As we begin a New Year I am thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves and my heart particularly goes out to those caught up of the horror of the Syrian conflict.The year just passed will go down as one of the most eventful and unpredictable years on record with the loss of so many icons like David Bowie and Terry Wogan and for me, Glenn Frey of my favourite band The Eagles.
Leicester City, Brexit and Donald Trump were among the biggest surprises in 2016 and whatever we thought during the campaign, we all need Mr Trump's presidency to be a success after he takes up residence in the White House.
I was extremely proud to see my son Oliver elected as MSP for Dumfriesshire and we will continue to work together for everyone in Dumfriesshire. I was also very pleased to successfully the Scotland Act through the House of Commons to give the Scottish Parliament significant tax and welfare powers. Let’s hope they are used wisely in 2017.
It was also a momentous year for me personally and I want to thank everyone locally who gave me so much love and support.
The political agenda in 2017 will be dominated by the Brexit negotiations but I hope plans for another independence referendum won’t. Local people voted overwhelmingly to stay in the United Kingdom and their views must be respected. We will get the best deal from the EU if we all work together.
Locally I will continue to do all I can to support jobs to ensure we have vibrant local communities.
I wish all constituents a Happy New Year.