Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, has today called on South Lanarkshire Council to investigate a comfort scheme as operated in Perth and Kinross. The proposal would see the council providing funding to local businesses who make their toilets open to the public. South Lanarkshire Council is currently looking to close public toilets across Clydesdale. Ms Campbell has attended several meetings regarding closures and raised them with the Scottish Government. One of the South Lanarkshire Council representatives at these meetings used Perth and Kinross as an example of an area which had closed public toilets. However, that council worked with local communities and businesses to make sure a workable solution was found. 


Ms Campbell said:


“The example from Perth and Kinross shows that where there’s a bit of imagination and respect for local communities, a workable solution can often be found. To remove a service and not give any thought to the consequences can only harm the experience of visitors to Clydesdale and leave people less inclined to shop in our town centres.


“This is another issue where South Lanarkshire Council should be looking at the assets we have in our communities already and not applying blanket policies that don’t suit rural Clydesdale. A comfort scheme like they have in other local authorities might not suit all the towns and villages in Clydesdale but it is certainly worth exploring as a way forward in the weeks ahead.”



Clydesdale Constituency MSP Aileen Campbell has reacted with disappointment to news that Patersons has decided to resubmit new plans for a sand quarry at Overburns.  This latest application comes on the back of a previous application being refused by the council and an appeal against this refusal being rejected by the Reporter.


Aileen said: 


“If reports about Patersons resubmitting an application are true, then I am extremely disappointed by their actions.  Their applications have been given the knock-back by the council, the Reporters and most importantly, by the community.  The company must really take the hint. 


“The community will be absolutely scunnered to hear about yet another application.  Clyde River Action Group led an effective, coordinated and evidence based campaign against the proposals and I will be in touch with them to offer support.


“I will also be seeking details and more information about this latest potentially, very unwelcome development.”



Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, argued for the reestablishment of Out of Hours care in Clydesdale, in response to NHS Lanarkshire’s consultation on moving the service to Hamilton. Ms Campbell utilised her own survey of constituency opinion which showed profound concerns about both of the proposed options coming from NHS Lanarkshire. The two options in the consultation would lead to similar outcomes for people across Clydesdale, with them being required to travel to Hamilton for Out of Hours care.


Whilst the health board have undertaken to ensure that transport is arranged for those without the means of reaching the clinic, the new arrangements would leave patients facing lengthy journeys at all times of the year to reach the Out of Hours centre. Clydesdale will face the longest travel times of any of the areas in Lanarkshire under the new proposals. Ms Campbell asked the health board to look again at maintaining an Out of Hours service in Lanark, whether that is a smaller unit working in tandem with the clinic in Hamilton or a nurse-led service. She also asked that the health board looked to utilise the cottage hospitals, pharmacies and other health care providers already operating in Clydesdale to develop imaginative solutions for Clydesdale in the longer term.


Commenting, Ms Campbell said:

“It is clear from the correspondence I received that many people in Clydesdale share my concerns regarding these proposals. Whether it’s long late-night journeys with sick children to see a doctor, or an increase of people going to the A&E at Wishaw inappropriately, there is an understandable level of scepticism and concern in the community.


“Given the low level of public transport available in the hours when the Out of Hours service operates, the health board face the very real prospect of paying increasingly high transport costs to get patients to the service. Whilst I do recognise the difficulties the health board are having in getting GPs willing to do Out of Hours work, I believe they need to look again at the rural nature of communities in Clydesdale and ensure their new proposals offer a suitable service.


“Going forward, I will be feeding my submission into the national review of Out of Hours care launched by the Scottish Government, and I hope the health board revisit their proposals to ensure Clydesdale receives a sustainable and accessible service.”


Aileen Campbell, MSP for Clydesdale, this week sought further assurance regarding the treatment of the detainees at Dungavel. When it was reported last week that some of the detainees were refusing to eat, Aileen contacted the Home Office directly to ensure that she was given a full briefing on the situation. Ms Campbell is working with her colleague in the Scottish Government, Alex Neil MSP, who has responsibility over some domestic asylum seeker issues, to ensure detainees are properly treated whilst in Scotland.


Ms Campbell said:


“There were some very worrying reports emanating from Dungavel last week so I contacted the Home Office directly to get an update on the situation at the centre. If detainees are refusing food then we need a full understanding of why this happens and to find ways to support them.  I have been told that there are no more detainees being monitored as a result of refusing food at Dungavel.


“Going forward I am keen to work with Trade Unions and Faith Groups who have expressed an interest this week in making sure those at Dungavel are supported during their detention.”


 Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, has again written to South Lanarkshire Council over concerns raised with her by parents and carers across the constituency over changes to the eligibility for school transport.  The new proposals mean that only children living over three miles away will be automatically entitled to transport to their local secondary school.  Previously, eligibility was based on living at a distance of over two miles.
The council are currently running a consultation on this issue and there will be a public meeting in Lanark on the 21st of April.
Aileen said:
“Concerned parents from right across the constituency have raised their fears with me about what these changes will now mean for their children.  Of course we want our children to be more active and to walk more, but roads are busier and cars are faster so we must ensure that the safety of children is put first before any new blanket approach to this policy is adopted.  Clydesdale has many villages, hamlets and settlements on twisty rural roads that may technically be within the three mile cut-off, but it would raise considerable concerns if children were to walk routinely on these roads.
“I will ensure the views that have been presented to me are submitted to the consultation and to the Council, and would urge the council not to take an arbitrary blanket approach to this transportation issue.”


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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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