Student accommodation linked to 3,000 covid cases

New analysis from Public Health Scotland has found almost 3,000 covid infections linked to student accommodation, and almost two thirds of respondents reporting worsening wellbeing and mental health since the start of the university term.

The report, published today, found that:

  • 2,897 positive COVID-19 cases were associated with university accommodation postcodes, which represents 3.0% of the cumulative number of recorded cases of COVID-19 in Scotland (as of 30 November 2020).
  • University accommodation in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh accounted for over three-quarters (79%) of cases.
  • At the universities studied, 65% of respondents indicated that their wellbeing and mental health had worsened since starting in the autumn term of 2020: 33% said it was ‘slightly worse’, 32% said it was ‘much worse’.
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Murrell must return to harassment inquiry

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for Peter Murrell to be recalled to the Scottish Parliament’s harassment committee to answer further questions about his use of WhatsApp and his actions in relation to the Scottish Government’s investigation into Alex Salmond. 

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Cole-Hamilton attacks FM's unfair rules which leave Edinburgh "frozen"

Scottish Liberal Democrat Edinburgh MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today highlighted the fury among Edinburgh residents at “unfair" covid tiers which mean Scotland’s capital is "frozen" in tier 3 restrictions, despite scientific indicators showing the virus is less prevalent there than in many tier 2 areas. 

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SNP must learn from mishaps and ensure 2021 assessments run seamlessly

Responding to the news that Scotland’s exam diet for 2020 will be cancelled, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented: 

“Cancelling exams is the right thing to do and was inevitable. The evidence is clear that pupils wouldn’t have an equal shot at success if they went ahead. Some have had the disruption of self-isolating multiple times, while others haven't missed a minute of school.

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Even before the pandemic almost 40% of care services reported vacancies

Commenting on new figures released by the Care Inspectorate showing that in 2019, 39% of services reported having vacancies, and that half of services with vacancies had problems filling them, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have been warning for years that social care services were underappreciated and overstretched.

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Lib Dems celebrate small business resilience on Small Business Saturday

Marking Small Business Saturday, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

“This Small Business Saturday it’s important we all recognise the resilience of independent shops across the country and do our bit to support them.

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Cross-party group warn Govt not to risk “cross-border crime-fighting tools” in Brexit talks

A cross-party group of MPs have called on the Government to prioritise an agreement with the EU that maintains “cross-border crime-fighting tools that help to keep us all safe” amidst concerns about the impact of UK policing and security when the transition period ends.

In a letter to both Michael Gove and the Home Secretary, the cross party group of Liberal Democrat, Labour and SNP MPs have urged the Government to accept the jurisdiction of the CJEU in order to negotiate, before the end of the transition period, a comprehensive agreement on justice and security co-operation that maintains these vital crime-fighting tools.”

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Rennie: Cancel exams now so staff and students know where they stand

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said that the Scottish Government must announce this week that the 2021 exams will be cancelled.

The Education Secretary is expected to make a statement to Parliament this week. In advance of this statement, Mr Rennie has warned that pupils around the country "don't have a level playing field" and stressed the importance of announcement on exams coming before schools break up for Christmas so that staff and students know where they stand.

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Ministers must show they have a long term plan to prevent third wave

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Health Secretary to publish a detailed vaccination plan setting out the steps that will be taken between now and the summer and to warn that unless government communication is crystal clear, there is the risk of a third wave of the virus, even as the vaccine is distributed. 

The first Scots are to get the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday 8th December but a COVID-19 vaccination delivery plan, discussed at Cabinet on 1st December is still yet to be published. 

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Lib Dems welcome decision to open old Forth Road Bridge during icy periods

Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today welcomed the government's decision to extend use of the Forth Road Bridge to all traffic in instances when the Queensferry Crossing is closed due to the danger presented by ice build up.

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