Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
March is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Of all of the constituents I have met in the past decade few have made such an impression as Andrew Scarborough. Andrew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at the age of 27. While his tumour was impossible to fully remove Andrew is managing his condition and will hopefully be taking part in a promising ketogenic clinical trial being run at Charing Cross Hospital later this year.

Andrew’s story is inspirational but his illness is not unique. Brain tumours are far more common than one might imagine. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer – 5,000 a year in total. In spite of this brain cancer research receives far less funding than some of the more well-known cancers. Just one percent of the total amount spent on cancer research in the UK is allocated to this devastating disease.

Thankfully the knowledge of brain tumours has got much better over the last decade despite the inadequate funding and this in large part due to the hard work of charities like Brain Tumour Research and Brain Tumour Support. They are to be commended.

Andrew is living proof that a brain tumour diagnosis need not spell the end of life’s opportunities. He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the issues that affect those living with brain cancer and is currently working towards a degree in Human and Medical Sciences in order to study cancer and bring this awful disease to the forefront of research. I wish him every luck with his degree and future career.

Andrew’s experience should be the norm rather than the exception. Together, we can raise awareness and get more funding for brain tumour research. This March let’s do what we can to take part in Brain Tumour Awareness Month. It will be an opportunity to make people more aware of the problems faced by people living with brain cancer and what science can do to support people like Andrew. For information on how you can get involved take a look at Brain Tumour Research’s ‘A to Z’ of events and opportunities.

If you want to learn more about Andrew’s condition, then I’d encourage you to go on his website: http://mybraincancerstory.blogspot.co.uk/ and follow him on Twitter at @ascarbs.

Windsor MP welcomes Government report on distributed ledgers

The Windsor MP welcomes the new report by the Government Office for Science on distributed ledgers, also known as blockchains.

Distributed ledgers are a method of recording information on a decentralised database. Proponents of distributed ledger claim that they are more secure than traditional ways of storing data and that they also cost less due to the fact that they strip away bureaucracy and shred red tape.

Distributed ledgers offer many varied new uses in the public sector, such as collecting taxes more effectively, giving the public access to their health records and verifying property and business records more securely.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the Government with the objective of exploring their potential use in both the public and private sectors.

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:

“Blockchains are one of the most exciting technology developments in recent years. As a former IT entrepreneur I look forward to the Government’s response to this report and soon hope to see pilots and trials of blockchains in the public sector.

“The potential savings to taxpayers with more efficient public services are enormous.

“Blockchains are secure but they are not cybercrime free so we must be proceed with caution. The creation of a potentially massive database containing everyone’s information could be like painting a giant target on the public sector for cyber criminals to aim at.

“In parliament we also need to consider the issues around Blockchains and I hope to secure a debate in the forthcoming months so MPs can engage with this exciting new topic.

“Let’s make 2016 the year that blockchains stopped being the sole domain of tech geeks and entered the public space and the political arena.”

 

ENDS

Note to editors

  1. Adam Afriyie has a strong background and interest in science, technology and innovation due to his entrepreneurial background in the IT sector and a variety of posts he has held and/or currently holds, including Shadow Minister for Science, Chairman of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
  2. This press release is based on a report released by the Government Office for Science that can be found here.