IN HIS maiden speech to the Scottish Parliament, on May 26th, Jamie Hepburn MSP set out his priorities for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, in the forthcoming five year term.
In his speech, Jamie acknowledged the area's last MSP, Cathie Craigie and went on to highlight the need for the development of a "Sure Start" centre and improvements to social housing.
Before speaking on issues affecting Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, MSP Jamie Hepburn said a few words about the area's previous MSP, Cathie Craigie.
He said: "Cathie Craigie and I did not always see eye to eye, politically... but she was the first member of the Scottish Parliament for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, and nobody can take this away from her. Beyond her time as an MSP she was also a Councillor, for Kilsyth, for many years, so she had many years of dedicated public service and I join others in wishing her no ill for the future, personally, if not politically."
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Moving onto his speech, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP, Jamie Hepburn said: "I am very proud to represent Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and turning to the earlier comments of Linda Fabiani, about East Kilbride, I was struct by the similarity of experience between Cumbernauld and East Kilbride; this perhaps not surprising given that they are both new towns, of a certain age.
"Cumbernauld was at one time looked upon as a desirable place to live, and it still is, and I say this as a resident of the town. However, we cannot escape the fact that some of the town's older housing stock is in need of some repair... and I look foward to more new housing, in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.
"I also want to talk about the Sure Start fund. As a proud father of an eighteen month old daughter, I welcome this fund and know that it is all about getting it right, in the early years... I will be looking to see how areas of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth might benefit from such centres and I very much look forward to working with the Government, in that regard."
After his speech Jamie said: "This debate was very important and has helped set the tone for the next five years of SNP administration. I was particularly interested to hear the Government’s commitment to increase the number of housing stock, over the next term, as Cumbernauld and Kilsyth needs urgent repairs, to existing housing and an additional supply.
“There will also be investment to support children and families in their earliest years through the Sure Start programme, and I said during the debate that I believe there are a number of areas in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth which could benefit from plans for a network of Family and Child centres.
“As I said in my speech, there is no contradiction in wanting to alter Scotland’s constitution to build a better society. If we are serious about tackling poverty and raising the ambitions of our communities, then we must have the powers that will help us deliver.
“It is an honour to represent Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, and I felt it was important to use this first speech since being elected as the local MSP to make it clear that I will always put the interests of local people first.”
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