News from Marlyn Glen                           more at Marlyn's blog

 

Iain Gray : video diary 09 April 2009

single click on the video to play it


Allocations to NHS Tayside "failing to keep pace with previous years," says MSP 10 March 2009

Marlyn Glen today released a reply from Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon showing that the initial revenue allocation from the Scottish Government to NHS Tayside fell last year in real terms and will increase by less than one per cent in the next financial year.  (read more)


V&A in Dundee : MSP seeks "firm guarantee" from Minister  02 March 2009

Marlyn Glen is seeking an assurance from the new Culture Secretary Mike Russell of a "firm guarantee" that the Scottish Government will give financial backing " in principle" to the proposed V&A outlet in Dundee.  (read more)

 


 

Dundee primary class sizes : "urgent need for more teachers," says MSP  - 25 February 2009

Marlyn Glen has written to Fiona Hyslop saying that the latest figures on primary 1-3 class sizes in Dundee " demonstrate the urgent need for more money for more primary teachers in the city."  (read more)

 


 VAT reduction on car parking charges : MSP welcomes NHS Tayside’s move at Ninewells - 25 February 2009

Marlyn Glen has welcomed news from NHS Tayside that they will take advantage of the effect upon the cost of car parking charges resulting from the reduction in the standard rate of VAT announced by the Chancellor last November in their discussions with Vinci on future pricing at Ninewells. (read more)

 


"Cut in real terms for the second year" in NHS Tayside’s capital allocation   24 February 2009

Marlyn Glen said today that capital spending allocation in the health service in Dundee and Tayside was being cut in real terms for the second year running by the Scottish Government compared with 2007-08. (read more)

 


Dundee MMR vaccinations : MSP congratulates parents and staff on "breakthrough" figures   16 February 2009

Marlyn Glen has congratulated parents and medical staff in Dundee on achieving the "breakthrough figure" for MMR immunisation rates for children that experts say the general population require in order to safeguard against outbreaks of measles, mumps or rubella.  (read more)

 


Local Income tax : MSP queries cost of public consultation on dropped policy  16 February 2009

Marlyn Glen has tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament asking what has been the cost of the public consultation on Local Income Tax that the SNP Government held last year, a policy that they have now dropped (read more)

 


Emerging strain of C difficile reported in NHS Tayside 11 February 2009

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that a relatively new emerging strain of C difficile had been recorded once within the health board area last year.   (read more)

 


 Councils should not be made scapegoats for broken promises, says MSP 03 February 2009

The SNP Government should be providing councils such as Dundee with more money for more teachers, and not trying to make them scapegoats for broken promises, said MSP Marlyn Glen. (read more)

 


Work of Dundee-born astronomer with lunar crater named in her honour  remembered  30 January 2009

 

 

Marlyn Glen is to table a motion in the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the work of the Dundee-born astronomer, Williamina Fleming, who has a crater on the Moon named in her honour.

Click on the image to read more

 

 

 

 


 

  

MSP places Gaza crisis appeal video on her website which the BBC won’t broadcast 

Marlyn Glen has placed for viewing on her website the video, which the BBC won’t broadcast, from the Disasters Emergency Committee charity, calling for financial appeal for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Ms. Glen said,

" Anyone watching this moving and tragic video will be astounded to comprehend why the BBC refuse to screen an appeal by a respected international charity.

" This is not about taking sides in a political conflict.

"It is about helping people in desperate need of food, shelter and medicine."

View the video >>>

 


£864,000 awarded for NHS dental bursaries in Dundee  23 January 2009

Marlyn Glen has welcomed the award of £864,000 in the current academic year as bursaries for dental students at Dundee University who have given a commitment to work on NHS dentistry on graduation. (read more)

 


Victoria and Albert Museum extension in Dundee : MSP queries Scottish Government on its financial support    23 January 2009

Marlyn Glen is writing to Culture Minister Linda Fabiani asking if the Scottish Government will give a commitment to contribute towards the funding of a proposed Dundee exhibiting extension of the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose capital costs, it has now emerged, could be as high as £47.6 million.(read more)

 


NHS Tayside "confident" of meeting waiting times target, MSP learns  20 January 2009

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that they are "confident" that it will able to meet the maximum waiting time target of six weeks for key diagnostics by the end of March.  (read more)

 


Dundee merits the same attention as Edinburgh, says MSP 19 January 2009

Marlyn Glen is asking Finance Secretary John Swinney, why the Scottish Government has made no promise of special help for Dundee in the current economic climate, but has said it would "consider carefully" the need for further help for Edinburgh. (read more)

 


Free School meals and Breakfast Clubs - still no extra money, says MSP  15 January 2009

Marlyn Glen said that there was "still no extra money" from the Scottish Government to "remove the unenviable choice Dundee City Council could face between providing free school meals for P1- P3 classes and being forced to consider withdrawing breakfast clubs to pay for them."  (read more)

 


Ninewells car parking charges : Freedom of Information request to go ahead   13 January 2009

Labour are to lodge a Freedom of Information request to force Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to make public her evidence that the cost of buying out the Ninewells PFI car parking contract would be "tens of millions of pounds".  (read more)

 


Support for Bill to scrap car parking charges at Ninewells  12 January 2009

 

Paul Martin makes the case for scrapping all hospital car parking charges across Scotland

Download the papers for his consultation on his Bill to scrap the charges >>>

Marlyn Glen is supporting this Bill that would scrap car parking charges at Ninewells hospitals  (read more)

 


 

Dundee gender pay gap widens     9 January 2009

The gender pay gap in Dundee has widened slightly in the past year. The gap is measured by the median hourly pay of full-time male and female employees, Marlyn Glen has been given official figures from Scottish Cabinet Minister John Swinney which show a gap of 16.6 percent in 2008.  (read more)

 


 

 Speech in the Scottish Parliament : Gaza (Humanitarian Disaster)   8 January 2009

 

(read more)

 


 

 Single hospital rooms - MSP questions Health Secretary on funding for NHS Tayside - 08 January 2009

Marlyn Glen is to question Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon on the source of funds for new proposals to provide only single rooms in future, new or significantly refurbished hospitals in NHS Tayside   (read more)

 


 

MSP calls for more teachers to stem Dundee’s "brain drain" 07 January 2009

Marlyn Glen is asking Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop what she intends to do to stem "Dundee’s brain drain", with the prospect that up to 40 per cent of the city’s current secondary school teachers and 38 per cent of the current primary school teachers will either have retired or become eligible for early retirement in the next 4 to 5 years.  (read more)

 


 

 

Gordon Brown's New Year message (single click on the video above to play it)

 


 

 

Iain Gray's New Year message >>>

 


 

NHS pay arrears : NHS Tayside reply to MSP - 24 December 2008

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that the numbers who had been assimilated to Agenda for Change pay rates but who were waiting to be paid arrears had fallen to 106 by the end of last month (read more)

 


 

Iain Gray's Christmas message >>>

 


 

Freedom of Information Request may be used to reveal Health Minister's claimed source of evidence of the estimated cost of Ninewells PFI buyout - 17 December 2008

Marlyn Glen said that she was considering lodging a Freedom of Information request "so that the information that the SNP Government has withheld on a statement made in Parliament by the Health Secretary can become public."   (read more)


 

Call to lower Scottish age for C difficile surveillance to the same as that for England, Wales and Northern Ireland turned down  15 December 2008

Marlyn Glen has had her plea to introduce national surveillance for C difficile in Scotland at the much lower age of 2 years of age as it applies in the rest of the UK turned down by Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon.  (read more)

 


 

MSP questions NHS Tayside on staff pay arrears   09 December 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to NHS Tayside asking when the health board expect to have assimilated just over 1,000 bank staff to the Agenda for Change pay rates.  (read more)

 


 

 Drawing attention to carbon footprints  09 December 2008

 

 

 

 

Marlyn Glen outside the Scottish Parliament (11th. December ) to draw attention to the huge carbon footprints of countries like the US, Russia, Australia and Scotland and the contrasting tiny footprints of developing nations like Bangladesh, Uganda and Mali. Artist Lucy Turner drew scale versions of the footprints in chalk outside the public entrance
of the Scottish Parliament building

 Photographs >>>

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Speech in the Scottish Parliament : Universal Declaration of Human Rights   11 December 2008

(read more)

 


 

 MSP asks Health Secretary asks Health Secretary why she is "unable" to provide source of evidence her costing of Ninewells PFI buyout  8 December 2008

Marlyn Glen has tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament asking Nicola Sturgeon why the Health Secretary is "unable" to provide her with the evidence for her statement to parliament that the Ninewells PFI buy out " would cost tens of millions of pounds" (read more)

 


 

 

Gordon Brown : Standing Up for Britain

 

Scottish Labour video : A Fairer Scotland

 

 

Speech in the Scottish Parliament 4th. December 2008  : Forced marriages

 


 

 MSP calls for "unenviable choice" on school meals to be set aside 1 December 2008

Marlyn Glen is writing to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying that Dundee City Council "should not be faced with the unenviable choice between providing free school meals for P1-P3 classes and being forced to think about withdrawing breakfast clubs to pay for them." (Read More)

 


 

World Aids Day - speech in the Scottish Parliament - 27 November 2008

Read Marlyn's speech    Download PDF version >>>

 

 

 Marking World Aids day images >>>

 

 


 

No extra cash for more teachers in Dundee, says SNP Government - 25 November 2008

The SNP Government has ruled out a plea from Marlyn Glen for extra cash to employ more teachers in Dundee, following reports than teachers completing their probationary year had been unable to find permanent posts with the local authority.(Read More)

 


 

Welcome for " significant increase " in cervical smears tested in Tayside - 24 November 2008

Marlyn Glen has welcomed news from NHS Tayside that there has been a "significant increase" in the number of cervical screening smears being processed in their local cytology laboratory in the 12 months up to this September. (Read More)

 


 

NHS Tayside budget : "High risk" that reductions cannot not be found -17 November 2008

NHS Tayside have admitted that there is a "high risk" that they will be unable to meet the £35 million reductions in budgets that the Scottish Government has told them to find.  (Read More)


 

Call on health board to boost the numbers of young women attending cervical screening programmes - 14 November 2008

Marlyn Glen is asking NHS Tayside what measures it is taking to increase the attendance of younger women who do not attend screening programmes for cervical cancer.  (Read More)

 


 

Unfunded free school meals proposals will cost council " thousands of pounds a week extra - 11 November 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying that the Scottish Government’s plans to make councils provide free school meals for primary 1 to 3 pupils in Dundee as from August 2010 could cost " thousands of pounds extra a week that the Scottish Government have not ensured that the council has been given to provide the new service." ( Read More)

 


 

5th. November 2008 As the US elects Barack Obama as its next president, marlyn Glen highlights the career of Dundee-born, Samuel Johnston, who was elected to lead the rebellious American colonies  in the American revolution,  but turned down  the post ( Read More)

 


 

 MSP asks Minister to commend staff
- 5 November 2008

Marlyn Glen is writing to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill asking him to commend the staff of Cornton Vale prison for their work with women with mental health and addiction problems.  ( Read More)

 


 

Ninewells PFI buy-out : Health Secretary asked again to provide her "evidence of the cost" - 5 November 2008

Marlyn Glen has written back to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon asking her once again to provide her evidence for statement to the Scottish Parliament that the cost of the buy out of Ninewells PFI car parking charges contract "would be tens of millions of pounds"  ( Read More)

 


 

Plea for more funds for NHS Tayside turned down - 30 October 2008

Marlyn Glen said today that Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out additional funding for NHS Tayside specifically to prevent any freezing of posts, following reports that the health board has held negotiations with staff representatives on pay budgets.  ( Read More)

 


 

Call for more funds to employ more primary teachers in Dundee- 28 October 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop calling for more money to employ more primary school teachers in Dundee as latest figures show that average class sizes in Primary 1 to 3 are, as she described it, "considerably distant" from the 18 maximum size set by the Scottish Government by 2011.  ( Read More)

 


 

Cyclacel job losses : Minister replies to MSP - 15 October 2008

Marlyn Glen has been informed by Scottish Government Enterprise Minister Jim Mather that Scottish Enterprise are in discussion with the drug company Cyclacel about potential support through a workforce learning and development project and a potential research and development project. ( Read More)

 


 

 

 

 

 

Pictures from the rededication of the International Brigade memorial in Dundee 12 October 2008 >>>

 

 


 

C difficile-related deaths at Ninewells : MSP receives minister’s reply - 08 October 2008

Marlyn Glen has been informed by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon that the number of deaths associated with C difficile in Ninewells Hospital between December of last year and May of this year did not warrant further investigation because of statistical criteria. ( Read More)

 


 

MSP seeks assurance over effect of car park maintenance cost on NHS Tayside budget - 01 October 2008

Marlyn Glen is asking Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon for an assurance that front-line services in NHS Tayside will not be affected as from next April when the health board will need to find £350,000 from its budgets across Tayside for car parking maintenance following the abolition of hospital car parking charges. ( Read More)

 


 

Call for more funding for NHS Tayside - 29 September 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon calling for NHS Tayside to be allocated more funding to prevent any freezing of posts , following reports that the health board has held negotiations with staff representatives on pay budgets. ( Read More)

 


 

Iain Gray - A Better Scotland - 25 September 2008

 

 


 

Gordon Brown's speech to Labour conference - 23 September 2008

 

 


 

No funds for McManus Galleries - 23 September 2008

The Scottish Government rules out funding for the McManus Galleries renovation in Dundee ( Read More)


 

Iain Gray's speech to Labour conference - 22 September 2008

Download text of speech by Iain Gray, Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament


 

Cyclacel : MSP calls for action from Enterprise Minister - 18 September 2008

Marlyn Glen is writing to Scottish Enterprise Minister Jim Mather following the announcement of potential redundancies at Cyclacel.( read more )

 


 

Car parking charges at Ninewells    - 17 September 2008

Download Marlyn's news releases on the campaign against car parking charges at Ninewells ( read more )


 

C- difficile deaths at Ninewells   - 11 September 2008

Scottish Government statistics that reveal that 19 people died in Ninewells Hospital between December of last year and May of this year through C difficile associated disease. (CDAD) ( read more )

 


 

Campaigning against Ninewells car parking charges  - 4 September 2008

Click on the photograph to view a larger version


 

 Children's services - 4 September 2008

Read Marlyn's speech on Children's Services in the Scottish Parliament ( read more )

 


 

 Police pensions : Re-instate ring-fenced funding, says MSP - 3 September 2008

Marlyn Glen has been told by Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill that it is for local authorities and police authorities to meet the cost of police pensions without any additional help from the Scottish Government. ( read more )


 

Response to fall in number of eligible applications for central heating programme in DD postcode area  - 2 September 2008

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Scottish Government that it has reconvened the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum to examine the Central Heating Programme and make recommendations for taking it forward.  ( read more )

 


 

Almost 200 instances of C difficile recorded in Ninewells in the period since January this year - 29 August 2008

NHS Tayside have confirmed to Marlyn Glen that there have been 198 instances of C difficile recorded in Ninewells Hospital in the seven-month period since January of this year. ( read more )

 


 

Dundee " fulfills all the requirements for civil service jobs relocation", says MSP - 28 August 2008

Marlyn Glen said today that Dundee fulfilled all of the new requirements that the Scottish Government has laid down for civil service jobs relocation. ( read more )

 


 

 295 junior doctors in NHS Tayside - 58 per cent - working hours that exceed the European Working Time Directive target- 15 August 2008

Marlyn Glen revealed today that 295 junior doctors in NHS Tayside - approximately 58 per cent of the total - are currently working on rotas which are in excess of the 48-hour working week limit set by the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) which will come into force in August 2009.  ( read more )

 


 

MSP writes to Minister on McManus Galleries funding- 14 August 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Scottish Government Culture Minister Linda Fabiani, saying that the Scottish Government "must ensure that any funding gap in the McManus Galleries renovation project is closed."  ( read more )


 

MSP’s concern at drop in pensioner numbers for central heating programme - 12 August 2008

Marlyn Glen has expressed concern that the number of eligible applications from pensioners under the central heating programme in the Dundee-centred DD postcode sector, has shown a "very sharp drop" in June.  ( read more )

 


 

 MSP highlights report on attracting and retaining talent in Dundee - 11 August 2008

Marlyn Glen is writing to Enterprise Minister Jim Mather asking if his department is studying the recommendations of a report to make the city more effective in attracting and retaining talent. ( read more )


 

 NHS Tayside set to share in £32 million MRSA screening programme- 8 August 2008

Marlyn Glen has welcomed news from Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, that NHS Tayside stands to share in a £32 million screen patients on admission for MRSA, if a pilot scheme proves successful. ( read more )

 


 

Dundee jobs : Stronger intervention required, says MSP - 1 August 2008

Marlyn Glen said today that Scottish Government policy to reduce business rates for small businesses "however welcome, will not act as a major producer of local economic growth" in Dundee ( read more )

 


 

18-under 21 year olds face alcohol online purchase ban via supermaket direct delivery- 23 July 2008

Young adults in the 18-under 21 age group who currently purchase alcohol online through supermarket direct delivery services will not be allowed to do so if the minimum age for the purchase of off-sales alcohol rises to 21, following the current Scottish Government consultation. ( read more )

 


 

Call to restore free central heating scheme for all pensioners- 21 July 2008

Marlyn Glen is calling on the Scottish Government to restore the entitlement to the free central heating scheme for all pensioners in Dundee, as fuel prices are set to soar. read more

 


 

Dundee class sizes : MSP’s plea to Education Minister - 15 July 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying that the Scottish Government should fund the employment of more of the Dundee primary school teachers who have completed their probationary year but have not yet found permanent jobs.

Her move comes as it emerges that Dundee has less than half the percentage that Glasgow has of classes in Primary 1-3 with 18 or less pupils. read more

 


 

Local Income Tax : Another study shows a large shortfall in funding for Dundee  - 11 July 2008

Marlyn Glen commented today on the latest study to show that a Local Income Tax would create a large shortfall in the funding for council services when compared with the money raised by council tax.  more

 


 

Dundee in Olympic guide  - 10 July 2008

Dundee University’s potential as a "high quality" sports training centre for the 2012 London Games will be highlighted in Beijing during next month’s Olympics in the online publication of the London Organising Committee Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. more

 


 

Raising minimum age to 21 for alcohol purchase : MSP queries online supermarket accounts - 5 July 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill asking him if the Scottish Government’s consultation to raise the minimum age for purchasing alcohol to 21 will affect young adults in the 18-under 21 age group who have an online supermarket account that allows them to purchase alcohol which the supermarket delivers directly to their home. more

 


 

Dundee under-age drinkers study reveals need for stricter enforcement of law, says MSP - 26 June 2008

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Marlyn Glen said that the latest study of the habits of under-age drinkers in Dundee showed that stricter enforcement of current law was needed rather than the series of measures announced by the Scottish Government to raise the minimum age for alcohol purchase to 21 at off-sales.

She has written to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill on the matter.

Only one person has been prosecuted in Dundee in the latest two year period between 2004 and 2006 for the proxy purchase of alcohol for supplying it to people aged under 18.

Yet the latest Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) research for 2006 indicates that in Dundee , amongst the under-age 13 and 15 year old age studied over 1 in 5 said that they used a friend to purchase alcohol for them.

No one in the city has been prosecuted for selling alcohol to underage persons in the same two year period.

However, the same study found that almost 1 in 4 of the under aged drinkers studied claimed that they had bought alcohol from a shop and 1 in 10 from an off-licence

The average amount spent by weekly drinkers in the 13 and 15 year old age groups who bought alcohol was over £10 a week.

Ms. Glen said,

"The study indicates the need for enforcement resources being devoted towards tackling under-age drinking rather than antagonising the under 21 age group who are to be singled out for restrictions on purchase that are both unfair and unworkable."

   


 

 "MRSA screening could cost hospitals like Ninewells £750,000 a year” says MSP - 23 June 2008

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Screening all patients on admission to hospitals like Ninewells Hospital for MRSA could initially cost upwards of £750,000 a year, according to figures in a NHS Scotland report, said Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP.

Ms. Glen said that NHS Quality Improvement Scotland produced a report last October estimating, from a theoretical model, how much it would cost annually over a five year period to screen all admissions to an 840-bed tertiary referral hospital.

(The report described Ninewells as a tertiary referral hospital with an average number of beds of 882. )

Estimates showed that the screening programme would cost over £750,000 in the first year falling to £500,000 in the fifth year of the five-year period.

A successful screening programme could ensure that MRSA infections would be lowered to an extent that would permit around 4,000 more patients to be treated in hospital in the 5-year period saving an estimated £2.9 million a year.

