Trashing the Ash in Scotland - article illustration small

Falkirk East MSP welcomes significant fall in national smoking rates

The Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed recently published figures which show that Scotland’s smoking rate has declined at its fastest level since 1999.

The Scottish Household Survey statistics for 2014 also revealed that there has been a decline of three percentage points in the number of adults who smoke, with the figure dropping down to 20 per cent. Moreover, smoking rates in the most deprived areas of the country decreased from 40 per cent in 2010 to 34 per cent in 2014.

Welcoming the Survey’s report, Holyrood parliamentarian Angus MacDonald commented, “I am encouraged by these figures which show that the Scottish Government is making progress towards its goal of reducing the smoking rate to 5 per cent or less by 2034.”

No smoking sign - small

Mr. MacDonald continued, “The significant decline of smoking within our most deprived areas is also welcome, particularly as the charity Action on Smoking and Health Scotland has indicated that tackling smoking is an effective way of reducing poverty.”

“Not only will people who quit smoking be at a reduced risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease, the decline in smoking rates equates to an extra £50million in the pockets of the poorest 20 per cent of people in our society every year.”

"From an environmental perspective, the figures released the Scottish Household Survey are also tremendous news."    

“As an ex-smoker myself, I know first-hand the benefits of giving up smoking: both health-wise and financially speaking. I am therefore delighted that the Scottish Government is on track to create a smoke-free Scotland by 2034. It is vital that we continue to act collectively as a society and encourage one another to finally break the habit - and trash the ash.”

Breaking the habit - small

Notes: For further information on how to quit smoking, please visit Can Stop Smoking by clicking on the following link:


UCG process

Angus MacDonald MSP welcomes postponement of Cluff planning application for Underground Coal Gasification

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the announcement from energy giant, Cluff Natural Resources, that they are to postpone their controversial plans to submit a planning application for pilot tests to burn coal under the Firth of Forth.

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The company said they were shelving the plans owing to uncertainty over the Scottish Government’s support for the project. Mr. MacDonalds' constituency lies along the shores of the Firth of Forth, between South Alloa and Blackness. He is also an active member of Holyrood's Committee on Rural Affairs, Climate Change and the Environment (RACCE).

Embracing the news of Cluff's planning application postponement, Mr. MacDonald stated, “This is a sensible decision by Algy Cluff and his colleagues." 

Algy Cluff - Copy

The MSP for Falkirk East continued, "With so many unanswered questions and serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of underground coal gasification, there should be no dash for gas - either through UCG or through fracking."

"A moratorium on UCG, in addition to the current Scottish Government moratorium on fracking, would allow for a full public health impact study and a full public consultation to be completed. I  will continue to call for this in the Scottish Parliament.”


No Councillors Palace Please - article illustration 2 Falkirk Council side of building

Angus MacDonald MSP slams Council decision to proceed with ‘Councillors Palace’ on casting vote

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has slammed the decision taken by the ruling Labour-Tory administration running Falkirk Council to plough ahead with a replacement Municipal Building in Falkirk. The controversial new £25 million headquarters were pushed through at a Full Council meeting on Monday on the casting vote of Labour Provost, Pat Reid, in the face of major public opposition.

Commenting following the Council vote, Angus MacDonald MSP said, “The decision taken by the ruling Labour-Tory administration to proceed with new Council headquarters highlights how out of touch with public opinion the current administration is.”

No Councillors Palace Please - article illustration 4 - Falkirk Council Municipal Offices

A former Falkirk Councillor himself, this is a subject close to Angus MacDonald's heart. The MSP for Falkirk East stressed that, “Not one constituent I have spoken to in the course of the past few weeks has been in favour of a new Council headquarters, with the vast majority saying this is the wrong time to proceed with such a vanity project.”

“Falkirk Council should be concentrating on building more social housing, not a Councillors’ Palace!”

No Councillors Palace Please - article illustration 1 - Angus on social housing construction site Grangemouth

“To add insult to injury", the MSP added, "given the local controversy this move will create, it was perhaps not the Provost’s finest hour in using his casting vote to railroad the plan through. This proposed ‘white elephant’ could well be the last act of a do-nothing, rudderless administration.” 

No Councillors Palace Please - article illustration 3 Falkirk Council Crest

Mr. MacDonald concluded, “With decisions like this being taken in the Council chamber, it is no wonder people are turning their backs on the Labour Party they thought they knew.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2015

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