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26 March 2015

Stevenson Goes Purple for Epilepsy Day

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, wore a purple ribbon in the Scottish Parliament today (Thursday) to mark International Purple Day while hundreds of Epilepsy Scotland supporters organised events across Scotland.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Purple Day is a light hearted way for the public to learn about a difficult and often hidden condition. One in 97 of my constituents have epilepsy and it can affect more than their health. Too often the social impact of epilepsy can be harder to live with than the seizures. The best awareness campaigns help people to understand more about an issue so they want to make change happen. Today I wore purple with pride to support Epilepsy Scotland’s campaign.”

Epilepsy is defined as repeated seizures that start in the brain. A brief disturbance in the brain's normal electrical activity causes the nerve cells to fire off random signals, and the result is like an electrical storm that causes a temporary overload in the brain.

Epilepsy is the most common, serious neurological disorder in the world.

Leslie Young, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Scotland added:

“Everyone can enjoy being part of Purple Day, whether you are at school, work or having a rest on 26 March. We truly value MSPs for getting involved and making this a special day for 54,000 people living with epilepsy in Scotland.”

Stevenson and Allard Congratulate New MSYPs

Following the recent election of Travis Beattie to represent Banffshire and Buchan Coast at the Scottish Youth Parliament, local MSP Stewart Stevenson praised the level of post-Referendum youth engagement and encouraged it to continue. He was joined by Christian Allard, MSP for the North East who submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament to congratulate the winners on their success.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) are committed to ensuring young people are heard by the decision makers of Scotland and to campaign on issues which matter most to Scotland’s youth. Seventeen MSYPs have been elected to represent the North East of Scotland following elections which took place during March.

Mr Stevenson and Mr Allard both praised MSYPs for their role at the forefront of youth engagement in the North East.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“Last year’s Referendum and the lowering of the voting age for it engaged a whole new generation of voters with the political process and I’ve been delighted with how that has carried on post-Referendum.

“I congratulate those who have been successful in getting elected as Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament but, just as importantly, would encourage those who were unsuccessful on this occasion to continue engaging with the democratic process.”

Christian Allard, MSP for North East Scotland, added:

“It is fantastic to see so many youngsters across the North East so politically engaged.

“There were plenty of candidates that stood for election at the Scottish Youth Parliament – well done to all those who participated and to those who were successful.

“I am sure the 17 members elected to represent areas throughout the North East will work hard to progress youth engagement in the region.”

Stevenson Calls for New Look at Speed Limits

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has called for consideration of a 10mph reduction in speed limits across Scotland as a way to combat climate change.

In a debate yesterday (Wednesday) supporting WWF’s Earth Hour 2015, Mr Stevenson said:

The big thing that we should and could contemplate is reducing the speed limits in Scotland, wherever they are, by 10mph. It would cost almost nothing to do. It would not be popular, but it is one of the proposals that we must get on the agenda, and I encourage people to think about it seriously.”

WWF Earth Hour takes place for an hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 28th March where many public buildings will switch off their lights to highlight the need for action on climate change.

In Mr Stevenson’s constituency, town clocks in Buckie and in Cullen are taking part as well as Aberdeenshire and Moray Councils.

He added:

“Climate change causes very significant problems for real people. It will lead to mass migration and deaths. It is not simply an academic argument.

“There is greater variability in our climate, which will not be good news for the long-term health of our planet. We have seen shrinking of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, and we are seeing increased aridification in Africa in particular. As I have said in many debates before, that is a gender issue because the majority of subsistence farmers in rural Africa are female. They are having to go further for water and will have to go further for the wood that they burn in their stoves.”

Mr Stevenson will promote WWF’s Earth Hour this Saturday as quizmaster of the WWF Candlelit Quiz at the Crowne Plaza Hotel next to the SECC in Glasgow at 8.30pm.
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