You may not have noticed it but last Thursday was actually the first day of spring.

The cold weather and heavy snow brought to us by ‘the Beast from the East’ was certainly the worst we’ve seen for a number of years.

Despite the fact that I was stuck in London for an extra few days, I think the advice given to those with travel plans, whether that be by car, train or plane, was spot on – as evidenced by the conditions witnessed across the country.

My thanks go to all of those who have worked so hard to get the road, rail and runways open and, of course, a special thanks to those who work in critical jobs such as the NHS who had to find a way to get into their work while many others had a ‘snow day’ or two.

Protecting our bus services

Readers of The Gazette will no doubt be well aware of the announcement by bus firm McGill’s to withdraw services 8 and 19.

It goes without saying that I was shocked and disappointed to hear about the decision to withdraw these vital services entirely.

This was only compounded by SPT’s completely inadequate proposal to replace both routes with one single service that didn’t even stop at Johnstone train station.

However, rather than stand on a corner protesting in the way Labour politicians did, I met with McGill’s, along with Tom Arthur MSP and councillors Emma Rodden, Natalie Don and Audrey Doig, to see if we could find a better way forward for everyone.

As a result, a proposal to keep the services as they are, but supported in a different manner, has been submitted to SPT and I fully support those plans.

SNP delivering for Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire Council met last week to set its budget for the coming year.

Following last year’s council elections, this was the first budget delivered by the SNP administration.

This was a progressive budget which aims to meet the positive vision that we said we’d deliver during the election campaign.

I was especially delighted to see the record investment into repairing our roads, which have taken a real beating over the winter and have suffered from many years of underinvestment.

I am sure this will be welcomed by drivers across Renfrewshire.

Also, it was great to see the SNP announce five years’ guaranteed funding to secure the future of the Families First service in Johnstone, Gallowhill and Foxbar.

Labour was playing politics with the families who use this brilliant service. They were scaring them by telling them the service would be removed when it was the previous Labour council’s budget which ended their funding in March.

However, the SNP administration is committed to helping families who use this service and, while Labour only funded this service on a year-by-year basis, it is the SNP who have delivered its long-term security.