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Motion celebrates brass band’s championship success

Iain Gray MSP has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament congratulating Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band on its success at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

The Prestonpans-based band took third place and won the National trophy at the championships which were held in Cheltenham.

Mr Gray’s motion commends the members of the band and its supporters, which include Castlepark Bowling Club, Prestonpans British Legion, Prestonpans Labour Club and East Lothian Council.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band has long been an important part of the cultural life of East Lothian, and always received fantastic support from the local community in Prestonpans.

“This result at the British Championships has been described as probably the highest accolade the band has achieved since its formation. Given the many previous successes the band has had, this really is an outstanding achievement.

“My parliamentary motion marks the band’s success and commends its members, as well as all those who have supported it over the years.”

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Macmerry pupils are latest to visit Scottish Parliament

A class of P7 pupils from Macmerry Primary were the latest to visit the Scottish Parliament and meet local MSP, Iain Gray.

Mr Gray welcomed the pupils to Parliament and fielded their questions about how it works and the work undertaken by MSPs.

Macmerry was the latest local school to take advantage of the School Visits programme run by Holyrood’s education outreach team to help inform schoolchildren about the work of the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking after the pupils’ visit, Iain Gray MSP said:

“I was delighted to welcome the pupils from Macmerry Primary School to Parliament. It’s really important that our children and young people have an understanding of what happens at Holyrood and how our democracy functions.

“I have become accustomed to pupils from East Lothian being well prepared for their visits and getting the most of their time at Parliament. These P7 pupils from Macmerry were no different and I enjoyed fielding the questions they had for me.”

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Local pupils welcomed to Holyrood

A group of P7 pupils from Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School were welcomed to the Scottish Parliament today by Iain Gray MSP.

Mr Gray hosted a question and answer session with the pupils, who were visiting Holyrood through its education outreach programme.

The visit was part of the work undertaken by the Parliament’s Education Service’s School Visits programme to help inform schoolchildren from across Scotland about the Parliament and how it works.

Speaking after the pupils’ visit, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Schools from all around East Lothian have visited the Scottish Parliament to see for themselves how decisions are made. I always try my best to meet them in order to welcome them to the Parliament and answer their questions about our democracy.

“This group of P7 pupils from Sanderson’s Wynd were clearly well prepared for their visit. They asked plenty of insightful questions about how Parliament works and the role of MSPs and had some great answers to my questions too.”

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Motion welcomes county success at Beautiful Scotland Awards

Iain Gray MSP has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament welcoming the County’s outstanding success at this year’s Beautiful Scotland Awards.

Mr Gray’s motion congratulates North Berwick in Bloom, Blooming Haddington, Dunbar in Bloom and East Lothian Council on their numerous achievements at the annual awards, including the overall winners award for North Berwick in Bloom for the second year in a row.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“It has been another incredibly successful year for East Lothian at the Beautiful Scotland Awards. Local groups have excelled themselves once again with North Berwick in Bloom again emerging as the overall winners, and Blooming Haddington and Dunbar in Bloom also among the medal winners.

“I have acknowledged and welcomed this significant local success in a motion tabled at the Scottish Parliament. A huge amount of voluntary effort goes into these achievements throughout the year and the work undertaken by all of the volunteers involved fully deserves to be recognised.”

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Ormiston Primary School’s digital success is marked at Holyrood

Iain Gray MSP has marked Ormiston Primary School’s success in being named the first ‘Digital School’ in the County with a parliamentary motion at Holyrood.

To achieve its digital status, the school had to demonstrate, among other things, the presence of a whole-school digital strategy, evidence of how it uses digital technology to enhance learning and a commitment to ongoing professional learning for its teachers.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Ormiston Primary has been a trailblazer for East Lothian in using new technology and this has been acknowledged through the Digital School Awards.

“I felt the school’s great success in being recognised for its excellence in digital technology teaching and learning was worthy of celebrating in Parliament. My motion acknowledges the school’s success and congratulates staff, pupils and parents, and East Lothian Council, on achieving digital school status.”

Macmillan coffee morning

Iain raises a cup for £200m charity fundraiser

Iain Gray MSP is helping World’s Biggest Coffee Morning pass its £200m fundraising total – by backing events in his East Lothian constituency.

The East Lothian MSP is backing Macmillan Cancer Support’s leading fundraising event this month, and he wants local people to get involved too.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“I know a considerable number of constituents have personal experiences of the problems a cancer diagnosis can bring to both patients and their families, and I know that Macmillan has been there to support many of those in need. 

“That’s why I will be supporting Macmillan coffee mornings in East Lothian again this year and urging fellow residents to support events in their area.

“However, I would also suggest people consider holding their own coffee morning. It’s an easy and fun way to raise money for Macmillan, and every penny raised will help people with cancer.”

Last year thousands of people across the UK took part in a Coffee Morning event, raising around £29.5m for Macmillan.

This year the total raised by Coffee Morning since it began in 1991 will pass the £200m mark.

The official day for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Friday 29th September but you can hold your own event at a time to suit you.

It couldn’t be more simple to get involved – all you need to do is get together with family, friends or colleagues over coffee and cake. You can register now for your free fundraising pack via the website – www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee – or find a Coffee Morning near you to get involved in.

torness visit

Parliamentarians visit Torness power station

Local parliamentarians Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP were joined by Shadow Minister for Scotland Paul Sweeney MP last week on a visit to Torness power station near Dunbar.

