LAST Monday I spent time visiting Smiths of Greenock to learn more about how they operating as an employee-owned business.

Increasing numbers of firms across Scotland are turning to this model, as it fosters a community-centred mindset amongst the workforce – the majority of whom will live within the local area – and will help drive the strategic decisions the company makes going forward.

If any other local business is keen to learn about employee ownership, I’d encourage them to contact Scottish Enterprise for more information.

On Thursday in the parliament, I hosted a drop-in session about a new software tool called WelcoMe.

The tool is a recent winner of the prestigious World Summit Award for the Inclusion and Empowerment of Disabled People, is now in use at the Scottish Parliament and has been offered to all MSPs for use at their constituency offices.

I hope to roll the service out in my office as it enables constituents to provide information about their accessibility needs, including communication needs, ahead of any visit to my office.

I always strive to be as accessible as possible for all my constituents and I am confident this tool will help improve this for those with disabilities and communication needs.

On Friday, I joined the Community Safety Minister to meet with the organisations involved in the local Partnership Hub.

The Partnership Hub brings together various stakeholders including police, registered social landlords, community wardens and others to discuss issues like anti-social behaviour which impact upon the community.

I had invited the minister to see how the Partnership Hub operates as I believe it’s an excellent joint working model that should be rolled out across the country.