Irvine Office

Constituency Office:

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.

Breast Cancer Care Scotland and Margaret McDougall MSP highlight vital checklist to improve breast awareness

BCCSCOTLAND Margaret McDougall MSP

On Thursday 2nd October Breast Cancer Care Scotland met with Margaret McDougall MSP (Member for West Scotland) at The Scottish Parliament to highlight the importance of breast awareness with a three point checklist.

Forty three attended the event hosted and sponsored by Bob Doris MSP. Margaret McDougall MSP posed with the three point checklist, which shows what women need to be aware of when checking their breasts, and several key volunteers who are involved in the charity’s breast awareness campaign, B-Aware.

The charity is running the three year campaign to promote early detection of breast cancer in targeted communities in a bid to improve survival rates across the country.

B-Aware was developed in response to research showing that the breast cancer incidence rate in Scotland has increased by 14% in the past decade (1), while cancer survival rates in Scotland are one of the lowest in Europe (2). It is recognised that the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment can be.

Margaret McDougall MSP said: “I’m thrilled to be showing my support for B-Aware. It has been wonderful to meet such passionate volunteers and to highlight this very important checklist.

“Early detection is essential in ensuring a successful outcome for women and men with breast cancer. That is why it is so important we spread the breast awareness message and help people to spot the signs and symptoms – not only in themselves, but in others too.”

The three-year B-Aware campaign is being supported by Chris Weir, Breast Cancer Care Scotland’s first Breast Health Awareness Ambassador. She is donating £250,000 in each year of the campaign’s life.

She said: “Many people face enormous challenges when accessing and dealing with information that the rest of us take for granted. For example, in relation to breast cancer, people with learning difficulties face barriers such as trouble understanding breast awareness messages; written information is not always appropriate or accessible.

“But breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It’s so important that Team B-Aware continue their vital work and materials like our three point checklist are widely accessible across Scotland.”

Team B-Aware Volunteer Janet Wallace attended the event. She said: “I was diagnosed when I was just 40. I was 39 weeks pregnant with my first baby and had just lost my mum to lung cancer, so found the diagnosis very frightening.

“I want to help people understand what breast cancer is and make it all less scary. To encourage people to check regularly so it can all be caught early.”

Team B-Aware are delivering 15 minute breast awareness talks across Scotland. For more information contact 0141 353 8330 / teamb-aware@breastcancercare.org.uk

MSP Supports World’s Biggest coffee morning

_AG21370Local MSP Margaret McDougall has backed Macmillan Cancer Support’s coffee morning and urged people across North Ayrshire to visit a coffee morning in their local area over the next week.

Margaret McDougall MSP, said:
 “Macmillan’s coffee mornings are a great fun way to help raise much needed funds to support cancer care.  I urge everyone to go along to their nearest event and join in for such a worthy cause, or if you’d prefer to host a coffee morning Macmillan Cancer Care offer a Coffee Morning Kit on their website.”

Margaret McDougall MSP attends Ayrshire North Big Brownie Birthday

Brownies

Saturday 27th September saw St Matthews Academy play host to the 100th Birthday celebration of Girlguiding,  Margaret McDougall MSP who was in attendance said:

“It was great to be invited to such a fantastic event. With over 500 Brownies in attendance it was delightful to see the coming together of groups from all across Ayrshire.”

“All the girls I spoke to commented on how much they were enjoying the event.  There was a huge amount of different activities for the girls to engage with from face painting to a planetarium.”

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved for what was a very successful event as well as for reaching this very special milestone and wish all brownies and their leaders every continued success.  There is a waiting list of girls wishing to join the Brownies but more leaders are required for this to enable girls to participate, so if you can help the Brownies would be glad to hear from you.”

 

Margaret McDougall Takes Part in Ice Bucket Challenge

IMG_0658After being nominated by Mary Fee MSP, Margaret McDougall MSP participated in the Ice bucket challenge for Motor Neuron Disease Scotland.

Margaret McDougall MSP, said; “It was great to take part in the challenge and I certainly got a good soaking out of it, thanks to my staff for that!”

“As part of the challenge I have nominated Councillor David O’Neill, Margaret Burgess MSP and Joe Cullinane.”

