IN the parliament last week MSPs unanimously voted to establish a Scottish Social Security System.

This is a golden opportunity to set up a system with fairness, dignity and respect at its heart. 

The new system means Holyrood will now control 15 per cent of benefits while Westminster still controls 85 per cent. The devolution of social security represents the greatest single increase in the responsibilities of this parliament since devolution. 

This is a system built for the people of Scotland, designed in partnership with the people of Scotland, a system quite unlike any other that has gone before, and I’m delighted that campaigners have welcomed the rights-based approach built into the process from the beginning. 

After the vote on Wednesday, I hosted an event for the Scottish FA and Cashback for Communities to celebrate their activities for the Year of Young People 2018. 

The grassroots activity is first class and helps many young people with their future life choices and chances. 

I was delighted to accept the invitation to be a judge for the local Inverclyde Childminding Network art competition at the weekend. My family were a bit surprised knowing my lack of artistic ability and I’m sure any of my former art teachers reading this will concur. 

The theme ‘I love…’ showcased the wonderful breadth of artistic talent among Inverclyde’s young people. It was fabulous. 

We have an abundance of talent and thank-you to everyone who took part, all the companies who donated prizes, and a huge well done to the winners and organisers.