Nanette Milne MSP

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Nanette Milne MSP

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  • Member for: North East Scotland
  • Party: Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Nanette is a member of the following Committees:

Nanette is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

In thanking Jackie Baillie for bringing this debate before Parliament, I would also like to acknowledge her tireless efforts to help and support people in Scotland living with muscular dystrophy, not least through the Parliament’s muscular dystrophy cross-party group. I am a relative newcomer to the group, and I have been greatly impressed by its practical discussions, which have been led by Jackie Baillie, and the can-do attitude of the group’s members in trying to improve services for young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and for people with other types of muscle-wasting disorders.

The What About Us? campaign on hospice and respite facilities, which is being driven by Robert Watson, has served to highlight a really important issue for many young people with disabilities, who find that, once they become adults, there is really nowhere for them to go if they and their parents or carers want a break from their normal routine, and they want an opportunity to socialise with people of their own age group who have similar problems.

There are currently about 100 young adults and their families in Scotland in this situation, and that number will undoubtedly increase over the years. However, in his powerful speech to the Public Petitions Committee, Robert Watson pointed out a problem. He said:

“There are no services for people in our age group—there is nothing between CHAS services for children and hospices for older adults who are in their 50s and 60s, who are mainly suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses.”

He also said that

“It seems that, as life expectancy increases, the support that is available to us decreases.”

He concluded by stating that

“adult respite services … enable my parents to continue their caring role in the long term. Without those breaks, it would become too difficult for my parents to continue to care for me, and it would cost the Government a lot more money to provide 24/7 care for me.”—[Official Report, Public Petitions Committee, 26 November 2013; c 1872.]

We all know the truth of his words, but we also know that inadequate access to respite care is just one of the many difficulties that are faced by young people who have severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions as they move from children’s to adult services. Not the least of those difficulties are the barriers to accessing suitable facilities due to local authority funding policies, because respite care for young people with high levels of need is expensive to provide.

The issue of suitable respite provision for young adults has, of course, been brought into sharp focus by the decision of CHAS to phase out its service for young adults over the age of 21. If new provision is to be in place before that happens, there is an urgent need for the Scottish Government, health boards, local authorities and the third sector to get together to find a way through the difficulties.

With the small number of people involved in each council area, it is clear that dedicated local facilities would be impossible to finance and sustain, and a national solution would require co-operation and complex negotiations over access and finance. I hope that that might be facilitated by the on-going development of health and social care integration.

A one-size-fits-all solution is unlikely to succeed, so a range of person-centred options might well be what is needed for the disparate population who need appropriate respite provision.

As discussed by Mark Hazelwood, who is the chief executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, there might be differences in preference as well as in need. For example, there is a clear choice between having respite provision at a dedicated centre and being supported to access a mainstream holiday facility. The latter option brings to my mind once again the excellent provision at Crathie Holidays in upper Deeside in my region, where there are excellent facilities to cater for people who have a range of minor or serious disabilities, as well as for able-bodied people who are looking to have a relaxing holiday in a beautiful part of the world.

The current debate is needed only because of the successful treatment of conditions like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which allows many more people to survive into adult life. However, the need for respite provision for young adults is now urgent, and I hope that the Government will accept that that has to be a partnership effort, and that it will bring together stakeholders—including the young people themselves—from right across Scotland to thrash out the difficulties and develop the solutions that are required to deal with a growing problem that is only going to get worse if action is not taken soon.

I commend Jackie Baillie, Robert Watson and all those who have worked hard to raise the profile of this urgent need, and I hope that it will not be too long before they achieve the results that they are seeking.



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

I am an MSP for North East Scotland.



Health and Sport Committee 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

On that point, it would be very welcome if we were to get the same kind of liaison throughout the country.

I have not seen all the facilities in Glasgow, but the ones that I have seen are fantastic. I want to ask about access to those facilities for people from less well-off communities. Our Aberdeen Sports Village is also a tremendous facility, and when it opened, it was very heavily used—it still is—as you are saying the Glasgow facilities are. However, people in the more outlying areas or in the poorer parts of the city have commented that they found it difficult to access the facilities on the grounds of expense, distance and so on. You may have partly answered my concerns in your response on sport hubs, but what do you think the legacy will be for people who are not readily able to access the new facilities?