Ms. Glen said,

"The estimates deal with theoretical models which may not reflect exactly the everyday reality of medical practice in hospitals such as Ninewells.

"However, they do show the potential annual cost involved in reducing the level of MRSA significantly in a major hospital, and the resulting benefits as well.

"Screening is just one of several anti-infection measures being used against MRSA."

Ms. Glen added that a pilot project screening non-emergency patients for MRSA was launched earlier this month in the NHS in Grampian, Western Isles and Ayrshire and Arran

If successful, it will be introduced across all health boards in Scotland next year.

Ms. Glen is to question Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament this week on MRSA screening costs.

  


 

 Money for council housing in Dundee :“No further forward,” says MSP - 17 June 2008

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Money for council housing in Dundee :"No further forward," says MSP

Marlyn Glen said today that Dundee was "no further forward" in knowing how much money it will receive from the Scottish Government’s £25 million three-year fund to build new council houses over the next three years.

And Ms. Glen is now asking the Scottish Government to state "plainly and simply" how many new council houses will be built in Dundee over the next three years.

This follows correspondence between Ms. Glen and the Scottish Government Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell.

Ms. Glen has asked him if Dundee would now be "expected to participate in some form of competitive bid for their share of this £25 million"

In reply the Housing Minister, Stewart Maxwell, said,

"We are discussing with COSLA how we will allocate the money to ensure it has maximum impact , where needed, on the supply of new council housing in Scotland.

"We have discussed the broad principles that councils will have to meet to access the money."

"The £25 million is part of the £1.5 billion housing budget over the next three years.

" I am extremely hopeful that this will help reverse the decline in council house build seen in the past decade. "

Ms. Glen added,

" The Scottish Government has also told me that they have no figures on the average cost of building various types of council houses with different numbers of bedrooms.

" I am asking them what figures were used for the cost of building council houses of various sizes in determining that £25 million would be spent on building these houses.

" It is up to them to state plainly and simply how many of these new houses will be built in Dundee. "

 


 

Norwich Union job switch : MSP calls for Scottish Government action - 12 June 2008

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Marlyn Glen has tabled a Parliamentary question calling on the Scottish Government to take action to fill the jobs gap in Dundee.

Her question comes in the wake of the decision by Norwich Union to switch 350 posts from Dundee to Perth.

The decision has already been described as a "body blow" for the city's economy.

Ms. Glen said, " The city has continually promoted its strengths of attraction for incoming industry.

"These include possessing a high-skilled workforce and an innovative university sector, and being a good place to work and to raise a family.

" I am asking the Enterprise Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking to revitalise Dundee’s jobs prospects after the Norwich Union blow.

"The city needs to fortify and broaden its economic base, increase its manufacturing strength, and receive more public and private investment.

Ms. Glen added that she would also be raising with the Scottish Government the need to relocate more civil service jobs in the city following the announcement of the review of HM Revenue and Customs operations in Dundee.


 

MSP writes to Housing Minister as Scottish Government cuts Dundee’s affordable housing budget  - 10 June 2008

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Marlyn Glen has written to Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell expressing "great concern" at the SNP Government’s decision to cut Dundee’s annual budget for affordable housing by almost half.

This follows publication late last week of the £7.7million allocation that Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell had made to Dundee for the provision of affordable homes for rent for this financial year.

Ms. Glen said,

"Mr. Maxwell’s own figures show that last year,the previous Labour Lib-Dem Scottish Executive gave £14.7 million to the city for affordable housing.

"His same figures show that the SNP’s £7.7 million allocation this year is the lowest to the city in at least the last 5 years.

" This year’s £7 million slice-off shows that the Scottish Government has walked away from Dundee’s housing needs.

"This follows on from their broken promise to give £2,000 to every first-time buyer in Dundee and from preventing the city from benefiting from the new low-cost LIFT housing programme, LIFT."

Notes to editors : Source of information - Parliamentary question 17 April 2008

Marlyn Glen : To ask the Scottish Executive how much was invested in affordable housing for rent in Dundee in each year from 2004-05 to 2007-08 and how many such homes were made available in each year.

Answered by Stewart Maxwell (Thursday, April 17, 2008): Funding for the provision of affordable housing for rent and the number of rented homes approved for development in the Dundee City Council area in each year since 2004-05 is detailed:

Year

Total Amount £ million

Homes Approved for Rent

2004-05

9.837

179

2005-06

10.343

205

2006-07

11.470

162

2007-08

14.699

38

Total

46.349

584

 


 

 

 

 

 

Download Marlyn's speech in the Scottish Parliament in the debate on the 60th. anniversary of the NHS  >>>

 

 

 

 


 

Dundee Community Health Partnership told to find £1.2 million “efficiency savings” this year, says MSP - 02 June 2008

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Marlyn Glen revealed today that the Dundee Community Health Partnership are expected by the Scottish Government to find “efficiency savings” of £1.2 million this year.

Ms. Glen had written to Dundee CHP asking about the level of “efficiency savings” that had been laid down by the Scottish Government for them to identify and carry out.

 She said,

“ The Scottish Goverment’s drive for efficiency savings must not impair the quality of service for patients in NHS Tayside.

“Such savings must be demonstrated by the Scottish Government to have been achieved through improvements in services and not by reductions in services.”

Ms. Glen disclosed that NHS Tayside are expected to find £35 million in “efficiency savings” over the next three years.

 NHS Tayside Associate Director of Finance I S McDonald said that NHS Tayside had locally agreed to devolve the achievement of these efficiency savings within the organisation , and hence for 2008/09, 2 per cent savings targets are being devolved to the Dundee Community Health Partnership.

This is equivalent to a target of £1.2 million this year.

He said,

“It is worth noting that the 2 per cent savings targets devolved to Dundee CHP and other operational units are used, alongside the NHS Tayside general allocation uplift, to fund forecast inflationary cost pressures and agreed Tayside developments.”

In a letter to Ms. Glen, NHS Tayside Chair, Sandy Watson, said that the probe for savings “will present a significant challenge to continue to  deliver the same scale of cost improvement which has been achieved in recent years.”

 


 

 Estimated cost to NHS in Tayside of alcohol-related conditions - 29 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen has released estimates on how alcohol-related conditions are absorbing millions of pounds of National Health Service resources annually in the Tayside area that could have been spent on other health matters.

Using the same technique as used by Scottish Government researchers recently to show that alcohol –related conditions, directly or indirectly, were costing the NHS in Scotland £405 million a year, the estimates showed that in Tayside :

 Ambulance incidents could account for £2.2 million a year.

 New Outpatient attendances could account for £1.2 million a year. 

Accident and Emergency attendances could account for almost £1.9 million a year. 

Beds occupied by patients with alcohol-related conditions could account for £7.6 million a year.

No specific figures were available for Tayside on the estimated annual number of GP consultations directly connected with alcohol-related conditions.  (The overall Scottish estimate is put at over 130,000 a year)

No specific figures were available for Tayside for the annual number of laboratory tests directly connected with alcohol misuse that were carried out.  (The overall Scottish estimate is put at 260,000 a year.)

Ms Glen said that the estimates were made for just a few of the resource categories within the NHS

Ms. Glen said, 

“These estimates give some indication of the substantial resources that alcohol-related conditions uses up in the National Health Service in Tayside that that could have been used on other health matters. 

“ Alcohol-related illness is one of Scotland’s serious health problems, but it is a preventable one as well. 

“ It is a social problem that continues to affect too many individuals, their families and   their communities. 

“ However, in recent years a concerted effort has taken root in the campaign to call time on the misguided culture of the glamour of heavy alcohol consumption in Scotland. 

“More sensible behaviour, tighter enforcement of the licensing laws, more socially- responsible promotion of alcohol and a ‘more European’ approach by some to its use  are all very necessary features in this campaign to achieve success over time.”

 


 

MSP calls upon Minister for “financial means to match commitment” at Dundee railway station - 29 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen is reminding Scottish Government Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson of the need to provide the “financial means to match a commitment to better facilities at Dundee railway station.”

This follows a parliamentary echange between Ms. Glen and the Transport Minister.

Ms. Glen had tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament what action it is taking to improve the amenities, overall condition and appearance of Dundee railway station.

She said,

“The Scottish Government must act to close the gap between the higher expectations that rail commuters have for Dundee railway station and its present condition.

“Train operators should be encouraged to invest more in improved facilities.

“ A city of ambition such as Dundee requires a modern-looking, attractive rail station to match.”

In response, Mr. Stevenson said,

"Under the Franchise Agreement with Scottish Ministers, investment of around £650,000 from First ScotRail has delivered new CCTV, automatic gating, self service ticket machines, seating, automatic doors, flooring upgrades, secure cycle storage and onward travel information posters at Dundee station.

"The Strategic Transport Projects Review is currently considering a number of potential interventions which would improve public transport service provision through and within Dundee station.

" Dundee City Council are progressing a feasibility study to provide options for development at the station and both First ScotRail and Network Rail have invested in new facilities and amenities in recent years.”

Ms. Glen said that the 2006 report Scotland's Railways recommended in the short term ( up to 2009) :

the introduction of "higher standards” at Dundee such as defined interchange times, better facilities and information.

A reduction of journey times from Dundee to Glasgow and Edinburgh through revised stopping patterns.

Timetable alteration to maximise the role of Dundee as a key interchange station.

“It is now the responsibility of the Scottish Government to ensure that the financial means are provided to match this commitment to better facilities at Dundee railway station,” she said.

 


 

£25 million for new council housing – will Dundee have to bid for its share? asks MSP - 27 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has written to Scottish Government Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell, asking if Dundee will have to compete by bidding with other local authorities for its share of the £25 million announced by the Scottish Government to build new council houses across Scotland over the next three years.

Ms. Glen said that in an answer to her parliamentary question last week, the Minister would not reveal to her how much money Dundee would receive to build new council houses in the next three years.

Ms. Glen said,

“Councils such as Dundee are in a better position than the Scottish Government to determine local housing need and then develop an appropriate local housing strategy.

“£25 million hyped up by the Scottish Government across Scotland over the next three years through an arbitrary award by best bidding for new council houses would not be the best way forward.

“The previous Scottish Executive spent £46 million in four years on housing programmes in Dundee alone.

“This created over 580 homes for rent.

“This will give some indication how relatively few council houses would be created from Dundee’s eventual share of the £25 million over three years.”

Ms. Glen is tabling a question in parliament asking the Scottish Government how much it estimates it would cost to build various sized council houses.

She is also asking if the £25 million to be spent on new council houses will be funded by reducing the allocations that housing associations receive.


 

 Over 17,000 hospital bed days through alcohol in NHS Tayside, MSP reveals - 22 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen revealed today that the cost of hospitalising inpatients with alcohol-related conditions in acute hospitals in NHS Tayside is currently running at over £7.6 million a year.

Replies to her parliamentary questions indicate that the number of occupied bed days by patients with alcohol-related conditions was 17,263 in NHS Tayside in the latest available year (2006-07)

("Occupied bed days " are the number of beds available multiplied by the number of days that they are occupied by patients.)

The average cost to the NHS of an acute occupied bed day was estimated at £442 per day.

In the previous two years, the number of hospitalisation days directly attributable to alcohol-connected conditions was 13,524 in 2005-06 and 14,530 in 2004-05.

Ms. Glen said,

"These figures alone are a stark reminder of the cost to the NHS of the misuse of alcohol which is a preventable cause of illness.

" They illustrate why the long-term drive has to continue to replace a flawed, romanticised culture of heavy drinking that some have by responsible drinking."

 


 

The SNP’s 3p local income tax means £840 million cut in council spending - 21 May 2008

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"The same Institute of Fiscal Studies report that the SNP quote in favour of their 3p local income tax also confirms that this would create a huge deficit of up to £840 million in council funding across Scotland

" This would force councils in Scotland, such as Dundee, into making unnecessary massive cuts in spending and provoking substantial increases in charges for facilities.

"In the same report, the Institute rightly cast doubt on the SNP claim that £500 million be cut by ‘efficiency savings’ in local government spending, pointing out "that ‘precedent suggests that such efficiency savings might be difficult to achieve’.

"The Burt Commission on local government has already emphasised that to raise the same money as under council tax, the local income tax would need to be 6.5p in the pound, over twice the SNP’s 3p figure.

" Local government finance cannot be run on the basis of shaky assumptions and wishful thinking.

"It’s time for the SNP to tell people the untold chapter of Tale about Local Income Tax.

"Which council services would be cut and by how much, and how many jobs would be lost as a result?"

 


 

Dundee and the SNP’s local income tax : Very large funding gap revealed - 16 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen today released figures which show a funding gap between the money raised by the council tax in Dundee and the lesser amount of money that would have been raised by the SNP’s local income tax(LIT), if LIT had been in operation just now.

Ms. Glen says that the estimated figures are " consistent with national studies which show that the SNP’s claim that a 3p in the £ local income tax would provide the resources needed to replace the council tax is ‘nonsense’."

Using Dundee City Council and national statistics Ms. Glen says that for 2007-08 ,

  • A 3p Local Income Tax rate would have raised around £26 million less than council tax in Dundee
  • A 4p LIT rate would have raised around £17 million less than council tax
  • A 5p LIT rate would have raised around £7 million less than council tax

Ms. Glen said,

" The SNP promised in their election manifesto to ‘replace council tax with a local income tax, with a rate set at 3p.’

"Council tax income in Dundee in 2007-08 is put at £54.9 million. The SNP’s local income tax is estimated to raise £28.4 million.

"So a 3p LIT provides only just over half of the resources needed, leaving a substantial shortfall whichever way the matter is looked at.

"This supposed ‘no pain’ policy will require either more finance from the Scottish Government to individual councils, higher levels of LIT above 3p, or substantial cuts in local government services.

"The estimates for Dundee are in line with national analyses showing the same degree of funding gap between the SNP’s LIT and council tax.

" The LIT claim that existing levels of council service can be maintained by deficit funding while only 1 in 5 households would be worse off is being greeted more and more with the scepticism it deserves"

 


 

 260 - 270 Tayside nurses take part in Community Health Nurse pilot scheme  - 16 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that between 260 and 270 nurses in Tayside will take part in the Community Health Nurse pilot in the area.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson said that some areas within NHS Tayside were unable to give exact numbers of participants.

"Given the time frame around current transitional educational programmes in Tayside the actual numbers may be between 260 and 270 once retirements and further skills-mix have been taken into account, " he told her.

Meanwhile, Ms. Glen is tabling a question in the Scottish Parliament asking if training in clinical care is given priority over health promotion and protecting the public in the pilot scheme in the NHS Tayside area.

The pilot scheme sees the post of school nurse, district nurse, health visitor all amalgamated into one new post of ‘community health nurse’

Ms. Glen said,

"Professional concerns have been raised particularly about the merging of the individual specialist posts into an all-purpose post.

"Urgent clinical care would be expected to come first before health promotion and public health work.

"I am seeking to find out if this is the case in the Tayside pilot, and how this then impacts on other shared specialist work.

"Some nurses have expressed concern about the loss of specialist practice because of the much wider range of work a community health nurse would do, and whether an all-purpose nurse will be able to provide as good a service for children as a specialist school nurse."

 


 

"Promise of unknown cost," says MSP   - 2 May 2008

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Marlyn Glen said today that the Scottish Government has "failed " to provide her with details about its promise to extend the entitlement for free school meals to families in Dundee and Angus to those who are in receipt of maximum child tax credit and maximum working tax credit by August 2009.

Ms. Glen had asked in a series of parliamentary questions how much this promise to extend free school meals in Dundee and Angus would cost, and whether the Scottish Government would fully fund the cost of this extension.

In reply the Minister for Education, Adam Ingram, said,

"We will be providing local government with record levels of funding over the period covered by the spending review 2008-11.

"The vast majority of the funding will be provided by means of a block grant.

"It is the responsibility of each local authority to allocate the total financial resources available to it on the basis of local needs and priorities having first fulfilled its statutory obligations and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities including the Scottish Government’s key strategic objectives and the full terms of the concordat.

"This includes extending entitlement to free school meals to all primary school and secondary school pupils whose parents or carers are in receipt of both maximum child tax credit and maximum working tax credit from August 2009, subject to the necessary legislation being passed by the Scottish Parliament."

Ms. Glen commented,

" This is another example of a promise that has never been properly costed by an SNP government whose inadequate funding of councils continues to unravel by the week.

"Last October, the Minister could not tell me how much it would cost to carry out the SNP election promise to provide access to a fully qualified teacher for every nursery age child in Dundee and Angus.

"Last month, this promise was finally abandoned, and the councils were left to decide the level of nursery provision with no extra money.

" Parents and pupils deserve better than these promises of unknown cost."

 


 

Statement on answer to Parliamentary question on opening date for Dundee Life Sciences Institute  - 28 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has responded to a reply to her question on an opening date for the Life Sciences Institute from Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying that it was her “expectation” that the Institute “will open towards the end of the year.”

Ms. Glen said,

“ I, like all Dundonians, will be waiting full of anticipation of the Institute opening by the end of this year.

“ It will act as a new century icon for the city with its reputation already established because of the prestigious achievements in health-based science of Dundee’s scientists.”

“It has to be stressed that the creation of the Institute in Dundee has been the subject of agreement by all political parties at Holyrood in recent years.

“It goes forward with the support, enthusiasm and hope of the entire Parliament of more life-enhancing discoveries from Scottish science.”

 


 

 £76,000 survey money would have fed 4,000 Dundee schoolchildren for four weeks, says MSP - 28 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen said today that the £76,000 being spent by the Scottish Government on a survey of its free school meals pilot scheme would have paid for providing free meals for four weeks for all Primary 1 to 3 children in Dundee who were kept out of the scheme.

The pilot scheme had been introduced last October to see if offering free nutritious lunchtime food for all young primary children would help to improve their diet.

It involved all primary school children in primaries 1, 2 and 3 in Glasgow, Fife, East Ayrshire, Scottish Borders and West Dunbartonshire.

Ms. Glen said,

" Dundee was not allowed to take part in the scheme by the SNP Government.

"Now, we learn that £76,000 is being spent on a survey to evaluate how successful the scheme has been.

"This same money could have been spent on providing free school meals for all primary 1, 2 and 3 children in Dundee for four weeks, along the same lines as Glasgow.

"Surveys of pilots of free school meals in other places such as Hull have already been carried out and published.

"The Scottish survey is unlikely to show any major differences from the Hull survey.

" Parents in Dundee would have preferred that the £76,000 was spent feeding young children in Dundee, rather than being spent on a survey that had already been carried out on a similar scheme elsewhere."

There are over 3,900 children in Primary 1, 2 and 4 classes in Dundee.


 


 

 SNP Government orders NHS Tayside to make £35 million "efficiency savings", says MSP - 28 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been told by NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson that it would be "foolish to suggest" that "efficiencies will not be sought" in staffing budgets as the Board seeks to find £35 million over the next three years in "efficiency savings" on the instructions of the Scottish Government.

Ms. Glen had written to the health board following Finance Secretary John Swinney’s announcement on "efficiency savings" in the public sector.

She asked what level of "efficiency savings" were being called for in NHS Tayside, and what impact these would have upon filling posts that became vacant and upon services to patients.

She said,

"The great concern about these ‘savings’ that the Scottish Government has ordered NHS Tayside to find, is that they do result in posts being frozen and impact upon the efficiency of frontline services for patients.

" The cumulative outcome of such savings result in an increased workload for staff who have to do more with less resources.

"Improvements can continue only where new investment is made."

In his reply, Mr. Watson stated that NHS Tayside were required to find £35 million efficiency savings in total in the next three years.

The level of "Efficient Government target" savings set for NHS Tayside was confirmed as :

2008-09 £11.32 million

2009-10  £11.69 million

2010-11  £12.06 million

Mr. Watson said,

"The Board accepts that it will present a significant challenge to continue to  deliver the same scale of cost improvement which has been achieved in recent years.

"Clear targets have now been set within budgets for 2008-09, and these now require to be delivered by the respective budget holders.

"Consideration is at an early stage as to the means of delivering targets for later years.

"Given also that staffing budgets are such a significant element of our expenditure, it would be foolish to suggest that efficiencies will not be sought in this area."

 


 

Affordable housing in Dundee : “No indication from Scottish Government,” says MSP - 23 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen said today that the Scottish Government had given her “ no indication” of the number of affordable houses for rent that it would create in Dundee over the next three years.

Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell responded to Ms. Glen’s questions which asked how much would be invested in creating affordable housing for rent in Dundee in each of the next three years, and how many homes this would create in the city.

