MSP wants Gov­ern­ment to do more for his con­sti­tu­ants

Rutherglen Reformer - - POLITICS - Will Hen­shaw

Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly has called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to do more for his con­stituents.

Speak­ing in the de­bate about the SNP’s pro­gramme of gov­ern­ment for the next year, Mr Kelly high­lighted ma­jor lo­cal is­sues and called on the Holy­rood ad­min­is­tra­tion to use their power to make real change.

Speak­ing in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, James Kelly MSP said: “Although as­pects of the pro­gramme are welcome, such as the pro­posed in­tro­duc­tion of rent con­trols, the SNP Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach un­der­mines its abil­ity to tackle the fun­da­men­tal is­sues that we must ad­dress in Scot­tish com­mu­ni­ties.

“When MSPs look at the pro­gramme, they look at how it af­fects their con­stituency. The is­sue of GP short­ages came up over the sum­mer in my con­stituency.

“The fig­ures show that, in 1999, there was a GP prac­tice to cover ev­ery 5,080 pa­tients. That has gone up to 5,668 pa­tients, so the po­si­tion has de­te­ri­o­rated by al­most 600 pa­tients. Why has that hap­pened?

“When peo­ple look at the fig­ures, they look for the ev­i­dence. It shows that in­vest­ment in GP fund­ing has been cut by £1 bil­lion since 2006. There has also been a five per cent cut in med­i­cal stu­dent sup­port. There­fore, it is no won­der that we have a GP short­age.

“I agree with much of what has been said about lo­cal gov­ern­ment. Again, MSPs see the im­pact on their ar­eas.

“South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has a £23 mil­lion short­fall in its bud­get. Cuts have been made to third sec­tor grants, and the cost of com­mu­nity alarms has dou­bled.

“The Gov­ern­ment’s al­lo­ca­tion to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil over a three-year pe­riod has been re­duced by £80 mil­lion.

“When it comes to the bud­get dis­cus­sions in Fe­bru­ary, I in­vite MSPs who spend much of their time crit­i­cis­ing the lo­cal coun­cil, to in­tro­duce a pro­posal to fund lo­cal gov­ern­ment prop­erly.

“I ap­peal to the Gov­ern­ment that it is time to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“If it wants to de­liver for Scot­land, it should use the pow­ers that are at its dis­posal to change peo­ple’s lives and to stand up for peo­ple through­out Scot­land.”

A spokesper­son for John Swin­ney said: “The re­al­ity is that this SNP Gov­ern­ment has boosted the NHS work­force across Scot­land by around 10,000 since Labour were last in charge of the health ser­vice in 2007 – and we have now in­creased the an­nual health bud­get to more than £12 bil­lion.

“James Kelly is also guilty of ap­palling hypocrisy, given Labour’s fail­ure to prop­erly stand up to Tory cuts at Westminster, which has re­sulted in Scot­land’s over­all bud­get be­ing slashed.”

Calls MSP James Kelly has called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to do more for his con­stituents

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