11:00  

Health and Sport Committee 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Nanette Milne

Is there any evidence of more demand for increased facilities at sport hubs throughout the country? I know that there are a lot of hubs now, and presumably their facilities and the degree of accessibility vary. Do you know of any pressure to develop facilities, following directly on from the Commonwealth games?



Health and Sport Committee 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Nanette Milne

That is fine. Thank you.



Meeting of the Parliament 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

In this day and age, when so many of us rely increasingly on processed food and ready-prepared meals, it is crucial that we can trust the safety and nutrition value of the food that we eat. The Food Standards Agency has served us well in this regard until now but, given the changing remit of the FSA south of the border, the need to tackle the serious problems of obesity that are caused by an inappropriate dietary lifestyle in Scotland, and in the wake of the horsemeat fraud, the Scottish Government proposes to set up food standards Scotland as a new stand-alone body as a replacement for the FSA that will have wider powers than that body has.

Although not all consultees were in favour of the proposal, the majority of people who responded to the call for evidence agreed that it is the way forward. Scottish Conservatives, too, are supportive of the general principles of the bill.

With its three key objectives—

“to protect the public from risks to health which may arise in connection with the consumption of food; ... to improve the extent to which consumers have diets conducive to good health; and ... to protect the other interests of consumers in relation to food.”—

the new FSS will have a broader remit than the existing FSA in Scotland, and it will also have powers in relation to wrongly labelled food and non-compliance with food law.

The policy memorandum states that the new body will bring the FSA’s existing public health protection role together with a new objective on diet and nutrition. The minister said, in oral evidence, that the legislation will allow food standards Scotland

“to work in a co-ordinated way with the NHS and other organisations with a role to play in the obesity and dietary challenges that we face in Scotland.”—[Official Report, Health and Sport Committee, 24 June 2014; c 5756.]

The proposed powers for the new agency in respect of diet and nutrition were generally welcomed by witnesses, but given that a number of other existing bodies also have a role in this area, they stressed the need for FSS to have a strong co-ordination and leadership role. How that will be achieved will depend largely on negotiations after the new body is in place, and there are concerns that the work of FSS and the relevant NHS bodies must be appropriately co-ordinated in order best to tackle the complexities of diet and nutrition in Scotland.

The Scottish Government sees this as an opportunity to clear up confusion over the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders, and to base advice to the public on sound scientific evidence. However, there is clearly a great deal of work to be done after the legislation is in place, and ministers should heed the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s caveat that in order to achieve its dietary and nutrition goals FSS must be adequately resourced and well connected to the Scottish Government’s scientific advisers.

There are concerns about the financing of FSS, whose extra powers beyond those of the existing FSA are likely to cost an extra £5 million or so in the first year. It is intended that the increased running costs will be offset through a financial transfer to the Scottish Government from the FSA’s UK-wide budget, but the exact value of that is still under negotiation and, although the minister assured me at committee that negotiations have been straightforward and that he is confident of a satisfactory outcome, they will not actually be complete until after the incoming FSS board is in place, which is predicted to be early next year. Of course, any future extension of the remit of FSS could have financial implications for the body itself and even for local authorities. Therefore, to my mind, there are still significant uncertainties about the funding of the new body, which will be crucial to its success.

A clear theme that emerged from evidence to the committee was the need for FSS to have access to the best science to underpin policy. There is extensive diet and nutrition expertise within the food industry, academia and national bodies such as NHS Health Scotland, which should be accessible to the body, and also within expert committees like the Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee, and there is also food-related research from UK Government sources. Professor Peter Morgan of the Rowett research institute, and Professor Hugh Pennington, on behalf of the RSE, highlighted the need to maintain existing links to the advisory committees to the UK food agency. Professor Morgan noted that

“a lot of work is going on in the UK and across Europe, and the advisory committees can pull it together and give advice through food standards Scotland as an independent body.”—[Official Report, Health and Sport Committee, 3 June 2014; c 5569.]