“I have also donated to MNDScotland and wish the charity ever success in the future in tackling Motor Neuron Disease. If people wish to find out more they can visit MNDScotland or Gordon’s Fightback.”

IMG_0660

Margaret McDougall MSP Goes Gold To Support Children With Cancer  

Margaret McDougall MSP for West Region will be wearing a gold ribbon this September to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Thousands of families deal with the devastating impact of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment every month. Treatment for children is often gruelling and can start immediately, last as long as three years and take place many miles from home.

CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity supporting children and young people with cancer, is asking elected representatives across the UK to join us in raising awareness of the impact of cancer and children and their families during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Margaret Mcdougall, said: “I am delighted to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and will be wearing my gold ribbon to show that I’m standing by the thousands of families who are coping with childhood cancer.

“This campaign will help to raise awareness of the impact that childhood cancer has on families in North Ayrshire which is why I’m urging everyone to wear a gold ribbon this September to show they are standing by those families too.”

Lucy Caldicott, CLIC Sargent Director of Fundraising, said: “We’re so pleased Margaret Mcdougall will be wearing a gold ribbon and supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“Every month, thousands of children and their families have to cope with the devastating impact of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer treatment for children is often gruelling and can start immediately, last as long as three years and take place many miles from home. CLIC Sargent is here to provide vital practical, emotional and financial support from diagnosis onwards.

“Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a great opportunity for everyone in North Ayrshire to show they are standing by children with cancer.”

Margaret McDougall vows to help charity tackle prostate cancer injustices

PCUK MSPs Pledge 20

Margaret McDougall MSP has pledged to support Prostate Cancer UK in its drive to eradicate the injustices faced by men with, and at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland.

Despite being the most common male cancer, men continue to face a number of injustices surrounding awareness, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity.

Prostate Cancer UK has published a document outlining these five key inequalities, along with a solution designed to tackle each one. The charity is working with MSPs to call on the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to implement these changes to make the inequalities a thing of the past.

The ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer – Five Inequalities, Five Solutions’ document comes as part of the second wave of the charity’s Men United campaign, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease. Key calls to action include: the incorporation of prostate cancer in the Detect Cancer Early initiative, the introduction of at least one specialist centre for robot-assisted prostate surgery in Scotland and the development of a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey for Scotland.

Margaret McDougall MSP met men and women whose lives have been directly or indirectly touched by prostate cancer at an event at Holyrood to hear at first hand about the inequalities men continue to face, and to show her support for Prostate Cancer UK’s calls.

Margaret McDougall MSP said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is predicted to be the most common cancer overall by 2030. Despite this men and their families continue to face difficulties relating to awareness of risk factors, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity. I want to ensure that all men in Scotland have the information, treatment options and support they need to tackle this terrible disease regardless of their age, ethnicity or post code – and am delighted to team up with Prostate Cancer UK today to work towards this outcome together.”

Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Strategy at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “For too long men with, or at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland have faced inequalities of care, information and support. For example, despite being the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer has yet to be included in the Detect Cancer Early initiative. Furthermore, there are 33 facilities for robot-assisted prostate surgery in England, but none in Scotland. Scotland also remains the only part of the UK with no plans for a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which would give us key information to help drive improvements in care and support. These are just some of the actions we call for in ‘5 Inequalities, 5 Solutions’ and are delighted that Margaret McDougall MSP has committed to helping us fight for these longstanding wrongs to be righted.”

For more information on the injustices faced by men living with or at risk of prostate cancer in Scotland visit: http://prostatecanceruk.org/media/2385585/inequalities-report-scotland.pdf

Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK’s confidential information service on 0800 074 8383 or visit http://www.prostatecanceruk.org. Telephone calls are free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 8pm on Wednesdays.

Still No Answers on Currency and Taxation

Following questions raised by Margaret McDougall MSP and a Parliament Debate we are still lacking key answers on both Currency and Taxation ahead of the Independence Referendum.

Margaret McDougall MSP, said: “I find it incredulous that with less than 5 weeks to go till the Referendum, we still lack answers to basic questions such as what currency Scotland would use in the event of the Yes vote. We are told that Scotland would have a Currency Union, yet this is up to the rest of the United Kingdom to agree to and it would mean handing key fiscal levers over to a central bank in a foreign country while losing our current Political Influence.”