He said,

“Over the period 2008-11 we will be providing investment of over £1.5 billion for affordable housing across Scotland and aim to deliver at least 21,500 new affordable homes nationally over this three year period.”

Mr Maxwell did reveal that housing programmes under the previous Labour-Lib Dem Scottish Executive had spent over £46 million in Dundee in the past 4 years to create 584 houses for rent.

Ms. Glen commented ,

“The failure of the SNP Government to provide any details of the number of affordable houses to be created in the city shows how low down Dundee continues to be on the SNP’s list of priorities .”

 


 

MSP asks "When will new Dundee Science Institute open"? - 23 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen is asking the Scottish Government when the new Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling will open in Dundee.

This follows the announcement by First Minister Alex Salmond at the SNP’s annual conference yesterday in Edinburgh that the new life sciences institute in Dundee would now be called the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling.

Ms. Glen said,

"The SNP Government have announced a change in the name of the Institute but with the same £10 million budget.

" The much more important announcement of when it will open still remains to be made.

"People in Dundee, who are understandably proud of the city’s fine reputation for life sciences, should be informed of this, as the creation of the Institute in Dundee has enjoyed all-party support in the Scottish Parliament for several years."

"Last April, just before the election , Alex Salmond visited Dundee to say that the life sciences institute would be situated in the city.

"He said that it had the potential to create hundreds of jobs.

"Since the prospect of so many jobs await the work of the new Institute, it is vital that Alex Salmond tells Dundee when it will open."

 


 

£280,000 NHS Tayside Community Health Nurse pilot – No details of numbers taking part - 22 April 2008

The Scottish Government cannot provide Marlyn Glen with details of how many nurses are taking part in its flagship pilot scheme in NHS Tayside for the new post of community health nurse, despite the fact that over £280,000 has been spent developing the scheme in the past two years.

And the Scottish Government also maintain that the amalgamation of the post of school nurse with other nursing posts during the Tayside pilot is compatible with their election promise to double the number of school nurses by 2011.

The posts of district nurse, health visitor, school nurse and family health nurse are all being replaced by a general "community health nurse" in this month’s new pilot scheme in Tayside.

Ms. Glen had asked Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon how many of these nurses in Tayside were taking part in the pilot.

Ms. Sturgeon said,

"Exact numbers will not be known until the completion of a detailed analysis of learning needs and mapping of existing professional/educational knowledge and qualifications.

"Following acquisition of any additional training or education, NHS Tayside will identify the first cohort of staff to test the new model within a phased approach to implementation."

Ms. Sturgeon revealed that the NHS Tayside had been given £115,000 in 2006-07 and £172,000 in 2007-08 to develop the pilot scheme.

Asked by Ms. Glen how much additional time and resources staff in NHS Tayside would be given, Ms. Sturgeon replied,

"This will be determined through detailed learning needs analysis, mapping existing professional/educational knowledge and qualifications to the appropriate new job description and Capability Framework (NES 2007)."

Asked how much the evaluation of the pilot scheme would cost, Ms. Sturgeon told Ms. Glen,

"This is unknown as the contract for the evaluation is not yet in place and has yet to be advertised or awarded."

Ms. Glen questioned Ms. Sturgeon on how amalgamating all four nursing categories into one was compatible with the SNP manifesto promise to double the number of school nurses.

Ms. Sturgeon responded, "Our proposed health care support model for children and young people is being developed to meet the commitment to increase the number of school nurses and the manifesto commitment to double the number of school nurses.

"The community health nurse is a generalist model which is currently being tested in four NHS boards across Scotland. The two policies are being developed in parallel to allow an informed decision to be made on the best way to deliver effective health care to schools."

Ms. Glen said,

"Professional misgivings have understandably been expressed about this pilot scheme, particularly about the merging of 4 specialist roles into one."

 


 

Hospital Acquired Infection : NHS Tayside making "sustained progress" towards hand washing targets, MSP is told - 19 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that they are making "sustained progress" towards the national target of 90 per cent compliance hand hygiene set for November of this year.

Ms. Glen said that the scheme was launched in January 2007 to help prevent and control the spread of infection in hospitals through clean hands.

Figures from Health Protection Scotland had indicated to her that NHS Tayside had recorded a 70 per cent compliance at the first audit of instances of hand washing since the launch rising to 72 per cent at the next audit last September.

She had written to NHS Tayside asking if the latest audit carried out in February indicated that the Board would meet the 90 per cent level expected of all health boards by November.

In reply to her, Gerry Marr, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, said,

"We anticipate our latest result to be at the 82 per cent level.

"General medical, surgical, orthopaedic, critical care and haemotology/oncology wards report monthly targets for hand hygiene compliance as part of a balanced Hospital Acquired Infection scorecard.

" We have just undertaken an extensive audit of medical staff and fed back at 2 sessions.

"There are posters and signage widely available including tickertape, flashing signs and footprints on the floor leading to hand gel.

" We have a very active infection control team who challenge poor practice whenever it is seen, and our local hand hygiene co-ordinator is busy with training of staff on the audit tool to encourage clinical areas to take ownership themselves and perform their own local audits.

" Surgery and oncology, gynaecology and neurosurgical directorates have asked that their junior medical staff complete the Cleanliness Champions programme, and we are in the process of launching this with the doctors – a significant part of this is to do with hand hygiene.

"This will help to change behaviour and embed good practice."

Welcoming the progress made, Ms. Glen said,

"Everyone in hospital needs to ensure that their hands are clean to control the spread of hospital acquired infections.

"Simple practices such as good hand hygiene acts do make a difference to patient safety.

 


 

Number of C.difficile cases in NHS Tayside falls - 19 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has issued figures from the answers to her parliamentary questions which indicate that there was an overall decline last year from January to December in the number of cases of the C.difficile superbug recorded in each quarter in NHS Tayside.

By quarter, the 607 total number of instances of the superbug infection being recorded for 2007 were distributed as follows :

January – March 172

April – June 169

July – September 131

October - December 135

The rate of infection amongst those aged 65 and over dropped overall across the year ( from 2.60 cases to 1.80 cases per 1,000 acute occupied bed days in hospital )

The answers to the questions also reveal that NHS Tayside has stepped up its number of infection control nurses in the past two years from 14 to 18 full-time equivalent posts.

Welcoming the trend in the figures, Ms. Glen said,

"Obviously care has to be taken in interpreting figures over a relatively short period of time, but they demonstrate that NHS Tayside are ly focused upon the growing problem that C.difficile has presented.

"There are no quick and easy answers to tackling healthcare-associated infections.

"They require action across all areas of hygiene practice and clinical procedures for every patient, and this is what NHS Tayside are doing in the fight against infection."


 

Attempts to retain dental graduates to work in Tayside - 17 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by Gerry Marr, Chief Operating Officer of NHS Tayside, of a range of measures that the health board are pursuing to attract graduate dentists to remain and work in the area.

Ms. Glen had asked the board what measures the health board have taken to attract dentistry graduates currently undertaking vocational training in Tayside who had signed up for a dental bursary as students in return for a specified number of years’ work in the NHS on graduation.

13 of them who graduated from Dundee University and a further 2 dentistry graduates from Glasgow University are scheduled to complete their vocational training within NHS Tayside in June or July.

In reply, Chief Operating officer Gerry Marr said,

" Dundee has always been attractive to dentists by the fact that it has been one of only two dental hospitals in Scotland currently which graduates find beneficial to have easy access to by staying in the area.

" NHS Tayside will shortly open a new dental centre in Kings Cross, Dundee which will provide an excellent, state of the art, working environment.

" This should prove attractive to dentists.

" NHS Tayside is also actively encouraging and supporting General Dental Practioners to become Vocational Trainers by setting up new, expanding existing practices or relocating to new premises through the Scottish Dental Access Initiative scheme.

"It is recognised that dental graduates who train in an area are more likely to remain in that area and that if a dentists stays in Scotland for three years, statistically they are likely to stay in Scotland for life."

Ms. Glen said,

" The Dundee area enjoys a good quality of life, and its health service is carrying out a good job.

" Its work-life balance should appeal to young professionals."

 


 

242 under –18s discharged from Ninewells Hospital with an alcohol-related condition in total over the past 4 years, MSP comments - 16 April 2008

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Commenting on the answer to her parliamentary question which showed that 242 under –18s discharged from Ninewells Hospital with an alcohol-related condition in total over the past 4 years, Marlyn Glen said,

"These figures will represent the tip of the iceberg of the deep-seated problem of under-aged drinking in communities across Scotland.

" Young people must learn of the dangers associated with alcohol and at the same time accept responsibility for developing a sensible attitude towards it.

"It can damage health, and fuel acts of anti-social and violent behaviour.

"Alcohol is more readily available today than it was and is relatively cheaper as well.

" Stricter enforcement of the law on age-restricted sales would undoubtedly help, as will greater parental involvement."


 

MSP dismisses suggestion to raise drinks legal age to 21, releases figures on underage drinking in Dundee - 11 April 2008

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Suggestions that the legal age for buying alcohol could be raised to 21 were dismissed today by Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP.

Ms. Glen’s comments came as she released figures that she had obtained from Tayside Police on the amount of alcohol seized by the police in Dundee from under-age drinkers since last October.

Ms. Glen said ,

"Breaking the culture of regarding heavy drinking as an admirable choice of life-style begins by educating people when they are young

" Raising the legal age to 21 will not stop under-18s drinking.

"It will penalise responsible drinkers aged 18 and above instead."

Details of the seizures were supplied to Ms. Glen by Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Colin McCashey

These figures on the type of alcoholic drink and amount involved are :

Alcopop 74 bottles

Beer 368cans/bottles

Buckfast 25 litres

Wine 9 bottles

Cider 312 litres

Vodka 45 litres

Other spirits 4 litres

Ms. Glen added,

"Most parents educate young people about alcohol, and set them a good example.

" Tighter enforcement of current legislation rather than new laws is needed.

"The young can also learn that in other European countries they do not regard people getting drunk in public as an evening of enjoyment or entertainment."

Ms. Glen has also tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament asking how many alcohol-related admissions of under-18-year-olds there have been to the accident and emergency department of Ninewells Hospital in NHS Tayside in each of the last four years.

 


 

Audiology waiting times "will reduce" – Health board tells MSP - 10 April 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson that audiology waiting times in the health board area currently range between 32 and 52 weeks.

These "will reduce" said Mr. Watson once the transfer of services in the audiology department from Ninewells to the new facility at Kings Cross takes place at the end of this month.

Ms. Glen had written to the board asking what was the current waiting time in Tayside from a GP referral to having a hearing aid fitted.

She also asked what progress the board is making towards meeting the 18 weeks’ guarantee for audiology waiting times by 2011 that the Scottish Government has given a commitment to.

Mr. Watson gave details of waiting times as :

  • New referral to fitting of hearing aid - 32 weeks
  • Referral for reassessment of current hearing aid wearer to fitting of new aid - 52 weeks
  • Referral via ENT for fitting of hearing aid – 24 weeks.

Mr. Watson said,

"To allow us to prepare for the imminent transfer of services, including the administration and processing of referrals, current clinics are only booked until 7 April.

" As soon as we are in a position to book further clinics, the waiting times will reduce.

"Once the transfer is complete and the department fully functional, we will be in a better position to identify what steps need to be taken to meet the Scottish Government target of 18 weeks by 2011."

Ms. Glen welcomed the news, commenting,

"Audiology services were often regarded in the past as a cinderella service within the NHS.

" Later this month five new specialist audiology suites will become available at the new Kings Cross Health and Community Care centre.

" These new facilities will provide an enhanced service for audiology patients."

 


 

 NHS Tayside to achieve national target on delayed discharges from hospitals - 30 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen has applauded the "hard work and commitment" of NHS and council staff across Tayside following news from NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson that the health board’s "up-to-date assessment" indicates that they will meet the national target of no delayed discharges from hospital over than six weeks.

Ms. Glen had written to Mr. Watson asking how confident NHS Tayside were of achieving the national target set two years ago that by April 2008 the number of delayed discharges over six weeks from hospitals would be zero.

In reply, Mr. Watson said,

"I am pleased to say that an up-to-date assessment indicates that the zero target for the numbers of patients delayed over 6 weeks will be met in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross.

"As you can appreciate work is ongoing to make sure that on the census day no patient will have been delayed over than six weeks.

" In fact, there has been considerable progress over the past few months, and we are seeing quite a significant reduction in the average length of delay generally, so not only are we going to hit the target, but overall patients are being delayed for shorter periods.

"We are also confident that we will hit the other target in our key areas in Tayside, that of having no one delayed at all in a short stay ( acute) hospital bed.

" Of course it goes without saying that none of this would have been possible were it not for the excellent partnership working that NHS Tayside has with the three local authorities in Tayside.

"I think sometimes there is not the wider recognition that there should be about how well council and NHS staff work together to provide the care people need.

" The situation will change from April 1.

" National funds available to support meeting delayed discharge targets transfer to the councils.

" The implications of this have been worked through between ourselves and the three councils.

" The ongoing management of delayed discharges to maintain the targets will now be firmly bedded in the three local partnerships.

"This will be reinforced through the Single Outcome Agreements."

Ms. Glen said,

"These figures are good news for patients, fewer of whom are now staying in hospital for longer than they require.

"The excellent work of NHS and council staff across Tayside to provide the facilities and rehabilitation support when people are discharged from hospital back into the community is paying off.

"There remains a lot still to do, and this can be done as the health service and local councils work in partnership to make real improvements for patients." families."

 


 

 Response to SNP Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell on affordable housing - 30 March 2008

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In a statement responding to comments by SNP Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell, Marlyn Glen said,

"The SNP said at the last election that the grant of £2,000 to every first-time house buyer in Dundee was one of their "priorities".

"No first time house buyer in the city has since received this money.

"This so-called SNP "priority", having served its purpose as a vote-winner, has now been discarded as a broken election promise.

"Now the consultation document mentioned by the Minister, Firm Foundations, asks the question " Should the Government provide direct cash grants to first-time buyers?"

" The money that is being spent in this financial year on affordable housing in Scotland – a record £584 million – was set up by the previous Labour-led Scottish Executive, and not by the SNP.

" The SNP should take action to help first-time house buyers in Dundee, which has recorded the highest rise in house prices in Scotland over the past five years.

"These home buyers require the same kind of help as for first-time buyers in "economic hotspots".

"The SNP’s decision to exclude Dundee from the new low-cost housing scheme is part of a growing list of SNP snubs to the city.

"These include :

  • Turning its back on Dundee by scrapping the civil service jobs relocation policy
  • Excluding Dundee from a free school meals pilot scheme for primary 1- 3 pupils.
  • Refusing to fund a nursery project for vulnerable two-year olds.
  • Reducing Dundee’s share of the Fairer Scotland Fund to tackle low income and disadvantage
  • Passing over the city as the location of a new sportscotland development

 

 SNP Government questioned over housing policy for Dundee - 27 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen is questioning the SNP Government over its role in providing greater support for Dundee’s housing supply.

Ms. Glen is tabling Parliamentary questions asking the Scottish Government how many affordable homes will be built in Dundee in each year in the period 2008 to 2011, and how much money they will spend in building them.

Ms. Glen said that the " main features of the SNP Government’s housing policy for Dundee to date" had been :

  • A " broken promise" of a £2,000 grant for every first-time house buyer in Dundee.
  • Excluding Dundee from the new Low-Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (Lift) programme.

She said,

"The SNP’s £2,000 election promise, since broken, raised false hopes and expectations amongst first time buyers who thought they would receive that money to get a foot on the housing ladder in the city.

" Dundee’s exclusion from the new low-cost housing programme comes at a time when the city recorded the highest rise in house prices in Scotland over the past five years, increasing by 130 per cent."

Ms. Glen said the SNP Government’s budget for affordable housing in Scotland in the coming financial year shows a reduction of 6 per cent in real terms.

 


 

 Fairer Scotland Funding plea for Dundee turned down - 26 March 2008

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Radio Tay interview >>>

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Marlyn Glen has had her plea to the Scottish Government to increase Dundee’s funding from their Fairer Scotland Fund turned down by Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell.

Ms. Glen had written to Mr. Maxwell saying that the city needed "more not less" money to tackle low income and disadvantage.

She said that Dundee’s funding for the next financial year was £8.44 million, which was to be reduced in each of the two following years.

For the following year 2009-10, the allocation is £ 8.26 million.

For the year 2010-11, the allocation falls further to £8.13 million.

In his reply to Ms. Glen, Mr. Maxwell said,

" There are no plans for additional Government funding to be provided to tackle poverty and deprivation, or to revisit allocations."

"Over time however, we expect to see successful projects attracting more funding from the mainstream budgets of community planning partners."

Mr. Maxwell said,

" We are redistributing resources across Scotland, whereas previously certain of the funds were only allocated to a limited number of local authorities.

"We have employed an up-to-date, objective and equitable evidence-based method of allocating the Fairer Scotland Fund using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2006, thereby ensuring that each local authority area receives resources that are in line with local need.

" We want Community Planning Partnerships to use the Fairer Scotland Fund to provide services which can regenerate communities, tackle poverty and improve employability."

Ms. Glen commented,

" The city needs greater investment to improve the life chances of those living in the less affluent communities so that they can participate more fully in society and improve the quality of the lives of their children.

"That cannot be achieved by the SNP Government cutting Dundee’s funding by over £300,000 over the next two financial years.


 

Over 40 Dundee dental graduates set to work within NHS dentistry in Scotland - 21 March 2008

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43 dentistry graduates of Dundee University who received dental bursaries from a Scottish Executive scheme two years ago are in their final months of training before they can begin work in NHS dentistry in Scotland.

And Marlyn Glen is asking NHS Tayside what vacancies exist for them within NHS Tayside and what measures it is undertaking to attract them to work within NHS dentistry in the Dundee area.

Ms. Glen said,

"These dentistry graduates of Dundee University have given a commitment to work in the NHS on graduation and their entry into NHS work will have a real impact upon NHS dental provision.

"This bursary scheme has made NHS dentistry more attractive to graduates.

"I am asking NHS Tayside how many vacancies exist for these graduates within the health board’s area and if the board have any special measures to retain those who complete their vocational training here."

49 dental students at Dundee University applied for and received a bursary in their final year in 2006-07.

Of those, 43 are now in vocational training across Scotland.

13 of them are undertaking vocational training within NHS Tayside and will complete it in June or July.

Once an individual completes a vocational scheme with a particular health board they are not obliged to work within that same board.

Under the bursary scheme they can work in any health board area in Scotland.

For this current academic year of 2007-08, 45 students have signed up for the bursary to date.

Ms. Glen said that the total cost of dental bursaries across Scotland in 2007-08 was £1.78 million.

This year, the cost to date has been £1.88 million.

 


 

 Speech in the Scottish Parliament on Curriculum for Excellence - 19 March 2008

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 NHS Tayside pilot scheme on new "community health nurse"post – MSP raises questions in Parliament - 18 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen is tabling Parliamentary Questions asking the Scottish Government how its pledge to " increase the number of school nurses" is compatible with its pilot scheme in NHS Tayside next month which will see the disappearance of the post of school nurse.

Ms. Glen said,

" The Scottish Government is running a community nursing pilot next month in NHS Tayside.

"It will see the post of school nurse, district nurse, health visitor and family health nurse all amalgamated into one new post of ‘community health nurse’.

"I am asking the SNP Government how rolling up the post of school nurse and three other posts into one new post can possibly be consistent with their election promise to double the number of school nurses. "

Ms. Glen is also asking how the Tayside community health nurse pilot intends to demonstrate that a generalist nurse can be skilled in the separate specialities of School Nurse , District Nurse , Health Visitor and Family Health Nurse.

She is pressing the Scottish Government on what additional time and resources staff in NHS Tayside are to receive for training during the community health nurse pilot.

She is requesting information as well on how much additional funding has been given to NHS Tayside to run the pilot, how much the evaluation of the pilot will cost.

 


 

 Climate change : 8.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year per Dundonian - 17 March 2008

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As the Scottish Parliament’s consultation process on its Climate Change Bill gathers pace, Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has released statistics on carbon dioxide emissions in Dundee.

 

  • Dundonians contribute an estimated 8.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year.
  • Dundee contributes 1,239 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide a year through domestic energy use, transport and industry and commerce.
  • Of the above, industry and commerce in the city contributes 498 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide, domestic use 584 kilotonnes, and road transport 158 kilotonnes.

 

Ms. Glen said, " DEFRA ( the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) has estimated for each local authority the amount of domestic, traffic and industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

"The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) which is responsible for around 85 per cent of the total emissions in the UK, and most CO2 emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels.

"These estimates are intended to help keep make people aware of the issue of climate change.