The great opportunities for Scotland through Horizon 2020 funding were also stressed by Professor Morgan.

The memorandum of understanding between the FSA and FSS that is currently being drafted, with its protocols on science and research setting out the arrangements for the bodies to work together where appropriate, and to exchange data and research findings in all areas of mutual interest, will be crucial to the success of the new body, so I look forward to the promised publication of the agreed document at the earliest opportunity.

Other issues that were raised with the committee include the governance of FSS, in particular the size of the board that will be in charge of its work; proposed sanctions for food law offences; the possibility of setting up an appeals process against fixed-penalty notices, to which the minister referred; measures to tackle food fraud; and a possible negative impact on Scottish food businesses should we develop a different labelling regime from the rest of the UK. Time is too short to deal with those issues in detail, but any unanswered concerns will, no doubt, be raised as the bill proceeds through Parliament.

There was general support for a mandatory food hygiene information scheme to be set up in the future, and an acceptance that the Government should monitor the schemes in Northern Ireland and Wales before finally committing to such a scheme for Scotland.

There are significant issues still to be resolved in the complex area of food, nutrition and diet, but I am satisfied, as are my fellow committee members, that setting up food standards Scotland is the right way forward. The detail of the legislation will be examined further at stages 2 and 3, but I am happy to accept the general principles of the Food (Scotland) Bill.



Health and Sport Committee 30 September 2014 : Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

Both witnesses have stressed the importance of the right of access to independent advocacy. I understand that advocacy is not available consistently throughout the country. SAMH has said to me that it is concerned that there is nothing about advocacy in the bill. The Government says that legislation is not necessary in that regard. What are the witnesses’ views? Should the matter be in the bill or can it be sorted out by other means?



Health and Sport Committee 30 September 2014 : Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Nanette Milne

Thank you. That was very helpful.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 September 2014 : Thursday, September 25, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

I am pleased to take part in this important debate, which comes as a refreshing return to normality after so many weeks of intense focus on constitutional matters. We all know that tourism is a major contributor to Scotland’s economy, but I confess that until I began preparing for the debate, I was not aware of the considerable contribution of accessible tourism within that. As far back as 2009, that contribution amounted to more than £325 million, and the amount has the potential to grow significantly through improved infrastructure, services and attitudes to travellers with special access needs, given that the accessible tourism market encompasses not only people with permanent disabilities, but families with young children, and an increasing number of senior travellers.

The on-going accessible tourism project, in which Capability Scotland is a key partner with VisitScotland and the Scottish Government, is doing important work in identifying the barriers that are faced by holidaymakers with disabilities and in raising awareness within the tourism industry of the business benefits of accessible tourism. There is still a long way to go if Scotland is to become the most accessible tourist destination in Europe, but the recognition of training needs in tourism businesses and the efforts that are being made to ensure that the industry recognises the all-round benefits to businesses and their customers of maximising accessibility are significant steps in the right direction.

I, too, must briefly mention this summer’s Commonwealth games, which featured para-sports alongside all the others, and which was the most disabled-friendly games in the movement’s history. Glasgow ably rose to the challenge of ensuring accessibility for more than 350 athletes with disabilities and more than 10,000 spectators with specific access needs during the two weeks of the games. That, possibly more than anything else, has helped to raise awareness among the Scottish public of the general need for accessible tourism in Scotland.

The consultation events with people who have disabilities and impairment groups that were carried out as part of the accessible tourism project highlighted a number of common themes, such as the need for accurate and up-to-date information on how accessible venues are, and the often poor customer service and staff attitudes, which are probably due to inadequate training on disability equality and awareness.

We have had an excellent briefing paper from ScotRail highlighting its significant and continuing efforts to improve its customers’ experience, and one from Inclusion Scotland drawing our attention to its concerns about Network Rail’s recent decision to ban vehicles from Waverley station. I must say that I share its concerns. As someone who is still recovering from hip replacement surgery, I have found the distance of taxi ranks from the central hub of the station to be quite testing, and that must be the case for many people, even though there are accessible lifts for those who need them. I endorse Jenny Marra’s plea to the minister to raise the issue with Network Rail.

