MACDONALD WELCOMES SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONFIRMATION THAT FORTHCOMING TRANSPORT BILL WILL IMPROVE BUS SERVICES IN FALKIRK DISTRICT

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Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed confirmation from the Scottish Government that it will bring forward a Transport Bill which will provide an important opportunity to improve local bus services and tackle declining patronage of buses.

Writing to Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee, of which Angus MacDonald is Depute Convener, the Scottish Government states “we will look at how we can improve the options available to local authorities to influence and improve bus services in their area.”

The Scottish Government continued:

“The Transport Bill will increase the ability of transport authorities to work with operators in partnership to deliver a jointly agreed local network of bus services which meet local needs.”

“Local franchising will also be available to local authorities where there is a case for it”.

“The Government is taking action and developing legislation which will change the current regulatory environment for buses.”

Speaking at Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee last Thursday (28/4/17) Angus MacDonald MSP said:

“I very much welcomed the announcement by the Transport Minister Humza Yousaf that a Transport Bill would be coming forward and I was particularly encouraged by the suggestion that ‘local franchising’ could be introduced which would effectively enable local authorities to become bus operators if they wished to, and I would wholeheartedly welcome any legislation that would make such a development easier for Falkirk Council to develop.

“Clearly, during the passage of the Bill through Holyrood there will be opportunities in consultation and in Parliament for people to comment and contribute to the developing bus policy.

“I look forward to playing my part in empowering local action regarding buses within the national framework, firmly aimed at enabling the bus sector to fully deliver its potential.”

Angus MacDonald MSP shows his support to MS specialist nurses this MS Awareness Week

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This MS Awareness Week (24-30 April) the MS Society Scotland are in the Scottish Parliament in a bid to raise awareness of the vital role the MS nurse has on the lives of people living with the neurological condition.

Regularly cited as a key contact for people with MS, the role and responsibilities of the MS nurse can be wide-ranging and varied. These include monitoring people for potentially dangerous side effects who are receiving drug modifying therapies (DMTs), as well as giving emotional support and helping to navigate the social care system. The specialist role means that nurses can also provide expert advice to their patients on symptom management and living as best as possible with MS.

Despite the importance of this role, only five of the 11 mainland health boards are deemed to have sustainable levels of MS nurse provision. In one health board the case load is four times the recommended amount.

Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald, pledged his support for MS nurses in Scotland.

After meeting MS Society Scotland representatives in Holyrood this week, Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East constituency said:

“The role of the MS nurse provides a vital lifeline to those living with the condition. It is important that nurses specialising in the support, care and treatment of MS patients are recognised for their work in caring for patients who rely on the services these nurses provide.

“Clearly the level of support needed for the more than 11,000 people who are living with MS in Scotland is of vital importance to their quality of life. I would encourage health boards to ensure that they are doing everything they can to provide these services, to keep up the good work they do, and to support the need for improvement wherever possible.”

Morna Simpkins, Director for MS Society Scotland said:

“Over the years the role of the MS Specialist Nurse has become more complex, we need this to be recognised and resourced by the health service in order to give people with MS the support they need.

“MS is an unpredictable and sometimes painful condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels and moves – and we need to ensure that people are receiving the support and care they need to live as well as they can with MS.”

Over 11,000 people in Scotland live with MS which can be unpredictable and can affect how a person thinks, feels and moves. For more information on the work of the MS Society, please visit www.mssociety.org.uk

 

FALKIRK EAST’s MSP ANGUS MACDONALD CALLS ON TORY MSPs IN CENTRAL SCOTLAND TO CONDEMN FAMILY CAP AND RAPE CLAUSE

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SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has called on Central Scotland list Tory MSPs Margaret Mitchell and Alison Harris to stop acting as mere mouthpieces for the UK government and oppose the shocking and inhumane two child limit and rape clause.

The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or during an abusive relationship.

The Tories railroaded through these policies without a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to womens’ rights, the impact on child poverty, as well as how the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained to assess evidence of rape.

Many sexual violence support charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK government, not least due to the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has led the campaign to scrap the grotesque two child policy and rape clause.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) said:

“The Tory policy that has become known as the rape clause, requiring women to disclose deeply personal information and prove that a third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to claim tax credits, is both disgraceful and disgusting.

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster.

“The two child policy will mean a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child for hardworking families – driving up child poverty after the UK government scrapped their child poverty targets.

“I will continue to fight these heartless policies and I have written to Conservative list MSPs in Central Scotland, Margaret Mitchell and Alison Harris asking them to stand up for the dignity and human rights of Women in Scotland and condemn these utterly appalling Tory Government policies.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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