I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and you were all able to find time to relax and spend time with friends and family.

Like most households with young children, our day started early as the girls sprinted down the stairs to see if Santa had deemed them to have behaved well enough to merit presents. At the time of writing at least, the jury was very much out on that one.

We also hosted the rest of the family on Christmas Day so I was cooking (again).

Although Christmas Day is always a busy day in our household, we were mindful that too many of our fellow citizens were not as fortunate as ourselves. Everyone should be able to enjoy Christmas Day but the reality is that too many people would have slept rough on Monday.

Everyone should have a warm home to go to, and the cold weather we’ve experienced lately only serves to remind us why this basic right is so important.

I’d also encourage everyone to take some time, if possible, to look out for those spending the festive period alone, without the luxury of spending it in a warm house with friends and family.

As we look back, 2017 has been another busy year. From a political perspective, this year has been dominated by Brexit and the snap General Election in June.

We were told repeatedly that “Brexit means Brexit”, but we still don’t know what Brexit will actually mean for the UK.

As we approach 2018, we need to continue to make the case for Scotland to remain in the single market and customs union.

Doing so will help to protect jobs and businesses in Renfrewshire and across Scotland.

I also want to thank you again for re-electing me as one of your local MPs back in June. I work as hard as I can on behalf of local people and I’m eternally grateful for the trust that the voters continue to place in me. I promise to keep working hard for every constituent in 2018.

Unfortunately, the Royal Bank of Scotland is not as appreciative towards our community, as they have recently taken the ridiculous decision to close their busy bank in Renfrew. This decision has caused a lot of anger in the local community, as this is a busy bank and you can never visit it without having to wait in a queue.

I have met with RBS bosses who could not explain their decision to close the busy branch in Renfrew whatsoever.

RBS also went back on their word to provide basic statistics before our meeting. As a publicly-owned bank, this is simply not good enough.

I have launched a parliamentary petition to try and save this important local branch.

Anyone can sign it by visiting my constituency office or by popping into one of the supporting businesses in Renfrew. By working together we can save this vital bank branch.

Lastly, when the Bells ring out next week, I would like to wish everyone a fantastic new year and all the best for 2018.