On this pages you will find a series of responses which Kezia has received from Government Ministers, Councillors/Council Officials and relevant agences following representations she has made to them about equalities issues.
If you would like Kezia to raise an issue on your behalf - get in touch.
In light of the recent revelations about the tampering of statements relating to disputes at Orgreave coking plant in the 1980s, Kezia contacted Lothian and Borders Police to request a comprehensive review of convictions within the Lothians region linked to the same industrial dispute. You can read the police response by clicking on the link above.
Labour elected members have been concerned about claims regarding manipulated evidence by police at Orgreave during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike. Kezia has written to Kenny MacAskill calling for an investigation to ensure that a similar situation did not occur in Scotland - click the link above for his reply.
The Ugandan Anti Homosexuality Bill is a grave cause for concern, raising the penalty for same-sex relationships to life imprisonment or death. Kezia wrote to Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, regarding this shocking issue - see his response by following the link above.
Kezia wrote to Minister of Transport Keith Brown to request improvements to the automated service at Edinburgh Waverley. Kezia asked the Minister if The Scottish Government can work with Network Rail to provide talking hoods over electronic platform signs, where visually impaired commuters can hear details of the next train. Kezia also requested standardised open and close buttons on train toilet doors, which currently cause difficulties for blind users, as they are all different. Keith Brown responded that there is already an automated system in place but that Network Rail are not aware of any sound hoods being used in the UK. You can read more of this response by clicking on the link above.
Kezia recently wrote to Angela Constance MSP to query the gender neutrality of the Our Skillsforce careers advice website, which had seemed to display photographs of boys and girls in stereotypical roles. You can see the response by clicking the link above.
Kezia attended the Edinburgh East Save our Services meeting in Portobello on Friday night. A number of attendees were interested to hear about the role the Scottish Parliament could play in protecting people from the Welfare Reform changes. The Scotish Parliament has its own Welfare Reform Committee and an open letter from its Convener is available above and should be of interest to all those attending.
Following a request from a constituent, Kezia wrote to the Election Commission asking them to outline eligibility to vote in the forthcoming Independence Referendum. This response relates to the issue of residency and the voting rights of people who are UK Citizens but spend a lot of time overseas.
Kezia is concerned by the proliferation of short term high-interest loans and has blogged about the subject. She suggested an advertising strategy to warn against the dangers of these loans, however, in the above linked response, the minister responsible, Fergus Ewing, deems such a campaign ‘inappropriate’. Disappointed at the response from this junior finance Minister, Kezia wrote again to Nicola Sturgeon, who as Cabinet Secretary for Health was responsible for the Government’s anti-poverty strategy. Ms Sturgeon passed the letter on to Fergus Ewing again and Kezia received this appalling reply which states that pay day loan lenders, in the eyes of the SNP Government, are “legal, fair and transparent.”
Kezia, as a supporter of extending the franchise to all 16 and 17 year olds at all elections, wrote to the Scottish Government to ask them to clarify their newly discovered enthusiasm for this issue. Their position on this issue is contained here.
Kez wrote to Michael Matheson about an ambition to ‘poverty proof’. He wrote back about how the Scottish Government was ‘Poverty Sensitive’, and this letter can be read here.
Concerned by Scotland for Marriage’s online petition against equal marriage, which appeared to have collected the names of those who in fact support equal marriage as part of its petition, Kez wrote to Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that the Government was aware of the issue and to seek what actions would be taken. Nicola Sturgeon’s reply can be read here.
Kezia recently wrote to the Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service on the subject of maintaining positive family links for prisoners. The Chief Executive’s repsonse is attached here.
Responding to mail from her constituents Kezia contacted the Scottish Government asking them to clarify their position on access to fertility treatment for same sex couples. The Public Health Minister, Michael Matheson, replied with this letter.
Following representations from organisations like One Parent Family Scotland, Kezia grew concerned about how changes to the welfare system might impact on Scottish Families. She put these concerns to the Minister responsible and her reply is above.
- Following a meeting with Leonard Chesire, Kezia wrote to all of Edinburgh’s colleges asking them to detail what they do to encourage and support students with disabilities.
Kezia has a keen interest in tackling child poverty and made her maiden speech on this topic. She’s currently pursuing the issue of child care and welfare reform and here’s the Minister’s response to some of her queries.