Aig deasbad sa Phàrlamaid a’ comharrachadh 10 bliadhna de BhBC ALBA a-màireach (Diciadain), canaidh BPA a’ Phartaidh Nàiseanta Alasdair Allan gum bu chòir am BBC a bhith “a’ cur barrachd taic ri craoladh Gàidhlig le bhith a’ roinn goireasan agus maoin ann an dòigh nas cothromaiche eadar dùthchannan na Rìoghachd Aonaichte.”
Tha prògraman mar Eòrpa, an t-sreath chùisean làitheil air BBC ALBA a choisinn BAFTA an-uiridh, a’ tarraing a-staigh daoine le Gàidhlig agus daoine gun Ghàidhlig dhan t-seanail – a’ sealltainn mar a tha BBC ALBA air a bhith soirbheachail ann a bhith a’ libhrigeadh seirbheis dha Alba gu lèir, chan ann a-mhàin do choimhearsnachd nam mion-chànain.
‘S e co-bhanntachd eadar am BBC agus MG ALBA a th’ann am BBC ALBA, agus tha MG ALBA a’ faighinn £12.8m mar thabhartas bho Riaghaltas na h-Alba gach bliadhna agus cnapan airgid a bharrachd bho àm gu àm.
Le dìreach 55% de airgead Cead-chraolaidh a’ BhBC bho Alba a’ tilleadh a dh’Alba ann an 2015/16, an coimeas ri 95% a’ dol air ais dhan Chuimrigh agus 74% a’ dol air ais a dh’Èirinn a Tuath - tha MG ALBA a-cheana air iarraidh air a’ BhBC taic-airgid a bharrachd a chuir dhan t-seanail Gàidhlig gus 10 uairean a thìde de phrògraman ùra a mhaoineachadh gach seachdain, coltach ri S4C sa Chuimrigh.
Thuirt BPA Alasdair Allan:
“A bharrachd air a bhith a’ libhrigeadh seirbheis phoblach air leth do Ghàidheil, nan cànan fhèin – tha BBC ALBA cuideachd air inbhe a’ chànain agus a’ chultar a thogail gu mòr air feadh na dùthcha anns an deich bliadhna a dh’fhalbh, agus tha sin prìseil.
“Gu h-eachdraidheil, thug telebhisean buille chruaidh don Ghàidhlig, cuide ri leasachaidhean eile mar Achd Foghlaim na h-Alba 1872. Ge-tà, ann an 2018, tha BBC ALBA agus Radio nan Gàidheal a’ cuideachadh ann a bhith a’ leasachadh a’ chànain.
“Chan eil teagamh ann gu feum am BBC fada a bharrachd airgead a thoirt do phrògraman Albannach san fharsaingeachd, agus bu chòir BBC ALBA a bhith a’ faighinn buannachd às a sin.
“Cumaidh sinne oirnne aig a’ Phartaidh Nàiseanta ann a bhith a’ cur impidh air a’ BhBC gus barrachd taic a thoirt do chraoladh Gàidhlig le bhith a’ roinn goireasan agus maoin ann an dòigh nas cothromaiche eadar dùthchannan na Rìoghachd Aonaichte, gus cothroman nas fheàrr a thoirt do BhBC ALBA togail air an obair ionmholta a tha iad air a bhith a’ dèanamh thar na 10 bliadhna a dh’fhalbh.”
During BBC ALBA’s 10 year anniversary debate in the Scottish Parliament, SNP MSP Alasdair Allan will call on the BBC to “deliver more for Gaelic broadcasting with better parity of resources between the UK nations.”
BBC ALBA’s BAFTA-winning current affairs programme Eòrpa attracts both Gaelic and non-Gaelic speaking audiences – demonstrating the success the channel has had in delivering for the whole of Scotland, not just the minority language community.
BBC ALBA is a partnership service between the BBC and MG ALBA, which receives core funding of £12.8m from the Scottish Government that is often supplemented with additional funding to reflect the service’s success.
With only 55% of Scottish licence fee funds reinvested in Scotland by the BBC in 2015/16, compared to 95% in Wales and 74% in Northern Ireland, MG ALBA has previously called on the BBC to increase its investment in the Gaelic channel in order to fund 10 hours programming per week, as is the case for S4C in Wales.
Alasdair Allan MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar said:
“BBC ALBA has excelled not only in delivering a fantastic public service to Gaelic speakers in their own language over the last decade – it has also helped raise the profile of the language and culture.
“Historically, television played its part in the demise of the Gaelic language, along with a plethora of other developments like the Education (Scotland) Act 1872. However, in 2018, BBC ALBA and Radio nan Gàidheal are helping to reverse that trend.
“There’s no doubt that the BBC needs to commit considerably more investment to Scottish content overall, and that includes BBC ALBA.
“The SNP will continue to press the BBC to deliver more for Gaelic broadcasting with better parity of resources between the UK nations, and in turn ensure that BBC ALBA’s next ten years will be even more successful than the last.”
CLOSURES NEGATIVELY IMPACTING PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES ACROSS SCOTLAND
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has demanded that the Tory government steps in to save island banking services in a Scottish Parliament debate highlighting the negative impact of branch closures on communities across Scotland.
