoying the artwork produced as part of this international event.

12 October 2016

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the launch of the Aberdeen Comedy Festival:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the first Aberdeen Comedy Festival, which is being organised by the local promoter, Breakneck Comedy, and supported by Aberdeen Inspired; understands that the festival, which begins on 14 October 2016 with a Gala Night at the Tivoli Theatre, runs until 5 November and will feature over 250 comedians and 65 shows at venues across the city; recognises that it will be supporting the Aberdeen Mental Health and Wellbeing Network at the Gala Night, with volunteers from the charity collecting donations from the public at the theatre; congratulates everyone involved in organising the inaugural festival, and wishes them all the best for a successful event.

07 October 2016

Lewis Macdonald welcomed Sport Aberdeen's launch of its new programme to support women by tabling the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of a new swimming programme in Aberdeen, which has been designed to support women who have experienced abuse; understands that the initiative, which has received funding of £2,000 from the Women’s Fund for Scotland, has been devised by Sport Aberdeen; notes that women can be referred to the scheme by Police Scotland, NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council; recognises that the six-week programme, produced in conjunction with the Violence Against Women Partnership Aberdeen, will focus on building trust, improving health and reducing stigma around scarring or bruises obtained from abuse; commends Sport Aberdeen and its partners on developing this innovative programme, and wishes those taking part in the scheme all the best for the future.

06 October 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated SCIAF on its award for the Wee Box, Big Change campaign:

That the Parliament congratulates SCIAF on winning the Institute of Fundraising Scotland’s Best Marketing and Communications Campaign Award for its 2016 Wee Box, Big Change campaign; understands that the campaign helped the charity to raise £1.6 million (£3.092 million including UK Aid Match) to further its work with the most vulnerable people in 15 countries around the world; recognises the efforts of all SCIAF’s supporters and staff that led to the success of the campaign; congratulates SCIAF on its success, and wishes it well for its 2017 campaign.

05 October 2016

In welcoming of the news of the first child born to Syrian refugee parents in Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the birth of Ibrahim Al Hussein, the first child to be born to Syrian refugee parents in Aberdeen; understands that Ibrahim, the second son of Khalid Al Hussain and his wife Fadila, was born on 9 September 2016 at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, a younger brother for two-year-old Shadea; recognises that Ibrahim’s family is one of a number of Syrian refugee families who have been housed in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, all of whom are hoping to make a new start after escaping the horrendous situation in their home country; further recognises the warm welcome that the family have received since arriving in Aberdeen, including at the recent Eid in the Garden celebration in Rubislaw Terrace Gardens; welcomes Ibrahim, his parents and his brother to Aberdeen, and hopes that they enjoy a safe and happy future as a family.

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion in recognition of National Poetry Day: 

That the Parliament recognises that 6 October is National Poetry Day, which was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart and organised since by the Forward Arts Foundation; understands that events are being held across Scotland to mark National Poetry Day, including in Aberdeen where the local poet and artist, Petra Vergunst, will be holding a free poetry workshop at creative arts space, Seventeen, on 8 October 2016 and in Glasgow where library staff and poets will be performing live poetry for commuters at the city’s bus and railway stations, and recognises that National Poetry Day aims to encourage people of all ages to read and write poetry and, among other things, thanks poets for their work and time, in the promotion of Scottish rhyme.

27 September 2016

Lewis Macdonald recognised the European Day of Languages by tabling the following motion: 

That the Parliament recognises that 26 September 2016 marked the European Day of Languages, which has been organised by the Council of Europe every year since 2001; understands that the day celebrates the linguistic diversity of the 800 million Europeans represented by the council’s 47 member states and encourages people of all ages to learn a new European language; believes that the day helps increase inter-cultural understanding between the member states and their residents, and commends the Council of Europe on its commitment to language education in schools, universities and communities.

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to welcome the launch of Thistle Street Food Market in Aberdeen's West End: 

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the Thistle Street Food Market in Aberdeen, which is organised by The West End Traders Association; understands that the street market promotes local produce, including rare breed meats, fresh locally-grown vegetables, artisan bread and beer, as well as attracting more shoppers to the west end of Aberdeen; recognises that the launch on 24 September 2016, which saw Thistle Street closed to traffic, was part of Aberdeen’s wider In Town Without Your Car Day 2016, which is an event that aims to promote sustainable travel; commends all the independent retailers and business owners that make up The West End Traders Association on their hard work to attract more visitors to the area, and looks forward to more events of this kind in Thistle Street and Aberdeen city centre.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Stonehaven's Laura Lambert's win of Scottish Football Mum of the Year by tabling the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Stonehaven FC’s Laura Lambert on being chosen as the 2016 Scottish Football Mum of the Year; understands that the award was introduced in 2015 to recognise mums who volunteer their spare time so that their children can enjoy playing football; recognises that Laura spends her spare time coaching and helping out at Stonehaven FC, as well as working full-time, and that she also arranged a 5km charity walk in May 2016 to raise money for the club and Macmillan Cancer Care; congratulates Laura on her achievement, and thanks all parents who give up their spare time to ensure that children and young people can enjoy playing sports.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the planting of 10,000 bulbs for Polio Plus: 

That the Parliament welcomes the planting of 10,000 purple crocus bulbs in Westburn and Victoria parks in Aberdeen on behalf of Aberdeen Rotarians, to promote the Rotary Club’s international Polio Plus campaign, which aims to eradicate the disease by 2019; understands that Aberdeen City Council staff, Aberdeen Rotarians, members of the Friends of Westburn and Victoria Parks and 50 schoolchildren from Cornhill School helped with the planting of the bulbs, which took place on 16 September 2016; recognises that the Rotarians' campaign to eradicate polio worldwide involves raising money to vaccinate young children who are at risk and that, thanks to this and other campaigns, there were fewer than 100 cases of the disease in 2015, and commends Aberdeen Rotarians and their volunteer helpers for their work to improve Westburn and Victoria parks and to raise awareness of an important campaign to eradicate a disease, which continues to paralyse and kill children in developing countries.

In recognition of an Aberdeen academic being included in Citation Laureate Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the inclusion of the University of Aberdeen’s Professor Celso Grebogi in the 2016 Citation Laureates, which was produced by the Intellectual Property and Science Division of Thomson Reuters; understands that the Citation Laureates are published each year to identify the most influential researchers in chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine and economics to identify potential future Nobel Prize winners, and that the influential list has predicted 39 Nobel Prize winners since 2002; recognises that Professor Grebogi, Sixth Century Chair in Nonlinear and Complex Systems at the University of Aberdeen, was included in the list for his work on chaos theory, and that he is the only scientist from a British university included in the list for 2016; commends Professor Grebogi on his recognition as a Citation Laureate, and wishes him every success in his future research.

15 September 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Aberdeen winners at the Beautiful Scotland Awards by tabling the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen winners at the Beautiful Scotland Awards, which were held in the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on 14 September 2016; understands that Powis Group won the Flatted Community Trophy, as well as the Jim Murdie Trophy, which recognises the community entrant that demonstrates the highest commitment to sustainable landscaping or sustainable development; further understands that Growing Smarter, Granite City Aberdeen, which is an umbrella group of communities, friends groups and partners of Aberdeen City Council who work to make the city a better place to live, won the City Trophy, as well as the David Welch Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the entrant that demonstrates particular commitment to the Beautiful Scotland campaign themes with an interesting, unusual or creative project; commends Growing Smarter, Granite City Aberdeen and the Friends of Seaton Park for being awarded the RHS Scotland Award for Overcoming Adversity in recognition of the work done to transform Seaton Park after recent flooding; congratulates all those involved in the winning projects, and recognises the work that they have done to make Aberdeen a better and greener place to live.

14 September 2016

Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion congratulating Dolphinwatch on it's successful summer in Aberdeen: 

That the Parliament congratulates RSPB Scotland’s Dolphinwatch on a successful summer at Aberdeen Harbour, which has seen over 4,700 tourists and locals visiting Torry Battery to enjoy the local marine wildlife; understands that Dolphinwatch, which has been running for the last four summers in Aberdeen, is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Harbour Board and Whale and Dolphin Conservation; recognises that, in 2016, dolphins made an appearance on 82% of the days that the attraction was in operation and that half the Dolphinwatch visitors this summer were visitors to the region; commends RSPB Scotland staff on their hard work to make Dolphinwatch a success, and looks forward to many more Aberdeen locals and visitors enjoying the attraction in summers to come.

Lewis Macdonald commended Sue Ryder - Dee View Court on receiving an excellent inspection result:

That the Parliament commends Sue Ryder – Dee View Court in Aberdeen on achieving “excellent” grades in all aspects during a recent unannounced inspection by the Care Inspectorate; understands that the facility, which looks after 22 adults with neurological conditions affecting the brain and nervous system, was graded as excellent in Quality of Care and Support and Quality of Staffing; recognises that the Dee View Court facility was praised for the way that staff organised transfers for recent new arrivals and how welcome they and their families had been made to feel; understands that the centre provides a range of support, such as long-term residential care, supported living, short-term respite care and rehabilitation; notes also that Sue Ryder staff currently run the 5Rs self-management programme for people with MS from Dee View Court and will be launching a new self-management programme for people will all neurological conditions in October 2016; congratulates all the staff and management at Sue Ruder – Dee View Court on their excellent inspection result, and commends them on their work in supporting people with complex neurological conditions.

To recognise Robbie Shepherd stepping down from Take the Floor Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament recognises the contribution made by Robbie Shepherd to Scottish dance music and Scottish broadcasting, and to the cultural life of North East Scotland in particular, as he hosts his last regular broadcast of the BBC Radio Scotland programme, Take the Floor, on 17 and 18 September 2016 after 35 years in the role; understands that Robbie, who was appointed an MBE in 2001 for services to Scottish dance music and culture and the degree of Master of the University by the University of Aberdeen for services to national and regional culture, will continue to make guest appearances on Radio Scotland after his last regular broadcast; recognises his contribution to north east culture, including his expertise in the Doric language and his involvement in Highland Games across the region over the last 40 years, and congratulates Robbie on the success of Take the Floor during his 35 years as presenter, and the positive impact that he has had on Scottish dance music and culture during that time and throughout his long and distinguished career.

01 September 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated North East businesses on their Scottish Business Awards success:

That the Parliament congratulates the north east businesses that won several of the awards at the recent Scotland’s Business Awards, including Linton & Mac, which won Best Business in Scotland, Cupcakes by Jo, winner of the Best Scottish Baked Goods award, Best Aberdeenshire Business, which was won by Fennel in Inverurie, Haigs Food Hall, which won Best Food Retailer, Papeterie Crafts, winner of Best Craft and Creative Business, Best Ice Cream Retailer, which was won by Partridges and Old Blackfriars, which won Best National Licenced Premises; recognises the importance of the north east in its business and enterprise contributions to the rest of Scotland and the example that it sets for the country’s businesses as a whole, and wishes all the firms successful in Scotland's Business Awards the best for the future.

Lewis Macdonald commended the work of the Glow Gold September cancer awareness campaign by tabling the following motion: 

That the Parliament commends the work of the childhood cancer awareness campaign, Glow Gold September, which has arranged for iconic buildings in Aberdeen, including Marischal College, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Sir Duncan Rice Library, to join other locations around world, such as Edinburgh Castle and Niagara Falls, in being illuminated in gold from the start of September 2016; recognises this campaign’s importance in increasing awareness of the early signs and symptoms of childhood cancer, earlier diagnoses and funding and research; understands that local woman, Milene Munro, who lost her own son to cancer in 2014, has been instrumental in ensuring that Aberdeen is taking part in Glow Gold September, and wishes the campaign every success over the course of the month. 

26 August 2016

In recognition of NESCol winning a Business Award Lewis Macdonald tabled the following the motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates North East Scotland College (NESCol) on being named the Entrepreneurial College of the Year at the Young Enterprise Scotland Bridge 2 Business Awards; understands that judges were impressed by its combination of student attainment and commercially-focused activities and that students of any subject have access to information and advice about being self-employed or starting their own business; notes that NESCol is working with the Aberdeen-based business support group, Elevator, to identify potential entrepreneurs and that Elevator has engaged with 2,239 students across the north east in the last year, leading to 47 one-to-one meetings with people interested in starting their own business; recognises the importance of an entrepreneurial spirit during a difficult time for the north east economy, and congratulates the NESCol principal, Rob Wallen, his staff and the students, on receiving this award.

24 August 2016

In order to celebrate Aberdeen's Summer of Art Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the range of events and attractions that make up Aberdeen Inspired’s Summer of Art, including the decoration of doors throughout the city and painted pianos for members of the public to play; understands that the Painted Doors project will see a series of 12 doors on local shops and businesses decorated by artists, including the Aberdeen painters, Shelagh Swanson and Mary Butterworth and the Robert Gordon University graduate, Ade Adesina, while 12 decorated pianos left in public places for anyone to enjoy playing have been brought to the city as part of the successful global project, Play Me, I’m Yours; further understands that the Summer of Art programme will culminate on 27 and 28 August 2016 when artists will decorate arches at Union Terrace Gardens as part of the street art festival, Release the Pressure; recognises that the Summer of Art has been organised by Aberdeen Inspired in an effort to make art more accessible to members of the public, and it and all the artists involved all the best for a successful project.

In order to recognise the repair of the Seaton Totem Pole after ten years Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the return of an Aberdeen community landmark, the Seaton Totem Pole, to its location on the corner of School Road and Seaton Road, following much-needed restoration work; recognises that the totem pole was first installed by the local community in 2006 and features designs from local residents and school pupils, which they felt represented the area, including a seagull, a football and a multi-storey block; recognises that after 10 years the Seaton Totem Pole needed to be repaired and repainted and that this has now happened thanks to Aberdeen City Council’s Community Engagement Team, Scottish Business in the Community and local volunteers who helped carry out the work; further understands that the construction company, Whyte Cranes, donated its services and equipment to remove, repair and return the Seaton Totem Pole to its original location, and thanks all those in the Seaton community who gave up their time 10 years ago and again this year to create and restore this distinctive local landmark.

To mark the visit of the Mayor of Nagasaki to Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the recent visit by Mayor of Nagasaki, Tomihisa Taue, to Aberdeen as part of a bid to promote civic and business connections between the two cities; recognises that the delegation, which included elected representatives and local government officers, visited Glover House in Bridge of Don, which was the home of Thomas Blake Glover, who was instrumental in the development of Japan’s industrial economy in the 19th century and who was dubbed the Scottish Samurai because of the important role that he played in the founding and growth of Mitsubishi; recognises that the Glover House in Nagasaki gets around two million visitors a year and that officials in Aberdeen are discussing how best to develop its Scottish counterpart to capitalise on tourism and business connections with Japan; understands that Mayor Tomihisa Taue and his group also visited Aberdeen’s hydrogen refuelling station, the Scottish Rugby Academy at the University of Aberdeen and the Glen Garioch distillery in Inverurie, and looks forward to a long and successful cultural and economic connection between Aberdeen and Nagasaki.

08 August 2016

To remember and respect the memory of Alan Kurdi and his family Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament remembers with deep sadness the tragic death in 2015 of Alan Kurdi, his brother Ghalib, and their mother Rehanna, and offers its thoughts and condolences to their father and husband Abdullah; emphasises that the tragedy afflicting this Syrian Kurdish family was symptomatic of the desperate predicaments facing many millions of refugee children, women and men fleeing war, human rights abuses and persecution and of what it sees as the persistent absence of effective and durable cross-European coordination based on the humanitarian and refugee protection principles that are enshrined in the Refugee Convention; notes the 3,000 other deaths in 2016; believes that serious questions remain unanswered as to whether European countries are genuinely facilitating access to fair asylum determination procedures and to humane reception conditions and whether they are implementing responsibility-sharing mechanisms to process the thousands of refugees seeking protection; warmly welcomes the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants and the complementary Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on 19 and 20 September 2016 respectively; believes that these can be platforms for rebooting global, regional and national commitments to sharing responsibility for refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries; looks forward to Scotland remaining a welcoming place with a principles-based approach to refugee protection, upholding the Refugee Convention and international human rights law; welcomes what it believes is the commitment in Scotland to receiving and integrating as many refugees as is possible, whether they arrive via the asylum, humanitarian protection or resettlement routes, and commends the work of Aberdeen Solidarity with Refugees and its local government and third sector partners; recognises that the sheer scale of this crisis means that this is not a momentary but a generational challenge for Scotland to develop its own architecture for refugee rights and for integration to be enshrined in legislation and developed in national standards and services, and notes the view that the development of such legislation, standards and services within devolved competence in the present parliamentary session would be a truly fitting contribution to respect for the memory of the Kurdi family and demonstrate solidarity with the millions of others in desperate and often tragic circumstances yesterday, today and tomorrow.

28 July 2016

To recognise Awards for All Scotland Funding for Aberdeen Organisations Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates two Aberdeen-based organisations, Sunnybank Community Centre Association (SCCA) and The Mixing Bowl Aberdeen, on being awarded funding from Awards for All Scotland; understands that SCCA is to use its £9,800 award to hire English language tutors for people whose first language is not English and for those who wish to improve their literacy levels and that The Mixing Bowl Aberdeen will use its £7,855 to fund the Deeside Local Food Festival at Cults Academy on 18 September 2016, which will aim to bring the community together and to showcase local produce; recognises the importance of Awards for All Scotland funding, which is provided in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and sportscotland, in supporting community organisations and events, and wishes both organisations every success with their upcoming projects.

Lewis Macdonald marks the continuing success of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival 2016: 

That the Parliament welcomes the Aberdeen International Youth Festival 2016, which takes place from 29 July to 6 August and features theatre, musical and dance performers from across the globe, including many from North East Scotland; understands that it will use venues from across the city, including His Majesty’s Theatre for the closing Variety Gala, and that the Extended Festival for audiences outside the city will see shows staged in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Moray; recognises that the youth festival has been running since 1973 and that, in that time, over 30,000 young people from around the world have taken part in performances across the north east; believes that it is one of the most highly regarded arts festivals for young performers in the world, and congratulates everyone involved with its organisation and all of the young people whose performances ensure its continued success.

26 July 2016

Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion to congratulate the Active Schools Initiative in Aberdeen:

That the Parliament congratulates Active Schools and Sport Aberdeen on their successful collaborative effort in the Active Schools 100 Day Challenge, which has involved Active Schools co-ordinators posting videos of sporting challenges on social media and inviting parents and children to post their own; recognises the significance of the initiative in increasing the link between young people and access to exercise through social media, and its overall importance in keeping children more active and adopting healthier lifestyles, and looks forward to other such collaborations between Active Schools and bodies such as Sport Aberdeen in the future.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Seaton Park being awarded the Green Flag: 

That the Parliament welcomes the news that Seaton Park in Aberdeen has been awarded Green Flag status by Keep Scotland Beautiful for the first time; congratulates the Friends of Seaton Park group which, along with Aberdeen City Council, have worked to regenerate the park to such a high standard; recognises the significance of this achievement following the heavy flood damage endured by Seaton Park in the wake of Storm Frank several months ago; understands that Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen have also retained their Green Flag awards, and congratulates all those involved in developing and maintaining the city’s green spaces on their success.

