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East Kilbride News 22/10/18


At the House of Commons last week, whilst the importance of the long stalling Brexit negotiation’s was still at the front of members minds and the priority of many of our debates, I also took the opportunity to focus upon my mental health portfolio by speaking in the Eating Disorders debate. This is an issue with great stigma, where people find it difficult to seek help and that is associated with significant morbidity. There was consensus within the debate that across the UK, much more must be done to develop local services, to stop the postcode lottery, to train GPS to recognise early warning signs, and to ensure shorter waiting lists for those affected and their families. I have therefore written to the Scottish Government Mental Health Minister to reflect the debate we had and the recommendations made going forward. I am keen to support progress and best practice in the field.

Last week, on world mental health awareness day, I was invited to Number 10 due to my longstanding work in the NHS and my role as shadow Mental Health Spokesperson. At the event, it was announced that the UK Mental Health Minister will also take on ministerial duties for suicide prevention. I will be focusing upon this issue, across our constituency and Scotland, as the statistics are startling where lives are being lost to suicide. This has already been highlighted by our EK News and I was also delighted to meet with the local charity FAMS [families against murder and suicide) this week who do wonderful volunteering, prevention and support work for those affected and their families. My office can provide further details for anyone who wishes to get in touch with this charity or to speak with me about these issues.

The Health and Social Care Select Committee on which I sit are publishing an important Inquiry Report on Prison Mental Health Care and Treatment this week. Recommendations for improvement in both services and funding are likely to be made including increased access to mental health services within prisons and improved care of cognitive disorders such as Dementia in the older prison population. Prison is of course, a place of punishment alongside rehabilitation but access to healthcare is a human right and we must ensure that individuals can see GPS, specialists and address mental health issues which may lead to reoffending.

Our HMRC remains under threat from closure by the Tory Government and I have been lodging further questions to Government challenge this decision and the devastating impact it would have upon our EK economy. It is a misguided decision that pays no respect to our constituency or-its skilled workforce and I continue to fight it every step of the way.

On a brighter note I was absolutely delighted to attend Greenhills Parish church this weekend to present the wonderful Susan Whitehead who reached her 101st birthday this year with her Early Day Motion that I lodged in Parliament to celebrate her contribution to Greenhills and East Kilbride. Susan is an absolute inspiration and I was pleased to meet with her and her family and to present her motion in church alongside Rev. Brewster. It was an insightful and spiritual service which I and the parishioners also thoroughly enjoyed.

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Strathaven Echoes 17/10/18


We are on conference recess and I have really enjoyed being able to spend so much more time in the constituency, where I can personally address your local concerns. I held my carer’s surgery last week and was struck by the support needed for carers of partners who have Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, and also the supports needed for young carers with parents who have physical disability or mental health issues. Government across the UK is absolutely indebted to the work that carers provide and I am so pleased that the Scottish Government are recognising their contribution via their carer’s allowance and supportive legislation going forward. As individual parliamentarians, we must also do all that we can and I will be continuing my surgery for carers every quarter in the East Kilbride Library.

I was pleased to have the recent success delivering for our constituents in Strathaven by having the local Post Box reinstated on the corner of the street across from Lidl’s. It was particularly important for my local elderly constituents who use the post box regularly, as it is well placed for easy access, and I am delighted for them that a satisfactory outcome was achieved.

It was a privilege to attend the Third Sector Awards hosted by VASLAN in order to support all of our local groups and organisations who do such amazing volunteering. Darcy’s Equine Assisted Learning from Glassford won their category linked with providing Training Opportunities for young people. The organisation supports young people who have behavioural and emotional difficulties and engages with them in healing through horse welfare activities. This unique project does wonderful work which reaches out and is exceptionally therapeutic to those young people who struggle with emotional connection.

East Kilbride’s Agape Wellbeing and the Swap and Save One Stop Shop also did fantastically well to have their organisations nominated for awards. Agape Wellbeing do fabulous work supporting people across East Kilbride with mental health issues and in providing social support and activity groups; and the Swap and Save One Stop Shop whose logo is “swopping is the new shopping” word very hard to reduce waste and to recycle clothing protecting our environment. I was pleased to personally congratulate and to thank our local groups on the night.

