We are currently moving into our new premises at:
29A Eglinton Street, IRVINE KA12 8AS
TELEPHONE NO: 01294 311976
I will be holding constituency surgeries on the last Monday of each month in my office. Just telephone the office to arrange an appointment.
Margaret McDougall MSP was overwhelmed by the response to her Members Debate on the University Marine Biology Station, Millport.
The Debate which was held today (16May) attracted around 35 visitors from the Island who came out in support of the station and hear what the Cabinet Secretary had to say.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall, said; “I am overwhelmed by the support this debate gained from the Marine station staff and Cumbrae locals who came to Edinburgh today. It was an amazing turn out and I would personally like to thank everyone that came along, this shows how important this issue is to the people of Cumbrae and the staff of the station.”
“However, I’m concerned that the Cabinet Secretary said that my Labour colleagues in North Ayrshire Council and I were being divisive when we have been the ones refused access to stakeholder meeting regarding the facility.”
“I’m working as hard as anyone on this issue, and was the one to personally organise the members debate, when the consistency MSP hadn’t even signed the motion, yet my colleagues on the council and I are being excluded by officials at every turn, they should be updating all stakeholders and drop this selective behaviour.”
“The Cabinet Secretary should be inviting everyone who is working to save the facility, rather than just inviting me along if Katy Clark MP can’t attend. MSPs are not second class citizens and the Scottish Government has responsibility for education.”
“Hopefully, the promises of a collaborative approach made by the Cabinet Secretary in his speech will translate into meaningful action and he will start working with me and including me in discussion, as I said within my speech I will work with anyone, of any political persuasion or none to help save the station but the Scottish Government need to start including us.”
Breaches of the 4 hour A&E waiting target has more than quadrupled since the SNP came to power in 2007, between 2008/2009, 2374 people were left waiting over 4 hours in 2012/2013 this jumped up to 9646 people.
The target was introduced in 2007 and was announced by a Labour Executive the original aim of the target was to make sure 98% of patients will wait less than 4 hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer for accident and emergency treatment.
The SNP downgraded this to 95% of patients treatment by year ending September 2014. The last time compliance was met across Scotland was September 2009.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall, said; “The SNP have tried to cover up these shocking figures by changing the way they are counted, but the truth of that matter is that in most areas waiting times have quadruple under SNP.”
“Our hospitals are under resourced and understaffed, its time the SNP admit this and face up to the problem rather than moving the goal posts so targets are easier to meet. They are expecting out NHS to do more with less, and instead of listening to the concerns of staff and patients the SNP are telling us everything is fine.”
“This Government are sitting in Edinburgh counting down the days to the referendum while ordinary people and services suffer. It’s not good enough, let’s get Scotland off pause and focus on the issues that actually matter to people.”
|Health Board||Breaches of the 4 hour A&E waiting target (before it was downgraded)||Breaches because patients had to wait for a bed|
|Ayrshire & Arran||08/09||2375||Not held in the same format.|
Cuts to the Bus Service Operator Grant and the SNP’s refusal to fully fund Concessionary Travel is pressurising bus companies to cut Bus Services. In response to a letter regarding the cuts to certain routes in Ardrossan, Stagecoach said:
“Due to rising costs on fuel, labour, insurance, utilities etc and reduced funding on BSOG and Concessions, combined with the number of passengers using the school services in question, they are no longer commercially viable and therefore we are unable to continue to operate the services.”
The withdrawal of this service is part of a wider review of the whole network in Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway due to costs and funding.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall said; “It’s unfortunate that Stagecoach will not reconsider the withdrawal of this service, communities are now suffering due to the SNP slashing the Bus Service Operator Grant and refusing to fully fund Concessionary Travel.”
“These cuts hit those that need the service most, the most recent service that was withdrawn in Ardrossan provided links to two local schools St Matthew’s Academy and St Peter’s Primary, this has now been lost.”
“The SNP tell us that under Labour old age pensioner bus passes would be under threat, this isn’t true, we are calling for an open and honest debate, it’s all well and good to provide bus passes but only if there is a bus service to use it on. We need to make sure that Concessionary Travel is being fully supported and services aren’t suffering.”
“This also highlights the point that we need greater regulation of the industry, so that services aren’t solely driven by profit and are more receptive to the needs of the communities they operate in. We also need to empower local authorities and communities to make decisions regarding local transport. This is why I shall be supporting Iain Gray MSP’s bus regulation bill and I hope that the SNP will be too.”
