The issue which continues to dominate our news and concerns constituents is the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 12,600 children.

During the recent debate I spoke in support of the Motion for an immediate ceasefire. Here is an extract from my speech in Parliament:

“Any continuation of the military operation in Gaza merely results in innocent men, women and children paying the price for a crime that they did not commit.

"The only way to prevent further loss of civilian lives, to secure the release of hostages, and the entry of life-saving humanitarian aid, is to secure an immediate and permanent ceasefire, including calling off the Rafah offensive.

"Not tomorrow. Not next week, not next month. Today!

"I fully support international demands for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and will be voting in favour of the SNP Motion later today.”

On Wednesday afternoon, I spoke in the Chamber in support of the SNP Motion for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The debate has been overshadowed by the controversial decision by the Speaker which prevented the SNP Motion from being voted upon. However, the most important thing for me is that we continue to press for an immediate ceasefire. Here is a short clip which includes the conclusion of my speech.

Posted by Allan Dorans MP on Friday, 23 February 2024

However, controversially I was not allowed to vote on the Motion (for reasons, I will not go in to here), but I will continue to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

One way of supporting Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock’s economy right now is by using local businesses whenever possible.

The cost-of-living crisis has hit us all, making careful consideration of where to spend our money even more important and shopping locally strengthens the very fabric of our communities.

I recently visited Gemmell’s Garden Centre, near Stair and met the Director, Colin Gemmell. This local business carries a beautiful, varied range of goods quite apart from the traditional Garden Centre stock and the coffee shop cake is not to be missed!

Cumnock Chronicle: MP Allan Dorans with Gemmell's Director, Colin Gemmell.MP Allan Dorans with Gemmell's Director, Colin Gemmell. (Image: MP Allan Dorans)

We discussed business rates, energy costs, sales tax, and employee costs: challenging issues for many businesses. Gemmell’s contributes significantly to the local economy by employing around forty-five local staff in both full and part-time roles, and it attracts visitors of all ages from further afield.

It certainly makes sense for us all to support independent, local businesses whenever possible. By choosing local first, we invest in the well-being of our communities and create a more vibrant and sustainable future for everyone.

I was delighted recently to meet Evie Tougher, Matthew McColm and Joshua Hayward Brown South Ayrshire’s newly elected Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament recently.

Cumnock Chronicle: MP Allan Dorans, MSP Siobhian Brown with Scottish Youth Parliament members.MP Allan Dorans, MSP Siobhian Brown with Scottish Youth Parliament members. (Image: MP Allan Dorans.)

The SYP gives a platform for young Scots (14-25) to debate issues, campaign for change and represent the voices of young people in Scotland. I wish our new MSYPs every success in their new roles.