Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, spoke in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday) in a debate on broadband connection.
Speaking after the debate, Mrs Grant said, “It is a really important issue for the whole of the Highlands and Islands. Scottish Labour has campaigned for many years to have broadband infrastructure improved throughout the Highlands and Islands.
Referring to the recent report which identified the Western Isles as having the worst broadband service in the UK (it was placed at 650 out of the 650 UK constituencies), with Ross, Skye and Lochaber at 647 out of 650 and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross at 640, Mrs Grant commented, “Add that to the statistics in Tavish Scott’s motion and we see that the Highlands and Islands are extremely poorly served.
“The Scottish Government’s target of 95 per cent by 2017 does nothing to address the problem because it only needs to target urban areas to reach it.
Most of all, I thank carers groups and representatives.
The many groups and individuals in the Highlands and Islands who contacted me and took the time to share their experiences with me gave me a real insight into what was needed in the bill.
In addition, I thank the national carer organisations, the members of which the minister listed, which worked closely with all parties during the process, thereby informing the debate.
On a personal level, I would also like to thank Clare Lally for all her help and advice to me.
She has been a star and has made the process much easier for me.
Anger at the Organisation of Sexist and Hatemongering Meetings
That the Parliament strongly condemns what it understands is the organisation of sexist and hatemongering meetings throughout Scotland by the so-called pick-up artist, Roosh V; believes that these meetings are misogynistic and that such behaviour is not tolerated by society in Scotland; affirms that there is never any argument to advocate rape; believes that, while women keep being taught to avoid sexual assault, not enough is done to educate those men who might become perpetrators; welcomes the work by Police Scotland to raise awareness of sexual crime; considers that sexist and violent speeches are clear acts of incitement that must not be tolerated by the law, and calls for action to be taken.
David gave his support to the following member’s motion :
World Cancer Day 2016
That the Parliament expresses its support for World Cancer Day, which will be marked on 4 February 2016; understands that it is estimated that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives; notes that Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation are working together to unite the nation on this day, to help transform the lives of those affected by cancer; considers that, as a collective, these charities change the lives of millions of people every year through their individual work in the prevention, detection, treatment and support of people with cancer, and calls for MSPs to support the day and to help beat cancer sooner by wearing a World Cancer Day unity band.
Rhoda has tabled the following member’s motion in the Scottish Parliament
Thank You to the Workers Who Helped through the Storm
That the Parliament congratulates and thanks the members of the emergency services, utility companies and voluntary organisations who worked tirelessly, and in extreme conditions, during the recent storms and acknowledges that, without their efforts, the effects of these storms on communities across Scotland would have been considerably worse
Rhoda Grant MSP, Scottish Labour spokesperson for Equalities, has tabled amendments to the Carers Bill to introduce a national threshold for unpaid carers.
This will ensure all carers in crisis, regardless of where they live in Scotland, receive support.
This amendment would prevent a postcode lottery for support and service provision, whilst at the same time allowing local flexibility on what form that support takes.
Rhoda Grant has also tabled amendments on including future planning in Carers Plans and Young Carers Statements to make sure that carers will know where additional support would come from when they could no longer continue their caring role.