This week, the Scottish Parliament saw an Emergency Budget review being implemented. Inflation means that our annual budget today is worth £1.7 billion less than when it was published last December. The initial package of £560 million in savings for 2022-23 was increased in the Emergency Budget Review, which set out a further £615 million in savings to counter Tory Westminster failings.

Alongside very busy Parliamentary Business, I’ve managed to meet with lots of pupils from high schools across Falkirk. It was a pleasure to learn more about the Fuel Poverty Challenge and congratulate the hard work of those involved. I also met with Advanced Higher Modern Studies pupils from Braes High School to do a Q&A about their dissertations. 

I was thrilled to host an event marking 175 years of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the Scottish Parliament and it was a resounding success. I was honoured to be able to speak at the event and welcome staff, current students and fellow alumni from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It was a joy to hear some excellent musicians play, including a unique group of four classical accordionists.

Meeting constituents, local groups and businesses is incredibly important, both to recognise challenges but also congratulate those doing excellent work around Falkirk East for their local communities and wider causes.

As we draw to the end of another busy week, here is my Week in 5.

The Cost of Living (Tenants Protection) Bill was passed this week, and I was very happy to be able to contribute to Stage 1 of the debate as it proceeded through Parliament.

It was also great to meet with two exceptional charities this week, both of which are thoroughly deserving of support - Women and Girls in Sport and Finding Your Feet. I have known Corinne at Finding Your Feet for many years, and the work she has put in to fundraising and helping those with amputations in incredible. 

I also met with the David Hume Institute this week regarding balancing the risks on issues such as pensions, insurance and housing. This has given me a broader understanding of some of the issues affecting my constituents in Falkirk East, and I will be hosting a further event in the Scottish Parliament with them next month.

The Scottish Parliament is in recess for the next fortnight, and as such the next Week in 5 will be posted on 28 October. 

Going forward I will be posting a ‘My Week in 5’ News Article showcasing what I have been doing in both The Scottish Parliament and the Falkirk East constituency.

Aside from Parliamentary business, I always enjoy meeting and speaking with individuals, groups and businesses in the constituency. Since being elected last year, I have met with a wide range of people and will continue to do so. Understanding how people are impacted helps me carry out my duties as an MSP and make decisions which are in the best interests of everyone.

I have contributed to two debates this week - Scotland’s Population: Meeting the Needs of our Communities, Economy and Public Services, highlighting how these are intrinsically linked to benefit people across Scotland, and Members Business: Congratulating Scottish Universities on Research Excellence Framework 2021 Results where I highlighted Scotland’s universities important contributions to research affecting not only Scotland but across the world.

I was also pleased to be able to meet with the Fire Brigades Union at the Scottish Parliament, who like many public sector organisations are looking for an increase in their pay offer. I also met with Bailliefields Community Hub in Brightons, who do excellent work to support wellbeing and help those in the community who need it most.

I was also pleased to be able to submit six motions to The Scottish Parliament this week congratulating people within the Falkirk East constituency on their endeavours. From fundraising and community work to winning awards, there has been a lot to celebrate recently.

61%-38% AGREE THAT PRO-INDEPENDENCE MAJORITY AT HOLYROOD SHOULD LEAD TO REFERENDUM

A decisive majority of the Scottish public recognise that there is a mandate for Scotland to have a referendum.

Evidence from the 2021 Scottish Election Study addresses the question of whether the Scottish public thinks that the Government has a mandate to pursue a second independence referendum. The data shows 61% of Scots think the Scottish Government has an IndyRef2 mandate.

NEW OECD FORECAST SHOWS BREXIT BRITAIN TRAILING IN GROWTH

Commenting on a new forecast from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which shows the UK is set to have the lowest economic growth performance of all G20 economies apart from Russia, the SNP said it was further proof that post-Brexit Britain was set on a downward economic spiral, which Scotland needs to escape with independence.

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