Category Archives: Press Release

MSP welcomes cabinet visit

Monday 29th October, 2015


Commenting on the Scottish Government Cabinet visit planned for November 23rd Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil said:

“I welcome this visit. It will provide a great opportunity for Ministers across the different portfolios to engage with the local community and address a number of issues of real importance to Inverclyde.”

“We need assurances from Shona Robison about the future of Inverclyde Royal and how she will work to address the significant delays to the new Greenock Health Centre and the replacement for the elderly care unit at Ravenscraig Hospital.”

“It’s important that Michael Matheson meets with local representatives regarding the future of the prison site and explain what action he will take to reduce the 75% rise in violent crime in the area.”

“And I hope John Swinney will spell out exactly how he will work with local agencies to extend the quayside at the Ocean Terminal so that we can increase the number of cruise liners coming into Inverclyde and boost the local economy.”

We must do everything possible to secure future of plant

Press Release, 21st October 2015

We must do everything possible to secure future of plant

Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil has written to Scottish Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing urging him to do all he can to secure the long-term future of James Walker Devol.

It follows the news that the engineering company plans to make 19 of its workers redundant largely because of the slump in oil and gas prices has affected its business.

Duncan McNeil said:

“I welcome the news that the Union and James Walker Devol are working together to try and resolve this very serious situation. In the last week I have been liaising with Unite and I have contacted Scottish Enterprise to see what can be done beyond the PACE support.”

“I have also written to Fergus Ewing the Enterprise Minister urging him and his officials to do all they can to save as many of the jobs as possible and to get the company through this difficult time. James Walker Devol is a key employer locally so it is crucial we do everything possible to secure its long-term future.”


£300,000 for new family support service

Press Release, 15th October

£300,000 for new family support service

Local MSP, Duncan McNeil, has welcomed funding of £299,200 to benefit vulnerable children and families in his constituency.

The money will be used by Barnardo’s to establish a new family support service, Nurture Plus in Inverclyde and has been awarded by Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland’s Partnership Drugs Initiative.

The new service will work closely with local health and social work services to support up to 50 families annually with children up to the age of 12. The aim is to increase the safety of children impacted by parental substance misuse by providing support to the whole family.

Family workers will support parents and their children by offering a tailored support package focusing on keeping children safe, improving parenting skills and improving the children’s home life and helping families engage with the wider activities in their community.  The funding will be spent on staffing and project running costs.

Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, said:

“Everyone agrees that children should get the best start in life and be supported to realise their potential. PDI was set up in 2001 to increase the well-being of children and young people affected by alcohol and other drugs. Every year, we support charities working to support some of Scotland’s most vulnerable families. This new service run by Barnardo’s will provide intensive support for children affected by their parents’ substance misuse.  The aim is to keep children at home and crucially, safer in the home environment while supporting parents to recover from their substance misuse issues.  It is the sort of project PDI was established to support and the Foundation is delighted to be able to fund it.”

Duncan McNeil MSP added:

“I welcome this grant award for Inverclyde and Greenock, knowing that families in my constituency will benefit.  Barnardo’s has a great track record working with very vulnerable families in such circumstances and this project will make a difference for children in their earliest years.  This sort of intensive family support will not only help parents recover from substance misuse, but crucially it will also ensure more children can stay at home safely within their families.  Focusing on what they need in terms of parenting support means Inverclyde and Greenock’s vulnerable children will get a better start in life. This grant from Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland’s Partnership Drugs Initiative will help make a real difference.”

Improvement in life expectancy

Press Release, 11th October

Improvement in life expectancy

Commenting on official figures published by the National Records of Scotland the life-expectancy showing that male life expectancy has increased by five years in the last decade Duncan McNeil said:

“It’s good news that men are living longer in Inverclyde. However, life-expectancy still lagging significantly behind wealthier parts of the country, and overall, is still below the national average.”

“There can be no room for complacency and there must be an increased focus in reducing health inequalities in Inverclyde to ensure that we are not living longer lives but healthier lives too.”

Lack of transparency over future of IRH

Press Release, 2nd October 2015

Lack of transparency over future of IRH

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the future of Inverclyde Royal.

It follows the news that the hospital needs a staggering £44 million pounds worth of repairs to bring it up to scratch. However,  NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have failed to confirm how the bill will be addressed.

Duncan McNeil said:

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have a responsibility to be open and transparent about Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s future and they have failed in this respect.”

“The health board haven’t addressed the substance of the matter which is the concern for the long-term future of the hospital. They have not denied that the bill is continuing to rise and have not given any indication to how much funding will be allocated to address the maintenance backlog.”

“The problems with the fabric of this building need to be addressed urgently. Allowing the building to deteriorate places a growing question mark over the future of the IRH.”