15 July 2016

Recognising Aberdeen projects which received ASPE Awards Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates everyone involved with the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project on it being shortlisted in the Best Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative and the Best Public/Private Partnership Working Initiative categories at the ASPE Awards; understands that the project has established the largest fuel cell bus fleet in Europe and the UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station as well as a purpose-built maintenance facility; congratulates the staff at Aberdeen City Council who have been nominated in three other categories at the awards; notes that the Northfield Total Place project has been shortlisted in Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative, the building services and maintenance team has been named in the Best Service Team: Building Cleaning and Facilities Management Service category and the council's multimillion pound homeless centre project has been nominated in the Best Innovation or Demand Management category; recognises what it sees as the local authority's innovation in its approach to community empowerment, renewable energy, service delivery and support for homeless people, and wishes everyone involved with these projects the best of luck at the awards, which will be presented on 8 September 2016.

Lewis Macdonald welcomes the visit of Norwegian Scouts to Aberdeen: 

That the Parliament congratulates the members of the 21st Aberdeen Scouts, in Cults, on hosting the Stavanger Scout Association at the National Scout Activity Centre in Fordell Firs near Dunfermline; believes that the exercise has helped to continue the bond that was established by the twinning of the scout groups in 1977 and of Aberdeen and Stavanger in 1990; recognises the value of such projects, which are funded by Aberdeen City Council’s International Twinning Budget, in helping young people to learn about life in other countries and experience other cities through making new friendships, and welcomes future plans, such as the visit of the 21st Aberdeen Scouts to the Norway National Scout Jamboree in July 2017.

To congratulate Abbi Aitken and Scotland Wildcats Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates Abbi Aitken, who is a Robert Gordon University graduate, on captaining the Scotland Wildcats, the national women’s cricket team, to an unassailable two-nil lead over the Netherlands in the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifying Series, Europe Region; understands that the eight-run victory means that the team has qualified for the ICC Global Qualifier, which will offer the chance to play in World Cup in England in 2017; recognises that Abbi, who also plays for Montrose Cricket Club, has won over 100 caps for the national team, and wishes her, and the rest of the team, all the best for the qualifier.

8 July 2016

In anticipation of Celebrate Aberdeen 2016 Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes Celebrate Aberdeen 2016, which will be held in the city on 27 and 28 August; understands that the highlight of the weekend is a parade down Union Street involving charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations from across Aberdeen while the event, first held in 2011, will also feature musical and theatrical performances and other entertainment in Union Terrace Gardens, the Bon Accord Centre, Trinity Centre, St Nicholas Bandstand, The Green and Aberdeen City Library, as well as the Union Street Mile races for athletes of all ages; welcomes the news that over 70 third sector organisations have already signed up to take part alongside over 30 local entertainers, and looks forward to a successful Celebrate Aberdeen event showcasing the very best that Aberdeen and the north east has to offer.

6 July 2016

Welcoming the increase in curlew sightings Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes a reported increase in the number of curlew sightings by gamekeepers in Scotland as part of the Gift of Grouse initiative, introduced by the Scottish Moorland Group in an effort to highlight the benefits of grouse moors; understands that the Gift of Grouse campaign has encouraged gamekeepers to make improvements to moorlands and create suitable breeding habitats in an effort to encourage an increase in curlew numbers in Scotland; recognises that the curlew was put on the conservation red list in 2015 as a species of “highest conservation concern” and that a nationwide scientific study of moorland waders is due to be launched in 2017 as part of the Gift of Grouse initiative; commends the efforts of conservation organisations, such as the Scottish Moorland Group and the RSPB to protect birds and other wildlife across Scotland, and looks forward to an increase in the number of curlews in years to come.

Lewis Macdonald marks work starting on the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre:

That the Parliament welcomes the official start of work at the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) with a ground-breaking ceremony at the site on 5 July 2016; understands that the new venue, which will open in 2019, will have a maximum capacity of 12,500 and is expected to attract major artists and events to the north east and bring in an additional 31,000 business visitors to the region; further understands that the new AECC will create 600 new jobs during the construction period and a further 352 full-time equivalent positions by 2029; recognises that the development of the new AECC by Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Henry Boot Developments is a key element of the council’s Strategic Infrastructure Plan, and looks forward to its opening and an increase in the number of entertainment and business events taking place in Aberdeen.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Move More Aberdeen on its 100th participant:

That the Parliament congratulates Move More Aberdeen on welcoming its 100th participant as it celebrates the first anniversary of its launch; understands that Move More Aberdeen, which was launched with funding from Macmillan Cancer Support, is an initiative to encourage people with cancer to take part in gentle exercise activities to counter the side-effects of treatment and to give them the opportunity to meet other people in similar situations; recognises that Macmillan Cancer Support invested £200,000 in the programme, run in conjunction with Sport Aberdeen, and which provides a 12-week introductory session involving walking groups, gentle movement classes and gardening; commends all those involved in delivering the Move More Aberdeen programme, and hopes that cancer patients in the north east will continue to benefit from their support.

4 July 2016

The following motion was tabled by Lewis Macdonald to mark the summit held in Aberdeen which aimed to protect jobs and prosperity in the North East Economy: 

That the Parliament welcomes the Oil and Gas Summit held by Aberdeen City Council on 30 June 2016 to discuss the ongoing oil jobs crisis and the involvement of employers, trade unions, ministers in the Scottish and UK governments, regulators and other public and private sector organisations, including the council’s private sector partner, Opportunity North East (ONE); understands that the summit, which followed the previous summit organised by Aberdeen City Council in February 2015, discussed progress made since then with the Aberdeen City Region Deal and other agreed initiatives, and what more needs to be done to grow employment and export earnings in the long term; agrees with Sir Ian Wood of ONE, who concluded that there is still a need for “urgent focus” to support the oil and gas sector in the face of the continuing risks to jobs and the regional economy of north east Scotland; considers that the continuing low oil price also impacts on the wider Scottish and British economies, and that Oil & Gas UK estimates that 120,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will have been lost across Britain by the end of 2016; further recognises that trade unions continue to reflect workforce concerns about offshore safety, and believes that the safety of workers in the North Sea must never be compromised by cost reduction; commends Aberdeen City Council for organising and hosting this important event, and notes calls for decisive action from the Scottish and UK governments and other partners to protect jobs and prosperity in the north east and across the wider economy.

1 July 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Katherine Grainger on being selected for her fifth Olympic Games: 

That the Parliament congratulates Katherine Grainger and her rowing partner, Victoria Thornley, on being included in the Team GB squad to take part in the double scull event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil this summer; recognises that Katherine is Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, with three silver medals from Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and a gold medal in the double sculls from London 2012, making her the defending champion in the event at Rio 2016; further recognises that Katherine, who was raised in Aberdeen and has a gold post box on the city’s Castlegate to mark her victory at London 2012, will be competing in her fifth Olympics in Rio, and wishes her and Victoria and all the Team GB rowing squad all the best for a successful Olympic Games.

To congratulate the winners of the Margaret E Morrison Spirit of the Community Awards Lewis tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the winners of the Margaret E Morrison Spirit of the Community Awards, which were announced at Inchgarth Community Centre in Aberdeen on 24 June 2016; understands that the awards recognise those who have enriched local communities and the city by giving their time in order to make a difference to the lives of others; congratulates the winners, George Stewart, recognised for his contribution to boxing in Garthdee, Lizzie Thomas of the Cults O50 Club, Chris Fraser of Cairncry Community Centre, Lesley Knowles and Louise Baxter who were recognised for their work with disabled people, Rick Brooks, director of the charity TLC, hairdresser Heather Dalgarno, recognised for her work with cancer charities and Margaret Vieira who received her award for her service to the communities of Cove and Altens; understands that the ceremony was attended by almost 400 people including the city’s Lord Provost, and commends all the winners of the awards on their achievement.

To mark Big Noise Torry celebrating its first anniversary Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen music project, Big Noise Torry, on its first anniversary; recognises that the £2 million music project, run by Sistema Scotland with funding from Aberdeen City Council, is based in the Torry area of the city and provides general musical tuition for Primary 1 and 2 pupils while Primary 3 pupils are taught to play instruments by professional musicians; understands that the six-year project has already reached dozens of pupils at Tullos and Walker Road primary schools and that the next stage will be the provision of musical tuition for babies and toddlers; notes that a special concert performance was given by members of Big Noise Torry to celebrate the first anniversary, and looks forward to the initiative going on to further success in the city.

28 June 2016

Speaking today in a debate on the ‘Implications of the EU Referendum for Scotland’ Lewis Macdonald stressed the importance that all options for Scotland’s continuing relationship with Europe must be considered and the result should not just be used as an opportunity to push for independence. It is available online here.

Following the EU referendum Lewis Macdonald welcomed the commitment by Aberdeen Universities to EU Students and Staff: 

That the Parliament welcomes the commitment made by the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University (RGU) that there will be no change to the fee status of EU citizens currently studying at those institutions or who are due to start courses in September 2016, and that any unexpected changes in their fee status will be covered by the universities in question; recognises that both universities also employ many EU citizens, all of whom make a valuable contribution to the education of students from Scotland, the rest of the UK and around the world, and who contribute to the research projects carried out at both the University of Aberdeen and RGU; welcomes the commitment by both universities to continue employing EU citizens, and the assurances given by the University of Aberdeen that, barring any unilateral action by the UK Government, there will be no change to the current employment terms and conditions of EU citizens working there, and looks forward to continuing a productive and collaborative relationship between the EU and the further and higher education institutions in the north east and across Scotland.

Lewis Macdonald today spoke in parliament to congratulate the referees who represented Scotland at the Euro 2016 finals in France. His speech is available online here.

23 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald welcomed events held by Aberdeen Citizens Advice Bureau to give specialist support to oil and gas workers: 

That the Parliament welcomes the efforts of Aberdeen Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to offer specialist support to oil and gas workers who have lost their jobs during the recent downturn; understands that Aberdeen CAB is holding a special event for oil and gas workers on 25 June 2016, the first time that the office will open on a weekend, for those affected by the downturn to make appointments to discuss a range of issues including employment, redundancy, benefits and debt; notes that Zara Strange, the manager of Aberdeen CAB, felt the need to hold a special event for oil and gas workers in the city because of the scale of the cases involved; further understands that reports in The Press and Journal estimate that thousands of oil and gas workers in the north east who have lost their jobs have so far failed to claim any benefits or financial support from the Department of Work and Pensions because of a reluctance to accept help, and welcomes the efforts by Aberdeen CAB to engage with those affected by the downturn in an effort to assist them through any financial difficulties.

22 June 2016

To mark Aberdeen Armed Forces Day 2016 Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes Aberdeen Armed Forces Day 2016, which will be celebrated in the city by a parade and an afternoon of activities at Bridge of Don barracks; recognises that the parade along Union Street will be led by a pipe band and that members of the The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 Scots) will be taking part, along with representatives of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force; understands that free flags, designed by competition winner Ella Cumming from Culter Primary School will be handed out along the parade route before members of the public are invited to Bridge of Don barracks to enjoy activities organised by Transition Extreme and Streetsport, as well as displays of military vehicles and a skydiving demonstration; welcomes the expected involvement of 1,000 service men and women, veterans and cadets in the annual event, and recognises the contribution made by all those who have served in the armed forces and in cadet units over the years.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated the Grampian Youth Orchestraon their 10th Anniversary: 

That the Parliament congratulates the Grampian Youth Orchestra on its 10th anniversary; recognises that it was created 10 years ago as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival and that the group of 73 young musicians from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray will be taking part in a European tour to mark the occasion, which will start with a home concert at St Machar Cathedral before going on to play in cathedrals in Maastricht, Dusseldorf and Ghent during the first week of July 2016, and wishes all of the musicians a successful European tour.

20 June 2016

To congratulate the Seaton Backies Project Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates those concerned with the Seaton Backies Project, including Chairwoman of the Seaton Backies, Sarah Stephen, Aberdeen City Council, which committed £396,000 funding for playing equipment, and Aberdeen Greenspace, which contributed £102,000 to the project, which, after eight years of hard work, has rejuvenated an underused area of the city into a space filled with play areas, new external lighting, plants and seating; welcomes the official opening by Aberdeen City Council leader, Jenny Laing, and wishes the development a long and lasting success in improving the lives of children in the community.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Aberdeen cyclist Neil Fachie on being selected for Rio Paralympics:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen cyclist, Neil Fachie MBE, on his selection for the Team GB Paralympic squad; understands that this is Mr Fachie’s third Paralympics having competed in 2008 and won gold and silver at London 2012, as well as winning two golds at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014; notes that Mr Fachie will be defending his title in the Tandem B kilo event in addition to competing in the sprint; believes that the 10-time world cycling champion will once again team up with Team Sky’s Pete Mitchell and has an excellent chance of doing well once again, and wishes all the competitors a safe and enjoyable games.

Welcoming Aberdeen District Scouts having a record increase in membership  Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the increase in young people getting involved in Aberdeen District Scouts, which now has a 15-year high membership of 1,755 boys and girls, representing a 10% increase over the last year; recognises that the district has also seen an increase in the number of adult volunteers over the same period, from 259 to 309, and that, without these people giving up their time, the range of activities offered by Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venture Scouts would not be possible; understands that, as part of Volunteers Week 2016, the organisation is holding a thank you event for all of its volunteers on 11 June; further understands that it is also celebrating other special events later in the year, including the Cubs’ centenary and the 30th anniversary of the Beavers section, and thanks all of the volunteers, past and present, who have helped to make Aberdeen District Scouts a positive and enjoyable experience for so many young people.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated University of Aberdeen on being host of EXPLORATHON:

That the Parliament congratulates the University of Aberdeen on its successful bid to host EXPLORATHON, Scotland’s European Researchers’ Night, until 2018; recognises that it will bring together researchers, school pupils and members of the public at an annual event on the last Friday of September to showcase the innovation and development in Scotland’s universities; understands that EXPLORATHON has already engaged with over 17,000 members of the public and 800 researchers since its launch in 2014, and that the Europe-wide event will be taking place on the same night in over 300 cities, with 1.5 million participants; further understands that events will be taking place across Aberdeen to mark the event, including at Union Square, the city's museums, Aberdeen Science Centre and the Belmont Cinema, and congratulates everyone involved in securing this auspicious event for the university.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed Scottish Rugby launching the Elite Women’s Scholarship Programme:

That the Parliament welcomes Scottish Rugby’s plans to launch an elite women’s scholarship programme for athletes with experience of other team sports who might have an interest in playing rugby at the highest level; understands that the recipients will be based at one of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby academies, which are in the Borders, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and that the scholarships will offer the possibility of continuing full-time or part-time studies at college or university; recognises that women’s rugby in Scotland is becoming increasingly popular and that the quality of Scotland's players has improved in recent years; understands that this has led to the appointment of Scotland’s first full-time female player, the 22-year-old Hillhead/Jordanhill captain, Jade Konkel; further understands that the scholarship programme is part of an effort by Scottish Rugby to help the women’s team compete on the world stage at upcoming events, including the Women’s Six Nations Championship and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017, and wishes all the applicants all the best for a successful career in rugby.

16 June 2016

Today in Parliament Lewis Macdonald asked the Scottish Government when it planned to implement its promise of four major trauma centres in Scotland. It is available to watch online here.

15 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald spoke in the Scottish Parliament about the challenges faced in the North East in a debate on the Scottish Economy raising issues around job losses and the future of oil & gas. His question to the the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy is available online here and speech is available here. 

13 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald marked the launch of the new project to transcribe Aberdeen's Medieval Records:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of a joint project between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and the University of Aberdeen to transcribe thousands of medieval records in order to make them available for public viewing; recognises that the records were granted UNESCO heritage recognition in 2013 for their outstanding historical value, including in particular the city's records for the period 1398-1511, which are among the most complete in Britain and one of the most outstanding collections in Europe; understands that this latest project has been made possible by a £310,000 grant from the Leverhulme Trust and will involve archivists from the three organisations transcribing documents written in old Scots and Latin into modern English, and looks forward to these important historical documents being made available online for the North East public to access and enjoy.

9 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald spoke today in a debate marking the 750th Anniversary of the Treaty of Perth, the speech is available online here.

7 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald today spoke about the importance of the campaign for a major trauma centre which won the support of thousands of people across the north-east and as well as the underfunding of the NHS in the North East of Scotland, the speech is available online here.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the start of Refugee Festival Scotland: 

That the Parliament welcomes the start of Refugee Festival Scotland, which runs from 14 to 26 June 2016; understands that the annual event, organised by the Scottish Refugee Council, has as its theme for 2016 Solidarity, highlighting the need to stand with people who have been forced to flee their homes and start new lives in Scotland; recognises that the Refugee Festival Scotland is a celebration of the contribution that refugees make to life in Scotland and that more than 100 arts, cultural, educational, heritage and sports events will be taking place across the country throughout the festival, and wishes all performers, participants and attendees a successful Refugee Festival Scotland for 2016.

6 June 2016

To mark the beginning of Aberdeen's Golden Games Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of Aberdeen’s sixth Golden Games; understands that the Games are an award-winning free festival for older people featuring 80 different activities across 30 venues; understands that the organisers are expecting more than 450 participants over seven days; believes that the activities on offer will include zumba, pickleball, aqua dance, belly dancing, health walks and lawn games among others; further understands that one of the highlights of the Games will be the annual Care Home Pentathlon event; commends the partnership between Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership, Aberdeen FC Community Trust, Sport Aberdeen, Aberdeen Sports Village, Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian in organising the festival, which aims to encourage older people to become as active as possible, boost their health and meet new people; understands that the Golden Games have been shortlisted for a special award in the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ Scottish Charity Awards 2016, and wishes everyone involved an enjoyable festival

3 June 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated the Aberdeen organisations that received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service: 

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-based charities, AbSafe and Cairns Counselling, on being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the contribution made to the community by their volunteers; understands that the award, which is equivalent in status to an MBE, was established in 2002 to mark the Golden Jubilee and that these latest awards have been announced as part of Volunteers Week 2016, which runs from 1 to 12 June; recognises that AbSafe is an educational organisation that recreates road accidents and accidents in the home to demonstrate to schools and community groups how to keep safe, and that Cairns Counselling provides free counselling services to adults in the Aberdeen area; notes that the organisations will receive their awards from the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeen later this summer, and commends both AbSafe and Cairns Counselling on being recognised by the awards' judging panel.

