23 Sep 2008

HUgh Henry article in Paisley Daily Express 8 September 2008

Police Custody Centre

Regrettably Strathclyde Police are pressing ahead with proposals for a custody centre at Millarston despite local opposition.

Before the Council elections last year councillors from across the political spectrum opposed this.

I hope that now they are elected, councillors from all parties will continue their opposition when this comes to the Council.

There are other alternatives and the Council should back the overwhelming views of local residents.

More Labour Promises Delivered

This week sees the Lagoon Leisure Centre reopened after major refurbishment.

The new Linwood High School will also be opened this week, despite being opposed by the SNP.

At both these ceremonies, SNP politicians will be prominently trying to take credit.
The truth is both these developments would never have happened had it not been for the previous Labour Council, led by Jim Harkins.

Labour was right to push through these new facilities and Jim Harkins and his colleagues deserve the credit.

Hospital Parking

I welcome the decision to scrap car parking charges at NHS Hospitals.

This will be a relief to the staff and the public who use the car park at the RAH.

I have been campaigning against these charges which would have imposed an unfair and punitive burden on those with lower incomes.

The Minister has my backing for this decision which shows that public pressure can work.

Cash Cut For RAH?

The news that the Health Board is cutting its budget is a real worry for the RAH.

In recent years we have seen improvements in the NHS.

I’ve noticed in my postbag that complaints are substantially reduced.

Why then is the SNP administration cutting the budget to the Health Boards?

We should be making sure the NHS has the money to cope with price increases.

Yet again, despite the promises and the spin we are seeing the reality of Alex Salmond’s administration.

Better Bus Services Needed

Like many MSP’s across Scotland, I receive complaints from constituents about poor and sometimes non existent bus services.

Some areas have virtually no service at night or on a Sunday.

Those without a car are virtual prisoners in their own community unless they fork out for a taxi, and this isn’t cheap.

It’s time for government to act.

I want tougher control on the bus companies. I want them to listen to local people.

And I don’t want them to be allowed to cherry pick the profitable routes and then abandon everyone else.

This is something I will be pursuing in the coming months.

Climate Change

Thankfully the recent hurricane that has hit America’s Gulf Coast did not have the same devastating affect as Hurricane Katrina did in 2005, which caused huge damage and loss of life.

Natural disasters are almost impossible to prevent, but according to some scientists, the extreme weather conditions we have been experiencing recently are a direct result of climate change - something we all can act on.

Here in Paisley we know only too well the misery that bad weather can cause.

We all have a responsibility to look at the bigger picture.

If we look at facts such as that all of the ten warmest years since records began have occurred since 1990, including each year since 1997 and that winter storms have doubled in the UK over the past 50 years

These are facts that can’t be ignored.

We need to tackle climate change and each and every one of us must act.

We can act in our homes, work and travel by making simple changes like turning off power when it is not needed, recycling, using public transport, cycling or walking rather than taking our cars or simply by buying recycled or recyclable friendly products.

To find out what you can do to help the environment visit the government website http://www.direct.gov.uk