WELL done to all the organisers of the Gourock Highland Games. Once again it was an excellent event and it was great to see so many people in attendance. It’s an example of Inverclyde coming together and putting on an event that has something for everyone.

On Monday, I had a variety of meetings in my diary including meeting constituents, meeting the Interim Head of Service for Mental Health and Addictions, a board meeting at Moving On Inverclyde and a round table meeting with some solicitors discussing the collapse of McClure’s. As legislation to improve the legal process is still progressing through the Parliament, it’s important that I continue dialogue with solicitors who have been left to pick up the pieces trying to help clients.

Parliament this week saw the passing of the Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill. The bill came into being because of the Grenfell Tower fire and the deaths that occurred in that tragedy. The bill was passed unanimously and the co-operation that took place between all political parties was good to see. Despite what the public perception can be in addition to some of the comments from politicians, a great deal of co-operation between parties and governments does happen.

On Tuesday evening I once again chaired the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism (CPG Marine Tourism). We had a few presentations including from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and VisitScotland. Both have important roles to play in helping to promote Inverclyde and what it has to offer. There is a real appreciation that Inverclyde has a product that people want to engage with in addition to being a staging post to elsewhere.

It’s up to us how we make the most of the Inverclyde product we have. We, like everywhere else, have our challenges. We, like everywhere else, have our opportunities. Constituents quite rightly highlight both to me and many want to capitalise on the latter as they see that as a way of bringing more finance, jobs and opportunities into the area.

Last year, I hosted many Scottish Government Ministers in the constituency. One of which was the Housing Minister, Paul McLennan MSP. On Wednesday, we had another meeting between the Minister and local housing associations in addition to representatives from Inverclyde Council being present. Inverclyde has plenty of empty properties, but they are not the types of housing that people want to rent. I believe it's important that more social housing is built as this will alleviate some of the issues my office faces on a daily basis with regards to the demand for housing that doesn’t exist or is in short supply.

Finally, I have been contacted by a number of constituents asking why the Council Tax has not yet been reduced. I have written to Inverclyde Council accordingly.