23 Sep 2008

Hugh Henry article Paisley Daily Express 17 September 2008

What a criminal idea

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 will be a fantastic event for the whole of Scotland.

I hope that we seize the opportunity to make 2014 a year of sport in Scotland.

We should use this event as the spur to involve more young people in sport, starting at school.
And it’s not just sporting opportunities which the games will bring.

We will need new facilities and the infrastructure to support this.

We could ensure that young school leavers in the West of Scotland have the chance to take up quality apprenticeships, giving them a real start in life.

What has the SNP Justice Minister suggested?

He wants the infrastructure built by convicted criminals.

No talk of apprenticeships for decent young people.
No quality jobs for the unemployed.

Just empty Barlinnie and give jobs to criminals.

And we wonder why politicians get a bad name!

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The Paisley Daily Express recently highlighted a death at the RAH where Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff) was a contributory factor.

Since then I’ve been contacted by some constituents who say they know of people who died at the RAH and C.Diff was also a factor in the death.

And last week we read that the number of deaths involving C.Diff has almost doubled across Scotland in the last two years.

Last year C.Diff was a factor in 597 deaths.

These figures don’t even include all of the deaths in the recent outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital.

I welcome the announcement that hospitals Health Centres and GP surgeries will be subject to hygiene spot checks.

In particular I still hear too many complaints about the lack of cleanliness in some of our hospitals.

I’m pleased also that the Scottish Parliament agreed with Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie that there should be a public enquiry.

The Health Secretary should end the uncertainty now and order a public enquiry.
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Last week I questioned Fergus Ewing, the Community Safety Minister, about attacks on shop workers and rail and bus staff.

Too often an abusive minority think it’s ok to assault these workers. We know how vulnerable shop workers can be.
That’s why USDAW the shop workers union has been campaigning for greater protection for shop workers.

And transport staff are vulnerable too. ASLEF the train drivers’ union and UNITE, which represents bus workers have been demanding protection for their members.

And the public suffers too when staff are assaulted.

Services can stop leaving people stranded and isolated.

I’m pleased that Fergus Ewing gave a sympathetic hearing to my call for legislation to be extended to give these workers the protection they deserve.
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Doors Open
The recent Doors Open event reminded us of the fabulous buildings we have here in Renfrewshire.

It’s sometimes too easy to overlook our history and our heritage.

Thank you to all those who made the Doors Open event such a success.


A Tale of two Parties

Linwood High School is the latest new school to be opened in Renfrewshire.

The new school was approved by Labour but opposed by the SNP.

What is the record of the SNP since coming to power in Renfrewshire?

They have announced plans to close 7 primary and nursery schools.

Yes that’s right – close 7 primary and nursery schools.

Last week the new improved sports facilities were open at the Lagoon.

Again approved by Labour and scorned by the SNP.

On the same day the SNP announced plans to scrap ice at the Lagoon for good.

Rumours are that more cuts are in the pipeline.

Slowly but surely all the recent improvements in Renfrewshire are being unpicked.

Unfortunately the SNP Councillors are being supported in all of this by the Liberal Democrats.


Greed and Stupidity
The turmoil in world financial markets has highlighted the sharp practices and greed of highly paid executives here and abroad.

These financiers have used dubious means to pay huge bonuses to themselves.

Now they have brought the banking industry to crisis, but it’s us who pay, while they scuttle off with the salaries and bonuses already paid.

It’s time for the government to take action to stop these people ripping us off.