2 June 2016

To mark the charity Kerusso Trust opening a new education centre in Malawi Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-based charity, The Kerusso Trust, on opening a new training and education centre in Blantyre, Malawi; understands that the £50,000 needed to open the new facility was raised through donations from individuals, businesses and churches across Aberdeen and that the centre, which contains training rooms and a library, will be used to train men and women to become church leaders in their native communities; further understands that The Kerusso Trust works in partnership with a local charity in Malawi, J-Life Malawi, to train church leaders in rural areas and that it also works with Wingate Christian Secondary School in Malawi, providing educational bursaries for children from poor township and rural families; notes that the new facility was officially opened on 28 May 2016 by Malawi’s former Finance Minister, Friday Jumbe, and commends all those involved in raising money for The Kerusso Trust on its achievement.

Marking International Cricket Council's historic Scottish annual conference Lewis Macdonald tabled this motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to hold its annual conference in Edinburgh from 27 June to 2 July 2016; recognises that this is the first time the conference, which involves representatives from all 106 cricket-playing countries, has been held outwith the traditional Test playing nations; further recognises that Scotland is one of cricket’s leading Associate Member countries and that the presence of the ICC Annual Conference will be a huge boost to Cricket Scotland and the profile of the Scottish game around the cricket-playing world; understands that the ICC hopes to demonstrate its support and commitment to the development of cricket within the Associate Membership of the ICC by holding its conference outwith the usual Test playing nations, and wishes all those involved in Cricket Scotland and the organisation of the conference a successful event.

31 May 2016

Lewis Macdonald congratulated the members of the Aberdeen and District Boys’ Brigade who received there Queen’s and President’s badges: 

That the Parliament congratulates the members of the Aberdeen and District Boys’ Brigade battalion who were presented with Queen’s and President's badges at the 2016 awards evening on 30 May; recognises that more than 30 members of brigade companies in Aberdeen, Ellon, Stonehaven, Udny Green and Skene were presented with their awards by Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been honorary vice-president of the Aberdeen battalion for the last 30 years; understands that the Queen’s Badge is awarded to 16 to 18-year-old members and the President’s Badge to 15-year-olds who have achieved the required skills, and commends everyone who received these awards at the Battalion HQ.

Lewis Macdonald commended fans of Aberdeen FC on collecting over £16,000 for charity: 

That the Parliament commends the fans of Aberdeen FC who have raised more than £16,000 for charity over the 2015/16 season through can collections before home matches at Pittodrie; understands that the proceeds have been shared among a number of good causes, including the Aberdeen FC Community Trust, Grampian Senior Citizens Forum, St Machar Academy, AFC Disabled Supporters, the Fishermen’s Mission, Befriend a Child, and the Ballater Flood Appeal; recognises that the scale of the funds collected over the last season reflects the generosity of Aberdeen fans at a time when both the city and region are struggling due to the oil downturn, and commends everyone who has made donations to support worthy causes in the north east and across Scotland.

To congratulate SHMU on securing funding for expansion plans Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates Station House Media Unit (SHMU) on being awarded £1 million through the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) to extend and improve the organisation’s existing community hub in the Woodside area of Aberdeen; recognises the contribution that SHMU makes to communities in the city, through its training programmes for young people, the popular local radio station SHMU FM, which is staffed by volunteers, and magazines produced by and for local people in regeneration areas such as Seaton and Tillydrone; understands that SHMU will now work with Aberdeen City Council to invest the £1 million grant in creating a purpose-built extension to its existing building, which will double the organisation’s usable space and allow for the creation of a new radio studio, a TV studio for live broadcasts, a musical recording studio and a digital learning centre; welcomes the opportunity that this grant affords SHMU to expand and improve its existing activities in regeneration areas of Aberdeen, and commends it on an excellent bid to secure the funding necessary for its expansion plans.

Lewis Macdonlad tabled this motion to commend the bravery shown by the firefighters in the North East:

That the Parliament congratulates firefighters from Ballater and Aberdeen on being recognised for their efforts to protect their local communities during the recent storms in the north east; recognises that the whole crew at Ballater Fire Station received a Chief Officer Commendation at a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ceremony in Aberdeen on 24 May 2016 for their commitment to protecting their neighbours during Storm Frank; understands that seven of the firefighters’ houses were themselves affected by flooding, but that they only returned home after they had ensured that others in the town were safe; recognises that the Crew Manager, Dennis Chalmers, and firefighter, Christopher McAllister, based at the North Anderson Drive fire station, were also commended for their bravery after they waded through rising flood water to rescue three older people from a care home in Bridge of Dee on 30 December; further recognises the contributions made by all the emergency services during the storms that affected the north east, and congratulates all those recognised by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their dedication to their profession.

26 May 2016

Lewis Macdonald spoke about the EU’s strong record on workers’ rights in today’s debate ‘Scotland's Future in the European Union’ Debate, it is available to watch online here.

25 May 2016

Lewis Macdonald marked the opening of the exhibition Celebrating Aberdeen's support for Spanish seamen: 

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of a new exhibition at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which marks Aberdeen’s solidarity with the Spanish seamen’s strike; understands that this exhibition, which runs from 28 May to 10 September 2016, tells the story of the Spanish steamship, Eolo, which berthed at Blaikie’s Quay in Aberdeen in July 1936 and whose owners refused to comply with new Spanish legislation awarding seamen a pay rise; further understands that after the crew of the Eolo went on strike, they were supported by Aberdeen dockers and their families, who made collections on behalf of the 33 men for the duration of their 15-week strike before the owners of the ship made full payment to the crew; celebrates the efforts of Aberdeen trade unionists to support their Spanish fellow workers through the summer of 1936 and over succeeding years, and welcomes the decision by Aberdeen Maritime Museum to mark the 80th anniversary of the Eolo strike with an exhibition in the city.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated Kim Little on winning BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award:

That the Parliament congratulates Scotland’s Kim Little on winning the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award for 2016, an international award organised by the BBC World Service; recognises that Kim, who was born in Aberdeen and started her footballing career at school at Mintlaw Academy, currently plays for Seattle Reign in the US, and has played 115 times for Scotland, scoring 46 goals; understands that Kim topped a worldwide supporters’ poll to win the award, beating Gaelle Enganamouit (FC Rosengard, Sweden), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash) and Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City); notes that Kim is only the second winner of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award, having previously won the FA’s Women Player of the Year Award in 2010 and the inaugural PFA Women’s Player of the Year Award in 2013; recognises that the international success of players like Kim Little is helping to increase interest in women’s football in Scotland and worldwide, and congratulates her on winning such a prestigious award.

To welcome the Imagination Library coming to Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the announcement of a joint project between Aberdeen City Council and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library that will see looked-after children in the city provided with a free book every month until their fifth birthday; understands that, since it was set up in 1995, the imagination library has provided over 70 million books to children worldwide, including 1.3 million in the UK; notes that the books are chosen by experts in early childhood literacy and reading and are provided free of charge to children who are in foster homes with prospective adopters or who are looked-after in local authority care; welcomes the involvement of the council in this global project, and thanks the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for its commitment to support literacy in young children around the world.

Lewis Macdonald congratulated The Grill on being named Whisky Bar of the Year: 

That the Parliament congratulates The Grill, which is on Union Street in Aberdeen, on winning the Whisky Bar of the Year award at the British Institute of Innkeeping (Scotland) Awards in Glasgow; understands that the bar, which was chosen on the basis of a secret visit from the institute's judges, offers a range of more than 500 whiskies, beat The Quaich in Craigellachie and Usquabae in Edinburgh to take the top prize; recognises that its history dates back to the 19th century and has been known as "The Grill" since 1870, and congratulates its owners, Andy Juroszek and Graham Watson, and all of the staff on this success.

24 May 2016

To commend Aberdeen City Council's school catering staff on receiving Soil Association recognition Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament commends Aberdeen City Council’s school catering staff on gaining the Silver Food For Life Catering Mark award from the Soil Association; understands that the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Marks recognise organisations and institutions that use organic produce, ethical and environmentally-friendly food and locally sourced ingredients, and take steps to offer healthier menus; recognises that Aberdeen City Council, which serves nearly 8,000 schools meals every day, is only the second local authority in Scotland to reach this standard, and commends all those involved in improving the quality of the food served in the city’s schools.

Lewis Macdonad tabled this motion in parliament to recognise the Awards for All Funding being awarded to Aberdeen: 

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen City schools and organisations that have benefited from the latest Awards for All Scotland funding, a scheme run jointly by the Big Lottery Fund and sportscotland to administer grants between £500 and £10,000 for projects that aim to improve local communities; understands that Ashley Road School has been awarded £9,506 to fund a new outdoor play area, while Kirkhill Primary School Nursery has secured £9,428 to install play equipment in the school grounds; further notes that the St Machar Parent Support Project has been awarded £5,000 to fund an activity programme during the summer holidays and that Woodside Community Centre will receive £7,510 to provide summer day trips for families in the area that need additional support; commends the Myasthenia Gravis Association North of Scotland Branch on being awarded £9,010 to pay for accommodation and travel costs that will allow North East members to attend their organisation’s annual conference, and congratulates all the organisations on securing further funding for their important projects from Awards for All Scotland.

23 May 2016

After publication of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce Oil and Gas Survey Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament notes the publication of the 24th Oil and Gas Survey by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute; understands that the report’s findings show that oil and gas operators have seen a 15% reduction in their UK-based staff in the last year and that they forecast a further 17% reduction in staff over the next 12 months; further understands that the report also shows an increase in contractors looking to diversify into decommissioning or the renewable energy industry over the next three to five years; recognises that the Offshore Co-ordinating Group, set up by the offshore trade unions Unite, RMT, GMB, Balpa and Nautilus, is calling for a national summit to address concerns about the continuing oil and gas jobs crisis, and calls on the UK and Scottish governments to respond positively to these calls and ensure that a national summit takes place as soon as possible in order to minimise the number of job losses over the next 12 months, support diversification into areas such as renewable energy and decommissioning, also highlighted in the report, and mitigate the serious risks posed by the oil jobs crisis to the wider economy.

18 May 2016

Lewis Macdonald called for parliament to congratulate the North East and Highland veterans who received France’s highest honour:

That the Parliament congratulates the five veterans from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands who were awarded France’s highest honour, the Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur, at a ceremony at the Town House in Aberdeen on 17 May 2016; recognises that John Johnston (Gordon Highlanders), Peter Davies (Royal Artillery), Alexander Burnett (Royal Navy), Duncan Cormack (Royal Marines) and William Adie (RAF), who are now in their 90s, all took part in the Battle of Normandy, which began the liberation of France from occupation by German forces; understands that the veterans were presented with their awards by Sylvie Bermann, the Ambassador of France to the UK; congratulates the five veterans on receiving such an important honour, and thanks them for their service during the Second World War.

Following the announcement that Scotland's First Cruyff Court was going to open in Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled this motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the joint venture by Aberdeen City Council, the Denis Law Legacy Trust and the Johan Cruyff Foundation to establish Scotland’s first “Cruyff Court” at Catherine Street, Aberdeen; understands that these are hi-tech and all-weather AstroTurf playing areas that give young people in inner-city areas opportunities to take part in sports and exercise in their own neighbourhood; notes that the council has committed £250,000 to the makeover of the Catherine Street court, which will be named the Denis Law Cruyff Court; recognises that the new facility will support the work already carried out by RGU Streetsport and will allow workers to expand the free activities that they offer, and looks forward to the completion of the project and the opening of the Denis Law Cruyff Court.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed NHS Grampian launching their new pictorial menu: 

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of pictorial menus by NHS Grampian in an effort to help patients with communication difficulties choose their meals during hospital stays; understands that the new menus have been designed by a team of dieticians, catering specialists and speech and language therapists to provide booklets that show the full range of foods available to patients each week; further understands that the new menus can be used to help patients with learning difficulties, speech impairments, dementia, neurological conditions, literacy difficulties and those for whom English is a second language; notes that the pictorial menus will be available in all of NHS Grampian’s hospitals, and welcomes this initiative as a way of making a hospital stay a little more comfortable for people with communication difficulties.

17 May 2016

To congratulate Inverurie's Hannah Miley silver medal Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the swimmer from Inverurie, Hannah Miley, on winning a silver medal in the 400 metres individual medley at the European Championships in London; understands that Hannah took second place with a time of 4 minutes 35.27 seconds, just a few weeks after also securing her place in the Great Britain team for her third Olympic Games in Rio later in 2016; recognises that Hannah, who swims for Garioch Swimming Club in her home town of Inverurie, has also represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, and wishes her every success in future competitions.

Lewis Macdonald welcomed the news that construction on the floating windfarm off Peterhead would begin in 2016:

That the Parliament welcomes the news that work on the world’s largest offshore floating windfarm is to begin later in 2016 off the coast of Peterhead after Marine Scotland and the Crown Estate gave their permission for its construction; understands that Statoil’s Hywind project will have five turbines operating in waters around 12 to 18 miles off the coast of Peterhead, producing a total capacity of 30 megawatts, with the first power generated by the end of 2017; recognises that this project will not only increase Scotland’s renewable energy production but will also support engineering jobs during the current oil and gas downturn, and looks forward to this and other north east offshore wind projects becoming operational in the coming months.

16 May 2016

In order to congratulate Riverbank School in Tillydrone on its Unicef Recognition Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates Riverbank School in Tillydrone, Aberdeen, on receiving the Level 2 Award from Unicef under the Rights Respecting Schools awards scheme, for the third time; recognises that Level 2 is the highest award given by Unicef UK to schools and that Riverbank School is the only school in the UK to receive this award three times; understands that Unicef UK gave the award to the school in recognition of its efforts in areas such as supporting a school in Uganda, a project also supported by pupils at St Machar Academy and community groups in Tillydrone, and raising funds for young Syrian refugees; notes that, during a recent day of celebration to mark Riverbank School's involvement in the Unicef UK Rights Respecting initiative, pupils took part in a live internet link with students at their partner school in Uganda, and congratulates the head teacher, Susan Ironside, her staff and pupils on their achievement.

23 March 2016

Lewis Macdonald today asked Ministers whether enough was being done to help those who have been made redundant in the energy sector to successfully find employment. The question and answer are available to watch online here.

21 March 2016

Lewis Macdonald has added his congratulations to local dementia fundraiser Charles Bain in the following Scottish Parliament motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Charles Bain from Aberdeen on raising more than £169,000 for dementia services; understands that Mr Bain started fundraising after losing both his father and father-in-law within weeks of each other to Alzheimer’s; understands that the money raised has been used to purchase an activity bus for the use of clients and patients of both Voluntary Services Aberdeen and a local care home to enable them to continue to enjoy life by getting out and about; further understands that four specialised pieces of equipment, a high performance liquid chromatography system, a mass spectrometer, a peptide synthesiser and a Fastlab system, have also been purchased and will be used by Professor Matteo Zanda of the University of Aberdeen in dementia research; acknowledges the contribution by Apache North Sea in sponsoring the Funny Memories and Different Dancing Memories nights as well as its financial donation; applauds the decision by Mr Bain to hold a thank you event in place of a fundraiser in the current climate, and wishes all those involved the very best in their continued fundraising efforts.

18 March 2016

In recognition of Cornerstone's Edel Harris winning an Institute of Directors Scotland award, Lewis Macdonald has tabled a Holyrood motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Edel Harris on being named Aberdeen and Grampian regional director of the year at the Institute of Directors Scotland Director of the Year Awards in Glasgow on 17 March 2016; recognises that Mrs Harris is chief executive at the Aberdeen-based charity, Cornerstone, which provides services throughout Scotland for children, young people and adults who are disabled or have other support needs; understands that Edel Harris has been chief executive at Cornerstone since May 2008, and welcomes the recognition of her achievements by the Institute of Directors Scotland.

17 March 2016

Lewis Macdonald has tabled the following parliamentary motion to congratulate STV North winners in the National Lottery People's Project competition:

That the Parliament congratulates the three winners of the STV North National Lottery People’s Projects, which were announced on 16 March 2016; understands that The People’s Projects is a joint initiative by the Big Lottery Fund, the National Lottery and STV to allow the public to decide how £3 million of lottery funding should be spent and that STV viewers in the north of Scotland have been voting for the last few weeks for their favourite good cause; recognises that Sunnybank Community Centre Association in Aberdeen is to receive £50,000, which it understands will be used to support the work of the Sunnybank Family Workshops, which offer a range of activities aimed at bringing people in the community together including by way of English classes, days out for younger children and performing art sessions for all ages; notes that Kirriemuir Allotment Association will receive £11,924, which it understands will be used to develop a previously derelict allotment site, and that Disability Snowsports Scotland is being awarded £46,906 to create a new volunteer training programme based at Glenshee; welcomes the The People’s Projects initiative as an excellent way of promoting the work of local organisations, and congratulates all the winners across Scotland.

14 March 2016

Congratulations to Aberdonian Denis Law on being appointed a CBE for services to football and charity:

That the Parliament congratulates Denis Law on being appointed as a CBE at Buckingham Palace on 11 March 2016 in recognition of services to football and charity; recognises that he played professionally at the highest level from 1956 to 1974, won 55 caps and scored 30 goals for Scotland and is the only Scottish player to date to be named European Player of the Year; understands that Denis, who recovered from prostate cancer in 2003, is a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and a patron for Meningitis Now, supports the Streetsport initiative in his home city of Aberdeen through the Denis Law Legacy Trust, and congratulates him on his well deserved honour.

10 March 2016

In recognition of the fact that Aberdeen has become the first city in Europe to make hydrogen vehicles available through a car club, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following Scottish Parliament motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the announcement by Aberdeen City Council, and its partner, Co-wheels, that it is to become the first city in Europe to offer hydrogen powered cars for public use; understands that the two new Hyundai ix35 SUVs will bring the total number of car club vehicles in Aberdeen to 14, most of which are under 100g/CO2; considers that the city already benefits from hydrogen-fuelled buses as part of the council’s future-focused Hydrogen Strategy; believes that the cars will be available later in 2016, and congratulates all those involved in promoting more environmentally-friendly transportation methods.

9 March 2016

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion at Holyrood to welcome the launch of a new Icelandair route between Aberdeen and Reykjavik:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of Icelandair’s new year-round direct flight service between Aberdeen International Airport and Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport; understands that the flight, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, will allow passengers to connect with Icelandair’s 16 North American destinations, cutting down the flight time to and from the US and Canada by up to two hours; considers that this will improve connectivity and open up new opportunities for promoting inbound tourism to Scotland, and looks forward to a successful future for the new Aberdeen route.

To mark the Aberdeen Lord Provost's Charitable Trust concert, which raised £30,000 for Cornerstone, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the organisers of the Aberdeen Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust on raising £30,000 for Cornerstone at a charity concert at His Majesty’s Theatre in the city on 20 February 2016; notes that the sell-out event featured the world-famous classical singer, Katherine Jenkins, and also featured the Aberdeen-based chamber choir, Con Anima, and Zoe Hodi, who is a 15-year-old violinist at the Aberdeen Music School; understands that the beneficiary, Cornerstone, provides specialist services for adults and children across the north east who have a learning or physical disability, and congratulates everyone involved with what it sees as such a successful event.

