MPs Leading Campaign to Save their Constituents Lives


Ian is helping to launch Spot the Symptoms day for Bowel Cancer.

Ian said; “It’s a common cancer which kills almost half the people who develop it in this area.   Few people talk about it – yet it is preventable and curable.  Most of my constituents who develop bowel cancer should live.  Which is why, with my colleagues, Members of Parliament are leading a campaign to encourage everyone in our constituencies to get to know the key symptoms, to get involved in the NHS screening programme for bowel cancer and to act quickly on key symptoms and screening.  At today’s rates, nearly 40 MPs will develop this common cancer and almost half could die.  In this area over 3297 of my constituents will be diagnosed at some time in their lives and nearly 1484 could die of this cruel cancer.”

In the UK we are among the slowest in Europe at being diagnosed with bowel cancer.  Many lives have already been saved by the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme and this campaign will help save many more.

Concern over site at Burdiehouse


Press release Monday 1st November.

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray and local residents of Burdiehouse are fed up with the lack of action being taken to clean up and secure the development site at Burdiehouse Terrace and Burdiehouse Road.  Private owners evicted the tenants before planning permission was granted to replace the existing 4 houses with 28 flats on the site, and since their eviction the properties have been ransacked and all the contents of the houses being dumped in the gardens, including furniture, children’s toys, cookers, rubbish bags and waste.  The properties have been continually vandalised and set on fire at least 10 times with the Council agreeing that some of the structure is now unsafe.  Despite this the private owners through their agents at Edenlaw Midlothian refuse to clean up or secure the site, as a result Ian Murray and local residents have asked the Council to step in and clean it up and bill the owners directly.

Ian said “The state of the site is shocking, not only have the gardens been turned into an open rubbish dump, but as the buildings have been subjected to constant arson attacks they are now extremely unsafe.  Only last week there was about 9 or 10 young people inside one of the buildings, what happens if it collapses around them.  Local residents are rightly very concerned about this as it is becoming a major health hazard.  Also the terrible waste of resources and added strain this is putting on our local emergency services cannot be overlooked.  Lothian and Borders Police and the Fire Brigade should be able to bill the owners for negating their responsibilities and putting unnecessary workload on to our much valued emergency services.  If the owners were to clean up and secure the site properly we would not have these issues. ”

Local resident and campaigner Mrs Docherty, who helped collect 77 signatures of concerned local residents to take to the Council asking for their assistance said “The owner has got planning permission but hasn’t developed the site. We’ve had fires and people are using it as a dump…….Its a health and safety hazard. We never had any bother before and since they’ve moved out the vandals have started.”

Mrs Docherty, concerned resident.


Ian’s summer recess diary…


Monday August 2nd.

Visit to Bethany Christian Trust. Bethany is a Christian Charity which works to prevent homelessness in Scotland. They have a number of shops around Scotland where families on low incomes can purchase essential household items donated by the public at low cost.

Ian was given a presentation of the work of the Trust by Chief Executive Ian Gordon and visited one of the shops. He came away a keen supporter, very impressed by how effective Bethany are at achieving their aims and with the value of the service they offer to the community.

Tuesday August 3rd.

Visit to the Marie Curie Hospice. The Marie Curie Hospice in the constituency opened in 1962 and serves people with cancer and other life-threatening conditions from all over Edinburgh. The Hospice has 27 beds and provides a range of day services including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, spiritual care and complementary therapies. Support for people in their own homes is a vital part of the service offered.

Hospice Manager Anne Willis showed Ian round the hospice, where he met patients and their relatives enjoying the tranquillity of the rooms overlooking the beautiful gardens.

After the tour Ian met members of the staff. A wide ranging discussion of the challenges facing the hospice took place. Of particular interest was the hospice approach to palliative care, in which Marie Curie is at the leading edge.

Marie Curie is partly funded by charitable donations and as such constantly needs to raise funding in order to continue and to expand upon the service they provide. Ian has promised to help in any way he can.

To find out more about Marie Curie, visit .

Wednesday August 4th.

Visit to Libertus, a community centre based in the south of the constituency and run by Wilma Nelson. They cater for groups of all ages who need support with independent living. Ian visited a group of elderly housebound residents of the neighbourhood who enjoy activities at the centre.

Thursday August 5th.

Visit to Goodtrees Community Centre to enjoy the last day of the out of school scheme they had been running for the summer holidays.

Tuesday August 10th.

Visit to the Open Door in Morningside. The Open Door, run by Sandra Dixon, provides an invaluable service to the elderly residents of Morningside. Ian met a group whose oldest member was in her late 90’s, but that didn’t stop her taking a full part in the discussion. The group was very amused by Ian’s description of some of the more arcane traditions of the House of Commons.

Wednesday August 11th.

The office had received a number of letters from staff at the Howdenhall Forensic Laboratory, the future of which is in doubt under a proposed scheme to rationalise the provision of forensic services across Scotland.

