New Year Message from Fiona Hyslop MSP
December 2012/January 2013
“As your MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, I am delighted to wish my constituents all the very best for the year ahead.
“The Festive break provides us all with an opportunity for family and friends to spend valuable time together and I hope that my constituents get the chance to relax and celebrate over the festive period. For many people it has been a hard year with financial, work or other pressures. It is also a time of year when we remember those who are no longer with us. We also remember our troops serving abroad and their loved ones here at home.
“2012 has also been a difficult year for many of my constituents. I have been working hard to help those facing the prospect of redundancy most notably from the recent decision by Vion to close their plant at Broxburn. I, the Scottish Government and West lothian Council have worked tirelessly to see that those facing redundancy from Halls of Broxburn will not be swept aside. On the 18th of December the Scottish Government announced investment of £29 million over 5 years to support the individuals employed by Vion in Broxburn and the community itself. I feel that Vion needs to do more to support its workforce, however I welcome this announcement from the Scottish Government which will help our local economy and the workers involved.
“The economic climate presents many difficulties and many families have challenges ahead, but I can assure my constituents that I will use all my efforts to support opportunities for jobs and economic growth in West Lothian.
“2012 has also been a year of celebration, with the Year of Creative Scotland allowing us to recognise our creative talents throughout the region. We are a very dynamic and innovative nation with a strong sense of culture and I have been extremely pleased to see the growth of the arts, music and drama scene across West Lothian and the rest of Scotland.
“In early December Linlithgow Palace hosted the legendary Metiers d’Art show by Chanel, transforming the Palace courtyard to accommodate a catwalk around its perimeter. Initially Chanel had planned to take the framework down at dawn the day after the event, however I – in my capacity as Cabinet Secretary for Culture – and Government Officials working for Historic Scotland managed to secure the structure for the time being and it will remain at the Palace for visitors to admire. With 170 journalists present the story of the Palace and its Splendour will be broadcast across the globe and West Lothian should capitalise on it.
“Our landscapes, heritage and identity will continue to be celebrated in 2013 as we mark our year of Natural Scotland. In West Lothian our towns are steeped in history and culture, but we also have woods, lochs, trails and landscapes only a few miles from Edinburgh. The beauty of the Bathgate hills is quite breath-taking and Beecraigs and Cairnapple marry Neolithic mystery, stunning views and escape into nature and I look forward to celebrating our local beauty in the coming year.
“Finally, as we move into another period of wintry weather I think it important to also pay tribute to members of the emergency services, postal workers, businesses and local members of the public in the community who are doing everything they can to serve our communities in particularly difficult conditions.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and I pass on my very best wishes for a prosperous 2013.”
Fiona Hyslop MSP