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East Kilbride News Column 6th November 2017

10/11/2017

The allegations of sexual harassment in both The Scottish Parliament and The House of Commons that have been developing over the past week have been particularly difficult for us all to hear.  Resignations have been handed in by senior politicians.  But is that enough?

 

A zero tolerance approach appears badly needed across all parties.  This can however, never be monitored by those in politics who previously ‘turned a blind eye’.  The independence of reporting and investigatory mechanisms appears vital to properly support complainants.

 

Sexual harassment occurs because of issues of power and control.  Perpetuating the belief that males cannot be victims is therefore wrong.  It fosters a culture in which males may feel silenced and find it even more difficult to come forward. It is therefore important to use inclusive language and ensure we support anyone affected to come forward.

 

Westminster is now asking itself “how has this happened”?  Akin to the film industry, politics has historically been viewed as a ‘select club’ where those in positions of power may be protected by the system.  Reporting sexual harassment is extremely difficult due to the power imbalance, fear of reprisals, and possibility of victimisation.   Whole sale culture change is vital at Westminster to ensure complainants are supported not alienated, heard not ignored and enabled never victimised.

 

Speaker John Bercow has now referred all issues of sexual harassment in Westminster to the Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion. I have been a member of this committee since July 2017, and I’m determined to ensure a confidential and safe reporting environment for complainants going forward.

 

Brexit Update:

On Monday the government published the list of sectors that could potentially be impacted by Brexit. However they did not publish any of the 58 documents that accompanied that list, which focus on different sectors of the economy. The House has since voted in favour of these documents being released in order to ensure transparency and that the best deal is being achieved for different sectors. I anticipate the response from Government and will continue to push for the best possible deal for our constituency.

 

HMRC:

Last week, I spoke out once again in a debate about HMRC. I highlighted the devastating effect that UK Government plans to close our Centre One would have upon the town; its economy, jobs and livelihoods and our intrinsic identity.  Everything possible must continue to be done to protect our workers at HMRC.  Please show your support for the Stay in EK Campaign and ensure we continue to fight these misguided proposals every step of the way.

 

Parliament Week: Across our constituency this week, I was pleased to visit the 2nd EK Boys Brigade to speak about the importance of democracy and Parliament week. The questions asked were very topical indeed, including “are you related to David Cameron” and “is Donald Trump Insane”?  Should any schools or organisations be keen to visit Westminster or to link with its education centre for parliament week, please do not hesitate to contact me for support.

Media

Strathaven Echoes Column 6th November 2017

10/11/2017

The allegations of sexual harassment in both The Scottish Parliament and The House of Commons that have been developing over the past week have been particularly difficult for us all to hear.  Resignations have been handed in by senior politicians.  But is that enough?

 

A zero tolerance approach appears badly needed across all parties.  This can however, never be monitored by those in politics who previously ‘turned a blind eye’.  The independence of reporting and investigatory mechanisms appears vital to properly support complainants.

 

Sexual harassment occurs because of issues of power and control.  Perpetuating the belief that males cannot be victims is therefore wrong.  It fosters a culture in which males may feel silenced and find it even more difficult to come forward. It is therefore important to use inclusive language and to ensure we support anyone affected to come forward.

 

Westminster is now asking itself “how has this happened”?  Akin to the film industry, politics has historically been viewed as a ‘select club’ where those in positions of power may be protected by the system.  Reporting sexual harassment is extremely difficult due to the power imbalance, fear of reprisals, and possibility of victimisation.   Whole sale culture change is therefore vital at Westminster to ensure complainants are supported not alienated, heard not ignored and enabled never victimised.

 

Speaker John Bercow has now referred all issues of sexual harassment in Westminster to the Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion. I have been a member of this committee since July 2017, and I am determined to ensure a confidential and safe reporting environment for complainers going forward.

 

Across our constituency, I will be undertaking my rural surgery on 8th December 2017 in Drumclog 10am, Sandford 1130am, Glassford 1pm, Chapelton 230pm, and Auldhouse 4pm.  Please don’t hesitate to email me for venues and to confirm your attendance.

 

I know that rural broadband continues to be a significant issue locally and I therefore have a petition going to parliament next week calling for faster broadband speeds and increased connectivity.  If you want to add your details to the petition please just drop into the office in Waterside Street and let us know.

