HAVING held a round of my regular Surgeries at various venues in East Ayrshire, at the end of April I spontaneously set up a pop-up surgery in Cumnock.

My first attempt was rained off and I retreated to Da Vinci’s for a hearty bowl of homemade soup.

Undeterred and having dried out, I returned later in the day and during a gap in the April showers I succeeded in holding a short surgery.

It was a good opportunity to catch up with some of the locals and learn of their concerns.

Thereafter I visited some of the local businesses before driving out to Timbermills at its Borland Farm Garden Centre where I was given a tour of the site by Mr Mills.

I was bemused to find a floral art display for the garden with a difference, inspirationally it incorporated recycled goods including an old pair of denim jeans and an old pair of wellies!

I only wish I had seen this display prior to my participation in the many recycling debates at Westminster.

I am looking forward to once again attending the Boswell Book Festival at Dumfries House and I hope that the many visitors that it attracts take time to visit Cumnock’s town centre which has a vibrancy about it with the new Farmfoods shop now open, a selection of smaller independent shops stocking useful items and unique gifts and a range of eateries. Hopefully both owners and Council will address the blight of the few derelict and downtrodden buildings so as these are not permitted to detract from the many improvements and impinge upon those who make a concerted effort to keep their properties and shop frontages pristine.

Whilst down at Westminster I spoke in various debates covering the Devolution of Welfare, the 50th Anniversary of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent, the Expert Working Group Report on Hormone Pregnancy Tests and Plastic Recycling.

I also made interventions in the Loan Charges, Visas for non-EEA citizens in the UK and at the Russian Annexation of Crimea Debates. I am adding a new APPG on eating disorders to my portfolio, having previously spoken on that topic.

Brexit appears to be in limbo, however, I understand that behind the scenes the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition remain in talks.