WITH the end of 2021 fast approaching and the weather turning from autumn to winter, I’ve begun to reflect on this year gone by.

For me, it has been a whirlwind since I got elected to the Scottish Parliament in May, but I am delighted that I have been able to get straight to work and represent issues that matter to you and the West Scotland Region in the Scottish Parliament.

One event that stands out in my mind is that of remembrance, and Remembrance Sunday. This Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday was the first time that I was able to represent the region as an MSP, attending memorial parades and speaking about it in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

I believe that it is so important to remember all those who have lost their lives in conflict down through the years and remember those who are still living with pain today. Indeed, I spent time this month thinking of all veterans across our communities and how we must do more to support them.

I continue to pay tribute to our serving personnel, whether at home or abroad, and I particularly want to mention the incredible work that has been done by our armed forces throughout the pandemic.

Whether staffing the asymptomatic testing centre around our communities or driving ambulances across the West Scotland region or supporting the logistics of the first vaccination centres, from Giffnock to Greenock, they have made a huge difference to the lives of people in the communities that I serve. We owe them all so much and we must do our bit to support them.

Another important recent event, which has no doubt been one of the biggest events to ever be held in Glasgow was COP26. The importance of the summit cannot be downplayed – with the most recent UN climate change panel report issuing a “code red for humanity”, COP26 was the world’s best last chance to avert climate catastrophe.

I was pleased to play my part in the conference and speak at the Taiwan Day event and build bridges between our two countries. If we are to get this climate crisis under control, we have to be able to work together and learn from everyone. I’m afraid that the Glasgow Agreement was a missed opportunity – a stumble forwards when we needed to make great strides to save our planet from catastrophic global warming.

I will continue to work for our communities in the Scottish Parliament in 2022, and if I can ever be of any support please do not hesitate to get in touch.