ANGUS SOUTH MSP Graeme Dey, in his festive message to constituents, reflects on the year now drawing to a close and looks forward to what 2012 has to offer.
“From a personal point of view, 2011 has brought considerable change to my life thanks to being handed the great privilege of representing Angus South in the Scottish Parliament,” he tells the Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald.
“I consider it a genuine honour to be the MSP for this area and, although the role is demanding, it is also extremely enjoyable.
“For me, there’s no more important aspect to this job that assisting people who turn to my constituency office for help.
“And that’s why seven months in my staff and I have been taking stock and looking at how we can provide an even better service.
“Speaking to many of you during the election campaign I made clear my commitment to being as accessible to constituents as possible.
“And hopefully people will view the substantial number of surgery locations I’ve established right across Angus South, but especially in the Kirriemuir area, as a clear indication of my delivering upon that pledge.
“Since being elected in May I have regularly held surgeries in Kirriemuir, Newtyle, Eassie and Kingoldrum with Westmuir, Inverarity and Charleston added to the rota in recent months.
“And moving into the New Year, Northmuir Hall will become a further feature on the roster.
“Most folk, thankfully, will have little cause to require the assistance of their MSP but when they have, I believe easy, preferably face-to-face, access is important.
“That’s why when the lighter nights return and opportunity permits I’ll be looking to expand that rota.”
Mr Dey goes on to explain that it has been a busy time at Parliament and it promises to become even busier over the next few months as the government’s legislative programme is rolled out.
“I sit on the Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee which as the title suggests has a varied and substantial remit.
“I find it a fascinating committee covering as it does environmental issues, fishing, farming and pretty much every aspect of rural life.
“But having also spoken in Parliamentary debates covering subjects such as the Supreme Court, sport and preparations for the onset of winter not to mention raising issues in the chamber covering Health, care of the elderly, Tourism, Education and the Economy I have discovered that an MSPs remit is quite extensive !
“As you know these are challenging times.
“Thanks to the recession households the length and breadth of Scotland have been feeling the pinch.
“That’s why the Scottish Government continues to do its best – within the constraints of devolution – to ease the financial pressure by maintaining the Council Tax Freeze, abolishing prescription charges and maintaining concessionary bus travel.
“With £1.3 billion having been cut from the Scottish budget by Westminster, savings have had to be made and difficult decisions taken.
“But the SNP government remains committed to doing the best it can for Scotland and I am committed to standing up for Angus South and advancing its interests.
“Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2012.”