The Scottish Parliament is now in its October recess, although it seems hardly any time at all since summer.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy chairing groups, sitting on committees and taking part in debates.

I’ve highlighted the 6.5 per cent pay increase for police officers at First Minister’s Questions and I was pleased to update Parliament on the excellent partnership working between West College Scotland and Barrhead-based business A C Whyte Ltd.

I’m also deeply honoured to have been appointed as a whip, working closely with chief whip and Paisley MSP George Adam.

I’ve also been settling into my new role as a member of the finance and constitution committee, scrutinising the work of both the Scottish and UK Governments.

The coming months in the run-up to Christmas promise to be very busy, with legislation, the Scottish budget and the conclusion of the Brexit negotiations, hopefully, all on the agenda.

Locally, one of the most notable topics I’ve been discussing recently is one of the biggest consumer scandals to hit Renfrewshire, which is the mis-selling of home energy improvements by HELMS as part of the UK Government’s Green Deal scheme.

This has impacted many of my constituents in Linwood, who were misled into signing costly credit agreements for the installation of solar panels and external wall insulation.

Last week, I was delighted to be elected as chair of a cross-party group in the Scottish Parliament which will be working to tackle this issue.

I’m also working closely with my colleague, Gavin Newlands MP, who has put in a tremendous amount of work in bringing this issue to national attention and in seeking a resolution for households that have been left out of pocket.

At a public meeting in Linwood last Thursday, that was organised by Gavin and his team, more than 100 affected residents attended and shared their experiences of dealing with HELMS and the Green Deal.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by these issues, please get in touch with Gavin or myself.

I have also been out and about recently to meet local groups and it was a pleasure to meet with the Renfrewshire Visually Impaired Forum and discuss a range of issues.

Some of the key matters raised related to issues around accessibility in the area, such as tactile paving at traffic lights and the condition of pavements.

It was also good to discuss the workings of the Scottish Parliament with everyone and extend an invitation to the forum to visit.

If you are a member of a local group that I haven’t had a chance to meet with yet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office and we can arrange something.

In other matters, I was delighted to join the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) for a series of workshops at Auchenlodment Primary, in Johnstone. The workshops focused on important areas such as animal welfare. I was impressed by the level of knowledge displayed by pupils and it was great to see teachers joining in.

If you have concerns over the welfare of any animal, call the SSPCA on 03000 999 999.