Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar says he was most impressed with an eco-friendly initiative running in Rutherglen during a visit there last week.
The MSP has been speaking with residents around Lanarkshire about a number of issues that mattered most to them ahead of the local council elections in May.
As part of the visit, Mr Sarwar met with volunteers at R:evolve Recycle in Rutherglen and applauded the great work the group is doing for the community.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customize your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Head to the App Store and never miss a beat in Lanarkshire – iOS – Android
A:evolve Recycle aims to cut C02 emissions and waste through upcycling and recycling old clothes and textiles, allowing members of the public to trade in their old garments for points to be used on other items in store.
The project is managed by LEAP a charity that works to enhance the lives of older people across Scotland through volunteering, learning, socializing and befriending.
On his visit to the Royal Burgh, Mr Sarwar told Lanarkshire Live: “Rutherglen is filled with potential. Talented local people with drive and a commitment to their communities, have stepped up to fill the gaps in council provision.
“They have brought ideas to the table and a positive attitude to get things done. After years of cuts, the high street needs a boost. If it wasn’t for the hard work of community groups, a number of the shops would simply be empty properties and opportunities would have been missed.
“I visited R:evolve to meet with the group volunteers (and have a browse for a nice new shirt!) This project is one of the most impressive community initiatives that I have seen in Scotland.
“It looks like a designer shop, with creative displays and clever branding, but it serves the local community as a sort of swop shop for clothing.
“The people running R:evolve have managed to come up with a real-world solution to two of the biggest problems facing Scotland- poverty and the climate emergency. I thought it was fantastic and will be recommending it in other parts of Scotland.”
The Scottish Labor politician added: “The R:evolve model should be replicated elsewhere and I will be doing my best to tell other local authorities about the work Revolve are doing.
Mr Sarwar spent the day canvassing on Lanarkshire streets as locals told of current problems they face, including the cost of living crisis.
He explained: “Out chapping doors in South Lanarkshire, you are reminded that every single part of Scotland is struggling with the cost of living crisis- sadly Rutherglen is no different.
“I spoke with locals who told me that they are considering selling their clothes and furniture to pay the bills. Mothers choosing not to eat so that their children can.
“This is 21 st Century Scotland and we are facing the biggest fall in living standards since rationing.
“We also have two governments with no answers. Scottish Labor has a clear plan to put money in people’s pockets, with a one-off windfall tax of the gas and oil giants that are making an enormous profit out of this crisis.”
Mr Sarwar, who has a family in South Lanarkshire, said there was also a lot of positivity during his visit and hopes to bring more positive times in the future.
He said: “Scottish Labor is changing. We are presenting Scotland with proper alternatives to the choices being made in Holyrood and Westminster. People in South Lanarkshire deserve better than they are getting at the moment.”
“The SNP and the Conservatives joined forces in not voting for our plans for a Windfall Tax. They are running out of steam and no longer have the energy to stand up for working people.”
Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.
And did you know Lanarkshire Live is on Facebook? Head on over and give us a like and share!