Up to date news of Malcolm's work for the people of Edinburgh North and Leith
Malcolm Chisholm's Local News: Winter 2010 Biomass Plant Malcolm standing with the old grain silo behind himMalcolm Chisholm in June, outside the site of proposed Biomass Plant I have asked several questions in Parliament about the proposed biomass plant at Imperial Dock. This will be formally submitted to the Scottish Government by Forth Energy in January .The public will then have twenty eight days in which to send comments to the Energy Consents Unit of the Scottish Government at:

Energy Consents and Deployment Unit
Scottish Government
4th Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
GLASGOW
G2 8LU

I have already written to the Scottish Government with initial objections following a consultation with hundreds of constituents who live near the proposed plant. I believe that the proposed plant with its hundred metre high chimney will be an eyesore with negative environmental consequences. Much of the wood will be transported from thousands of miles away but a large number of heavy goods lorries will also go in and out of the plant each day. It will not contribute to our important climate change objectives, a point I emphasised in one of my oral questions on this topic in June.
Factoring Patricia Ferguson, Malcolm and a male constituent, seated round a table in the Scottish Parliament, talkingMalcolm discussing the Factoring Bill with Patricia Ferguson, fellow MSP and a constituent Throughout the year I have been on the Finance Committee and the Equal Opportunities Committee. I have also been attending the Local Government and Communities Committee for the Property Factors (Scotland) Bill. Factoring is an enormous issue for the many constituents who live in new build flats and I have had a very large number of complaints about various factoring issues.

That is why I welcome and support the Property Factors Bill which is being promoted by my colleague Patricia Ferguson MSP. The Bill would require property factors to be registered and to adhere to a set of prescribed standards. It would also set up a dispute resolution procedure with enforcement powers. I have consulted hundreds of constituents about this and the Bill has been broadly welcomed. Hopefully it will become law in the early months of next year.

Read Malcolm's contribution to the Scottish Parliamentary Debate on the Factoring Bill.
Freedom from Fear Campaign Malcolm with other campaigners standing  behind a cardboard shop counter I was pleased to support the Freedom from Fear Campaign that was organised by the shopworkers’ union USDAW. The campaign highlights the abuse that shopworkers face and is seeking to protect shopworkers by working in partnership with politicians, employers and the public to spread the message that abuse is not part of the job. I am also supporting the Workers (Aggravated Offences) (Scotland) Bill which aims to extend the protections that emergency workers and some health workers currently have to all public workers. In the Parliament... Malcolm standing with a woman consitituent on the steps  leading up from the Garden Lobby to the Scottish Parliament Chamber I have spoken in a large number of debates in Parliament this year and have introduced constituency issues through debates, questions and motions. You can find the full text of speeches on my website (www.malcolmchisholm.org. uk). Subjects have included the Curriculum for Excellence, Climate Change, the Healthcare Quality Strategy, Factoring Services, the Alcohol Bill , the Budget, Housing Strategy, Forensic Services, the Public Services Reform Bill and many others.

As always I have been prepared to take an independent view where necessary and spoke, for example, in favour of minimum unit pricing for alcohol. On Health, Housing and Local Government Finance I have put the case consistently for a greater share of Scottish resources to come to Edinburgh.

Throughout the year I have been co-convener of the Cross Party Group on Cancer. One of the cancer issues I became involved with was the Breakthrough Breast Cancer campaign on lymphoedema and I introduced a debate about this in May.

Lymphoedema is a condition which affects many women with breast cancer and other conditions and improvements to the service available could be provided at very little cost. There was widespread support across the Parliament for this in the debate and many people signed my motion about it. There was also a Breakthrough Breast Cancer Reception after the debate where I was photographed with a constituent who is a breast cancer campaigner (see left).
Read or download Malcolm's Annual Report 2010 as a PDF (6mb) >>> Trams update I have been very actively engaged with the tram issue and am well aware of the differing views on that within the constituency. I have raised it several times in Parliament and reproduce below a recent exchange between me and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney.

