There’s much to do at Holyrood in 2024 - Miles Briggs

It is hard to believe that yet another year has concluded, although it does sometimes feel like the additional grey hairs indicate it has been a long one.

​It has been a busy year in Parliament and across Lothian. I am proud of the help my office has helped provide residents and what we have helped achieve.

I was thrilled that my campaigning alongside colleagues and local groups successfully secured freeport status along the Firth of Forth. As one of two locations in Scotland for a Greenport, the success of the Forth Green Freeport bid will bring a wealth of economic, environmental and social benefits to the region.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Sheriffhall Roundabout is a campaign I have been working to see move forward since being elected. At the start of February this year, a Public Local Inquiry was carried out to address objections related to the project. As it stands, an independent reporter is reviewing these and will report to the Scottish Government. It is vital we see progress in 2024 and I will continue to impress upon SNP-Green ministers the importance of upgrading the roundabout.

I was proud to sponsor the ‘See Beyond – See the Lives’ debate in Parliament to help reduce the stigma that surrounds deaths due to alcohol and drugs. It is a matter that is very personal to me, and my family and it was moving and inspiring hearing the accounts of others who have lost loved ones to the cruelty of addiction. We need to address the stigma which prevents people seeking help.

In my role as co-chair of the Scottish parliament cross-party group on cancer, I have continued to fight hard for the cancer and palliative care community in Scotland and have been working hard to secure extra funding for hospices and better support for palliative care services.

2023 has been a challenge year for many people and families. In November, the City of Edinburgh Council declared a housing emergency - something I had long been calling for - as a response to the homelessness crisis in the Capital. A quarter of all children living in temporary accommodation in Scotland are in Edinburgh and I will continue to lobby the Scottish Government to an Edinburgh-specific housing fund to tackle the housing crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Furthermore, I will continue to press the Scottish Government on the need to deliver a new Edinburgh eye hospital to replace the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion. With recent reports of maintenance issues at the current site, it reinforces how essential it is that SNP-Green ministers deliver the funding that NHS Lothian requires to complete the project. For too long SNP-Green ministers have shortchanged our area and I will do all I can in 2024 to make sure we secure a fairer deal.

We are now halfway through this parliamentary term, and it has been a busy year. There is much work to do in 2024, and I will continue to hold the SNP-Green Government to account and will ensure the real priorities of people in Lothian are put on the agenda in Parliament.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Evening News readers a very happy new year.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.