Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP said:
“It's hard to imagine that this year could match last year. I suspect on the sporting front it will certainly be difficult.
"In politics, experts often underestimate the strong minds of voters to do what they want, rather than what those experts predict.
“After his two week long retirement, our former First Minister has posed the big test for the year ahead. Alex Salmond wants to use May's General Election to rerun the referendum he just lost. And he wants to secure independence by the back door with his unstable, extreme form of devolution. But putting his party's policy ahead of local interests might not be what is wanted by the people of Gordon.
“I’ve been encouraged that voters of all persuasions are rallying behind our candidate Christine Jardine to put local interests ahead of the interests of Alex Salmond.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrats have revealed that medicine wastage has cost Scotland’s health service nearly £2million in the past five years – equivalent to 80 new registered nurses.
Nine out of 14 health boards responded to Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests which asked about the annual costs of removing and destroying prescription medicines that are returned unused to pharmacies in the area.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have challenged the SNP Government over its poor record on Scotland’s NHS as figures showed Health Boards have lost over 1,000 beds in just two years.
This drop in bed numbers comes despite discharges from acute specialities and A&E units being at their highest in a decade
Health campaigners and professionals have ramped up their warnings over the state of Scotland’s hospitals. Many face chronic shortages of staff and capacity issues.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that the SNP Government’s eco credentials are in tatters after repeated failures in their own efforts to tackle climate change.
Answers to parliamentary questions by Deputy First Minister John Swinney revealed by the Scottish Liberal Democrats today showed that the Scottish Government has barely made any green improvements to its own estate.
No attempt has been made to improve the Energy Performance Certificates of the 79 buildings on the Scottish Government estate. Only two sites have renewable energy sources, with solar heating panels installed at offices at Saughton House in Edinburgh and at Tweedbank.
The Scottish Government’s dismal performance follows news earlier this year that Scotland failed to meet its climate change targets for the third year running.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that figures showing an increase in the number of illegal drug related admissions amongst young people are a clarion call to educate young people on the risks of illicit drug use.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrat through freedom of information laws showed that there were 119 admissions to hospitals by patients aged 10 to 18 in 2013 due to drug related illness or incident. This is an increase from 88 admissions in 2011.Read more
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie MSP said:
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has raised awareness of dog welfare today after figures obtained by the party showed that one in nine dogs found by local authorities which aren’t then claimed are put down.
The figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, showed that local authorities have found 12,530 lost or abandoned dogs in the past four years. Of those, 3248 were rehomed and 395 were put down.
The shocking figures come as answers to Lib Dem parliamentary questions also show there have been 92 recorded offences of cruelty to dogs in the past two years.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP has called for the planned closure of local courts in January 2015 to be reviewed after she revealed statistics showing the last round of court closures resulted in people receiving a worse service.
In light of this, Ms McInnes has renewed her criticism of the government-backed local court closure programme. With the final round of closures due to take place next month, Scottish Liberal Democrats have also called on the Scottish Government to review the impact of the closures so far.
Analysis of figures obtained by Ms McInnes through parliamentary questions shows the length of time taken to hear cases is increasing at courts which took on additional business following the closure of courts in Arbroath, Cupar and Stonehaven in May 2014.
For example, the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ research revealed:
- Following the closure of Cupar Sheriff Court, the percentage of summary criminal cases completed within the six month target at Dundee Sheriff Court was on average 77% between June and September 2014. This compares to 84% during the same period in 2013.
- The average time taken to process a summary criminal case at Aberdeen Sheriff Court was on average 149 days between June and September 2014, up from 117 during the same period in 2013. This followed the closure of Stonehaven Sheriff Court where cases were previously completed in 109 days.
- The average time taken to process a summary criminal case at Forfar Sheriff Court was on average 121 days between June and September 2014, up from 110 during the same period last year. Cases at Arbroath Sheriff Court, from which business was transferred, were previously completed in 112 days.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns about the SNP’s centralisation juggernaut after it was revealed Scotland’s national police force has created of a new central body charged with overseeing the force’s approach to road safety and road crime.
The Road Safety Governance Board, chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable from Crime and Operational support and comprised of members including COPFS, Transport Scotland, Road Safety Scotland and the Scottish Government Road Safety Strategic Partnership Board, is to provide “strategic oversight and consistency at national level.”
Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that the emphasis on a national strategy will alarm many communities who may already feel the police force is focused on meeting targets set by senior management instead of the needs of local communities.
Figures published earlier this week showed a 14 percent increase in the number of people convicted of traffic offences, to 40,258.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that Alex Salmond has broken his word to the Scottish people with his claims that he thinks there will be a second referendum on independence.
In an interview with the Times, Mr Salmond said he now believed there would be another referendum on independence within his lifetime.Read more