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Gil Paterson MSP's 2020 Annual Report

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On the 6 October the rst of Scot-land’s Great Trails the West Highland Way celebrated its 40th birthday having opened on 6 October 1980.The West Highland Way travels 96 miles from Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire to Fort William in the Highlands traveling through the scenic villages of Drymen, Balmaha, Ro-wardennan, Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy and Kinlochleven and provides direct access to Ben Lomond and Ben Nevis.Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pan-demic celebrations have been curtailed a bit but the WHW team have put together an on-line exhibition which consists of stories, rem-inisces, photographs, videos and artworks provided by those who have used and experi-enced the trail over the past 40 years.I brought this to the attention of the Scottish Parliament on 30 September congratulating WHW on its rst 40 years and spoke on BBC Radio Scotland in celebration of its achieve-ments. Both the National and local papers helped to mark the day with features on WHW.Celebrating 40 years of the West Highland WayOn 17 February 2020 I hosted an event in the Clydebank Town Hall for EU citizens working in Scotland who were concerned about their status and what arrangements would be in place for EU nationals when Brexit happened.Pawel Kopec from the EU Citizens Project joined me at the event which was very well attended and dozens of EU citizens aired their concerns about the impact of Brexit on them. The purpose of the event was to help EU citizens to sign up with the EU Settlement Scheme, funded by the Scottish Government and to provide information on the practicali-ties of gaining settlement.Pawel Kopec made presentation followed by a detailed question and answer session which was well received.The other purpose of the event was to re-assure EU citizens that they are welcome in Scotland and always will be. I hope we man-aged to do that.Clydebank Town Hall event for EU citizens in constituencyCOVID-19 has COVID-19 has been a major been a major challenge but challenge but we have seen we have seen communities communities come together come together like never like never before...before...This has been a very difcult year indeed, unprecedented times we are living at the moment, that has seen ordinary people doing extra ordinary things. From the heroes in all parts of our NHS, Care workers, Emergency Services, Shop Workers, Council Workers, Teach-ers and all those working in the education sector and Ofcials from top to bottom, they have all been magnicent in keep-ing the rest of us safe and looked after.Of course even so, we have lost many of our people to this pernicious pandemic, I want to ex-press my gratitude for the unstinting dedication and sacrice shown during this time of emergency.Although I am standing down at the next election my dearest wish is that this bad experience is over and we can get back to normality.I would of course want to thank all of my constituents for the opportunity to work and represent you for the last 10 years, it is a privilege and never to be forgotten.GIL PATERSON MSP ANNUAL REPORT 2020

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On the 19 February I hosted a reception in the Scottish Parliament to highlight the great work being carried out by Dr. Kenny Brophy, Senior Archaeologist of University of Glasgow, involving the community of Faiey, West Dun-bartonshire Council and Knowes Housing As-sociation to make more people aware of the Cochno Stone and the abundance of Neolithic sites in the area and to make it accessible to the public.Cochno Stone Parliament eventMartin Docherty-Hughes MP and I were ap-proached by Clydebank FC who highlighted the plight of clubs who play in the lower tiers of Scottish Football, which being profession-al were allowed, and required, to play but spectators were banned. You can imagine the dire situation they are in because of covid19 and the operation-al restrictions placed on them. Clydebank FC rely entirely on their community for their nancial survival, as do other clubs who play at this level.As a result, I wrote to the Minister for Pub-lic Health, Sport and Wellbeing on their behalf and asked him to consider a Hardship Fund for sports clubs caught in this funding prob-lem to ensure their survival until the pandemic is over. I also asked the Minister to instigate a review of guidelines so that a restricted num-ber of spectators could attend if the clubs could demonstrate that sufcient measures were in place to prevent transmission. Local football clubs should be given hardship funds to helpGIL PATERSON MSP ANNUAL REPORT 2020It was uplifting to meet with Strathclyde Autistic Society’s Karen Watt, Family Support Co-Ordinator and is Susan Dolan, Chairperson earlier in the year.As part of this years launch of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week I visited CCG (Scotland) Ltd’s off-site manufacturing factory in Cambuslang and their housing development at the former St Andrews High School site in Clydebank.

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My bid to change the law in Scotland to make post-mortem examinations fairerAs a result of long delays in returning Paige Doherty’s body to her family caused by de-fence post mortem examinations, I decided to introduce a Bill to the Scottish Parlia-ment to restrict the time defence lawyers could take to instruct second and subse-quent post mortems.I hoped that by creating a time limit for defence post mortem examinations it would reduce the delays in the release of bodies to their families which would reduce stress experienced by the families of the deceased and provide more certainty about when funeral arrangements could be made.My Bill entitled “The Post-mortem Exam-inations (Defence Time Limit) (Scotland) Bill” was introduced to Parliament on 21 May 2020 and is currently at stage 1 of the legislative process where general principles are being agreed.Unfortunately, because of the coronavi-rus progress with Bill through Parliament has been slower than anticipated but I am still hopeful that it proceeds to a good conclusion.On 13 March I visited the Beatson in Glasgow to discuss their current research programme and had a very informative tour of the facili-ty and a lay-person presentation of the great work they were undertaking. In Parliament I submitted a motion high-lighting Cancer Research UK’s recent award of £3.5 million for research into new radi-otherapy technologies and techniques as part of their RadNet programme, an award which will help fund the Beatson’s ground breaking work over the next few years. Since the coronavirus pandemic everyone appreciates the importance of medical sci-ence and we are much more aware of the dedicated skills base of those who work in research and I thank all health and care workers for their huge contribution in get-ting us through these very difcult timesI also wish the cancer research workers at the Beatson continued success in their truly vital work.Parliamentary recognition for the Beatson after successful visit to discuss the latest researchThe cost of this publication was met through parliamentary resources.Paige DohertyPaige DohertyDue to the huge reduction in aircraft activ-ity caused by the lockdown restrictions, we have had the opportunity to properly assess the real impact of aircraft noise on the most affected communities.Most will know that I have been work-ing for many years with Glasgow Airport, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government to build an insula-tion scheme for households worst affect-ed by aircraft noise pollution.On Saturday 1 November 8,700 ques-tionnaires were delivered to properties in the 45dBA contour area, the level above which the World Health Organisation say explicitly that damage to health occurs. The questionnaire is asking residents to record their experiences in relation to how noise levels have affected them before and during the pandemic.The questions asked were in relation to indoor and outdoor noise levels, night time aircraft noise and lost sleep and asks respondents to indicate on a 5-level scale their experiences, from not being affected at all to severely affected. The question on lost sleep ranges from never lose sleep to always.As of 30th November, we have over 2700 returns, which at the time of writing is over 32% response.The information we gather about local resident’s experiences before and during the pandemic will be extremely helpful in our future funding negotiations with both the Airport and the UK Government.Huge uptake in recent aircraft noise surveyGIL PATERSON MSP ANNUAL REPORT 2020