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Council election 2022

BO’NESS SNP COUNCIL CANDIDATE ON WHAT THE SNP HAS DONE AND WILL DO TO REDUCE COST OF LIVING CRISIS.

The SNP candidate for Bo’ness and Blackness, Stacey Devine, has welcomed the doubling of the Scottish Child Payment as well as re-iterating what the SNP has done and will do to reduce the cost of living locally and across Scotland. 

The flagship family payment has now doubled to £20 per week per child with 104,000 children across Scotland already benefiting from this increase.

The payment, which is unique to Scotland, was designed to tackle child poverty directly. It is one of five family benefits which provides financial support to low income families with children aged under 6.

The benefit will be extended at the end of the year to all eligible children under the age of 16 – and at that point also increase further from £20 to £25.

Once extended, it is expected over 400,000 children could be eligible. The newly doubled Scottish Child Payment, together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, will provide families with more than £10,000 by the time their first child turns 6 and £9,700 for subsequent children. This compares to less than £1,800 for an eligible family’s first child in England and Wales, and less than £1,300 for subsequent children.

Stacey Devine said:

“The doubling of the Scottish Child Payment, which has been made possible because of the SNP Scottish Government, is welcomed, particularly now when families are being hit terribly hard by the Tory cost of living crisis.

“The SNP Scottish Government is using the limited powers it has to give every child the best possible start in life and the Scottish Child Payment is central to that. Let’s not forget that in Scotland, the SNP Scottish Government has scrapped prescription charges, introduced free period products, introduced free tuition, introduced the baby box, among many other things which helps to reduce the cost of living for everyone who lives here. 

“It has also recently been shown that Scottish tax payers pay the cheapest council tax in the UK – people in band D on average pay £590 less a year than is the case in England. Further to this, those resident in England also have to pay for expensive water charges, prescriptions and may also have to pay tens of thousands in tuition fees, and so on. This shows that the SNP’s priorities are in the right place. 

“At a time when households are faced with spiralling living costs, the Tory government has barely lifted a finger while the Scottish Government is showing what is possible with the limited powers we have. Of course, we could do so much more with the full powers of independence. 

“I’m standing for election to Falkirk Council. Local authorities are responsible for implementing many of the policies i’ve mentioned. My pledge to the voters of Bo’ness and Blackness is that I will do what I can to continue these policies, and to support further measures to reduce the cost of living in Bo’ness and Blackness and across Falkirk Council. 

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Council election 2022

BO’NESS SNP ANNOUNCES CANDIDATE FOR COUNCIL ELECTION

The Bo’ness branch of the SNP has this week announced its candidate for the upcoming Scottish Council elections on Thursday the 5th of May.

The new candidate, Stacey Devine, has made clear the kind of councillor she wants to be, outlining her five main priorities at the start of her campaign:

  1. Supporting our community and the people within it – Stacey will be an advocate for our communities at Falkirk Council. She is committed to being there, listening to the people who live and work here and taking these views to the heart of our local democracy.
  2. Regeneration of our town centre – Supporting business and kickstarting our economy as we recover from the pandemic. Stacey has outlined that she will work closely with all relevant stakeholders to make this happen.
  3. A strong SNP council team dedicated to working for you. Bo’ness needs united progress – not party political opposition for the sake of it. Stacey believes strongly in collaboration not stagnation – both for Bo’ness and Blackness, and across Falkirk Council.
  4. Fairness and transparency – Stacey believes that local voices matter on local issues. Any decision made by local government must have the interests of the people who live and work here at their heart.
  5. Accessibility and availability – Stacey plans to hold regular in person surgeries as well as digital appointments. This is key to ensuring that the people of Bo’ness have their voices heard, and that they are able to get support from their elected representatives when needed.

Electing Stacey will ensure the communities of Bo’ness and Blackness have a councillor they can rely on, and an administration that can deliver a recovery that serves everyone in Bo’ness. Stacey wants to hear from as many Bo’ness residents as possible, and is contactable via her campaign email: StaceyDevineSNP@gmail.com.