"For example, they connect daily use of electricity in the home and at work to the greenhouse gases that are produced by the burning of fossil fuels to create that electricity. "

Ms. Glen is encouraging participation in the consultation process surrounding the Scottish Parliament’s Climate Change Bill, which she describes as " one of the most important subjects that the Parliament has ever legislated upon."

Ms. Glen commented,

" Changing transport habits are crucial.

"We should target investment at reducing unnecessary journeys and congestion, at providing high-quality public transport options, and also ensure that aviation transport is included in emission-reducing schemes."

 


 

Vulnerable children nursery scheme : "Scottish Government’s duty to fund Dundee project," says MSP  - 13 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen said today that the it is the "duty" of the Scottish Government to fund the scheme that offered free nursery places for two year old children from vulnerable families in Dundee.

She was responding to a letter of reply from Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop who said that "local authorities are best placed to decide what provision they need for vulnerable children in their areas"

This followed a plea from Ms. Glen that the Scottish Government should fund the nursery scheme in Dundee to "live up to its pledge" that helping these children was "a key priority".

In her reply to Ms. Glen, Ms. Hyslop said,

"The early years strategy which will be developed in partnership with local government will set the long term direction of policy and will consider the range of services needed to support young children and their families.

"In the meantime local authorities are best placed to decide what provision they need for vulnerable children in their areas, and it is open to all or any of the authorities of Dundee, Glasgow and North Ayrshire to make future provision based on their experience of the pilots if they wish to.

"It is for local authorities to set budgets in line with local needs and priorities."

Ms. Glen said,

"The SNP’s council tax freeze has meant that they have forced councils to cut their spending and to reduce their services.

" The SNP Government wish to keep all the short-term glory of a council tax freeze to themselves while attempting to pass on to local councils the blame for cuts in services that they have imposed upon these councils.

"With over £30 billion to spend, it is the duty of the Scottish Government to help provide extra nursery provision for vulnerable children in Dundee."

 


 

 Funding for a nursery education scheme in Dundee - Interview with Radio Tay  - 14 March 2008

Interview with Radio Tay >>>

web link : Radio Tay

 


 

Minister’s answer on Dundee’s exclusion from new housing scheme for first-time buyers. -  12 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by Stewart Maxwell, the Scottish Government Housing Minister that Dundee has been excluded from the new Low-Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (Lift) programme because of the need "to target resources in order that they may be used to maximum effect

Ms. Glen had written to the Minister protesting at Dundee being "ignored yet again in a major initiative by the SNP Government."

Under the scheme, first-time property buyers in selected areas are to be given financial assistance from a £24 million package promoting a shared equity scheme.

The scheme is to be rolled out in six more local authority areas in Scotland.

These are Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Stirling and Perth and Kinross.

On the matter of the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, Mr. Maxwell told Ms. Glen,

" I can understand that this may result in disappointment for some of your constituents.

"We know that house prices have increased significantly in most parts of the country, and that many people cannot realise their aspirations of home ownership.

" I would say, however, that although house prices in the Dundee area have undoubtedly risen in recent years, other areas have seen equivalent or even greater increases during this time.

"We need to consider how best to target resources in order that they may be used to maximum effect, and the Open Market Shared Equity pilot aims to assist first-time buyers in areas where there are fewer opportunities to purchase without help.

" While the Open Market Shared Equity pilot does not operate across Scotland, you might already be aware that the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme currently operates nationally."

Ms. Glen said,

"Dundee has recorded the highest rise in house prices in Scotland over the past five years, increasing by 130 per cent.

"The SNP Government scrapped a promise last year that all first-time house buyers in the city would receive £2,000 grant towards the cost of their home.

"These are reasons enough for the city to be included in the scheme.

"The New Supply Shared Equity Scheme that the Minister refers to involves mostly registered social landlords who are building new houses for sale.

" The Communities Scotland website shows no such homes being built in Dundee at present."

 


 

Cancer screening : Health Board "strongly committed" -  12 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson that the health board are "ly committed to the screening programmes which play a key part in tackling cancer in Tayside and Scotland".

Ms Glen had written to the board asking :

  • how it intended to improve breast and cervical screening rates
  • how the bowel cancer screening roll-out was progressing
  • what plans the health board had made for the recruitment of staff in these field of speciality.

In reply Mr. Watson said that NHS Tayside had " a very high uptake rate for breast screening" with almost 80 per cent of women attending the programme in the last three years.

"Ongoing publicity about the programme continues throughout the year with particular emphasis on areas with low uptake, " he said.

"Uptake for cervical screening is also high, with over 80 per cent of women screened in the past five and a half years.

"However, we are concerned that uptake is falling by about one per cent each year, especially amongst younger women – a situation which is mirrored across Scotland and the UK.

New posters had been produced and circulated widely across Tayside to advertise the programme.

"In 2007 we implemented the new national IT system for cervical screening.

" It will help us in identifying areas of low uptake and targeting publicity accordingly.

On the bowel screening roll-out, Mr. Watson said that Tayside had played " a leading role in developing bowel screening in Scotland and the UK."

"We took part in the bowel screening pilot from 2000-2007 and last year we were one of the first boards to roll out the new national programme.

There had been a range on initiatives to try and increase uptake such as radio adverts and local community roadshows.

NHS Tayside were also working with a university project on ways in which primary care can increase uptake in deprived communities.

On staffing for the speciality, Mr. Watson said,

"We have recently been successful in recruiting both radiographers and a radiologist to the breast screening programme.

"We have adopted a ‘skill mix’ approach with radiographers trained to read mammograms and to carry out other diagnostic procedures such as ultrasounds- tasks which were previously carried out by radiologists.

Welcoming the message from the health board, Ms. Glen said,

" Cancer Research UK’s latest campaign Screening Matters is highlighting the fact that thousands of women owe their lives to cancer-screening programmes that they participated in.

" Equally, the bowel-screening roll-out can help thousands of others enjoy a longer life, through early detection that means treatments with a higher prospect of success."

 


 

NHS Tayside health budget hit by new funding method for NHS in Scotland -  7 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen has expressed concern that a new method of allocating funding to health boards in Scotland beginning in 2009 would have seen NHS Tayside losing the equivalent of £11.5 million in revenue funding this year and £10.9 million next year if the new method had been operating at present and had reached its full stage of implentation.

The information received in answers to Parliamentary Questions tabled by Ms. Glen refer to the NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC) target allocation method which the Scottish Government have already announced that they will introduce in 2009-10.

This would have reduced NHS Tayside’s initial revenue allocation in this financial year 2007-08 from £549.3 million to £ 537.8 million

Initial revenue allocation funding for the next financial year of 2008-09 would have fallen from £566.4million to £555.4million.

Ms. Glen said that the answers also confirmed that NHS Tayside’s share of the general allocation to health boards in Scotland will fall.

In Tayside’s case it will fall by 0.15 per cent from 7.98%.to 7.83%, which, said Ms. Glen, translates into millions of pounds.

In reply to Ms. Glen, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said, "No Board will receive less funding than it does at present and changes flowing from the NRAC recommendations and the changes will be phased in over a number of years."

Ms. Glen said that she would now be questioning the Health secretary whether this meant that Tayside's annual allocations would be less than the rate of NHS inflation.

She added that she was also raising with Ms. Sturgeon the methods used to determine the new funding arrangements, since the lack of equality in health care in parts of Tayside was substantial and the proposed uplift in funding to the board was at the lower end of all health boards.

 


 

School nurses : MSP writes to Health Secretary -  5 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen has written to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, asking for " a straightforward answer to the simple question – ‘Do the SNP Government intend to double the number of school nurses?’"

This follows a Parliamentary question-and-answer exchange between Ms. Glen and Shona Robison, the Public Health Minister, on the SNP’s manifesto commitment to " a doubling of the number of school nurses."

Ms. Glen asked if the commitment in the SNP Government’s Programme for Scotland in their document to "increase the number of school nurses" was the same as the SNP’s manifesto promise of " a doubling of the number of school nurses."

In reply Ms. Robison said,

"Our plans are to increase the range of nursing and other healthcare support available to school aged children and young people.

"A healthcare model targeted at deprived and other areas with high numbers of disadvantaged children will be developed in 2008. School nurses will have an important part to play in this."

In response Ms. Glen said that she had now written to Nicola Sturgeon asking for " a straightforward answer to the simple question that was asked."

 


 

Scottish Government promise of free all-year round access to city swimming pools for children dropped, says MSP -  1 March 2008

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Marlyn Glen said today that the SNP Government had dropped their election promise to give children in Dundee all-year round free access to council swimming pools in the city.

She was responding to answers to parliamentary questions that she tabled on the matter.

These asked for :

  • details of the cost of the scheme,
  • when it would begin
  • if the SNP Government would pay for it in full
  • when discussions had taken place with Dundee City Council on the matter, and in particular on extra cost of the attendance of lifeguards for all-year round access.

 

Ms. Glen said,

"Before last year’s Scottish Parliament election, the SNP said that providing children in Scotland with "with free all year-round access to council swimming pools" was " a priority".

"They told the Scottish Youth Parliament exactly the same.

"However, 10 months since the election, nothing has come of this ‘priority’

Ms. Glen said that the replies that she received from Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell gave no details about the cost of the scheme and when it was to begin.

" I have asked for details of meetings they have held with Dundee City Council on the matter and have received no details .

"I have asked about the extra cost of employing lifeguards to be in attendance for all-year round free access to swimming pools in Dundee and have received no details."

The Minister’s responded to all of these questions saying ,

"We will continue to work with local government, through COSLA, to develop policy in areas where local government has a key interest.

"Both sides will also work together to discuss and agree implementation and resource issues relating to these policy areas.

"It is recognised that, in some instances, whether through the development of new policy initiatives or for other reasons, there may be exceptional funding pressures which local authorities are unable to meet.

"In such cases, both sides agree that any difficulties will be addressed jointly between the Scottish Government and local government, as part of a developing mature relationship.

"That process will include a review of both finance available and of pressures.

"It will take into account, where appropriate, reviewing the pressures and/or released efficiencies in light of other ongoing initiatives such as in the work being taken forward to simplify the landscape."

 


 

MSP congratulates NHS Tayside on MRSA campaign - 28 February 2008

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Marlyn Glen has congratulated staff at Ninewells and Royal Victoria Hospital for their work in the campaign within NHS Tayside against MRSA infection.

Figures supplied by the health board to Ms. Glen indicate an overall decrease in the number of reports of the superbug within Ninewells in the past year, while the RVH recorded an end-of-year quarterly total of no reports of the infection.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, NHS Tayside Chair Sandy Watson said,

"NHS Tayside has a very active infection control programme and the reduction of staphylococcal bacteraemias is a local priority.

" Currently we are piloting new disinfectants and dressings in some areas to help reduce the incidence of line associated bacteraemias,

"The number of staphylococcal bacteraemias is scrutinised by the infection control team and HAI ( hospital acquire infection) performance monitoring group which is chaired by the Medical Director.

" Work is underway to pilot the collection of data for surveillance of line infections and a new clinical skills pack is just about to be launched."

Ms. Glen said,

"These figures are a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the Ninewells and RVH staff.

"Their ongoing work is committed to minimising the risk of infection for every patient."

 

Notes

In Ninewells (excluding Ward 15 and A&E) the number of reports of MRSA bacteraemias ( blood infections) in the four quarters of 2007 were

1st. quarter ( Jan- March) : 15

2nd. quarter (April – June ) : 17

3rd. quarter ( July-September ) : 14

4th. quarter ( October – December) : 14

Figures on the number of reports of MRSA at Royal Victoria Hospital over the same period were :

1st. quarter ( Jan- March) : 0

2nd. quarter (April – June ) : 2

3rd. quarter ( July-September ) : 1

4th. quarter ( October – December) : 0

  • The MRSA rate of bacteraemias (blood infections) per 1,000 AOBD (acute occupied bed days) for Ninewells (excluding Ward 15 and A&E) ranged between 0.22 and 0.27 across 2007.
  • The MRSA rate of bacteraemias (blood infections) per 1,000 AOBD (acute occupied bed days) for RVH ranged between 0 and 0.13 across 2007.

 

MMR vaccine -latest research shows no link with autism - 19 February 2008

Interview with Wave 102  download mp3 file

web link : Wave 102

 


 

Fairer Scotland Fund "isn’t fair to Dundee" says MSP - 18 February 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to the SNP Government asking why it has cut Dundee’s allocation of money from the Fairer Scotland Fund over the next three year period.

Ms. Glen has told the Scottish Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell that the city requires "more not less" money to tackle low income and disadvantage.

She said,

"Dundee’s allocation from the fund is £8.44 million for the next financial year.

"For the following year 2009-10, the allocation drops to £ 8.26 million.

"For the year after that 2010-11, the allocation falls further to £8.13 million.

"The decrease in the value of the funding will be made even worse by the effects of inflation."

The Fairer Scotland Fund replaces 7 previous funds

  • Community Regeneration,
  • Working for Families,
  • Changing Children’s Services (social inclusion element)
  • Community Voices,
  • Financial Inclusion,
  • Workforce Plus
  • More Choices, More Chances.

"These seven funds were merged into this new Fairer Scotland Fund, and the method of allocating money changed with it.

"As a result, Dundee will now receive less money to tackle poverty and area deprivation.

"Fairer Scotland isn’t being fair to Dundee."

 


 

New Health and Community Care Centre in Dundee to open next month - 8 February 2008

Marlyn Glen has welcomed " a major step forward in health care in Dundee" following news from NHS Tayside that its Kings Cross Health and Community Care Centre will open next month with facilities for increased provision of dentistry, dental, audiology and physiotherapy.

Ms. Glen had written to Sandy Watson, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, seeking details of facilities at the new centre.

Ms. Glen said,

"The funding allocated to this project two years ago has been a significant investment in health care in Dundee.

" It will bring high quality care to patients, and set a fine example of modern-day health provision located in the community provided by dedicated and hard-working staff.

"These new facilities will show integrated health services working together to provide great benefits."

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Sandy Watson, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, revealed that the new facilities contain

  • Ten dental surgeries, along with dental X-ray rooms and decontamination facilities
  • Five new specialist audiology suites that will support a range of ear, hearing and balance-related examinations
  • The provision of new physiotherapy review and treatment that will feature a special area to support "gait analysis" – the review of walking problems.

A single centre for the support and co-ordination of Tayside’s Managed Clinics Network ( MCNs) who have a key role in the active management of long-term illnesses in the community.

Mr. Watson added,

"This new facility is an excellent addition to our portfolio of health provision in Dundee.

"As well as a unique modern design and feel, the building includes both internal and external therapeutic spaces.

"I am sure that it will be very popular with both patients and staff alike."

 


 

 MSP calls upon Government to provide "secure financial future" for Dundee Healthy Living Initiative- 8 February 2008

Marlyn Glen is calling upon Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that " the future of the Dundee Healthy Living Initiative is placed on a secure financial basis by the Scottish Government."

Ms. Glen has written to the Health Minister following changes in funding arrangements.Ms. Glen said,

"The Dundee Healthy Living Initiative has made a significant contribution in Dundee in promoting good health generally, and tackling health inequalities in disadvantaged communities in particular.

"Its successful work shows how public health benefits from community participation and involvement.

" I am asking the Scottish Government to provide a long-term solution to its funding.

"This will allow it to sustain its success helping people to improve their health and well-being through changes in lifestyle."

 


 

Number of university students from Dundee receiving bursaries increases - 8 February 2008

Marlyn Glen has revealed that the number of university students from Dundee receiving bursaries increased last year again for the fourth year in succession.

In a reply to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Ms. Glen, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that in 2006-07, 1,370 full–time university students domiciled in Dundee received bursaries.

This was the fourth consecutive year that the numbers in receipt of a bursary had risen, from 1,250 in 2003-04.

A bursary is a non-repayable student support received under any of the higher education award schemes administered by Students Award Agency for Scotland.

These award schemes include: young student’s bursary, travel expenses, disabled student’s allowance, standard maintenance allowances, lone parent’s grant, Scottish Executive Health Department Bursary, lone parent’s child care grant and other smaller schemes.

Students who come under the nursing and midwifery bursary scheme are not included in the figures.

 


 

SNP Government "must live up to its pledge" to fund Dundee vulnerable children scheme - 4 February 2008

Marlyn Glen has written to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop, saying that the Scottish Government must fund the nursery scheme for 100 vulnerable children in Dundee to "live up to its pledge" that helping these children was "a key priority".

Ms. Glen said,

"Last summer, Ms. Hyslop declared that supporting ‘vulnerable children and their families’ was a ‘key priority’ for the Scottish Government.

"She went further saying that ‘ Giving them help when it is needed is both the right thing to do and an investment in our future.’

"These children need help now, and Ms. Hyslop must stand by her commitment, and fund the continuation of this programme.

"It is completely unacceptable for the Scottish Government , with over £30 billion to spend, to walk away from this promise and expect local authorities such as Dundee to carry the cost.

"Once again, Dundee is getting a raw deal from the SNP Government."

 


 

Statement by Marlyn Glen on the scrapping of the previous policy to relocate Scottish Government department jobs to areas outwith Edinburgh - 29 January 2008

"Another week goes by, and yet another example arises of Dundee being ignored by the SNP Government in a major policy initiative.

" Now not one single civil service job will be taking the road and the miles to Dundee from Edinburgh.

"Dundee is a highly resourceful city which has always advanced the best case possible for more Government posts to be relocated here.

" The Scottish Government has simply turned its back upon the city once again."

 


 

National Institute for Life Sciences - 22 January 2008

Statement by Marlyn Glen on the proposed Life Sciences Institute at Dundee.

"I look forward to an eventual announcement from the Scottish Government of a definite date when the National Institute for Life Sciences will open in Dundee.

"The idea of the Institute has enjoyed and continues to enjoy commitment and support from all parties in the Scottish Parliament.

"This century has already been called ‘The Era of Life Sciences’.

" Dundonians are understandably both proud of and interested in having a new world-class institute acting as an icon for the city.

"It has great potential for exceptional advances in health-related science that will have an important impact all over the world."

 


 

Dundee Air Services : Minister’s Assurance to MSP - 21 January 2008

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Marlyn Glen has been given an assurance by Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson that his department will offer financial support to other airlines who operate services from Dundee Airport.

His message follows the grounding of FlyWhoosh services from Dundee to Belfast and Birmingham last month.

Ms. Glen had contacted Mr. Stevenson last month to ensure that "every possible assistance would be given" to maintain Dundee Airport’s bid to "establish its growing presence on the UK airport map."

In reply, Mr. Stevenson said,

"While I have some sympathy for FlyWhoosh in the sudden and unanticipated withdrawal of aircraft by White Eagle Aviation, I understand that the airline has been unable to find a replacement aircraft and will not be able to recommence the routes to Belfast and Birmingham from Dundee.

"If at all possible I am keen that the market base established by FlyWhoosh on these routes is not lost and a replacement found.

"To that end, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd., the operator of Dundee Airport, has been working proactively with other airlines to convince them of the merits of serving these routes from Dundee.

" The Scottish Government for our part will support a new operator through the residual funding from the Route Development Fund support offered to FlyWhoosh for the start up period of the new routes/services."

Welcoming Mr. Stevenson’s decision, Ms. Glen commented,

" Good air links are vital for the economy of Dundee.

" Dundee Airport is an important gateway for the development of new business connections for the city."

 


 

Dundee excluded from new housing programme in Scotland : Marlyn Glen seeks answers from SNP Government - 21 January 2008

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Marlyn Glen is demanding to know from Scottish Government Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell why Dundee has been excluded from the new Low-Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (Lift) programme.

Under the scheme, first-time property buyers in selected areas are to be given financial assistance from a £24 million package promoting a shared equity scheme.

Following trials in Edinburgh and the Lothians, the scheme is to be rolled out in six more local authority areas in Scotland.

These are Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Stirling and Perth and Kinross.

Ms. Glen is writing to Mr. Maxwell asking for an explanation for Dundee’s omission from the scheme.

She said, " Yet again, the SNP Government has ignored Dundee in a major new initiative.

" The SNP promised all first-time house buyers a £2,000 grant towards the cost of their home last year.

"This promise has been abandoned, and now first-time house buyers in Dundee will now get nothing."

She added,

"House prices in Dundee have shown the biggest rise in prices in the whole of Scotland in the past 5 years, increasing by 130 per cent.

"In the last quarter, they stood at £152,000 on average.

"Young house buyers in the city are in need of help every bit as much as those elsewhere in Scotland in getting a foot on the property ladder."

