Parliament returned last week and I was straight back to work. This will be another politically uncertain year as we approach Article 50 being triggered on our exit from the EU, as well as reality television star Donald Trump now being the new President of the United States.

More locally, May will also see the Council Elections take place, giving us the opportunity to decide who represents us in Renfrewshire. Councillors perform a hugely important job and ensure that your voice is heard in Renfrewshire Council.

It goes without saying that I hope that the SNP take control of Renfrewshire Council after May’s election. The SNP offer the positive vision for our local authority, delivering the local services that you demand from your council. This is in contrast to the Labour party who after five years have proven to be an ineffective and incompetent administration who have wasted public money, most recently, the £300,000 decision to close and then reopen the recycling and amenity sites across Renfrewshire.

The deadline to be able to vote in these elections is fast approaching and I would urge everyone to make sure that they’re on the electoral register. It’s important that your voice is heard in these crucial local elections.


Since the EU Referendum I, and the SNP, have continually challenged the UK Government to explain the impact that Brexit will have on the lives of local people and organisations operating in Renfrewshire.

Last week, the Prime Minister delivered a speech where she outlined her preference to pursue a hard Brexit outside the single market. At every opportunity the Scottish Government have tried to work with the UK Government to develop a plan which complements the way Scotland voted in the EU Referendum. The Prime Minister’s pursuit of a hard Brexit will isolate us from the world, cost 80,000 jobs in Scotland, reduce worker’s rights and make the UK an unattractive place for business. It’s now imperative that the UK Government works with the Scottish Government to find a solution which would preserve Scotland’s membership of the European Single Market.

It’s clear that the further and higher education institutions like West College Scotland and The University of the West of Scotland are going to be significantly impacted following our exit from the EU. Our universities and colleges are vitally important to the British economy and by pursuing a hard Brexit the UK Government is clearly not willing to protect or defend their interests and the result will be devastating. The SNP Scottish Government are the only administration on these isles to have produced a detailed and comprehensive plan on what our exit from the EU could mean for Scotland.

Leading academics have warned that our universities face the ‘biggest disaster’ post Brexit. For a sector that contributes £73b to our national economy this is completely unacceptable, and the UK Government should finally start listening to these warnings.

Local groups

Congratulations are in order to two local groups who have been awarded funding to allow them to continue to deliver a fantastic service to people in Renfrewshire.

The Linwood Community Development Trust and Crisis Counselling have recently been successful in acquiring funding from The Big Lottery and STV Children’s Appeal. This is the result of the hard work of staff and volunteers at both organisations. Well done!