Bus Regulation Bill – Executive Summary
- Bill aims to reverse long-term decline in bus industry by improving services and increasing passenger journeys
- Presently authorities fund services with little say in how they are run
- Will give more power to local transport authorities to decide how services are run locally, including on frequency and fares
- Powers will also include ability to ‘bundle’ profitable and unprofitable routes to be franchised together
- Local authority fleets might also be used to provide socially useful services where there are gaps in provision
- Role of Traffic Commissioner in Scotland will also be strengthened to impose tougher financial penalties on operators breaking terms of franchises
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall, has secured a members debate in the Scottish Parliament over the future of the Marine Biological Station in Millport, the debate shall be held on Thursday the 16th of May.
The debate will mean the Marine station shall be put firmly on the Scottish Parliament agenda and will allow the issue to be raised directly with the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers in Parliament, who will have to explain what action they are taking to secure the Marine stations future.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall, stated; “It is great to finally have a date for this debate, I hope it is well attended and that MSP from across Scotland turn out to show their support for the Marine Station and highlight its importance to not only Millport but the whole of Scotland.”
“The loss of this station would not only affect the Island but the whole of North Ayrshire and beyond, North Ayrshire Council has estimated that the 30 jobs that will be lost if the station closes would be the equivalent of 4000 on the mainland. Not to mention the station is a unique and irreplaceable resource that brings a lot of students to the Island.”
“I’m happy to work with everyone, off any political persuasion to make sure the station stays open and I hope this debate will highlight the importance of the station to the whole of Scotland.”
“I would also like to pay tribute to the Marine Station staff during this difficult time because it isn’t easy facing such an uncertain future and I hope to work with them to make sure the station doesn’t close its doors on December 2013.”
That the Parliament notes with concern that the University Marine Biological Station Millport will no longer be funded by the University of London and will close; understands that the station has been used by Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Napier, Heriot-Watt and West of Scotland universities and that, in 2012, 533 students from Scottish universities and 521 from English universities used the facility; considers that the Scottish Government has refused to intervene to take meaningful action, despite a 10,000 strong petition and a highly publicised campaign to keep the station open; further considers that this closure jeopardises 30 quality jobs on the Isle of Cumbrae, and believes that the loss of this station could cost the local economy in North Ayrshire up to £2 million and have an impact on school provision and other public services.
Supported by: Iain Gray, Anne McTaggart, Mike MacKenzie, Claire Baker, John Pentland, Jayne Baxter, Nanette Milne, Patricia Ferguson, Elaine Murray, Mark Griffin, Hugh Henry, Jackie Baillie, James Kelly, Margaret Mitchell, Hanzala Malik, Helen Eadie, Neil Findlay, Lewis Macdonald, Annabel Goldie
Scottish Labour Leader, Johann Lamont MSP, has officially opened the new Parliamentary office of Labour’s West Region MSPs, Margaret McDougall, Neil Bibby and Mary Fee.
Mrs Lamont cut the ribbon at 29A Eglinton Street, welcoming the new Scottish Labour presence in Irvine which will be here to represent everyone in the West Region to protect vital services, fight against cutbacks, stand up for those most in need and to promote social justice.
While the SNP focus on constitutional issues, the second West Region office will stand up for what really matters to people and respond to their concerns, we will listen to people and be their voice in the Scottish Parliament.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall, said; “It was great to see so many people turn out for the opening of the second West Region office. It is important to me to have an office in North Ayrshire to be more accessible to those who live in this area especially those on the Islands.”
“I would like to thank all the people who turned up as well as Johann Lamont MSP for taking time out her busy schedule to come down to Irvine and do us the honour of cutting the ribbon.”
“I look forward to leading the Scottish Labour fight back across North Ayrshire and welcome the opportunity to meeting as many constituents as possible to hear their concerns and their priorities for the future. I also look forward to working with local businesses and voluntary organisations and promoting the area within the Scottish Parliament.”
The details for the office Tel: 01294 311976 and the address is 29A Eglinton Street, Irvine, KA12 8AS.
Last week Margaret McDougall MSP’s portrait appeared in a one off unique parliamentary photographic exhibition to raise awareness of lung cancer, the most common cancer worldwide. In Scotland alone, there are over 5000 people diagnosed with the disease every year – more than 13 people each day.
Margaret McDougall was among a group of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who have had their photographs taken for the exhibition.
The exhibition is a joint project between the charity Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the pharmaceutical company Boehringher Ingelheim Ltd. It shows photographs of MSPs holding lung x-ray images, which are accompanied by statements explaining the reason for their involvement in the project. The photographs were on display in a pop-up exhibition at the Scottish Parliament from 15-19th April.
