Neil Findlay – Labour MSP for Lothian
This year has been dominated by the chaos around Brexit, with all the uncertainty and division it has caused for employers, businesses, community groups and families.
And while pantomime season continues in the House of Commons, ordinary people worry about how to pay the bills, the education of their children and health and well being of their families and loves ones. Across West Lothian around 16,000 people are paid below the real living wage of £8.45, food bank use is rising as the chaos of Universal credit bites, 1000 local children have been forced to bypass their local hospital at St John’s because the Children’s ward has still has not been restored to a 24/7 service and in towns and villages bus and train services are failing our communities. My hope is that in 2019 these issues and many more are addressed and that we begin to rebuild our essential public services following years of cuts and declining budgets.
Finally, I want to say it is a great privilege to represent this area in the Scottish Parliament. My office has helped thousands of local people over the last year – taking up cases, answering emails and phone calls, organising surgeries and representing constituents.
I look forward to continuing this work in 2019 – so to everyone in West Lothian, especially all of the community groups, charities and workers who help look after us at this time of year have a fantastic Christmas and a peaceful new year.
I look forward to working with many of you in 2019.