The election in May saw Gillian Mackay become the first Green MSP for Central Scotland, and is the Scottish Greens spokesperson for health and social care. She writes: “Having worked in and around the Parliament for some time, I have an understanding of how it all works. But it is very different being in the chamber and voting, making speeches, etc. I have been quite busy though, in the first six weeks I have made around eight or nine speeches in the chamber and have been starting on committees too.
“Health and social care are topics close to my heart, I am very passionate about care staff receiving fairer treatment and pay. The pandemic has only highlighted how important this is. I experienced how important care workers were with my grandpa when he needed help. Carers provided peace of mind to my family which meant we could still live our lives and know that grandpa was still cared for. They worked so hard and were so important during the pandemic, and my story with my grandpa is one of the thousands across Scotland. We need to look at the care system and understand what needs to be changed, such as a better progression system, pay, and guaranteed hours.”
“Access to quality open space is vital for mental and physical health, as has been clearly shown during lockdown. Access to places to play is particularly important for the development of our children, and so I fully support the Space to Play campaign to protect and improve provision of play areas in East Kilbride and the rest of South Lanarkshire.”
“I know that people may be more tempted to go to a more well-known MSP in the area, but I am asking them to give a new face a chance and come to me and my team who will always be there to help.” Gillian Mackay can be reached at Gillian.Mackay.firstname.lastname@example.org