This website was established when David Stewart was a member of the Scottish Parliament.
He is not now a member of the Scottish Parliament.
There will be no Members of the Scottish Parliament until the Scottish Parliament reconvenes after the election on 5th. May 2016
On the last day of this session of the Scottish Parliament, Labour MSP David Stewart has raised the question of the region’s high burial and cremation charges.
During the Parliament’s topical questions, Mr Stewart explained that Highland Council had made cuts of £30million with 341 staff facing redundancy; with burial charges in the region this year going up by 52% bringing funeral poverty to the region’s most vulnerable at a time of acute grief.
“The council leader places responsibility for the cuts squarely at the door of the Scottish Government settlement, does the Minister agree?” he asked.
The Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, Marco Biagi MSP, justified the settlement given to Highland Council and replied that the Scottish Government was working with the CAB to address funeral poverty.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs, David Stewart and Rhoda Grant , have joined the calls for people throughout the Highlands and Islands to make sure they are registered to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections which will take place on Thursday 5 May.
The switch to the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) system in Scotland has seen an estimated 800,000 names dropping off the electoral roll – which is the first time since 2009 the electoral roll has decreased.
The number of people registered to vote has fallen since the new registration system was introduced, with some people possibly not realising they will be unable to vote because of the changes to the process which makes it each person’s responsibility to sign themselves up.
Previously, one person in every household was responsible for registering everyone else who lives at that address.
Highlands and Islands MSP and Scottish (Labour) Transport Spokesperson, David Stewart, has written to Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport, regarding a major reduction in cycle carriage capacity on some rail routes.
The West Highland line and the Edinburgh to Glasgow main line are the two main routes which are set to be affected by this downgrade in space.
This is a result of Abellio replacing some of its older trains.
On the West Highland line six bikes can be currently booked, and these places are often fully booked, especially in the tourist season.
The new trains on this route will only have two reservable bike spaces.
In 2014 the Scottish Government unveiled Active Travel Vision to 2030.
This plan aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle for everyday shorter journeys, with the intention of it improving overall wellbeing and being better for the environment.
David Stewart, Highlands and Islands MSP and Scottish (Labour) Transport spokesperson, who recently highlighted his concern about the illegal use of laser pens, has received a further response from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice primarily, in relation to the extremely dangerous practice of laser lights been shone at aircraft.
He wrote to Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, just last month, asking what plans the Scottish Government had to address the misuse of laser pens.
This prompt was following an incident at the end of January 2016, when a laser pointer was shone into the cockpit of a search and rescue helicopter looking for a missing man in the River Ness.
“Taking freight off congested roads and moving it by rail or water could have many benefits with regards to efficiency, practicalities, road safety, maintenance of roads and environmental and wider social benefits” said David Stewart.
“Just yesterday (16/3/16) I released a press statement highlighting the adverse conditions of our road surfaces and the costs involved with regards to compensation claims.
“I wrote to the Transport Minister, Derek Mackay MSP, asking what they were doing to further support local authorities and indeed what they were doing to address the current state of our trunk roads.
“The Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) helps companies with the capital costs associated with moving freight by rail or water instead of road, by offsetting the extra costs of providing freight handling facilities”, David said.