CLARE’S COLUMN IN THE RUTHERGLEN REFORMER

It is now just over a month since the Scottish Parliament went into recess for Summer. Despite the fact Holyrood isn’t sitting, it doesn’t mean that MSPs have no work to do. Quite the opposite in fact!

The Summer months give me an opportunity to be out and about locally. As I said before I was elected I wanted to be able to speak with as many of my constituents as possible, to hear your views and concerns. If Politicians do not listen to their constituents how can they effectively represent them?

Being through in the Scottish Parliament three days a week during the Parliamentary year means at times I am not able to attend as many Constituency events as I would like to, so the Summer months gives me a greater chance to be out and about more. Over the last few weeks it has been great to spend much more time in Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Halfway, speaking with constituents and meeting local businesses and organisations.

Even though Parliament is in recess, my normal advice surgeries continue as planned. Just because it is school holiday time it doesn’t mean people don’t need to access their local MSP. In addition, my Constituency Office is open in Rutherglen Main Street, so you don’t have to wait for a surgery to speak with me. I am happy to make an appointment to see you at a time that suits, or you can pop in unannounced and meet with one of my hardworking team.

I have also been undertaking a number of ‘street surgeries’. Street surgeries are where I will visit a specific area with members of my staff, and speak to my constituents at their own homes. One of my overriding priorities as constituency MSP for Rutherglen is that I be as accessible to the public as possible and this is certainly a really enjoyable way to meet that goal.

So far we have conducted 6 such surgeries across Rutherglen Constituency and we will continue these across August. It is a very effective way of engaging with local people, and it has uncovered a number of recurring local issues that hadn’t yet been addressed or even picked up on.

With that in mind, it has been very helpful to be accompanied with a number of local councillors on these street surgeries. Having both an MSP and a Councillor together means we can pick up national and local issues, and ensure that it is dealt with in the quickest and most effective manner.

Please keep an eye out for me over the next few weeks as I may be visiting your street, however if I do not, feel free to get in touch with me using my usual channels.

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