The Scottish Parliament’s summer recess is here – a time when Parliament is not sitting and MSP’s can spend more time getting out and about in their own constituencies and regions.

That’s what I’ve been doing over the past few days and its what I’ll be doing over the coming weeks too. Meeting people, hearing their concerns and talking about the issues that matter to communities in Inverclyde and right across West Scotland.

I joined civic leaders in marking Armed Forces Day in Greenock, showing my support for the armed forces community. Whether that’s serving personnel and their families, cadets or Inverclyde veterans.

It was an opportunity to hear about how the community can support armed forces personal past and present too, informing the work of government and local authorities.

I also attended the Comet festival in Port Glasgow with Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Martin McCluskey. There I et a number of Inverclyde residents, stall-holders and local organisations like Oak Tree Housing Association. We heard about the fantastic work that voluntary and charitable organisations are doing on the ground, the fundraising that makes a difference to local good causes and the plans that housing providers have to give Inverclyde people safe, warm and affordable homes.

If you are Involved in a local charity or community organisation and you want to speak with me about an issue or a project in your area then please do get in touch. I will endeavour to use my time over the summer recess to visit as many local groups as possible and find out more about what matters to you to help me put the concerns of the community to the Scottish Parliament.

There is no substitute in politics for getting out into the community and speaking to people face-to-face about the issues that really matter to them, from the cost of housing to public transport. That is hwy I will spend much of my recess in communities across West Scotland, not just listening to the people but learning from them too.

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