Marlyn Glen MSP

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Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Putting Dundee ” at the forefront of green energy production”

29 March 2010

Marlyn Glen is asking the Scottish Government what plans it is drawing up to support the development of Dundee ” at the forefront” of the supply chain for the new offshore energy industry “and so maximising the city’s long-term opportunities to benefit from green energy production”.

Ms. Glen said that the ranking exercise of Scottish ports by Scottish Enterprise in its National Renewables Infrastructure put Dundee second only to Leith for its suitability as the best Scottish coastal base in developing the Scottish sector of the new industry.

Dundee had won recognition from the agency for its proximity to potential offshore sites at Moray Firth, Forth, and at Dogger Bank.

Scottish Enterprise saw the city’s role as chiefly with smaller-scale manufacturing than at Leith and with operations for and the maintenance of the offshore windfarms.

Ms. Glen is asking the Energy Minister what he envisages Scotland’s role will be in the construction and assembly of turbines, ” in the face of strong competition from Europe”.

She said,

“The more manufacturing that can be attracted to Scotland through sustained support from the Scottish Government, the better will be the prospects of developing a strong supply chain in Scotland.

“Manufacturing currently employs 6,800 people in Dundee, and the emerging green industry could provide the local manufacturing sector with significant opportunities to diversify.

“The city could become a hub for offshore supply chain management, including local production and local assembly.”

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No guarantee that new composite classes will not be formed in Dundee primary schools

29 March 2010

Marlyn Glen has been informed that Dundee City Council ” cannot rule out the possibility of composite classes being introduced in 13 targeted city primary schools in Dundee to enable class sizes in P1-P3 to be reduced to a maximum of 18 as from August.

A letter to her from the council said that “staffing decisions will not be made for some time yet” but that the possibility of new composite classes could not be discounted as the council sought to reduce class sizes to a maximum of 18 in P1-P3 classes in 13 city primaries.

Ms. Was informed that the council has “no plan to transfer staff from schools outwith the 13 targeted schools to teach in these schools”.

Ms. Glen said that “any classroom disruption would be entirely the responsibility of the Scottish Government for failing to finance properly their promised reduction to a maximum of 18 pupils in all P1-P3 classes in Dundee by this time next year.

” The targeting of only 13 primary schools in Dundee means that 74 per cent of pupils in P1-P3 in the city will remain in classes above 18.”

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Plea not to cut Dundee’s affordable homes budget

22 March 2010

Marlyn Glen is calling on the Scottish Government not to cut Dundee’s affordable housing budget, which is set to plummet by planned 45 per cent in the new financial year which begins next month.

Ms. Glen has received information from the Scottish Government showing it plans to cut Dundee’s Affordable Housing Investment Programme from £10 million this year ( 2009-10) to £5.5 million next year ( 2010-11).

In Angus, the council’s affordable housing investment is set to shrink from £4.7 million to £2.6 million, a drop also of 45 per cent.

Ms. Glen said that the Scottish Government’s own figures show that the number of houses it estimates will be built under the affordable housing programme in Dundee is 123 in 2009-10.

This represents a drop of 60 per cent compared with the 360 built in Dundee in the previous year.

Ms. Glen said,

“At a time when the local construction industry needs urgent assistance, cutting millions of pounds from Dundee’s affordable housing programme will put jobs in jeopardy, despite more affordable homes being a priority.”

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Jobs relocation : Dundee “ignored once again”

18 March 2010

Marlyn Glen has criticised the decision by the Scottish Government that the headquarters of the new arts agency , Creative Scotland, will be in Edinburgh, rather than being located in Dundee.

Ms. Glen accused the Scottish Government of “simply ignoring Dundee once again.”

She said,

” The transfer of the home of Creative Scotland to Dundee would have been an important boost to the local community and to the local economy.

” It would have sent an important signal from the Scottish Government that Dundee is a good place to work and to live in.

“Instead, the sound of another broken promise from the SNP on jobs for Dundee resounds across the city.”

