MSP donating council salary to charity

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Edinburgh councillor and new Holyrood MSP Colin Keir, is donating his allotted council salary of approximatley £17,000 to support local projects following his election to the Scottish Parliament.

The funds will be allocated to local groups by the Western Neighbourhood Partnership using current Community Grants fund criteria.

Local groups meeting the Community Grants fund criteria in the wards of Murrayfield/Corstorphine and Drumbrae/Gyle are invited to apply for funding.

The SNP councillor and MSP said: “After I was elected to Parliament, I didn’t feel taking two salaries was the right thing to do.

“There were other choices available.  I could have taken the salary and paid the usual tax and just handed it into groups I knew, or I could hand it in as a whole to the Neighbourhood Partnership.

“After I was elected I informed the council I wouldn’t be taking my salary.  There were a few hurdles to cross in arranging this but this is the first meeting that can ratify it after the election.  I wanted it to go to good causes.

“As I am a former chair of the Western Neighbourhood Partnership and the Community Grant Fund is there for the benefit of local groups I felt it was appropriate to ask them to allow me to donate it.”

Mr Keir added: “It makes sure the money goes to local groups rather than the big pot.  I am happy that the council have agreed to do this.  It is not the first time anyone has done this, but it is great to see that money can be used by people in the community.”

If the grant it is not all allocated to local groups by April 2012 the money will be carried over into the next financial year.