 


 

Dundee jobs – "No commitment from Scottish Government," says MSP - 15 January 2008

Marlyn Glen said last night that the SNP Government had given "no commitment to make the employment investment needed in Dundee to counter the jobs blows suffered by the city in the past month."

"The SNP Government should be standing up for Dundee rather than looking around for any issue to fabricate discord with the UK Government to highlight their agenda of breaking up Britain," she said.

"The need to bring more manufacturing jobs to Dundee in 2008 is far less important to the SNP Government than the need for the British Museum to return the 82 pieces of the 12th. century Lewis chessmen to Scotland."

This follows correspondence that Ms. Glen has had with Scottish Enterprise Minister Jim Mather in the wake of job losses in Dundee.

Ms. Glen commented,

" I had written to Jim Mather following the announcement of the loss of 150 jobs at the Wood Group last month on what measures the SNP Government would carry out to bring more manufacturing jobs to Dundee.

"His initial reply did not refer to any such plans, and so I wrote back to him.

"His second reply is no more informative than his first one, and offers no particular measures from the SNP Government to assist Dundee.

"This absence of any package for the city is of real concern as another 95 jobs have been lost in Dundee at Lomax Mobility in this month alone."

In his second reply to Ms. Glen, Mr. Mather said,

"Scottish Ministers provide a wide range of support to manufacturing companies across Scotland, including manufacturing companies in Dundee.

" This encompasses financial support, innovation grants, help with trade overseas, practical support for companies to improve productivity and efficiency and business and small product services.

" Our Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Services (SMAS) delivers specialist advice to manufacturing companies in Scotland to increase value to their products and businesses.

"SMAS practitioners examine all aspects of the manufacturing business and provide advice on lean manufacturing, stock and space rationalisation, waste reduction, process efficiency, product/market inovation and skills as required.

" On grant support, Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) is the main national scheme of financial assistance to industry.

" It provides discretionary grants for investment projects that create or safeguard jobs in Assisted Areas – areas designated for regional aid under European Community Law.

"On help with overseas trade, Scottish Development International encourages companies from outside Scotland to do business in or with Scotland.

" It also works to help Scottish companies do more business overseas and find new markets.

"Assistance varies from providing basic market information to detailed matching of business partners, as well as organisation of inward and outward missions and Scottish pavilions at major international exhibitions and trade shows.

" The Scottish Government, working through the Enterprise Networks, provides a range of business support to Scottish manufacturing companies with a focus on adding value and improving Scotland’s growth rate; and encouraging Scottish businesses to create and retain high value jobs in globally competitive manufacturing companies."

 


 

 MSP questions why Dundee passed over for sportscotland development - 14 January 2008

Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has written to Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell demanding to know why Dundee has been passed over as the location of a new development as part of the re-organisation of sportscotland.

Ms. Glen said,

"The Scottish Government has announced that there are to be four locations in Scotland for ‘decentralised delivery hubs’ for sport.

"They will be in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stirling, but not in Dundee.

"These hubs are intended to help sportscotland staff build ‘ partnerships’ with area institutes, local authorities and governing bodies.

"I am asking why Dundee has been excluded from this major development, especially when there will be a hub in Glasgow alongside the new headquarters of the reorganised sportscotland in Glasgow as well.

"I am questioning the Minister as well on why there has been a limit set on the number of hubs at four.

" Dundee has a fine record of sporting achievements over the years, and there are easily-available access to sporting facilities within the city and its surrounding area.

" The Scottish Government should think again and include Dundee in this development."

Ms. Glen added,

" High performance sportsmen and women can act as role models for those who are eager to live a more active life which in turn improves general health and well-being."

 


 

300 Civil service jobs re-location : Dundee needs more from the Scottish Government says MSP  - 8  January 2008

The Scottish Government must decide in favour of Dundee as the relocation destination of almost 300 civil service jobs still to be moved out of Edinburgh, Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP said today.

Ms. Glen has written to John Swinney, the Scottish Government Minister responsible for re-location, asking when a decision will be made on the future of these posts.

In a reply to a parliamentary question tabled by Ms. Glen in the last Parliamentary term, Mr. Swinney said that location reviews have begun but have not been completed for Creative Scotland (130 staff) and the Scottish Funding Council (163 staff).

Mr. Swinney told her,

"The Scottish Government is still considering the future of the policy on location of public sector jobs and we have not yet determined how we will handle the location reviews begun but not completed by the previous administration."

Ms. Glen said,

"Since coming into office in May last year, the Scottish Government has decided to relocate not one single civil service job to Dundee.

"It is essential that the city Dundee receives more of these jobs.

"The city has a host of features that makes job relocation attractive, such as excellent transport connections, a well-skilled workforce, and a good quality of life."

 


 

Tackling "prepayment penalties on the poor" - 12 December 2007

Marlyn Glen, the North East Scotland MSP, is calling on the Scottish Government to open negotiations with Ofgem to tackle " prepayment penalties on the poor."

Ms. Glen is supporting a motion in the Scottish Parliament which says that a comprehensive review of charges for prepayment meter customers will be a "first step to ensuring that large numbers of Scottish consumers no longer have to pay more for their energy simply because they have no access to a computer or bank account."

In the motion, the Scottish Parliament expresses concern that " customers using prepayment meters to pay for their energy are currently paying an average of £214 per year more than those who have signed up for suppliers’ online tariffs."

In addition, " they pay £137 more than those paying by direct debit.

"This is taking place at a time when one in three households have no home access to the Internet while one in eleven do not have a bank account."

Further concern is expressed that " the number of prepayment meters installed for debt has risen in the last year, effectively barring those customers from switching to a cheaper supplier and payment method."

Smart meters have "an important role in eradicating the inequalities associated with payment method," it declares.

Ms. Glen said, " Smart meters can provide an overall picture of the amount of electricity and gas being consumed in the home at any time of day or night.

"This knowledge can help people to cut back on unnecessary consumption and so help to reduce bills."

 


 

flyWhoosh : MSP asks Transport secretary to intervene - 10 December 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to Scottish Minister Stewart Stevenson asking him to ensure that "every possible assistance will be given" by the Scottish Government to maintain Dundee Airport’s bid to "establish its growing presence on the UK airport map."

Ms. Glen said that flyWoosh’s website indicated that they are in "advanced discussions" with a new flight provider for the Dundee services to begin on Monday 17th. December.with details of the carrier.

The website says,

"Claims for refunds or compensation for tickets for travel up to and including Dec 21st should be addressed to White Eagle Aviation at their head office in Warsaw, address below.

"However, in order to honour as many ticket sales as possible, we are in advanced discussion with a new flight provider to fly these routes from Monday Dec 17th 2007. Passengers holding tickets for travel after Dec 17th would be accepted onto these flights at no charge.

Ms. Glen added,

" We must hope for better news this week.

"flyWhoosh intend to publish ‘ specific confirmation of these developments’ on their site by this Thursday ( 13th.) .

" I have asked the Transport Minister to monitor the situation closely.

" Every possible assistance should be made available to keep the Dundee service operating.

"It is very important to the long-term benefit of business and commerce in Dundee that the city maintains and improves its air links."

 


 

MSP's motion to mark World AIDS Day - 30 November 2007

The Scottish Parliament motion lodged by Marlyn Glen to mark World AIDS tomorrow ( Saturday 1 December ), has attracted the support of 48 other MSPs.

In her motion, Ms. Glen says that the Parliament "welcomes the opportunity which World AIDS Day presents to get people in Scotland talking about HIV. "

It continues,

"Despite the decreasing visibility of HIV in Scotland in recent years, the numbers of annual diagnoses have increased sharply since the 1990s.

"2005 saw the highest number of reported cases on record.

"Around a third of people living with HIV in Scotland remain undiagnosed.

"Late diagnoses account for at least 35% of HIV-related deaths each year in the United Kingdom.

"Many of these could be avoided through early testing and access to treatment.

" Stigma impacts profoundly on the lives of people living with HIV and acts as a major barrier to testing.

"The Scottish Parliament supports efforts to promote greater awareness and understanding of the realties of living with HIV."

 

The text of the motion displayed in the Official Report of the Parliament reads

Marlyn Glen (North East Scotland) (Lab) : World AIDS Day 2007— That the Parliament observes World Aids Day on 1 December 2007; acknowledges that there are an estimated 39.5 million people living with HIV worldwide; supports this year’s campaign theme, "HIV: Let’s Get Talking", aimed at encouraging wider discussion and understanding of HIV; recognises that, despite the decreasing visibility of HIV in Scotland in recent years, numbers of annual diagnoses have increased sharply since the 1990s with 2005 seeing the highest number of reported cases on record; considers that around a third of people living with HIV in Scotland remain undiagnosed; understands that late diagnoses account for at least 35% of HIV-related deaths each year in the United Kingdom, many of which could be avoided through early testing and access to treatment; acknowledges that stigma impacts profoundly on the lives of people living with HIV and acts as a major barrier to testing; supports efforts to promote greater awareness and understanding of the realties of living with HIV, and welcomes the opportunity which World Aids Day presents to get people in Scotland talking about HIV.

 


 

Litter : 172 fixed penalty notices issued in Dundee in 18 months - 20 November 2007

Marlyn Glen, has been informed by Dundee City Council that over 170 Fixed Penalty Notices (FNPs) have been issued by the council for littering in the past 18 months.

Waste Enforcement Officers, introduced in 2006/07, gave out 134 FNPs in that year.

In the past six months, they have issued a further 38.

Ms. Glen said,

"Litter is acknowledged as a matter of real concern in local communities.

" It is to be hoped that some people will take greater responsibility for their own actions in keeping the city’s streets clean, and take greater pride in the appearance of the city."

Figures from Angus Council for the same 18 month period indicate that a total of 32 FPNs were handed out.

Ms. Glen is the Convener of the Cross-Party group in the Scottish Parliament on Wastes Management.

 


 

Eye Test numbers rise by over 50 per cent in Tayside - 15 November 2007

Marlyn Glen has released Scottish Government figures showing that the number of eye tests in Tayside has risen by over 50 per cent in the past year.

According to an answer to her parliamentary question, the number of sight and eye examinations in the NHS Tayside in 2005-06 was 79,355.

In the most recent year, 2006-07, this had risen to 128,179.

Welcoming the increase, Ms. Glen said,

" I am pleased so that so many people have taken advantage of the free eye examination in the past year.

" The purpose of the previous sight test had been to assess whether or not a person required glasses or contact lenses.

The current one, which was introduced last year, measures the effectiveness of a person’s entire visual system.

"The new test has been an important boost to public health in Tayside.

"In addition, it plays a significant role in working towards the VISION 2020 objectives which seek to prevent avoidable blindness by the year 2020".

The number of eye tests in neighbouring NHS Grampian rose from 94,103 to 169,323 in the same period.

 


 

"Clear Proof that SNP have abandoned have pledge to class size reduction in Dundee," says Marlyn Glen  - 15 November 2007

Marlyn Glen, revealed today that the Scottish Government cannot give her details of the funding that was promised to implement reductions in class sizes in primaries 1 to 3 in Dundee schools, nor the number of new teachers involved.

Ms. Glen described it as " clear proof that the SNP had abandoned its pre--election promise to reduce class sizes in Dundee long before John Swinney’s budget announcement yesterday."

In a series of replies to Ms. Glen’s Parliamentary Questions, SNP Deputy Education Minister Adam Ingram told Ms. Glen that the Scottish Government had made "no estimate" of the additional teachers required to reduce class sizes in primary 1 to primary 3 to a maximum of 18.

He added that "no estimate" had been made cost of full implementation of our class size commitment.

Questioned on the timescale for the implementation of the class size reduction policy, the SNP Minister said that the Scottish Government would work together with Dundee City Council to "ensure we can drive down class sizes in a managed and staged way which maintains teacher quality, recognises classroom pressures and continuity of class configurations which will deliver year-on-year progress to classes of 18 in P1-P3"

Ms. Glen commented,

"Alex Salmond gave a commitment on 5th. September that primary 1 to 3 class sizes would be reduced by 2011.

" That date has now been abandoned, and replaced by a timetable that stretches out to an unspecified date beyond 2011."

 


 

Almost 1,500 alcohol –related emergency admissions at Ninewells in a year - 8 November 2007

Marlyn Glen has today released information obtained from the Scottish Parliament research centre , SPICe, showing that the number of alcohol-related emergency admissions to Ninewells Hospital has reached a three-year high, according to latest figures.

at Ninewells A&E

In 2003-04, the number of emergency admissions was 1,417.

In 2004-05, it had dropped to 1,391.

However, by 2005-06, the latest available year, it had risen to 1,484.

 

at Perth Royal Infirmary

Figures for Perth Royal infirmary show that the number of emergency admissions in 2003-04 was 722.

This fell to 646 in 2004-05 and fell further to 633 in 2005-06

Ms. Glen said,

"These figures, taken either as individual years or as a group, offer a bleak picture that no one can afford to ignore

" Excessive consumption of alcohol takes a heavy toll on health and on NHS resources.

"The Scottish Executive has already estimated that dealing with the consequences of alcohol misuse in Scotland costs the NHS around £2 million every week.

"Drinking responsibly is good for the individual, the family, the community and the NHS."

Ms. Glen, who spoke in the recent Scottish Parliament debate on Alcohol Awareness, has welcomed the BMA Scotland's five-point plan to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland.

 


 

 Police Numbers in Tayside : Will recent recruits count towards Dundee and Tayside’s " fair share"?  - 6 November 2007

In a fresh bid to obtain details of the number of police officers who will serve in Tayside Police over the next few years, Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, is asking the Scottish Government whether those recruited since April will be counted as part of Tayside’s "fair share" of the 1,000 additional police officers promised for Scotland.

Ms. Glen has tabled Parliamentary Questions to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill.

She is asking him how many police officers will be added to the 1,141 police officers in Tayside Police force as at March 2007 when Tayside Police receives its "fair share" of "the equivalent of 1,000 additional police officers in Scotland.

She is asking if the 43 police officers recruited by Tayside Police in the period April to September 2007 are to be included in Tayside Police’s "fair share"

She is also questioning the Justice Minister on a possible role of the 297 who have retired or left Tayside Police since April 2002 and for the 137 Tayside Police officers who are projected to retire in the period January 2008 to December 2011, such as being retained or being brought out of retirement.

Ms. Glen said,

"The Justice Minister is being given detailed information on current and future trends in police numbers in Tayside Police in the questions submitted.

"The people of Dundee and Tayside expect and deserve no less than a detailed reply to these questions.

" Six months has passed since the election, and we still don’t know how many more police there will be in the city and the region, and whether recent recruits will count as part of the Tayside’s ‘fair share’."

 


 

Incomers to Dundee are getting younger   - 2 November 2007

The average age of those coming to stay in Dundee dropped last year, according to an answer to a parliamentary question tabled by Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP.

Census Minister John Swinney told her that the average age of those who have migrated to the Dundee City Council area in 2006 was 27 years.

In 2005, the average age of incomers to Dundee was 28.

In both years, the average population of the city remained at 40.

Mr. Swinney said that the 2006 figures include migrants from elsewhere in Scotland, migrants from the rest of the United Kingdom and migrants from abroad. The UN definition of an international migrant is someone who changes their country of residence for 12 months or more.

"Therefore, short-term seasonal migrants (likely to include some migrant workers from Eastern Europe) will not be counted in the migration estimates nor in the population estimates," he said.

Ms. Glen said an influx of younger people to Dundee would be "a boost to the city and its prospects for economic growth."

  • Ms. Glen added that a recent Census study showed that Dundee came top of the four main Scottish for the percentage of workers and students who work or studied in the city, with 75 per cent.

Almost 2,400 people travelled from the Monifieth area, 2,267 from Carnoustie and 1,562 from Arbroath to work or study in the city.

 


 

Number of youths causing annoyance in 4 areas of Dundee falls by 1,100 in a year   - 1 November 2007

Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has released figures that she has received from Tayside Police showing that the number of reports of youths causing annoyance in four areas of the eastern end of Dundee- Broughty Ferry, Douglas, Fintry and Whitfield – has fallen by over 1,100 in the past year.

  • In the period 2005-06 to 2006-07, the number of reported incidents of youths causing annoyance (YCAs ) in Douglas fell from 2,076 to 1,381.
  • In Whitfield the number of YCAs fell from 1,360 to 1,121
  • In Broughty Ferry, the numbers fell from 972 to 827
  • In Fintry, the numbers fell from 1,621 to 1,521.

Ms. Glen said,

" No one will minimise the seriousness of the situation that these figures present for both the individuals affected by these incidents and for these four communities in Dundee.

"However, it is encouraging to see a drop in the number of these incidents.

"It demonstrates that the police and the communities are working together to identify and tackle issues that are concerning residents.

"There is a still lot more to do, but progress is being made in making people feel safer in their communities."

In the same period, figures for reported incidents of vandalism and graffiti rose in Broughty Ferry, Douglas and Whitfield, but fell in Fintry.

  • In Broughty Ferry, the number of reported incidents increased from 146 to 232
  • In Douglas, the numbers rose from 215 to 244.
  • In Whitfield, the numbers increased from 284 to 323, while in Fintry the figures fell from 243 to 231.

Ms. Glen said that increased reporting of acts of vandalism and graffiti to the police may account for the rises shown.

She said,

"The effects of vandalism and graffiti can be costly and soul-destroying.

"They are everyone’s concern and it is to everyone’s benefit that these anti-social acts are reported and prevented."

 


 

Speech to the Internet Watch Foundation   - 31 October 2007

The text of Marlyn's speech to the conference of the International Watch Foundation on tackling online child abuse in Edinburgh can be viewed here >>>


 

Gender pay gap widens in Dundee   - 25 October 2007

The gap in pay between men and women in Dundee has increased in the latest year, according to an answer to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP.

Ms. Glen expressed herself as "disappointed with this setback in closing the gender gap in pay in the city."

The figures from Enterprise Minister Jim Mather show that amongst full-time employees resident in Dundee, women’s weekly pay fell back to four-fifths of men’s in 2006.

In 2004 women’s pay in Dundee was 83 per cent of men’s.

In 2005 the gap had narrowed to almost 88 per cent.

But in 2006, it had fallen back to only 79 per cent.

In the period 2005-06, men’s median weekly pay in the city rose from £391.70 to £424.70

However, in the same period, women’s median weekly pay fell from £343.60 to £336.20

Ms. Glen commented,

"There is a still a long way to go in closing the gap in pay between men and women.

" Many factors are involved in explaining the differences in pay.

"A major one is that women’s work is concentrated in far fewer occupations than men.

"Around 6 out of 10 women work in just 10 occupations.

"Another factor is that women are more likely to take breaks from work to look after children.

"This can affect their careers and earnings when they return to work. "

She added,

"The Scottish Government has been working with schools to inform girls about the widening choice of available careers, and encouraging the growth of opportunities for both young men and women in jobs that, in the past, have been dominated by one gender."

Mr. Mather told Ms. Glen that the estimates are based on a sample survey, and as such, are subject to sampling error.

 


 

 Over 10,900 miss first-time hospital appointments in Tayside, MSP reveals  - 22 October 2007

Marlyn Glen today released the answer her Parliamentary Questions on missed hospital appointments showing that over 10,900 people missed first- time appointments in NHS Tayside in the year up to March 2007.

A further question revealed that the average cost of an attendance at a consultant out-patient clinic was just over £100.

Ms. Glen said that the latest figure for missed appointments had dropped from 12,494 the year before, but that failure to keep appointments " represents a drain on NHS resources."

Ms. Glen said,

"The vast majority of patients assume responsibility for attending hospital appointments.

"There are occasions when appointments cannot be kept through illness, emergencies or administrative factors.

"However, patients who have no good reason for missing an appointments must realise that not keeping the appointment has a drain on NHS resources.

"NHS time and effort that could have been put to better use are being wasted."

Ms. Glen said that Scottish Executive figures given to her last year showed that in 2005-06, the number of missed first-time hospital appointments in NHS Tayside was 12,494.

"The reduction this year in the number of missed appointments is to be welcomed, and it reflects positively on the hard work that NHS Tayside have devoted to achieving higher appointment attendances."

 


 

 School speed limits : final two in Dundee to be completed "within the month" - 11 October 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by Dundee City Council Transport and Planning Convener , Councillor Fraser Macpherson, that the council intend to provide the final two city schools requiring part-time 20 mph speed limits with them within the next month.

In a letter to Ms. Glen. who wrote to him on road safety in the vicinity of schools, Councillor Macpherson said that 47 of the council’s 49 schools currently have part-time 20mph speed limits

These part-time limits are legally enforceable and operate at the beginning and end of the school day and also over the lunchtime period.

