Marlyn Glen MSP


Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Working age population set to fall despite increase in pension age

23 July 2010

The percentage of the population of Dundee who are of working age will fall to 60 per cent in two decades’ time despite current proposals to increase the state pension age for both men and women from 65 to 66 between April 2024 and April 2026

An answer to a Parliamentary question tabled by Marlyn Glen indicated that in the middle of 2009, 62.6 per cent of the population of Dundee City was of working age.

By 2033, the projections published by the General Register Office for Scotland suggest that 60.2 per cent of the population of Dundee City will be of working age, assuming that the planned increases in the working age to 66 years are implemented.

The population of Dundee is forecast to fall to 135,200 in 2033 from its 208 level of 142,500.

Ms. Glen said that the increased numbers of those of retirement age “presents issues for today about how we plan for levels of care for the elderly of the future.”

” Healthy life expectancy is the number of years that people can expect to enjoy ‘good health’ and will be a major factor in determining the level of care,” she said.

“If the number of years of ill-health decreases then the effect on the provision of care will be lower than if the number of years of ill-health increases. ”

For Dundee males, life expectancy is currently estimated at 71.8 years, and healthy life expectancy at 64.6 years.

This means that the number of years “not spent in good health was 7.2 years”
The comparable Scottish figure for males is less, and estimated to be 7.0 years.

For Dundee females, life expectancy was estimated at 78.0 , and healthy life expectancy at 68.8 years.
This means that the number of years ” not spent in good health” was 9.2 years.

The comparable Scottish figures for females is less, and estimated at 8.5 years.
She added that the Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation on rethinking ways of providing care for older people.


Index Heading: Finance and Sustainable Growth
Marlyn Glen : To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of the population was of working age in Dundee in the last year for which information is available and what that percentage will be in 2033 if current proposals to increase the pensionable age are implemented.

Mr Jim Mather :
In mid-2009, 62.6 per cent of the population of Dundee City was of working age. In 2033, the projections published by the General Register Office for Scotland suggest that 60.2 per cent of the population of Dundee City will be of working age, assuming that the planned increases in the working age to 66 years are implemented.


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500 jobs cut at NHS Tayside : “Health service already at full stretch,” says MSP

13 July 2010

Marlyn Glen has received more detailed information from NHS Tayside on how it intends to save over £11 million in staffing costs as part of its plan to shed almost 500 jobs in the present year.

She had written to the health board for these details as they apply to nursing posts, midwifery posts, and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, and what the number of posts lost will be, expressed in both headcount and whole-time equivalent terms.

Responding , the health board provided details of the numbers in the various bands of staffing affected.

In nursing and midwifery bands 5 +, 95 full-time posts are to be lost, representing a 2.5 per cent reduction in the numbers in that particular group.

In nursing and midwifery bands 1 to 4 ( which include nursing and healthcare assistants) 62 full time posts are being lost, representing a 4.8 per cent reduction.

Amongst allied health professionals 45 full-time posts will be lost, representing a 5.4 per cent reduction.

Amongst Healthcare Scientists, 24 fulltime posts will go, representing a 4.5 per cent reduction in that group.

NHS Tayside said that the projected reductions described wouldl be made by natural turnover with the assurance of no compulsory redundancy.

Ms, Glen had asked for details of the number of registered nursing posts that would be filled by substituting with non-registered support staff.

The health board said that their template was based upon natural turnover and cannot be assigned to particular posts or bands.

They said that they require skills at all levels across the career framework and strive to enable their staff to achieve their potential .

As an organisation they valued all contributions to care and service and this enabled them to have a workforce which reflected the population they served, and ensured an inclusive culture across all professional ( Bands 5 and above) and trained (Bands 1-4) staff in all clinical and non-clinical posts.”

Ms. Glen said,
” The ‘natural turnover’ in NHS staff that the Scottish Government talks about mistakenly assumes that the NHS is not at full stretch.

” If vacant front line posts are to be covered by other staff, then the overall standard of care that patients have a right to expect will be adversely affected.”

Ms. Glen said that she would now be asking Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon that if the newly-formed National Scrutiny Group decided that a health board’s proposals to reduce its workforce would reduce the quality of patient care, what action the Health Secretary would then take.

430 words


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NHS Tayside “on track” to meet new cancer treatment target next year.

9 July 2010

Marlyn Glen has been informed by the Scottish Government that NHS Tayside are “on track” for delivery for the new 31-day target for cancer waiting times to be achieved by December 2011.

Ms. Glen had asked Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon what extra resources NHS Tayside will receive from the Scottish Government to ensure that by the end of next year all patients diagnosed with cancer, regardless of the route of referral, should receive treatment within 31 days from the clinical decision to treat.

The 2008 Scottish Government plan Better Cancer Care: An Action Plan stated :

“Radiotherapy requires a mix of skills from a range of staff, including clinical oncologists, therapeutic radiographers, medical physicists, healthcare scientists, nurses, radiotherapy assistants, helpers and administrative and clerical staff.

“A priority for workforce planning is to redesign the radiotherapy workforce through a focus on skills and competence (rather than job titles) in order to address staff shortages and recruitment difficulties in some areas….

