Momentous year for Scotland
2014 was a momentous year for Scotland, not least because the economy appears to have turned the corner and, despite a slight wobble at the end of the year, we can look forward to 2015 with some confidence. However, we are not out of the woods yet.
The recovery remains fragile and we must pull out all the stops to help businesses, and especially small businesses, flourish and grow.
Let’s start by reducing the heavy regulatory and tax burdens on small businesses. It’s also time for the rates system to become more transparent, fair and relevant, and we must simplify taxes, reform energy markets and make banking more competitive. The voice of small, local employers must also be heard in the debate about vocational education reform.
Finally, as local residents, let’s recognise that our businesses are essential to the health of our communities and give them the support they deserve.
Chairman, Ayrshire Branch
Federation of Small Businesses
Stop being boring
This New Year we are asking your readers to make a resolution to stop being boring!
Action for Children has launched National Children’s Hour, a new campaign to build memorable childhoods for all, and we are encouraging parents in Ayrshire to ask their children what they want to do with their time and embrace their lovely, and probably quite amusing, ideas.
Action for Children is offering a free-to-download activity pack with fun ideas from some of the 300,000 children and young people it supports and some from Julia Donaldson’s book, The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. The activities in the pack are not only entertaining; they’re proven to help children develop too.
So while it’s cold outside this January why not bring a story to life, make magic milk that looks like a potion or build a spaceship out of junk?
Download the pack from actionforchildren.org.uk/nch to join in the fun! And don’t forget to take loads of pictures and share them with Action for Children on Twitter and Facebook using #nch
Director of children’s services, Action for Children Scotland
Support us in 2015
I’m sure your readers were as moved as I was by the recent trials and tribulations of the Trueman family in Eastenders. Even though they are fictitious characters, their situation must be depressingly familiar to a great many people.
Did you know that there are around 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK just like Eastenders’ Denise, who are struggling every day to cope with the needs of an older or disabled loved one? One of our own studies found that 6 out of 10 carers had experienced feelings of anger towards the loved on they care for, due to the relentless pressure of their caring role. Just as for the Trueman family, the consequences of this can be terrible for carer and cared for alike.
I work for a charity called Revitalise, which provides much-needed breaks for disabled people and crucial respite for their carers. The breaks we provide at our accessible centres around the UK are an absolute lifeline, enabling disabled people to regain their strength and carers to take valuable time off and restore their ability to cope.
January is a time for New Year’s resolutions, so I’d like to ask your readers to resolve to support Revitalise’s vital work in 2015. In doing so you’ll be making a real difference to the lives of countless disabled people and their carers each year.
We couldn’t do what we do without your generous support, so please help us. There are so many ways you can support Revitalise, from donating money to volunteering, but whichever you choose, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that every minute of your time, every ounce of your energy and every penny you donate will make a difference.
So go on, resolve to support Revitalise in 2015! Find out how at www.revitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147.
Worse than Greece
Instead of attacking the decisive No vote shouldn’t the SNP be offering humble apologies? Perhaps, hopefully, even a bit of silence. If they really cared about the future of Scotland they should be eternily grateful for such a resounding No vote. Here’s why: For the past two years the Yes folk were eagerly supporting a load of bluster, bullying and wishful thinking to herald in their great new Socialist Utopia. This was to be funded on wildly deluded co-called “calculations” of oil wealth and phoney wind-power. Those of us without the Braveheart blinkers and with a wee bit of common sense were warning just how dangerous a path that would be to slither down, especially as businesses and banks would have fled. Since September 18th the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 per cent and is still falling. To have followed the Tartan Brick Road fantasy as set out by Salmond, Sturgeon and Co. would have left an independent Scotland a worse basket case than even Greece.
Barrachan Home Farm