Kenny MacAskill MSP

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Kenny MacAskill MSP

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  • Member for: Edinburgh Eastern
  • Region: Lothian
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Kenny is a member of the following Committees:

Kenny is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Kenny MacAskill

Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
Kenny MacAskill (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)

I, too, thank Rod Campbell for securing this debate, and I want to echo the points that he has already made. His motion, which covers national and local aspects, offers us the opportunity not only to review the past year of success but to look forward to even better times both nationally and at community level.

This has been a great year for sport not just in Glasgow—although I think that history will record that what happened this year was transformational for the city and has given it the chance to look forward to future successes, not just to look back at past successes—but, as Rod Campbell has pointed out, in other places such as Gleneagles and communities the length and breadth of the country.

Scotland is a better place for what has been achieved not just by those meeting their paid and salaried commitments but by those volunteers who helped with the Commonwealth games, for example, or who are, as Rod Campbell said, the unsung heroes. They support sport at a grass-roots level every day, and they have done so even when the times have perhaps not been as favourable as they are now.

What has happened this year has also been transformational with the recognition that sport is not simply an individual action. People can join clubs or take out gym memberships, and Government has clearly recognised that we have to encourage participation in sport for the public good. Even if some sports are individual pursuits, it is all about the collective good, and in that respect I echo Rod Campbell’s comments.

The fact is that this year has been good not only for the elite but for the grass roots. I know that Rod Campbell has that grass-roots commitment at his heart; he mentioned Howe of Fife, and I know about the lobbying that he has done on behalf of that club. I, too, pay tribute to the club’s success and the international players who have gone on to success wearing the Scottish jersey, but I also know of Mr Campbell’s efforts to ensure that the club has the facilities in order to secure future successes to match those of the players who are currently pulling on the dark blue jersey.

I know of such successes in my own community. For example, Lochend Amateur Boxing Club, which is in a challenged area, has had its difficulties in the past, but it has been remarkable in the way that it has dealt with and turned round some challenging individuals. This has been a remarkable year for the club. Josh Taylor’s success in winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth games has been felt not just by every member of the club but by the entire community, as has the success of Lewis Benson, who was successful in getting to the games but was unlucky in the draw and unfortunate in not getting further. The same effects at grass-roots level can be seen in Edinburgh Eastern as in North East Fife.

We have the possibility to build on the legacy for the future, to compete internationally and to make bids for other events. Because of the size of our stadia, we are not going to get a champions league final, but there are other international events that we can bid for, and our track record of success puts us in a position where we can look forward to successfully hosting other international events.

As Rod Campbell has said, this debate is also about what is happening at the grass roots. Many years ago, the late David Taylor made the point to me that, although Scotland had some of the best professional football facilities of any small nation anywhere in the world, we had some of the worst community facilities in Europe. That is why we must ensure that the legacy is not just about how we do in international—or even national or regional—competitions, but what we do at grass-roots level. The days of blaes pitches for young footballers must be consigned to the past as 3G pitches come in.

As Liz Smith has made clear, it is not only football and rugby that have had a boost, but boxing and numerous others sports. We have a chance not only to make Scotland a better place and put it on the global sporting map but to build a grass-roots sporting opportunity with the recognition that sport is for all, irrespective of people’s ability and the size of their wallets. Equally, however, we have to give people such as those who play at Howe of Fife the opportunity to compete on an international stage. That can be done; indeed, it is being done. We can look back at success but we can also look forward to an equally successful future.

12:49  

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Kenny MacAskill (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)

I, too, record my thanks to Christine Grahame for raising the issue of credit unions. It has been raised in Parliament on previous occasions, but it is right that we discuss it again, not just because of the time of year, to which Malcolm Chisholm referred, but because credit unions are important in themselves, and we should continue to drive home that message, to ensure that the Government responds by continuing its commitment to them.

It is important for us to recall the general and the specific matters to which the debate gives rise. As well as paying tribute to the local credit union that Christine Grahame spoke about, those who work in it and those who act as volunteers, we should remember the specific issue that Christine Grahame and Malcolm Chisholm commented on.

I should declare that I am a member of a credit union—Castle Credit Union, which was originally Craigmillar Credit Union. It now serves an enlarged area, which means that it has benefited from greater capital and a larger membership.

We owe thanks to two groups. First, we need to thank those who are directly involved in credit unions and those who volunteer. Specific mention has been made of the churches. In debates in the chamber, members sometimes take a sceptical view of those members of the faith communities who volunteer. I share Christine Grahame’s view that, regardless of whether people who volunteer are from the secular part of our society or are among those who profess a faith, we should welcome those who give and those who contribute. In my constituency and elsewhere, we face another swathe of church closures, and we might well rue the day that the opportunities that were offered in various communities, not simply by the church building but by the church hall and those who participated in activities in it, are lost.