I also had the pleasure of attending St Andrews St Brides High School Awards which allowed me the opportunity to present my Debating Shield Award 2018 to two very impressive pupils Neve McArthur and Jessica

Hagan. It is absolutely refreshing to see how many of our young people are developing such high level skills.

I will be back in the House of Commons this week and I have been invited to an event at Downing Street linked with my work on mental health in parliament. Our select committee report on prison mental health care and treatment will be published in the near future and I am hopeful that both recommendations for improvement in services and funding will be taken forward. Our NHS, mental health and disability continue to be my key priorities at Westminster.

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East Kilbride News Column29/08/18


I have been overwhelmed this summer recess with enquiries to my local constituency office on issues of PIP, ESA and Universal Credit.  Constituents continue to struggle with the changing benefits system and many are experiencing extreme poverty whilst their claims are being processed. I know from contact with Dennis Curran at Loaves and Fishes that our foodbanks are becoming overwhelmed with those in need of basic provisions. My office will continue to do all we can on your behalf via our MPs hotline to DWP, so please get in touch if you need urgent assistance.  

This recess, I have also enjoyed visiting our local businesses and organisations.  East Kilbride has always been at the forefront of engineering and last week, it was inspirational to meet with staff at Mage Control Systems and to hear about their pioneering work in the fields of health and energy.  They have been expanding their staff base in East Kilbride and successfully won an award at South Lanarkshire Business Awards 2018.  

It was also very important that I spend time with Lanarkshire Medical Group who have been successful in their bid to run our Greenhills Medical Practice.  It was very positive to hear about their multi-disciplinary health team including GPs, Pharmacy, Palliative Care and Advanced Nurse Practitioners.  This should provide a holistic service for patients accessing Greenhills General Practice. 

In Strathaven, we have had our successful Balloon Festival, with thousands of international tourists descending upon our constituency to see the amazing array of hot air balloons take off this weekend.  I was delighted to meet with the organisers on Friday to commend this work and for the opening of the festival.  

In East Kilbride, I am hosting a free Meet the Paralympians Event and Autograph Signing at the Alistair McCoist Centre on the 8th September from 2-3pm in conjunction with Channel4.  It will be a fantastic afternoon in East Kilbride for local constituents -where we will hear about the importance of inclusion in sports and the inspirational stories of the Paralympians in attendance -including Olympic medal winners Aileen Neilson, Abbey Kane and Brett Wild.  Please come along and enjoy the day. 

Finally, I am delighted to announce the campaign I launched in Parliament last December for Lucy’s Law to ban third party puppy sales in pet shops and via cruel puppy farmers has been agreed by the UK Government and should become Law by next year. I was invited to Number 10 last week for the announcement alongside campaigners who have worked so hard with me on this issue via the Parliamentary Dog Welfare Group that I Chair.  This legislation will make huge difference to of puppies, targeting the illicit trade in imports and ensuring members of the public buying them are protected.  We care about animal welfare just as we care about the welfare of the most vulnerable and it is testament to everyone involved that our campaign for Lucy’s Law has been such a success.  

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Strathaven Echoes Column 20/08/18


I have been extremely busy this summer recess with enquiries to my local Avondale constituency office in Waterside Street. We are delighted to hear from you so please remember that you don’t need an appointment and that the office is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to assist.  You can pop in and speak to staff directly about any constituency issue that is causing concern or email me on

This weekend, I was delighted to visit Strathaven Bowling Club to hear about the fantastic community work that they do in relation to fundraising and providing lunches for older adults who live locally.  Bowling clubs such as Strathaven and Avondale are much loved and provide so much more than excellence in Scottish sports.   They contribute to the social fabric of our communities, improve health and wellbeing and reduce isolation.  I particularly wish to commend their work and pledge that I will do all I can as MP to support their endeavours.

