Russell Brown_Breakthrough Breast Cancer

BRIDGING THE GAP IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL

BRIDGING THE GAP IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL

LOCAL MP PLEDGES TO IMPROVE BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL RATES

After attending Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Annual Parliamentary Reception last Tuesday (26th June), Russell Brown MP has committed to help Breakthrough improve outcomes for breast cancer patients in Dumfries and Galloway and ensure his constituents have access to the best services.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and eradication of the disease. As well as funding around a quarter of breast cancer research in the UK,  Breakthrough persistently campaigns for better services and treatments and continues to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to enable early detection.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“I was shocked to hear that the UK’s breast cancer survival rates fall behind other European countries and, as a result, we’re letting over 1,000 lives slip away from us every year. More than 48,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK and I want to make sure that everyone in Dumfries and Galloway knows we can do much more.”

Chris Askew, Chief Executive at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, added:

“The continuing fight against breast cancer can only be successful if the challenge we set in Westminster today is taken up by each of these MPs locally tomorrow.  The women and families affected by breast cancer in their constituency are relying on them to work with the local health services to help achieve survival rates that we can be proud of.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

NOTES TO EDITORS 

1. Photo of Russell Brown signing Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s ‘Charter to Save Lives’

2. For more info about Breakthrough Breast Cancer – go to www.breakthrough.org.uk

3. About breast cancer:

- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK – over 48,000 women and around 350 men are diagnosed every year.

- Breast cancer accounts for nearly 1 in 3 of all female cancers and one in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime.

- Around 1,000 women die of breast cancer every month in the UK.

- The good news is that more women than ever in the UK are surviving breast cancer thanks to better awareness, better treatments and better screening.

LABOUR FIGHT TO KICK START REGENERATION OF STRANRAER

LABOUR FIGHT TO KICK START REGENERATION OF STRANRAER

LOCAL POLITICIANS LOBBY FIRST MINISTER TO “GIVE US BACK OUR £8 MILLION”

Local Labour politicians are pressing ahead with attempts to kick start the regeneration of Stranraer, following the refusal by other councillors last week to back Labour’s calls for the reinstatement of the £8 million cut by the SNP for the waterfront. (1)

Local MP Russell Brown and Stranraer and North Rhins Councillor Marion McCutcheon are holding an urgent meeting with the Council’s Head of Economic Development, Ewan Green, today (Monday) to push for the Council to do more. They have also written a joint letter to First Minister Alex Salmond calling on the Scottish Government to return Stranraer waterfront to a national priority and thereby reinstate the £8 million. (2)

Under the Labour-led Scottish Executive, the regeneration of Stranraer waterfront was categorised as a ‘national priority’ and they had agreed in principle to allocate £8 million of funding. However, in April 2008 the SNP Government downgraded the waterfront project to a ‘local priority’, which meant the £8 million was no longer available and responsibility transferred to the Council.

At a meeting of full council last Thursday (28 June), Labour called on all councillors to back proposals for the Council to write to the Scottish Government to demand that the waterfront project be returned to a national priority. However, no other Wigtownshire councillor supported the calls, which meant that the proposal was voted down.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“Local people in Stranraer feel that nothing is being down to regenerate the town. They feared that they would be forgotten about when the last ferry sailed out of Stranraer and unfortunately it appears that is exactly what has happened. The Council and Scottish Government have both let our area down.

“While the Scottish Government has a ‘task force’ for Stranraer, people are asking what it is actually doing. The sum total of their achievements so far have been a temporary reduction in rail fares which, while welcome, only last two months before going back to their sky high prices. We need long term solutions, not just quick fixes.

“We are determined to fight to kick start Stranraer’s regeneration. We are holding an urgent meeting with the Council’s economic development officer to make it clear they need to do more because local people need to see action on the ground. We have also written to the First Minister calling on the Scottish Government to return the waterfront to a national priority and reinstate the money they cut in 2008. My message to Alex Salmond is clear – give us back our £8 million”

Commenting on the refusal of other local councillors during full council last Thursday (28 June) to back Labour’s calls for the Council itself to lobby the Scottish Government to return Stranraer waterfront to a national priority and thereby reinstate the £8 million, Labour’s Marion McCutcheon said:

“I am bitterly disappointed that councillors from other parties, independents and non-aligned refused to back Labour’s calls for the waterfront regeneration project to be returned to a national priority. This would have meant the reinstatement of £8 million cash, which would have given the regeneration a massive boost. I am particularly angry that no other local councillors from the Stranraer area supported us. They should be ashamed at walking away from the waterfront regeneration and not fighting for this cash that is rightfully ours.

“While it would have been better if the call had the full weight of the council behind us, if other councillors won’t agree to demand the £8 million back from the SNP Government then Russell Brown and I will do it ourselves.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Further information about the SNP’s 2008 downgrade of the waterfront regeneration project:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_of_scotland/7346864.stm

http://www.dgcommunity.net/dgcommunity/documents.aspx?id=27834

2. Letter to First Minister Alex Salmond:

Monday 2 July 2012

Dear Alex

Under the Labour-led Scottish Executive, the regeneration of Stranraer waterfront was classed as a national priority, with an agreement in principle to allocate £8 million to the project.