16 September 2010 – General Questions

Malcolm Chisholm: Does the minister accept that there will have to be an inquiry into the tram project in due course, covering problems with the 2008 contract, mismanagement by the council, the extent of any monitoring by the Scottish Government and other matters? Does he agree that there are two more urgent and immediate priorities: first, to drive as hard a bargain as possible with Bilfinger Berger, the company that is holding up the work and is trying to extract as much as possible from the public purse; and secondly, to ensure that the whole line, from the airport to Newhaven, is completed without extra cost to council tax payers, but using, if necessary, innovative funding methods such as tax increment financing, which I suggested in a recent letter to the minister?

John Swinney: As Mr Chisholm will be aware, I have been making it clear to the City of Edinburgh Council for some considerable time that the Government has offered and continues to offer practical assistance in the development of a tax increment finance proposition for the City of Edinburgh Council. I look forward to continuing discussions with the city council on that. On resolution of the current disputes with Bilfinger Berger, I assure Mr Chisholm of my insistence with TIE and the City of Edinburgh Council that they must protect the public purse and act to complete the project. That is certainly the approach that is being taken by TIE, and I encourage resolution of the contractual disputes so that the tram project can make progress. Malcolm with Freedom from Fear campaigners
Newhaven Gala Malcolm speaking One of the highlights of the year was speaking at the Newhaven Gala and crowning the Gala Queen. Congratulations are due to Victoria Primary School, Harbour and Newhaven Community Council and everyone else who was involved in resurrecting this great occasion with its long history. I went into some of that history in my speech and hope there will be many more Galas in the years to come. Seafield Stench I have attended regular meetings about the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works and observed the improvement work that is being carried out. Once the work is completed next year there will have to be very stringent monitoring of how effective or ineffective it has been. If there is still a problem for local residents at that time then stronger measures will be required. Budget priorities I have repeatedly argued for the protection of school budgets and supported parents who opposed the school cuts proposed for Edinburgh’s budget before last April. I have urged the Scottish Government to find a mechanism for protecting school budgets and halt the decline in teacher numbers. I have also continued to emphasise the importance of increased investment in social rented housing because of the extreme shortage of such housing in Edinburgh and Leith.

Read Malcolm's speech in September discussing housing strategy.
Read or download Malcolm's Annual Report 2010 as a PDF (6mb) >>> Renewable Energy As co-convener of the Cross Party Group on Climate Change I have been very keen to support the development of wind, wave and tidal power. I am glad therefore that Pelamis Wave Power based in Leith is such an important pioneer in this kind of work. I visited them once again this year and called in Parliament for more support for this kind of technology. Leith Docks could also be a place where off-shore wind turbines are constructed. World Fun Day Malcolm speaking at the Word Fund Day as a woman in traditional Asian dress watches on, smiling I was pleased to open the World Fun Day organised by Leith Community Centre in the summer. This is now an annual event and celebrates the diversity of Leith and the abundance of cultures that come together to make Leith the vibrant community it has always been. Local Health Projects Malcolm  standing with a woman at the Telford Health Fair I was pleased to attend the Health Fair in Telford College and to see the many excellent health projects and initiatives which currently exist in the constituency. I am pictured above with a volunteer at the Stress Centre in West Pilton, a superb community mental health initiative which has been a pioneering project for many years and provides a model that the rest of Scotland could well follow.

The same could be said of the Pilton Health Project based in Boswall Parkway which has continued to provide many excellent services in spite of funding challenges. I was pleased to take park in the great community walk they organised in September which attracted several hundred participants.

I have continued to support these and many other great voluntary organisations in the constituency. They will be increasingly needed in the difficult times we face.
Read or download Malcolm's Annual Report 2010 as a PDF (6mb) >>> Economy and development Malcolm with two men standing in front  of a tally which reads Clients Into Work 1697 The economy and jobs have been central to much of my work this year in Parliament and out. Among the places I visited was the Community Employability office in Ferry Road Drive run jointly by the North Edinburgh Trust and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. As jobs become more difficult to find it is all the more important that support is available for those seeking work and the figures on the wall of this office tell their own story.