4 March 2016

Congratulations to Hazlehead Academy, on being awarded Cycle Friendly Secondary School status:

That the Parliament congratulates Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen on becoming the first school in the city to be awarded Cycle Friendly Secondary School status; understands that the award recognises efforts by teachers and volunteers to increase cycling to and from school and that schools must show their commitment to providing areas for safe cycle parking, changing facilities and Bikeability Scotland cycle training; believes that Hazlehead Academy created a free travel plan for its pupils, highlighting safe cycle routes around the school and that S3 pupils took part in the Go Mountain Bike programme with the support of Adventure Aberdeen; commends Hazlehead Academy staff and pupils for their efforts to increase cycling to and from school, and welcomes the health and environmental benefits that this will bring to those involved.

3 March 2016

Welcoming Aberdeen City Council's plans to build new schools in Tillydrone and Torry, Lewis Macdonald's parliamentary motion also expressed regret that that the previous council administration had closed schools in these same areas, despite overwhelming opposition:

That the Parliament welcomes the decision by Aberdeen City Council to build two new primary schools in Tillydrone and Torry as part of a £130 million education package approved in the 2016-17 budget; regrets the decision by the previous council administration in Aberdeen to close the St Machar and Victoria Road primary schools in these communities in 2008, despite what it considers the overwhelming evidence presented by objectors that Tillydrone and Torry would need more, not less, school capacity in the future, and looks forward to children and families in Tillydrone and Torry benefitting from an improved educational environment as a result of the development of these plans.

1 March 2016

As 'Species Champion' for the curlew, Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion at Holyrood to call for more action to ensure the bird's future in Scotland is protected:

That the Parliament notes with concern that the globally threatened Eurasian curlew has moved up to "red" on the British Birds of Conservation Concern 4 list; understands that it should be considered the UK’s highest conservation priority bird species based on the UK’s global importance for the breeding population and its rapid decline; considers that there is an urgent need to reduce the risk of extinction, and hopes that the Scottish Government will act now to stabilise the breeding population of curlew in Scotland by developing curlew-friendly land management options within agri-environment and rural development schemes.

12 February 2016

In recognition of Aberdeen's Annie Lennox being award the Livingstone Medal for her work on HIV, Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion to add his congratulations:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen-born Annie Lennox on being awarded the Livingstone Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) in recognition of her work in raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; understands that the award also recognises her work as an ambassador for UNAIDS, Oxfam, 46664, Amnesty International and the British Red Cross as well as her role as a special envoy for the Scottish Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; recognises that the medal, which was first awarded in 1901, was endowed by the RSGS's co-founder, Agnes Livingstone-Bruce, in memory of her father, Dr David Livingstone, and commends Annie on her humanitarian work around the world.

10 February 2016

Lewis Macdonald today tabled the following motion, backing calls from offshore trade unions for more information on North Sea job losses:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the Offshore Co-ordinating Group (OCG), established by the offshore unions, UNITE, RMT, GMB, BALPA and Nautilus, with the support of the STUC on 8 February 2016; understands that the OCG will allow unions and their members to work together to tackle issues relating to offshore safety, terms and conditions and job losses; recognises that the OCG has made a series of recommendations to support the industry going forward, including that "workers who have been made redundant or at imminent risk of redundancy must be supported to find skilled employment at similar rates of pay” and that this should “involve properly resourced, targeted retraining opportunities”; recognises that the OCG has also warned that there is “insufficient up-to-date economic and labour market data”, meaning that it is impossible to “paint an accurate picture of the impact the falling oil price has had on the Scottish economy”, and calls on the Scottish Government to urgently publish up-to-date figures on job losses in the Scottish oil and gas industry to allow unions and other agencies to respond appropriately.

To mark the launch of a new Aberdeen FC Community Trust initiative in Garioch, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:

That the Parliament welcomes what it sees as the innovative partnership between Garioch Sports Trust, Inverurie Loco Works FC and the Aberdeen FC Community Trust that has led to the appointment of a new community coach in Inverurie; understands that the partnership aims to increase the quality and quantity of football in the Garioch area, with the development of a full-player pathway; believes that it will encourage participation in wider sporting and community activities; congratulates it on its plans to engage with groups that are traditionally harder to reach; understands that, if this approach is successful, it will be rolled out to further areas, and wishes everyone involved with the project the very best.

9 February 2016

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion to welcome the lau8nch of Aberdeen's SPECTRA festival:

That the Parliament recognises the efforts of Aberdeen City Council and its partners in bringing the SPECTRA urban light festival back to Aberdeen for a third consecutive year with events running from 11 to 14 February 2016; commends the organisers for expanding the SPECTRA festival to four different locations across the city centre this year, Union Terrace Gardens, Marischal College, the Kirk of St Nicholas and Aberdeen’s creative hub, Seventeen, on Belmont Street; understands that SPECTRA will promote Aberdeen’s cultural contribution to Scotland as well as attracting visitors to the north east, and wishes all those involved the best of luck for the events taking place across Aberdeen.

4 February 2016

Congratulations to Aberdeen-born academic Neil Glasser, who has had an Antarctic glacier named after him in recognition of his contribution to polar research:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-born academic, Professor Neil Glasser, on having an Antartctic glacier named after him in recognition of his work as a glaciologist; understands that the Glasser Glacier is located on James Ross Island on the northern Antarctic Peninsula and is almost 5,000 feet long and 1,600 feet wide; notes that Prof Glasser was born in Aberdeen and attended Bankhead Academy before attending Aberystwyth University to study geography and that he is the son of Dr Lesley Glasser, the founder of the Satrosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen; welcomes the honour that has been bestowed “in recognition of research on James Ross Island and wider contributions to Antarctic and polar science", and congratulates Prof Glasser on his achievement.

28 January 2016

Aberdeen Multicultural Centre have organised their third annual Mother Language Day in the city, an occasion recognised in Lewis Macdonald's motion:

That the Parliament notes that Aberdeen Multicultural Centre will be holding its third annual International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2016 at the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Hall; understands that International Mother Language Day has been observed by UN member states since 2000 and marks the day in 1952 when students were killed in Dhaka while demonstrating for recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of Pakistan; congratulates Aberdeen Multicultural Centre on the previous years’ events, which it considers have done much to promote and celebrate the diversity in Aberdeen’s multicultural community through musical performances and traditional food, and looks forward to a successful event in 2016.

21 January 2016

To mark the installation of defibrillators at city centre venues across Aberdeen, Lewis Macdonald has tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the donation by Aberdeen Inspired and the British Heart Foundation of three defibrillators to be installed at city centre locations in Aberdeen; understands that the three locations, Grosvenor G Casino on Exchequer Row and McDonald’s and Soul Bar on Union Street, were chosen for their long opening hours and ease of access in a bid to help those in need of emergency treatment in the city centre; notes that British Heart Foundation figures suggest that 3,500 people in Scotland have an attempted resuscitation after a cardiac arrest outside hospital, but that only 5% of those people survive; understands that Aberdeen Inspired is seeking further city centre locations for defibrillators, and encourages local businesses to consider becoming involved in this potentially life-saving project.

19 January 2016

The Aberdeen schools which have taken part in the council's Green Santa Recycling and Reuse campaign were congratulated in Lewis Macdonald's recent parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament commends the 14 Aberdeen primary schools that took part in the Green Santa Recycling and Reuse campaign, which was run by Aberdeen City Council; understands that, thanks to the campaign, around 200 items of waste electronic and electrical equipment were collected; believes that 40% of these items were deemed suitable for reuse with the rest being recycled to recover valuable components; congratulates Mile End School on collecting the most items and winning a laptop that was donated by the council’s campaign partners, Enscape and Re-Tek, and hopes that, thanks to their involvement, everyone who took part in the campaign will have learned more about the importance of recycling.

Lewis Macdonald has recognised the welcome news that Aberdeen has retained its Purple Flag status for city centre safety in a motion at Holyrood:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen Inspired and its partners, Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland and Unight on being awarded Purple Flag status for the third year running; understands that the Purple Flag award recognises towns and cities that provide a vibrant mix of entertainment, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents; believes that Aberdeen is the only city in Scotland to retain a Purple Flag award thanks to its innovative approach to night time safety, including the Designated Place, run by Alcohol Support Ltd, which offers an alternative to police detention or A&E for those found drunk and incapable on the streets, and commends all those involved in the successful bid to retain Purple Flag status.

18 January 2016

To mark the great news that Stonehaven kidney patients have reached their fundraising target for a new dialysis unit, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion at Holyrood:

That the Parliament welcomes the news that campaigners in Stonehaven have raised the £1 million needed to build a new kidney dialysis unit at the Kincardine Community Hospital; understands that NHS Grampian will now commence work on the project, with construction due to start before the end of 2016, and that the new unit should be completed and commissioned by summer 2017; congratulates all those involved in the fundraising, including the Stonehaven Rotary Club and Grampian Kidney Patients Association, and looks forward to the impact that a new dialysis unit in Stonehaven will have on the quality of life of kidney patients across Kincardine and The Mearns.

14 January 2016

Lewis Macdonald tabled a parliamentary motion to congratulate Luke Robertson from Stonehaven on his polar achievements:

That the Parliament congratulates Stonehaven’s Luke Robertson on becoming the first Scot and the youngest person from the UK to complete a solo, unassisted and unsupported trek to the South Pole after a 39-day journey starting on 5 December 2015; notes that the unassisted journey involved dragging the 130kg of equipment necessary for his expedition across 730 miles of snow and ice in temperatures of about -50C and winds of 100mph, and understands that Mr Robertson was inspired to make the journey after having surgery to remove a suspected brain tumour and that his adventure has so far raised £47,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

16 December 2015

To acknowledge money raised for renewable energy projects in the developing world Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Scottish Renewables on raising £15,000 for renewable energy projects in the developing world; understands that this was raised by a raffle at the recent Scottish Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh and that the cash will be split between two projects, Scotland Lights Up Malawi, and Renewable World; believes that Scotland Lights Up Malawi will use its share to buy solar lamps for Malawian families and that Renewable World will aim to develop and maintain renewable energy systems in underserved communities in Kenya, Nepal and Nicaragua, and commends Scottish Renewables on its decision to raise money for projects in the developing world.

15 December 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion about Aberdeen’s new collaborative initiative against domestic abuse:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of a new initiative, Operation Gains, aimed at tackling domestic abuse in Aberdeen; understands that the scheme will work with victims, families and perpetrators to offer immediate support and assistance, including with housing and substance misuse; notes that domestic abuse peaks over the Christmas and New Year period; welcomes the collaboration among Police Scotland, Aberdeen City Council, Drugs Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Grampian Women’s Aid and Aberdeen Cyrenians in setting up the scheme, the first of its kind in Scotland; acknowledges the support of Aberdeen City Alcohol and Drugs Partnership in funding the scheme, and wishes all those involved a safe and abuse-free Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Lewis Macdonald also tabled the following motion to commend recent funds awarded to CLAN Cancer Support. 

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-based CLAN Cancer Support (CCS) on being awarded £408,274 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities, Supporting 21st Century Life Fund; understands that this will be used to develop and expand its Children and Families Service, which provides support for young people who are diagnosed with cancer or who have a family member affected by the condition, from diagnosis through to bereavement counselling; recognises that, while the service is currently available in Aberdeen, Inverurie and Elgin, the award will allow CCS to extend it to all 12 of its community bases by helping to pay for additional specialist staff; considers the Children and Families Service to be very important, and welcomes its expansion, which, it understands, will be of benefit to 300 young people and their parents and carers in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

5 December 2015

Following the decision by the UK government to cut £1billion of funding for a carbon capture and storage project Lewis Macdonald submitted the following motion:

That the Parliament regrets the cancellation of the competition for development of a pioneering carbon capture and storage project in the UK; believes that the Peterhead project developed by Shell and Scottish and Southern Energy in north east Scotland was well-placed to win that competition and would have given the UK a world-leading position in the development of gas carbon capture and the reuse of depleted oil and gas reservoirs for carbon storage; commends those involved with the Peterhead project on their work and believes that the UK Government has failed to provide any cogent explanation of its decision to withdraw the opportunity to attract capital grant support; calls on the UK Government to lay out its plans and proposals for future development of carbon capture and storage and to confirm that price support through contracts for difference will remain available for future projects; calls on the Scottish Government to outline what help it can provide to future such projects in Scotland, and urges all those involved in oil and gas extraction from the UK Continental Shelf and in power generation in Scotland to continue to seek ways to take forward similar projects in future.

3 December 2015

In recognition of two Aberdeen organisations who won at the National Outdoor Events Association Awards this year Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates Robert Gordon University and Celebrate Aberdeen on their recent successes in the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards; understands that Robert Gordon University students won the Student Event of the Year Award for organising and fundraising for an Old School Sports Day and that the Celebrate Aberdeen parade and surrounding events won the NOEA Scotland Tribute Award in recognition of the partnership between the Aberdeen City Council events team and the volunteers from Celebrate Aberdeen; commends both organisations on their awards, and looks forward to future successful events in Aberdeen.

1 December 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion in Parliament to acknowledge Aberdeen Heat and Power’s win at the VIBES Awards:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen Heat and Power on taking the prize for Environmental Product or Service at the 16th annual Vision in Business for the Environment (VIBES) Awards on 26 November 2015; understands that the VIBES Awards recognise businesses that encourage the efficient use of resources, improve environmental performance and support the wider goals of sustainable development; notes that Aberdeen Heat and Power was established by Aberdeen City Council in 2002 to deliver affordable heat and alleviate fuel poverty; understands that the company now supplies more than 2,000 homes and 15 public buildings in Aberdeen, and wishes Aberdeen Heat and Power every success in its future projects.

30 November 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion in recognition of the Aberdeen-based social enterprise Instant Neighbour achievement at the Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year awards 2015:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-based Instant Neighbour on winning the UK Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year award at the 2015 UK Social Enterprise Awards, which were presented in London on 26 November; understands that these awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievement by social enterprises from across the UK; believes that Instant Neighbour has recycled and redistributed furniture and household items to people on low incomes across the north east for 25 years and that it now helps 10,000 every year; commends its chief executive, Sophy Green, and her staff and volunteers on this achievement, and wishes them every success in the future.

26 November 2015

To mark the start of Aberdeen Violence Against Women Partnership’s 16 Days of Action campaign and the various organisations supporting the campaign Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament recognises that 25 November 2015 saw the start of the 16 Days of Action campaign, which is calling for the elimination of violence against women and girls; notes that the Aberdeen Violence Against Women Partnership has launched a series of events in and around the city to promote this agenda, with the support of other organisations in the city, including Grampian Women’s Aid, Robert Gordon University, Rape and Abuse Support Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council; understands that education sessions in schools and fundraising events have also been organised and the city council plans to project images promoting the campaign onto city centre buildings at night; commends all of the organisations and volunteers taking part, and wishes them a successful 16 Days of Action.

24 November 2015

To mark Brimmond Group’s expansion to a new purpose-built premise in Kintore Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeenshire oil and gas service firm, Brimmond Group, on its move to new purpose-built premises in Kintore; understands that this is the firm's third expansion to date and that it employs a highly-skilled workforce, many of whom have come through the modern apprenticeship scheme; believes that the company is of the view that this expansion leaves it better-placed to deal with the current testing conditions in the marketplace for oil and gas service companies, and looks forward to what it hopes will be the continued success of this Aberdeenshire company.

19 November 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion in order to recognise the success of those from the North East of Scotland at the 2015 Scottish Pharmacy Awards:

That the Parliament recognises that five of the 10 awards presented at the 2015 Scottish Pharmacy Awards, which were held on 11 November, were won by representatives from the north east; congratulates the winners from NHS Grampian and Robert Gordon University; notes that Dr Caroline Hind, who is the NHS board’s deputy director of pharmacy and medicines management, won the Innovations in Prescribing, Quality and Efficiency in Scotland award, Eileen Howitt, the principal pharmacist at Royal Cornhill Hospital, was presented with the Hospital Pharmacy Team of the Year prize; Sandra Robertson, of Lloyds Pharmacy in Macduff, and Macduff Medical Practice won the award for Partnership Working, Christine Filion-Murphy, who is a student at the university, was presented with the Student Leadership Award and commends Professor Donald Cairns of the university on receiving the Special Recognition Award to mark his years of service to pharmacy in Scotland, and understands that this is the first time in the 13-year history of the awards that so many have been handed out to one region

13 November 2015

To mark Aberdeen’s hydrogen production and refuelling station 1000th refuel Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament congratulates the UK's first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station, which is based in Aberdeen, on having reached a major milestone, its 1,000th refuel; understands that the Kittybrewster depot provides fuel for Europe's largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses, running on the streets of Aberdeen; recognises that the refuelling station is owned and operated by BOC, a member of the Linde Group, and has been delivered as part of the Aberdeen City Council-led £19 million green transport demonstration project, which is testing the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies, and believes that the success so far of the hydrogen bus project bodes well for the future of green transport not only in Aberdeen but throughout Scotland and the wider UK.

11 November 2015

In recognition of the efforts of a group of Aberdeen based ministers to raise funds for rural congregations in Malawi Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament recognises the efforts by a group of Aberdeen-based Church of Scotland ministers to raise money for rural congregations in Blantyre, Malawi, by taking part in the Aberdeen to Malawi Bikeathon; understands that the ministers, the Rev Dr Robert Smith of Rubislaw Church, Rev Dr John Ferguson of Peterculter Church, Rev Markus Auffermann from Woodside Church, Rev Sarah Nichol of Midstocket Church, Rev Elsie Fortune from St Mary's Church, Rev Duncan Eddie of Holburn West Church and Rev Peter Johnston from Ferryhill Church, will take to their exercise and road bikes in the city, along with members of their congregations, to cycle the equivalent 12,000 miles distance from Aberdeen to Blantyre; believes that, through a twinning programme run by the church's World Mission Council, each congregation has a special connection with a congregation in Malawi, and wishes all of the ministers, and their congregations, the best of luck in raising money for communities in Malawi.

5 November 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to congratulate police officers and staff in the Aberdeen who received awards at the Local Recognition Awards 2015:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen City Division police officers and staff who were named winners in the Local Recognition Awards 2015; understands that the awards were judged by a panel of representatives from local business, Aberdeen City Council and Police Scotland’s Aberdeen Division Command Team; recognises that Sergeant Andrew Brown received the award for Teamwork, that the Aberdeen Proactive Team won the Department award, that PC Daniel Vardy was named Outstanding Performer, that the Making a Difference award was won by the Northfield Community Policing Team, that dog handlers PC George Shearer and PC Rob Diver won the Above and Beyond award and that Anne Bowie, a clerical officer, received the award for Continuous Endeavour; congratulates all the winners on their success, and recognises the commitment and hard work of all police officers and staff working under the leadership of Chief Superintendent Adrian Watson in the Aberdeen City Division.