He told Ms. Glen,

"The two schools that are yet to be covered are Braeview Academy and St Johns High School and this has been caused by difficulties in providing the required power supply to the signs.

"City Council officers advise me that they are confident that this will be resolved within the next month so that all Council schools will be covered by the 20mph part-time speed limits.

"In addition to the Council schools, work is currently on-going with the High School of Dundee regarding 20mph part-time speed limits and this is also expected to be completed within the next month. "

He continued,

"Steps have also been taken to ensure that any new schools opening in Dundee through the PPP initiative will also have part-time 20mph speed limits in place from their first day of opening.

"In addition to 20mph speed limits at schools further work has been undertaken in partnership between the Education and Planning & Transportation Departments to develop School Travel Plans. "

Ms. Glen welcomed the news, saying,

" The introduction of a mandatory speed limit around schools has been a significant measure in attempting to improve road safety in general, and to reduce the number of deaths and injuries to young people on roads in particular."

 

 


 

Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour incidents in Carnoustie and Monifieth : Figures show the effect of police and community "working hard together", says MSP - 4 October 2007

North East Scotland MSP Marlyn Glen has released figures that she has received from Tayside Police which she says, " show that the community and the police are working hard together to maintain and improve the quality of life for the people of Carnoustie and Monifieth."

Ms. Glen release figures on the number of incidents of vandalism, and Anti-Social Behaviour incidents in Carnoustie and Monifieth made know to the Police in the past two years.

The number of recorded acts of vandalism, including graffiti, increased from 246 to 271 between 2005/06 and 2006/07.

The number of youths causing annoyance fell from 995 to 757 in the same period.

Incidents of noise nuisance rose from 227 to 273.

The volume of alcohol seized from under-age drinkers increased from 151 litres to 302 litres.

The number of Anti-Social Behaviour Vehicle Warnings, a new power to tackle anti-social driving, was 20 in 2006/07.

Ms. Glen said, " Anti-Social behaviour is a problem that no one can ignore.

"I can see in these figures evidence that the communities of Carnoustie and Monifieth are working together in partnership with the police to control such behaviour.

" The increase in the number of reported incidents involving vandalism, noise, and possession of alcohol by those under age demonstrate a greater willingness by people to inform the police about these matters.

"The large decrease in the number of incidents of youths causing an annoyance shows that this co-operation between the communities and the police is reaping rewards."

" These figures demonstrate that police and residents are working hard to make Carnoustie and Monifieth, which already have a good quality of life, even better places to live in."

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 Angus MMR vaccination rate over 93 per cent   3 October 2007

MMR vaccination rates in Angus show an uptake of over 93 per cent as NHS Tayside revealed to North East Scotland MSP Marlyn Glen that Tayside has been measles-free in the past three years.

Ms. Glen said that the MMR vaccination rates for the Angus Community Health Partnership between April and June of this year was 93.2 per cent at 24 months, and above the Scottish average.

Ms. Glen congratulated parents and health professionals in Angus "for showing that the triple MMR vaccine is the most effective and safest way of protection against childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella."

Ms. Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that there has been no case of measles in Tayside in the past three years.

In a reply to a letter from Ms. Glen who wrote to him at the time of recent measles outbreaks in England , NHS Tayside Chair Peter Bates added that the MMR vaccination "offers safe effective protection " and that " the high level of acceptance by Tayside parents, of the offer of MMR for their children, may well be a factor in the low incidence figures" for measles.

Mr. Bates told Ms. Glen that MMR uptake at 24 months in Tayside was 90.6 percent in 2005 and 92.4 per cent in 2006.

Figures for March –June 2007 show the uptake to be 92.4 per cent.

Tayside’s immunisation uptake figures were "consistently above the Scottish average, and well above figures for parts of England that have recently experienced measles outbreaks."

The figures were "consistent with the gradually rising trend for MMR uptake in recent years since the drop in uptake since 1998."

 

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Tayside measles-free for 3 years, Health board tell local MSP  1 October 2007

Tayside has been free of measles for the past three years, according to information that North East Scotland MSP Marlyn Glen has received from NHS Tayside.

In a reply to a letter from Ms. Glen who wrote to him at the time of recent measles outbreaks in England , NHS Tayside Chair Peter Bates added that the MMR vaccination "offers safe effective protection " and that " the high level of acceptance by Tayside parents, of the offer of MMR for their children, may well be a factor in the low incidence figures" for measles.

Mr. Bates told Ms. Glen that MMR uptake at 24 months in Tayside was 90.6 percent in 2005 and 92.4 per cent in 2006.

Figures for March – June 2007 show the uptake to be 92.4 per cent.

Tayside’s immunisation uptake figures were "consistently above the Scottish average, and well above figures for parts of England that have recently experienced measles outbreaks."

The figures were "consistent with the gradually rising trend for MMR uptake in recent years since the drop in uptake since 1998.

Ms. Glen congratulated parents in Tayside on showing that " the triple MMR vaccine is the most effective and safest way of protection against childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella."

 

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Gordon Brown addresses the Labour Party conference

24th. September 2007

 

Wendy Alexander addresses the Labour Party conference

24th. September 2007

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Working alone in the community : Health Board outline policy to MSP  19 September 2007

Marlyn Glen been informed by NHS Tayside that they "take the safeguarding and protection of all of our staff extremely seriously" and that "it is a prime concern for us"

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Peter Bates, Chair of NHS Tayside detailed the procedures and processes in the health board’s policies for those working alone in the community.

Ms. Glen had written to him on the matter following a survey carried out by the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland that found that one in every three nurses working alone had been subjected to assault or harassment in the past two years.

Mr Bates told her that risk assessment was " a very clear and central element of the policy.

" A risk assessment for all staff engaged in lone working is completed prior to the initial contact.

"Premises where clients visit staff, for example in the provision of services for the vulnerable and hard to reach groups, staff have "door security" on both the outside and inside of a building, with a camera in place to identify who is entering the building.

"Staff are not expected to work alone in any building.

"In addition, staff are also issued with a personal alarm.

"Annual updates in personal safety are mandatory for all staff who require to work in these circumstances.

" All Community Staff are issued with mobile phones and "buddy systems" are in place within each team.

" In addition , the use of mobile phones is backed up by a logging on/off system whereby staff indicate when a visit has started and a visit has concluded.

There is a requirement under Health and Safety legislation for lone workers to begin each shift with a fully charged, fully functioning mobile phone.

NHS Tayside is compliant with this.

On dealing with violence and aggression, Mr. Bates said that NHS Tayside "has a robust policy".

" Those who are required to engage in lone working have attended a training course to enable them to manage incidents of this nature.

" Staff are expected to update and refresh their training annually."

Staff were "actively encouraged" to report any incident through our existing risk management reporting processes.

On support for staff who have faced physical or verbal abuse, Mr. Bates told Ms. Glen that the board "actively encourage" staff to report incidents.

"This enables us to ensure that any member of staff who has been subjected to abusive or violent behaviour can be appropriately supported," he said.

Ms. Glen commented,

" I welcome the considerable extent to which NHS Tayside go to protect and support staff working in community-based care to ensure the best possible care for patients.

" The security of staff, as can be seen from their policy, is taken very seriously.

"It is not part of anyone’s job, and particularly those who are committed to good patient care, to be physically or verbally abused. "

 

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MSP asks for "Dundee’s fair share" of 1,000 new police officers  13 September 2007

Marlyn Glen is asking Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill how many of the additional 1,000 police officers promised by the Scottish Government will be allocated to Dundee and Tayside.

This follows her release of official Scottish Government figures showing that recorded crime in Dundee has fallen overall in the past ten years from over 19,000 in 1997 to over 15,000 in 2006/07.

She commented, "The promised extra police would be definitely welcomed in maintaining the downward trend on crime levels in the city."

Ms. Glen said that in 1997 the number of recorded crimes in Dundee was 19,441.

By 2006-07 this had fallen to 15,512.

The detection rate/clear up rate for crimes in the same period rose from 34 to 56 percent.

The number of number of crimes of dishonesty fell from over 13,000 to over 7,700.

The number of non-sexual crimes of violence has fallen as well.

Ms. Glen said,

" I am writing to the Justice Minister to ask what will be Tayside Police’s share of the extra 1,000 police officers on the beat in Scotland that were promised in the SNP election manifesto, and when they will begin service.

" A good number of them would be deployed in Dundee.

" The overall decrease in crime levels in Dundee and the increase in clear up rate for crimes have made no one in the city complacent, nor does it diminish the impact of crime on those who are victims of it.

"However, with Dundee receiving its fair share of these new police officers, who would be working together with other agencies in the city, the public could feel confident that the reductions in crime levels achieved so far could continue."

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Statement on events at Sidlaw View Primary School    7 September 2007

Statement on Sidlaw View from Marlyn Glen MSP

Responding to recents events at the school, Marlyn Glen issued the statement below today.

"I welcome proposals to set up an enquiry.

"The top priorities have to be the safety and education of the pupils and the security and well-being of the staff.

" Indiscipline in schools has to be dealt with.

"No one should ever underestimate the telling emotional impact of aggression and unruliness on teachers.

" Parents and staff need to be assured that all allegations of such acts will be dealt with professionally.

" As I said earlier this week on the issue of the safety of nursing staff working alone in the community, everyone has a right not to suffer abuse, harassment or assault at work.

"So it is essential that teachers receive full support in dealing with disruptive behaviour when a school’s code of conduct is broken.

"On the issue of possible disciplinary action against any particular member of staff at a particular school, this is now an internal council matter.

"I shall be asking for a copy of any report that the council makes available on these recent events."

 

 


 

Dundee Waterfront project : MSP keeps up the pressure  7 September 2007

Marlyn Glen is keeping up the pressure on Finance Minister John Swinney, for "a clear and unambiguous pledge" to sustain capital investment beyond next year for Dundee’s central waterfront project.

In reply to a parliamentary question tabled by Ms. Glen, Mr. Swinney said,

"I recognise the importance of the regeneration of Dundee's central waterfront for the development of Dundee and the surrounding region.

The outcome of the Spending Review will be announced in the autumn and any speculation about the future of the Cities Growth Fund is premature in advance of that announcement.

"It is, however, for Dundee City Council to manage and fund its capital investment programme."

In response, Ms. Glen said ,

"I am disappointed with Mr. Swinney’s answer.

"The Cities Growth Fund has played a key role in the development of the waterfront project in Dundee, and if it were scrapped it would be a serious blow for the city."

Ms. Glen commented that she had told Mr. Swinney that there was " great concern in Dundee", and that unless an £11 million funding gap could be filled, the city’s plans to redevelop its waterfront beyond 2008 "would need to be significantly downgraded, with a consequent damaging effect on the local economy."

She added,

"I am asking him for a clear and unambiguous pledge to fund the waterfront project with the £11 million which will guarantee that the next phases of development are carried out."

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Nurses’ safety : MSP queries NHS Tayside on policy   5 September 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to NHS Tayside asking them what new measures they may undertake to protect nurses working alone in the community from acts of aggression and violence.

Her move follows calls from the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland that more protection is needed for nurses working alone in the community after a survey found that one in every three of such nurses had been subjected to assault or harassment in the past two years.

Ms. Glen said, " I have asked NHS Tayside, in the light of national guidelines, if it has a distinctive policy on tackling aggression towards nurses who work alone in the community."

She has asked if staff are supported through risk assessments before visits, the provision of mobile phones that can be used to call for help discreetly, and the level of support made available to those who have been threatened or attacked.

Ms. Glen said,

" No one should suffer abuse or assault in the course of going about their work.

" Nursing staff in particular must be made to feel secure in helping patients.

"The risks to the personal safety of NHS staff must be minimised as far as practicable."

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Wendy Alexander's visit to Dundee   29 August 2007

Click on the image below to view photographs taken at Wendy Alexander's meeting with Labour Party members in Dundee

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Waterfront regeneration : MSP seeks commitment from Executive   28 August 2007

Marlyn Glen is to question John Swinney, Minister for Finance and Sustainable Growth, on the issue of future funding for the regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront during Question Time when the Scottish Parliament returns from recess next week.

Ms. Glen said,

"The city council has identified an £11 million gap in funding between the allocation through the Cities Growth Fund and the cost of the next phase of the venture of "reconnecting" the city centre with the River Tay.

"The Cities Growth Fund has been instrumental in enabling Dundee to pursue its "City Vision" through this regeneration.

"It is imperative that funding continues for Dundee after next year, and I am asking John Swinney for that commitment."

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Visit to the Forth Replacement Crossing exhibition   27 August 2007

Following a visit to the Forth Replacement exhibition, Marlyn Glen is inviting site visitors interested in the proposals to click on the image below for further details

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£7.5 million Lottery funding in Dundee and Angus in the past three years   23 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Big Lottery Fund that a total of over £7.5 million of National Lottery funding has been invested in the Dundee and Angus area in the past three years.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Dharmendra Kanani, the Lottery Director for Scotland, said that in the three year period 95 grants had been awarded from the Big Lottery Fund.

The largest awards came under the categories of Developing Communities ( £1.7 million ) , Life Transitions (£1.6 million) , Supporting 21st. Century Life ( £1.4 million) , Young People’s Fund ( £1.2 million) , and New Opportunities for PE and Sport ( £1.1 million)

Under the Heroes Return scheme, grants worth over £29,000 in total enabled 32 veterans to travel back to places where they served during the Second World War.The Home Front Recall scheme awarded over £67,000 to 10 projects marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the war and which help younger generations appreciate the changes that war brought.

Ms. Glen said,

"The National Lottery generates millions of pounds each week for worthy causes.

"I am pleased to see how that money is spent on improving the quality of life, promoting greater social cohesion and widening participation in the community in activities and facilities."

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Scottish Labour Party leadership : statement    17 August 2007

Marlyn Glen :

"I would welcome a contest for the leadership as I believe that it would be good for both the Scottish Labour Party and for Scotland.

"There is widespread support for one across the party, and it would benefit from candidates setting out their respective policies and from the ensuing debate."

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Angus Council outline congestion-cutting measures   17 August 2007

North East Scotland MSP, Marlyn Glen, has been informed by Angus Council of the measures that it is undertaking in a bid to cut congestion around schools.

Ms. Glen had recently raised the prospect of congestion and road safety issues around the new Claypotts Castle Primary School in Dundee with Dundee City Council’s Transport and Planning Convener, Fraser Macpherson.

In a letter, Craig Clement, Senior Education Manager said that there were a number of initiatives to encourage pupils ( and parents and carers) to walk to school rather than to travel by car.

23 of the 65 schools in Angus have already completed a Travel Plan with another 16 in preparation.

"This approach allows pupils as well as staff, parents and professionals to be involved in considering ways to encourage pupils to walk to school," he said.

"One very successful initiative in Angus has been the establishment of Walking Buses, which allow pupils to walk to school supervised by appropriate adults following a designated risk assessed route."

Ms Glen was informed that there had been Walking Buses set up at Barry and Birkhill Primary Schools and in due course it was hoped to establish more.

"To be sustainable, experience has shown that there needs to be commitment from parent helpers, " said Mr. Clement.

"Unfortunately, in a number of cases due to changing circumstances, it has not been possible to sustain the bus for more than one year.

Other initiatives have included "Walk to School Days/Week", "Walk Around The World" and "Park ‘n’ Stride"

"Often the children themselves are very keen to become involved in such initiatives, and it is hoped by showing parents and carers how successful walking can be, this will encourage them to allow their children to walk to school on other days, thus creating a safer environment around all schools."

" To encourage more walking to school, officers also attend Primary 1 Induction events, School Assemblies, Parents’ Evenings and Parent Support Groups to give presentations and to outline the benefits of walking to school.

"It is hoped that these approaches will reduce the number of cars which park carelessly around schools. "

Ms. Glen said , "Angus Council are right to emphasise that reducing congestion around schools will mean fewer car journeys, less accidents and healthier pupils.

" They are to be congratulated on their efforts to encourage alternatives to the school car journey that are both safe and convenient, and to improve safety awareness."

 

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Council orders £13,000 of resources for cycling training programmes  16 August 2007

Marlyn Glen, the Dundee-based MSP, has welcomed news from Cycling Scotland that Dundee City Council have ordered over £13,000 of resources from them for cycle training programmes.

Cycling Scotland Education and Training Manager Jim Riach said in a letter to Ms. Glen that over 240 road signs, 3,280 wristbands and 1,640 tabards had been requested.

He said that Cycling Scotland had been awarded £1.2 million which was used to fund particular programmes in support of cycle training.

"The last robust information on cycle training in Scotland indicates that only 10 per cent complete on-road training ( the National Standard) with a further 20 per cent completing training in the playground."

Ms. Glen said,

" The more children use their bikes, the greater will be the health benefits that they enjoy.

" Cycling encourages a healthier lifestyle, is good for the environment, and means far less dependence on the car for travelling."

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Over 1,200 in Dundee and Angus benefit from Individual Learning Account Scotland scheme  9 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Scottish Executive that over 1,200 people in Dundee and Angus have received financial support towards the cost of learning new skills through Individual Learning Account Scotland in the past three years.

In a written reply to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Ms. Glen, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that since 2004, financial support had been given to 611 learners in Dundee.

A further 614 in Angus had received funding.

ILA Scotland is a Scottish Executive initiative that provides financial backing to those aged 18 and over in Scotland towards the cost of learning new skills.

Those earning £18,000 a year or less can receive £200 a year towards learning costs.

Those earning over £18,000 can receive £100.

Welcoming the figures, Ms. Glen said,

" People are being given support to undertake learning that best suits their individual needs.

" In a modern-day economy that calls for more and more new skills, it is important that people are given the opportunity to equip themselves for this."

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Statement on raising conviction rates for sexual offences such as rape  8 August 2007

 

"What is required to raise conviction rates in offences such as rape is to challenge with greater determination pleas of "consent", and better communication with victims who need to feel assured that they their case will be treated with dignity and efficiency.

"The Association of Police Constables in Scotland (ACPOS) has already called for specialist rape prosecutors to be established, showing that their involvement was a factor in an 80 per cent conviction rate in cases presented in the US."

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Visit to Mobile Macmillan cancer centre in Dundee    8 August 2007

  

click on the image above to see it enlarged

click on the image above to  visit the Macmillan Cancer advice website

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Chlamydia : NHS Tayside purchase 4,000 kits for home testing    8 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside Chair Peter Bates that the health board have purchased 4,000 Chlamydia postal testing kits (PTKs) which will be introduced over the next few months in a range of setting across Tayside.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Mr. Bates said,

"The PTKs is one of the ways in which we are seeking to increase the uptake of testing by partners of people who have tested positive for chlamydia.

"We are also exploring the potential to develop screening chlamydia screening services in community pharmacies which are already providing access to sexual health advice and free Emergency Hormonal Contraception."

Ms. Glen said,

"Chlamydia rates have increased sharply in both Scotland and Tayside in recent years, and I asked NHS Tayside how its programme for reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted infection had been progressing in the community."

Mr. Bates said that the local Sexual Health and Relationships Strategy, published in 2005, identified the need for increased testing for chlamydia to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, with testing and treatment made available in the community

"We have increased testing very substantially both in the specialist sexual health services and by developing a community screening programme that provides access to testing and treatment in a variety of settings, including young people’s drop-in centres.

Mr. Bates gave details of the number of chlamydia tests carried out in Tayside in each of the past three years.

  1. 12,144
  2. 13,595
  3. 18,128

The number of chlamydia tests performed in 2006 was 33 per cent higher than in 2005.

In the over 25 –age group, over 4 per cent of the 8,729 tested produced positive results.

In the 25 and under –group almost 15 per cent of the 9,399 tested produced positive results.

Mr. Bates added,

"The chlamydia screening programme is only part of what the Community Planning Partners across Tayside are doing to address poor sexual health and the rise in STIs."

He listed Sex Health and Relationships Education programmes in schools, the Condom Initiative which offers free condoms in over 180 outlets in Tayside, and a new specialist website launched in February to raise public awareness of sexual health matters.

Ms. Glen said,

"NHS Tayside have demonstrated a commitment towards tackling this sexuallly transmitted infection, through screening, treatment, and public education highlighting the benefits of contraceptives and the risks of unprotected sex.

" The screening programme can provide vital information for those testing positive and for their partners about what needs to be done about this treatable disease.

"The raising of awareness about sexual health is essential in achieving success in reducing the incidence of infections such as Chlamydia."

 

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sportscotland to spend over £815,000 in Dundee in 2007-08   8 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by sportscotland that they are to spend £815,000 on sporting projects in Dundee in this financial year .

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said that the £815,000 committed funding was being allocated under three categories ;-

Active Schools - £320,000

Community Regeneration - £55,000

Sport Tayside and Fife - £440,000.