Growing concerns over future of IRH

Press Release, 28th September 2015

Growing concerns over future of IRH

Growing concerns have been raised about the long-term future of Inverclyde Royal by Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil.

Earlier this year it was reported that the hospital needed forty-four million pounds worth of repairs to bring it up to scratch. However, the local MSP has learned that the repair bill has continued to increase.

Duncan McNeil raised his concerns in Parliament when he quizzed the Health Minister Shona Robison.

He asked the Minister

“During the cabinet secretary’s discussions with the chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, did she have time to discuss the staggering £44 million maintenance backlog at Inverclyde royal hospital? Reported in 2013, that figure is almost double the figure that was reported in 2011.

“As I understand it, rather than it being diminished, that figure is increasing and placing a huge question mark over the future of our local hospital. Can the cabinet secretary assure us that the issue will be addressed urgently to ensure that there is a viable future for Inverclyde royal hospital?”

In her reply the Minister did not deny the repair bill was increasing:

“I can confirm and reassure Duncan McNeil that Inverclyde royal hospital has a viable future. On the maintenance backlog, we expect all health boards to have in their capital plans a clear plan for maintenance, particularly if there is a backlog. We will continue to discuss issues with the health boards, including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.”

Following the exchange in Parliament Duncan McNeil said:

“I will hold the Minister to her promise. The Scottish Government and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde must work together to ensure that the backlog bill is addressed as quickly as possible. The people of Inverclyde deserve the best health facilities available.”


85% of housebreakings go unsolved

Press Release, 7th August, 2015

85% of housebreakings go unsolved

EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT of housebreakings (including attempt breakins) committed last year in Inverclyde went unsolved new figures show.

There were 361 housebreakings in total but the police were only able to catch the perpetrators in 54 cases. Inverclyde South fared worse with 91% remaining unsolved.

Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil MSP is seeking a meeting with the local police commander to find out the reason for the poor detection rates.

Duncan McNeil said:

“It’s of major concern that so few housebreakings are being solved. This is a serious crime which can leave victims feeling frightened and on edge for long afterwards.”

“The figures add weight to concerns that the police are under-resourced. The Scottish Government must ensure that they have the necessary support to carry out their job properly.”

“The failure to detect housebreakings will only give criminals greater confidence to commit further crimes which is not good news for our community.”

Ferry Contract ‘great news’ for Inverclyde

Press Release, 1st September 2015

Ferry Contract ‘great news’ for Inverclyde

Commenting on the news that Ferguson’s shipyard has won a £97 million pounds ferry contract Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil said:

“This is great news for the Inverclyde economy, the local community and the workers at Ferguson’s shipyard. It provides further confirmation that we have the infrastructure and workforce to secure major manufacturing projects. When I met with CMAL earlier in the summer I was informed that Ferguson’s were working flat out to secure the contract. They deserve huge credit for all the work they’ve put in.”

“I hope we can keep the momentum going and build on this latest success. In July, Jim McColl announced that he had scouted Inchgreen drydock as a potential shipyard. I’m working alongside local MP Ronnie Cowan and the leader of Inverclyde Council Steven McCabe, to see what can be done to make this significant opportunity become a reality. We are currently seeking further meetings with Jim McColl and Peel Ports in order to move things forward”.

Blude Badge Debate Secured

10th September, 2015

Blue Badge Debate Secured

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has secured a debate in Parliament next Wednesday on the extension of the Blue Badge criteria.

Duncan McNeil MSP pushed for a debate after being contacted by a worried parent whose son Aiden lost his badge due to changes in the guidelines.

Duncan McNeil said:

“The Scottish Government consulted last year on changing the law to extend the criteria. There was overwhelming support for doing so but nothing has happened yet. This is why I have secured a debate in Parliament taking place this Wednesday on the matter.”

“I hope that it will act as a catalyst to move us towards a change in legislation so that young people like Aiden and his parents get the improved support they need to go about their daily lives safely.”




Inverclyde hospice the focus on MSP visit

21st September, 2015

Inverclyde hospice the focus on MSP visit

Ardgowan Hospice in Inverclyde was the focus of a visit by MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee today.

The visit by Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP and Committee members Malcolm Chisholm MSP and Dennis Robertson MSP was to inform the Committee’s current inquiry into the provision and availability of palliative and end of life care in Scotland.

The visit was an opportunity for the Committee to meet with staff, volunteers and patients and to see the support that is provided at the hospice through their day care centre.

Convener of the Committee Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“The care that is provided for at Ardgowan clearly makes such a positive difference to people in Inverclyde and their families.

“The inquiry we are undertaking is all about finding out about people’s experiences of palliative and end of life care and about making sure everyone that needs access to high quality palliative care receives it.

“For the Committee to see this in action today is invaluable and will lead to a real understanding of how these high standards of care can be replicated across Scotland.”