Earlier this year I held one of my drop-in surgeries in Rankinston.

The village may have a population of less than 300, but it is full of community pride.

After listening to residents about improvements they wanted to see in the village, I, along with Councillor Jennifer Hogg, called a town hall meeting for villagers and officials from East Ayrshire Council.

We listened and we acted on our constituents' wishes. It was a prime example of democracy in action and the need for politicians like me to engage with the communities we represent.

There may be no quick fixes, but I look forward to continuing to work with the people of Rankinston.

In 1997, the people of Scotland made an important democratic decision that would turn out to be the most influential and significant in our country's history. We voted to re-establish the Scottish Parliament.

Like the people of Rankinston, we wanted representatives to listen to our needs and act on our behalf, no matter what political party they come from. That is the beauty of our democratic process which we should cherish.

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, devolution and our Parliament are under constant attack from Westminster which is showing an increasing disregard for Scottish democracy.

It used to be that if Westminster wanted to pass a law that affected devolved policy areas, they would need to ask our permission. But since Brexit, the Tories are passing more and more laws without consulting the representatives of the people of Scotland.

Any political party that values democracy must call this out.

UK Ministers are now using the Internal Market Act to wrest control of key devolved powers, bypassing Scotland’s democratically elected Parliament. Now, Scotland’s Parliament has agreed the Internal Market Act must be repealed and the UK Government must listen.

The threat to the powers of the Scottish Parliament and the undermining of the institutions of devolution are real and urgent.

Scotland’s Parliament must be respected and protected. No politician, whether they be SNP, Labour, or Conservative, should take the people of Scotland’s vote for granted. We are here to do a job and fight for our constituents. Whether you voted for me or not, you have my pledge to continue to stand up for you in our Parliament.

If you need my help with anything, please get in touch with my office by emailing elena.whitham.msp@parliament.scot or call 01290 319126.