IN March I used my Tele column to highlight the desperate housing situation in Inverclyde and across the whole of Scotland, spotlighting the 10,000 homes in our community that were deemed unfit and overcrowded.

Last week, the Scottish Parliament finally declared a housing emergency across the whole country.

Last November the Scottish Government voted against declaring a housing emergency, yet just last week their minds were changed. Not wishing to sound cynical, I don’t think Scotland’s housing situation was in less of a crisis six months ago than it is currently.

Perhaps they found it challenging to accept that this crisis came about as a result of their 17 years of being in charge of Scotland’s housing.

Still, I welcome this u-turn from the SNP and hope that concrete action follows swiftly to turn Scotland’s housing crisis into a housing boom. I only wish they sought to bring the whole parliament with them in doing so.

However, in a rare show of cross-party unity in the Scottish Parliament, this week MSPs unanimously passed the first stage of the landmark Bill to clear the name of every sub-postmaster who was a victim of the horrific Post Office scandal. We still have a way to go but this is an excellent first step in achieving justice for those who suffered during this ordeal.

I was glad to have the opportunity to speak in this debate where I raised the plight of Keith Macaldowie, a Greenock-based sub-postmaster, who bravely shared his story with the Telegraph and BBC Scotland. I wouldn’t want to repeat the personal details here without his permission, however his evidence to the UK Post Office Inquiry stuck with me throughout this week and informed my thoughts whilst considering this ground-breaking legislation.

This week I also wrote to the cabinet secretary for health and social care, Neil Gray, about the recent decision taken by the NHS to permanently reduce seven day a week out-of-hours GP services at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

This was a move which was supposed to be temporary during the pandemic but has now become permanent despite being widely opposed by the community and has been condemned by almost every local politician. Almost.