This week saw a busy schedule at Parliament with a wide variety of meetings and committee work ongoing.
Tuesday’s Finance and Public Administration Committee provided an opportunity to take further evidence in our enquiry into Effective Scottish Government Decision Making. I was pleased to ask questions of a number of witnesses on themes around culture, transparency and the relationship between accountability and risk, linking in with attitudes to innovation. Those wishing to find out more can do so on the following link:
On Wednesday, the Economy and Fair work Committee heard evidence on Scottish Government Policy priorities from Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy. You can watch our exchange in previous posts on my Facebook page, where I continued my line of questioning on the importance of gathering the right data to allow for better decision making, particularly when considering matters in relation to gender and equalities.
The committee also continued our enquiry into the Just Transition for a Grangemouth area, hearing from Graham Stuart MP, UK Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero among other witnesses. You can watch previous contributions to this enquiry earlier on my Facebook page, as well as Wednesday’s exchange here :
Closer to home I was delighted to see RSPB Scotland in the parliament this week and stopped by to chat, particularly about the fascinating work they undertake at the wetlands reserve down at Skinflats. Staff and volunteers have been working hard to improve nesting habitats for migrating birds in the tidal lagoon and enhance the biodiversity of this precious area. You can find out more about their work locally here :
On Thursday, staff in my constituency office were able to undertake lifesaving training in the administration of Naloxone and learn more about the issues around overdose and preventable drug deaths. This was provided by the Scottish Drugs Forum who deliver general and specialist training on drug-related issues for a range of agencies. Others interested in finding more about training can do so here :
I was also pleased to submit a number of motions to parliament highlighting the excellent work of local groups, artists, businesses, schools and organisations.

Following last week’s British Islands & Mediterranean Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference at Westminster, I was pleased to return to a busy week of committee and legislative work at Holyrood whilst also progressing a variety of issues within the constituency.

Tuesday’s Finance and Public Administration Committee afforded me an opportunity to ask a number of probing questions in our inquiry into effective Scottish Government decision-making. I chose focus on the themes of transparency and influence around data collection and analysis. You can watch committee proceedings back on the following link.

Wednesday’s Economy and Fair Work Committee was held in private session to consider the evidence found thus far in the inquiry into a Just Transition for the Grangemouth area. This is an enquiry I suggested and is vitally important for the area. Detail on the work of the committee thus far can be found here:

I was also delighted to meet with a variety of organisations in parliament this week, including Water Safety Scotland and hear about the important work they do on drowning prevention. Scroll back to previous posts for a range of safety tips and advice links.

On Thursday, I attended the White Ribbon Scotland conference within parliament, highlighting the crucial role men have to play in the elimination of violence against women and girls. You can find out more about the organisation and their work by following links in previous posts. Please encourage men to sign up to their pledge.

Finally, with this week seeing the start of May and therefore National Walking Month, I was happy to sign up to the Paths for All, Step Count Challenge with members of my office team. Falkirk East has some of the most beautiful path networks in the country and I look forward to taking part and enjoying them in what I hope will be the start of a fine Scottish summer in the weeks to come! 

This week I was pleased to raise matters of importance to the Grangemouth and wider Falkirk East community through questioning at the Economy and Fair Work Committee’s enquiry into a Just Transition for the Grangemouth area. You can read more about this and watch my contribution to committee on previous social media posts here:
During parliamentary general questions, I asked the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care for information on the publication of a report into neurodevelopmental pathway trials and potential rollout timescales across the NHS. I was particularly keen to highlight the difficulties faced by women and girls in obtaining timely and adequate support for ADHD diagnosis and how government planned to address this issue as work progresses towards a new pathway rollout. You can watch my contribution in parliament and read more on this on previoussocial media posts here
I was delighted to chair the cross-party working group on Music this week, and particularly to hear from the Glasgow Barons on the excellent work they do and their exciting upcoming Govan Music Festival, which you can find more about here
Given the impact of energy costs on local constituents, I was keen to find out more about smart meters and other ways to save energy and very much enjoyed the discussion at the Smart Energy GB stand in parliament this week. Visit – find out more.
Finally, I am always delighted to highlight the achievements of local constituents & groups through parliamentary motions which recognise their success. This week I was delighted to submit motions congratulating Kyle Campbell on being selected for the Young People's Sport Panel and also ex-Grangemouth High pupil Abby Cook on being named 42nd Blue Peter Presenter. Well done to them both.

Earlier this week, I was delighted to receive notification that my motion on “Taliban Suppression of Women and Girls in Afghanistan” has received the required cross-party support to proceed to a debate within parliament.  This is a crucial international issue which we must see sustained pressure from governments and international agencies to assist with, but also a matter close to home, as we support women and girls fleeing Taliban suppression who have resettled and Scotland. You can read the full text of my motion on the following link and watch my page for further information when this is tabled for debate -

Through my role in the Economy and Fair Work Committee, I was pleased to contribute to both the parliamentary debate on Retail and Town Centres in Scotland and the committee enquiry into A Just Transition for the Grangemouth area.

You can watch my contributions to both by visiting my facebook page

During the enquiry questions, I was keen to focus on the theme of community benefit, and was interested to hear from the panel on how collectively, all stakeholders can ensure that the needs of communities in and around Grangemouth can be met in partnership with the new economic opportunities that a Just Transition will bring. I was also pleased to highlight the importance of putting women and girls at the heart of the development of the Just Transition from the outset.

It was fantastic to see Cycling Without Age in the parliament this week and get a chance to stop by and visit local volunteers from this wonderful organisation. Their connection with Falkirk District from their outset in Scotland in 2017 is something I know local residents are extremely proud of and remember with fondness the stories coming out of Carrondale Care Home and the joy brought to residents from feeling the “wind in their hair”. Their success in spreading across the country since then has been remarkable and fuelled by indomitable volunteers. I was also delighted to recognise this in a parliamentary motion last month which you can access here :

I was also pleased to host a successful reception in Parliament for The Bottom Line, with a variety of interesting presentations and engaging discussion on the topic of “Elevating the debate on Independence and  the Scottish Economy”. You can find out more about their mission to invigorate the debate on the economics of Scottish independence by visiting their website here :

  • This week I was delighted to visit Forth Valley Sensory Centre at their Scottish Parliament exhibition to find out more about the vital work they do helping people with sensory loss across the Forth Valley area. It was great to hear about their partnership with Windsor Park School in Falkirk and the fabulous “Climate Comic” Project that they were able to produce together. I was also rather delighted to say hello to Sadie (the assistance dog) on perhaps more than one occasion over the week!

    The passage of the Scottish budget is always an important marker in the Parliament’s calendar and I was pleased to contribute to stage 3 of the Scottish Budget Debate, highlighting specifically the need to do much more to support women’s entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and social equality.

    A key concern of local residents in my Falkirk East constituency is how we use the necessary refocus of Carbon Intensive Industry to benefit local people as well as Scotland’s wider economy and our global environment. I was able to ask a number of questions at the Economy and Fair Work Committee’s Enquiry into a Just Transition for the Grangemouth area – highlighting that wider economic benefits must extend to local people and communities. A matter I will continue to pursue as the enquiry progresses.

    Back in the chamber, I asked a Portfolio Question regarding continuing support for food producers, as plans for the forthcoming Agriculture Bill progress, - supporting a crucial industry for our national and local economy.

    Finally, I was also very pleased to submit a motion to the Scottish Parliament commending the work of Scottish Trauma Teddies for their generous donation of 50 teddy bears to the Children’s Ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Their kindness and support for children facing difficult circumstances, is truly heart warming and it is a pleasure to be able to recognise and promote the work that they do.


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