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East Kilbride News Column

02/10/2017

This fortnight I was out and about supporting our local events, businesses and organisations once again.  I spent a busy afternoon last week with the Chill Out Club at Moncrieff Parish Church meeting their members and hearing about their activities including relaxation groups.  I was delighted that since attending my Meet the Funders Day last year that they have since successfully applied for and been granted Lottery Funding.  The award will bolster the group’s activities and provide respite during days away.  I will continue to support the Chill Out Club who do fantastic local work promoting mental wellbeing.  As mental health problems affect one in four individuals across the lifespan, their work is absolutely vital to many constituents.

This fortnight, I was pleased to visit a number of local businesses including Strathclyde Pharmaceuticals and NXP in order to meet with staff and to find out about their important contribution to our local economy.  In line with my ‘Here for Business’ Campaign, we also had fruitful discussions about the impact of Brexit and how Parliament can more effectively raise specialist industry concerns to support the needs of our local jobs and livelihoods.

Last weekend, I attended the 50th Anniversary of the Sports Council last and commended them for their achievements made during the last half century.  Most of us remember attending the Dolan Baths and John Wright Sport Centre whilst growing up and realise just how important sports inclusion is to our physical and mental health.  The work of the East Kilbride Sports Council has been crucial and I congratulate them and lend them my full support moving forward.

Constituency wise, I was particularly impacted by a recent case involving a courageous local survivor of domestic violence who came to see me about an anomaly in banking legislation that requires to be highlighted in Parliament.   It is vital when someone feels able to leave a violent relationship that agencies facilitate this process.  Currently however, the red tape around procedures for ending joint accounts appears to tie them in a lengthy, potentially re-traumatising process.  I am therefore writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make the case for facilitating a ‘common sense’ approach that places the welfare of abuse survivor’s front and centre.

At Westminster I was pleased to be successfully elected to the Health Select Committee.  Our first enquiry will address the Nursing Workforce, NHS conditions and staff recruitment and retention.  I spoke on Radio Five Live last week to highlight my firm belief that we require to value our NHS workforce and do all we can to ensure that they have supports in place to cope with the stressors of the job and to retain a healthy work-life balance.  This alongside fair pay, aids staff retention and is ultimately good for patient care.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, please get behind out ‘Stay in EK’ Campaign and sign the petition available across our town to save HMRC/Centre One.  It is vital that we come together as a town to ensure that the UK Government reverse these ill-advised plans.

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