Winter is being ushered in, bringing with it darker mornings and colder days.
Halloween sweeties and costumes are in the shops, but the scariest thing on the horizon is Brexit.
Chaos and confusion continue to reign at Westminster and it’s getting harder to keep up with Boris’ machinations. His erratic behaviour and wild statements seem all too familiar with what we’ve witnessed across the pond, as does his lack of embarrassment for spouting falsehoods.
The recent Institute for Fiscal Studies report predicting public borrowing to double next year – whatever the Brexit result – makes for a grim read and is especially galling since Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit in any form.
My SNP colleagues in London continue to provide robust opposition and crucial scrutiny of the Conservative government. In contrast, it remains difficult to decipher Labour’s stance on Brexit and the Liberal Democrat’s position on little else.
While Brexit dominates the agenda in London, it’s been business as usual at the Scottish Parliament and in my constituency. At the start of summer, I wrote to East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust to suggest the implementation of an Autism Quiet Hour at Bishopbriggs Leisuredrome.
Following a successful trial, the quiet hour is now a permanent fixture on Saturdays from noon to 1pm. This is fantastic news and its warm welcome by local people is a powerful reminder that we should always be striving to improve and be as inclusive as possible.
At Parliament this week I met representatives from the National Autism Society who have an upcoming Autism Hour campaign, and I would encourage businesses and service providers to get involved. By making often small changes such as lowering the volume of music or bright lights, alterations we likely wouldn’t even miss, we can ensure everyone feels comfortable.
This month saw the Scottish Parliament pass the world’s most ambitious climate change targets, demonstrating that Scotland is serious about the climate emergency we are facing and is taking radical action to reduce our environmental impact.
In addition to busy twice weekly surgeries in my constituency office, I also had the pleasure of meeting pupils at St. Ninian’s High School and Lairdsland Primary School who asked some very discerning questions on the Scottish Parliament and justice issues!
I also had the pleasure recently of meeting Aryan Munshi, pupil of Lenzie Chess Academy, who had just returned from China where he represented Scotland in the World Cadets Chess Championship in the under-12s category.
It was fascinating to hear him discussing the tactics he was up against with the club members, which really sounded like another language to my ears!
At the end of September, I hosted a MacMillan Coffee Morning in my constituency office which raised over £420 thanks to everyone who donated and contributed their time by making lots of lovely cakes and treats. It was certainly a team effort for a great cause!
As ever, if you have any issues you think I may be able to help with, please call in to my office at 18a Townhead, Kirkintilloch. Surgeries are on Monday mornings and Fridays between 4pm-6pm. No appointment necessary but you can book one through www.ronamackay.scot or phone 0141 776 1561.