 

Finally, I continue to work hard on issues of local fly tipping and rubbish dumping and have been in contact with the council to ensure a variety of local uplifts of rubbish reported to me.  Strathaven is beautiful and it is very important that we do all we can to preserve our high standards for visitors and locals alike.

 

Media

Dr Lisa Cameron MP Congratulates Special Olympic Success for Local Swim Team

03/10/2017

Lisa Cameron MP met with local Olympian Lindsey Fleming to congratulate her success in the Special Olympics in Sheffield. Lindsey, from Strathaven, competed in the Special Olympic Games in as part of the Scotland West Swim team. She came fifth in two races and seventh in another. The team was composed of 32 swimmers from clubs around Central and West Scotland.

Lisa said,
“It was a privilege to meet with Lindsey and to hear about her success at this years Special Olympic Games. She is a dedicated swimmer and I am very proud of her achievements and that of all of our local competitors this year”.

Lindsey was one of seven swimmers from the Clyde Valley Beavers Disabled Sports club who competed in the swimming competition in Sheffield in August.

Media

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.

Media

Strathaven Echoes 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 weekend at the Boghead Community Fun Day.  It was a great day indeed, with a wonderful array of home baking, a barbecue and bouncy castle for the children.  Hats off to the organisers who put in so much hard work and the community spirit was overwhelming.  I am delighted to support Boghead in their priorities for the area going forward.

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.

I was delighted to visit the Department for International Development to find out about their programmes for assisting disabled children in developing countries.  As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability, I am keen that we promote such work as it reaches the most vulnerable- something that our community fully supports and that many of our local church groups already do via their exceptional international outreach.  Prior to recess, I met with Lord Dubs to request his assistance in supporting lone children with disabilities who are refugees and I am pleased to inform that he has kindly agreed to work with me on this issue.

Constituency wise in Strathaven we are extremely busy.  Please continue to pop into our office with your concerns and issues that you wish to be addressed.  We are open 9-5pm Monday to Friday with home visits available out-with this.  Road safety, traffic congestion and housing developments are key concerns that continue to be raised.  It is clear that we need appropriate local service planning and infrastructure development.  I have spoken with and written to South Lanarkshire Council to provide my views in this regard and to open a dialogue with key partners going forward.

At Westminster, I was delighted 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 to do all we can to ensure that they have supports in place to cope with the stressors of the job and retain a healthy work-life balance.  This alongside fair pay, aids staff retention and is ultimately good for patient care.

Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with Strathaven Evangelical Church, Strathaven Business Forum, attending a local event for Woman Against State Pension Inequality and visiting the AGAPE wellbeing café.  I would love to support your local initiative too, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Media

Group Gives Dogs a Voice in Westminster

27/09/2017
Cross-party MPs join forces for All-Party Parliamentary Dogs Advisory Welfare Group

LONDON, September: Last week saw the election of Chair and Officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Dogs Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) in Westminster.

APDAWG’s mission is to host regular meetings in Parliament to explore, highlight, discuss, and challenge dog-related activities, legislation, and trends with the overall aim of improving the health and welfare of the UK’s dogs and dog owners, and society in general.

Earlier this year APDAWG, which works closely with the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW), held its inaugural meeting to discuss the immediate banning of pet shop puppies, in which Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home were invited to explain why they refuse to support such a ban.

APDAWG’s new Chair Dr Lisa Cameron (SNP) is joined by SNP colleague John McNally MP, as well as cross-party Officers Sir Roger Gale MP (Conservative), Sir David Amess MP (Conservative), Dr Matthew Offord MP (Conservative), Andrea Jenkyns MP (Conservative), and Chris Williamson MP (Labour).

Dr Cameron MP, herself a proud owner of rescued French bulldog Rossi, said “I am delighted to be the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group, there is vital work to be done to ensure an end to puppy farming and to create policies that adequately punish those involved in heinous acts of dog fighting. The public are a nation of dog lovers and the overwhelming majority support this work of our APPG.”

As well as parliamentarians the meeting was also attended by campaigners and organisations keen to improve the lives of dogs in the UK and beyond. For updates and information about APDAWG’s next meeting please follow @APDAWG1 on Twitter.

