February 18-24

After a week of recess, its been a busy week in Parliament.

Monday: I attended a City of Edinburgh Parliamentary Council briefing and a meeting on business rates. I also met with Professor Sean Smith about the Edinburgh City deal.

Tuesday: I attended an Economy, Work, and Fair Jobs Committee meeting. Later in chambers, I pressed the Cabinet Secretary Derek Mackay to challenge Westminster about the disproportionate business rate rises:

The cabinet secretary has listened to businesses, such as those in the hospitality sector in my constituency of Edinburgh Eastern that faced disproportionate rate rises, and the fact that he has acted is very welcome. Would he encourage the Tory Government in Westminster, which is currently being accused by its own back benchers of misleading businesses over the rate rise in England, to take the same constructive approach?

Watch my question here.

I also saw the inaugural CPG for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, convened by me, Annie Wells MPS, and Rhonda Grant MSP. Ms Catriona Graham, key figure in Ireland’s ‘Turn the Red Light Off Campaign’ appeared as a guest speaker to promote Scotland to follow suit as Ireland and other countries to make buying sex illegal.

Wednesday: I had a meeting for the Finance and Constitution Committee.

Thursday: I wore my purple to support Purple Friday, showing my support for the LGBT community in Scotland.  In the afternoon, I contributed to the debate on the proposed budget for Scotland. See my full speech here.

Friday: I met with Darren Ryan of the Edinburgh city Council to discuss planning at Lochend Gardens on match days in order to protect residents.

Also, it was a joy to host Megan Kerr on a work placement this week.

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