Tele column – 6th January 2017

It’s traditional to make resolutions and predictions at the start of a new year. Well I resolutely refuse to predict anything. After all, not even Nostradamus could have predicted the events of last year and the problem with resolutions is they are often just thinly veiled aspirations, world peace and happiness, or at worst, no more than a wish list, new job, new car, lose weight, gain money. Nothing happens by chance. If we want change, we need to set goals, plan and work. We have another year laid out in front of us and it’s ours to make of it what we will. While trying to define the areas that I wish to focus on this year I had to whittle down a very long list and I still ended up with ten topics. I know there shall be occasions when one demands more time than the others and therefore it will always be a balancing act. Bringing jobs to Inverclyde is always the local priority. Gainful employment resolves so many other issues. Flooding, parking and broadband are a trio of topics that frustratingly require attention on an on-going basis. Drugs, gambling and prostitution are areas of exploitation that wreck lives and need serious reform. Our welfare system is creaking at the seams and a Universal Basic Income needs researched and pilot projects run. And we need to regenerate Inverclyde, our industry and our arts. It goes without saying that I believe all these areas would be better addressed by the people of Scotland, for the people of Scotland but my parliamentary office puts up no barriers to good ideas. We live in an imperfect world but the majority of these imperfections are of our own making. With ambition and hard work we can take our community forward. Let’s embrace a brave new year and make 2017 one that we, the people of Inverclyde, can be proud of.