Media

MP Urges Locals to Support Mental Health Campaign

14/09/2017

Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Westminster SNP Mental Health Spokesperson, urges young people to volunteer with the charity See Me to oust negative attitudes toward mental health.  Volunteers are being asked to join the programme and help young people to speak about mental health in order for young people to get the information, help and support they need.

Dr Lisa Cameron MP said,

“I would urge young people to come forward to help peers and to raise awareness.  It is vital to have an understanding of and empathy for mental health issues. Around 1 in 4 people are affected by mental health problems in their lives and if more people speak about their difficulties it reduces stigma and makes it easier for young people to ask for help.

The application deadline is the 22nd September 2017.

To request a volunteer application pack please email laura.sharpe@seemescotland.org or call 0141 530 1093.

If you would like to help but can’t volunteer you can:

–          Start a conversation with a friend, family member or work colleague about mental health stigma and discrimination.

–          Follow See Me on social media and join in our online debates. @seemescotland   facebook/seemescotland

Media

Organ Donation Week Highlights Opportunity to Give Gift of Life

14/09/2017

Organ Donation Week starts on 4 September Dr Lisa Cameron MP is urging local residents to show their support by joining the Organ Donor Register.

Dr Cameron said,

“Organ donation is a fundamental part of the NHS saving lives. It’s not something we like to really think about but in the worst case scenario, being an organ donor give us the opportunity to save someone else’s life.”

Among those who have already benefited is Lanarkshire man Gordon Hutchison, the face of the national ‘We Need Everybody’ campaign, which originally aired last year and is now back on our TV screens.

Gordon, from East Kilbride, underwent a transplant aged just 13 after being born with a congenital heart defect. He stripped off for the TV advert to reveal his transplant scar on screen, delivering the message that organ donation saves lives, as someone who knows first-hand.

Gordon said: “Because of my donor, I was able to grow into a teenager, play football, pass my driving test, get my first job and get married – things I’m grateful for every day.”

Across Scotland, there are 4,345 people currently alive thanks to organ donors and their families.

As a nation, 45 per cent of people have already shared their decision to become an organ donor by joining the Register. However, there are still nearly 600 people waiting on a life-saving transplant.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonationscotland.org.

Media

Dr Lisa Cameron MP visits New NXP Offices in East Kilbride

14/09/2017

Dr Lisa Cameron MP visited the pioneering automotive and security company NXP at their new site in Scottish Enterprise Technology Park East Kilbride.

Gordon Caffrey, Security Manager Evaluation and Certification at NXP, told Dr Cameron of their recent expansion and of the 100 employees working at the unique site doing crucial work in the field of cyber security. The staff range from highly qualified engineers to ethical hackers and cryptographers.

The company, who have origins in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, have initiatives in place to encourage students into STEM jobs and work closely with local schools such as Calderglen High School to promote the industry as a career path for young people in East Kilbride.

Dr Lisa Cameron said,

“We are living in an ever connected society and with commercial products being taken online through the Internet, it is now essential that we have measures of security in place. NXP are producing this technology on our doorstep in East Kilbride and exporting globally which is wonderful to see.” 

Media

Dr Lisa Cameron MP praises local furniture company

14/09/2017

Dr Lisa Cameron visited local company EK Furniture and commended their principled approach to business.

The furniture store have a strong ethos of ethical business practice. They are a living wage employer and where possible use responsibly sourced wood and upcycled materials.

Lisa said, “Protecting the planet from deforestation is crucial so to see a local company championing eco-friendly sourcing of their materials, especially wood.

“Using reclaimed resources gives the products that are being made a unique charm and a back story, so being ethical really pays off.

“I commend EK furniture for being a living wage employer, I urge other local companies to do the same.”

Michelle Minto of EK Furniture said: “We are a company who are proud to support and work in partnership with companies from around the world who use only use sustainable sources for their woods and materials.”

The company make bespoke items such as tea light candle holders made from reclaimed Corain from the Scottish Parliamentary building in 2004 at Holyrood.

The company has recently opened a new premises in Kelvin Industrial Estate and has business links as far as Indonesia.

For more information visit their website: www.ekfurniture.co.uk

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