From my previous posts, you will have seen I was delighted to sponsor the Music Venues Trust event in the Scottish Parliament earlier in the week. You may also have seen my contributions at Stephen Kerr MSP’s Members’ Business Debate on Grangemouth Refinery, and my Portfolio Question regarding Scotland’s green economy. I will continue to raise the ongoing situation at PetroIneos in the Scottish Parliament wherever possible while the matter progresses.

On Monday afternoon I attended the Institute of Director’s Central Scotland branch roundtable discussion. It was an interesting meeting covering trading conditions, economic recovery, and what collectively Parliament, Government and businesses might do to assist.

In my role as Convenor of the Cross-Party Group on St Andrew’s Day, I held the first CPG meeting of the group in 2024, and the first following our St Andrew’s Day Celebration event in the Scottish Parliament in November 2023. I look forward to continuing the work of the CPG throughout the year ahead and our involvement in the next celebration event.

 

This week has been an exciting week between Constituency and Parliamentary work.

On Thursday, it was a pleasure to welcome S6 pupils from Bo’ness Academy to the Scottish Parliament. First, they were given a tour of the building and learned some interesting facts about the Parliament, how the building was built and how it works. The pupils got tickets to see First Minister’s Questions, then finally we met for lunch and a great Q&A session. I was thoroughly impressed by the range of questions the S6 pupils asked, including climate change, how committees work, what a typical week in Parliament looks like (if there ever is one!), cost of living, supporting neurodivergency in schools and local issues affecting Bo’ness.

The Finance & Public Administration Committee met earlier in the week in private, with a further debate on Thursday outlining the pre-budget scrutiny carried out by them and other Committees across the Parliament. You can watch the full debate here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/finance-and-public-administration-committee-debate-scottish-budget-2024-25-february-1-2024

The situation regarding PetroIneos in Grangemouth remains fluid. Last week I raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament a number of times, and this week I met with Holyrood Magazine in Grangemouth. The situation is extremely complex and, as you may have seen in last week’s chamber contribution, some options to keep the site open and save jobs require co-operation from Westminster. I continue to ask for updates from both the Scottish Government and stakeholders regarding the matter.

 

This week, my contributions to Parliamentary business have looked to progress matters relating to Petroineos in Grangemouth. I asked questions at both Rural Affairs Portfolio Questions and at First Minister’s Questions, and used by speech in the Green Economy debate to highlight the matter. You can watch one of my contributions in my previous post.
 
I also met with both the Finance & Public Administration Committee and Education, Children and Young People Committee. In the Finance & Public Administration Committee, we heard evidence regarding the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill Financial Memorandum. In the Education, Children and Young People Committee, we considered the Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 of the Parliamentary process.
 
Members of the Cross-Party Group on Germany met on Thursday to welcome MPs from Germany. Promoting ongoing dialogue between parliamentary institutions, we discussed the works of the CPG on Germany and the works on the German Parliament.
 
At the end of 2023, I started a choir in the Scottish Parliament to encourage MSPs, staffers and Parliament staff to meet and enjoy music. At Christmas we performed a medley of festive songs in Garden Lobby. It was a huge success, and we had a great turn out each week for the rehearsals. Following the success, we began rehearsals again this week which included ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ – apt for Burns Night!
 
The Scottish Parliament also held its annual Burns Night this week for all Members of the Scottish Parliament. I was tasked with delivering the Reply Fae The Lassies in response to Finlay Carson’s Toast Tae The Lassies. It was a fantastic night and I look forward to the event again next year.
 
 

This week was an extremely busy week in both the Scottish Parliament and my constituency.

On Monday I met with the Digital Connectivity Team at the Scottish Government to discuss the roll-out of the R100 scheme in Falkirk East, the Scottish 4G Infill programme and 5G deployment. I currently have active enquiries regarding these issues. I will continue to liaise with the team and other stakeholders.

I also met with Ross Gunning, CEO of Glasgow Philharmonia earlier this week in my capacity of Convenor of the CPG on Music. I recently tabled a motion congratulating two of my young constituents taking part in one of their productions. You can read the motion here: https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/votes-and-motions/S6M-11403

The Finance and Public Administration Committee met twice this week. On Tuesday, the Committee continued to scrutinised the Scottish Budget 2024-2025. On Thursday, the Committee held a special meeting to take evidence from Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities at the UK Government on the replacement of EU structural funds in Scotland. You can watch back my contribution on my previous post, or you can watch the full meeting here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/finance-and-public-administration-committee-january-18-2024 

 

My Week in 5
I began this week helping constituents with enquiries and appointments at my Grangemouth office. Please contact my team who will be happy to book a time should you too need my help. More details on this page as well as here - 🔗https://www.michellethomson.scot/contact
 
On Monday I also visited Calachem in Grangemouth and enjoyed learning about how the business has adapted in recent years and continues to innovate for future success.
 
Both my committees had full on schedules this week, with Finance & Public Administration having a critical role scrutinising the detail of the Scottish Budget. You can watch my contributions to both committees in earlier posts on my Facebook page here 🔗 https://www.facebook.com/MichelleThomsonSNP
 
I was delighted to attend an event sponsored by my colleague Ivan McKee MSP, showcasing the work of the Scottish Pantry Network. Local food pantries do excellent work in our communities and we are fortunate to have a variety across the constituency, many run by hardworking volunteers. You can find a full list of local providers here 🔗 https://bit.ly/4aRxs4s
 
Later today I will take part in a Glasgow University Union debate entitled “This House Believes that the UK Government Has Failed Our Generation”.Given the successive failures of a disastrous ineptitude of Tory Prime Ministers, I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge to demonstrate this!
 
 
 

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