'JUST when the Mossmorran Working Group felt progress was being made, communities have once again faced an episode of flaring. ExxonMobil's statement that this was a planned maintenance begs the obvious question: If that was the case, why not say so when community councils and elected representatives visited the plant on June 27, or inform the working group the very next day? Given SEPA was equally unaware, Exxon's definition of planned seems to have taken on a new meaning.

If it’s a question of trust on ExxonMobil, it’s now a question of credibility for SEPA. Investigations take months but never seem to conclude. Final Written Warnings appear to be meaningless and are no deterrent to unplanned flaring events. I’ve written to SEPA calling them to up their game and take action on these unplanned events. Also to publish the maintenance schedules which companies claim are pre-planned. I have also written to Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, asking her to revisit her rejection of an independent review. This can and should be done in parallel with SEPA's current investigations. Not to do so simply lets communities down yet again. None of this seems too much to ask for - does it? Let’s see.

1950s Women Pension Injustice

Nearly 200 women turned up to hear how they could campaign against state pension injustice at an event I held in Lochgelly recently. Across the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency 5,500 women are cruelly impacted by the government's decision to raise the pension age from 60 to 65/6 years. And did they all receive a letter from the DWP warning them of the change? The sea of hands raised in Lochgelly Theatre indicated a definite 'no'. This was my second WASPI event and there are still so many more women to reach. I'm now working with WASPI to set up an organising group locally. If you could not attend, it’s not too late to find out what you can do. Just email me at lesley.laird.mp@parliament.uk or call 01592 724129 and my team will be happy to help you.

Pension Credit & Free TV Licences

I'm urging all pensioners to check their entitlement to Pension Credit after it emerged nearly 2,200 older people in our constituency are missing out on a combined total of £5.7m every year.

Pensioner poverty has steadily risen under this UK Government and, despite pledging in their 2017 manifesto to protect pensioner benefits, they simply sit on the sidelines when benefits lie unclaimed or fall away. Case in point: failing to intervene when the BBC decided to means-test free TV licences for over 75s.

Pension Credit gives OAPs access to benefits such as warm home discount payments and free TV licences for over-75s. So, don't delay - act now and make sure you get what you are entitled to. Call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234'.