On a less positive note, I have been irate this last month with the attitude of Scottish Power Energy Networks in relation to the devastating impact that their road closures has had upon small local businesses trying to make ends meet and the lack of effort made in reparation.  In some cases, local staff hours have had to be cut, which impacts upon residents with individual and family commitments and their ability to pay bills; and I have even been told that some businesses may go under.  This is just not good enough and I will be raising it on the floor of the House of Commons as soon as I return from recess, as big corporates must take full responsibility for their actions.

Pubs form an integral part of rural life, in that they are a hub of social activity, and I was delighted to meet with the owners of the Glassford Inn to speak about its’ central place within our village.  They have owned the pub for over 40 years and put so much effort into keeping it going.  Changes in legislation have put pressures upon small local inns like Glassford and I will do all I can to ensure that they are sustainable. 

This week, I am going down to 10 Downing Street to meet with the Prime Minister and Secretary of State Michael Gove regarding the campaign I launched in Parliament last December for Lucy’s Law -to ban third party sales of puppies through pet shops and via callous puppy farmers.  Following from my Early Day Motion which gained the support of almost 100 cross party MPs and a successful Petitions Debate, where 100,000 signatures from members of the public were gathered in less than two weeks, a consultation on this legislation was undertaken.  I have been invited to the outcome announcement this week and am very hopeful that we will see Lucy’s Law make it into statute.  Lucy’s Law is desperately needed to the ensure welfare of puppies and their mothers and to reduce trafficking of sickly underage puppies from the EU. Paws crossed we make it happen!

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East Kilbride News 15/08/18 Constituency focus in a busy summer.


Recess is always a fantastic opportunity to meet with constituents, to support local business development and to visit charities and organisations.  I was particularly delighted therefore to attend East Kilbride Thistle Football Club’s charity match to support Prostrate Cancer last week and also to attend their 50th Anniversary celebrations this weekend.   EK Thistle are a wonderful local club who have contributed so much to the community over half a century and have become truly part of the fabric of young people’s sports in East Kilbride.   I am pleased to support them and wish them well for another 50 years!

Bowling at Red Deer Centre also contributes much to be celebrated and when I visited their match last week, I was particularly proud that it was fully inclusive, involving Wheelchair Bowls alongside bowlers from across the age span including youngsters.  I was delighted to present prizes to the winners at the end of the game.   During my visit, the club raised concerns to me that they had thought they were under imminent threat of closure however, with priority this week, I checked this out and I am able to say that this is confirmed not to be the case by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.  

During my appointment with South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, I also raised concerns about local elderly constituents who are engaged in their swimming lessons and who state they will find it difficult to pay now that subsequent courses are chargeable.  I was given some reassurance that the council will aim to ensure these costs are fair and manageable but I am going along to visit the swimmers to see if there is anything further that I can do to support them.  Swimming is not just great in relation to exercise and health for older people but improves wellbeing and mental health whilst reducing loneliness too.

Across the constituency, I was particularly impressed with my visit to the University of the Third Age who run a variety of language courses and personal development courses for older people in East Kilbride.  I was able to hear a presentation about travel and culture and to speak myself about my work in parliament and to highlight my quarterly Carers’ Surgeries.  I was also delighted to get out and about visiting care homes across the constituency last week ensuring that everyone who may need assistance is aware of my surgery dates and organising home visits where required for carers and their relatives.

Today I am going with priority to Lanarkshire Medical Group to speak with them about their successful bid to take over services at Greenhills Medical Practice.  Many constituents have understandably been extremely anxious about the transfer of care and it has been important for me to advocate politically that this be managed in a streamlined manner ensuring that services remain local.   After receiving a response from the Cabinet Secretary for Health last week I am pleased that this issue has been taken forward positively for our town.

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Strathaven Echoes 04/08/18


At Westminster, just before recess, I was pleased to be able to question the Prime Minister on two occasions, on NATO and then the arrangements for our important services industry post Brexit.  I then questioned the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, on the campaign that I launched in December for Lucy’s Law, to end third party puppy sales in pet shops and via puppy farms which causes such puppy cruelty.   I am delighted that the Secretary of State has since got back to me to confirm that he is publishing his response to this much needed legislation later this summer.  

