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The branch in Strathaven which is earmarked for closure


The Royal Bank of Scotland is sticking to its guns at present on the closure of its branches in Strathaven, Carnwath and Lesmahagow, arguing that there are branches for customers in Hamilton and Lanark. RBS believes that branches some seven and a half miles away are close enough to these small towns, but for elderly people that is too far to travel. 

In its announcement that it was closing branches, RBS said that it had a national agreement for its customers to use the Post Office banking services. Given the problems with Strathaven Post Office, which closed last week - albeit on a temporary basis - I am arguing that this should be a trigger to retain this bank branch.

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RBS tells me it is aware of the situation with Strathaven Post Office and it is in discussions with the Post Office and monitoring it closely.

The closure of these three branches is unacceptable, and I will have another meeting with RBS in the near future, when I will again push to have them kept open.

I will also find out more about the reviews which are to be carried out on the usage of the Douglas and Biggar branches which have been granted a reprieve.  


three peaks

Today I met these amazing young men who are about to embark upon an epic adventure to raise money for UK mental health charity Young Minds.

Clark Burrell, from Douglas, is a PE teacher at Crosshouse Primary School, and Lewis Cleland, from Lanark, is a PE teacher student, studying at UWS in Ayr.

In their 3 peaks 2 men 1 week challenge they will climb Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England, and Ben Nevis in Scotland, hoping to raise £10,000 for the charity. They set out on April 2.

It is an amazing challenge: see them on twitter - clelandlewis94 or @burrell_mr - and support them through their Just Giving link.


Carluke High Mill 002

Carluke Development Trust has been awarded £278,000 by the Scottish Land Fund to take ownership of the High Mill - built around 1797 - on behalf of the community.

This is fantastic news for Carluke.

Together with the Carluke Development Trust, we have been listening to the voices of people in the town about what can and should be done to enhance the offering to the community.

It is thanks to the input of Carlukians, that the CDT has been successful in obtaining this vital funding. This grant gives the town the opportunity to work towards putting in place what people have said they would like to see happen.

Carluke High Mill is a historical landmark which, with the regeneration, has great potential to be a new resource and major attraction for the town.



Biggar pupils learn about healthy eating


The Scottish Government will advocate world-leading proposals to restrict the promotion of unhealthy food when it unveils its strategy on tackling obesity later this year.


Its consultation on A Healthier Future - Action and Ambitions on Diet, Activity, and Healthy Weight closed last month, with over 360 academics, health professionals, members of the general public and organisations, local authorities and members of the food and drinks industry responding. The consultation paper proposed restrictions on promoting or advertising specific types of food and drink, encouraging healthier more active lives, and encouraging better practice within the public sector and food and drink industry.


We’re committed to taking forward a package of bold measures to make it easier for people to make healthier choices and to empower personal change.


We fully appreciate all comments received to our consultation and will consider them carefully as we consider where our draft strategy can be strengthened.


Our forthcoming strategy will include world leading proposals to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt or sugar. Improving the food environment is the single biggest change we want to see and we are not afraid to show ambition and daring in our approach.


We are backing the strategy with investment, committing £42m over five years on weight management services for those with or at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.


Responses ranged from a suggestion that crisps should be banned in schools to a call for the labelling traffic lights to be looked at again. In addition to the responses received directly by the Scottish Government, four organisations undertook consultation events with specific groups. Over 630 people participated in these consultation exercises.


The Scottish Government will consider the responses together with expert advice and evidence when developing the final strategy, due for publication this summer. The responses can be found here:






 Communities across Clydesdale are set to benefit from greater support as a result of the Scottish Government’s Budget approved yesterday.

This is a budget which protects low and middle income earners, while delivering significant investments in the NHS, public services, affordable homes, and superfast broadband.

It delivers a stronger funding deal for South Lanarkshire, and fairer income taxes - 70% of taxpayers will pay less than they did last year in income tax. Polling shows that Scots back the Scottish Government’s fairer tax plans by 2 to 1.

It provides a pay rise of a minimum of 3 per cent for our hard working public sector employees.

And it ensures an additional £400 million for the NHS, an expansion in childcare, extra funding for our police and fire services.

Over the next four years £600 million is to be invested to deliver 100% superfast broadband to every home and premise in Scotland by the end of 2021. This commitment is a very welcome step for people across Clydesdale, and is an ambitious initiative to make Scotland a world-class digital nation.

In the face of massive Westminster cuts, ongoing Tory austerity and a damaging hard Brexit – this budget provides investment to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.





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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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