Category Archives: Press Release

RBS local branch closure

Press Release, 21st May, 2015

RBS local branch closure

Commenting on the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland to close its Greenock West Blackhall Street branch on September 9th 2015 local MSP Duncan McNeil said:

“It’s disappointing to find that this decision appears to have been taken without any engagement or consultation with the local community.”

“I’m also worried about the potential job loses that will come with this decision as well as the negative impact it will have on the town centre.”

“This is the third RBS closure in roughly three years within Inverclyde and you can see how local people might reach the conclusion that the bank is slowly but surely withdrawing from the high street.”

A&E target breached 6,000 times

Press Release, 13th May, 2015

A&E target breached 6,000 times

Commenting on the Greenock Telegraph’s investigation that found the A&E waiting time target had been breached 6,000 times Duncan McNeil said:

“Last year alone, the target was breached on over 3,000 occasions and in one case an elderly patient had to wait over 17 hours.  Doctors and nurses are working round the clock to help people but it would appear they are not being given the resources to do their job.”

“Furthermore, it’s clear, as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have admitted themselves that a lack of places in the community is contributing to the build-up in our hospitals.”

“The Scottish Government’s A&E action plan announced today is welcome. However, given their previous failure it is absolutely necessary to have additional investment in community services to reduce the pressure on our hospitals.”

Delay in awarding CalMac ferry contract

Press Release, 28th May, 2015

Delay in awarding CalMac ferry contract

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has raised concerns about the delay in awarding the new CalMac Vessel for the Ardrossan to Brodick Route.

Ferguson’s Shipyard is one of a number of company’s bidding for the contract. The decision was originally due at the end of March.

Duncan McNeil said:

“I will seek an early meeting with the management of CMAL and Ferguson’s Shipyard in an attempt to get further details as to the reason behind the delay and any consequences this may have.”

“I will also be asking questions of the Scottish Government as to the investment in Ferguson’s and the continuity of work at the yard.”

“I am determined that the promises made by the former First Minister Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon regarding the future of the yard are delivered.”

Bed Blockage at IRH

26th February, 2015


OVER FOUR HUNDRED beds were unavailable for patients at the IRH and the Larkfield unit between mid-December and early January of this year new figures reveal. 

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil who has previously raised concerns about capacity at the hospital said:

“It’s of real concern that over 400 beds were blocked during this period. Medical professionals’ such as the British Medical Association have said that bed blocking is one of the hidden causes of long waits at Accident and Emergency and can also lead to vulnerable and elderly patients being moved wards hampering their care.”

“Like many hospitals throughout Scotland the IRH appears to be facing a real challenge with regard to patient flow. The shortage of beds is symptomatic of a wider problem across Scotland which is primarily to do with the fact that there is a lack of appropriate facilities for elderly people to be cared for within the community.” 

“This means that in turn many are forced to wait in hospital until a space frees up. To help address the problem we need to ensure that the social care sector is properly funded to help shift the balance of care into the community.”

Carers Rights Day


28th November 2014


Local MSP Duncan McNeil spoke out on national Carers Rights Day to support Carers Scotland’s campaign urging people caring for ill or disabled loved ones to find out about the financial and practical support they are entitled to.

There areover 8,000 carers in Inverclyde who provide care and support to family, friends and neighbours.

Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society, but too often they go without the support they need because they don’t know about the support available. We must all play a role in helping to identify and support people who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones and making sure they get the right information and advice about the support they are entitled to as early as possible.”

Carers Scotland Director, Simon Hodgson said:

“Caring can be tough and finding out about what support is available can feel like finding your way through a maze of information. It’s essential that carers are given information and advice to guide them early so they don’t miss out on vital support.

Without help and assistance carers can find themselves facing financial hardship, health problems, emotional stress and relationship breakdown. This has serious consequences for individuals and families and for employers and the Scottish economy as a whole.

This Carers Rights Day we particularly want to make sure that carers know about their rights as well as changes to flexible working rights and benefits.”

7,000 Workers paid less than Living Wage

Wednesday 12th November, 2014


A staggering seven thousand workers in Inverclyde are earning below the National Living Wage of £7.85 an hour new figures show.

The revelation comes after the SNP rejected Labour’s proposals to pay all workers on public sector contracts the Living Wage in Parliament last week. This is the second time this year the party has blocked attempts to give workers in Inverclyde a pay rise.

The move has angered local MSP Duncan McNeil who said that Labour’s proposal would have been an important step forward to ensuring all workers in the area are paid the hourly rate.

