Strathaven Echoes Column 17th July 2017:


I am delighted to be named SNP Westminster spokesperson for Mental Health.  It affords me the opportunity to speak in important debates on mental health matters including the recent Queen’s Speech debate where I was able to raise the important issue of funding reaching front line care.  Designating a spokesperson on mental health demonstrates my party’s commitment to parity of esteem at Westminster and complements the work of our Mental Health Minister at Holyrood.  Many people will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their life and we must overcome the stigma surrounding mental illness, increase awareness and ensure access to timely supports.   If you have any particular issues or experiences that would further work in parliament on mental health, please contact me directly on

This week at Westminster I raised the importance of Brexit being about more than trade, money and business. Brexit is also about people and the type of society we wish to be.  As Chair of the Disability All Party Parliamentary Group I was pleased to highlight the potential impact of Brexit upon disabled people’s services in my debate directly to the Disability Minister, particularly with regards social care.  We need to plan to ensure that throughout Brexit disabled people’s services are maintained and that we remain at the forefront of disability equality legislation.

I am delighted to once again commend a Friends of Strathaven Park initiative – this time to open a sensory garden which is a great effort by the community group. Sensory gardens are wonderful attractions that everyone in Strathaven and our visitors can experience and enjoy.  Our Park, which was voted the best park in Scotland in 2016, continues to go from strength to strength.

This weekend I will be joining the Epicentre in Strathaven for Christian worship.  I am a member of the Christians in Parliament Group and I will continue to update all of our churches upon the work being undertaken both on UK policy and international development.

I am really pleased to be getting healthy this recess with the Stonehouse Health Walk. It will be great to spend time with this community group engaging in a local walk and finding out about their future plans. Never let it be said that I’m a politician who just talks the talk- I’m also walking the walk!

I am pleased to receive an invitation from Strathaven Rotary Club who do wonderful work within our constituency.  As a fellow Rotarian, I am happy to speak about community initiatives to the club and to lend my full support to the local work that they do.

Finally, I am delighted to announce that my Strathaven MP Office is open Full-Time weekly hours from Monday to Friday 9am -5pm.  Please feel free to drop by and to raise any concerns that you have regarding local or UK wide issues.  If you require an appointment out-with these times this can also be accommodated of course, and I offer home visits for constituents with mobility issues.

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