Ian said today that Edinburgh is the ideal place for the location of the Green Investment Bank following a letter to him from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills outlining the criteria that is to be used to decide.


Ian said:  “It is clear that Edinburgh is the obvious choice for the Green Investment Bank.  I have been pressing for this for many months and the criteria that the Secretary of State will use to chose the location simple screams Edinburgh.”


“We have the specialist and skilled staff to run the organisation, it would be at the heart of the financial services sector in Edinburgh, and the location would give fantastic value for money with an abundance of trained staff.  There is also all the wonderful work that is going on in Edinburgh at local companies and the Universities to develop the technology.  I can’t think of a better location.”




Following the announcement by BT that 50,500 homes and businesses in Edinburgh are to benefit from super-fast broadband internet access, Ian said:


“I’m delighted that BT have chosen Edinburgh South in the latest series of areas to be equipped with superfast broadband.  This will be a huge boost for many companies and communities in Liberton in my constituency.


“Super-fast broadband will help improve their quality of life and leisure and will allow businesses to access to big business speeds at much lower costs.  I’m meeting with Senior Executives of BT this week to discuss how my constituent’s access to such technology can be made easier.”


Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, added:


“This is the biggest fibre broadband announcement we’ve made to date in Scotland and almost doubles the number of exchange areas being upgraded across the country. It’s particularly good news for our capital city, which gains a significant share of the upgrades.


“This is a major investment in infrastructure which will give the country a tremendous boost. Next generation broadband is essential for our nation’s economic growth so it’s brilliant to be ending 2011 on such a high note.”



Ian joins Mo-mentus movement to raise awareness of prostate cancer


Ian has joined a raft of MPs to back a quirky campaign to help raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer during the month formerly known as November.

Ian is one of fourteen MPs from across the three main parties who have been growing and nurturing moustaches over the month to support Movember – which aims to change the face of men’s health by raising awareness of prostate cancer and other men’s heath issues.

Alongside a quarter of a million men across the UK Ian has become a walking, talking billboard, using his moustache to put prostate cancer firmly on the agenda, during November.

Furthermore, along with over 50 other MPs Ian has signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament in support of the campaign, which has successfully raised millions of pounds for research into prostate cancer and to support people affected by the disease.

A newly-hirsute Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: “There have been some hairy moments, but as the moustache season draws to a close it’s great to know that so many MPs have been through this journey with me, and that many more have signalled their support for the campaign. Although prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, it lags behind other common cancers, both in terms of investment in research and in awareness. The fact that so many politicians have shown their support just goes to show how Movember is helping us to redress this balance and put the disease firmly in the spotlight. ”

Since its humble beginnings in Australia in 2003, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.1 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate worldwide so far.

Last year over 111,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas across the UK raised an amazing £11.7 million. These funds have helped support The Prostate Cancer Charity’s vital work fighting prostate cancer on every front – through research, support, information and campaigning.  This year a hair raising 250,000 men and women have taken part across the UK with at least £14 million raised already.



Ian and local optician The Opticians of Marchmont are delighted to announce an exciting new Children’s Eye Health Week in South Edinburgh.  They have established the Edinburgh South Children’s Eye Health Week running from 21st November to 26th November to raise awareness of the importance of regular and early eye tests.   The campaign has been endorsed by the Chief Executive of the Association of Optometrist part of the Optical Confederation and Eye Health Alliance.

Ian said, “We know our local Schools do all they can to test pupils eyes but with limited equipment available and the effect of current budgetary constraints it is impossible to give each pupil a full sight test.  A full sight test can pick up any potential problems early in a child’s life like dyslexia or having amblyopia.  That is why with the help of local opticians and the Association of Optometrists we aim to support the work schools are doing in this area as the benefits to children and their education can be enormous.”


Steven Hislop Owner of The Opticians of Marchmont said, “All children need to have an eye examination ideally before they are aged 8, and these tests are free to all parents and paid for by the NHS. Opticians make these tests fun and enjoyable and can also provide free glasses for children who are in need of a prescription.  I am grateful to Ian and the local Schools who are keen to get involved as if we can help just one child who otherwise might have slipped through the net it will have been worthwhile.”

The campaign is encouraging Schools and parents to get involved with the Edinburgh South Eye Heath Week and make sure all children have the opportunity to have any potential vision problems detected early on in their lives.  Children don’t even need to be able to read to undergo a full sight test – a picture based assessment can be used.

If parents or Schools would like further information they can contact Ian on 662 4520 or at


  • 90% of children regularly go to the dentist, but only 53% have ever had a sight test
  • A child does not recognise what “blurry” is and this can have an impact on their ability to learn
  • The earlier an eye problem can be detected, the better the outcome can be for the child. Early treatment can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.