4th – 10th July 2016
On Monday, Marion was in London where she questioned Education Ministers. The pay for teachers in academised schools is determined by academy trusts and not national standards. The UK Government must assess what impact this will have on the morale and retention rate of teachers in these schools.
Marion was also present at the debate relating to expressive arts subjects and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) on Monday, in which she drew upon a career in education to deliver an impressive contribution which can be read here.
Tuesday brought with it the usual busy day at Westminster, with a full schedule of meetings and briefings.
Marion also found the time to take up the opportunity of meeting some of the members of Heart Valve Voice. The Motherwell and Wishaw MP had her heart checked for heart valve disease at an awareness event, hosted by Heart Valve Voice in Parliament. This involved a heart specialist listening to Marion’s heart, one of the first steps taken to detect heart valve disease. A doctor can listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’, which is usually thefirst indication of a problem with the heart valves. This is often followed up with an echocardiogram test to confirm the diagnosis.
Marion is keen to support Heart Valve Voice’s awareness campaign. A recent survey revealed 94% of the over 60s in the UK do not know what aortic stenosis is, and 72% of over 60s reported that they rarely, or never, have their hearts listened to by a doctor. This is despite annual mortality of severe aortic stenosis being considerably higher than most cancers and heart valve disease affecting approximately one million people over 65 years of age in the UK.
It’s important that we spread awareness of the dangers of aortic stenosis and heart valve disease.
As usual, Wednesday involved appearances at the Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions. Later in the day, Marion contributed to Steven Paterson MP’s debate on doping in the Olympic Games, stating:
My constituent Yvonne Murray, who is now Yvonne Mooney, came third in the women’s 3000 metres at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. She was beaten by a Soviet runner, Tetyana Samolenko, who five years later was found guilty of doping, and by a Romanian runner who had links to the Soviet doping programme. Ms Samolenko has been allowed to keep her Olympic medals, despite attempts by Ms Mooney to encourage the International Olympic Committee to take action. It claims that there was no way to prove that Ms Samolenko was doping at the time.
Yvonne Mooney (formerly Murray) took bronze in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 3000m and Marion wishes to apologise to Yvonne for confusing her event in the intervention.
Yvonne was cheated out of silver by a Soviet Athlete who five years later was found guilty of doping. Similarly, the Romanian who came second had links to doping programs. Yvonne was cheated out of silver and potentially gold. The UK Government must put further pressure on the International Olympic Committee to clamp down on doping and strip all titles from those found doping at any point in their career.
Marion remained in London on Thursday working from her Westminster office before travelling back to the constituency later in the day.
On Friday, Marion was in the constituency meeting local people at her monthly Orbiston surgery before attending the opening of the new Forgewood Community Centre.
The MP was delighted to join the community at the opening. The centre will be essential as a social space for local people and Marion is sure it will become the focal point of the community from hereon.