Weekly Bulletin 13th March – 19th March

  • In Social Security Committee, held a joint meeting with members of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee to take evidence on and discuss inter-governmental co-operation on social security. The Committee took evidence from a range of people and organisations including, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, Inclusion Scotland, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

 

  • Led a Holyrood debate celebrating and welcoming Scotland’s first Play Charter. The Charter was written by Play Scotland, a group which works to promote the importance of play, and describes a collective commitment to play for all babies, children and young people in Scotland, in line with the right of children to play as set in out in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Following the debate, Ruth hosted a reception event for MSPs and play practitioners from across Scotland, where attendees heard from Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, about the Scottish Government’s commitment to, and plays for, Scotland’s Play Charter.

 

  • Questioned the Scottish Government on the progress of the work of the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport detailed that the Minister for Public Health and Sport attended the recent PADS meeting on 8 March, which focused on two of its priorities: the Harry Burns review and children who are affected by parental substance misuse, and that the Scottish Recovery Consortium, which is funded by the Scottish Government, is working alongside PADS to ensure that recovery and lived experience are at the heart of its work. The Cabinet Secretary also singled out North Ayrshire as a leading ADP that continues to exceed the national waiting time target for local delivery plans.

 

  • Heard from Marzhan Nurzhan of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, the example of Kazakhstan civil society and government actions, and how Scottish parliamentarians and civil society can advance nuclear abolition inspired by the actions outlined in the Astana Vision Declaration.

 

  • Visited a powerful and hard hitting ‘Inside Outside’ exhibition which featured the stories of 5 different women who have been involved in different parts of the sex trade – from street prostitution to escorting, brothels and saunas. The exhibition was an initiative of Encompass – a network of Scottish agencies who work directly with those involved in the sex industry.
  • Attended the SNP’s Spring Conference and spoke in the session of ‘Moving Equalities Forward’ about her journey into politics and becoming an MSP

 

  • Met with women of the Scottish Mesh Survivors group, who have been injured as a result of mesh implants and are campaigning to highlight the risks

 

  • Met with the Federation of Small Businesses to discuss the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in Cunninghame South

 

  • Met with Barnardo’s Scotland, who are members of End Child Poverty – a coalition of organisations which includes The Poverty Alliance, CPAG, Children 1st, Children in Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland – to discuss the Child Poverty Bill and hear about their position on it

 

  • Met with Citizen’s Advice Scotland to discuss the Social Security Bill and the Child Poverty Bills, as well as issues affecting constituents in Cunninghame South

 

  • Met with the Scottish Association for Mental Health to discuss issues around employability that face people with mental health challenges