Strathaven Echoes Column 6th November 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.



Strathaven Echoes Column


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.


Strathaven Echoes Column 28th August 2017


Thank you to all constituents for continuing to contact me regularly about relevant local issues via our Strathaven MPs Office in Waterside Street.  Please remember that you don’t need an appointment and that we are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to assist.

This month we have received many enquiries about rural broadband speed.  I have therefore written to Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity and Digital Broadband Scotland, and I have requested a joint meeting.  If broadband connectivity is an issue that is affecting you personally or your business locally, please let my office know your details and we can raise it directly on your behalf.

This weekend, I was extremely concerned to note that operations and appointments have had had to be cancelled due to another cyber attack in NHS Lanarkshire.   It is reported that the hostile software was discovered on the computer network on Friday afternoon. The robustness of our health IT systems is of crucial importance.  Having significant experience of working in the NHS myself, I know that systems are being moved from paper based to computer based that should improve multi-disciplinary communication and the patient journey. It is an absolute outrage therefore that any person or agency would seek to disrupt medical care via cyber attack.  Given that this has happened however, now on two recent occasions locally, it seems crucial that we have adequate back-up systems that prevent patient care being disrupted and also ensure adequate investment.  I have been receiving regular updates from NHS Lanarkshire on this vital issue and now also have a pending meeting with Chief Executive Calum Campbell where this issue can be further progressed.

I continue to champion local business development as part of my ‘Here for Business Campaign’.  Maximising our local economy, jobs and livelihoods is a key priority particularly given the uncertainty resulting from Brexit.  On the 8th September, I am hosting my constituency Day of International Trade which I believe is the first of its kind by an MP.  There is a keynote speech from the Chair of the Westminster International Trade Committee alongside representatives from the export industries of Hong Kong, China and Latin America.  These are important potential markets for our local businesses, so if you would like to network your business please don’t hesitate to contact me at my office on lisa.cameron.mp@parliament.uk  Places are free to our constituency business owners to maximise our constituency benefit.

To finish, I have had such a fantastic fortnight supporting our wonderful local events including our Strathaven Balloon Festival which was a resounding success and that saw thousands of local visitors come to experience the culture and hospitality of our constituency.  I was also delighted to support the Round Strathaven 50 Cycle Race which attracted over 500 cyclists and raised money for charity.  My own local charity bags went this month to Kilbryde and St Andrews Hospices to support our palliative care services, and I also contributed a donation to the Children’s Hospice Appeal Scotland.


Strathaven Echo Column 3rd July 2017


Strathaven Echo Column 3rd July 2017

At the Queen’s Speech, the legislative programme for the next two years revolved around the start of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, however it also covered other important topics such as the Economy and social care. Since I’ve been re-elected I’ve been privileged to speak in the Queen’s Speech debate on the issue of health and social care. As a former Consultant Forensic and Clinical Psychologist who had worked for twenty years in the NHS prior to being elected as MP I raised concern around the waiting times for mental health services as well as the funding going to front line medical practitioners.

I am delighted to be SNP Westminster spokesperson for Mental Health as it affords me the opportunity to speak in important debates on health matters.  Having a designated spokesperson on mental health demonstrates our commitment to parity of esteem between physical and mental health.  One in four people will suffer 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.  I look forward to working with cross party colleagues at Westminster to utilise my experience in the field and ensure best practice.

It has been brought to my attention that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is soon to be offering specialist mentoring support for people entering the agriculture industry. The scheme will offer face-to-face support to customers from agriculture relationship managers. People who bank elsewhere will also be able receive free mentoring support for up to three years from sector specialists. I’m really glad to hear of this support scheme as it is vital to promote sustainable development within the farming community.

I have been happy to find out about the extensive funding coming to Strathaven, approved recently by South Lanarkshire Council Executive Committee: Strathaven Academy is to receive £94,000 funding for the school to carry out laboratory conversion works which will allow more classroom flexibility; and Ballgreen Hall had £2.390million approved toward the New Combined School and Community Facility.

The Friends of Strathaven Park initiative to open a sensory garden is a great effort by the community group. Sensory gardens are wonderful attractions that everyone in Strathaven can enjoy. I’m happy to hear that our Park, which was voted the best park in Scotland in 2016, will continue to go from strength to strength.

I’d like to say congratulations to Kirlandpark Primary School who have now opened the doors to their new facility. I look forward to seeing the school in the new term.

I will be arranging visits to Nursing and Retirement homes in the next two months so if you would like me to come to your home then get in touch. If you have any other questions or would like me to look into a case, please contact my Strathaven office on 01357 520879.


Dr Lisa Cameron MP calls for creative constituents to submit films to Parliamentary competition Film the House.


Dr Lisa Cameron MP calls for creative constituents to submit films to Parliamentary competition Film the House.

Are you a film maker in East Kilbride, Strathaven or Lesmahagow?  Submit your film for the chance to have your film screened in London.

The annual competition offers the opportunity to put local film-makers in direct contact with the likes of Lord David Puttnam, gain work experience at Sky and showcase their talent by having their film screened in the House of Commons.

The Film the House competition is an opportunity to showcase what the UK has to offer while raising awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property  to our creative industries and country.

Lisa commented: “This competition is promoting and supporting our creative industries while raising awareness of how creatives can protect their work it’s is an amazing opportunity and I urge my constituents to apply.”

Dates for the 2017 competition are:

  • 31 July 2017: Closing date for entries to MPs’ offices
  • 30 August 2017: Closing date for MPs to announce their constituency nominations and submit their respective shortlists to the final judging panel
  • 24 October 2017: Award Ceremony with screening, House of Commons, London

More information on how to apply for the competition can be found at: www.filmthehouse.co.uk

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