Tele Column – 4th March 2016

The EU referendum will take place 7 weeks after the Scottish Parliament election. Not surprisingly the prime minister has gone for the 23rd of June. Although this may suit the ‘remain’ campaign ( and I shall vote to remain ) it is yet another example of the government abusing its power. We should all have been given the summer to consider our views. A number of people have asked me why I want Scotland out of the U.K. but want the UK to remain in the EU. I don’t think Scotland’s relationship within Europe can be fully formed until we are an independent country and as an independent country, despite what was said during the referendum, Scotland will have the chance to remain in the EU rather than apply for membership, if the UK stays in.

In the mean time the pollsters are predicting that the SNP will form the next Scottish government with a comfortable majority. I expect an open and honest campaign from all sides and without putting a jinx on him, I believe Stuart McMillan will make an excellent constituency MSP for Inverclyde.

Locally I have been talking to interested parties about reforestation, hydro power, flooding and biomass fuel. Aspects of this have been kicked around for years locally but I think a genuine non political group should take a long hard look at this. And importantly engage with the public on all aspects. Not lip service, lengthy and detailed interaction.

I have been having discussions with council officers with the view to improving the working relationship between Inverclyde’s MP and the council. If we are truly going to change things for the better then constructive dialogue between my office and the council is extremely important.