COLUMN: It’s the best of times for all MSPs


Categories: News

Glenrothes Gazette and East Fife Mail Column – Published 26 July 2023

Summer recess is one of the best times of year for all MSPs – it’s the time we get the most opportunity to spend in our constituencies. 

This Summer has been no exception for me. Between the heavy showers last week, I popped along to the Riverside Park picnic in Glenrothes with my constituency team. The community picnic runs every Wednesday afternoon through the school holidays from 12:00 – 15:00 and is a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids.  As well as games, activities, and free packed lunches for children of all ages, there are community organisations on hand to provide advice and resources for families.  

My highlight of the picnic was visiting the tent run by Ukrainians benefitting from the Scottish Government’s Sponsor Scheme. The group were a pleasure to chat to and spoke eloquently about their cultural clothing and personal experiences. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring Ukrainians feel safe and welcome and I will continue to support people living with sponsors in my constituency.  

Later in the week I was pleased to meet with Duncan Mitchell from Fife Employment Access Trust for an update on the Flax Mill Restoration Project. Part-funded by the Scottish Government, the £8 million project will create a visitor centre, community hub and hostel. Since my last visit to the mill in 2021, there has been significant progress in improving Silverburn Park and preparing the mill for regeneration. Construction is set to begin next month, with the redeveloped mill opening in 2026.  

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit Largo Arts Week and see the incredible array of artistic talent on display locally. A total of 60 artists showed their work in 37 homes and studios, and the warmth and kindness of artists who opened their homes and showed their work to visitors was clear to see. It was good to spend some time hearing about the methods and influences that go into artists’ work and to view (and buy!) some of the pieces for sale. 

On Friday, I held two busy constituency advice surgeries in Kinglassie and Leslie. Casework is the heart of my job as an MSP, and it is always good to meet with constituents face-to-face. 

Details of my surgeries for the rest of the summer recess are available online or by contacting my constituency office. I’m looking forward to meeting with as many constituents, organisations and businesses as possible throughout the rest of July and August – if you see me on your travels, please say Hello! And if you need my assistance as your MSP, please get in touch with my team at the local office in Markinch. 

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