Fiona O'Donnell MP

 

You can contact Fiona at:

 

65 High Street, Tranent, East Lothian, EH33 1LN

Tel: 01875 824779

E-mail: fiona.odonnell.mp@parliament.uk

http://www.fionaodonnellmp.org/  

 

Fiona is available to meet constituents in the following locations:

Second Friday of the Month  
Musselburgh (Brunton Hall) 1.00pm-1.30pm
Prestonpans (Aldhammer House) 2.00pm-2.30pm
Tranent (65 High Street) 3.00pm-3.30pm
Fourth Friday of the Month  
Dunbar (Hallhill Healthy Living Centre) 1.00pm-1.30pm
North Berwick (St Andrew Blackadder Church) 2.30pm-3.00pm
Haddington (John Muir House) 3.00pm-3.30pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please call 01875 824779 for an appointment. Consituents may attend surgeries at any location and home visits are available on request for housebound constituents. Please note that there are no surgeries on public holidays.

Fiona 

I was born in Canada in 1960, the fourth child and only daughter of Pat and Gladys Kenny. The pull of home was too strong for my parents and the family returned to Fort William in 1965.

  

I attended Fort William primary and Lochaber High school. It was a mixture of school and home that sparked my interest in politics. My parents had grown up in the Gorbals  and had both been politically active and trade unionists. It was not unusual for us to discuss politics as a family and the opportunity to take part in debates in school broadened my interest.

 

I studied English Literature and History at Glasgow University, but left after my third year as I was expecting my first child. My husband and I moved to Port Seton and Kathleen was born at the Eastern General in 1981. Michael was born in 1984 and my twin sons Stephen and Lawrence in 1986. Having four children under the age of five was exhausting but incredibly rewarding.  I was, for the most part, a stay-at-home Mum. I would go out to work but child care difficulties meant that it just wasn’t worth working at times. Over the 7 years following Kathleen’s birth we lived in Newcastle, Banbury, Cheltenham and finally near Perth.

  

My first job was with a housing association, managing a project for people with mental health problems. This was the start of community care and I learnt a lot about people’s attitudes to mental health and the need for joined up services.

  

In Perth I worked for Capability Scotland as a Social Care Officer and then as the Manager of a respite unit and outreach service. The job was physically and emotionally demanding. I have so much respect for carers and hope I will always be a champion for their cause.

 

From 1997 I worked for Douglas Alexander MP for four years, and also worked for Hugh Henry and Trish Godman MSPs and for Catherine Stihler MEP for a short time.

  

I took a break from work to concentrate on my children and for the next couple of years took on a lot of voluntary work. I realise that I was lucky to be able to afford to take time off and the experiences I had were amazing. I was a community councillor, chair of the school board and president of the local youth orchestra and a volunteer with NCH Action for Children. As is often the case with volunteering, I became more involved and became a project worker, supporting children and young people who were at the last stage before being removed from school and/or home. It was the most difficult job I have ever taken on. The young people had often suffered neglect and abuse and their behaviour showed the damage this had caused. It was difficult to see children in so much distress and they often faced bleak futures.

 

 When my children had all left home I moved to Edinburgh and worked for MacKay Hannah, a public policy company, as a PA and Researcher. It was an interesting experience of working in the private sector for the first time and an opportunity to learn about different areas of policy.

 

  

My heart was in politics and so I became an Organiser and then a Development Officer with the Labour Party. The day before the General Election was called, I was selected as the Scottish Labour Party candidate for East Lothian. You can find the General Election result here

 

I have been the Member of Parliament for East Lothian from 6 May 2010, the greatest honour I could ever imagine.


From 2010 until 2011, I served as a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon John Healey MP.


In October 2011, I was appointed as Labour's Shadow Minister for the Environment and Fisheries.  In this role I work hard to hold the government to account on environmental policy - including animal welfare, conservation, biodiversity, waterways and forestry.  I have led debates in Parliament on preparations for the Rio+20 Summit and reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy; and regularly engage with charities, NGOs and industry.  I have travelled the length of the country, from Peterhead in the North East to Plymouth in the South West, meeting with local fishermen to learn about the challenges that they face.

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