Ahead of this debate, I was invited along to see an excellent facility in my region, and I want to focus the rest of my speech on my experience there. Crathie Opportunity Holidays was developed about 10 years ago as a self-catering holiday destination suitable for people with disabilities and their families. Funded entirely as a charity, Crathie Holidays, situated right next to Balmoral castle in the beautiful scenery of upper Deeside, was the brainchild of the wife of the then minister of Crathie kirk. As a trained social worker, she was acutely aware of the lack of suitable accommodation in the area for tourists with access and other problems, and saw the dilapidated stable block next to the manse as being ripe for development into a disabled-friendly venue. A year or so of intensive fundraising resulted in a courtyard development of high-quality units that are equipped to cater for many differing needs; for example, they have state-of-the-art wet rooms, hoists, combined wash basins and mirrors that raise and lower as a unit, wheelchair-accessible kitchen worktops and cookers, and many other living aids for people with various disabilities.

Other specialist equipment can be obtained as required, but there are sometimes difficulties. I was told that equipment that comes from the national health service is readily available, but on occasion that which comes via the council’s social work department is withheld for health and safety reasons, even though the client is well versed in the use of such equipment. It is to be hoped that that sort of difficulty will be resolved as we go ahead with integration of health and social care.

Another problem that is faced by staff at Crathie Holidays is the difficulty in accessing carers locally to help with getting clients dressed or ready for bed, for example. I wonder whether that could be solved by training social science or nursing students to do those tasks as work placements during their courses. I intend to explore that suggestion with the University of Aberdeen.

Earlier this year a new lounge where visitors can meet socially, have computer access and play games or whatever was formally opened by the Duchess of Cornwall during one of her frequent visits to her home in nearby Birkhall. I met in the new lounge some of the holidaymakers who were staying in the complex and were full of praise for the accommodation, facilities and equipment, and for the small number of very dedicated staff who run the enterprise and ensure their comfort and make them feel at home throughout their stay. They all stressed that Crathie Holidays are indeed holidays, and are not to be confused with respite care.

One lady comes regularly from the south of England for her holiday at Crathie, and her family stays there, too. There are children’s recreational facilities, so that all generations of the family can have a real family holiday together. Another couple from the central belt go frequently. The lady has severe physical disabilities and advanced dementia, and her husband really appreciates being able to have a holiday with his wife in appropriate accommodation and beautiful surroundings, with helpful and understanding staff around him. His experience of the area beyond Crathie has not been without difficulty, however, particularly in accessing suitable toilet facilities. His wife needs a special hoist, and the only toilets with such equipment are in Aberdeen, which is some 40 miles away. One is in a sports complex and is available only when the complex is open, and the other is in Aberdeen royal infirmary, where he found that there was no receptionist to give directions and that no one else had heard of it.

For disabled visitors without such highly specialised needs, Crathie Holidays has RADAR—Royal Association for Disability Rights—scheme keys that they can give to residents to allow them access to locked facilities when they are out and about. Of course, only a few tourists can be accommodated at any one time at Crathie, but it is an excellent venue that gives people with disabilities and their families a proper holiday, and it is very worthy of replication in other tourism areas.

The debate has opened my eyes to many of the problems that are encountered by tourists who require special and accessible facilities, and I am glad that individual tourism businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the more specific needs of many of their customers and, I hope, training their staff to treat all their clients with respect and understanding. To be the most accessible tourist destination in Europe is a very worthy aspiration and I hope that we can achieve it.

We will support the Labour amendment.



Meeting of the Parliament 24 September 2014 : Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Nanette Milne (North East Scotland) (Con)

Given the national and international shortage of consultants in certain specialties, can the cabinet secretary outline what research has been undertaken to assess how many potential future consultants are currently in training, particularly in those specialties, and when they may enter the workforce?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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NoCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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NoCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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NoCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Nanette Milne
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10257.2: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09446.2: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09430: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08752.2: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07718.1: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07599: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07419: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/08/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06713: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06712: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06710: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Nanette Milne
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-22427: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22430: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22429: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22428: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22391: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22392: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22396: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22397: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22393: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22390: Nanette Milne, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

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