Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, urges constituents to be wary of mouth and neck cancer.
This encouragement follows his attendance of the Check to Protect event held at Scottish Parliament, where he took the opportunity to learn about the signs of head and neck cancer.
The event was organised by BMS and Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer, and gave MSPs the opportunity to learn about the diseases’ impact in Scotland. At the event, patient advocates spoke out about what life is like with the disease and medical professionals were on hand to demonstrate self-examination tactics.
Concerning the event, Mr Beattie stated,
‘I appreciated the opportunity to drop in to this eye opening event. I was surprised to learn that head and neck cancer area growing healthcare burden in Scotland, with mortality increasing by nearly 10% over the past decade. Luckily, the vast majority of head and neck cancer cases are preventable, so it is important to follow the steps for early diagnosis.
As I was taught at the event, self-examination is simple: check your lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of mouth, and floor of mouth for any sores or change in colour. Then use your fingers to check for any lumps, bumps or changes in texture.
As the diseases can affect smokers and non-smokers alike, I urge my constituents to check their own mouths for possible signs.’
More complete instructions for self-diagnosis can be found on the Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer website, www.ltamc.org.
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie has welcomed the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that the Scottish Government’s minimum unit pricing policy is legal, allowing the legislation to proceed as part of efforts to improve Scotland’s damaging relationship with alcohol.
The policy was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, but has been delayed due to a long-running legal challenge. Today’s ruling allows it to go ahead, setting a minimum unit price on alcohol of 50 pence.
Minimum unit pricing is backed by academic research, which suggests that the policy will cut alcohol-related deaths and reduce hospital admissions linked to alcohol misuse, which costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“This is excellent news, and a clear vindication of the Scottish Government’s policy.
“This ruling now allows us to go ahead with the policy that was overwhelmingly backed by the Scottish Parliament five years ago and take the action that is needed to cut alcohol-related deaths and reduce hospital admissions
“The health and wellbeing of people across Scotland is absolutely paramount – and the fact that alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year shows how damaging our relationship with alcohol is.
“Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families.
“We will continue to support the whisky industry and work alongside them to ensure their economic success, while maintaining our commitment to promote safe and responsible alcohol consumption.
“Scotland is the first country in the world to implement such a policy – and we should be proud of our pioneering approach that will benefit Midlothian North and Musselburgh and Scotland for generations.”
Today Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie expressed his shock that, as of January 2018, Midlothian Council’s Welfare Rights Team will no longer offer representation at Social Security Appeals five days a week.
A letter dated 7th November 2017 from the Council’s Welfare Rights Team to the HM Courts & Tribunals Service was passed to Mr Beattie outlining the changes. From 2018 the Welfare Rights Team will only be able to represent clients on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
The letter states that the imposition of these changes is as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) Full service in March 2017. The letter also states that a recommendation from a review following local authority budget cuts mean the Welfare Rights Team is now prioritising support to housing staff and tenants to alleviate the growing rent arrears in the area.
Mr Beattie said:
‘I am deeply concerned by the consequences that will arise from this change.
‘If there’s one thing we can take from the Universal Credit debacle, it’s that claimants require more support than ever given the outrageous payment delays and deeply unfair sanctions that have taken place.
‘I’ve no doubt that the Welfare Service Team have not taken this decision lightly.
‘I call on Danielle Rowley MP to stand up for her constituents at a time when they need her support more than ever. I welcome her campaign to pause the roll out of Universal Credit; now she must ask Westminster and her Labour colleagues at Midlothian Council to ensure that the appropriate provision is there for those who need it.’
Local councillors added their voice to Mr Beattie’s with SNP Cllr Kelly Parry saying:
‘The impact of austerity is two fold four on our council with the effects of the Westminster cuts to the Scottish budget now trickling down to local authorities - combined with the impacts from welfare reform.’
‘The UK Government must take into account how policy changes made in Westminster can affect our frontline services, we are being squeezed from both sides and it is unsustainable.’
‘The council has forecast it will divert millions in attempts to deal with the impacts of Universal Credit at a time when it has also issued calls for cuts - that money could be better spent on front line services.’
On 8 November 2017, Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh sponsored an event at the Scottish Parliament with dignitaries and visitors to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of Newbattle Abbey College. Guests included John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, who cut the birthday cake.
The event also recognised the efforts of the current principal, Ann Southwood over the past two decades. This year, Ms Southwood will be retiring and will then be succeeded by Marian Docherty, the current deputy principal.
In his speech, Mr Beattie stated,
‘I appreciate Newbattle’s motto: Sero Sed Serio, or ‘Late but in earnest.’ I believe it truly embodies those at Newbattle and their attitude towards learning and life.
‘Through Ann’s involvement, Newbattle has been established as ‘Scotland’s Life-Changing College.’ During her years at Newbattle, she has wholeheartedly been committed to achieving the best results for her staff and students. I wish Ann a long and healthy retirement and welcome Marian Docherty onto the hot seat.
‘That being said, happy anniversary, Newbattle. Thank you for the work and impact you’ve had in our community for the past eighty years, and here’s to eighty more.’
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh has welcomed the publication of ‘The Role of Income Tax in the Scottish Budget’ released by the Scottish Government as promised in the ‘Programme for Government.’
The Scottish Government’s paper includes proposals from all of Scotland’s political parties – with progressive parties backing varied measures in order to support public services, and Tory proposals supporting tax cuts for highest earners at the expense of public services.
As outlined by the First Minister, any changes to the income tax in Scotland must pass four key tests – supporting public services, ensuring the lowest earners do not see their taxes increase, making the system more progressive, and supporting the economy.
Commenting, Mr Beattie stated:
‘The devolved power comes with great challenges, and as such, any changes to the income tax policy should not and will not be taken lightly. The Scottish Government has already begun cross-party discussions.
'My constituents have the right to an open and honest discussion about the income tax they will pay – and this is exactly what the Scottish Government is delivering.
'We need to be prepared to ask difficult questions and to work with other parties to find an answer that means individuals and businesses are treated fairly and pay the right amount for the services that they receive in return.
'Personally, I welcome this devolved power from Westminster and look forward to the open debate about tax in the near future.’
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie has given his backing to Leonard Cheshire Disability – an organisation which supports disabled people in the UK and around the world to fulfil their potential and allows them to lead the life they wish.
During a meeting with the Scottish Director, Stuart Robertson and the Public Affairs Officer, Andrew Ewen, it was emphasised how important support for Disabled people in Midlothian and East Lothian and the rest of Scotland actually is.
Leonard Cheshire Disability provide support to thousands of people helping them to develop skills through employment, volunteering and digital inclusion projects.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“This is a fantastic organisation which can make a real difference to the lives of disabled people across Scotland, as well as their friends and families.
“Disabled people often face challenges in everyday life which most people don’t have to think twice about – having the proper support in place allows disabled people to carry on in their lives in the best possible way.
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