DOUGLAS ROSS: Looking ahead to year of big changes
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AS we look back on 2023, I truly believe things are looking brighter across Moray, writes Moray MP and Highlands and Islands MSP Douglas Ross.
Times have undoubtedly continued to be tough for many people across the constituency and a quick glance at the casework in my inbox confirms that.
The effects of the global cost-of-living crisis and the legacy of the Covid pandemic means that the past 12 months have been hard for many individuals, families and businesses.
However, 2024 is likely to offer people across Moray a clear choice at a general election.
For those who may be unaware, I will be stepping down as Moray MP whenever the date of the election is called, while continuing as a Member of the Scottish Parliament.
It has been the honour of my life to represent the area where I was born, went to school and where I am raising my own family as the area’s Member of Parliament since 2017.
I will remain a strong voice for all those communities in Moray as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands and raise the issues that matter to you.
I am delighted that Moray Council leader Kathleen Robertson – who is doing such a great job in tough times for councils – will be standing to succeed me in the new Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey seat. My MP colleague David Duguid will be standing in a new seat which takes in the eastern parts of Moray, called Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.
I have already enjoyed being out with her on the campaign trail with them both and that will only ramp up in the coming months. Voters will have a clear choice between Kathleen and David as local candidates who will focus on the issues that matter to our rural and coastal communities, or the SNP candidate who only want to push for another independence referendum.
However, political differences aside, Hogmanay is always a fantastic occasion for our communities across Moray as we bring in the bells.
As Moray celebrates, my thanks go to the emergency services workers who are on shift tonight and keeping our communities safe as well as our Armed Forces at home and abroad seeing in 2024 away from their families as they protect our country.
So can I take this opportunity to wish everyone in Moray all the best for a happy and prosperous year ahead.