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Bigger role for Kilsyth-based MSP Griffin

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 10:48 GMT on Thursday, July 11th, 2013.

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Mark Griffin is one of the seven MSPs for Central Scotland.

Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont MSP, announced two weeks ago that the opposition benches were being reshuffled in a bid to re-energise the shadow cabinet; a reshuffle which has seen one former Kilsyth councillor move up the Labour ranks.

Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont said: "We have made a great deal of progress in the last 18 months but we have to keep moving forward.

"I believe this refreshed shadow cabinet team is the right blend of youth and experience which can take forward the job of modernising the Scottish Labour Party, holding the Scottish government to account and building a new relationship with the people of Scotland and policies which meet their needs."

She added: "I would like to thank those members of the frontbench team who are moving on for their dedication, and am certain they will make a contribution to getting Scottish Labour back into government."

The full reshuffle sees a number of names dropped and other move up the shadow cabinet. The full team includes: 

Leader - Johann Lamont
Deputy Leader - Anas Sarwar
Finance - Iain Gray
Education - Kezia Dugdale
Health - Neil Findlay
Justice - Graeme Pearson
Infrastructure and Capital Investment- James Kelly
Constitution - Drew Smith
Social justice, equalities and welfare - Jackie Baillie
Youth employment and Deputy Finance - Jenny Marra
Local Government - Sarah Boyack
Culture - Patricia Ferguson
Rural Affairs and Environment - Claire Baker
Business Manager - Paul Martin
Chief Whip - Lewis Macdonald.

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For Mr Griffin, though, he moves from his role as Shadow Minister for Sport to take up the larger role on the front bench, as Shadow Minister for Transport, as well as retaining his brief as Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs.

Commenting, Mark said: "I am pleased to be taking on the role of Shadow Transport Minister and look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Elected in 2011 as a Central Scotland Member of Holyrood, Mark was previously a Labour Councillor for Kilsyth.

Mark added: "People in our community and across Scotland are enduring difficulties in accessing public transportation. Bus services are poor as a result of cuts to the Bus Service Operators Grant and the consistent underfunding of the concessionary travel scheme by the SNP Government. Furthermore, the once promising Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement rail Programme (EGIP) has had its funding reduced to the tune of £350 million.

"We need high quality, efficient, transport links, which are not restrictive of postcode. We need to invest in our bus and rail network, not cut its funding, and we need to once again regulate our buses, something that my colleague Iain Gray MSP is seeking to address with his Regulation of Bus Services Bill, which I strongly support. I hope the SNP Government will take steps to improve services for people in communities like ours across Scotland, and I look forward to pushing the Minister on this in the coming months."

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