Motion S5M-14349: #ZeroHunger

22 Oct 2018

That the Parliament welcomes World Food Day 2018 on 16 October, which has the theme, Our Actions are our Future, and commits to a so-called #ZeroHunger world by 2030; believes that this is an opportunity to raise awareness of people experiencing hunger and to remind everyone that hunger should be ended; understands that everybody can help to achieve #ZeroHunger by making sure that they do not waste food, produce more with less and adopt a more healthy and sustainable diet; considers that the world is bountiful and that there is no excuse for people to be living in hunger, and recognises the responsibility that everyone has to work towards ending world hunger and poverty.

Motion S5M-14347: Barriers to Eating Healthily

22 Oct 2018

That the Parliament notes the findings of a study carried out by the Social Mobility Fund in conjunction with Kellogg’s, What are the barriers to eating healthily in the UK?; understands that it describes one-in-10 of the country’s most deprived areas as being so-called food deserts, which are places where poverty, poor transport and that a lack of big supermarkets limit the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables; deplores the finding that, in Scotland, 80% of these areas are in Glasgow; notes that the report suggests that 39% of people with a household income under £10,000, and 23% with one between £10,000 and £20,000, stated that groceries were a strain on finances; believes that the study also found that healthy products cost three times as much per calorie than those that are less healthy; considers that more needs to be done to ensure that people in the most deprived communities can afford healthy food, and calls on all levels of government to act to tackle the problems that this report has highlighted.


17 Oct 2018

Last week, John met with the Cancer Research UK team at the SNP party conference in Glasgow to learn about the charity’s priorities for beating cancer sooner in Scotland.


John said: “Cancer has a huge impact on people and their families in Glasgow Shettleston Constituency, so it has been a fantastic opportunity to meet with Cancer Research UK staff to learn more about their priorities and how early diagnosis saves lives.”



He heard about Cancer Research UK’s latest campaign, which highlights the need for action to address shortages in the diagnostic workforce in Scotland. Cancer Research UK is calling on the Scottish Government to take a strategic approach to workforce planning to ensure we have a service that meets patient demand.


Early diagnosis is vital. If someone’s cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, then it is more likely that that person will survive. For some of the most common types of cancer, survival is more than three times higher when the disease is diagnosed at its earliest stages.


However, only 78.7% of patients received the diagnostic tests they needed within six weeks in the quarter ending 30 June 2018.* The target is that no one should be waiting longer than six weeks for a test. This means that more than 18,500 patients in Scotland waited more than the target time of six weeks to receive a diagnostic test.


By 2035, more than 40,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer every year across Scotland, an increase of more than 8,000 people on 2015 levels.** More staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet currently 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.***


Gregor McNie, Head of External Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said: “Healthcare staff in Scotland are working harder than ever to diagnose and treat people with cancer.”


“But the NHS in Scotland does not have enough staff to be as effective as possible in diagnosing cancer.”


“The Scottish Government has taken some very welcome steps to address these issues, such as a recent international recruitment drive to increase the number of radiologists and its Endoscopy Action Plan. But broader, long-term action is needed.”


“Cancer Research UK is calling on the Scottish Government to take these specific actions to accelerate progress towards 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.”


16 Oct 2018

John Mason MSP is urging deaf people in Shettleston who have queries about benefits to use a charity’s social security advocacy service.

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.


John Mason MSP said: “Information about social security can often be difficult to understand and it is important that people can access the support that they are entitled to.


“I’m pleased to see Action on Hearing Loss Scotland providing this service and encourage deaf or hard of hearing people in Shettleston to use the charity’s support if you have queries, claims or want to make an appeal about social security benefits.”


Teri Devine, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We appreciate John Mason MSP’s support for our social security advocacy service which can provide details and advice about a range of benefits.


“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand what processes to follow to apply for support you may be entitled to, or are confused about letters you have received regarding your benefits, we would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”


For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, text: 07388 227407 or email:  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service.