I have continued to make representations to the UK Government regarding Universal Credit and PIP Assessments. The policies appear flawed and are driving constituents into poverty via delayed processing and faulty decision making, often overturned at appeal. I raised these issues with the Secretary of State for DWP in the House of Commons and she agreed that I submit cases that require additional scrutiny directly to her. Any constituents who are struggling and who have not yet contacted me please now do so on email@example.com or 01355 587430
In my work with the Health Select Committee we are undertaking an Inquiry into Children and Young People’s Mental Health. There appears to be a particularly difficult transition period between Children’s and Adult Services around the age of 18 with evidence that many young people are dropping out of services but require ongoing support. I have raised this issue with the Mental Health Ministers at Westminster and Holyrood. I note that the Royal College of Paediatrics Child Health Report recently praised The Scottish Government’s progress on policies for young people including childhood obesity, child poverty and child and adolescent mental health services. Progress is being made in Scotland and the Scottish Government will continue to build upon this.
Following from my high profile campaign for Lucy’s Law as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dog Welfare, I am pleased that the Secretary of State has now announced a consultation on banning third party puppy sales. Puppies should not be sold in pet shops or via third parties online as this facilitates puppy farming, appalling animal welfare standards and illegal importing. Money made from puppies bred in absolutely squalid conditions and imported from Europe, reportedly falls behind that of only arms and drug dealing. Please support my campaign for Lucys Law to give puppies the best possible start in life.
As many of you are aware I have been working hard to save our RBS branches in Strathaven and Lesmahagow from closure. Both branches are much needed and utilised by constituents five days per week. I spoke in the Community Banking Debate in Parliament last Thursday to once again highlight our concerns and to challenge the UK Government to act. We own the majority of RBS and it must provide community banking. My petition to save our RBS branches has also been presented in Parliament, is the first petition to be presented, and as such, the Minister must respond.
I was delighted to visit Jackton Police Training College locally to find out about policing issues and to speak directly with officers on the frontline. All officers within Police Scotland have now undertaken mental health awareness training including autism awareness so that they can respond appropriately to calls where these issues are relevant. In a recent parliamentary debate we learned that only a third of police officers in England have had this training. We must ensure best practice and I was pleased to highlight in parliament the excellent leading work being rolled out from our constituency.