Thursday 13 June
Representatives from the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS) were in the Parliament this week highlighting the work they do across Scotland.
I had a good chat with them about the work of PADS Communities Group and the Scottish Government’s Substance Misuse Unit, their work to address the stigma that substance users face and their journey to recovery in overcoming social stigma within the community.
You can access further information on PADS here: https://www.gov.scot/groups/partnership-for-action-on-drugs-in-scotland-executive-group/
I wholeheartedly support the Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell on her call for the Home Office to live up to its responsibilities and find a long-term solution for asylum seekers that will not leave them destitute and homeless following SERCO’s announcement they are to restart their lock change eviction programme in Glasgow.
I raised this with the First Minister in the chamber this week which you can view here:http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12183&i=110039
Carers Scotland were in Parliament highlighting Carers Week and I was delighted to catch up with representatives to chat about the work they are doing.
I also spoke to them about the recently launched package for Young carers aged 11-18 who will benefit from a new nationwide Young Scot package of discounts and opportunities.
The offers have been designed by young carers themselves with extra discounts available at certain stores and leisure venues as well as other opportunities, such as free cinema tickets and CV advice.
The Young Scot project is the first element of a wider package of support announced in September 2017 by the First Minister that also includes the forthcoming Young Carer Grant and free bus travel for recipients of the grant.
Legislation to support people who struggle to pay their fuel bills, targeting those who need help the most, has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament this week.
The Fuel Poverty Bill enshrines in law the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty and transform homes to be warmer and more energy-efficient.
The Bill defines a household to be in fuel poverty if more than 10% of its net income (after housing costs) is required to heat the home and pay for other fuel costs – with not enough money left for a decent standard of living. If more than 20% of net income is needed, the household is defined as being in extreme fuel poverty.
The new law sets a target of no more than 5% of Scottish households in fuel poverty by 2040, and no more than 1% of households being in extreme fuel poverty. There are also targets to reduce household fuel poverty levels as progress is made towards meeting the 2040 targets.
Love Your Lungs week will start on 17 June and representatives from the organisation were in the Scottish Parliament this week encouraging MSPs to mark the beginning of week (17 – 22 June).
The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis in helping people to live well with a lung condition.
Glasgow City Council launched their Sexual Entertainment Venue (SEV) Consultation this week. Many of you will be aware of my stance on this issue and I welcome the consultation. It has taken a long and sustained campaign to get to where we are today.
You can access the consultation here https://www.glasgowconsult.co.uk/KMS/dmart.aspx?strTab=PublicDMartCurrent&NoIP=1
I also took part in an interview this week with Scotland Tonight which you can view here: https://player.stv.tv/episode/3snr/scotland-tonight
During Portfolio Question’s in Parliament this week I raised the issue of the strategic operational changes First Group have announced. I am concerned that these changes will have a significant impact on FirstBus which operates across the city.
You can access the full exchange between myself and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12182&i=110004
Marie Curie launched their Blooming Great Tea Party in the Parliament this week with this wonderful cake!
Marie Curie staff and volunteers were on hand providing information on their work across Scotland as well as guidance on the annual Blooming Great Tea Party.
MSPs have hosted over 50 Blooming Great Tea Parties in the last two years raising thousands of pounds to support Marie Curie services, my own office included.
Each year, Marie Curie provides care and support for over 8,600 patients and their families every year in Scotland in their own homes, in 31 local authorities and in Marie Curie hospices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the West Lothian Community Palliative Care Service.
You can find out more here: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty
A new service will be introduced to improve the detection of advanced prostate cancer in Scotland.Gallium scanning technology will be funded by NHS Scotland, and provided at four centres across the country.
The technique allows for more accurate diagnosis of possible prostate cancer relapse, where cancers spread after initial treatment. It allows clinicians to identify exactly where any follow-up tumours are located, allowing for appropriate treatment.
The scanning will be located in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Tayside, NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian. Initial investment of £2 million will be made and contracts have been awarded to allow the procurement of the equipment required. The service is expected to be operational around spring 2020.