Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

August News - Constituency

green-house

As you may be aware, I love August. I get to sleep in my own bed every night, get out and about in the constituency and take in some of the Fringe highlights. As the MP for around 80% of Fringe venues I do feel I have a role to play in looking at how the city can benefit most from the summer Festivals.  I used my August column in the Edinburgh Evening News to do just that – you can read it here.

I also ran my regular street surgery in the Old Town this month – focussing on the Canongate polling district.  Alongside individual problems and support, I talked with a number of residents about the issues affecting the community, many of which are enhanced by the influx of visitors from short term let concerns to the increase in litter and noise.

If you live in Craigmillar you’ll be well acquainted with the wonderful Green House. I had a great time helping Julie out in the Green House one lunchtime. It's a brilliant community resource - helping folk save money and the environment. If you're able to volunteer for a few hours, donate high quality goods or are looking for some bargains, make sure you pop in and support them!

A highlight of every summer is the Portobello beach busk. Due to a travel mess up I wasn’t able to get back from London in time to judge the sandcastles. Thankfully Cllr Kate Campbell stepped up to take my place – doing an excellent job.  Was great to meet up with her later in the day at the busk.

Thanks to John Moore and the team at Lothian Community Transport Services for welcoming me on a visit. They're a wonderful organisation, providing vital lifeline services to many of our most vulnerable neighbours. LCTS also works closely with community groups like the Ripple Project in Lochend, helping older people and people with disabilities to access their services.  The UK Government is considering changes to the rules for provision of community transport which could disadvantage LCTS and the many great organisations who rely on them and other providers like them. I'll be doing everything I can to stop this.

In addition to my meetings around the drug campaign, I had a very productive chat with Chief Superintendent Gareth Blair, the new divisional commander of Edinburgh's police. We discussed a wide range of issues affecting Edinburgh East including bike crime, domestic violence and drug policy. I'm looking forward to working with Gareth in his new role.

I spent some time with the team at the Recruitment & Skills Centre at Fort Kinnaird. I had an interesting discussion with Rona, Liam and John about how they match job-seekers in the local area with vacancies at the retail outlets. We also spoke about the importance of the real Living Wage from employers and potential ways to drive this forward.

Nearly 40 years after I last delivered the post as a student in Aberdeen, I headed out with Saman to help with deliveries in Craigentinny. I really appreciated the team at Royal Mail setting up the visit to the local delivery centre – it’s incredible how much hasn’t changed in 40 years.  During the visit I had a useful discussion with Willie - the CWU rep and political officer about some of the issues facing the work force.  I’ve got serious respect for the job our posties do – out and about in all weathers making sure we get our letters and parcels.

 

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Monday, 22 October 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
11 October 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
We were supposed to set off from Johnston Terrace at one o’clock on last Saturday’s march for independence. In fact, it was a quarter past two by the time I turned into the Lawnmarket and began the walk down the Royal Mile to Holyrood.That’s what happens when the biggest gathering in years descends upon the centre of Edinburgh and parades through narrow medieval streets. As a popular tweet quipped...
Tommy Sheppard
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Tommy's Blog
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Going back to Westminster after the summer recess you can almost feel the impending doom in the air. It’s the calm before the storm. Everyone knows something bad is going to happen. Just not what exactly. Like waiting for the ghoul to reveal itself in a horror movie.

And as the dread unfolds the discussion about whether there should be another Brexit referendum will intensify.

Tommy Sheppard
16 August 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
How’s your festival going? Are you thrilled to bits at the world’s largest arts festival being on your doorstep? Are you overdosing on culture in one of the 200+ festival venues? Or do you spend August grimacing as it takes twice as long to get anywhere and the city centre is taken over by hordes of impossibly enthusiastic young people.Whatever your view on the summer festivals there’s no doubt th...
Tommy Sheppard
20 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
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Tommy Sheppard
20 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
This month in parliament we celebrated the 90th anniversary of all women being allowed the vote with the passing of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act. This built on the Act a decade before which gave some women – those over 30 and either married or property owners – the vote. Every time we mark these historical landmarks I am struck not by how long ago they were, but by how recent.The 1920s were an age...