I want to comment on two particular aspects. I turn first to the good work that is done by credit unions, which often operate in areas in which there are no banking opportunities. Craigmillar is an example of such an area. The community is smaller than it once was. There used to be a TSB branch there, but now there are no banking opportunities. The same is true of many peripheral areas—and some urban areas—in Scotland. The banks are going through a raft of closures. That is understandable, given that people such as me do internet banking, but the issue of access to funds and to banks in many areas of deprivation remains a significant problem.

It appears to me that the use of credit unions offers a solution. The outreach work that they do, to which Christine Grahame and Malcolm Chisholm testified, is seen not only in Craigmillar but in places such as Gilmerton in my constituency, where access to finance is also difficult. Credit unions offer people who are in deprivation, who face challenges and who cannot get access to finance an opportunity to deal with austerity, but they are not simply for those in deprived areas and the less well-off members of our society. They offer opportunities that I and other members take up.

In particular, I would like to put on record the good work that is done by the Scottish Police Credit Union. In doing so, I will touch on the point that Malcolm Chisholm made: credit unions are there for all. People who join the Police Service of Scotland are encouraged to join the Police Credit Union. That can be of benefit to them. Young men and women may find themselves being posted to police stations that are distant from where they live. They may have to buy a car, and it may be that the best way to obtain that vehicle and to be able to carry out their work would be through the Police Credit Union.

Credit unions provide an opportunity to address austerity, but they should also be used as a matter of course. No matter whether we are talking about MSPs, people in the public sector or indeed people in the private sector, credit unions have so much to offer not just in Penicuik but throughout Scotland.

17:20  

Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

You are right to thank all those who have been involved, convener. Things are moving forward post the Rotherham case and the Alexis Jay investigation, and action is under way. The issue will evolve, but all that can be done by us has been done, and the issue is now back with the voluntary and statutory agencies.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

Yes. We cannot decide the timetable for Scottish schools, which have been under pressure to include areas such as business and financial advice. The Government is showing willing on the petition, so we should leave SRE to those in charge of it.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

I think that there are two issues. The first is land ownership. Land ownership brings rights, but it also brings responsibilities. It is therefore disappointing that the landowner has not taken the opportunity to write to us. We should perhaps pursue the roads issue with Argyll and Bute Council, but it seems to me that someone owns the land, and that those who have a vested interest in the site, whether through their statutory responsibilities or their ownership of it, should do that bit more in relation to the site.

Equally, on the historical aspect, I think that it is appropriate to push Historic Scotland on the issue. The community that we are dealing with might be marginal, but it is part of Scotland’s historical tapestry, as Michael Russell said.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

What has been suggested seems a sensible way forward.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

It would be better to try to get parties to work together. From listening to Iain Gray and Shona Brash, it seems that industrial development is not precluded. It is recognised that the worst thing might be simply to go on the market to the highest bidder, which might be even worse than the worst extremes of what is before us.

We need to seek public engagement. Given the size of the footprint, there must be an opportunity to achieve some of the things that can be delivered, taking a view of Scotland’s future energy needs in the 21st century, while ensuring that public assets and public goods can be retained. We need to encourage the parties to come together and work constructively rather than one side giving an edict or a diktat, although it has doubtless been well researched. The tone and the tenor are important, as we are trying to reach an accord. People might not necessarily be on opposite sides, and they could sit down and chat.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

I agree with the proposals.



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

I can see arguments for and advantages to the proposal. Can you see any disadvantages or arguments against it? I am thinking about how freedom of information could be abused in relation to the housing of offenders, antisocial behaviour or other rights that people may have. Do you see any downsides as well as the upsides? How can we manage and protect individuals from what might be the abuse—if I can call it that—of freedom of information?



Public Petitions Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Kenny MacAskill

It might be useful to hear in due course, either via the minister or directly from the new JCR, what her view is as a fresh pair of eyes.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
>> Show more
YesCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Kenny MacAskill
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11567: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11314: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11278: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11277: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11114.2: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11101: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10964: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10634: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10278: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09557.2: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Kenny MacAskill
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S3W-33254: Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh East and Musselburgh, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/04/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32438: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32439: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32437: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32099: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32094: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32097: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32098: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32095: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32096: Kenny MacAskill, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2007 Show Full Question >>

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