However, in 2008 the SNP Government downgraded the project to a local priority, meaning that responsibility transferred to Dumfries and Galloway Council and this £8 million was cut from the waterfront.

Since then regeneration work has stalled and local people are becoming increasingly despondent, especially since Stena Line move out of the town last November. As you will know, the Scottish Government has set up the ‘Stranraer task force’, however achievements on the ground have been limited so far. What our area really needs is serious investment and we are therefore writing to you to ask that the waterfront regeneration be returned to a national priority, and this £8 million reinstated.

I hope that the Government will show its commitment to regenerating the Stranraer area, and will reverse the downgrade of the project.

Yours sincerely

Russell Brown MP
MP for Dumfries and Galloway

Cllr Marion McCutcheon
Labour Councillor for Stranraer and North Rhins

Russell Jenga relay for life - web

Relay for Life 2012

Relay for Life raises money for Cancer Research UK and Dumfries and Galloway’s event took place at Park Farm in Dumfries on the last weekend of June. Teams walk the track for a continuous 24 hours to raise money to fight cancer.

Russell Brown, who once again captioned the team ‘Russell’s Weary Ramblers’, said following the event:

“It was inspiring to see so many people come together to raise money for to Cancer Research UK. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and it touches families right across the country. The determination of people in Dumfries and Galloway to help fund life saving treatments and the research for a cure was humbling. Thank you to everyone who took part, sponsored a team and organised the event.”

 

LOCAL MP TO MEET UKBA INDEPENDENT INSPECTOR TO DISCUSS SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AT GALLOWAY PORTS

LOCAL MP TO MEET UKBA INDEPENDENT INSPECTOR TO DISCUSS SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AT GALLOWAY PORTS

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is set to meet the independent UKBA inspector next week to discuss his concerns about security arrangements at the Galloway Ports.

Russell Brown will meet John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, on Tuesday 3 July in London. John Vine independently reviews operations at the UKBA and last year issued a critical report into the operations of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It said that there were intelligence gaps relating to potential risks to the border and raised particular concern about the way the agency managed the risks associated with people landing in the Irish Republic and travelling onto the UK. It also said that the Border Agency was operating on intelligence more than two years old.

Russell Brown will be discussing his concerns about security arrangements at the Galloway Ports following the cuts in Ports Police by both UK and Scottish Governments. The number of immigration offenders travelling through the ports has soared since both Governments slashed police numbers at the ports. Between January 2011 and December 2011 the number of immigration offenders detected travelling on the route between Northern Ireland and Dumfries and Galloway soared by 145% compared to the previous year. The number of immigration offences detected at the Galloway Ports alone increased by 33% over the same period. Last week Dumfries and Galloway seized over £2 billion worth of drugs at the ports, one of the largest hauls ever.

Earlier this week Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill wrote to Russell Brown and admitted he is concerned by the ‘significant increase’ in the number of immigration offenders seeking to abuse the route between Northern Ireland and Dumfries and Galloway. However, he refused to consider holding a joint review with the UK Government into the arrangements.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“I will be discussing my serious concerns about the security arrangements at the Galloway Ports with the Independent Inspector, John Vine. He has previously been critical of the UKBA and I will be looking to see what action we can take to tackle the problems at the ports.

“The Galloway Ports have been hit by a double whammy of cuts from both the UK and Scottish Governments. Since they slashed ports police the numbers of immigration offenders travelling through the ports has soared. We were told we didn’t have to worry about the ports police being cut because beefed up arrangements at the Northern Ireland end would take care of the problem. That policy has completely failed.

“As well as being a nexus point for illegal immigration, the Galloway Ports are becoming a magnet for drug smuggling. Only last week the Police seized over £2 million of cannabis, one of their largest hauls ever.”

ENDS


CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856

BANKS TAKE LOCAL BUSINESSES TO THE BRINK

BANKS TAKE LOCAL BUSINESSES TO THE BRINK

Local Labour MP, Russell Brown, has welcomed the news that Barclays Bank have been ordered to pay penalties of over £290 million for ‘serious and widespread’ misconduct.

The MP has spent almost two years trying to help a local business in Dumfries and Galloway who was mis-sold products by Barclays bank, which caused the business to almost collapse.

The Barclay’s ruling will bring some comfort to those businesses caught up in this situation but for some, it is too late with their businesses having collapsed. It is feared that this activity has operated on such a scale that there is now another banking crisis looming.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:

“For almost two years I have been trying to help a local company that had been mis-sold products by Barclays bank. They were told they would be financially advantageous to the business, but nothing could have been further from the truth and the family run business ended up almost collapsing.

“High pressure sales techniques and blatant mis-selling was the order of the day with these banks. Local companies were afraid to cause too much of a fuss in case the bank moved in and demanded their money. Regrettably, this is what they have done with at least one local company I have been contacted by, which has brought them to the brink.

“During this time, I have met with an ex-Barclay’s employee who admitted that he was selling products about which he didn’t know full details. I also drew the problem to the attention of the current Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, but he didn’t recognise that the issue required immediate attention. My contact with the FSA proved almost pointless and I find it difficult to understand what assistance they were to anyone.

“I suspect that we may now see companies being told that they have to pursue their banks through the courts. However, I hope with some positive intervention by Government and the FSA, all of that could be avoided and banks can be ordered to make good the damage that they have caused.”

ENDS

CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856