There was a fascinating visit round the facility which made clear the complexities of running a facility where it is imperative that the integrity of each minute piece of evidence has to be scrupulously preserved. The staffing implications were very clear.

Thereafter there was a meeting with the scientific staff who put forward their own very well argued case for retaining Howdenhall; they felt that their voices were not being heard although they had some very good ideas of their own about how to save money without compromising the service the lab offers in fighting crime in the Lothian and Borders region. It was a most thought-provoking visit on many levels.

Thursday August 12th

In the early afternoon there was a visit to the Eric Liddell Centre, at which Ian met a group of local elderly men and women with dementia and enjoyed a tour of the facility which offers office space for voluntary organisations, two halls and various rooms where activities for a variety of different groups are held. The centre is fascinating architecturally, being a new build within the shell of an old church in Morningside. It is named after the Olympic runner, Eric Liddell, and houses an exhibition of his life.

After the centre it was straight to Gilmerton Library in the south of the constituency. Changeworks were there launching their recycling campaign, Waste Free Edinburgh and Ian was happy to lend his support to this worthwhile local initiative.

Changeworks at Gilmerton Library.

Friday August 13th

The Family Fund offers practical help to families of disabled children who live on low incomes. They offer a wonderful service, providing simple necessities which can make all the difference to the families – these can be as simple as bedding, clothing and toys, to a washing machine, laptop or driving lessons. To the families involved the service is invaluable, and Ian thoroughly enjoyed lending his support and meeting constituents who had benefitted from the Family Fund. For further information about the Family Fund, go to

Family Fund visit 2010.

Tuesday August 17th.

With news of the Pakistan Floods dominating the headlines, the Rotary Club launched their Shelterbox appeal at the Eric Liddell Centre. Ian is a great supporter of the Rotarians and was pleased to offer his support. Shelterboxes were the idea of a rotary Club member in Cornwall, who saw a suitable box in his local hardware shop and realised that packed with the right survival aids, boxes could be delivered quickly to areas hit by disaster to provide shelter, warmth and the basics for survival. There is now a dedicated warehouse from which shelterboxes are sent out wherever they are needed. To find out more about Shelterboxes go to

The Shelterbox Appeal Launch.

Wednesday August 18th.

The Edinburgh Headway Group is an organisation which offers support for adults who have suffered acquired brain injury, either as a result of head trauma, stroke or infection eg encepahalitis or menengitis. Based in the grounds of the Astley Ainsley hospital, Headway House is open  Monday – Thursday and offers a range of  activities from cooking to gentle exercise, computing to tai-chi.  The programmes are designed to support the brian injured person in ways tailored to their individual needs for  therapeutic and rehabilitative activities . Ian’s visit was to see for himself the work of the Headway Group and to meet the dedicated team who run it.

The formation of the group was initially driven by one family which found that there was no suitable provision for their son, who had sustained a severe brian injury as a result of an accident. It started as a support group for families in a similar situation, but in 1987 Professor Douglas Miller persuaded the hospital authorities to provide permanent premises for the group. Now funding is provided partly by the NHS and many of those attending the centre do so as a result of NHS referral.

To find out more about the organisation, visit



In the course of the Labour leadership campaign, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott dropped in to visit Ian at Minto Street.

Monday August 23rd.

A fascinating visit to Edinburgh University School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at Little France.

The university is unique in working closely with the NHS. Their site at Little France, adjacent to the Royal Infirmary, means that the university and the hospital have the opportunity to work closely together. The Queens Medical Research Institute  attracts research students from all over the world and offers  world-class research opportunities. In the Chancellor’s Building the main teaching facility caters for undergraduate as well as post graduate students in a superb modern facility.

Ian was shown around the Queen’s Medical Research Institute which includes the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, the Centre for Reproductive Biology and the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.  He visited the cutting edge scanning facility which uses a variety of  imaging techniques which allow  doctors and researchers  to assess for example the progress of a condition and the effects of drug therapy on it. It was a very thought provoking visit which left Ian determined to do his utmost to ensure that the University can continue to develop and extend their vital work in the future.

To find out more about the University of Edinburgh Medical School , visit

Wednesday August 25th.

Ian spent the afternoon visiting 3 sites in the constituency administered by Viewpoint Housing in the Grange area of Edinburgh South. He visited a Viewpoint care home and saw some of their sheltered flats. With a population of approximately 17% over the age of retirement, Edinburgh South is fortunate that Viewpoint offers elderly residents of the constituency a range of housing appropriate to their needs.

Ian supports Diabetes testing at launch of the Silver Star Health Challenge


Ian joined other Members of Parliament with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP, the Opposition Leader Ed Miliband MP and the Communities Secretary of State Eric Pickles MP at the launch of the Silver Star Health Challenge on diabetes at the Houses of Commons on Wednesday 27 October 2010.