The parliamentarians were given a tour of the plant, met with staff and apprentices and discussed the contribution Torness makes to Scotland and the UK’s energy needs.

Speaking after the visit, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Torness power station is one of the biggest employers in East Lothian, and of course a major contributor to Scotland’s electricity needs – generating up to 20 per cent much of the time.

“The workforce of over 500 highly skilled engineers and technicians is one the County should be proud of, and credit to owners EDF, they nurture that by providing high quality apprenticeships for local youngsters every year.

“I have always been a regular visitor, but it is a while since I toured the whole plant, so I was happy to join Martin and Paul for this latest visit. The plant itself was looking in tremendous shape, and Torness’s safety record continues to be exemplary.

“It is always a pleasure to visit Torness and I look forward to continuing to stand up for the station and its workforce in the years to come.”

Martin Whitfield MP said:

“This was my first official visit to Torness as the local MP. It is a very important local employer and makes a vital contribution to our energy needs, being capable of producing enough energy to supply 2 million homes across the UK.

“The tour of the plant and update on its workforce, training and opportunities for apprenticeships for local people was really informative and useful. The contribution Torness makes to the local community is also impressive, including its learning outreach work with local schools.

“As the local constituency MP, I will always work with Iain to fight to the interests of the workforce at Torness and help ensure it keeps contributing to our energy needs.”

Glow Gold September

Backing Glow Gold September

Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP are backing this year’s Glow Gold September, the annual campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer.

Glow Gold September started last year, when campaigners across the UK, including Julie Yates and her daughter Niamh, launched the campaign. Hundreds of iconic buildings throughout the UK and beyond were lit up to help put childhood cancer in the spotlight and raise awareness of it.

Now in its second year, the campaign is asking parliamentarians and the public to support the Glow Gold message and help to focus attention on childhood cancer during the month of September.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Last year was the first Glow Gold September, which I was very pleased to support. Local campaigners Julie and Niamh Yates were at the forefront of getting the campaign off the ground and many iconic buildings, including the Scottish Parliament, were lit up for the first time.

“This year, Glow Gold September is set to be even bigger with more support in the UK and beyond. I am delighted to support the campaign again and will be doing all I can to help raise awareness of childhood cancer throughout the month of September.”

Martin Whitfield MP said:

“I remember reading about the important role Julie and Niamh played in getting childhood cancer awareness month moved from December to September in the UK. This helped to bring it into line with other campaigns internationally and has helped to raise the profile of childhood cancer in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Everyone involved in Glow Gold deserves great credit for improving the profile and understanding of childhood cancer and getting the message across to the public. I’ll be supporting the campaign in Parliament and in East Lothian to help reach even more people.”

For more information about Glow Gold September please visit www.facebook.com/GlowGoldSeptember

Supporters can add a twibbon to their social media profiles at https://twibbon.com/support/glow-gold-september

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County residents urged to support local producers for food and drink fortnight

County residents are being asked to change one thing in their daily life to support local producers during this year’s Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight (2 – 17 September).

Iain Gray MSP is supporting the nationwide annual event which supports and promotes Scotland’s produce and the people who grow, make, cook and sell it.

This year’s Fortnight is asking the Scottish public to think about how much Scottish food and drink they buy and consume and change one thing to help producers in their area.

The county is also a world leader on promoting local food and drink, with the innovative East Lothian BID (Business Improvement District) being the first of its kind in the world.

Speaking about his support for the campaign, Iain Gray MSP said:

“East Lothian boasts some of the finest produce anywhere in Scotland, or the UK for that matter. The County has also been leading the way when it comes to promoting its food and drink, with the ground-breaking East Lothian Food and Drink BID being an international first.

“Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight is another great opportunity to celebrate and promote this excellence. This year’s theme of changing one thing to support local producers is perfect for East Lothian. The campaign is suggesting a huge variety of ways for consumers to make changes which will support local producers, suppliers and retailers.

“I am urging local people to take a moment to visit www.fooddrinkfort.scot and do one thing during the campaign fortnight to help local producers. Just one change by many people can make a huge difference to East Lothian’s food and drink community.”

Scotland Food and Drink, the industry’s leadership organisation, organises Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight. It is urging people to get involved on social media and tweet about their change using the #onethingfortnight hashtag.

Visit www.fooddrinkfort.scot for more information about the campaign.

Wave Project

Iain welcomes lottery award for local surf project

Iain Gray MSP has welcomed the news that Dunbar-based surf therapy charity The Wave Project has been awarded £106,000 in Big Lottery funding.

Mr Gray has tabled a motion at Holyrood welcoming the award and congratulating everyone involved in the project, which provides surf therapy and peer mentoring for young people.

Speaking about the award, Iain Gray MSP said:

“The Wave Project has been running its surf therapy courses and Surf Club in Dunbar since 2014. It has enjoyed great success in a short space of time with much of that being down to the dedication of Jamie Marshall, the project’s co-ordinator in Scotland. I was pleased to acknowledge this significant lottery award for the project, which will assist it to further develop its activities and help even more young people.”