“It is truly an honour to be selected as Bo’ness SNP’s candidate for Bo’ness and Blackness ward in the upcoming council election. In just over six weeks, the local government elections will take place across Scotland. Growing up in Dean Court where my mum was the scheme manager, I went to Deanburn Primary School before heading to St Mungo’s High School. I’ve been a Flower Girl at the Fair, learned to swim at the Recreation Centre, line danced at Bo’ness Town Hall and had my first jobs here in Bo’ness. I know the challenges that Bo’ness is facing. I also know how the community often comes together to meet these challenges for themselves. The SNP has a long and proud history of delivering for Bo’ness stretching back into the 1950’s and 60’s. I am truly priveleged to continue this legacy. “As your councillor, I will work to be as fair and as transparent as possible. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to represent this community that means so much to me and I will be a strong voice for Bo’ness and Blackness in Falkirk Council.”

Bo’ness SNP’s candidate for Councillor, Stacey Devine.
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Local news

BO’NESS SNP DONATES TO POLAR ACADEMY BASED AT BO’NESS ACADEMY

The Bo’ness Branch of the SNP has recently donated £250 to the 2021/22 Polar Academy team at Bo’ness Academy, which will be embarking on an ambitious and life-changing expedition to Greenland in 2022. 


The organisation, founded by Bo’ness local Craig Mathieson, looks to inspire young people through ‘inspiration by exploration’ – in Bo’ness Academy’s case, through months of training and fundraising, and eventually a Polar expedition to Greenland next year. 


On Tuesday 2nd of November, the Convener of Bo’ness SNP David Mitchell briefly met with some of the people involved in making this happen. 


Commenting, David Mitchell, convener of Bo’ness Branch SNP, said :


“ I am truly more than happy to present this donation to the Polar Academy.

 
As someone who went through school in Bo’ness, i’ve been aware of the work that Craig has been doing since I was at primary school. 
It was great to briefly meet with some of those involved in the Polar Academy on Tuesday, including Craig, pupils, parents, and other volunteers. It’s clear this is an extremely busy time for them – between expedition training, munro climbing, and visiting and keeping up with COP26. I was also hearing about the intense physical training they were about to start. It really has taken a lot and I look forward to hearing more about what they will achieve. 


I would recommend that anyone interested in the work of the Polar Academy watches the ‘Arctic Academy’ series on BBC from 2019, which follows some of the Polar Academy’s work. 


I commend their dedication and I wish them well for the future, on behalf of Bo’ness SNP.”

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Local news

Bo’ness SNP sends donation to new patient support charity based in Bo’ness

This month, the Bo’ness branch of the SNP has donated £250 to a new local charity, Bo’ness Car 4U. 

Bo’ness Car 4U is a newly registered SCIO, set up with the aim of providing a free and friendly hospital transport service for cancer patients registered with any Bo’ness medical practice.

Going to and from hospital for cancer treatment can be difficult. Public transport is often infrequent and expensive, while driving involves the stress of traffic and hospital parking.

Bo’ness Car 4U is a small local charity made up of volunteer drivers who are seeking to remove these worries for those undergoing cancer treatment. 

The Bo’ness Car 4U service aims to launch in 2022, and they are looking for volunteers and donations. More details can be found on their website, and Facebook page. http://www.bonesscar4u.scot/

Commenting, local Bo’ness SNP Councillor, Ann Ritchie, said;

“We know that getting to hospital for cancer treatment can be difficult, and we know that often, driving to or using public transport to reach these services can cause additional stress for those receiving treatment for cancer. 

The local SNP branch believes that this new charity will provide a service which makes the lives of those undergoing this treatment easier. 

This is why we have made this donation to the Bo’ness Car 4U, and we urge others to get in touch with the charity to assist with donations and volunteers.”

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Local news Michelle Thomson MSP

MICHELLE THOMSON MSP CONGRATULATES BO’NESS ACADEMY PUPILS IN PARLIAMENT

Michelle Thomson, SNP MSP for Falkirk East, has put forward a motion to the Scottish Parliament congratulating Callum Bloomfield, Tayler Adamson and Jamie Demirkoc on winning the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) at Bo’ness Academy.

The three pupils had to research local organisations as part of the YPI initiative and decide which, in their view, was best placed to make a positive contribution to their community. As the winners they received £3,000 to donate to their chosen charity or organisation, Bo’ness Storehouse.