At the special MPs testing event Ian Murray MP took the quick and simple Type 2 diabetes test to help raise awareness of the need for public testing for the condition. Ian was also issued with a Silver Star Pedometer to measure the amount of steps taken during a Parliamentary Week as part of the 50 day challenge. The public can keep track of their MP on the Silver Star website and the winner of the 50 day challenge will be announced in February 2011.

The key to prevent diabetes is physical activity and a healthy diet. The NHS spends £1 million an hour on diabetes related illnesses and it is estimated that more than one million people in the UK may have diabetes without knowing it. Ian said ‘The diabetes test was so easy. It only takes two minutes and can save lives. I hope my constituents will also take the test and I am looking forward to finding out the results of the pedometer challenge in February 2011’. Silver Star launched in January 2007 is a registered charity campaigning to provide diabetes awareness.

The Charity runs Mobile Diabetes Units (MDU) that carry out important diabetes testing. They seek to promote culturally sensitive healthcare, with particular regard to the high prevalence of diabetes in the major towns and cities of Britain. The Units travel to local community centres, schools, work places and other organisations. The Chairman of the Trustees for Silver Star, Dr Modhwadia said ‘The diabetes test is so quick and simple. I am delighted that so many MPs decided to take the test and be part of the Challenge. It will help raise awareness of this largely unseen health condition”

Show Racism the Red Card


Ian joined ex-professional footballers, representatives from the Professional Footballers Association and members of the Show Racism the Red Card campaign to give his support to the charity’s bid to become The Football Association’s Charity of the Year for 2011.

Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racist charity, established in January 1996 with the aim of harnessing the potential of professional footballers as anti-racist role models and combatting racism through anti-racist education. The campaign involves hundreds of top footballers and managers and carries it’s work out throughout the UK delivering anti-racism workshops, football fun fitness sessions and hosting educational events at football clubs.

Ian joined with supporters such as the Professional Footballers’ Association Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor, Gary Lineker and ex-England Manager, Graham Taylor to support the charity’s bid to be the FA’s Charity of the year. Later this year the FA will decide which charity will become their official charity partner for 2011.  All charities go through a stringent process to become official FA partners and as well as a five figure financial donation from The FA’s Community Shield Fund, all charities will benefit from a direct association with the FA.

Ian said “Today I threw my support behind Show Racism the Red Card’s bid to become FA Charity of the Year. I can think of no other charity that has worked so hard and so effectively to condemn racism, both within football and our society as a whole. I wish them all the best of luck with their bid!.”

This sign-up event follows on from the Early Day Motion raised in parliament by Dave Anderson MP in August which received significant support.  Former Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP said, “The vision of a Britain in which every citizen whatever their race, religion, colour or creed gets equal treatment, goes to the heart of who I am.  I’m the first person in my family to be born in this country and I know we’ve made fantastic progress, in large part thanks to the campaigning of such organisations as Show Racism the Red Card.”

Show Racism the Red Card Chief Executive, Ged Grebby thanked MP’s for their support and said: “2011 will be the 15th anniversary year for our organisation and to get FA Charity of the Year would be a real boost for our campaign’s work.  We have been overwhelmed with messages of support from within football but also from across a whole range of organisations and individuals within the UK.”

For more information about the work of Show Racism the Red Card please contact or visit our website

Ian joins South Morningside and Bruntsfield primary schools as they accept play equipment from Tesco at the Bruntsfield Store in Morningside.


Ian joined children and teachers from South Morningside and Bruntsfield Primary schools as they collected sports and play equipment from Tesco’s Bruntsfield store. Parents had collected vouchers which they exchanged for the equipment. Everyone enjoyed the event, at which Tesco generously laid on drinks and snacks for the children.

The Coalition Government has no plan for jobs or growth in Edinburgh South


Responding to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review Ian is concerned about people in Edinburgh South  staying in their jobs, staying in their homes and staying safe.

Ian said:

“The Government’s cuts are too deep and too fast, taking a dangerous gamble with Edinburgh South’s economic future and people’s jobs.

“What the Government is saying is that it wants to take more money off children than it does off the banks. That can’t be right.

“And it can’t be right for the government to reduce the number of police officers on our streets.”

Labour Leader Ed Miliband said:

“The government is taking an irresponsible gamble with the recovery.

“I will stand up for people up and down the country who are worried about what going to happen and are fearful for their jobs and the services they rely on.”

Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson said:

“Without growth it’s impossible to get the deficit down. If the Government throws people out of work it costs us all more. So to get the deficit down our starting point must be jobs, jobs, jobs.”

“The Government’s cuts are too deep and too fast, taking a dangerous gamble with our economic future and people’s jobs. The cuts are unwise and unfair.

“A million jobs gone – that’s the price we now know the coalition think is worth paying.”