New Year Message from Fiona Hyslop MSP
“I would like to wish my constituents all the very best for the festive period and for the year ahead.
“The past few weeks have seen some very good news for West Lothian with the new Bathgate – Airdrie railway line opening, in particular the new stations at Armadale and Blackridge, offering commuters much easier means of travel. These improvements to the transport network through West Lothian will make a huge difference to the economic and employment opportunities across the region.
“As well as the employment prospects with the new railway line, the new M8 upgrade is also forecast to create 8000 jobs and bring in £1.1billion for the economy. With the upgraded transport network the area will become even more attractive to business looking to invest here. With the latest unemployment figures for Scotland also showing that for the first time in a year unemployment has fallen and experts confirming Scotland has avoided a double dip recession things are starting to look better.
“Christmas 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. 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.
“2010 has been a very difficult year for many of my constituents. I have been working hard to help constituents facing the prospect of redundancy or benefit cuts. The Scottish Government is confronting these challenges by supporting households and public services. By maintaining the Council Tax freeze and phasing out prescription charges we are doing what we can to help hard pressed family budgets. We are also investing in people by helping improve skills and employability. We are also understand the vital need for free personal care and free concessionary travel and will continue working to ensure their protection.
“As we move into another period of wintry weather I think it important to also pay tribute to members of the emergency services, posties, 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 2011.”
Fiona Hyslop MSP