THIS week in the council chambers we learned more about some of the Scottish Government policies that will help us build a better future for people in Inverclyde

Whether it is our NHS, transport, housing or education, the decisions we make today will impact on generations to come. That is why it is important that we put the building blocks in place to create the sort of Inverclyde we want. 

Getting it right for young people and families is naturally a priority.

Last week I was delighted that a couple of my closest friends introduced to the world a beautiful healthy new baby boy. 

It was also the first time I’d known a family in Inverclyde personally who’ve received the Scottish Government’s new baby box. 

Every baby in Scotland is entitled to receive a Baby Box.

Based on the successful Finnish model, the box includes essential items for a baby’s first weeks and months and aims to tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents.

Since their launch in August, over 100 baby boxes have been delivered to families across Inverclyde.

Their baby, and the hundreds of other children born in Inverclyde this year, will be  the first to benefit from the Scottish Government’s new childcare policy, which will see three and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds benefit from an entitlement of 1,140 hours of free childcare. 

It’s a radical policy which will see over 100 new childcare jobs created in Inverclyde, the building of two brand new facilities and the upgrade of many more. 

Through this new policy 1,900 children, right here in Inverclyde, will get a free school meal every day at childcare.

Delivering this policy in Inverclyde will be a challenge, but a policy that has the potential to give Inverclyde’s children the best start in life, as well as closing educational attainment and inequality gaps, is absolutely a challenge worth taking. 

Of course, if we fast forward some years, the children born this year will one day need homes of their own to live in.

If you have a young relative you will know how hard it is for young people these days to get a home of their own. 

Hopefully they will benefit from the decisions we made this week regarding our Inverclyde house building plan. 

This year alone the Scottish Government are spending £7.5m to build over 100 new affordable homes in Inverclyde. 

Over the following three years we will see a further £30m spent to see a total of over 500 new homes built here in Inverclyde meaning over 2,000 new homes will have been built in Inverclyde in a 10-year period. I’m sure young people and families of today and years to come will benefit from them.

Of course with this level of investment and private sector projects also happening we will need to have a debate on the areas transport infrastructure at some point. 

Government, whether nationally or locally, should be a place where people can work together to build a better future. 

We are setting those foundations today so that we can one day have an Inverclyde where nobody gets left behind.