Statistics recently obtained from Police Scotland showed that over the past five years they handed out nearly 11,000 parking charges in the Borders region.
The statistics prove just how important the traffic warden service provided by Police Scotland is to our region. Although some might think the number handed out is excessive, it has helped to ensure that the streets in our towns and villages remain safe and accessible.
Now that Police Scotland have announced that the service is being withdrawn however, we will miss out identifying the thousands of dangerous and illegally parked cars that were discovered by these wardens every year. Despite a request from Scottish Borders Council to delay the move in order to allow time to set-up an alternative system, Police Scotland decided to press ahead regardless.
I know that many Borders residents found it hard enough accessing some of our town centres before the withdrawal of the warden service. For the foreseeable future parking enforcement will only get worse and it is incumbent upon all Borderers to ensure that they park responsibly.
The SNP’s controversial Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill came through Parliament last week and despite deep concerns about the Bill, the SNP chose to push it through without any changes. The legislation assigned a named individual to every young person in Scotland, each with the role of providing a link between the child and a range of services.
This raised a lot of concern in Holyrood and a whole host of organisations have also said that the plans are unworkable. Not only does it represent an unwarranted intrusion into the family life of households across the country, it also dilutes the attention received by the children who are actually in need of it. We should be ensuring that we provide the best possible care and attention to those who are vulnerable in our country, but instead this blanket approach will see them get worse care and less attention.
In addition to the huge costs that this proposal will impose not only upon our NHS but also Scottish Borders Council, there is no doubt in my mind that this part of the Bill should not have been passed. However, despite attempts from opposition parties to thwart it, the SNP chose to ignore the growing concern and push it through regardless.
My next surgeries are on Wednesday, March 19, when I will be at the Volunteer Hall in Duns at 9am and the community centre in Coldstream at 10.15am. No appointment is necessary. Alternatively, please call my constituency office on 01450 375 948.