Newsletter from Deidre Brock MP  - Edinburgh North and Leith
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Deidre Brock MP

Edinburgh North and Leith


Westminster round-up

It’s been a busy old time for me and colleagues in the SNP Westminster group. I've been asking questions about what the Brexit mess means for everything from jobs in Edinburgh's financial sector, Edinburgh's festivals and the tourism industry to  environmental protections and people from other EU countries who've made this their home. I've always considered the freedom of movement of people to be the most advantageous of the freedoms of the EU - particularly for Scotland - and I find myself a little bemused that the referendum appears to have been lost mainly as a result to the opposition to that freedom. You can read more of my views here.

The SNP are battling hard for an end to the damaging austerity cuts which are causing chaos to public services and our welfare safety net - hitting our most vulnerable citizens the hardest. We've called for a rethink of the brutal sanctions regime and further cuts to Employment Support Allowance. We're also fighting for fairness on pensions including the thousands of #WASPI women who were worst affected by changes to state pension age. On international issues, we're working for a stronger humanitarian response to the appalling scenes of suffering in Aleppo, a halt to UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia while they are used against civilians in Yemen, and for the UK to offer sanctuary to a fairer share of refugees in the biggest humanitarian crisis Europe has seen since the second world war.

You can follow my latest parliamentary activities here:

Changing Herstory!

A historic step forward was taken this Friday (Dec 16) in the fight to end violence against women and girls. I stayed in London with many of the SNP group to support colleague Eilidh Whiteford MP's private member's bill. This bill was to ratify the Istanbul Convention - an excellent European legal framework for preventing gender based violence, protecting women and ensuring support is in place. The UK Government has agreed to support it and Eilidh's bill will hopefully now go forward into law!

Britannia Plans Sunk

In a Westminster Hall debate I took on growing calls from Tory backbenchers to bring back a Royal Yacht. It's absurd in this day and age, particularly at a time of appalling cuts to public services. Better Britannia remains as a floating curiosity of a bygone era in Leith.
Read more here

Operation 'Report Hate'

I hosted the Traveller's Movement and Article 12 in Scotland at Westminster to support their campaign against hate crime. I've tabled an Early Day Motion highlighting the issue: I look forward to working with them further to tackle ongoing discrimination against the gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Constituency round-up

It's busy and challenging times with lots of people feeling the austerity pinch and facing problems with the services that are supposed to be there to support them. It's fair to say issues with the Department for Work and Pensions make up a large proportion of my casework. The immigration system is also causing a lot of headaches - there are so many changes to visa rules leaving people feeling frustrated, unwelcome and families divided. Much work to do and I've raised many issues with relevant Ministers in the hope to bring change.
Other matters I've been working on recently include concerns about the future of locally based services faced with funding cuts, new developments around the constituency (you can read more about my views on the planning system here) and the future of Inverleith House.

If there's anything you think I can help with, please get in touch.

Homes secured for Lorne Street tenants

Fantastic news for the people of Lorne Street in Leith after a year of worry that they may be evicted from their homes. Their landlord, the Agnes Hunter Trust, has now agreed a sale of all 92 properties to the housing association Places for People Scotland, part of Castle Rock Edinvar - so they finally have a secure future.
This is the result of an amazing campaign from The Lorne Street residents and lot of hard graft behind the scenes. Congratulations to everyone involved and thanks also to the support of the council and the Scottish Government who helped make this possible.
Read more here:

Granton Walled Garden to be retained

Some other positive news for local campaigners is that council-owned developers EDI behind the plans for Granton waterfront are now looking to incorporate the medieval walled garden into their proposals; the site was initially earmarked for townhouses. Two local campaign groups have worked hard to save this site, albeit with differing views on its use. While we wait to see further details of the plans it's good news that the historic site seems safer. (Read more here)

The site is also supporting Scotland's first 'homeless village' run by charity Social Bite.…/social-bite-unveils…

Edinburgh wins entrepreneur and global city awards 

Edinburgh collected the ‘British Entrepreneurial City of the Year’ award recently - beating London, Manchester Cambridge and Leeds to the title. I was at the ceremony with former council colleagues - many congratulations for all their work building start-up support networks.
Now we've also got the gong for 'Global Cities of the Future' from the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Awards 2016, beating Hong Kong and Chicago to the top spot..

Brilliant news and brilliant work from the likes of Edinburgh Creative Exchange whose innovative links with China were amongst those recognised.

There's a lot of great work is being done to attract international investment in the city, many positive signs for the future!…/award-winning-capital/


Photos in gallery below (clockwise from top):-
With Terence Higgins Trust volunteer Pallas; discussing housing with West Cromwell, Persevere and Citadel Courts Residents’ Association; at the Living Wage Marketplace with Granton based Mark Pool (founder of Roots Soda); supporting MacMillan Cancer Care; the WASPI campaign for fair pensions; at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly; community gardens in Granton; The Yard in Canonmills (adventure centre for disabled children); Small Business Saturday in Stockbridge with Roddy from Gifted getting in the Christmas spirit!
Rusty the office security guard. 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
The office will re-open on Wednesday January 4 2017

Regular Surgeries

First Friday of the month
1-2pm, constituency office, 166 Great Junction Street

Second Friday of the month
3.30-4.30pm, McDonald Road Library

Third Friday of the month
1-2pm, Stockbridge Library

Last Friday of the month
4-5pm, Royston/Wardieburn Community Centre

All constituents welcome to drop by - no appointment necessary.

These and other surgeries advertised at

Parliamentary Questions

Latest written questions I've been raising with the UK Government can be found here

My spoken contributions are here

Have your say on local policing

Police Scotland's annual consultation is available online - let them know what you think should be the priorities for local policing - available digitally here


It's time to change the planning system

Leith flats saved for tenants after 18 month fight

Granton Walled Garden saved from development

Edinburgh uni annoyed at snub for post-study work visas

SNP MP asks Theresa May on Brexit effect on Edinburgh's finances

New Royal Yacht would stretch Navy resources
at Radio 5
Copyright © 2016 Deidre Brock MP, Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith, All rights reserved.

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