As I write this article, I am 8,000 miles away in the Falkland Islands as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme at Westminster which I joined soon after I was appointed as the SNP front bench Defence spokesperson.

It has given me tremendous insight into the work of our Armed Forces and in particular the Royal Navy which is very much at the heart of the Helensburgh and Lomond community.

My 18 hour flight from Brize Norton included a stop to re-fuel in the Ascension Island and a quick tour of the RAF facility there. In all honesty it is by far the remotest, most fascinating of places I have ever been.

Probably as you are reading this however, I will be back out and about this vast constituency. Helensburgh, as well as being my home town is the largest town in Argyll and Bute, and since Christmas I have held a surgery and visited many of its community groups.

Citizens Advice Bureau, Helensburgh and Lomond Carers and of course opening the wonderful new Dementia Centre in the town are to name but a few.

Meeting the people working day in day out on the front line was a very humbling experience and unfortunately I have also learned of the fight they have to stay in existence. I will do everything I possibly can to support these vital services.

The last few months have seen the threat of Argyll and Bute Council cuts hanging over our heads.

With an unprecedented £5m cut to the budget, it will not be too long before we see the effects on the most vulnerable in our community. I am very pleased, however, that last week, our SNP group made a stance and voted against this budget.

The trust in the SNP to deliver for Scotland has never been higher and rightly so.

Despite the huge cuts to the Scottish grant from Westminster, the Scottish Government continues to protect us from the worst excesses of a Conservative government determined to push through its ideological programme of Austerity.

The people of Helensburgh and Lomond have an opportunity to make their voices heard in May’s Scottish Parliament election by voting for SNP’s Gail Robertson in West Dunbartonshire and using their second vote to ensure that Nicola Sturgeon is returned as First Minister of Scotland.