The debate follows a damning report by Holyrood’s Economy Committee which investigated the impact of local bank closures across Scotland. The report found that:
• The worst impact of bank closures will be felt by the most vulnerable members of our society, for whom going into a branch may be the only feasible way to conduct their banking;
• Bank closures across Scotland have had a “negative impact” on people and businesses across Scotland, with communities experiencing a reduction in footfall for businesses and tourism on their high streets;
• Banks’ claims that the closures were driven by demand are not backed by evidence, considering customers were not consulted.
Figures show that the number of bank branches reduced by a third across Scotland between 2010 and 2017, and while the UK Government is responsible for the regulation of banking services and owns a controlling stake in RBS, it has failed to use its influence to represent Scottish communities and reverse these closures.
The Scottish Government has continued to engage closely with banks and senior representatives from all major companies in the financial services industry on the issue of branch closures and the provision of banking services.
Commenting Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“I am grateful to the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee for bringing such a comprehensive and helpful report to Parliament and for facilitating today’s debate.
“Concluding that it is the most vulnerable who will be affected most by these closures, the Committee report says: ‘RBS previously said that it would not shut the last branch in town. Clearly that was a hollow promise.’ Nowhere was that promise more obviously hollow than on the Isle of Barra.
“Some 12,000 people – ten times the population of Barra – have signed a petition demanding RBS reverse the decision about the branch closure, recognising that this is indeed perhaps the most extreme example of RBS’s callousness towards its rural customers.
“It cannot have escaped the notice of any community in Scotland facing such closures that the cost to the UK taxpayer of bailing out RBS was some £45.5 billion. Last week RBS Chairman Sir Howard Davies admitted that it was “unlikely” that the UK Government would be able to recoup this money. It seems that despite all this, RBS don’t see themselves as having any responsibility to provide a service to these taxpayers.
“RBS is still effectively owned by the Conservative Government as they own some 62% of RBS shares. It is within their power to save branches such as Castlebay, and I urge them to step in and finally end the uncertainty surrounding its future.”
ISLANDS MSP MEETS WITH DF BARNES TO DISCUSS FUTURE OF YARD
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has voiced his hopes for the future of the Arnish yard in the Isle of Lewis.
The islands MSP was speaking after meeting with Sean Power, Vice President for Business Development of DF Barnes, to discuss the company’s vision for the future of Arnish.
DF Barnes acquired BiFab – the company operating Arnish - earlier this year in a deal brokered by the Scottish Government.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“I am very encouraged by the commitment shown by the company in their efforts to bring work back to Arnish, with a bid for a significant new project being submitted in the past few days. I am also grateful for the reassurance that the yard is a key part of their plans.
“There does seem to be a recognition of the huge asset now at the company’s disposal, in terms of the skills and attributes of the local workforce. The workforce has been absolutely key to the survival of BiFab during its most difficult period, and was I very happy to update a representative of the former works committee at Arnish on these developments.
“Arnish plays a significant role in the economy of Lewis and it is difficult to imagine the future without it. As the local MSP for the area, I have continued to stress that Arnish is uniquely placed to capitalise on future manufacturing opportunities in the expanding Scottish renewables sector. There is now every reason to be optimistic for the future and for jobs to return.”
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan yesterday (Tuesday 4 September) raised the issue of broadband for Scotland’s island communities in a Scottish Parliament debate.
The islands MSP was speaking in the debate on the Scottish Government’s programme for Government 2018-19.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“It has been said elsewhere before that the rollout of broadband today in rural Scotland is as transforming as the roll out of the telephone lines were there in the 1940s and 50s. And there is a new imperative - we are quickly coming to the point where families are as likely to move to a place without broadband as they would be to a place without telephones.
“Today, after millions of pounds of investment by the Scottish Government, some 75% of homes and businesses in the islands now have access to superfast broadband. I am very conscious that this is of course no comfort to the other 25% of families in the islands who have not yet benefited in this way.
“The challenge for all of us now is to work together to ensure the success of the R100 contract which aims to achieve this. I hope that we now have a basis for the active involvement of communities in planning ahead to ensure that all islanders enjoy the kind of connectivity that most Scots now take increasingly for granted.”
Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has backed a Toilet Twinning initiative, run by Tearfund. The programme seeks to support those living in poverty, by working to give communities access to a proper latrine, clean water and vital information around sanitation. Dr Allan’s Stornoway Parliamentary Office toilet has been twinned with a newly built one in Malawi.
Commenting, the Isles MSP said:
“I’m very happy to back such a simple, yet life changing programme. Hearing of Toilet Twinning’s work, I was really keen to Twin my constituency office toilet with one in a community which doesn’t have access to something that we all take for granted.
“According to the World Health Organisation, 2.3 billion people don’t have a proper the toilet. That’s one in three people across the world. Almost 1,000 children die every day from preventable diseases linked to dirty water and unsafe toilets.
“Anyone can support this great scheme by donating £60 to twin your toilet, and I would encourage anyone who can to do so.”
Further information on this initiative here: https:/www.toilettwinning.org/