Commenting, Michelle Thomson MSP, Falkirk East constituency, said:

“The Youth Philanthropy Initiative is a fantastic competition taking place in schools across Falkirk district and across the country. I applaud Callum, Tayler and Jamie on their work and congratulate them further on winning a great prize that will have a real positive impact on the communities of Bo’ness.

“These competitions do more for our communities than we could possibly measure. By giving local students the opportunity to research and understand more about what is going on in the communities they live, it is sure to have a positive impact on them and the place they call home.”

“I very much look forward to hearing more about initiatives like this from across Falkirk East constituency.”

Michelle Thomson on the success of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative.

Michelle’s motion congratulating the pupils is as follows:

That the Parliament congratulates the Bo’ness academy S3 pupils, Callum Bloomfield, Tayler Adamson and Jamie Demirkoc, who recently won the youth and philanthropy initiative (ypi) at the school, receiving £3,000 to donate to their chosen charity, Bo’ness storehouse; understands that the group researched their local community and identified the local social service charity that they believed was best placed to make a positive contribution to their community; recognises that the YPI offers the opportunity for people to receive first-hand experience of philanthropy and advice on what they can do to make a positive impact on their communities; considers it important to understand the social issues faced by communities and what can be done to alleviate those issues by investment and support; encourages all young people across Falkirk district to follow this example and become champions of their own communities in tackling social issues; congratulates everyone involved in YPI at Bo’ness academy on their hard work, and wishes them well for the future.

Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – May 2021

Welcome to Bo’ness SNP’s monthly update for May 2021.

Following a sensational election victory for our candidate Michelle Thomson and the extremely busy campaign that preceded it, you’ll understand why we’ve been slightly quieter this month, compared to last.

So let’s start by welcoming a new member this month. A warm welcome to Raymond who has transferred from another SNP branch to Bo’ness branch.

The first week of May 2021 was an extremely busy one – as a branch, we completed a comprehensive ‘get out the vote’ exercise of speaking to and leafletting supporters in the week before poll.

To ensure we were COVID compliant, sticking with the guidance regarding campaigning, this took a bit longer than usual. So through a mix of traditional door knocking and leafletting throughout the week prior to and on polling day, we ensured we reached everyone we wanted to. Well done to everyone involved, and to everyone we spoke to, thank you for your time. There are too many pictures from the week before to do this effort justice, so please look at some of the below.

Then when polling day came, we made sure we had an active presence at polling stations to welcome voters and ensure due scrutiny of the democratic process. While it was a shame that the other parties didn’t have the same presence at the polling stations, the election went forward in Bo’ness in an extremely positive manner and we commend everyone who took part.

Of course, the story of the day was that the number of the people who did take part was extremely large – the greatest turnout of any Scottish election thus far. 63% turnout in Falkirk East – the highest the constituency has ever had in a Scottish election. It became clear that this would be the case early on in polling day, and Bo’ness branch SNP hope this continues in future.

Then there was the count. This made clear the size of Michelle’s majority. 18,417 – the highest number of votes counted for any candidate in a Scottish Parliament election in Falkirk East ever. You can read more about this in detail here.

You can also watch Michelle’s excellent speech at the count below.

“We are delighted that Michelle Thomson has been elected as MSP for Falkirk East, with an overwhelming backing of the people of Bo’ness.  Michelle ran a very positive and energetic campaign which looks to have captured the attention of the constituents of Falkirk East.  Michelle will be an asset at Holyrood and a strong voice for Falkirk East.  She was ably backed by the hardworking Bo’ness SNP campaign Team, led by our Branch Organiser, David Mitchell. I’d like to also put on record our thanks to outgoing MSP, Angus MacDonald, who served Falkirk East with distinction during his two terms at Holyrood.”

— Bo’ness Branch SNP Convener, Alan Gilbert

It was great to see Michelle entering Parliament for the first time a few days later.

Since this stunning election result though, the Bo’ness branch has been busy preparing for next years Council elections. We’ve recently created a linktree account. This allows you to share all of our links with your friends and family in the one place. We’ve embedded this into our social media channels as well. You can find this here.