He said,

"Active Schools is a Scottish Executive funded programme to deliver more opportunities to school-aged children to take part in sport and physical activities.

" Community Regeneration is directed to deliver sport in our most deprived communities to deliver increased sporting opportunities.

"Sport Tayside and Fife is a partnership between sportscotland, local authorities and Tayside and Fife Area Institute of Sport, delivering governing body sport development programmes at a regional and local level."

Compared with funding for the city in 2006-07, Sport Tayside and Fife are receiving an additional £60,000.

Ms. Glen said,

" I am delighted that sportscotland are allocating significant resources to develop sport and physical recreation in the city.

" This indicates a firm commitment to foster increased participation and help achieve sporting ambitions."

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NHS Tayside outline local programmes for tackling HAI ( hospital acquired infection)  3 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside of their local programmes to tackle HAI ( hospital acquired infection) across Dundee and Tayside.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, NHS Tayside Chair , Peter Bates, listed measures such as :

*The appointment of an infection control nurse with a specific remit for central line surveillance and management, looking at ways to reduce infections to reduce peripheral intravascular catheters and urinary catheters.

*The introduction of a balanced scorecard for key improvement targets e.g. reduction in the number of news cases of C difficile, MRSA, needlestick injuries, surgical site infections, central lines infection, ventilator pneumonias and the completion of those who have started the Cleanliness Champions programme

Mr Bates said,

"There are always plans to keep hygiene compliance top of the list, so locally we have got "footprints" for floors to guide visitors to the gel stations and are looking at audio and visual reminders, and introducing hand wipes for patients who are unable to get to sinks."

He cited other important aspects in dealing with HAI as :

*Good infection control staffing which allows audit, surveillance and education to back up policy and procedure e.g. hand-washing.

*A ring-fenced budget for infection controlled issue allocated according to infection control priorities.

*Clinical buy-in to the issue of HAI – when given local responsibility, some local medical teams have taken the issue on board and worked through their own excellent programmes.

*Funding of staff to do surveillance as an additional duty rather than as just another task.

Ms. Glen congratulated NHS Tayside for its " comprehensive approach towards tackling HAI ."

She said,

" It is a highly expensive problem for the NHS, much of which could be avoided by compliance with agreed practice.

" The collection and publication of data on HAI has been significant in promoting the need for better infection controls.

"Control of HAI involves everyone and not just health professionals"

Mr. Bates said that the current rate of MRSA infection had fallen from a peak in mid –2004.

New MRSA identifications was influenced by the increasing admission screening done in many of the more high risk areas.

"This means that the increase in numbers may be due to better surveillance rather than to deteriorating infection standards, " he said.

In 2004 there were 795 new cases, in 2005 999, and in 2006 941.

Regarding C difficile, Mr. Bates said that in common with the rest of Scotland and the UK, Tayside has seen an increase in cases over the first quarter of 2007 the reason is not known.

"In October 2006 there were 47 cases, December 2006 38, January 2007 59, and March 2007 55.

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All Dundee and Angus primary and nursery schools to participate in supervised tooth-brushing scheme  1 August 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that all nursery and primary schools in both Dundee and Angus will be expected to offer supervised tooth-brushing to pupils as part of their curriculum when the new term begins later this month.

Ms.Glen welcomed news from the health board that they believe that the supervised tooth-brushing scheme combined with other initiatives such as the distribution of free toothpaste and brushes, and the targeting of schools with identified dental need with extra dental support has " started to improve the dental health of young children of young children in Dundee and Tayside."

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Daniel McLaren, Assistant Chief Executive of NHS Tayside, said, that through both local and national oral initiatives, "The trends in both the decreasing average number of teeth of primary 1 children affected by dental disease and the increasing propoprtion with no obvious decay experience is very encouraging."

Ms. Glen said,

"There is still more to be done, but it is encouraging news that schemes such as supervised toothbrushing are having a positive impact and improving children’s oral health.

"With even more children being enrolled in the scheme later this month, there is every prospect that the benefits to children’s dental health will be improved upon."

Mr. McLaren said that Dundee City Council has been " a leader in helping to establish a good oral hygiene regime in young children from an early age."

"Over 93 per cent of nurseries in Dundee are involved in the supervised scheme with over 2,900 children brushing at school on a regular basis.

" These numbers are expected to rise still further in the next school term.

"As all local authority P1 classes across Dundee are expected to participate in supervised tooth-brushing, at the end of the school year 2006-07, there were over 1,200 children involved with this project in primary schools. ( unless permission is refused by the parent.)

"Across NHS Tayside, 92 per cent of all nursery schools undertake supervised brushing involving nearly 7,000 children.

"Outside the city of Dundee, with its very high Primary 1 brushing coverage in local authority schools, the P1 supervised tooth-brushing scheme in the other localities in NHS Tayside is currently targeted at those children in identified areas of greatest dental need.

"Coverage in these targeted areas is over 94 per cent with a further 900 P1 children participating."

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Gordon Brown celebrates unsung heroes 27 July 2007

 


 

 Tayscreen building up film links with China  20 July 2007


Marlyn Glen has been informed by Tayscreen that they are building up links with China, and are “anticipating” a visit from the Beijing Film Academy.

Ms. Glen said,

“Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre has been highly successful in projecting a more favourable cultural image of Dundee.

“I wrote to Tayscreen to find out how their work has been building up the city’s artistic reputation.”

In reply, Julie Craik, Production Manager of Tayscreen, said that they had been contacted by Chinese director called Xie Dong.

“He is a protégé of the direction Zhang Yimou and is assisting him with the creative panel for the Beijing Olympics., “ she said.

“This includes Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg and Bernardo Bertolucci.

“Through the connection with Xie Dong, we are also anticipating a delegation visiting here from the Beijing film Academy.

Tayscreen have a web page in Chinese at :

http://www.tayscreen.cn


and they carry out “ a significant amount of direct marketing and promotion of the region.”

Ms. Craik said,

“Through calling (around 50 to 100 calls to existing and new contacts each week) we generate around 25 enquiries per month, receiving an additional 5 to 6 from Scottish Screen.


“Production varies from around 3 to 5 projects per month, averaging around 30 projects per year.

“Last year this translated into 127 production days and for the first half of 2007, 83 production days.

“Direct production spending currently averages between £100,000 and £120,000 per year.

“This also means a significant amount of broadcast time with consequent promotion for the region.”


Ms. Glen praised the work of Tayscreen, adding that she was writing to Culture Minister Linda Fabiani asking that the Scottish Executive acknowledge “the excellence of its initiatives in promoting the Dundee area.”

She said,

“ Artistic organisations such as Tayscreen are making a cultural impact well beyond the boundaries of the city and its neighbouring areas.

“Dundee’s cultural renaissance continues energetically, sustained by confidence in and amongst the city’s creative communities.”


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Plan could bring 4 Park and Ride sites to ease congestion in Dundee  19 July 2007


Marlyn Glen has written to Scottish Executive Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, asking when Ministers will approve the TACTRAN Regional Transport Strategy which includes plans that could see the development of 4 Park and Ride sites around Dundee in a bid to reduce congestion within the city.

Ms. Glen’s letter follows correspondence that she has had with TACTRAN Chair, Councillor Fraser Macpherson who is also Transport and Planning Convener of Dundee City Council.

In a letter of reply to Ms. Glen, Mr. Macpherson said during the development and appraisal of the Regional Transport Strategy, a case had been identified for developing sites for Park and Ride sites, four of which would potentially be around Dundee.

"These would be aimed at improving access on the eastern (A92), northern (A90) and western (A90) approaches to Dundee, and on the southern approach via the A92/Tay Bridge," he said.

"In the case of the first three corridors it is likely that sites would be located in Angus and Perth & Kinross, with the southern corridor served by a site at the south end of the Tay Bridge in Fife.

"We are developing various aspects of the Strategy, including commissioning more detailed work on defining the regional Park & Ride strategy.

"This will involve identifying more specific site options and a prioritised implementation programme.

"The intention is to complete this work over the next 6 months, with a view to having a more defined set of proposals for inclusion in our RTS Delivery Plan, and for funding consideration through the Comprehensive Spending Review and the ongoing Strategic Transport Projects Review.

"We are also in discussion with neighbouring Partnership SESTRAN, who will lead on taking forward the scheme on the southern approach to Dundee, which will be located in their area. "

He told Ms. Glen that work being undertaken in the next few months would enable more specific proposals to be developed, "including the identification of proposed sites on each of the corridors."

He said that TACTRAN viewed the development of Park & Ride at Dundee as a "key element of the RTS."

"We anticipate that we will be in a position to progress development of specific corridor-based proposals in the latter part of this year."

Ms. Glen said, "TACTRAN’s Regional Transport Strategy is waiting for Ministerial approval and I have written to the Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson asking when that decision will be reached.

"The Strategy is a highly important plan that will determine the development of transport in the Dundee, Angus Perth and Kinross, and Stirling Council areas over the next 10-15 years."


 

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MSP queries timetable and cost of class size reduction in Angus  July 2007

Marlyn Glen is tabling a series of questions in the Scottish Parliament asking the Scottish Executive for details of the cost and the timetable for its promise to reduce class sizes in primaries 1, 2 and 3 to 18 in Angus primary schools.

Ms. Glen said,

" There is general agreement that smaller class sizes help to raise the standard of education.

" My questions seek information on how the Executive’s plans for the reduction of class sizes across Scotland will be carried out and funded in Angus."

Ms. Glen’s questions are :

* To ask the Scottish Executive how many classes in Angus primary schools in primaries 1, 2 and 3 are in excess of 18 pupils in the latest available year.

* To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate it has made of the number of additional teachers required in Angus to implement fully its commitment to the reduction of class sizes to 18 in primaries 1, 2 and 3 classes.

* To ask the Scottish Executive what is the timetable for Angus for the full implementation of the commitment to the reduction of class sizes to 18 in primaries 1, 2 and 3 classes.

* To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate it has made of the additional funds that will be required to be made available to Angus Council for the full implementation of the commitment to the reduction of class sizes to 18 in primaries 1, 2 and 3 classes.

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MSP asks why is Dundee omitted from free school meals scheme 14th. July 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to Education Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, asking her why the SNP Executive has left out Dundee schools from participating in the £5 million pilot scheme for free school meals for primary one to three pupils for a 6-month period between October and March next year.

Ms. Glen had written to Ms. Hyslop some weeks ago urging her to include Dundee primary schools in the free meal school scheme.

Ms. Glen said,

"The intentions of the scheme are to promote good eating habits and improve health and nutrition amongst some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

" There are pupils from Dundee who can be described as such.

"Parents in primary one to three classes in Dundee deserve an explanation of the omission of the city from the free school meals pilot scheme."

Ms. Glen had previously stated that if the pilot scheme helped to raise the uptake of free school meals amongst those families who are eligible but do not take them up, then that would be welcomed.

She said that entitlement to free school meals should be extended to include children whose parents receive working tax credit.

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Gordon Brown addresses Labour's National Policy Forum 14th. July 2007

Gordon Brown talks to the National Policy Forum

(double click on the triangle in the centre of the screen to play the video)

 

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MSP asks Minister for timescale and cost of education pledge for Dundee  11th. July 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to Scottish Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop asking for a timescale and the cost of the introduction into Dundee schools of the new Scottish Executive’s pledge to reduce primary 1, 2 and 3 class sizes to 18 across Scotland.

Ms. Glen is asking for details of how many new primary school teachers will be required in the city to bring down class sizes in the first three years of primary, and the cost of such a policy

Ms. Glen said,

" All sides welcome measures to reduce class sizes.

"Questions arise about cost and the length of time for implementation.

" I am asking Fiona Hyslop about how many new teachers will be required in Dundee, taking into account recent local trends in recruitment and retirement, and what will be the subsequent cost of this measure."

Ms. Glen said that she had asked the Education Secretary for a target date for all primary schools in the city having class sizes in primary 1,2 and 3 reduced to 18.


 

 MSP’s plea for Domestic Abuse Court plan extension    6th. July 2007

Marlyn Glen has tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament asking Justice Minister Kenny Macaskill if the Scottish Executive intends to develop a national structure of domestic abuse courts, based on the work of a Glasgow Pilot scheme, that could help abused families in the Dundee and Tayside area.

Ms. Glen said,

" A pilot domestic abuse court based at Glasgow Sheriff Court that would fast-track cases began work last year.

" Its recent evaluation said that the effectiveness in responding to domestic abuse had increased, as had the level of guilty pleas and conviction rates, and a reduction in case attrition ( the process whereby cases are drop out of the judicial system)

"Domestic abuse cases were processed more quickly, expertise and specialist staff used more effectively, and co-operation across agencies was higher.

"The success of the Glasgow pilot domestic abuse court should be made available across Scotland.

"It should encourage those who are afraid to speak out to do so."

Ms. Glen’s question asks the Scottish Executive how it intends to develop an overarching national structure of domestic abuse courts and a national action plan to consider the lessons of the Glasgow pilot scheme and the roll-out of best practice across Scotland.


 

 Parliament's third session opening ceremony    30th. June 2007

View images from events surrounding the opening ceremony marking the third session of the Scottish Parliament >>>

 


 

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's speech as he arrives in Downing Street   27th. June 2007

 

double click on the triangle in the centre of the screen to play the video

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New Ninewells Plan for Breastfeeding in post-natal wards  28th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside Chair Peter Bates that a new initiative is being planned, recruiting volunteers to help support women in the post- natal wards in Ninewells Hospital with breastfeeding, with an anticipated launch date in August.

Ms. Glen had written to Mr. Bates asking what new programmes NHS Tayside were introducing to try to increase the breastfeeding rate at six weeks in both Dundee and Angus above the 50 per cent target set by the previous Scottish Executive.

In a letter to Ms. Glen, Mr. Bates said that the initiative was being planned in partnership with Dundee Volunteer Centre and Ninewells Hospital and Medical School.

Mr. Bates said,

" Local women have identified that having someone to spend time, listen and give advice would be helpful.

"This innovative approach in partnership with local people is anticipated to start in August 2007."

Mr. Bates said that NHS Tayside "have supported the continuation of the Breastfeeding Support Workers in Dundee city."

" An interesting observation of the Breastfeeding Support Workers model has been the increase in the numbers of women starting to request help with breastfeeding in the more deprived communities.

" Women are telling their friends and family of the practical support and help with reastfeeding and they in turn are promoting breastfeeding."

He added that other activities to support breastfeeding in Tayside include a co-ordinated breastfeeding programme for health professionals.

" This continues to ensure that all health professionals who have direct contact with breastfeeding mothers are equipped with the necessary skills, " he said.

" This is part of the implementation of UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and UNICEF Community Baby Friendly Initiative which have both achieved a certificate of Commitment.

"NHS Tayside have been commended in a recent Quality Improvement – Scotland Maternity Services report regarding the approach taken for implementing these standards."

Ms. Glen said,

"NHS Tayside are to be congratulated for this novel approach to increase breastfeeding rates and raise awareness that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for babies.

"Breastfeeding is important for the public health of Tayside, and approaches such as this help to establish the view that it is the natural choice of mothers."

 

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27 June 2007

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Statement by Marlyn on her choice of Erik Cramb as her "local hero" for the opening ceremony of the 3rd. session of the Scottish Parliament  26th. June 2007

"As Chair of the NCR task Force, Erik Cramb has pledged his work to the revitalisation of the lives of hundreds of families afflicted by the flight of jobs from one of the city’s post-war industrial giants.

"With that dedication, comes his faith in the future of the city, and a vision for it that builds on its strengths

"He is well-regarded for his long years of public service, his spiritual and secular support as a former industrial chaplain, and for his uncompromising views against nuclear weapons and military folly."

 


 

Knife convictions rise : MSP’s response  25th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Scottish Executive that the number of people in Tayside convicted of carrying or possessing an offensive weapon or knife rose to 177 in 2005-06, the highest figure in the previous five year period.

The number of people in Tayside under the age of 18 convicted of the offence rose to 25, also the highest figure for the same five-year period.

Ms. Glen commented,

"These figures may indicate a higher police targeting of knife crime

" However, the message remains the same - there is no excuse for carrying a knife or offensive weapon.

"That is why the law on knife crime was strengthened, with the doubling of sentences for their possession imposed by the previous Executive. "

She received the information in replies from Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill to questions that she had tabled.

Ms. Glen welcomed the statement made by the Lord Advocate Eilish Angiolini earlier this year that measures to tackle knife-crime culture in Scotland appear to be paying off at a national level.

"Enforcement, prevention and challenging the knife-culture at the level of the family all play their role in tackling this serious offence," Ms. Glen added.

In all in the period 2001-2006, there were 756 convictions in Tayside for carrying an offensive weapon or knife, 91 of which involved people under the age of 18.

 

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Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman 's acceptance speeches as Labour's new Leader and Deputy Leader  24th. June 2007

Watch Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman's acceptance speeches as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party ( from the Labourvision channel on YouTube )

 

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Gordon Brown becomes Labour's new leader  24th. June 2007

 

 

 

Gordon Brown's acceptance speech as Labour Party Leader

(read it in a pop-up window)

 

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Dundee jobs relocation : Ministerial reply – statement "shortly"  22nd. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by John Swinney, Scottish Executive Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, that he hopes to make an announcement "shortly" in Parliament.on civil service jobs relocation that would affect Dundee.

Ms. Glen had written to Mr. Swinney urging the new SNP-led executive to disperse more civil service jobs to the city.

She said,

" I pointed out that locate - dundee have estimated that the number of Dundee’s population employed in the Executive civil service sector is much lower than the corresponding figures for both Edinburgh and Glasgow."

In his letter of reply to Ms. Glen, Mr.Swinney said,

" I currently considering the future arrangements for reaching decisions on the locations of public bodies, in light of the experience of previous relocation policy, the findings of the Finance and Audit Committees of the Scottish Parliament and our wider commitment to review the cluttered landscape of public bodies.

" I hope to make an announcement on this matter to the Parliament shortly."

Ms. Glen responded,

" I await John Swinney’s statement with interest.

" Dundee is ideally equipped to benefit from public sector job relocation.

""The city possesses all the criteria necessary which includes a well-skilled and highly experienced workforce, good transport links, good housing and a good quality of life."

 

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MSP asks for Dundee schools to be included in free school meals pilot scheme     20th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary Fiona Hyslop, saying that some Dundee schools should be included in the Scottish Executive’s pilot scheme to provide free school meals for children in some of Scotland’s less well-off areas.

Ms. Glen said,

"The Executive’s proposals involve a £5 million pilot study that provides free school meals for all pupils in primaries 1, 2 and 3.

"Its six-month run begins in October in certain schools in some of the less well-off areas in Scotland’s cities and regions.

"If the pilot helps to make families who are eligible for free school meals, but who do not take it up, to do so, then this is to be welcomed."

Ms. Glen said that entitlement to free school meals should be extended to include children whose parents receive working tax credit.

In a parliamentary question and answer session, Ms. Hyslop told Ms. Glen that the Scottish Executive intended to increase the uptake of free school meals throughout primary and secondary schools through the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007.

This places a duty on all education authorities to promote the uptake of school meals, and in particular free school meals.

Ms. Glen said that the Act intends to "tighten up on the nutritional standards of food and drink served in schools

 

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Almost 500 jobs in Dundee created or saved through Regional Selective Assistance     18th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Scottish Executive that almost 500 jobs in Dundee have been either created or safeguarded through Regional Selective Assistance in the past financial year.

In an answer to a parliament question, Ms. Glen was told by Enterprise Minister Jim Mather that in 2006-07, businesses in Dundee had accepted offers of Regional Selective Assistance totalling almost £5 million.

This involved the "planned creation of 459 jobs and the safeguarding of a further 20."

In response to a further question, Ms. Glen was told by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, that the over 3 out of every 10 jobs in Dundee were in the public sector.

In 2005, this accounted for 20,000 jobs in the city, or 31.8 per cent of total employment in Dundee.

There had been "no statistically significant differences in public sector employment levels" in recent years in the city, Mr. Swinney told Ms. Glen.

Ms. Glen said,

" Regional Selective Assistance is helping Dundee by securing opportunities for employment, strengthening its industrial base and by creating benefits for the city’s wider economy.

"The public sector, such as the NHS and education, continues to play a vital role in the economy of the city and sustaining the lives and future of thousands of families across its communities."

web link : STV North Tonight  >>>

 

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Letter to the media on her decision to vote with 4 Labour colleagues in the Trident debate in Holyrood     14th. June 2007

Dear Sir

It is important that your readers understand that the Green Party motion, carried by a majority in the Scottish Parliament this evening, is not a clear anti-Trident position.

