This week I was pleased to be able to ask the Scottish Government about the discussions with local authorities around inflation pressures and what can be done to support them. It is an issue I am aware many councils across Scotland are also facing. I was able to participate in the Scottish Budget debate as a member of the Finance Committee.

This week I met with SGN and Change Mental Health to find out more about the excellent work they do. SGN have done a huge amount of work to help training and investment opportunities within the Hydrogen sector. Change Mental Health provide invaluable support and advice to many, and it was interesting to hear their new three year strategy following their 50th anniversary.

This week also saw Scotland celebrating Burns Night. It is important we recognise our historical figures and the excellent work they did, much of which is still relevant today. I hope you enjoyed your Burns Night celebrations whether you celebrated at an event or from the comfort of your own home!

This week I was delighted to be able to host the 300th Anniversary of Adam Smith event in the Scottish Parliament. Adam Smith is often hailed as one of the founding fathers of economics, and his work is still just as important and influential today as it was back then.

Alongside my Parliamentary work, I was able to meet with several people and businesses operating in my constituency.

I met with IBioIC, who specialise in turning waste produce into fuels. Further to their integral business, they are also providing huge training and development opportunities across Scotland in the green energy sector.

I visited Jenkins Fabrications in Reddingmuirhead this week. They have been operating since 1958 and create a number of important steel fabrications for the local area and Scotland.

Following his appointment as the local Area Commander, I was pleased to be able to meet with Chief Inspector Liam Harman to discuss issues within Falkirk East.

I am a great supporter of encouraging young people to fulfil their potential. This week I also met with Professor Ken Thomson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Forth Valley College to discuss education and how best to support the further education sector.

This week I was able to take part in both General Questions and an important Scottish Parliament debate. The debate on Scotland’s democratic right to choose was excellent and highlighted the need for Scotland to become independent following the disastrous Brexit fallout. At General Questions, I asked the Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd MSP, about bladder cancer deaths in Scotland, and what data drives research into providing better care for those diagnosed with bladder cancer.

As Scotland looks towards what further action needs to be taken to achieve our Net Zero ambitions, I was pleased to be able to meet with British Hydropower to find out more about the impact hydropower can have in generating cleaner energy sources.

In my role as a member of the Economy and Fair Work committee, I also met with FSCS to find out more about their work and how they can support consumers of financial services in Scotland.

This week has been a very varied first week back in The Scottish Parliament, and I look forward to another busy week next week!

I had both my committees to attend this week – Finance and the Economy and Fair Work Committees.

On Tuesday I hosted the first in-person CPG on Music since before the Covid-19 pandemic. I was delighted to be able to welcome performers from Music Venues Trust and the City of Edinburgh Music School. Khaleda Noon from Intercultural Youth Scotland spoke about racial inequalities in the music sector and Beverley Whitrick from Music Venues Trust spoke about the importance of keeping our music venues supported. I look forward to our next meeting in March 2023.

I met with Reed in Partnership earlier in the week to discuss the delivery of the Job Entry: Targeted Support Scheme in Scotland. We discussed how Scotland can continue to make similar employability programmes successful in the future.

On Thursday I met with the SSPCA in The Scottish Parliament alongside several other MSPs. The SSPCA have launched their #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign and even brought along some puppies for a cuddle!

It’s no surprise to learn it has been another busy week in the constituency and parliament.

In parliament I asked questions about what steps we can take to make sure Scotland’s economy works for ordinary people and another question about the Tory budget failing yet again at First Ministers Questions. 

I was humbled to meet a couple who spoke movingly about the loss of their daughter to pancreatic cancer - this is a dangerous form of cancer that can remain undetected until it is too late.  

The cost of living event held in Callendar Square by myself, Martyn Day MP, John McNally MP and Michael Matheson MSP was sadly necessary. I am very aware that people need practical help and support as we approach a difficult period and I was pleased I was able to give advice to those in need. 

Finally I enjoyed attending the business breakfast hosted by Scottish Renewables - Scotland has so much to offer in renewable energy technology. It’s not just about lessening our reliance on greenhouse gases but using our green energy in its abundance to lower our energy bills in Scotland.


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