Further to this, we are aware that Falkirk District SNP is looking to further develop their following ahead of the Council elections in 2022. If you haven’t already, please consider following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

That’s all for this month – we look forward to the further lifting of lockdown, and hopefully in person events beginning to go ahead in the near future. We’ve learnt a lot from this years election – and we are looking to learn from and build upon what worked for next year.

Categories
Branch News

Bo’ness branch SNP congratulates Michelle Thomson on election win

Bo’ness branch SNP has congratulated SNP candidate Michelle Thomson on her substantial win in Falkirk East constituency. 

Michelle won the highest number of votes recorded of any candidate in Falkirk East since the constituency was created in 1999. Michelle received the votes of 18,417 electors in Falkirk East in Thursdays election, with Labour candidate Allyson Black coming second with 10,832 votes. The previous record for any candidate was outgoing MSP Angus MacDonald’s win in 2016, which garnered the support of 16,720 voters across Falkirk East.

The party ran an extremely active campaign in Bo’ness, with a heavy initial focus on social media based campaigning, bolstered by a new website and engaging with many first time younger voters through Instagram and Snapchat, and later adding to this with more traditional methods of campaigning such as leafletting and canvassing, inline with COVID restrictions.

The ongoing COVID rules also meant a return to other classic methods of campaigning, with banners, window posters, car stickers and car loudspeaker systems being made use of across the town to promote the SNP’s message. 

In the lead up to polling day, and on the day itself, an extensive get out the vote operation was organised by Bo’ness branch in order to ensure as many of its supporters as possible got out to vote. Further to this, the branch also organised polling agents to stand outside polling stations on the day itself, in order to greet voters and ensure that due scrutiny of the democratic process was carried out. 

Bo’ness SNP members that were at the count commented that the SNP support in boxes from Bo’ness polling stations was extremely high.

“We are delighted that Michelle Thomson has been elected as MSP for Falkirk East with an overwhelming backing of the people of Bo’ness.  Michelle ran a very positive and energetic campaign which looks to have captured the attention of the constituents of Falkirk East.  Michelle will be an asset at Holyrood and a strong voice for Falkirk East.  She was ably backed by the hardworking Bo’ness SNP campaign Team, led by our Branch Organiser, David Mitchell.I’d like to also put on record our thanks to outgoing MSP, Angus MacDonald, who served Falkirk East with distinction during his two terms at Holyrood.”

Bo’ness SNP Convener Alan Gilbert
Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – April 2021 – Campaign special!

Welcome to our monthly update for April 2021 – by far our busiest month this year!

Firstly, welcome to our new members Imogen and Sandra! We are always glad to have more members in Bo’ness branch.

As mentioned in last months update, the campaign has really gotten underway across Bo’ness with leaflets, canvassing, car stickers, posters and banners going up across the town. So please enjoy this overview of all of the campaigning that has gone on in Bo’ness over April!

Lastly, this excellent picture of Michelle Thomson in-front of the Bridgeness tower has gained a great deal of traction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the work of our volunteers and organisers. By now, we will have reached every house in Bo’ness either with local mailed leaflets or hand delivered ones at least once, with the vast majority of households receiving multiple leaflets from us. We have engaged with the local press and are looking forward to Michelle’s candidate statement appearing in the Bo’ness Journal ahead of polling day. What limited canvassing we have done (due to COVID restrictions) has been extremely successful and suggests a strong SNP result in Bo’ness. So thank you to everyone who has helped with this immense effort over the past month, and assisted with the fundraising and organising that has made it all happen.

THE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN

While the work on the ground continues, the digital campaign – absolutely critical in this election – continues to be supported by Bo’ness SNP. This has been done by our members offering endorsements for Michelle, as well as a series of special graphics.

This is our last monthly update ahead of polling day and we aren’t complacent.

That’s why we are asking you to do your bit by speaking to your undecided friends, and convincing them to vote SNP. If they are local to Bo’ness, this article shows just how hard we have been working locally and points to a whole wealth of information to help guide their voting intention. Speak to your SNP friends and family and make sure that they vote SNP on the 6th of May.

We have little over a week to ensure that we elect Michelle Thomson as our MSP, and get an SNP majority in Holyrood. The best way to do this is by casting Both Votes for the SNP. The below video explains why.

Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – March 2021

Welcome to our monthly update for March 2021. 

This has been an extremely eventful and successful month for Bo’ness SNP, as our campaign to get Michelle Thomson elected as our MSP gets fully underway.

March 2021 began on a high for the branch as we welcomed almost 30 new members! So to Liam, Karen, David, Alan, William T, Charlene, Lee, Kevin, Margaret, John, Tzar, Ross, Stephen, Elaine, Paul, Derek M, Pamela, Derek L, William M, Janette, Charelle, Robert, Christopher, Lesley Anne, Pamela, Kelly and Laura – thank you and welcome to the branch!

The deadline to register to vote (19th of April) and to apply for a postal vote (6th of April) is fast approaching. You may have seen Bo’ness SNP’s work on this earlier in the year, in articles in the local paper, on our website, and in our series of videos.

We have continued this into March, launching our new register to vote tool on our website, and another series of videos such as the one below designed by longtime SNP member Jack Marshall, with more still to come.

As March progressed, we were glad to see Bo’ness featured in Michelle Thomson’s ’80 days in Falkirk East’ campaign video series, which sets out Michelle’s plans in countdown to polling day. We covered this in a separate article, and this was picked up by the local press.

If you haven’t already, you can view these videos below.

Bo’ness Day 1
Bo’ness Day 2

For the first time in a long time, the branch has been able to leaflet by hand. Bo’ness SNP have began doing this in a manner which is COVID safe, taking as much precaution as is possible. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for the very clear guidance on what can and can’t be permitted in campaigning at the present time.

Here is what the leaflet looks like

Another great success was Michelle’s adoption evening, which took place via Zoom on Friday the 26th. This event was a huge success, with around 50 virtual attendee’s, and many Bo’ness SNP members among them. This served as a great morale boost as we enter an unusual campaign. A recording of the event will be available soon.

Between ticket sales for the event, raffle tickets, and auction prizes, over £1,000 was raised for Michelle’s campaign. All of this money stays local to Falkirk East.

If you’d like to donate to Michelle’s campaign, her campaign crowdfunder is still open for donations here.

While the election campaign continues, the day job goes on.

Locally, the SNP administration in Falkirk Council confirmed that they would not charge for Brown bin uplifts, unlike other councils. This is welcome news.

Nationally, the current SNP Scottish Government continued to deliver until Parliament dissolved – announcements such as the 4% pay rise for Scottish NHS workers, or the fact that Scotland’s rail-services would soon come into Scotland’s hands, were welcomed by many.

As the election campaign begins to heat up, we have also heard some announcements of what the SNP will do if re-elected. Modernising education by providing all school pupils with an electronic device – this would be a positive change to help sort the inequities that exist outside of the classroom that COVID has laid bare. Doubling the new Scottish Child Payment. Building 100,00 new homes. Delivering a second independence referendum. These are welcome announcements which electing Michelle Thomson as our local MSP will help deliver.

We are looking forward to next month. Over April, we hope to see substantial lifting of the current lockdown restrictions. We will also see the launch of the SNP’s manifesto, and more leaflets delivered across Bo’ness, as well as beginning to put banners, posters and window stickers on display across the town as we heard towards polling day.

See you next month.

Categories
Campaign news

Michelle Thomson, SNP candidate for Falkirk East, shines a light on Bo’ness in latest series of videos.

Our candidate for the upcoming Scottish election, Michelle Thomson, has recently been drawing attention to Bo’ness as part of her ‘around Falkirk East in 80 days’ video campaign series.

The highly innovative video series, “around Falkirk East in 80 days” see Michelle ‘travelling’ around the constituency with the help of stunning aerial video footage, focussing on the local area and local issues, and what Michelle would do to support the area if elected.

The latest videos have focussed on Bo’ness. They draw attention to our unique history, the Bo’ness fair day, and the challenges and opportunities facing the town in the future.

We were particularly glad to see mention of Bo’ness SNP’s history.

You can see the first video here :

You can view the second video here :

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, Michelle has featured Blackness in an earlier video.

We look forward to seeing what the rest of this series holds as the election campaign heats up – and what Michelle will do for Bo’ness if elected!