After a successful Aberdeen Golden Games’ Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the organisers of the Aberdeen Golden Games on it winning the Healthier Lifestyle award at the Scottish Health Awards 2015; understands that the event is a free festival of sports and activities for people over 65, which is held at sports venues across the city, including Pittodrie stadium, Transition Extreme, Union Terrace Gardens and a number of council facilities; notes that the 2015 event, which was held in June, included over 30 different activities, including pilates, seated zumba, outdoor and indoor bowls and walking football; recognises that the Golden Games is a result of a partnership between Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen Sports Village, Sport Aberdeen and the Aberdeen FC Community Trust, and congratulates all involved with the event's success.

To mark HMS Diamond’s remembrance weekend visit to Aberdeen Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the visit of HMS Diamond to her home city of Aberdeen for Remembrance Sunday; recognises that this will be the first visit for the Scottish-built Type 45 destroyer to its affiliated port in almost four years; recognises that the vessel will welcome the Lord Provost of Aberdeen on board before opening to members of the public; welcomes the involvement of members of HMS Diamond’s crew in leading a parade through Aberdeen’s streets on Remembrance Sunday, and looks forward to many future visits of this kind in years to come

3 November 2015

Following the recent announcement that Aberdeen will host the European Junior Swimming Championships in 2020 Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aquatics Centre at Aberdeen Sports Village on being chosen as the host of the European Junior Swimming Championships in 2020; believes that swimmers and divers between the ages of 15 and 18 from across Europe will take part in the competition, the first time that an international swimming event has been held in Aberdeen; notes that the Aquatics Centre, which opened in 2014, can host 630 spectators for swimming and diving events, and looks forward to competitors and supporters from across Europe enjoying a successful competition in Aberdeen in five years' time.

28 October 2015

In recognition of the Aberdeen-based veterans who received France’s highest honour, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen-based veterans, Alastair Cormack, James Duffus and Robert Lerche, on being awarded France’s highest honour, the Legion d'Honneur, in recognition of the role that they played in liberating the country at the end of World War Two; notes that they received the award from the French consul general in Scotland, Emmanuel Cocher, at a civic reception that was held in the city for them and their families; understands that Mr Cormack served as a sergeant in the RAF and was in charge of defending airfields in Normandy, Mr Duffus was a Royal Artillery gunner who was involved in the Battle of Caen and helped liberate the towns of Lisieux and St Valery, and that Mr Lerche was a lance bombardier in the Royal Artillery who landed at Sword beach in 1944 before ending his war service in Hamburg; thanks these men and all of the other veterans on their efforts to liberate Europe during the war, and commends all three on this latest recognition of their service.

27 October 2015

Following the recent announcement regarding upgrades to Roxburghe House Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion: 

That the Parliament welcomes the news that Roxburghe House, NHS Grampian’s specialist palliative care unit, is to receive a major upgrade in a project worth £720,000; recognises that £265,000 of this will be provided by Friends of Roxburghe House, £233,000 by the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund and £230,000 from Macmillan Cancer Support; believes that the project will include the building of a new day room and upgrades to patients’ bathrooms, as well as improvements to the main reception area; notes that Roxburghe House supports terminally ill patients and their families from across the NHS Grampian region, as well as people from as well as people from Orkney, Shetland and across the north of Scotland, and hopes that the upgrades to the building will allow staff to provide an improved palliative care service to everyone who needs it.

19 October 2015

In recognition of recent events, organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council and the International Brigade Memorial Trust, Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion commemorating those North East men and women who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) on hosting the International Brigade Memorial Trust’s (IBMT) annual event to commemorate the role played by British volunteers during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s; notes that a series of events were held in the city from 16 to 18 October 2015, which included a civic reception with the Lord Provost, a social evening of film, music and poetry in the Town House and a march along Union Street; recognises that the ATUC and the IBMT unveiled plaques to mark the contribution made by two Aberdonians in the International Brigades, John Londragan and Bob Cooney; further recognises that 19 men from the north east joined the brigades, five of whom gave their lives during the conflict, and commends the IBMT and the trade unions from across the UK in their efforts to keep alive the memory and spirit of all of the men and women who volunteered and joined the International Brigades to defend democracy and fight fascism in Spain from 1936 to 1939.

12 October 2015

To mark the opening of the new St Nicholas Centre rooftop garden, Lewis Macdonald has tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates everyone involved in the revamp of the St Nicholas Centre rooftop garden in Aberdeen, enhancing the area to encourage people, especially families, to use the space more frequently; recognises the work done by Aberdeen Inspired in securing nearly £200,000 of funding for the regeneration project; notes the contribution of the local charity, Aberdeen Forward, in funding a children's play area, which is now the focal point of the space, and commends various organisations and businesses in the area, including Greenspace Scotland, Atkins, Creative Core, the Bon Accord and St Nicholas shopping centres and Aberdeen City Council for their contributions to the project; congratulates William Stewart, primary four pupil at Glashieburn Primary School, for his success in a competition to choose a name for the children's play area, The Silver City Playground, and looks forward to the attraction celebrating further success in years to come.

7 October 2015

Lewis Macdonald secured a Members' Business debate today on the campaign to build a renal dialysis unit at Kincardine Community Hospital, Stonehaven. With patients and staff watching from the public gallery, Mr Macdonald congratulated fundraisers on their efforts so far, and called on the authorities to do all they can to ensure work starts promptly on the new facility. The whole debate can be seen here.

6 October 2015

Today's debate on Empowering Scotland's Island Communities dealt with the particular needs of some of Scotland's most remote settlements. Having been born on the Isle of Lewis, and having spent his early childhood in Stornoway, Lewis Macdonald was keen to use his recollections of island life to argue for protection for CalMac ferry routes. The whole debate can be seen here.

30 September 2015

Speaking in today's Scottish Labour debate on employment, Lewis Macdonald focused on the impact of the oil and gas crisis on North East jobs. Watch the debate here.

24 September 2015

Lewis Macdonald spoke in today's Members' Business debate on unfair delivery charges. Although more usually a problem for those living in the Highlands and Islands, residents of rural areas of the North East and even Aberdeen city itself have been the victims of these unfair practices. You can read the text of the debate here.

17 September 2015

Speaking in today's debate on Renewable Energy, Lewis Macdonald highlighted successful projects in the North East, such as the Udny Community Wind Turbine and Aberdeen City Council's Combined Heat and Power, and called for more support for the industry. The who debate can be seen here.

Lewis Macdonald tabled a parliamentary motion to congratulate Silver City Surfers volunteer Graham Castle on winning a Digital Hero award:

That the Parliament congratulates Graham Castle from Aberdeen on being named a Silver Surfer Digital Hero in the TalkTalk Digital Hero Awards 2015; notes that Graham, who works with the Silver City Surfers in Aberdeen and the north east, gives monthly talks to older people on the benefits of applications such as Facebook, email and FaceTime; understands that these talks aim to help the members of the Silver City Surfers maintain contact with friends and family and help reduce isolation among older people; commends Graham on this recognition, which will also see the Silver City Surfers awarded £5,000, and wishes him the best of luck in the contest to be chosen as the overall TalkTalk Digital Champion for 2015.

16 September 2015

During today's Justice Questions, Lewis Macdonald asked how much additional resource the Scottish Government intends to spend at the 101 non-emergency service centre and the 999 control room in Aberdeen. The interim report into call handling by HMICS called for recruitment at the two North East facilities to be recommenced, and for closure to be delayed until replacement centres at Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh are fully-staffed and fully operational. Question and answer can be seen here.

Closing for Scottish Labour in today's debate on Scotland's Future, Democracy and Devolution, Lewis Macdonald called for "double devolution" - from Westminster to Holyrood, and from the Scottish Parliament to local government. Watch the whole debate here.

15 September 2015

Scottish Labour has been calling for a Ministerial statement on the oil and gas industry for some time, and today the Scottish Government finally agreed to outline their planned response to the crisis. Speaking for Scottish Labour, Lewis Macdonald called for a full assessment of the number of job losses in the North East, as well as action to protect business throughout the supply chain who have been affected by the industry downturn. The statement and questions can be seen here.

11 September 2015

Following the local response to the refugee crisis, Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion congratulating Aberdeen Solidarity with Refugees on their efforts to collect clothing and other essentials for those in camps across Europe:

That the Parliament congratulates the citizens of Aberdeen and North East Scotland on what it considers their humanity and solidarity in raising money and donating items for refugees in Calais; congratulates Aberdeen Solidarity with Refugees, which is a grassroots organisation with many volunteers that is coordinated by Nigel Martin Lammas, Steven Bothwell, Shelley Milne and Iain Richardson, on, it understands, raising over £3,000 and collecting thousands of donations since it was formed on 31 August 2015; believes that part of this money has been put toward the cost of hiring a 40-foot lorry to transport some of the donated clothes, toiletries, shoes and tents from the city to Calais; commends various charities and businesses in the area, including the Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts, Six Degrees North and the Arts Centre and Theatre Aberdeen, on allowing their premises to be used for the collection and sorting of donations, and wishes the volunteers and fundraisers every continued success in their efforts to support the refugees.

Lewis Macdonald also tabled a motion in recognition of local successes in the recent Keep Scotland Beautiful awards:

That the Parliament recognises the success of Aberdeen projects in the Keep Scotland Beautiful awards, which were announced on 10 September 2015; congratulates in particular Aberdeen City Council and the Friends of Seaton Park on being awarded The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Trophy; notes that the judges described the park as “one of the jewels within Aberdeen’s parks portfolio” and recognised the members of Friends of Seaton Park on their dedication to improving the area; commends the other winners from the city; notes that Aberdeen Inspired was the overall winner in the BID category, Aberdeen City Council won the city category for its project, Growing Smarter, and the judges awarded prizes to the Powis Residents Group, Cove in Bloom, Dyce in Bloom and Culter in Bloom, and thanks the volunteers in all these projects on what it sees as their hard work in improving parks and green spaces in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

10 September 2015

Lewis Macdonald opened today's debate on Internationalising Scottish Business, having taken part in the comprehensive evidence sessions as a member of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. You can watch the whole debate here.

3 September 2015

Following today's Ministerial Statement on Policing, Lewis Macdonald raised concerns about plans to close the 101 non-emergency service centre at Bucksburn police station, along with the 999 control room at Queen Street, Aberdeen. The loss of these facilities will have an impact on the ability of officers and staff to provide local policing services. You can read the text of the statement and questions here.

2 September 2015

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion congratulating the Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network on its recent award from the Big Lottery Fund:

That the Parliament congratulates everyone at the Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network on it being awarded £366,470 by the Big Lottery Fund; understands that it will use this to improve the lives of older people with dementia in Kincardine and Mearns; believes that the network carries out a crucial role in improving the lives of older people; commends what it sees as the important positive influence of its plans to expand its activities; believes that this funding will make a significant contribution toward the setting up of a dementia carers' group, and looks forward to the network celebrating further success.

26 August 2015

Transition Extreme is celebrating its tenth anniversary, having spent the last decade offering support to vulnerable young people as well as a place for children and adults to have fun. To mark the occasion, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates everyone at the Aberdeen-based Transition Extreme on its 10th anniversary; notes that the events to celebrate this milestone include a charity abseil at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and a dinner, at which Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be the guest speaker; recognises that, in its 10 years of operation, Transition Extreme has welcomed nearly one million visitors through its doors to take part in activities that include skateboarding, biking and rock climbing; commends what it sees as its important work as a social enterprise, with more than 180 vulnerable young people graduating from its Alternative Academy; recognises the success enjoyed by the graduates, including those who have gone on to become staff members at the centre, and looks forward to Transition Extreme continuing and expanding its work in North East Scotland.

21 August 2015

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion congratulating the Lord Provost of Aberdeen on the city's involvement in the UN's Green Legacy Hiroshima Project:

That the Parliament welcomes Aberdeen’s involvement in the UN's Green Legacy Hiroshima Project; notes that Mayors for Peace, which is an organisation based in Hiroshima, gave the Lord Provost of Aberdeen seeds from a 250-year-old gingko tree that stands in the Shukkei-en Garden, close to the epicentre of the 1945 blast; commends the efforts of gardeners at the city’s Duthie Park to germinate the seeds, which will now be planted at parks throughout Aberdeen, and recognises the importance of Aberdeen’s links with Japan in the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

19 August 2015

Having visited the successful Dolphinwatch attraction at Torry Battery, Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion congratulating the RSPB on their record-breaking visitor numbers this summer:

That the Parliament congratulates RSPB Scotland on the success of the 2015 Dolphinwatch at Torry Battery in Aberdeen; recognises that this is the third year that RSPB Scotland has run the attraction and that visitor numbers trebled on the previous summer, from 1,668 to 5,038; understands that visitors saw dolphins on 95% of the days that Dolphinwatch was operating, as well as a variety of seabirds, seals and otters; commends RSPB Scotland on its initiative in showcasing what it sees as the best that the north east has to offer in wildlife tourism, and looks forward to similar success in summer 2016 and for many more years to come.

23 June 2015

Following the announcement that the UK Government is to end the Renewables Obligation Scheme a year earlier than expected, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to call for further support the renewable energy industry to protect jobs and investment in Sciotland:

That the Parliament condemns the decision by the UK Government to end the Renewables Obligation Certificates scheme for onshore wind power a year earlier than planned, cutting off much-needed financial support to onshore windfarms currently in development or planned for the future; considers that the loss of this financial support will cut investment and confidence in the onshore wind sector as well as the wider renewables industry as a whole; acknowledges the view of Scottish Renewables that over 5,000 jobs in Scotland are dependent on onshore wind and that many of these jobs will be at risk without financial backing for projects; believes that the Scottish Government needs to take action to protect jobs, skills and local communities that benefit from the development of onshore wind; notes the need for increased support for other low-carbon technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), wave and tidal power; considers that both the Scottish Government and the UK Government will need to redouble their efforts in order to meet climate change targets, and looks forward to the Scottish Government reporting to the Parliament on the implications for jobs, skills, investor confidence, local communities and the cost to the consumer at the earliest opportunity.

18 June 2015

As a member of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Lewis Macdonald closed for Scottish Labour today in the Stage 3 debate on the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill. The passing of this legislation means that 16 and 17-year-olds are now able to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections and Lewis Macdonald's speech is available to watch here.

16 June 2015

Speaking in today's debate on Marine Tourism, Lewis Macdonald highlighted the importance of environmental standards to growing eco-tourism, as well as highlighting success stories in the North East. The debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

15 June 2015

Today saw the launch of the Crombie Club community cinema at St Georges Tillydrone, and to celebrate Lewis Macdonald tabled the folowing Parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament congratulates St George’s Tillydrone Church in Aberdeen on creating the Crombie Club community cinema programme for all sections of the Tillydrone community; welcomes the new facility and the opportunities to develop citizenship through volunteering; understands that Community Food Initiatives North East under its FareShare franchise, Riverbank Primary School and St Machar Academy are supporters of the scheme; acknowledges the important funding support from Comic Relief through Foundation Scotland and the Fairer Aberdeen Fund in this regeneration area of Aberdeen; congratulates the board of St George’s Tillydrone Church on its efforts to develop and launch the community cinema programme in time for the schools’ summer break, and wishes the programme every success in the future.

12 June 2015

Lewis Macdonald today tabled a motion celebrating International Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, and the work done by Pastor Howard Drysdale and his team at the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre:

That the Parliament recognises that 25 June 2015 is International Day of the Seafarer; believes that this is an opportunity to pay tribute to seafarers from around the globe for their hard work and their contribution to the world economy; understands that the first such international day was held by the International Maritime Organization in 2011 and that the event is now included in the annual list of UN observances; recognises that the 2015 day focuses on maritime education and the different careers that are available to seafarers; welcomes the involvement of the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre in this year’s event through an Open Day at its Market Street building, and recognises the dedication of Pastor Howard Drysdale, his staff and volunteers, in supporting seafarers from around the world who find themselves in Aberdeen as part of their work at sea.

11 June 2015

Following the news that the UK Government has sold half its Royal Mail shares - around 15% of the company - to institutional investors without any public consultation, Lewis tabled the following Scottish Parliament motion:

That the Parliament condemns the decision by the UK Government to sell half of its remaining shares in Royal Mail to institutional investors, which, it believes, amounts to 15% of the company; understands that this action was taken without any public or parliamentary consultation and with no opportunity for staff of Royal Mail to buy the shares; considers that this poses a real threat to the continuation of daily delivery services and the universal service obligation in Scotland and across the UK, and commends the Communication Workers Union on its efforts to protect Royal Mail deliveries and the terms and conditions of its members.

Lewis also tabled the following motion celebrating a new exhibition about the life of Thomas Blake Glover which was recently opened at Aberdeen Maritime Museum:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum of a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life of Thomas Blake Glover, alongside the publication of a booklet about his career in Japan and the creation of a Glover Trail to highlight his connections across the north east; welcomes the attendance of Japan’s Deputy Consul General, Mrs Rumiko Ishigami, at the opening of the new exhibition by the Lord Provost of the City of Aberdeen; recognises what it considers the huge importance of Thomas Blake Glover in the development of the Japanese economy in the 19th century, including his role in the creation of the Mitsubishi corporation, and welcomes the interest taken by increasing numbers of Japanese visitors in Glover’s origins in Aberdeen and the north east.

10 June 2015

During this afternooon's Scottish Labour debate on Health, Lewis Macdonald warned that NHS Grampian continues to face under-funding. He also called for the full publication of an RCS report into general surgery at the ARI, saying that patients and staff in Grampian deserve to know the truth about their health services. You can watch the debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

9 June 2015

Speaking in today's Members' Business debate to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, Lewis Macdonald spoke about the importance of public bodies across the North East developing Gaelic Language Plans. He also warned that many pupils were finding it difficult to study Gaelic alongside modern languages within the current system. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38

2 June 2015

Lewis tabled a motion today in support of campaigners raising money for a new kidney dialysis unit in Stonehaven, with the hope of securing a Members' Business on the subject later in the year:

That the Parliament commends the efforts of campaigners in Stonehaven and across the north east to raise funds to build a new renal dialysis unit at the Kincardine Community Hospital; understands that patients living south of Aberdeen often have to travel long distances as well as spending all day in the renal dialysis unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and that a new facility in Stonehaven would make it easier for such patients to receive treatment; notes that the cost of starting up the Stonehaven Dialysis Unit, including equipment for a six-bed ward, is estimated at around £800,000; congratulates the efforts of all the local fundraisers, including the Stonehaven Rotary Club and Grampian Kidney Patient Association, and looks forward to the opening of the Stonehaven Dialysis Unit in the near future.

