Opinions

Stopping the trains

It is really good news for the area that all my campaigning for better rail services from Lockerbie has paid off. From May next year TransPennine will double the number of trains stopping at Lockerbie and, for the first time, constituents will be able to commute by rail to Edinburgh or Glasgow, arriving there before 9am.

The Bard

Burns Suppers, celebrating our national Bard, can now be found around the world and during my recent trip to Malawi I was delighted to attend one.

Single policing

Scotland is due to have a single police force from April, something I have always opposed, and  I remain concerned about the impact, especially locally, of this Scottish Government decision.  The SNP claim this new police force will be more efficient and there will be overall savings, but I remain unconvinced.

A702

The A702 is an important route linking Edinburgh with the main north-south M74, and is used by many constituents travelling between Biggar and Abington, as well as school, local and regional bus services.

No change

There had been proposals which would have seen my very large Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency split. This now, however will not happen before the next election

Commonwealth Games

I’m encouraging local people to sign up for the time of their lives in 2014. Next year, Glasgow2014 is one of major national and international events in Scotland, with one of the biggest events being the Commonwealth Games.

Reducing Windfarms

This week saw a wide-ranging review of energy policies published by the Scottish Conservatives. The policy calls for the number of planned onshore wind farms to be substantially reduced, and their subsidy cut by fifty per cent to limit household bills.

School Closures

Clydesdale, because of its rural nature, has many small local schools, most essential to the community’s viability. So plans to strip communities of the right to appeal local school closures will naturally trigger concern among parents.  The umbrella body for councils – COSLA – is looking at removing the right of parents to appeal to the Scottish Government when school closures occur.

Windfarm Land

In Clydesdale there is a perception that windfarms take up a high percentage of the district. Now it has been revealed the Scottish Government has no idea how many acres of Scottish land have been set aside for windfarm development.

Memorial Restoration

I welcome news that South Lanarkshire is hoping to restore some of Clydesdale’s war memorials ahead of next year’s 100thanniversary of the start of WW1. The work will be met by a new Scottish Government centenary memorials fund.