Following last month’s announcement NHS Scotland staff will receive an immediate three per cent pay rise while negotiations between the Scottish Government, employers and unions continued, I am delighted staff have now been offered a nine per cent pay rise over the next three years.

I know the last few years of pay restraint have been tough, and that is why I’m proud the budget I brought forward this year included the lifting of the one per cent pay cap for public sector workers.

And, with this nine per cent offer, the SNP in Government are offering the highest NHS pay uplift anywhere in the UK.

By 2020/2021, compared to equivalent staff in NHS England, experienced porters at the top of Band 2 will be over £1,200 better off, healthcare assistants at the top of Band 3 will be over £1,450 better off, ward nurses at the top of Band 5 will be over £1,000 better off, paramedics at the top of Band 6 will be over £1,200 better off and Advanced Nurse Practitioners at the top of Band 7 will be over £1,500 better off.

The NHS is built on the hard work and commitment of its dedicated staff. This significant pay rise is in recognition for the work they do caring for the people across Renfrewshire and Scotland.

Locally, Inchinnan has been chosen to be the home of the world-first Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (NMIC). This is fantastic news and is on the back of the announcement last year Inchinnan would be the location of Scotland’s National Manufacturing Institute. This is another boost to the local area, with the eyes of the UK and the world looking to Renfrewshire.

In the last week we have also seen a number of local school kids receiving awards for their achievements. I was particularly proud to see a school from my constituency win the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

St James’ Primary School were given the award by the First Minister for being the school reading the most books in Scotland. Primary seven pupil Kieran Mitchell was also given the Pupil Reading Journey Award at the awards ceremony in Edinburgh.

Almost 1,000 primary schools across Scotland took part in the challenge, opening up a world of adventure and fun to young people whilst also giving them really important literacy, writing and language skills. For a school and pupil from Renfrewshire to win a national award of this stature is fantastic and I encourage any local school who isn’t already taking part in the challenge to sign up for next year.

Congratulations must also go to Gryffe High School’s 2018 Spanish Tourism Apprentice Challenge winners Marc Rennie, Sam Whaley and Tom Whaley.

Locally we have an abundance of talented and hardworking kids, and it is wonderful to see some of their efforts, and those of their teachers and parents, rewarded.

With this week being the first full week of the summer holidays, I hope all pupils and teachers have a great time off.