Motion S4M-13903: Mental Health & Religion

06 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the findings of a study by the Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which found that joining a religious organisation is more beneficial than charity work, sport or education in improving older people’s mental health; understands that, in a study of 9,000 Europeans aged 50+ over a four-year period, researchers looked at different levels of social activity and how they influenced people’s moods; notes that the LSE epidemiologist, Dr Mauricio Avendano, said that the only activity associated with sustained happiness was attending a church, synagogue or mosque; further notes that he is quoted as saying “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life. It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated”; considers that religion is a very positive aspect of modern Scotland, and looks forward to an increasingly positive relationship between the Parliament and religion.

Motion S4M-13865: Police Scotland and the BTP

30 Jul 2015

That the Parliament welcomes the proposed merger of the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland into Police Scotland; notes that this would mean that the BTP’s 231 officers would join Police Scotland’s roster of 17,318 officers; considers that it makes no sense to have two separate police forces in Scotland of such radically different sizes, which can lead to confusion over responsibilities; believes that the expertise of the 231 BTP officers must be protected after the merger, especially in relation to reopening rail lines after an incident, and further believes that integrated policing will be in the best interests of the Scottish public.

Motion S4M-13851: Winchburgh Tunnel

29 Jul 2015

That the Parliament welcomes the completion of the Winchburgh Tunnel upgrade as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP); notes that this complex work, which cost £17 million and saw the lowering of the rail line to allow for its electrification, was delivered in just six weeks; appreciates the patience of the many rail passengers who have seen their journey times lengthened; congratulates the engineers and staff involved in completing this difficult task on time and without any major unexpected incidents, and looks forward to the benefits of faster, longer and greener trains.

Motion S4M-13840: Glasgow Anti-Gambling Initiative

28 Jul 2015

That the Parliament notes the new anti-problem gambling initiative being pioneered in Glasgow; believes that Glasgow has more betting shops per person than anywhere else in the UK; considers that problem gambling is a huge issue that can cause a great deal of social damage to individuals and their families, especially in poorer areas; understands that this scheme will mean that problem gamblers will be able to call a confidential helpline and request that they be refused service at any of the 36 participating city centre betting shops in Glasgow; believes that this means that individuals will not have to fill in different forms at every different operator; welcomes this new initiative; hopes that it will prove successful in supporting problem gamblers as they attempt to cope with their addiction, and looks forward to the scheme’s scope being widened beyond Glasgow city centre in years to come.