East Dunbartonshire Council called out in parliament for welcoming ‘absolutely no’ refugees

COUNCIL bosses have been criticised in the Scottish Parliament for welcoming “absolutely no” refugees to East Dunbartonshire.

Rona Mackay MSP called out East Dunbartonshire Council in the chamber during a debate on refugees on Thursday September 9 in Holyrood.

Building on her solid record of speaking up for children and young people, Ms Mackay also asked a question to Deputy First Minister John Swinney during a ministerial update on the Named Person policy earlier in the day.

In her speech, the Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said: “I have to say that my local authority, East Dunbartonshire Council, is one of the three that welcomed absolutely no refugees, citing lack of housing as the reason. That is the same Labour-Tory-led coalition that takes 81 days to rehouse people into vacant social housing, despite an enormous waiting list. Surely it is not beyond the wit of man or woman to find a way to accommodate refugee families in a predominantly affluent area such as Dunbartonshire. Many people I know have said that they would happily open their doors and take in a family.”

The debate marked Scotland resettling 1,000 Syrians fleeing war from Syria.

Earlier in the day, the MSP asked the deputy first minister a question at the ministerial update on the Named Person policy.

Ms Mackay, a strong advocate of the policy, asked: “I could not agree more with the cabinet secretary’s concern about the debilitating impact of the peddling of misinformation on the morale and confidence of practitioners who day in, day out do one of the hardest jobs there is: supporting vulnerable children and families. Does the cabinet secretary agree that the Tories should tone down their hysterical rhetoric on the named person and accept the judgment of the Supreme Court, which stated that the intent of the legislation is ‘unquestionably legitimate and benign’?”

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Rona Mackay was elected in May 2016 with a 8,100 majority in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Prior to this, she was a journalist in national newspapers for more than 20 years, before becoming Parliamentary Assistant to Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson, with whom she worked for nine years before becoming elected.

 

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