A significant issue that rocked Westminster in recent weeks has been allegations of Antisemitism within the Labour Party voiced by its own MPs.  This is an issue that must be dealt with via strong political leadership across all parties.  Antisemitism and any kind of religious or racial intolerance must never be condoned -because that normalises it within politics and then across our society.   

I recall my father telling me years ago about Jewish members of our extended family who lived in Germany, having to escape from Dresden, and the absolute terror felt during these times.  Millions were targeted, ostracised politically, harassed and victimised with the final aim of extermination because of baseless discrimination.    Others knew what was happening but did not speak out, complicit by their lack of action.   

Our UK Armed Forces and allies went on to fight to liberate Europe and the world from Nazism where many local constituents’ family members gave their lives to save our democracy.  When we are remembering their sacrifice, we must also recognise their expectation that we learn clear lessons from the past, manifesting in zero tolerance to antisemitism and discriminatory hatred of all kinds. 

After a short break in the canaries with my children, I came home this weekend, and was privileged to be invited to the Peace Tree in East Kilbride to say a few words in remembrance for those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We all aim for a world without nuclear weapons and the destruction of human life and must work together to achieve this.  The peace tree is a gentle reminder of all that is good and sacrosanct about humanity and that we should never take for granted.

Over the recess, I am delighted to be out and about across the constituency, meeting with local organisations, constituents,

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Dr Lisa Cameron MP, EK News 1/08/18.


Prime Minister survives.. but for how long.

Parliament is now in recess after a chaotic final two weeks that saw Theresa May- who can now attest to be the Gloria  Gaynor of politics at least until September and continues in her leadership, after a number of near misses and then a Commons defeat. The defeat was in relation to the vote that the UK should remain an active participant in the European Union medicines agency following Brexit to potentially avert a cliff edge places  crisis in our NHS and pharmaceutical industry, affecting patients.

Across all of those who voted for Brexit ,I doubt that many did so intentionally thinking that it may impact negatively at any time upon future healthcare for themselves and their love ones- so that’s Commons defeat for the UK government was particularly welcome.  At this stage, the type of Brexit we will have remains a mystery whilst its potential adverse impact  upon our economy, jobs and livelihoods draws ever closer.  We are now apparently  to stockpile food and essentials in crisis preparation. The Chequers plan that took  2 years for the Tory government to announce has already been sent back for revision, both by the EU and by its own party, triggering  key resignations at cabinet level.

Labours policy on Brexit feels like shifting sands with few people able to discern their alternative vision. The only thing that has saved the Tory government from defeat on the Brexit plan was  in fact Labour party mp’s voting with the Tories and the two Liberal Democrats , including the current and previous party leaders failing to vote.

Before the recess, I was pleased to be able to question the Prime Minister myself on Nato and Brexit and then the leader of the house, Andrea Leadsom, on the campaign I launched in December for Lucy’s law: to end third party puppy sales in pet shops and via puppy farms. I am pleased that the Secretary of State is now publishing his response on this legislation during Summer.

Meanwhile, the other significant issue that has rocked Westminster in recent weeks are allegations of anti-Semitism with the Labour Party voiced by its own MPs. This is an issue that must be dealt with via strong political leadership across all parties,  anti-Semitism and any kind of religious or racial tolerance must never be condoned because that normalises it within politics and then society. I recall my father telling the years ago about Jewish members of our extended family who lived in Germany, having to escape from Dresden, and the absolute terror felt during those times.

Millions were  targeted, ostracised politically, harassed and victimised with the final aim of extermination because of baseless discrimination. Others knew what was happening but did not speak out,  Complicit by their lack of action. Our UK Armed Forces went on to fight and liberate Europe and the world from `nazism with many local constituent’s family members giving their lives to save our  democracy. When we are remembering their sacrifice, we must also recognise their expectation that we learn lessons from the past, manifesting in zero tolerance to anti-Semitism and discriminatory hatred of all kinds..



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