The last seven days have certainly been busy. I started the week at Tesco in Barrhead on Monday morning with my latest supermarket surgery. Later on I caught up with some casework and met with my team at my constituency office before heading through to Edinburgh for evening meetings.

Barrhead Tesco Supermarket Surgery

On Tuesday I opened the day with DPLR Committee followed by further meetings in my capacity as a Deputy Whip. In the afternoon I was pleased to speak in a debate on the Scottish Government’s new strategy for tackling isolation and loneliness. I took the opportunity to highlight the work of local groups and organisation such as Lochwinnoch Elderly Forum, Old Kilbarchan Library and Barrhead Men’s Shed. I finished the day convening a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Music, which I established last year.

Wednesday was spent catching up on emails, correspondence and reading briefings as well as more meetings. I took the opportunity that afternoon to attend a special Wreath Laying ceremony outside of the Scottish Parliament to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of legendary trade unionist Mick McGahey. On Wednesday evening I attended the Parliament Burns Supper, where I gave the Selkirk Grace.

Thursday saw the Scottish Government secure an agreement with the Scottish Greens leading to the Budget successfully completing its Stage 1 proceedings. I was please to contribute in the debate and call out the irresponsible and reckless behaviour of the Unionist parties, which can be viewed here. Prior to the Budget debate I attended First Minister’s Questions before convening a meeting of the SNP Backbench Trade Union Group.

On Friday I was back in the constituency and opened the day by welcoming Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, to Wallace Primary and Nursery in Elderslie. I had invited Maree last year to see first-hand some of the excellent work going on at the School, particularly in the area of outdoor play. In the afternoon I met with constituents and with the Chief Executive of the National Hairdressers Federation to discuss support for the sector in Scotland.

With Maree Todd MSP and Head Teacher Susan Dalrymple

Next week will see stage 2 of the budget amongst other business before Parliament takes a short recess.

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