AS I write this article the dreadful news of the barbaric murder of a British aid worker has emerged, highlighting how our government must work with others and have clear strategies in place to tackle terrorism.

Also, according to the opinion polls, the result of the Scottish referendum is likely to be finely balanced. However, it is clear that whatever the outcome, there will be decentralisation of power away from Westminster and many changes to our decision-making processes.

Readers will probably be aware that the second reading of the Private Members’ Bill that proposes to reform the bedroom tax was passed. I was extremely pleased to support this.

I voted for protections for people with disabilities and for people where no suitable smaller accommodation was available, when the measure was first introduced in 2012 – but unfortunately I was on the losing side then. I am serving on the bill committee and hope to be able to assist bringing about these important reforms.

On Friday we saw another Private Members’ Bill gain its second reading. This bill will enshrine in law the 0.7 per cent international aid target.

Although all of the three main parties promised to bring in this law in their general election manifestos, there were dissenters in the debate. I am a sponsor of this bill and feel passionately that the moral, economic and political arguments for the UK giving leadership in its assistance to developing countries are overwhelming, but that there must be significant and demonstrable positive outcomes.

There are many demands on our scarce resources. An issue that will affect many of us in different ways was identified in recently published research by the Alzheimer’s Society. This showed that those affected by dementia is rising rapidly and will reach 850,000 by next summer.

The sheer scale of what is ahead shows the need to work within our local communities to give as much support as possible to patients, families and friends.