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Alcohol misuse imposing ” considerable strain ” on NHS in Tayside

16 March 2010

Alcohol excess and dependency are imposing a “considerable strain” on the workload and resources of the NHS in the Tayside, says Marlyn Glen.

To raise awareness of the scale of “this growing public health concern” on the NHS locally, Ms. Glen has released figures that estimate the cost last year of alcohol harm to four services in NHS Tayside.

These were emergency ambulance call outs, Accident and Emergency attendances, outpatient appointments, and hospital beds occupied by those with alcohol related conditions.

Ambulance emergency call outs

There were 27,825 emergency ambulance call outs in NHS Tayside last year.

Government research indicates that 25 per cent of all such ambulance call outs are alcohol-related.

The average cost of an emergency ambulance call out is £244.

The cost of alcohol misuse to ambulance resources in NHS Tayside is estimated by :

The cost of alcohol misuse to ambulance resources in NHS Tayside is estimated at £1.66 million last year.

Accident and Emergency attendances

There were 73,967x attendances at A&E departments within large hospitals in NHS Tayside last year.

Government research indicates that 25 per cent of all such attendances are alcohol-related.

The average cost of an A&E attendance is £100.

The cost of alcohol misuse to A&E resources in NHS Tayside is estimated at £1.84 million last year.

Outpatient attendances

The number of outpatient attendances in NHS Tayside last year was 131,046

Government research indicates that 10 per cent of all such attendances are alcohol-related.

The average cost of an outpatient attendance is £112

The cost of alcohol misuse to outpatient resources in NHS Tayside last year is estimated at £1.47 million

Beds occupied by those with alcohol -related conditions

The number of days last year that beds in NHS Tayside acute hospitals were occupied by those with an alcohol-related condition where alcohol was either a primary or secondary factor was 14,705

The average cost of occupying a bed in an acute hospital is £569 a day.

The cost of alcohol misuse from the hospitalisation of those with alcohol -related conditions ( either a primary and secondary diagnosis ) to hospital bed resources in NHS Tayside in 2008-09 is £8.00 million.

These estimates deal only with these four services and do not take account of the cost of alcohol excess on

psychiatric bed use,

prescribed drugs,

or laboratory testing.

Neither do they taking into account the number of GP consultations for alcohol abuse. The latest annual Scotland-wide figure is 102,000.

Ms. Glen said,

” These figures clearly illustrate the impact that excessive drinking has on the limited resources of the NHS by consuming vital hospital and ambulance services.

“Moderate drinking is socially acceptable; heavy drinking should not be , since its inevitable consequence, serious ill-health, is preventable.

“Attitudes towards smoking have changed.

” Attitudes towards the dangers of inappropriate drinking must change as well.

” Highlighting the spiralling cost of alcohol misuse provides support for the use of resources being spent on reducing the damage associated with it.”

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Gender pay gap a ” stubborn reminder of a wider inequality against women”.

09 March 2010

Marlyn Glen has described the gender pay gap as “a stubborn reminder of a wider inequality against women”.

Her comments follow the release of figures for 2009 from the Office of National Statistics on men and women’s pay.

In Dundee, for men in full-time employment, the median weekly wage, excluding overtime is £454 .

For women in the same category, the weekly wage is £363.

In Dundee, for men in full-time employment, the median hourly rate of pay is £11.30p

For women in the same category, the median hourly rate is £10.31p

The female rate, expressed as a percentage of the male rate is 91 per cent.

Ms. Glen said,

” The gender pay gap is related to the traditional undervaluing of women’s employment as low skilled and low-waged.

“Occupational segregation is another factor which sees a high concentration of women in a narrow range of work in health, education and other areas of the public sector.

” The difficult task of balancing caring duties for children and elderly relatives against the demands of work means that many more women work part-time rather than men.

” The gender pay gap is being tackled through a range of measures that involve a change in the culture and the flexibility of work to benefit women along with improved childcare.

“However, it is a stubborn reminder of a wider inequality against women.”

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