Halt turbines spread

WIND FARMS across Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale have reached their limit and any more would further damage the natural beauty of our area. 

I remain firmly opposed to more being built. The large-scale proposed wind farm at North Lowther should not go ahead and I will support constituents by doing my upmost to the prevent the project happening.

A conservation area with ancient monument sites and rare birds at Wanlockhead is a place for people to enjoy, particularly those with historical and geological interests. 

Tourism brings many benefits, particularly along the Southern Upland Way and helps support the economy of Upper Nithsdale. 

The construction of a wind farm will put this and future growth of tourism in jeopardy.

Keeping up pressure

A NUMBER of constituents have raised concerns with me about moves to further reduce the number of public telephone boxes.

Whilst there has clearly been rapid growth in mobile device use and a fall in public phone usage, the reassurance offered by a traditional landline call box, particularly in rural communities, remains valued.

I frequently highlight this to telecommunications companies while pointing out that in 2019 mobile phone signal coverage across my large constituency remains somewhat patchy. 

Positive steps are being taken by the UK Government to improve vital communications through the Emergency Service Network (ESN). 

Mobile company EE operates ESN and is installing new masts across rural areas. The network's primary function is to help emergency services but mobile operators will also be able to use the masts, improving phone coverage across the constituency.

I have submitted written questions to the Home Office on ESN progress in the area and will update constituents in due course.

A job very well done

I FULLY understand and respect my friend and former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson's decision to stand down last week. 

As leader she transformed the party's fortunes north of the border and was a passionate voice for the Union.  Politics needs more authentic voices like Ruth’s and in that regard I hope she has blazed a trail for others. 

I am confident Jackson Carlaw, MSP, will do a good job holding Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to account as interim leader, just as he did during Ruth's maternity leave.