I didn’t travel to Westminster as I was helping to host the judges for Council of the Year. Inverclyde is one of the finalists and I met with two of the judges at the new Greenock Ocean Terminal to discuss levelling up funding and the wider regeneration plans for the area. I was happy to support council officer Stuart Jamieson in this role and hopefully we can win the award. More importantly, we must push forward the bold plans to reshape the town centre for both tourists and locals and attract more industry into the area. We are always planting these seeds and it’s frustrating when it takes so long for any to come to fruition, but I do believe we are much better placed now than we have been for a number of years.
Down to Westminster and a great meeting with the owners of a company that grow medical cannabis. The setup they are required to provide involves the growing rooms, security of product and efficacy of the medicine. It’s an impressive investment but they, like all other growers, are experiencing difficulties in acquiring licences from the Home Office. It takes six months to apply and the licence is for a year. Therefore, it’s one continual cycle which doesn’t help to attract investment. I received an online briefing from Voltface pertaining to an event I am doing with them on medical cannabis prescribing early in June. In the evening I attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the 12 step recovery. It was a mixture of a presentation of research from Dame Carol Black and lived experience testimony. The latter is always the more powerful. A very famous retired footballer told his story of addictions. This is a player that on the surface had everything, but his story brought a tear to everyone’s eye. He was brutally honest and there was not a shred of self pity in what he said. So often the people that have come through addiction are the best of people.
Prime Minister’s Questions was both worse and better than usual. Worse because of the pathetic performance from the Leader of the Opposition. Any man that wants to form the next government has to start telling folk what the differences are between his party and the Conservatives. But it was better because finally the Speaker told a Member to leave because their behaviour is unacceptable. It was one of the usual suspects and as he walked out with his tail between his legs his fellow school ground bullies looked down nervously and shuffled their feet in-case they were next. Hopefully, the lesson has been learned and PMQs can become a platform to hold the U.K. government to account once again. I say this full in the knowledge that I have a question on the Order Paper to the Prime Minister in a couple of weeks.
I bobbed for question to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) but wasn’t taken. I was going to ask if they had any conversations with their colleagues in the Home Office about hemp growing licences, I shall put it in writing to them instead. I suspect I know the answer. There were a couple of Urgent Questions, and I covered the chamber until it was time to best a retreat back up the road.
I had a catch-up meeting with senior council officers in the morning. Caught up with casework and the usual paperwork and in the afternoon I hosted the screening of a documentary called One Last Spin at the Hub in Inverkip. It’s a documentary about gambling addiction and we followed that with a question-and-answer session afterwards with one of the documentary creators Martin Paterson.
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