Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is running a fact finding survey to hear from constituents in Argyll and Bute on their experiences of our local Mental Health services in order to provide feedback to Scottish Government Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey MSP along with key local organisations at a summit in Dunoon later this year.

The survey has now been accessible online for just over a fortnight but has already had hundreds of responses from constituents with a great range of backgrounds including service users, staff working in the services and friends and family who have helped loved ones gain access to the support they need.

Commenting on the survey, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“It has been excellent to see so many people getting involved and providing feedback on their experience of our mental health services. Mental health care is an absolute lifeline to so many of us and it is crucial that the services provided are as good as they can be. By contributing to our survey you are ensuring that your voice and your experience is heard by those who will shape the future of the services.

I would encourage anyone who has not yet taken part to set some time aside and complete our survey.”

The survey will remain available online until Friday 23rd of August at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JYKKRHK

Paper copies can also be made available on request.

Michael Russell MSP – TORY GOVERNMENT MUST SCRAP “HEARTLESS” POLICY

17% of children in Argyll and Bute could be affected by the two-child cap, according to new research  – prompting more calls for the UK Government to scrap the “heartless” policy.

The “two-child policy” allows low-income families to claim child tax credits or universal credit for their first two children only.

New research from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has revealed that 160,000 families have had their income slashed by the two-child limit to-date.

The charity estimates that more than 3 million children could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a devastating effect on families up and down the country, with 17% of children in Argyll and Bute set to be affected by it.

“All families are valuable and worthy of support, but this heartless policy turns people away when they most need support, and leaves children to grow up in hardship – which can have lifelong consequences for their health and wellbeing.

“The SNP government has been left to pick up the pieces, investing over £125 million to mitigate callous Tory welfare policies.

“In addition, it is introducing a Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty. Without the two-child cap, this payment could go so much further.

“The next Tory Prime Minister should make it a priority to tackle poverty and enable children to thrive, starting with reversing the two-child limit and horrendous ‘rape clause.’”

Argyll and Bute MSP has raised serious concerns with Transport Scotland regarding the temporary traffic lights.

Having received a number of representations from concerned constituents, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has written to Transport Scotland asking that the traffic lights on the A83 are adjusted as soon as possible.

The issue at present, is that the interval between lights changing is shorter than the time it can take cyclists to travel through. This has led to traffic attempting to travel in both directions simultaneously.

Commenting, Michael Russell MSP said:

“After being informed of this issue by constituents I immediately contacted Transport Scotland and have asked that this is given their urgent attention. Whilst I am aware the lights are due to be removed for a period of time, it is vital that a solution to this problem is found before they are reinstated.

I will continue to update those concerned and expect that this matter will be resolved timeously now that it has been raised.”