Margaret McDougall MSP, said;
“I want to use this opportunity to highlight to women especially in my constituency the important issue of Lung cancer. I was startled by the low survival rates for women affected by lung cancer at 9% and that it is the biggest cancer killer for females with 15,000 deaths a year to the disease.
“I hope that my partaking in this exhibition will encourage women in my constituency not to ignore the symptoms of lung cancer”
Paula Chadwick, chief executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said:
“This exhibition will help to raise awareness among MSPs of three key issues: supporting the introduction of a national lung cancer awareness publicity campaign; tackling regional variations in treatment and care; and backing plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes in order to prevent the next generation of lung cancer victims.”
John Dixon, Boehringer Ingelheim UK and Ireland’s Managing Director commented:
“Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to have worked in partnership with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. We have had a fantastic response from parliamentarians who wanted to participate and raise awareness of this devastating disease and issues around early diagnosis, signs and symptoms and access to treatments. The exhibition is a means of highlighting to politicians and the wider public how early detection and diagnosis is key in the treatment and management of this disease for patients, their families and carers.”
The main signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:
• A cough that doesn’t go away
• A long standing cough gets worse
• Unexplained breathlessness
• Chest infections
• Coughing blood
• Unexplained weight loss
• Chest and/or shoulder pains
• Unexplained tiredness or lack of energy
• Hoarse voice
If you have any of these symptoms for more than three weeks, make an appointment with your GP today. There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing some of the above symptoms, and it may be nothing serious, but it is worth getting checked out.
For information on local support groups and general information on lung cancer issues call the Freephone helpline on 0800 358 7200 or visit www.roycastle.org
The only way to guarantee that we keep the UK pound is to vote to stay in the UK, Margaret McDougall MSP said today.
Margaret McDougall was speaking after a new report made it clear that the rest of the UK would be ‘highly unlikely’ to enter into a new, Eurozone style currency union with Scotland if we vote to leave the UK.
The report, from the Treasury, leaves the nationalists currency plans in tatters. This leaves Scotland facing the prospect of either having to adopt the Euro or launch a new currency altogether if we separate from the UK.
The nationalists have now started arguing in public about what their currency plan should be. John Swinney continues to push the ‘highly unlikely’ option of a currency union with the country we would have just walked away from, while Yes Scotland board member Patrick Harvie has called for a new currency to be created.
Margaret McDougall MSP, said:
“The nationalists plans on currency are in absolute tatters. They have spent years chopping and changing what their policy would be and now every option open to them has either been ruled out or is much worse than what we have at present.
“First of all they wanted the Euro, then they wanted us to join the ranks of countries such as Palau, the Marshall Islands and East Timor and not actually have a currency. Now they have asserted that the rest of the UK would be happy to enter into some kind of Eurozone style currency union with us, even although we had just told them that we didn’t want to be in the same country as them.
“The Nationalists are trying to do on membership of the pound what they did on membership of the EU or NATO – asserting that everything would be ok, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“Alex Salmond is asking us to take a huge gamble with our money. The only way to guarantee that we keep the UK pound is to vote to stay in the UK.”
Margaret McDougall MSP, says: ‘It is a great pleasure to present Specsavers in Irvine with this credited Investors in People at Gold Standard Award. Specsavers should be very proud of the fact that they are the only store in Scotland to receive it.
‘A lot of hard work has went in to gaining this award and it is very well deserved, it shows that the Irvine store has its team at the core of decision making and moving the business forward.
‘To achieve the ward the store had to show evidence in 126 different categorises and it really shows that the staffs needs are at the forefront of decision making, training and customer focus. This is what sets them apart from the other stores and means they are leading the way in their organisation.
‘I offer huge congratulations to everyone in achieving this award and I’m sure the recognition is well deserved, I also wish the store and staff all the best for the future.’
NHS Ayrshire and Arran have approved plans for future GP services and out-of-hours care on Cumbrae.
This option would mean that an out-of-hours service provided by Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), 12 hours a day Monday to Friday and 24 hours at the weekend; the new GP practice would cover the two-hour period between the practice closing at 6pm and the ANP service starting at 8pm.
It shall take up to 18 months for the new system to be introduced to the island.
Labour MSP, Margaret McDougall MSP said; “I welcome that NHS Ayrshire and Arran made this decision while consulting fully with the local community, I hope that this new out-of-hours care on Cumbrae shall suit the needs residents.”
“ I also hope that NHS Ayrshire and Arran monitor the progress of the new out-of-hours care and adjust the services if it does not meet the demands of the residents or problems arise once it is implemented.”