Firstly, may I say that I am honoured and privileged to be your new constituency MSP and I thank you sincerely for giving me the chance to prove that your vote will change Clydebank for the better.

Through my regular columns in the Post, I aim to keep you up-to-date with what is going on locally, and at national level in Holyrood.

Thursday May 5 was a momentous occasion, not just for me personally, but for the people of Scotland.

Voters went to the polls and the political landscape of our nation was changed dramatically.

Even veteran politicians like myself were stunned by the results.

But we take nothing for granted.

The baton has been passed to the SNP and we need to be careful we don't drop it.

The one sure promise I can make is that I'll do my best to fulfil the trust that you have put in me.

Clydebank has suffered from years of neglect and it's time to put a stop to that.

A recent report revealed that West Dunbartonshire tops the UK unemployment league and more than 40 people are chasing every job here.

That is a scandalous situation and one I will do everything in my power to reverse.

Jobs are fundamental to the progress of an area.

Aside from the obvious financial benefits, the loss of self-esteem and confidence a person suffers can be devastating.

I will be working closely with local employers, Government agencies and workshops, to try to get people back into work.

I intend to hold regular meetings in the town, on top of my weekly surgeries, to address this issue and will pull in every resource available for people to come for advice and help.

At Holyrood, the SNP is seeking to enhance the responsibilities of the Parliament to ensure we have the job-creating powers Scotland needs.

We have made a commitment to introduce 25,000 new apprenticeships a year, and I will ensure that as many unemployed youngsters as possible in West Dunbartonshire can benefit from that.

I would also support any way to incentify the use of brownfield sites for development, both for housing and commercial use, despite the budget difficulties we are experiencing from the London-imposed cuts. Local issues, such as the Dalmuir sewage works stench and aircraft noise will continue to be at the forefront of my agenda as well as making sure that the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, our wonderful, much-needed facility for those with life-limiting illness, has a long term future.

I am confident that we can resolve the uncertainty which has gone on since 2005.

Finally, I would like to assure you that my door is always open for any issue which affects you, large or small.

Together we shall try to get Clydebank back on its feet and restore the pride for which this historic area is world-renowned.