“A key priority for workforce planning will be to ensure that plans for the surgical workforce include, not only the need for surgical consultants and trainee surgeons, but also those for the wider multidisciplinary team, including nursing and allied health professionals (AHP) staff in wards and theatres, pharmacy, healthcare scientists and facilities staff. ”

Ms. Glen said that cancer patients in England already have the 31 day guarantee, and she asked what lessons had been learned from England that would benefit NHS Tayside and Scotland.

Welcoming the view expressed by the Health Secretary, Ms Glen said,

“Speedier access to therapy is very important as the waiting time for cancer treatment to begin can be one of great anxiety and distress.”

Ms. Glen added that since devolution the health services in Scotland and England had set out their own priorities.

In Scotland , she said, emphasis had been given to cutting deaths from cancer and heart disease while in England reductions in waiting times for hospital treatment was a major objective.

Ms. Sturgeon replied,

” In August 2009, the Cancer Access Team met with counterparts in the National Cancer Action Team in England to discuss their implementation strategy an lessons learned in the course of achieving performance against targets .

“The Cancer Access Team in Scotland continues to monitor English targets

“NHS Tayside has outlined what it considers its risks to delivery of the targets to be through its Local Delivery Plan and how it intends to manage those risks.”

“We are content that NHS Tayside is taking all necessary steps to ensure patients are treated safely and timeously, and is on track for delivery of the new 31-day target by December 2011”

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Scottish Parliament votes down MSP’s amendments to make buying of sex illegal as new report says that Sweden’s laws to ban the buying of sex are a “success”

7 July 2010

Marlyn Glen revealed today that the decision by the Scottish Parliament to vote down her amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill that would have made it an offence to purchase sex came three days before a report in Sweden stated that the country’s laws to make it a criminal office to purchase sex had been a “success”

Last week ( 30th. June) Ms. Glen tabled amendments to the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill put forward by Labour to “introduce new sections into the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 under which it would be illegal both to engage in and to advertise paid-for sexual activity. ” with the intentions to ” make it an offence to buy sex using any form of payment, including payment in kind and presents.”

However, these amendments were voted down.

Three days later, a report in Sweden said that a law first introduced in 1999 , which made the buying of sex a criminal offence, had helped to cut by half the level of street prostitution in Swedish cities.

The law in Sweden, the first country in the world to make the purchase of sex a criminal offence, states that “purchasing a sexual service on one single occasion is sufficient for criminal liability,” whether by money or alcohol or drugs.

The report said,

“The evaluation shows that the ban on the purchase of sexual services has had the intended effect and is an important instrument in preventing and combating prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes.

“This reduction may be considered to be a direct result of the criminalization of sex purchases.”

The ban was described as an ” important instrument to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings and to protect those people who are, or who risk becoming, involved in prostitution.”

Ms. Glen described the vote against her amendments in the Scottish Parliament as an “embarrassing decision” which was ” a vote against what has been shown to work in a country such as Sweden with an long-standing progressive reputation on women’s rights.”

The text of Ms. Glen’s speech in the Scottish Parliament on her amendments is given below

The Deputy Presiding Officer: Amendment 6, in the name of Marlyn Glen, is grouped with amendments 79 and 7.
Marlyn Glen : I acknowledge and pay tribute to the work that Trish Godman has done on the issues that are addressed in the amendments in the group, which seek to introduce new sections into the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 under which it would be illegal both to engage in and to advertise paid-for sexual activity. The penalty for so doing would be
“A fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale”.
Margo MacDonald: Will the member give way?
Marlyn Glen: I would like to get started.
Basically, the first new section would make it an offence to buy sex using any form of payment, including payment in kind and presents.
The amendments are an attempt to recognise and deal with the exploitation, violence and abuse that are a reality for the majority of individuals—female and male—who sell sex. The amendments focus on the buyer of sex, acknowledge the harm of prostitution, challenge its acceptance and recognise the analysis of prostitution as being on the spectrum of violence against women. This Government accepts that analysis, as did the previous Government.
Margo MacDonald: Will the member now give way?
Marlyn Glen: I would like to move on.
Margo MacDonald: Will you define “sexual activity”?
The Deputy Presiding Officer: Order.
Marlyn Glen: Thank you, Presiding Officer.
For too long, interventions have focused solely on the women who are engaged in prostitution—in the main, it is women—and not on demand. It is high time that we started to work together to control the demand for paid-for sex and take further the provisions that we introduced in the previous session to tackle so-called kerb crawling. The legislation in that regard provides a deterrent that works. Members know that from examples in our constituencies where it has been used to excellent effect. We now need a further deterrent to curb the demand for buying sex. In particular, work must be done before the commencement of construction work for the Commonwealth games.
The amendments are not directed at women working in prostitution, but the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation cannot be ignored. Routes out of prostitution must continue to be recognised and supported.
At stage 2, concern was expressed about driving prostitution indoors and underground, but organisations such as the trafficking awareness-raising alliance have no difficulty finding and supporting women now, whatever their circumstances. I am confident that TARA and other, similar organisations will adapt and continue their services in new circumstances.
The bill is extremely wide ranging. I thank the members of and clerks to the Justice Committee for the work that they have put into it. However, I suggest that agreeing to amendments 6 and 7 would make a massive difference to the lives of many women, mainly young people, who could be helped to make different choices in their lives. If we take a lead, we can challenge the acceptance of and address the demand for paid-for sex.
I move amendment 6.

Link :

Link to news story on the success of the Swedish law.

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