• Rhoda Grant MSP – Views sought on Scottish Fire Service shake-up

    Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart, are appealing to people throughout the region to respond to the request from the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee for written views on the reform of the fire and rescue service.

    The call for opinions came from the Justice Committee the day after the decision was announced to reduce the number of fire controls in Scotland from eight to three.

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  • Rhoda Grant – Parliamentary question on priorities in Tourism in 2014

    Rhoda Grant: Will the cabinet secretary join me in congratulating Lewis, Harris and the Western Isles on coming top of TripAdvisor’s top 10 European islands?

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  • Rhoda Grant joins the fight against breast cancer

    Rhoda Grant MSP for the Highlands and Islands and the Shadow Minister for Wellbeing has joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s biggest (and pinkest) fundraiser, wear it pink day.

    Over the last 10 years wear it pink has raised a staggering £23 million and on Friday 25 October 2013 people will come together in schools, colleges and businesses across Scotland to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research.

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MSP supports bullying in schools campaign

Highlands & Islands MSP and Shadow Equalities Minister, Rhoda Grant has pledged her support to the Tackling Bullying in Scottish Schools campaign.

The campaign is based on five principles and organisers will call upon the Scottish Government to include as part of Scotland’s National Anti- Bullying strategy.

The campaign was founded in 2010 by Usman Ali, who had suffered from bullying himself while at school and remains passionate to improve the lives of those affected by bullying in Scottish schools, communities and society.

Rhoda Grant set up anti-bullying site Tobie (Tackling Oppressive Behaviour in Employment) in December 2014 and as of January 2016 more than 7,000 people had viewed the site.

The site is a first point of call for sufferers seeking support and provides details of organisations who can help.

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Disappointment as organ donation bill voted down

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has said that she is extremely disappointed that the proposed Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc.) (Scotland) Bill has been voted down during a Stage 1 debate in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday).

Mrs Grant has worked with NHS Highland, and players from local football clubs, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County, in the past to encourage people to sign up to the organ donation register.

In normal circumstances the Parliament would vote for or against the general principles of the Bill.

The SNP however, lodged an amendment to the motion to agree the principles of the Bill which rejected the Bill suggesting that they had concerns surrounding the practical impact of the specific details in the Bill.

The amendment also called on the Scottish Government to bring forward another Bill with the same principles.

Given that the SNP have a majority in the Parliament they could have amended the Bill at Stage 2 and 3, dealing with any concerns that they might have had.

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Assurances sought on MPAs

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has met with the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the management of the Marine Protected Area designations, Richard Lochhead.

Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Grant said :

“I absolutely appreciate that there are differing opinions on these sanctions which are primarily designed to protect the marine environment.

“However, we also need to protect the economies of our communities who rely so heavily on the fishing industry.

“People who have worked these marine areas for decades must be listened to and compromise found when needed.

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Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage (Rural and Island Communities) – Rhoda’s speech in the debate

I congratulate Tavish Scott on securing the debate.

It is a really important issue for Shetland and the whole of the Highlands and Islands.

In the first session of parliament, my colleague Maureen Macmillan started to campaign for access to broadband because she realised the implications of it for our communities.

Peter Peacock took that campaign over when Maureen Macmillan stood down and I was happy to pick up the cudgel when he retired.

Our MPs in Westminster recently compared their constituencies’ download speeds.

The Western Isles was worst, with Ross, Skye and Lochaber at 647th out of 650 and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross 640th.

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Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc) (Scotland) Bill – Rhoda’s speech

I pay tribute to Anne McTaggart for introducing the bill.

Today, she gives us the opportunity to vote for a bill that would save lives.

According to evidence that the Health and Sport Committee received, the bill would increase donations by up to 75 per cent.

Even those who have concerns about the bill concede that it would increase donations, albeit marginally.

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We still need to fight for 100% broadband coverage, says Rhoda Grant

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.