Easter Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:23 pm on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 4:23 pm, 29th March 2018

I was initially grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s intervention, but that is a scurrilous attack on what is quite clearly one of my constituents. I will not have that and hope that he will withdraw that comment.

While in my constituency, Mr Speaker, you could pop along to the Highland Wildlife Park to congratulate the highly trained staff on the UK’s first and only polar bear cub—a born highlander. Or you might take a trip to the Landmark Forest Adventure Park, which was recently awarded the Travellers’ Choice award by TripAdvisor and named in the top 1% of visitor attractions worldwide. In the city, we have exciting plans for Inverness castle and the launch of a truly world-leading augmented reality app, which will put Inverness history into perspective and enable people to grasp it with their own hands.

My constituency is internationalist, diverse and welcoming. We have welcome friends, neighbours and colleagues from all over the world. The children at Central Primary School in Inverness speak 21 languages. We are pleased to welcome Inverlingo, a new meet-up group for internationals living in Inverness so that they can be linked to EU nationals and we can share their value in our society. We will soon have the opening of the honorary Polish consulate in Inverness, too.

Our people care deeply about supporting others who need help, and I wish to thank just some of the organisations involved. Mikeysline, which recently opened the Hive in Inverness, offers a place for people aged 17 and over to drop in when they are feeling low or depressed, or when they simply need some space or support. The volunteers there do incredible work. Birchwood Highland recovery centre is the first and only mental health residential recovery centre in Inverness, and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

In World Autism Awareness Week, a special mention must be given to the Highland One Stop Shop and all the fantastic people who fought to keep that service open. They are delighted with the Scottish Government funding and the private donor who has committed to help them.

I thank the community transport groups that work wonders in Merkinch and Badenoch, and pay tribute to the contribution of the volunteers there. The Badenoch and Strathspey community transport group has an innovative project that matches up school kids with elderly people so that they can learn from each other skills such as IT.

The Boat of Garten community centre, and Emma Macdonald and team at the hall, put in huge effort to make sure that there is always something going on, from “Boat Reel” film screenings to family fun days and “Showboaters” theatre productions. Boat of Garten was featured on Channel 4’s “Village of the Year”.

I could go on and on about what is happening in my constituency. I congratulate the Inverness chamber of commerce on its 125th anniversary. I also congratulate Inverness BID—the business improvement district—on the renewal of its mandate to operate in the city.