Ann McKechin MP

Ann McKechin MP warns of deadly Carbon Monoxide risk

carbon monoxide be alarmed - 280115.jpgAnn recently attended an event in parliament to learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, as part of the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! parliamentary campaign launch.

At the event, Ann had the opportunity to meet with a number of people who had lost members of their families or suffered themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning. They explained to her that carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or colour, meaning it is easily inhaled, and that it kills up to 40 people a year. Ann also learned more about the lasting impact carbon monoxide exposure can have on people’s health, in many cases causing permanent damage.

Ann said, "With thousands of people affected each year, and symptoms often similar to that of a flu or cold, carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. So in order to ensure every person in Glasgow North protects themselves and their loved ones, I am urging everybody to buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm."

 

You can find out more about carbon monoxide poisoning by clicking here including useful instructions on how to properly fit your alarm. 

Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. The campaign is run by Energy UK on behalf of Britain’s six major gas and electricity companies in partnership with the Dominic Rodgers Trust, and is supported by more than 40 other organisations.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

The Department of Health estimates that at least 4,000 people are treated in hospital and 40 are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning each year but the true figures are likely to be significantly higher. 

Anne McTaggart MSP

Anne McTaggart MSP – We Must Never Forget the Victims of the Holocaust

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Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart yesterday remembered the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust and warned that the lessons of history cannot be forgotten.

Ms McTaggart was speaking in a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January), which marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwtiz-Birkenau concentration camp. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day is ‘Keep the Memory Alive’, with it being perhaps the last significant anniversary that will be marked with the holocaust in living memory.

Ms McTaggart spoke of the significance of the anniversary in her own region Glasgow, home to a large Jewish community, and warned that racism and bigotry must be fought in all its forms across Scotland. She also identified the emergence of fascist parties across Europe in recent years as a warning that the lessons of history must be learnt, and signed the Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment.

Speaking during the debate Ms McTaggart said:

“Today is a day for everyone to pause and remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe.  We need to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own; it is a steady process that can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked, tackled and prevented.

“We have come a long way since the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago. We would think that, after the revelation of such dreadful crimes, those who voiced the same views as the Nazis could never gain any votes or any credibility again, but sadly the spectre of fascism haunts Europe once more.

“People with fascist views are being elected in parts of Europe and, after recent events in Germany and France, more than ever across Europe we must learn the lessons of history. All those who believe in freedom and democracy and who oppose racism and fascism must stand together united in order to ensure that the horrors of Auschwitz never happen again.”

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You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.


Hanzala Malik MSP

Emergency Services in Scotland

Recently I spoke in Parliament about the skill and commitment provided by all the Scottish Emergency Services and I acknowledged the vital, life-saving work that they have done and continue to do every hour of every single day throughout the year and throughout Scotland. Unfortunately over the last few years we have experienced several tragedies: [...]
Ann McKechin MP

Huffington Post Blog: One Step Closer to Plain Cigarette Packaging

In an adjournment debate in the House of Commons last week, I called on the Government to hold a vote on introducing plain cigarette packaging regulations before the end of this Parliament. I was delighted that a little over an hour of debate resulted in a pledge from Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary in the Department of Health, to bring the necessary regulations in front of the House before the election in May.

Plain packaging works. Too many people suffer from diseases brought on by smoking, and too many young people are picking up the habit for the issue to be ignored until after the election - sadly my own city, Glasgow has one of the worst records for smoking related premature deaths in the country. According to the latest Scottish Public Health Observatory's tobacco control profile, there were over 1,900 deaths from lung cancer in 2012 alone and almost 47,000 smoking-attributable hospital admissions over that year. Almost 28% of the city's population smokes against the Scottish national average of 23%. Even a small percentage drop in those figures would make a really big difference to a lot of people, save lives and alleviate the pressure on our health services.

In Australia, where plain packaging legislation was introduced in 2012 and generic packaging before that, smoking rates have fallen dramatically. Daily smoking levels are at a historic low of 12.8%, and the average number of cigarettes smoked is now just 96 per week compared to 111 in 2010. Fewer young people are trying cigarettes in Australia, and those who still do are older than in the past. Opposition to plain packaging among the public also fell steeply after it became law. I hope we will see the same trend in the UK.

After a U-turn on plain packaging in 2012, I am very pleased that the Prime Minister is heeding the advice of health professionals, 4000 of whom signed an open letter to the Guardian demanding urgent action, and ignoring the protestations of his Australian spin doctor Lynton Crosby, whose tobacco-industry links are said to have scuppered the Coalition's push for plain packaging earlier in this Parliament.

With the big tobacco companies so focussed on attracting young smokers through pack design, plain packaging is a key step for any country to introduce in the battle to lessen the consequences of smoking to the health service and society in general. Too many people are needlessly dying prematurely because of smoking and too many young people are still being hooked - let's use the next few weeks to save lives and reduce the burden on our NHS.

 

This was originally posted on the 27 January on the Huffington Post Online

Ann McKechin MP

Gaza meeting with Ann McKechin MP and Anas Sarwar MP

I know that many people in our local area are concerned about the current situation in Gaza following the conflict in July and the impasse in negotiations to form a two state solution for Palestine/Israel. Hundreds of constituents have contacted me on this issue over the last year

Many people feel very strongly about this longstanding issue and support the principle of Palestinian statehood. That is why I supported the motion in Parliament in the autumn to recognise Palestine as a separate state in the United Nations. You can read full details of that here.

My constituents views are very important to me, and that is why I am co-hosting a public meeting this Thursday evening at 7-8pm, January 29th,  with my colleague Anas Sarwar, MP for Glasgow Central and Labour’s shadow International Development minister. We will also be joined by representatives from Islamic Relief to discuss this issue.

The event will give people the opportunity to hear about the latest developments and to share their views on how the UK and the international community can support those working for a credible peace, a viable Palestinian state, and a secure Israel achieved through negotiations.

I hope that people will be able to come along and join us. 

If you can attend the above event then please let me know by contacting my constituency office on (0141) 946 1300, or by emailing me direct at ann.mckechin.mp@parliament.uk as places are limited. If you cannot attend but have any issues or concerns that you would like to raise with me you can do so by using the details above.