John Punshon

I am 77 years old and live with my wife Mary-Jo in the Lanarkshire area. I retired from my work as a Social Work Manager approx. 12 years ago.

When I was asked if I would like to be part of the Citizens Assembly, I gladly accepted. Having been told an outline of what the assembly would be working on I felt it was an excellent opportunity to contribute to how the future of Scotland could possibly be shaped.

The first meeting of the assembly was very memorable. Meeting fellow members for the first time was exciting and going to the great hall in Edinburgh castle was the icing on the cake. The continuing work with the members and the support staff was most enjoyable and challenging.

Listening to the views of other members was, for me, a big learning curve. It seemed to me all of the members I worked with were willing to express their views during discussions and accept the views of others. This, I believe, made reaching a consensus possible.

There is a number of changes I hope the work of the Assembly will help to facilitate, including more help for the poor e.g. housing, benefits and support. A fairer tax system would go a long way to help this happen. Investing in renewable energy etc. would help make Scotland a cleaner country for its citizens. There is many other issues that I believe need addressed to make Scotland fit for the safety of future generations.

Man smiling