Duncan McNeil said:

“The SNP’s failure to support low paid workers will come as a disappointment to my constituents”

“Labour’s proposal would make a real difference to people struggling with rising rents, mounting energy bills and spirally child care costs”

“It’s time the SNP got serious about better pay for workers in Inverclyde and across Scotland.”

Greenock MSP opens refurbished store

Monday 24th November 2014

Greenock MSP opens refurbished store

Greenock shoppers are now able to enjoy their local refurbished Boots store following Monday’s reopening.

 Local MSP Duncan McNeil was on hand to officially open the store, which has undergone significant refurbishment recently, as it returned to business on Monday 24th November.

Almost £750,000 was invested in the refurbishment by Boots, and it is now able to offer locals new services, including smoking cessation services, support from a Macmillan pharmacist as well as services such as repeat prescriptions and a new opticians and hearing care practice.

Store Manager Richard Smith said “It has been a long  journey, but this refurbishment will allow us to provide an even better service in the future, and I am sure customers will see the benefits immediately.”

“The amount invested shows how committed we are to Greenock, and shows the importance we place on the town centre as a place to shop.”

Duncan McNeil, the Greenock and Inverclyde MSP, was on hand to open the store, and he said:

“Meeting Richard and the rest of the team gave me a real insight into the role community pharmacies such as Boots play as a community hub as well as promoting public health.

“Community pharmacy has an important part to play in helping to alleviate the strain on the NHS in Scotlandby providing community-based services and I am pleased that the store can provide this valuable service for people across Inverclyde.”


Monday 3rd November 2014


There are 1,700 problem drug users in Inverclyde according to new data released by the National Health Service.

The new figures show that the number of problem drug users has remained unchanged since the Scottish Government launched its drug strategy – Road to Recovery – in 2008.

Commenting on the findings Duncan McNeil said:

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the Scottish Government’s drug strategy is working. It’s clear from this latest survey that drug misuse continues to be a major problem”

“I hope the government is seeking answers as to why this is the case, so it can review and update its strategy, and to seek better outcomes for communities here in Inverclyde and across Scotland.”

Local Project to benefit from Commonwealth Games Fund

11th August 2014



A total of 51 projects in Inverclyde have received a cash windfall of over £100,000 from the Big Lottery’s Commonwealth Games Fund it can be revealed.

The details emerged after local MSP Duncan McNeil contacted the organisation to ensure Inverclyde was getting a fair share of the funding.


There is still time for projects to apply for funding before the deadline closes on August 29th 2014.

The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP said:

“It has sometimes been the case in the past that Inverclyde has missed out on major funding streams from organisations and national programmes. However, I’m glad that following my enquiries the Big Lottery Fund have confirmed that projects in the area have been allocated £100,000.”“I have been informed that Inverclyde has been identified as one of the priority areas for funding so I hope that more projects will be able to benefit from the scheme so that we can build on the momentum and enthusiasm that the Games have created.”

Tourist Group celebrates 10th Anniversary

22nd July 2011

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has praised the Inverclyde Tourist Group for all they have done after a decade showing visitors round the area.

Mr McNeil joined the volunteers for their 10th anniversary celebrations and has invited them through to the Scottish Parliament after laying down a motion in their name.

He said: “These volunteers do a fantastic job ensuring that Inverclyde gets the full benefit of the growing number of cruise ships visiting the area.

“Their welcoming faces create a warm and friendly impression of Inverclyde and Scotland and I am sure their good cheer is appreciated by the many first-time visitors to the area.

“And their knowledge and enthusiasm will leave many people with a lasting memory of Inverclyde and hopefully encourages them to come back on their next visit to Scotland.”




 Date of Lodging: 20 July 2011

 Short Title: Tenth Anniversary of Inverclyde Tourist Group

S4M-00544 Duncan McNeil () (Scottish Labour): That the Parliament congratulates the volunteers at Inverclyde Tourist Group on the group’s tenth anniversary; recognises that the volunteers give up their time to welcome passengers from the many ships that dock at Greenock’s Ocean Terminal; notes that it is estimated that more than 50,000 passengers will visit Inverclyde in 2011 on board 36 cruise ships; further notes that the cruise ship industry has an estimated value to the Scottish economy of £32 million; welcomes the efforts of the group, decked out in Inverclyde tartan, in giving a warm and friendly welcome to visitors to Inverclyde and Scotland by providing free tours of Greenock, Gourock and Newark Castle, and acknowledges what it considers to be the vital role that these enthusiastic and knowledgeable local volunteers play in sustaining Scotland’s burgeoning tourist industry.