“Sterlingsation is even less viable given Scotland would have no lender of last resort and it could seriously damage our Financial Services Industry as without a lender of last resort banks with Headquarters in Scotland would have to seriously consider relocating their Headquarters to England, the Financial Services Industry accounts for 9% of total Scottish Gross Domestic Product.”

“While on taxation, the Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP, tells us that there would need to be no tax increases in the event of Scotland voting Yes. However, this flies in the face of expert advice from bodies such as the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions, the Pensions Policy Institute and Professor Michael Keating of the University of Aberdeen all who tell us that Scotland would either have to raise taxes or cut spending in an independent Scotland and none of the nationalists promises could be delivered unless this happens.”

“So far the nationalists have no answers and no credibility and that’s why it’s a no thanks from me.”

Visit to Street League

Margaret McDougall MSP and Street League
The programme, currently run in the Magnum is an intensive training course over 8 weeks combining 2 hours of football and 2 hours employability training after. The young people also work towards an SQA qualification.

Margaret McDougall, MSP, said: “This is a great programme, using a combination of football and training to engage with and retain young people but to provide them with intensive employability training over an 8 week period.

“Not only does it keep young people fit, but gets them qualifications and hopefully after the programme they can move in to employment, education or training with their new skills.

“This is an amazingly innovative programme aimed at finding positive destinations for young people. The participants I met were enjoying the course and were feeling confident about their future. I wish them every success and hope other employability charities follow Street League’s example and start looking at other ways to engage and retain young people.”

Arran Outdoor Education Centre – Scrapping of Mainland Service

SNP lead North Ayrshire Council conducted a review in to Arran Outdoor Education Centre’s has earmarked the centre’s Mainland services to be scrapped in a plan that will allegedly improve the sustainability of the centre and will deliver a saving of £53,843.

Last year the mainland centre provided access to activities to 7000 young people and adults within North Ayrshire and beyond.  They also provide services to schools, community groups and events, working with people from Nursery to Retirement age.

Margaret McDougall MSP, said: “Cutting the mainland services is not consistent with North Ayrshire Council’s objective of maintaining a high quality service for young people within North Ayrshire. Last year the mainland service provided access to activities to 7000 young people and adults within North Ayrshire and beyond. The service also takes bookings from School in the area but as of November was told it should take no more bookings, which had an adverse effect on the centres income.

“Through-out the whole review process no consultation has taken place with the Arran Outdoor Education Centre despite North Ayrshire council claiming they have conducted a range of consultations with both internal and external stakeholders.

“By removing this service they appear to be reducing the opportunities available for thousands of children and hundreds of adults which is not consistent with NAC Commumity Planning objectives. By not engaging with the centre they are falling to give them an opportunity to look at ways they could increase their commercial viability and equally increase the promotion of the service. SNP lead North Ayrshire Council should be looking at ways to better utilise the service to increase sustainability rather than cutting it.

Marine Station

Following a visit to the Marine Station, Margaret McDougall, MSP said:

“It was a great pleasure to visit the Field Studies Council (FSC) Marine Station in Millport.  There were great concerns last year when it was feared it would close through lack of funding. However, after receiving funding from the FSC, North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government the marine station is undergoing a transformation.

“Although some posts have been lost, Daniel Moncrieff, Head of the FSC in Scotland is enthusiastic about the future of the Marine Station. Already internal restructuring has been carried out in the main building, providing modern teaching rooms and student facilities. Bigger changes are yet to come with the modernisation of the student accommodation block and work to both the aquarium and museum.

“Daniel and his team are full of ideas to revitalise the Marine station and make it more sustainable. The reputation of the station has meant that they have retained many of the University clients and are hoping to attract more as well as attracting primary and secondary schools. Eventually they hope to provide short course for adults and families to explore marine and wild life in their natural habitats.

“I was greatly encouraged to see the work that has been done already and very much look forward to seeing the completed works in spring next year.”

Daniel Moncrieff, Head of FSC Scotland, added:

“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to show Margaret McDougall around FSC Millport and discuss our building and development plans for the site; particularly after the support she gave last year helping to ensure the station continued beyond 2013.”