University of Stirling Jumps 117 Places in QS World University Rankings

Motion S4M-14269: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
That the Parliament congratulates the University of Stirling on jumping 117 places in the QS World University Rankings; notes that the university is now ranked 384th in the world, having previously been ranked number 501 in 2014; considers that this is due to its increasing success in academic reputation, and wishes University of Stirling students and staff very best wishes for the new academic year and hopes for their continued achievements.

Macrobert Arts Centre Launches Annual Christmas Pantomime Appeal

Motion S4M-14233: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
That the Parliament welcomes the news that the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling has launched its annual Christmas Pantomime Appeal; understands that the appeal, now in its fourth year, gives opportunities to individuals and groups who, due to personal circumstances, might not have a chance to attend a pantomime; further understands that members of the public and businesses are invited to make a donation, which in turn, provides tickets and an ice cream to the benefactors of the appeal; believes that, since 2012, the appeal has raised over £30,000, given 2,600 people a wonderful night of fun, music and dance and plenty of hilarity at one of Scotland’s favourite venues and pantomimes, and has allowed the centre to work with almost 20 local charities and community groups across Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire; encourages everyone to support the appeal and give people, families and organisations a great start to the Christmas period, and notes that the pantomime at the centre this year is The Little Mermaid, which is written by, and stars, Johnny McKnight, and runs from 25 November until 3 January 2016.

Fit For the Future

I launched Scottish Labour’s consultation on actions to revitalise General Practice.

A crisis in general practice was made clear this summer, with a £1 billion drop in investment in the past ten years, cuts to medical student numbers and GP vacancies lying unfilled. We are talking about better plans and better ideas, so we can revitalise general practice together and benefit patients, families, and doctors across the country.
Please read Fit for the Future and  submit any ideas and comments you’d like to make on the future of Scottish general practice and the challenges it faces at: