I want to start my column this week by expressing my sincere sympathy for the victims of the accidents that occurred in the Jim Clark Rally at the weekend.
My thoughts are with them and those who are in hospital following the incident, and I hope those who are injured can make a full recovery.
I know that many people in the region were deeply saddened by the news, and I am sure that they will join me in sparing a thought for those affected.
NHS Borders have announced that the Dental Surgery in Eyemouth is due to shut this month, with the closure resulting in 1400 patients being moved from the current practice to an independent one in the town. I was deeply concerned to hear that it might be closing. Not only will this put a lot of pressure on other dentists in the area, but it will also prove to be an inconvenience for many patients.
The British Dental Association has also highlighted even more potential negatives from the closure of the practice. Some patients with disabilities or a history of drug abuse often require special attention, including in some cases being sedated. This work will need to be done by an NHS dentist, requiring these patients to travel 23 miles to the nearest facility in Coldstream. This is clearly unacceptable and would cause undue stress to those patients who are the most vulnerable.
There was a great result for the Scottish Conservatives in the recent European Elections, where we not only topped the poll but also increased our share of the vote. We put a lot of hard work and effort into these elections and I am delighted that this has been reflected with an increased share of the vote.
It meant that we were able to elect Ian Duncan as an MEP for the region. I would like to congratulate Ian on his election, and I have no doubts that he will do a great job of representing us in Europe. Over the past few months he has visited the Borders several times and spoken to local people about what they want from the European Parliament.
I know that he has taken these views on board and he will be doing everything he can over the next five years to provide a strong voice for our region.
I hold surgeries every week throughout my constituency of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and will next be holding surgeries in your area on June 11 when I’ll be in Duns Volunteer Hall at 9am, and then Eyemouth Community Centre at 10.15am.
No appointment is necessary so feel free to come along if you have a problem which you think that I might be able to help with.