28 May 2015

Lewis Macdonald spoke in today's Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill. Highlighting the valuable contribution made by young people during the referendum campaign - when 16 and 17-year-olds were allowed to vote for the first time - Mr Macdonald and Scottish Labour fully endorsed the general principles of the legislation. You can see the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

21 May 2015

Closing for Scottish Labour in today's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee debate on the Smith Agreement and the UK Government clauses, Lewis Macdonald highlighted the areas of concern, and emphasised that a Scottish Labour Government would continue to push for further devolution in areas such as welfare. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36 

19 May 2015

Lewis Macdonald and colleagues from the Scottish Parliament's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee travelled to London today to meet the new Secretary of State for Scotland. The Smith Agreement and the UK Government clauses, as well as the publication of the new Scotland Bill at the end of May, were all on the agenda.

12 May 2015

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to thank North East firefighters who had volunteered to assist with rescue operations in the area:

North East Firefighters Return from Nepal

That the Parliament recognises the bravery and dedication of four north east firefighters who have returned home from Nepal, where they volunteered to help the victims of the earthquake of 25 April 2015; commends Gary Carroll, John Aitchison, Martin Vardy and Martyn Ferguson on their efforts, with Mr Carroll’s search dog, Diesel, to locate survivors and victims of the earthquake and welcomes them home to the north east; notes that Nepal was affected by a second major earthquake on 12 May and that many areas will require further financial and logistical support to respond to the immediate emergency and, in the longer term, to ensure the safety of the population and to complete vital reconstruction projects; looks forward to further efforts by other emergency service workers and volunteers from Scotland, with support from their employers and the Scottish Government, to assist the people of Nepal, and offers its condolences and support to all those affected by these disastrous events.

29 April 2015

Lewis Macdonald spoke in today's Members' Business debate to mark MS Week. As a member of the Cross Party Group on MS, Lewis has worked closely with North East activists and organisations to support people living with MS, and he highlighted the work of local charities such as the MS Society in Aberdeen and Sue Ryder Care in his speech. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38&page=2&sort=date

28 April 2015

Speaking in today's debate on Future Employability Services, Lewis Macdonald highlighted the support needed for those in the North East facing redundancy and job insecurity as a result of the oil crisis. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&page=2&sort=date

24 April 2015

Lewis Macdonald today tabled the following motion to mark the retirement of Debbie Thomson as chief executive of CLAN Cancer Support:

Thanks to Debbie Thomson of CLAN Cancer Support

That the Parliament notes that the CLAN Cancer Support chief executive, Debbie Thomson, is to step down from her role in July 2015; considers that she has made an invaluable contribution to the organisation during her 14 years working with the north east charity and that, during her time in charge, CLAN has expanded its reach throughout Aberdeenshire and into Moray, Orkney and Shetland and has increased its staff from a team of five to over 60 employees; congratulates Debbie on her achievements while working with CLAN Cancer Support, including the opening of the purpose-built support centre, Clan House in Aberdeen, and wishes her all the best for the future.

1 April 2015

Lewis Macdonald closed for Scottish Labour in today's debate on the Scottish economy, calling for the Scottish Government o be honest about its plans for full fiscal autnomy and the implications this would have for Scotland. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&page=2&sort=date

31 March 2015

During today's Topical Questions, Lewis Macdonald raised the issue of funding and budget cuts at the University of Aberdeen, paricularly the Global Excellence Initiative which had helped to fund many of the university's top researchers. You can watch the question and answer here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=35

25 March 2015

Lewis Macdonald led the questions for Labour following today's Ministerial Statement on Scotland's Energy Future - Achieving Security of Supply and a Balanced Energy Mix. The statement came in response to the announcement that Longannet power station is to close next year, and Lewis focused on the imapct this closure would have on the Fife economy, and those whose jobs are now at risk.

Later, closing Scottish Labour's debate on Supporting Scotland's Economy, Lewis warned of the dangers of full fiscal autnomy and the impact it would have on public spending and public services. You can watch the Ministerial Statement and supplementary questions here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_1dx685q6  and the debate on Scotland's economy here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_pefy9q1a

19 March 2015

Lewis Macdonald has tabled the following parliamentary motion wlecoming the news that STV has been awarded the licence for an Aberdeen television station:

Ofcom Licence for Aberdeen TV Station

That the Parliament welcomes the news that Ofcom announced on 19 March 2015 that it is awarding STV a licence to deliver a local television service for Aberdeen; notes that the new service will be delivered in partnership with Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College, providing media studies students with the opportunity to experience a live TV environment; understands that the STV city channels in Glasgow and Edinburgh have already created over 50 jobs, and welcomes the prospect of further employment opportunities being created by the award of new licences today in Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee.

16 March 2015

As part of his work with the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Lewis Macdonald visited Shetland with MSP colleagues, in order to meet with local business and young people who voted for the first time in last year's referendum. A town hall event was held for the general public to give their views on the Smith Commission and the devolution of further powers to Scotland.

12 March 2015

Welcoming the news that the UK's first hydrogen refuelling station has opened in Aberdeen, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the opening of the UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station to support the £19 million Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project; understands that the station, which is located in the Kittybrewster area of Aberdeen, will fuel Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet of 10 vehicles operated by Stagecoach and First Bus Aberdeen; believes that the refuelling station is part of a wider range of Aberdeen City Council projects designed to create a hydrogen economy in the city and to test the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies, and welcomes the introduction of these buses, which will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, to the streets of Aberdeen.

11 March 2015

During Portfolio Questions, Lewis Macdonald asked about Scottish Government support for the Aberdeen City Deal bid. He emphasised the importance of transport links, and the urgent need for action to improve the East Coast Mainline at Montrose. You can watchthe whole question and answer session here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39

Closing for Labour in this afternoon's debate on the Scottish Economy, Lewis Macdonald warned against the policy of fiscal autonomy and the scrapping of the Barnett Formula. Watch today's debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

10 March 2015

Lewis Macdonald opened for Scottish Labour in today's debate on "Action Needed to Support the Oil and Gas Sector", again raising the prospect of a resilience fund to support communities throughout Scotland during times of economic difficulties, and proposing public sector involvement to extend the lifespan of ageing oilfields. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

6 March 2015

Following the news that Tony Dawson is to step down as Chair of the Friends of Duthie Park, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion to thank him for for his contribution to the successful restoration of the park:

That the Parliament congratulates Tony Dawson on his seven years of service at the helm of the voluntary group, Friends of Duthie Park, and his 10 years as the director of the Aberdeen-based cancer charity, UCAN; notes that he oversaw the multi-million pound restoration of the park, which saw it win numerous awards, including the Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Play and two Civic Society awards in recognition both of the craftsmanship of the restoration and the overall project, and that, in this time, the park has seen visitor numbers break through the one million barrier two years running; recognises that Tony has been appointed as Honorary President of the Friends of Duthie Park, and wishes him well in his retirement.

5 March 2015

Commending the performance of Aberdeen-born Kyle Coetzer in the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion following his record-breaking innings against Bangladesh:

That the Parliament congratulates Kyle Coetzer from Aberdeen on his score of 156 for the Scotland cricket team in its World Cup defeat against Bangladesh at the Saxton Oval in Nelson, New Zealand on 5 March 2015; notes that his innings, which included 17 fours and four sixes, was both the highest score by a Scotland player in a one-day international and the highest by a batsman from an associate nation in the tournament's history; recognises that Kyle's batting performance contributed to a final score of 318-8, Scotland’s highest at any World Cup, and wishes him, and the rest of the team, the best of luck for their final matches, which will be against Australia and Sri Lanka.

4 March 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion welcoming the launch of a new service by Sue Ryder for people with MS living in Aberdeen and the North East:

That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the 5Rs programme, which is a service for people in Aberdeen with multiple sclerosis (MS) that is being run by the Sue Ryder charity at Dee View Court; understands that the new scheme, which focuses on relaxation, rebuilding, re-energising, reintegrating and regenerating, is a 10-week course that will allow people to take part in yoga and art therapy classes, have practical sessions on preventing fatigue and talk openly about the condition; welcomes the funding from the Big Lottery Fund that has made the launch of the 5Rs programme possible; understands that MS is a particular problem in Aberdeen and North East Scotland, and commends the staff at Sue Ryder, the MS Society and the many others across the public and voluntary sectors on the work that they do to improve the lives of people with MS.

3 March 2015

Speaking in today's Members' Business debate on the legacy of Mary Slessor, the Aberdeen-born missionary who worked in Nigeria for 40 years, Lewis Macdonald called on NHS Grampian to consider naming its new women's hospital in honour of this remarkable Aberdonian. Watch the debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38 

26 February 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion to mark Scottish Tourism Week, and the North East businesses which have been recognised in this year's VisitScotland Scottish Thistle Awards:

That the Parliament notes that Scottish Tourism Week 2015 begins on 3 March; congratulates the Scottish Tourism Alliance on organising the week and the programme of events that it has arranged, including VisitScotland’s annual Scottish Thistle Awards, which reward excellence in the tourism industry; recognises that two north east businesses, Hornblowers restaurant in Gourdon and Cheers café in Fraserburgh, have reached the final of the awards; notes that, in 2015, participants are being invited to contribute to a "word cloud", which will be launched during the week, by tweeting one word that describes Scotland to them by using the hashtag, #onewordscotland, and believes that Scottish Tourism Week 2015 is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the tourist industry in the north east and to promote Scotland to businesses and potential visitors.

25 February 2015

During today's Conservative Party debate on energy strategy, Lewis Macdonald called on the Scottish Government to engage with workers at the Longannet coal-fired power station, and the local communities in West Fife, to prepare for any future changes at the facility. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

24 February 2015

Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion today to mark the publication of the Oil & Gas UK Activity Report 2015, which demonstrated the size of the current problems facing the industry. The motion called for "operators to work with contractors, the supply chain, trade unions, the Oil and Gas Authority and other public agencies to identify ways of reducing operating expenditure through improving efficiency and collaboration while maintaining current employment and safety standards".

Later, leading for Scottish Labour in the Stage 3 debate on the Legal Writings (Scotland) Bill, Lewis Macdonald welcomed the changes in the legisaltion that will allow Scottish businesses to keep up with current technoligal developments. You can watch the debate in its entirety here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36

19 February 2015

Lewis Macdonald used today's General Questions session to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Justice about the proposed merger between the Aberdeenshire and Moray and Aberdeen Divisions of Police Scotland, emphasising the damage that has been done to local acccess to justice in the North East in the last year. Unfortunately, no reassurances were forthcoming for local communities. The whole of General Questions can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=37 

18 February 2015

Speaking in a Members' Business debate on the state of the wave energy industry in Scotland, Lewis Macdonald called on the Scottish Government to lay out the budget and business plan for its new organisation, Wave Energy Scotland, as soon as possible. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38

11 February 2015

Supported by offshore unions including Unite and RMT, Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion on the state of the offshore oil and gas industry for a Member's Business debate:

That the Parliament notes the severity of the downturn in the UK offshore oil industry resulting from the slump in oil prices; believes that short-term responses such as delay or cancellation of long-term projects, laying off workers, extending working hours, accelerating cost-cutting recruitment practices or changing terms and conditions without consultation will fail to mitigate the impact on workers or the wider economy; further believes that reducing essential maintenance work would jeopardise infrastructure integrity and capacity, tens of thousands of jobs, including in the north east, essential skills and future tax revenues from this vital sector; believes that oil industry trade unions have a key role to play in government/industry initiatives, such as the Energy Jobs Taskforce, in ensuring that the views and interests of those working in the industry are taken fully into account, and notes calls for government at every level to work closely with  employers, regulators, trade unions and elected representatives to support measures that preserve the sustainability of operations, jobs, skills and investment, as well as a robust safety regime in the North Sea.

4 February 2015

Closing for Scottish Labour in the Stage 3 debate on the Scottish Budget today, Lewis Macdonald called on the Scottish Government to increase NHS funding, support councils to maintain teacher numbers and to ensure that everything possible was being done to prevent job losses in the North East due to the crisis in the oil and gas industry. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_yjztgqyv

29 January 2015

Following yesterday's Ministerial Statement on Unconventional Oil and Gas, Lewis Macdonald tabled a motion calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that no fracking projects can go ahead without a local referendum:

That the Parliament notes that the Scottish Government has announced that planning consents will not be granted for unconventional gas and oil developments until such time as work has been completed on planning, environmental regulation, health impact assessment and public consultation, and believes that, in addition, onshore fracking should not happen until lessons have been learned from the rest of the UK, that there should be a comprehensive review of the baseline conditions before any planning application is granted and that a local referendum should be held before any final planning approval is given.

28 January 2015

Lewis Macdonald led the questions for Scottish Labour following a statement on unconventional gas or fracking. He called for the Scottish Government to back Labour's recently-announced policy that no fracking would take place until the safety and environmental case had been made, and that even then it would only be permitted after a local referendum. Ministers instead continued with their plans for a moratorium of an unspecified length while further investigations were carried out by Government agencies. Watch the Ministerial Statement and Lewis' question here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69

27 January 2015

During today's Ministerial Statement on the Smith Commission, Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to question Ministers on whether they would use new powers to investigate unfair surcharges on deliveries to North East and Highland Scotland. Later, Lewis closed for Scottish Labour in the debate on redundancy support, arguing that pre-emptive action to prevent job losses in the oil and gas industry is just as important as providing help for those who have lost their jobs during the recent downturn. The Ministerial Statement can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69 while the debate on redundancy support can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&page=2&sort=date

21 January 2015

Closing the Stage 1 Budget debate for Scottish Labour, Lewis Macdonald highlighted the recent fiscal policy announcements by the party, including the mansion tax, the proceeds of which would pay for 1000 extra nurses in Scotland, and the creation of a Scottish OBR, as well as recent calls for an NHS frontline fund and a resilience fund for communities affected by economic difficulties. Watch the whole Scottish Budget debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&page=2&sort=date

13 January 2015

Following the news that the UK Government has accepted Labour's amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, which will devolve controls on fracking to the Scottish Parliament ahead of schedule, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion at Holyrood:

That the Parliament welcomes what it considers the belated decision by the UK Government to accept Labour proposals to amend the Infrastructure Bill to devolve to the Scottish Parliament mineral access rights in relation to shale gas; recognises that the Labour amendments to the Infrastructure Bill, which have been accepted by the UK Government, mean that powers on licensing onshore oil and gas exploration included in the Smith Agreement will now be devolved earlier than expected; commends Labour’s initiative in ensuring that these powers will be devolved prior to the general election in May 2015, and looks forward to an early statement from the Scottish Government on how it intends to use these new powers. 

9 January 2015

Following the news that Duthie Park broke welcomed a record 1.2 million visitors in 2014, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following motion congratulating Aberdeen City Council and the Friends of Duthie Park on their success:

That the Parliament congratulates everyone at Duthie Park on it welcoming a record 1.2 million visitors in 2014 following a £5.2 million restoration project that was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeen City Council; notes what it sees as the outstanding contribution made by the Friends of Duthie Park in developing community gardens and an events green and the hard work put in by volunteers and Aberdeen City Council staff to maintain and improve the historic park; considers that the collaboration between Aberdeen City Council and the Friends of Duthie Park has played a crucial role in the success of the restoration, and is encouraged by the future plans for further improvements to the park.

Lewis also tabled a motion marking the demolition of Craiginches Prison which has serevd the city for 124 years:

That the Parliament notes that demolition work on Aberdeen’s Craiginches prison is to begin at the end of January 2015; recognises that Craiginches had served Aberdeen and the north east for 124 years before its closure in January 2014; regrets that this closure means that Scotland’s third-largest city no longer has a local prison; understands that part of the cleared land will be developed for social housing while the remainder will be used by Aberdeen City Council to dual Wellington Road and help alleviate traffic congestion, and believes that government at every level must work together to promote regeneration in Torry and other disadvantaged areas in Aberdeen and North East Scotland. 

8 January 2015

Lewis Macdonald led Scottish Labour in questioning Energy Minister Fergus Ewing regarding the Scottish Government's Ministerial Statement on the current crisis facing the oil and gas industry. Pushing Labour's proposal for a resilience fund to assist any industry affected by economic shocks, Lewis urged Ministers to "provide proper stewardship for the Scottish economy". You can watch the Ministerial Statement and Lewis' question here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69

Closing the debate on "Boosting the Scottish Economy" later the same day, he took the oportunity to spell out in more detail Scottish Labour's plans to deal with the impact of falling prices on the North East. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&page=2&sort=date

17 December 2014

Following his appointment as Shadow Minister for Energy, Business and Tourism, Lewis Macdonald MSP today had the opportunity to question Energy Minister Fergus Ewing on the long-term job prospects for the North Sea. You can watch the question and answer session here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_yuusjz0a

16 December 2014

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a parliamentary motion congratulating Aberdeen's Transition Extreme on being awarded funds for the construction of a new indoor skatepark:

That the Parliament congratulates Transition Extreme on being awarded £120,000 by Aberdeen Forward for the development and construction of a new indoor skatepark; notes that the funding has been delivered by Aberdeen Forward on behalf of the Landfill Community Fund and that construction work will begin on the new feature in January 2015; recognises that the youth programmes run by Transition Extreme promote healthy living, support education and training and help tackle antisocial behaviour in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and welcomes the development of the new and improved indoor skatepark, which will have an important role to play in developing the life skills and confidence of young people.

11 December 2014

Following the announcement of Local Government Finance Settlement for 2015/16, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked John Swinney why Aberdeen City Council's funding has again fallen short of the 85% floor promised by the SNP: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_jais54mi

10 December 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke for Scottish Labour in a debate on the Smith Commission this afternoon, highlighting the important role Labour has played in Scottish devolution and warning of the dangers inherent in "English votes for English laws". You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_rr95quot

4 December 2014

A busy week for the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee which heard evidence on the Smith Agreement from the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael MP, Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP and Lord Smith himself. The two sessions can be watched in full here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=74&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_in9fpku5 and here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=74&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_gf6e6jf4

 

3 December 2014

New Health Minister Shona Robison made a statement to parliament on the HIS report into standards at NHS Grampian today, and Lewis Macdonald took the opportunity to ask if the Scottish Government would also be calling for the full publication of a similar report by the Royal College of Surgeons. NHS Grampian was raised again in a Scottish Labour debate on health this afternoon, when Lewis took the opporutnity to emphasise the importance of candour for the sake of NHS Grampian staff and patients. The statement and questions can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=69&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_5dm4yfxb while the full Scottish Labour debate on housing and then health is here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_y72810t1

28 November 2014

Following the success of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce at the recent British Chamber of Commerce awards, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament congratulates the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce on being named the UK Chamber of the Year at the British Chamber of Commerce Chamber Awards 2014, which took place in London on 27 November; notes that the judges praised Aberdeen and Grampian chamber on its success in representing oil and gas firms in the north east and its efforts to grow the organisation’s membership; recognises that two other north east businesses, Stork and Elan Hair Design, were nominated at the awards in the Excellence in Innovation and Sustainability categories respectively, and congratulates all concerned on achieving recognition for excellence across the UK.

