New Working Group Established in Parliament

Jean Urquhart MSP has reached an agreement with the two Green Party MSPs, Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone, and Independent MSPs Margo MacDonald and John Finnie to establish a working group under the Parliament’s Standing Orders.

This grouping will give the MSPs representation on the Parliamentary Bureau which decides Parliamentary business, in turn providing the MSPs with further opportunities to contribute to debates in the Chamber.

The Independent/Green Group agreed this statement:

“The five of us have discussed ways in which we can work together, and after taking advice from colleagues on our options, have decided to form a grouping to enhance our ability to represent our constituents.

“Although every member of our grouping is pro-independence and believes strongly in a more equal, sustainable Scotland, it is by no means a formal, party-based arrangement; no MSP has changed, or plans on changing, their party affiliation or on taking positions different to those they have taken in the past.

“We all look forward to pushing for an independent, fair and peaceful Scotland both inside and outside of Parliament, and to working with MSPs across the Chamber to achieve these goals.”


Jean Urquhart MSP has distributed free copies of Age Scotland’s ‘Hot Tips’ calendar that contains useful advice for older people preparing for winter to groups across the Highlands and Islands.

More than 50,000 copies of the calendar, funded by the Scottish Government, have been produced this year by Age Scotland as part of their “Spread the Warmth” campaign, with tips on health care, household repairs and welfare benefits all contained within its pages.

Jean, an independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:

“I am more than happy to play my part in distributing Age Scotland’s calendars, and have already passed some to groups and constituents across the Highlands and Islands.

“With Scotland’s ageing population, it is increasingly important that we are all aware of ways to make life easier for older people, and for making that information as easy to access as possible.

“These calendars are an innovative tool that keeps handy hints on how to keep safe, warm and healthy on our wall all year round.

“Although it’s bad luck to open a calendar before January 1st, I hope these calendars will bring good fortune to those who obtain one.”


Highland and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart has welcomed the announcement of extra funding for Shetland Islands Council to help the transition from its traditional model of council housing funding.

Following the abolition of the Housing Support Grant from April 2013 for Shetland Islands Council, the last local authority area to receive it, the Scottish Government has reached a deal with Shetland Islands Council to provide £840,000 of funding until the end of the Parliamentary term.

Jean, an Independent Highlands and Islands MSP, said:

“I was delighted to hear that the Scottish Government and Shetland Islands Council have reached an agreement on an issue that was causing concern in the Islands.

“I was equally pleased that the Scottish Government listened to the concerns of local tenants and put in place a package that will help the Council in tough economic times.

“We must now focus our attentions on holding Westminster to their promise of writing off Shetland’s historic housing debt, whose repayments continues to cripple both the housing situation and Shetland’s finances as a whole.”