Of course, it could have been if the words "at this time" had been removed as suggested by the amendment in the name of Elaine Smith MSP.

The Green motion was drafted to include the words "at this time" to appease the Liberals who will not state a clear anti-Trident position.

Unfortunately, the Scottish Parliament has now agreed an unclear position simply stating that Trident shouldn’t be replaced at present; which in effect concedes the principle of renewal.

Had this been Westminster and the motion actually delayed the implementation of Trident and was the only game in town, it would have been much easier to support it.

The reality, however, is that decisions on this are taken at Westminster and so the motion’s value is essentially that of propaganda.

Due to this it should have been a clear attack on the principle of Trident renewal and not simply treating it as if it is something which can be dealt with by delay.

Furthermore, the Green party cheapened the debate by reducing the time available for it and played along with attempts to embarrass Labour rather than win the position in the wider community.

This certainly appears to have been a deliberate attempt to manipulate the issues for narrow political purposes rather than help build a broad anti- Trident coalition.

Scottish CND, who apparently were not involved in drawing up the wording, really must consider how they engage in the future with members of Parliament instead of simply acquiescing to a narrow coalition of opinion that includes members supportive of replacing Trident and seeks to exclude those who oppose it.

The Labour members who supported this motion found it difficult to do so because of the narrow party political posturing behind it.

This must cease if we are to build a successful consensus across the country of all those who wish effectively to state a principled anti-Trident and anti-Trident renewal position.

Yours sincerely

Bill Butler MSP

Malcolm Chisholm MSP

Marlyn Glen MSP

Cathy Peattie MSP

Elaine Smith MSP

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Claypotts Castle Primary School : Access Strategy to be implemented  13th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by Dundee City Council Transport Convener Fraser Macpherson that the findings and recommendations of a school access strategy which considers issues of road safety will be implemented prior to the opening of the new Claypotts Castle Primary School in Douglas.

This follows a report that residents in the neighbourhood of the new school had raised disquiet about road access plans to it, concerned that it would be restricted to a small road.

Ms. Glen had raised the matter with Dundee City Council’s Education and Transport departments after residents in the area had raised the issue of speeding vehicles with her.

She had asked the education and transport departments to make information on the school’s road safety arrangements available for inspection by parents and residents in the local library in Douglas.

Responding on behalf of both education and transport departments, Councillor Macpherson said,

"The new school is being built upon the site previously occupied by Powrie Primary School and the vehicle access point for Powrie Primary School will be the same access point for the new
school building.

"At the early stages of planning, all road access was approved by the Development Quality Committee.

"A full school access strategy which considers issues of road safety was approved as part of the Planning Consent, and the findings and recommendations of the strategy will be implemented prior to the school opening.

"When the school opens, there will be vehicular and pedestrian access from Balloch Place with pedestrian access only at the Baluniefield Road/Balbeggie Street corner.

"Within a year of opening, Claypotts Castle will be required to produce their own school travel plan.

"This cannot be fully completed at present as the school is not open and fully operational.

"The safety of all pupils at our schools in of paramount importance and the Education Department continually monitor road safety at all schools."

Ms. Glen had also raised with Councillor Macpherson the issue of "walking bus schemes " - an organised walking-to-school scheme - in the city to improve road safety, ease traffic congestion and lower pollution around schools in the city.

On that issue, Councillor Macpherson said,

"The Education Department will be launching a travel plan pack with all Head Teachers in the near future."

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Support for Parliamentary motions    14th. June 2007

Marlyn has supported the following motions in the Scottish Parliament :

The Continued Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi— That the Parliament condemns the recent move on the part of the Burmese authorities to extend for a further 12 months the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of only two foreign nationals to be awarded the freedom of the City of Edinburgh, who has been under house arrest for most of the last 20 years; sends Aung San Suu Kyi best wishes on her 62nd birthday on Tuesday 19 June 2007, and commends the work of Aung San Suu Kyi’s supporters across Scotland, including the Burma Subgroup of Amnesty International based at St Mark’s Unitarian Church in Edinburgh, in campaigning for her immediate release and the release of others like her who have sought to secure democracy and human rights in Burma by non-violent means.

World Refugee Day 2007 - That the Parliament notes that Wednesday 20 June 2007 is the United Nations designated World Refugee Day when thousands of organisations in dozens of countries will come together to focus global attention, not only on the plight of refugees and the causes of their exile, but also on their determination, their will to survive and the contribution that they make to their host communities; acknowledges that Scotland has long offered support, understanding and sanctuary to those fleeing persecution; applauds the lead taken by Glasgow City Council in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers to Scotland and hopes that other local authorities will follow this positive example, and welcomes the programme of over 100 Refugee Week events across Scotland which aim to challenge ignorance, fear and negative stereotypes and highlight the benefits that refugees bring to their new communities in Scotland.

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NHS Tayside make mothers aware of breastfeeding rights  13th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has been informed by NHS Tayside that all breastfeeding workshops in NHS Tayside make mothers aware of their legal right to breastfeed in public.

Ms. Glen had written to NHS Tayside Chair, Peter Bates, asking what resources NHS Tayside were devoting to publicising the rights of mothers to breastfeed in public under the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland ) Act.

In reply, Mr. Bates said,

"Tayside Infant Feeding Strategy Group circulated "Welcome to breastfeed" posters to every health centre/surgery in Tayside following the introduction of the Act.

"This information is also included in the UNICEF Community Baby Friendly Initiative training programme for practice/health centre- based staff.

"Staff are made aware of the legislation enabling them to handle any situation which may arise due to the behaviour of visitors to the premises.

"The Directorate of Public Health library has copies of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 produced by the Scottish Executive in May 2006 available to order and display throughout Tayside.

"In terms of informing breastfeeding women of their rights guaranteed under the Act, this is discussed at all breastfeeding workshops throughout NHS Tayside during pregnancy by midwives."

Welcoming the news from NHS Tayside, Ms. Glen said,

"As more and more mothers become aware of their right to breastfeed in public, the greater the prospects are for breastfeeding rates to increase.

"I am very pleased to see breastfeeding in public being regarded as a normal part of motherhood.

"Children get the best possible start to life through breastfeeding.

"Raising the rate of breastfeeding in areas where it is low can help narrow the health inequalities gap."

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Tay tolls : Traffic flow across former tolled bridges rises after tolls removal by one-quarter and one-third    12th. June 2007

Traffic flow across the Tay Road Bridge, based on the experience of traffic across former tolled bridges, would see an initial rise in the period immediately after the tolls are abolished.

Marlyn Glen had tabled questions in the Scottish Parliament on how the flow of traffic had changed on the Skye and the Erskine bridges before and after tolls were removed from them.

In a series of written replies, Ms. Glen was told by the Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, that on the Erskine Bridge, the annual average daily traffic low for the 12 month period prior to the removal of was 27024. tolls (April 2005 to March 2006).

The annual average daily flow for the twelve month period following removal of the was 34019 tolls (April 2006 to March 2007).

The increase in these average daily traffic flows on the Erskine Bridge of almost 7,000 represented a rise of around a quarter.

On the Skye Bridge, the annual average daily traffic flow for the twelve months
prior to the removal of tolls was 2,480 (December 2003 to November 2004).

The annual average daily traffic flow for the twelve months following removal of the tolls was 3,294 (December 2004 to November 2005).

The increase in these average daily traffic flows on the Skye Bridge of over 800 represented a rise of around one-third.

Ms. Glen was informed that the average southbound traffic flow across the Tay Road Bridge in the period January to may of this year was 12,157.

Ms. Glen added that she had received "many e-mails" regarding the future employment prospects of bridge staff, and that she would be raising these matters with the Transport Minister.

" Like others, I am concerned about the future of Tay Road Bridge staff, and I have written to Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson asking him what plans the Executive has to transfer these staff to other agencies such as local authorities, or to other forms of alternative employment that are being considered for them, " she added.

On the matter of the increased maintenance and repair of the bridge that would follow from increased traffic after tolls were removed, Ms. Glen said,

Ms. Glen said,

"All bridges require regular maintenance and repairs whether they are tolled or not.

"If increasing amounts of money has been made available over the years to maintain and repair other bridges which have not had tolls , then the same can be done for the toll-free Tay Road bridge in the future."

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Parliamentary Motion congratulating Broughty Ferry and Montrose      7th. June 2007

Marlyn has tabled the following motions in the Scottish Parliament

Congratulations on Broughty Ferry's Blue Flag Award— That the Parliament congratulates Broughty Ferry on securing the coveted international Blue Flag for the condition of its beach, water quality and cleanliness for the third consecutive year; acknowledges the combined efforts of the community and Dundee City Council in this achievement, and notes with great satisfaction that the latest awards represent the best-ever results for Scotland in the scheme.

Congratulations on Montrose's Blue Flag Award— That the Parliament congratulates Montrose on winning the coveted international Blue Flag for the condition of its beach, water quality and  cleanliness; acknowledges the work of the community and Angus Council towards achieving this distinction, and notes with great satisfaction that the latest awards represent the best-ever results for Scotland in the scheme.

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Recognising the work of carers     6th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen is one of the supporters of a motion in the Scottish Parliament which marks Carers Week which begins next Monday, 11th. June.

Ms. Glen said,

" Carers Week recognises the valuable contribution that the work of carers makes to both individuals and communities."

"Dundee has over 13,000 carers and Angus over 9,000 carers aged 18 and above.

" These are relatives and friends who work tirelessly assisting sick, elderly and disabled people who need regular help.

" Around half of the continuous care provided comes from other members in the same household, at a minimum of 20 hours each week."

The motion reads :

Carers Week 11 to 17 June - Carers' Rights Guide— That the Parliament notes the publication by Carers Scotland, as part of Carers Week from 11 to 17 June 2007, of Carers and their Rights: A Guide to the Law Relating to Carers; further notes that Carers Week is a week of awareness raising and activities to reach hidden carers; recognises the vital role that Scotland’s 600,000 unpaid carers play in providing support and care to disabled and older people in the community; supports the need to invest resources to support carers; recognises the endeavours of Carers Scotland in producing this guide to ensure that, in this year of equal opportunities for all, carers have effective information about their rights and opportunities to take part in work, education and leisure, and recognises the work of Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre in providing immense support to over 22,000 carers in Falkirk East, Falkirk West and Ochil.
 

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Award from Helm Training     6th. June 2007

Marlyn Glen has expressed herself as being "both honoured and delighted" in being awarded a "Friend of Helm", the Dundee-based charity that aims to help young people in the 15-18 age group with a series of training, lifeskills, and worlplace skills.

This is a new scheme which has been launched to recognise the contribution made by local companies, trusts and individuals to offer work experience and communication skills that can be used in future employment.

Ms. Glen said,

" Helm offer these young people advice and support that can improve their lives at a vital early stage.

"Helm are particularly impressive at raising their ambition to develop their talents for mainstream employment."

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Burns Humantarian Award motion    4th. June 2007

Marlyn has added her support to the following motion in the Scottish Parliament

Congratulations to Adi Rocherong>—That the Parliament congratulates Adi Roche who was recently honoured with the Burns Humanitarian Award for outstanding humanitarian efforts; recognises the work that Adi Roche and the Chernobyl Children’s Project International, which she established, have undertaken to work with children and families affected by the Chernobyl disaster, and supports the Burns Humanitarian Award in preserving and promoting the compassionate, international view of the world symbolised by the work and values of Robert Burns.

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Deputy Leader of the Labour Party  election 3 June 2007

Visit the websites of the candidates for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party >>>

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 Tay Road bridge tolls removal : MSP queries traffic flow before –and –after toll removal elsewhere in Scotland.30th. May 2007

Marlyn Glen is asking the Scottish Executive for figures on the average daily traffic flow across the previously-tolled Skye and Erskine bridges in a series of parliamentary questions that she has tabled in a bid to shed light on how traffic flow may alter when tolls across the Tay are abolished.

Ms. Glen said,

"I am asking for information on the traffic flow during comparable monthly periods before and after the removal of the tolls across these bridges.

"This may give us some indication of the likely changes in traffic flow across the Tay Road Bridge when the tolls are finally removed. "

The new Scottish Executive has already indicated that it will introduce a Bill to abolish tolls across the Tay.

Ms. Glen said that she would be offering her " full support for the removal of an unfair tax against people and communities in Dundee, Angus and Fife."

Her questions, printed in the official report of the Parliament, are :

Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average daily traffic flow over the Erskine Bridge was in each of the 12 months (a) before and (b) after the removal of tolls.

Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average daily traffic flow over the Skye Bridge was in each of the (a) 12 months (i) before and (ii) after the removal of tolls and (b) last 12 months.

Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average daily traffic flow for the Tay Road Bridge was in each four-monthly period in 2006.

Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what latest information it has on the average daily traffic flow for the Tay Road Bridge in 2007.

 

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 MSP addresses Claypotts Castle Primary School road access concerns 28th. May 2007

Marlyn Glen has written to two of Dundee City Council’s new Conveners – Laurie Bidwell at Education and Fraser Macpherson at Transport -asking them to make details of the road safety arrangements at the new Claypotts Castle Primary School in Douglas available for inspection by parents and residents in the school vicinity at the Douglas Library.

This follows a report that residents in the neighbourhood of the new school had raised disquiet about road access plans to it, concerned that it would be restricted to a small road.

Ms. Glen said that residents in the area had raised the issue of speeding vehicles with her.

She said, " I am asking the Conveners to provide as much information as possible on road access to the school, the school’s road safety plan, and what measures are being taken to ease congestion when the new school opens in response to the questions raised by parents and residents."

Ms. Glen added that she was also asking how the council were promoting "walking bus schemes " in the city to improve road safety, ease traffic congestion and lower pollution around schools in the city.

Ms. Glen said,

" ‘ Walking buses’ have an adult ‘driver’ at the front and another adult as ‘conductor’ at the back.

"The children then walk to school in the ‘bus’ and other children are picked up as ‘passengers’ at ‘bus stops’ along a pre-arranged route which has its own bus "timetable".

"Children gain the bonus of physical exercise from the ‘walking bus’ as well as learning about road safety."

 

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Tay tolls removal : statement    24th. May 2007

Welcome for Bill to abolish tolls across the Tay

Marlyn Glen has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Executive that tolls across the Tay bridge are to be abolished.

She said,

" The unfairness of tolls across the Tay will now be removed to the satisfaction of commuters and industry in Dundee.

"It is now the responsibility of the Executive to see that this Bill proceeds through the Parliament quickly to meet the expectations created of a swift solution to a long-running issue."

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Grove Academy, Dundee motion    23rd. May 2007

Marlyn Glen has proposed the following motion in the Scottish Parliament

Congratulations to Dundee’s Grove Academy—That the Parliament congratulates Dundee’s Grove Academy on its recent success in winning the English-Speaking Union Schools Mace; acknowledges that this is the first time a Scottish state school has won the prestigious event; hopes that this is the first of many victories for the school, and wishes it every success in the future.

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MSP asks for timetable for removal of tolls from Tay Road Bridge   21st. May 2007

Marlyn Glen is tabling a question in the Scottish Parliament asking the Scottish Executive to set out its timetable for the abolition of tolls on the Tay Road Bridge.

Ms. Glen said that cross-party agreement for the scrapping of the charges was assured since " all the main political parties pledged at the Scottish Parliament elections earlier this month to remove the tolls from the Tay Road Bridge."

Ms. Glen added,

" The case against the tolls have been rehearsed many times before the election on the grounds of unfairness.

"In addition, removing the tolls would help ease congestion in Dundee City Centre at peak travel hours."

She went on, " In their election literature, The First 100 Days of an SNP Government, the SNP said that the introduction of a Bill to abolish tolls on the Forth and Tay road bridges would be ‘an early priority’

"I look forward to an announcement from the new SNP-led Executive on this issue.

"It is clearly one on which all the parties can work together to get the best result for Dundee as quickly as possible."

 News photo

Marlyn at STV's studios in Dundee about to give an interview on the removal of tolls across the Tay

click on the image above to view its enlarged version

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New plea to new Executive for more civil service jobs for Dundee   18th. May 2007

Marlyn Glen is writing to John Swinney, the Scottish Executive’s new Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, urging the new Holyrood administration to provide more jobs for Dundee through civil service jobs dispersal.

Ms. Glen said that she was writing to Mr. Swinney, the Minister responsible for relocation, asking what the new Executive’s policy will be on "spreading Executive department jobs more widely across Scotland."

She said that Headquarters of Executive functions such as the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and the Scottish Social Services Council and the Office of the Scottish Charities regulator had all been established in the city under relocation.

However, locate - dundee estimate that the number of Dundee’s population employed in the Executive civil service sector is well below the corresponding figures for both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Ms. Glen went on,

"Dundee offers all the criteria necessary for civil service jobs, including a highly-skilled and experienced workforce, easy transport access, first-class housing and a good quality of life.

" Throughout the last session of the Scottish Executive, I emphasised continually that Dundee deserved a far greater share of these jobs being dispersed from Edinburgh.

"That case for Dundee must not change with a change in the political control of the Executive."

 

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Support for Aberdeen as hub of the proposed UK Energy Technologies Institute;   18th. May 2007  18 May 2007

Marlyn Glen has supported the following motion in the Scottish Parliament

Aberdeen Shortlisted to be Hub of UK Energy Technologies Institute— That the Parliament welcomes the announcement that Aberdeen has been shortlisted under the Scottish consortium bid to host the hub of the proposed UK Energy Technologies Institute; congratulates local agencies and academic institutions on working together to make the case for Aberdeen; believes that, as the energy capital of Europe and home to over 900 energy-based companies, Aberdeen is the natural choice for the hub; notes that Aberdeen’s bid is supported by CBI Scotland and Oil and Gas UK; notes that the Scottish Executive’s own Intermediary Technology Institute for Energy is already based in the city; further notes the work of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group in developing and promoting renewable energy technology, and calls on the Executive to promote Aberdeen as its preferred location for the hub.

 



 

Labour's new Holyrood team    18th. May 2007

The members of Labour's shadow cabinet have been revealed.

They are :

Leader of the opposition: Jack McConnell

Shadow minister for parliamentary business: Cathy Jamieson

Shadow cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth: Wendy Alexander

Shadow minister for Europe, external affairs and culture: Patricia Ferguson

Shadow minister for enterprise, energy and tourism: Iain Gray

Shadow minister for transport, infrastructure and climate change: Des McNulty

Shadow cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning: Hugh Henry

Shadow minister for schools and skills: Ken MacIntosh

Shadow minister for children and early years: Pauline McNeill

Shadow cabinet secretary for health and well-being: Andy Kerr

Shadow minister for public health: Lewis Macdonald

Shadow minister for communities and sport: Johann Lamont

Shadow cabinet secretary for justice: Margaret Curran

Shadow minister for community safety: Paul Martin

Shadow cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment: Rhona Brankin

Shadow minister for environment: Sarah Boyack

Others

Deputy business mananger and chief whip: Michael McMahon

Whips: Karen Gillon and David Stewart

Parliamentary private secretary to the leader: Richard Baker

 

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Support for breastfeeding motion   13th. May 2007

Marlyn Glen has supported the following motion in the Scottish Parliament

Breastfeeding Awareness Week, 13 to 19 May 2007— That the Parliament welcomes National Breastfeeding Awareness Week from 13 to 19 May 2007; notes that this is an annual event to raise awareness among all sectors of the importance of breastfeeding and this year includes the launch at Westminster on 16 May of a breastfeeding manifesto by a coalition of non-governmental organisations; expresses concern at the small decrease in breastfeeding rates in Scotland over the past year; notes that the post of National Breastfeeding Advisor has been vacant for more than a year; believes that more information and assistance is required, including better publicising of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, and considers that the Scottish Executive should do more to support, promote and encourage breastfeeding.
 

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Call for Labour leadership contest    9th. May 2007

Labour MSPs Marlyn Glen and Elaine Smith are among Scottish Labour Party members who have called for an election contest to decide the next leader of the Labour Party.

The plea came from the Scottish Campaign for Socialism, which listed the names of more than 100 Labour Party members who are supporting the call.

Ms Glen said the MSPs were being asked to ensure that party members had the right to choose the next Labour leader.

"This can only be done if Gordon Brown faces a challenger rather than receives a coronation.

"It is inconceivable in face of declining members and the recent election results in England, Wales and especially Scotland, that anyone can believe that the Labour Party can go forward to win another term in office without profound scrutiny of its policy and practice."

"A contest for the leadership should not be seen as a threat but an opportunity to debate the best way forward to achieve our shared goals of equality, social justice and international peace."


 

 

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