24 November 2014

As Deputy Convenver of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Lewis Macdonald MSP attended an engagement event in Fort William today, meeting 16 and 17-year-old first time voters at Lochaber High School. The meeting gave MSPs a chance to hear from young people about their engagement with the political process during and after the referendum.

12 November 2014

After attending the launch of the new Grampian Women’s Pathway from Abuse project in Aberdeen, Lewis Macdonald tabled the following motion congratulating the organisations responsible:

That the Parliament congratulates Grampian Women’s Aid, Pathways and Grampian and Langstane Housing Associations on the launch of the new Grampian Women’s Pathway from Abuse project; notes that the project will provide counselling, housing advice and job search support to women who have experienced domestic abuse in the Aberdeen and Grampian area; recognises that this project has been made possible by an award of £783,594 from the Big Lottery Fund's Becoming a Survivor funding stream, and wishes all the staff and volunteers at the Grampian Women’s Pathway from Abuse project every success in their new venture.

11 November 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled motions congratulating Aberdeen International Airport on its success at the Airport Operators' Association annual awards and celebrating the events held by Aberdeen University to mark the quincentenary of the death of its founder, Bishop Elphinstone:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen International Airport on being named Best Airport (under 6 million passengers) in the UK at the Airport Operators Association (AOA) annual awards ceremony on 10 November 2014; recognises that this award demonstrates the progress that has been made during 2014 in improving the facilities and the customer experience at Aberdeen International Airport; considers that Aberdeen International Airport is highly regarded in the industry, and congratulates the managing director, Carol Benzie, and her team on their success.

10 November 2014

Following the Oil and Gas UK Awards in Aberdeen, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following motion congratulating the winners:

That the Parliament congratulates the winners of the Oil & Gas UK Awards 2014 on 6 November 2014; notes that the awards recognise organisations and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the oil and gas industry in Scotland and across the UK; understands that organisations were nominated for their investment in people and the business innovation that they have demonstrated; recognises that individuals were nominated for mentor, apprentice or graduate of the year; congratulates everyone who received an award in one of the seven categories, and applauds the exceptional work that all nominees undertake that ensures the continued success of the offshore oil and gas industry. 

That the Parliament congratulates the University of Aberdeen on the commemoration events held, and new research scholarships established, to mark the quincentenary of the life and legacy of William Elphinstone, who was the Bishop of Aberdeen from 1483 until his death in 1514 and who founded King’s College in 1495; welcomes the new exhibition on his life and achievements, which will be held at the Sir Duncan Rice Library of the University of Aberdeen, under the title of Elphinstone: Renaissance in the North, and is scheduled to run until March 2015, and believes that his legacy will continue to be of great importance in the centuries to come.

6 November 2014

During FMQs today, Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to ask Alex Salmond whether the new Chairman of NHS Grampian would live and work in the area, as local leadership is vital in delivering health services. You can watch the First Minister's response here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=34&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_y3ki2tr5 

16 October 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled a parliamentary motion to congratulate all the North East organisations who benefited from the latest round of Big Lottery Fund awards, particularly Transition Extreme and SHMU:

That the Parliament commends the Big Lottery Fund on its recent awards to organisations across Aberdeen and North East Scotland; congratulates Transition Extreme Sports Ltd on its award of £10,000, which it understands will be used to run an extreme art school course for young people who are not in education or employment; welcomes the award of £49,586 from the Young Start project to Station House Media Unit (SHMU) to allow 60 young people from across the city to create their own live TV and radio broadcasts, and recognises what it sees as the excellent work carried out by both SHMU and Transition Extreme Sports Ltd in providing opportunities for young people from deprived areas of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

3 October 2014

Following Ellon-based BrewDog's announcement that the company is to pay all its employees a Living Wage, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following parliamentary motion:

That the Parliament welcomes the decision by BrewDog to become a living wage employer from 1 October 2014; notes that this decision will affect employees working in the company’s brewery in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, as well as staff in BrewDog bars all over the UK; congratulates BrewDog on its decision to invest an extra £1 million in 2015 on ensuring that all its employees receive a living wage, and calls on employers throughout the north east and the rest of Scotland to follow its example.

 

2 October 2014

 

Speaking in the Stage 1 denate on the Food Standards (Scotland) Billl, Lewis Macdonald MSP praised the important role played by Aberdeen institutions and experts in setting up the Food Standards Agency: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_ria3ewdm

24 September 2014

Following Scotland's vote against independence on 18th September, the first item of business in the Scottish Parliament was a statement by the First Minister. Speaking for Scottish Labour in a debate on that statement, Lewis Macdonald MSP called for people on both sides to accept the result, and to accept that Scots voted on the basis of genuine concerns and real facts. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_qtbz8hlf

21 August 2014

In the last Scottish Parliamentary debate before the referendum, Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke on "Scotland's Future", highlighting the concerns of Sir Ian Wood in regard to North Sea oil reserves. Watch the whole debate: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_ph2wzrz6

13 August 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP today asked about the source of revenue funding for the NPD project which will see a new maternity hospital and cancer care centre built on the Foresterhill site in Aberdeen. The question and answer can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_3n26dbvb

6 August 2014

Speaking in today's Scottish Government debate on Trident, Lewis Macdonald MSP urged Scots to reject independence, saying: "Surely the best way to influence the future debate on nuclear weapons in Britain, in NATO and on a global scale is to stay in the UK and the Atlantic alliance and ensure that our voices are heard and our interests considered when those decisions are made, not to walk away and leave the big strategic decisions of our century for someone else to make."

You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_emali6zu

 

28 July 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP today tabled a motion marking the completion of a new homelessness centre in Aberdeen:

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen City Council on completing construction of a new homelessness centre in the city; notes that the centre, on West North Street, which will provide both accommodation and support, will welcome its first tenants later in 2014; welcomes the provision of both short-term supported accommodation and independent living flats in the centre, and recognises that this development is part of Aberdeen City Council’s wider efforts to address homelessness in the city and region.

19 June 2014

Lewis Macdonald has tabled the following motion, congratulating APA on securing lottery funding for renovation work at the Music Hall:

Lottery Funding for Aberdeen’s Music Hall

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) on being awarded a £700,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration work at the Music Hall in Aberdeen; notes that APA has already been allocated £1 million from Aberdeen City Council and £1.5 million from Creative Scotland for this project, which aims to upgrade, restore and conserve the building, which was built in 1822, as well as to improve access, and welcomes what it sees as the important cultural contribution that the Music Hall makes in Aberdeen, having hosted more than four million visitors at 5,000 staged events since the A-listed building was last restored in the 1980s.

16 June 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following parliamentary motion today:

Made in Scotland from Renewables

That the Parliament notes that the Made in Scotland from Renewables initiative is being launched at the Royal Highland Show on 19 June 2014; welcomes this new undertaking from the renewable energy trade body, Scottish Renewables, to showcase 12 farms and food producers who are leading the shift to green energy generation; highlights that many of the “clean dozen” are based in the north east of Scotland, including Mackies, Farmlay Eggs, Hamlyns of Scotland, the Oatmeal of Alford, AJ Duncan Arable Farms and Devenick Dairy, and believes that this is proof that an ever-increasing number of companies in the Scottish food sector are recognising the tremendous economic and environmental benefits to be gained by powering their businesses using renewable energy.

12 June 2014

During General Questions, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked whether Scottish farmers would be able to continue marketing their goods as "Produce of Britain" in the event of a yes vote on 18 September. Having failed to receive an answer to his simple question, Mr Macdonald has written to the Minister concerned in an effort to get to the truth. You can watch the question and answer session here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=37&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_o8ffa2cw

6 June 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled the following motion:

Nelson Mandela, Freedom of the City of Aberdeen

That the Parliament notes that 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela being awarded the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen; congratulates the city council on holding a thanksgiving service for the life of Nelson Mandela on 25 May in the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting which, befitting the man himself, was open to all, and looks forward to Nandi Mandela addressing delegates at the Parliament in August, as part of the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit, in a public session on the capacity of the arts and culture to foster mutual understanding between nations. 

5 June 2014

Speaking today in a Members' Business debate on Aberdeen's Engagement Strategy with Japan, Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to pay tribute to the work of Aberdeen City Council and their efforts to establish trade links between the North East and the rest of the world. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_ck5xie5p

4 June 2014

During Portfolio Questions on Justice, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked about the rising crisis in North East policing, asking just how many officers have resigned since the creation of Police Scotland. Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill was unable to answer such a simple questiion, and dismissed concerns about police numbers in Aberdeen. Watch the question session here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_mb87k9cc

Lewis also spoke in European and External Relations Committee debate on the Scottish Government’s proposals for EU membership in an independent Scotland.

Mr Macdonald called on SNP Ministers "to acknowledge that they cannot negotiate UK secession and EU accession at the same time, and to set out a realistic timetable for both so that voters can make an informed decision in September". You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=36&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_19d9ssc8

28 May 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP today raised concerns about the new Caledonian Sleeper Franchise during a Ministerial statement on the issue. He asked for reassurances that the Sleeper would continue to serve the people of Aberdeen and the North East and asked the Minister to look into the possibilityi of extending the service to seven nights a week.

21 May 2014

During FMQs today, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked the First Minister when he first knew about the plans to move the renewable energy conference All-Energy from the AECC in Aberdeen to Glasgow. You can watch today's FMQs here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=34&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_oilat46k

17 May 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP today tabled a motion congratulating Aberdeen City Council and the Friends of Duthie Park, after the popular attraction was named "Top Major Park" by a UK-wide website:

That the Parliament congratulates Duthie Park in Aberdeen on being named Top Major Park out of 5,000 in the UK by the Playspotter website; notes that this is only one in a series of awards that Duthie Park has secured in recent years, including the Jim Murdie Trophy for Permanent Landscaping from Beautiful Scotland and the Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Play from the Nancy Ovens Trust; welcomes the appreciation for the hard work carried out by the Friends of Duthie Park volunteers and Aberdeen City Council in improving and maintaining the park, and looks forward to a successful summer of record visitor numbers.

7 May 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP secured a promise from Nicola Sturgeon today that the Scottish Government will consider a more joined up approach in trying to solve Aberdeen's public sector recruitment and retention problems. You can watch the question session on the Scottish Parliament website: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39 

1 May 2014

Members' Business today was on the subject of the MS Society's "Treat Me Right" campaign, which aims to improve access to treatments for the disease. Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke in the debate, praising the work done by MS nurses and neurological services in Aberdeen. The prevalence of MS is 20% higher in the North East than in the rest of Scotland, which is one of the reasons Mr Macdonald helped to set up the Parliament's Cross Party Group on MS. The debate can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_joxptwds 

24 April 2014

Lewis Macdonald spoke today in a Members' Business debate on the importance of local knowledge in fire control rooms, and the fears that closing these facilities in Aberdeen and Inverness will affect rural areas and the safety of the oil and gas industry. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_fk6011e5 

22 April 2014

The Public Petitions Committee today heard two petitions relating to the closure of police and fire control rooms in Aberdeen and Inverness. Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke in support of the petitoners and backed their call for SFRS and SPA Board members to appear before the committee and explain their decisions. The Committee session can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=25&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_55yroa6h

27 March 2014

Lewis Macdonald spoke today in Elaine Murray MSP's Members' Business debate on the closure of police and fire control rooms in Dumfries. This is a situation which is being replicated in the North East, where the main police and fire controls, along with the service centre at Bucksburn, are all being closed and replaced with new facilities in Dundee. Watch the debate here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=38&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_v8nemxtc

19 March 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to ask about strategic infrastructure developments in Aberdeen during today's Portfolio Questions. Mr Macdonald urged the Minister to ensure that North East harbour facilities are connected to the rail network, in order for them to achieve their maximum potential. The question session can be seen here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=39&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_tqbof5sm

17 March 2014

Following Aberdeen's sucess in the League Cup final this weekend, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following motion:

That the Parliament notes the friendly League Cup final between Aberdeen FC and Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Celtic Park; commends the players of both teams, and 40,000 Aberdeen and 10,000 Inverness Caledonian Thistle supporters, on a game that it considered was played in the right spirit, making the final an occasion to remember for all concerned; notes what it considers the good-natured stewarding and policing of the event and the warm welcome provided to fans by the people of Glasgow; commends ScotRail for providing football specials and looks forward to more of the same in the future, and congratulates Aberdeen Football Club on its success in winning its first trophy of the 21st century.

13 March 2014

During today's General Questions session, Lewis Macdonald asked what special measures are being put in place to help families from the North East travel to the weekend's League Cup Final. Mr Macdonald was especially concerned that families with two or more children were being penalised by the one adult/one child ticketing policy employed by ScotRail for football trains. You can watch the question session here: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?id=37&sort=date&page=1&vid=0_xhb7axtk

27 February 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke today in a Member's Business debate on helicopter safety and Unite's Back Home Safe campaign. While welcoming a recent CAA report which listed recommendations to improve safety in North Sea helicopter operations, Mr Macdonald nevertheless backed calls for a wider public inquiry into the issue. You can listen to the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41524.aspx

26 February 2014

Scottish Labour Party business today dealt with police and fire reforms, particularly the closure of control rooms across the North East and the North of Scotland. Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke in the debate, criticising the Central Belt bias of the new services and the impact this will have upon standards in Aberdeen and the surrounding area. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41498.aspx 

25 February 2014

Lewis Macdonald tabled a parliamentary motion marking the publication of Oil & Gas UK's Activity Survey 2014:

That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Oil & Gas UK's Activity Survey 2014 on 25 February 2014; notes that the report highlights the contradictions currently at play in the oil and gas industry; also notes that the report predicts capital expenditure of around £13 billion in 2014, the second highest year on record, and points to better than expected production last year, with an average of 1.43 million barrels of oil equivalent per day produced and production expected to pick up further in 2014; understands that this contrasts with news regarding exploration, whereby the oil and gas sector is facing significant challenges, with 15 exploration wells drilled in 2013 and exploration over the last three years at its lowest in the history of the UK Continental Shelf, with a mere 80 million barrels discovered in 2013 at the same time as costs continued to rise; understands that operating expenditure rose by 15.5% to a record of £8.9 billion in 2013 and is anticipated to rise further in 2014; considers it crucial that the oil and gas sector addresses rising costs and improves capital efficiency; believes, however, that, without greatly increased exploration success, the conversion of more discoveries into production, a significant improvement in productivity and the deployment of enhanced oil recovery, the oil and gas sector will not realise its full potential, and fully supports what it considers the timely recommendations made by Sir Ian Wood, particularly regarding the creation of a new well-resourced regulator and the adoption of a tripartite approach to maximising economic recovery.

5 February 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP today asked a question about the costs involved in upgrading the East Coast railway line around Montrose. Journey times between Aberdeen and the Central Belt will not improve until the single-track section near Montrose is upgraded. Listen to the Minister's answer here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41512.aspx

28 January 2014

In response to the increase in political discussions taking place online, Lewis Macdonald MSP tabled the following motion, appealing for all sides in the independence debate to behave appropriately:

That the Parliament welcomes the comments from political leaders on all sides of the referendum debate condemning the increase in aggressive and nasty comments, particularly on social media websites; is disappointed that politicians, activists and journalists have been targeted with abuse for offering views and reporting facts; believes that there is no place for threatening behaviour in the referendum debate; praises those who have had the courage to stand up to and expose what it considers these cowardly and often anonymous attacks; considers that Scotland will be asked to make a momentous decision on 18 September 2014, and believes that it is important to have a debate that is worthy of the occasion and that all voices are heard.

22 January 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to ask for Scottish Government support for flood protection plans in Aberdeen and Stonehaven, when he was chosen to ask a Rural Affairs and Environment question in Parliament today. You can watch the session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41511.aspx

16 January 2014

Speaking in a Members' Business debate on Oncology at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Lewis Macdonald MSP called for the Scottish Government to ensure that much-needed staff were recruited to treat cancer patients from the North East and North of Scotland. Mr Macdonald took the opportunity to back union calls for supplementary pay for NHS staff in Aberdeen, and to point out that NHS Grampian was underfunded to the tune of £32m in the current financial year.

15 January 2014

Lewis Macdonald MSP asked the Scottish Government to pledge the same level of support to the AECC as they have provided to similar facilities in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Ministers acknowledged the interantional importance of the venue, and promised that Scottish Enterprise would give "all due support" to any business plan produced by Aberdeen City Council. You can watch the question session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41513.aspx 

7 January 2014

Speaking for Labour in a Scottish Government debate on Scotland's Future, Lewis Macdonald MSP criticised Ministers for promising improvements in the event of a "yes" vote, rather than using their existing powers to improve the lives of children in poverty.  The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41501.aspx

10 December 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke for Scottish Labour in the Scottish Government debate on End Year Fish Negotiations today. You can watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41494.aspx

4 December 2013

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion supporting the work done by the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre, and congratulating Pastor Howard Drysdale on a recent £5,000 donation:

Aberdeen Seafarers Centre

That the Parliament welcomes the donation of £5,000 to the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre by the International Support Vessel Owners' Association; understands that the funding will be used to upgrade computer and leisure facilities and will secure the future of the centre; believes that it provides much-needed support for sailors from all over the world who pass through Aberdeen harbour, and commends the port chaplain, Howard Drysdale, and his volunteers on what it considers their excellent work in keeping the centre operating.

