I WANT to start my first Clydebank Post column by once again thanking everyone who voted for me, and the Scottish Conservatives, earlier this month.

The Parliament I have been elected to is the most diverse since devolution began and I am extremely proud to have made my own bit of history by becoming Holyrood’s first Indian Sikh MSP. It was a real honour to say the Sikh prayer before taking my oath in the chamber.

It has been a whirlwind first couple of weeks but I have already been tackling a whole range of issues, as well as highlighting, in my first question in the chamber, the need for our ethnic minority communities to take the Covid vaccine as soon as they are offered it.

The vaccine rollout and our recovery from the pandemic is the biggest challenge facing us and it must be what every single MSP is focused on. That was our message throughout the election campaign and it is one that I reiterate to readers across Clydebank.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on our communities, individuals and businesses and my thoughts are with anyone locally who is still grieving the loss of a loved one as a result of Covid. We must spend the next five years focused on rebuilding our communities rather than trying to break them up, which is what the SNP are trying to do with their push for indyref2, during our recovery phase.

Voters sent a message by denying the SNP a majority that they want Parliament to come together and focus on our recovery.

I’ll be focused on standing up for protecting vital local jobs and livelihoods and encouraging investment into the local area.

I’ll be focused on tackling the backlog in our health service and ensuring that patients waiting on vital treatments and procedures are seen as possible.

I’ll be focused on tackling the appalling attainment gap in our schools, which continues to damage the future prospects of so many young people in Clydebank.

And I’ll be fighting for a fair funding deal for West Dunbartonshire Council so that vital day-to-day services are enhanced rather than slashed.

I fully believe that is the issues that local people want to focus on rather than another divisive referendum.

I am in the process of setting up my office and holding my first surgeries, where everyone will be welcome. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me on Pam.Gosal.MSP@parliament.scot whatever issue you wish to raise. I am here to be an accessible MSP for you and your family.