Pars bring a buzz to our town

PARS fans will be relishing a new season in the Scottish Championship.

There's a feel-good factor surrounding East End Park and a renewed optimism following a convincing promotion.

Boss Allan Johnston has strengthened a talented, energetic squad and it will be interesting to see how the season develops, particularly with big games against Dundee United, Hibernian and tasty derbies with Raith Rovers and Falkirk.

Even if you're not a football fan, there's no denying the positive impact a successful professional club can bring to its home town.

The Pars foster community spirit by their outreach programmes, contribute regularly to local charities and offer opportunities to boys and girls to develop their football skills from a very early age.

The players are involved regularly in representing the club at social functions and its schools engagement programme is unrivalled.

The club benefits local businesses, from caterers to bus firms, and the buzz created by success on the park flows through the town.

I urge all fans to get out and support their team this season. The players may be the stars but it's the fans who can help sway a season by backing their club and in doing so, their town.

Hectic week in Westminster

The last week of parliament before recess was hectic. I made my way through a throng of MPs and squeezed into my seat to watch the new PM, Theresa May, at the despatch box.

She oversaw a vote which saw her MPs (and some of Labour’s) vote to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system (472 votes to 117). All but one Scottish MP voted against ... in this day and age it's an outdated system and I can think of better ways of spending £205 billion than on weapons of mass destruction.

Tuesday was Defence Committee day and I took my seat to grill the new Defence Minister, Harriett Baldwin, on delays to the building of the T26 frigates. They will protect our two carriers being built in Rosyth and it could be argued that they are of greater importance to our national security than Trident. You can read more about my work with the defence committee through links on my Facebook page and Twitter feed (@DougChapmanSNP).

Backing local business

I have visited lots of businesses across Dunfermline and West Fife since becoming an MP. The most recent was SRJ Windows. They have an impressive new product development and training centre in Rosyth. Being ambitious, customer-focused and having a great sense of detail no doubt contribute to their recipe for success.

They are not alone. Dunfermline tech firm, Planys Mobile, are also making great leaps forward with their innovative work in developing apps, as the Press reported on their Business spage last week.

The number of small and medium-sized firms in West Fife who have set their sights high never fails to impress and excite me and it's great for jobs. I’m always keen to visit growing businesses in the constituency, highlight their achievements and continue supporting local talent.