Motion S5M-13630: Poorest More Likely to Die Early

24 Aug 2018

That the Parliament deplores the findings in the National Burden of Disease, Injuries and Risk Factors study carried out by NHS Health Scotland, which states that those living in the poorest areas are twice as likely to die early; thanks NHS Health Scotland for carrying out the work on this study to inform policy debate and provide a focus on the health inequalities facing the most disadvantaged in society; understands that 32.9% of Scotland’s early deaths and ill health would be avoided if everyone had the same living standards as those living in the wealthiest places in Scotland; agrees with Dr Diane Stockton, the lead author of the study at NHS Health Scotland, that “It does not have to be this way. The fact that people in our wealthiest areas are in better health and that conditions that cause most of the ill health and early death result from things we can change – like illnesses associated with mental wellbeing, diet, drug use and alcohol dependency – shows that it is possible to create a fairer healthier Scotland”; recognises that the report calls for more than just the encouragement of health choices, looking instead at tackling the root causes of poverty, and calls on all levels of government to recognise what it sees as the unfairness of the current inequality and commit to levelling the playing field to ensure that everyone has the right to a long life.

Motion S5M-13469: New Rolling Stock

10 Aug 2018

That the Parliament welcomes the news that the first of the new Hitachi 385 rolling stock began carrying passengers at the end of July 2018; understands that this allowed a fully electric service to be run between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High on 1 August for the first time; notes that this service was operated using Hitachi class 385 trains, class 380 trains and the “happy trains”, class 365; understands that extra 385s will be phased in to the Edinburgh–Glasgow and other lines as they are delivered; welcomes the operation of these new trains, which will help ensure that Scotland’s rail network is fit for the 21st century, and further welcomes the improvements that further electrification will bring to the environment.

Motion S5M-13429: Scotland’s Space Sector

09 Aug 2018

That the Parliament recognises the potential of the Scottish space sector; understands that, in 2017, it was revealed that Glasgow builds more satellites than any other European city, thanks to the focus on micro-satellites from companies such as Clyde Space and Spire Global; notes that a site between Tongue and Durness has been chosen as the country’s first vertical launch spaceport, and acknowledges the calls for Prestwick to be selected as the horizontal launch site; welcomes the contribution of £130 million to Scotland’s economy by the space industry, including 7,000 jobs; notes the recent start-up, the Asteroid Mining Corporation, which has been founded by Mitch Hunter-Scullion and aims to ensure that Scotland is at the forefront of potential asteroid mining, and welcomes the support of the public and private sectors towards innovation in the space industry.

John’s weekly video – Refugees Welcome

02 Aug 2018