Westminster Comment - Sustaining 21st century lifestyles

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Its been another packed couple of weeks in my diary, I sometimes wonder where all the time goes!

Parliament being in recess has been good, as I have been able to get out and about in the constituency and meet a lot of very interesting people.

Some of your readers may have seen the issue that i’ve been raising with British Telecom in relation to my constituent who was given a telephone line for her emergency alarm through an open window!

Needless to say I found this totally unacceptable and pressed BT for a solution as soon as was possible.

I’m very pleased to report that thanks to our efforts, BT have now put her telephone line in to her home through an existing duct in her wall and she is no longer cold!

More and more of you are getting in touch about telephone and broadband problems.

I’m working hard to get these problems across to BT and to put pressure on them to ensure that we have an infrastructure capable of sustaining 21st century jobs and lifestyles.

Speaking of the internet, I attended the launch of the bCyberwise initiative recently, a programme for school children to learn how to keep themselves safe on the internet.

The initiative looks great and I understand that the mobile classroom will be traveling throughout the constituency working with schools to educate and enable young people to be effective contributors and safe on the internet.

From the young to the young at heart, a few weeks ago I spent the afternoon with the Forget Me Not Club, at their singing session in Finzean.

I must admit I am totally in awe of the work that this organisation do.

The provide a lifeline service to folks with dementia and their carers and charge nothing to their service users.

The afternoon was inspiring and really good fun too. I’m planning on visiting their resource centre soon in Banchory to find out more and to see if there is anything more I can do to help them.

Health services is something which is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, however, I will continue to keep a close interest in this as the funding for our NHS comes directly from the block grant given to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster.

I was particularly concerned to read in the press recently that there are some health boards in England who are now charging people to have access to hearing aids.

My Scottish Parliamentary colleague, Dennis Robertson MSP, and I, wrote jointly to NHS Grampian to ask for their assurances that they would not be planning a similar policy here in the North East.

I am pleased to report that there are no plans to instigate this policy and that hearing aids will still be free at the point of need.

Finally, this Friday is “Wear it Pink” day, to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Now.

I’ll be out and about in my pink gear, but i think I may need to lose the cowboy hat from the photo here!

As ever, if you need representation on a matter, please contact my office on 01330 828171 or email me on stuart.donaldson.mp@parliament.uk.