3 December 2013

Speaking in a Scottish Government debate on Scotland's Census, Lewis Macdonald MSP highlighted the importance of immigration to Aberdeen and the rest of Scotland, and the benefits that the country has enjoyed thanks to those immigrants. The debate also touched on the issues associated with an ageing population. You can watch the session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41500.aspx 

28 November 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP was selected to ask a question in today's General Questions session. He used the opportunity to ask about a much-delayed answer to a written question he had asked about an unannounced Ministerial visit by the First Minister during campaigning for the Aberdeeen Donside by-election. Fiona Hyslop, who answered the question, was happy to blame everything on an administrative error, but she unfortunately got her facts wrong when it came to the SNP's own Ministerial Code. Lewis Macdonald has called for the First Minster to apologise. You can watch the question and answer here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41508.aspx

21 November 2013

During the Education and Lifelong Learning Portfolio Questions session, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked the Scottish Government what it is doing to support collaboration between schools and colleges, in the light of Sir Ian Wood's recent report on "Developing Scotland's Young Workforce". Although promises were made about some additional funding, there are still fears that colleges - which have already seen budgets slashed - will be expected to foot the bill for these initiatives. Watch the session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41510.aspx

14 November 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP closed for Scottish Labour in today's Stage 3 debate on the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill. Although Labour amendments aimed at increasing financial transparency were defeated by the SNP, the final Bill aims to make the referendum process as fair, open and honest as possible. Watch the debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41503.aspx 

13 November 2013

In the light of Aberdeen City Council plans to build a new AECC, Lewis Macdonald took the opportunity to ask Ministers whether they will support the development of amajor new entertainment venue as part of the project. Cabinet Secretary for Culture Fiona Hyslop MSP invited ACC to enter into discussions with Scottish Enterprise, and Lewis has followed up his oral question with a request for more information on conference centre investment from Scottish Enterprise. Watch his question here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41511.aspx

Later that day, Lewis spoke for Scottish Labour in a debate on 21st century transport, highlighting the neglect that Aberdeen suffers at the hands of the Central Belt and the importance of protecting Aberdeen International Airport's Heathrow landing slots. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41493.aspx

7 November 2013

Today saw the Stage 1 debate on the Tribunals Bill, with Lewis Macdonald speaking for Scottish Labour. Although broadly supportive of the Bill, there are some proposals which have caused concern among legal experts and campaigners, and these issues may well be addressed with amendments during Stage 2. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41498.aspx 

5 November 2013

Lewis has tabled a motion welcoming the 2013 PILOT Share Fair to AECC:

That the Parliament welcomes the 2013 PILOT Share Fair, which takes place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 6 November 2013; understands that this provides operators and contractors in the oil and gas sector with an opportunity to share the latest business development opportunities; believes that the 1,300 attendees will enjoy excellent opportunities for networking, meeting prospective clients and updating existing contacts; notes that, over the last five years, the event has doubled in size; considers that this reflects the growing confidence of the oil and gas industry, and urges parliamentarians to work together to maximise the economic recovery of domestic oil and gas resources.

10 October 2013

Lewis Macdonald was chosen to ask a question in the General Questions session on 10th October. Mr Macdonald took the opportunity to quiz Ministers about proposals to close the fire control room in Aberdeen, asking "what public consultation there will be on the proposed closure of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service control rooms". Sadly, the public will not be consulted on this important issue and there are real fears that the recently-opened and purpose-built facility at Mounthooly Way will close. Watch the question session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41507.aspx

Later that day, Lewis also spoke for the Scottish Labour Party in a debate on Carbon Capture Storage. This new technology could not only be a source of energy for years to come, but could also provide the North East with much-needed jobs if research and development continues at Peterhead. Mr Macdonald pointed out during the debate that Peterhead would only benefit from UK investment and UK opportunities in this field if Scotland remained part of the UK. You can see the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41499.aspx

1 October 2013

Lewis has tabled a motion calling for a full public consultation on plans for Fire Service control rooms, including the facility at Mounthooly Road in Aberdeen, before any decision is taken on closures:

That the Parliament notes that the trained professional staff who operate the control rooms at Mounthooly Way in Aberdeen and elsewhere in Scotland are part of the frontline of the Fire and Rescue Service, with a responsibility for the delivery of life-saving services in emergency situations; considers local knowledge and experience important when control room staff are directing colleagues to emergencies and dealing with members of the public in stressful situations;  understands that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board proposes to close two out of the four control rooms in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Edinburgh, and calls for full public consultation before closure decisions are made.

26 September 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke in colleague Richard Baker's member's business debate on offshore safety on 26 September. As well as highlighting the recent issues with helicopter safety, Lewis called for the process of Fatal Accident Inquiries to be speeded up, so that relatives of those killed in offshore accidents can move on, and to allow the industry to learn from its mistakes. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41521.aspx

20 September 2013

Lewis Macdonald has tabled a motion congratulating the Aberdeen Women's Alliance on securing funding for a Women's Heritage Walk in the city:

That the Parliament notes that, following a meeting of the Aberdeen City Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee 12 September 2013, Aberdeen Women's Alliance (AWA) was given a cultural award of £9,046 for its Women's Heritage Walk project; believes that this project builds on the experience of Glasgow Women's Library and other similar initiatives that highlight the importance of commemorating women's history; understands that the project will identify inspiring women and the places in Aberdeen that they are associated with; believes that it will also contribute to a wider understanding of women's history in the city, and congratulates both AWA on the award and the council on what it considers its positive support for a worthwhile project.


19 September 2013

During the General Questions session on 19 September, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked "whether the participation of police officers makes a positive difference to road safety education in schools". This was in response to news from Aberdeenshire Council that the new Police Scotland has pulled its practical support for road safety education initiatives in favour of enforcement measures. Although the Cabinet Secretary for Justice claimed that reducing road safety deaths was a priority, he would not take action to ensure these vital projects get the support they need. Watch the whole question session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41508.aspx

Lewis Macdonald has also tabled a parliamentary motion on the recent mock independence referendum in Aberdeenshire schools:

That the Parliament congratulates all concerned on the successful organisation of a referendum on Scottish independence for pupils at secondary and special schools across Aberdeenshire, with the results declared on 18 September 2013, exactly a year ahead of the national referendum; commends Aberdeenshire pupils for, it considers, engaging fully with the issues at stake, with 11,564 voting, a turnout of 80%; welcomes that 8,718 young people voted to reject independence and to keep Scotland as part of the UK, representing a 75% No vote, including a majority of pupils at each secondary school and in every area of Aberdeenshire, and looks forward to many of those young people showing the same interest and what it considers good sense when they vote in the national referendum next year. 

12 September 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP, in his new role as a member of the Referendum Bill (Scotland) Committee, closed for Labour in the recent Holyrood debate on the referendum. Calling for "clear legal requirements and protections" to be put in place and to be backed by "effective enforcement measures", Mr Macdonald warned that there is still much work to be done before the referendum process can be considered fair. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41499.aspx

27 August 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled a parliamentary motion congratulating Aberdeen Muslims on the success of their Eid event held in Union Terrace Gardens:

 

That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen Muslims on the success of its inaugural Eid in the Garden event, held in Union Terrace Gardens on 25 August 2013; welcomes the efforts of Aberdeen Muslims to use such events to build relationships with the wider community in Aberdeen and the north east alongside its other community and volunteering activities; understands that the Eid in the Garden event, sponsored by Aberdeen’s three mosques, was well attended throughout the day, and hopes that the success of what it considers such an important cultural event in Union Terrace Gardens will encourage other groups in the city to make similar use of this unique space.

16 August 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled a parliamentary motion welcoming an award to Rape and Abuse Support, North East Scotland:

 

That the Parliament welcomes the award from the Big Lottery Fund's Investing in Ideas scheme that has been presented to Rape and Abuse Support, North East Scotland; understands that this will allow it to carry out a scoping exercise and research into male survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and congratulates the organisation on moving forward by actively pursuing new funding streams, following the loss of its then existing funding in 2012.

30 May 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled a parliamentary motion congratulating Dunnottar Castle on being named Scotland's 8th Wonder of the World in a VisitScotland poll:

That the Parliament congratulates Dunnottar Castle on being named the 8th Wonder of the World in a VisitScotland poll; recognises the significance of the castle polling twice as many votes as Edinburgh Castle, the Forth Bridge and the Old Course at St Andrews, and welcomes the success of Dunnottar Castle in winning the VisitScotland competition and attracting more visitors to north east Scotland from all over the world.

22 April 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled a parliamentary motion rejecting proposed court closures:

That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government's decision to accept all of the recommendations made by the Scottish Court Service in its paper, Shaping Scotland’s Court Services, published in April 2013; regrets the haste of the Scottish Government's decision to accept all of the findings without further discussion; believes that a number of these proposals will have a negative impact on victims, witnesses and other court users as well as the local economies of the towns affected, and rejects in particular the proposed closure of courts in towns such as Cupar, Dingwall, Arbroath, Stonehaven and Haddington.

27 March 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP has tabled a parliamentary motion marking 38 years of service for Grampian Police:

That the Parliament notes that 31 March 2013 marks the end Grampian Police's 38 years of service to communities in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray; applauds the celebration that will be held at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen on 28 March to mark the achievements of the officers and staff of the force; notes what it sees as the commitment of the police officers and staff who will continue to serve their communities as part of the new Police Service of Scotland, and congratulates the chief constable, Colin McKerracher, on his leadership of the police service in Grampian over the last nine years.

Lewis Macdonald also tabled a parliamentary motion noting the ongoing strike action as part of GMB's capmaign to be paid the Scottish living wage:

That the Parliament notes that Sodexo catering staff at the Scottish Police College took a second day of strike action on 25 March 2013 as part of the GMB’s ongoing campaign for members to be paid the Scottish living wage; understands that these workers are currently paid just £6.37 an hour, when the Scottish living wage is £7.45 an hour, and calls on the Scottish Government to act to ensure that all employees at the Scottish Police College, whether public sector workers or private staff, are paid the Scottish living wage.

19 March 2013

SNP business on the 19 March was to debate the war in Iraq, ten years on. Lewis Macdonald closed for Scottish Labour, arguing that the removal of Saddam Hussein has vastly improved living conditions for the Kurdish minority. Watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/46595.aspx

14 March 2013

Selected for this week's First Minister's Questions, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked "what steps the Scottish Government is taking to tackle contraband in prisons". Focusing on the problem of mobile phones, Mr Macdonald called for the SNP to implement legislation already passed at Westminster allowing blocking technology to be used around prisons. The question session can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41491.aspx

13 March 2013

Following the contriversy over the lease for sporting rights on Raasay, Lewis Macdonald MSP used the Rural Affairs Portfolio Questions session to try and establish which SNP Minister was responsible for the decision: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41512.aspx 

Lewis Macdonald also led for Scottish Labour during Liberal Democrat business on the future of policing in Scotland. With the launch of the new Police Service of Scotland only days away, there are still many burning issues to resolve around police staff and the tense relationship between the Chief Constable and the chairman of the Scottish Police Authority. Watch the debate in full here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41501.aspx

6 March 2013

During Finance Portfolio questions this week, Lewis Macdonald MSP asked about Scotland's potential contribution towards European renewable energy targets through its offshore wind capacity. Ministers are yet to make a decision on the Aberdeen Bay EOWDC, which would put the North East and Scotland at the centre of Europan offshore wind generation. Watch the whole question session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41510.aspx

20 February 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP was chosen to ask a question during the session on Infrastructure, Investment and Cities this week. Focusing on the Business Rates Incenivisation Scheme, and its implications for Aberdeen City Council. Watch the whole of Portfolio Questions here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41513.aspx

7 February 2013

During First Minister's Questions this week, Lewis Macdonald asked about the SNP's proposed victims' surcharge, and how it would work in practice when Scotland already has such a low collection rate for court fines. Watch the whole session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41491.aspx

31 January 2013

Lewis Macdonald MSP was chosen for FMQs this week. His question to the First Minister, whether the Scottish Government has approved the redundancy plans proposed by the Scottish Police Authority, was sparked by a newspaper report containing more details of threatened police staff job losses following the launch of the single police force on April 1. Sadly, Alex Salmond was unable to asnwer the question, and Lewis has written to his office for further clarification.

The FMQ session from 31 January can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41490.aspx 

29 January 2013

Tuesday saw the Stage 3 debate on the Civil Justice Council and Legal Assistance Bill, with Lewis Macdonald MSP taking the lead for Labour. Although backing the first part of the Bill, the creation of a new council to oversee civil justice reform, Labour voted against the legislation because of the changes to the criminal legal aid system detailed in the second part, which would hit the working poor hardest and see some individiduals forced to defend themselves or plead guilty to avoid financial difficulties. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41503.aspx

17 January 2013

During First Minister's Questions this week, Lewis Macdonald asked a question about convicted prisoners being allowed to post material online, in the wake of the news that Luke Mitchell had uploaded a video of himself taking a lie detector test onto YouTube. While Alex Salmond failed to provide the necessary assurances that all possible action had been taken to prevent the video from ending up in the public domain, it was revealed that the Chief Inspector of Prisons has already looked into the matter. That report needs to published in full ansd action taken to ensure that this does not happen again. You can watch the question session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41492.aspx

9 January 2013

Lewis Macdonald spoke this week in the Scottish Government's debate on Oil and Gas: The Successes and Opportunities. Focusing on the impact that the industry has had on Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland, Mr Macdonald also spoke about the important advances that have been made in safety over the last 25 years. Watch the debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41501.aspx

12 December 2012

Portfolio questions this week were on the subject of justice, and Lewis Macdonald chose to table a question on fiscal fines, many of which have been written off without being paid and without further punishments being impsosed. Follow the session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41511.aspx

11 December 2012

Lewis Macdonald spoke in a Members' Business debate on 11 December, praising the achievements of the Camphill Scotland movement. The organisation has its roots in Aberdeen, and the city's Camphill School is one of its flagship centres. You can see the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41523.aspx

5 December 2012

Scottish Labour business on 5 December was on "Policing in Scotland", focusing not only on the current dispute between the chief constable and the chairman of the Scottish Police Authority but also the continuing concerns about police staff job losses and the creation of "backroom bobbies". Watch the debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41500.aspx

4 December 2012

As the legal profession continues to argue that Scottish Government reforms will restrict access to justice for ordinary Scots, Lewis Macdonald tabled a topical question about how protest action by lawyers in the North East of Scotland was affecting courts in the region: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/55037.aspx

29 November 2012

Speaking in a Scottish Government debate on Remploy, and the UK Government's decision to close factories in Aberdeen and across Scotland, Lewis Macdonald took the opportunity to praise local disabled workers who have already set up a new textile business in the city, retaining old contracts in the oil industry as well as winning new work from other sectors. Watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41502.aspx

28 November 2012

Having been chosen to table a question on the subject of Education and Lifelong Learning in Portfolio Questions this week, Lewis Macdonald took the chance to ask the Minister about access to college course for senior school pupils. He also pressed the Minister for guidelines on the Curriculum for Excellence, to ensure that no children were left disadvantaged through discrepancies in the system. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41512.aspx

27 November 2012

Topical Questions are new to Parliament since September, allowing MSPs to table a question on an issue relating to very recent events, rather than having to wait until the following week for answers from Ministers. Lewis Macdonald's question on proposed law reform was chosen this week and you can watch the session here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/54647.aspx

22 November 2012

Having been chosen to ask a question in the General Questions session on November 22, Lewis Macdonald MSP took the opportunity to check on the progress of the Scottish Energy Skills Academy, and to ensure that the institution would be anchored in the North East. The SNP have only agreed funding of £3.25m until 2014 for the project which, with proper committed investment, could bring an economic boost to Aberdeen and the surrounding area. The session can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41508.aspx

15 November 2012

Lewis Macdonald was chosen to ask the following question in Thursday's FMQs session: "To ask the First Minister what the purpose is of the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to criminal legal aid". Having established that the proposed reform is to ensure "parity" between civil and criminal legal aid, despite there being very obvious differences in the two pieces of legislation, Mr Macdonald urged Alex Salmond to engage with those within the criminal justice system who are unhappy with the Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill. Full coverage of the session can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41489.aspx

8 November 2012

A tough debate on the Scottish Government's drugs policy "The Road to Recovery" took place on November 8, with Lewis Macdonald closing for the Scottish Labour party. The whole debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41495.aspx

30 October 2012

Scottish Labour Party business on 30 October dealt with "The Future of Scotland". Focusing on the issue of EU membership, and the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the subject, Lewis Macdonald was among the Labour speakers in this important debate. Watch proceedings here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41499.aspx 

25 October 2012

Lewis Macdonald MSP led for Scottish Labour in the Stage One debate on the Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill, held on 25 October. While Mr Macdonald and his Labour colleagues are broadly supportive of the Bill's aims, he has concerns that changes to the legal aid system in Scotland could prevent the poorest in the country from having fair access to legal representation. Watch the whole debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41494.aspx 

23 October 2012

October recess over, Lewis Macdonald MSP returned to Holyrood, taking part in a Justice Commitee debate on the role of the media in the criminal justice system. Mr Macdonald expressed his concerns that televising trials would be traumatic for victims and reduce the likelihood that witnesses would be willing to come forward. The full debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41498.aspx

3 October 2012

Scottish Labour business on 3 October dealt with "Scotland's Future" and the debate over benefits and public spending. Addressing the issue of means testing legal aid and threats to Scotland's courts, Lewis Macdonald MSP also spoke about the news that Scotland's new single police force is set to cut even more civilian staff roles:

"Almost 1,000 civilian jobs have already gone in the past couple of years, according to the Government・s figures, but that is only a small part of the devastating cuts to Scotland's police service that Kenny MacAskill has in store. Scotland's new chief constable, Stephen House, let the cat out of the bag last week when he confirmed that ―many, many hundreds more jobs are set to go." 

2 October 2012

Lewis Macdonald MSP spoke on behalf of Scottish Labour in a debate on the National Gaelic Plan on October 2, calling for the Scottish Government to protect the status of Gaelic in both schools and public life. The debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41493.aspx 

25 September 2012

Opening for Scottish Labour in a debate on the legal reforms proposed by Lord Carloway, Lewis Macdonald MSP warned that the Scottish Government's calls for changes to the rules of corroboration could lead to an increased workload for the Scottish legal system - at the same time as the Scottish Courts Service is holding a consultation into the closure of some local courts, including Stonehaven. The debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41495.aspx 

17 September 2012

Lewis Macdonald tabled the following parliamentary motion, commending the sports men and women of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who enjoyed a successful London 2012 Olympics as part of Team GB.

Motion S4M-04164: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/09/2012
 

That the Parliament congratulates the organisers of the parades in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to celebrate the success of local Olympians and Paralympians as members of Team GB; recognises in particular the successes of the Olympic gold medallists, Tim Baillie and Katherine Grainger, and the Paralympic gold medallist, Neil Fachie, and looks forward to the future successes of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire athletes as part of Team GB in Rio in 2016. 

 

13 September 2012

 

Having tabled a series of written parliamentary questions on the subject of long-term drug abuse and methadone usage in Scotland, Lewis Macdonald received answers from the Scottish Government on 13th September. The full responses can be read in that day's Written Answers report here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_ChamberDesk/WA20120913.pdf

 

A number of supplementary questions have already been tabled in order to clarify some of these answers. 

 

11 September 2012

Lewis Macdonald took part in a heated debate on the subject of the rejected City Garden Project recently, in response to an SNP motion. Mr Macdonald was keen to see such discussions end, urging both the city and the Scottish Government to look to the future, towards more viable regeneration projects that would benefit all the citizens of Aberdeen. Tuesday evening's debate can be seen here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41516.aspx 

4 September 2012

In his role as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Lewis Macdonald spoke in the recent debate on the Scottish Government's Programme, which detailed their planed legislation for the upcoming session. As well as welcoming the news that victims were to be given a stronger voice with the launch of a new Victims and Witnesses Bill, Mr Macdonald also warned that proposed changes to Scotland's justice system would need to be tackled carefully in order to ensure fair trials. Watch the debate here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41493.aspx 

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