Recently I visited Fife’s Neonatal Services for a tour of the facilities at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. The service, which relocated to the Victoria Hospital two years ago, looks after over 400 babies a year on average, and which has in that time included 8 sets of triplets.
I was delighted to be invited by the staff, particularly Jeana Arnott, at the Neonatal Service for a tour around their facilities and I want to thank them for the opportunity to see first-hand the department in action.
The work that the staff undertakes is a credit to the NHS in Fife and they should be proud of all that they have achieved as the service continues to go from strength to strength. Since the move to the new department at the Victoria there has been changes which aim to improve the service and these have been positively received by both the staff and patients. Continue reading
Recently I was able to visit three schools within Fife to answer pupil’s questions on being a MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.
I visited Kirkcaldy West and Falkland Primary schools both of which were doing projects on the Scottish Parliament before visiting Glenwood High School in Glenrothes to speak to 4th year pupils ahead of sitting their National 4 exams.
Today I was delighted to invite a group of Primary 7 pupils from Kirkcaldy West Primary to my office in Carlyle House. The pupils were able to see how my office works and I was able to answer their questions on being a MSP and on Scottish Politics in general.
The class are currently studying a new topic based on the Scottish Parliament and it was great to see the class engaged in politics and able to ask good questions on the subject.
This week I continued my campaign for the Great Tapestry of Scotland to come to Kirkcaldy after holding a productive meeting with Fife Cultural Trust. The meeting followed questions I raised in Parliament highlighting the popularity of the Tapestry and calling for the nationwide tour to visit Fife.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland was immensely popular when it was exhibited at the Scottish Parliament with crowds queuing out the building and around the corner. I’m pleased that my campaign to bring the exhibition to Fife has been positively received so far and there is a clear will for the tapestry to come to Fife.
It was great to be able to pop along to the open day at CLEAR Buckhaven and hear about the work that they carry out throughout the local community as they hosted an open day for the public to open their new office on 36 College Street Buckhaven.
The Fife based community group was established by local residents interested in improving the surrounding area in Buckhaven along with the local environment with the aim to build a better Buckhaven.
I recently visited Stuart’s of Buckhaven bakery to experience first hand the expertise that saw the bakery win a special award at the 2013 Baker of the Year awards. The 2013 awards also saw awards for Bayne’s Bakeries and GH Barnett of Cellardyke, with Dunfermline based Stephens taking home the 2013 Baker of the Year award.
I was delighted to see Fife bakeries doing so well at the 2013 Baker of the Year awards and I already celebrated the success of the Fife bakeries in Parliament through the lodging of a Parliamentary motion – allowing fellow MSPs to show their support.
Yesterday I met with Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) at their offices in Kirkcaldy to discuss the work they carry out throughout the Kingdom in offering free and confidential advice and counselling for those who either have, or are affected by those with, alcohol problems.
Alcohol related problems can strike anyone regardless of age, sex, or social status. It is therefore important that there are organisations such as Fife Alcohol Support Service available to offer free and confidential advice.
I recently visited Asda in Kirkcaldy to take part in their free diabetes tests that they are offering shoppers in their pharmacies throughout Scotland. The offer allows customers to undertake a free diabetes screening test whilst doing their weekly shop, without having to make a prior appointment.
With the pharmacies being open seven days a week, including bank holidays, and with late opening hours Monday to Saturday it is hoped that it will encourage shoppers to take a test and reduce the number of people who are suffering with undiagnosed diabetes in Scotland.
I recently met with the Citizens Advice Service Scotland in my office in Kirkcaldy to discuss the work they are undertaking across the Kingdom, particularly with regards to the rise of payday lenders.
The meeting focused on the ‘Continuous Payment Authority’ which can be included in many payday loan agreements and provides the lender authorisation to take money from the customers’ bank account without having to give prior notice. Continue reading
Last week I met with local Kirkcaldy solicitors and Victim Support over the changes being imposed on Kirkcaldy and Cupar Sheriff Courts by the Scottish Government. The changes will see the closure of Cupar Sheriff Court with trials moving to Dundee and jury trials no longer taking place in Kirkcaldy, with trials moving to Dunfermline. The move of all jury trials from Kirkcaldy to Dunfermline would see an increase in jury trials by 283%, leading to concerns about delays.
During the meeting we discussed the impacts these changes will have on access of justice for those within the Kingdom. Concerns raised included the potential for increases in delays, other concerns raised included the cost and travel implications for victims and jurors, the number of courts available and the failure for justice to be delivered locally. Continue reading