17th – 23rd October 2016
It was back to London for Marion on Monday, as she travelled south for another busy week in London, including delivering the Motherwell & Wishaw WASPI petition to the Parliament that night.
Wednesday brought with it the weekly meeting of the Education Selection Committee and Prime Minister Question’s, before an afternoon of meetings and briefings for the Motherwell & Wishaw MP.
On Thursday, Marion was present at a Westminster Hall debate on Social Work Reform, during which the MP brought a Scottish perspective to proceedings.
In Scotland, we implement something called “Getting it right for every child”, which is at the heart of everything we do that affects children. It is child-focused, it is based on an understanding of the wellbeing of the child and on tackling early needs, and it requires joined-up working, which is not necessarily happening in England. The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 absolutely embody the framework of “Getting it right for every child”.
I was at the recent Scottish National party conference when our First Minister made an emotional and heartfelt declaration about what she wants to do for Scottish children, but so much has already been done. There is also demand for children and adult mental health services in Scotland, and there are far too many children who are unseen and whose needs are unmet. Our Minister for Mental Health has taken on board the First Minister’s desire to push forward the needs of children—especially looked-after children—and ensure that their mental health needs are dealt with. For example, in the next five years, the Scottish Government will invest £150 million in mental health innovation. Some of that money will be used to cut waiting lists, but £50 million is specifically earmarked to support better access to child and adult mental health services.
The Scottish Government have also doubled the number of psychologists in the services. The Minister needs to look at that, because it is all very well having services, but if they are not accessible or if people—especially children—have to wait too long, further problems will be created that will have to be addressed using Government funds from other places further down the line. It is vital that we support our children across the UK, especially those for whom we are responsible as legislators. When I was a local councillor, I was a corporate parent, so I know about the responsibilities that many people have. It is vital that we properly look after children early in their lives so they do not develop greater issues.
Thursday was also the day Marion announced the Christmas Card Competition she will be running for primary school aged children in the Motherwell & Wishaw constituency over the next month. You can read all about it, including how to enter, by clicking here.
On Friday, Marion spent the morning in London completing her Parliamentary duties for the week, before travelling north to spend the weekend in the constituency.