The turn of the year is a good time to reflect. We remember the good and the bad of the months gone past and think about what we want to see in the year ahead.

And there is so much to be glad of in the year just past.

I have met incredible people and projects – and it’s been brilliant to see folks across Clacks benefit from flagship Scottish Green policies in action.

Young people across the region have enjoyed 460,139 free bus journeys since the expansion of free bus to all under 22s.

Families who owe money to councils for school meals will see their debts wiped, with more than £9,000 worth of school meal debt in Clacks written off by the Scottish Government.

And Clacks organisations leading local work to restore nature have received record support from the Nature Restoration Fund to continue their pioneering work to restore rivers and woodlands.

But every year comes with its challenges.

There have been even more extreme weather events on our doorstep this year – including the devastating floods in Perthshire and North East Scotland.

We’ve seen increased hostility towards people seeking refugee protection, with the Westminster Government mounting an all-out assault on refugee rights.

And globally, we’re witnessing an absolute humanitarian catastrophe in Palestine, with urgent international calls for a ceasefire still failing to materialise. We also continue to welcome Ukrainian families as the war with Russia drags on.

I have never been surer that our politicians – here in the Scottish Parliament and elsewhere – need to stand up for people and planet.

We can choose to build a better world for our children, and our children’s children. And we can work towards hope, justice, and freedom for all.

So, at a time when we set our resolutions for the year ahead, mine is simple – I will not lose hope that a better future is possible.

And in 2024, I will do all I can to build a fairer, greener, and more just Scotland for all, working with wonderful people driving change across our communities.