Peter's constituency includes Cardenden and Kinglassie

SNP success at Westminster

'This week saw the final stages in the approval of legislation to provide greater protection to women affected by violence. My SNP colleague Eilidh Whiteford, working with Women’s Aid and many other organisations, successfully steered a Bill through Parliament despite attempts by hardline Tories to block it. The Bill requires the UK Government to implement the Istanbul Convention, an international agreement they’ve been putting off implementing for years. This is believed to be the first time a “Private Member’s Bill” sponsored by an SNP MP has made it onto the statute book.

“Rape Clause” marks a new low

One of the most shameful changes ever made to the UK Benefits system came into force this week when changes to tax credit entitlement were introduced. Child tax credits will now only be paid for the first two children unless the mum can prove that the third child was conceived as a result of her being raped. We know that for a number of reasons many rape victims don’t report the crime and even those that are reported often don’t lead to a conviction. The new “Rape Clause” will subject some victims to further degrading questioning just to claim the benefits they and their children should have been entitled to. Glasgow SNP MP Alison Thewliss has been leading the campaign against these changes but we have been outvoted by the Tories at Westminster – who have the full support of their Holyrood leader.

Use Your Vote

It’s only a few weeks now till the Fife Council elections on May 4. There’s a good selection of candidates standing in every ward so everyone should be able to find at least one person they can support. It’s not for me to use this column to tell you how to vote but please take time to think about which candidates are most likely to do a good job representing you and your community. And use your vote on May 4. Remember that in this election it’s the Scottish Government’s rules that decide who is allowed to vote. Anyone over 16, and anyone who is a citizen of an EU country, has the right to vote as long as they have registered by April 17.

Volunteers in Action

As I wrote this the volunteers were making the final arrangements for the Old Folks’ Treat in Kinglassie on April 7. This is a long running and popular event in the village, supported by sponsorship from a number of local businesses and organised by a team of dedicated volunteers. Just one of a number of events across Fife run by people who give their time free of charge to support their local community. Thank you to all of them'.