Attempting to clear Kelso access hurdles

In the last few weeks I have received several complaints about lack of disabled access in Kelso.

Recent works in the town centre have meant that dropped curbs are not in the right place for people to cross the roads safely and that is why I have written to the council to make it aware of the problems.

When we are trying to encourage as many people as possible to visit our town centres this is not the impression we want to be leaving. We need a swift response from the council and I am hopeful that they will act quickly to provide better access.

FUEL REBATE SCHEME

I know many Borders motorists are getting increasingly frustrated at the fact that we often pay more for petrol than in urban parts of the country.

When living in rural regions often involves travelling large distances for essentials, the problem of cost only gets worse.

When the fuel rebate scheme has worked so effectively in areas such as the Scottish islands, I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be introduced to the Borders.

Earlier this year the Westminster Government said it was looking to introduce the scheme into other areas of the UK. It is undoubtedly on our side of this argument and it’s up to us to convince ministers that we are an area that deserves to see this scheme introduced.

The UK Treasury has asked for information to help it prove which areas have high fuel costs and I will be doing my upmost to provide this.

ADHD DRUGS

Statistics which came out recently showed that we were handing out considerably more ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drugs per head in the Borders than any other region of Scotland.

While the number of drugs handed out per head in other areas has stayed relatively stable, the numbers handed out here has almost doubled over the past five years.

While there is no question that these pills have a role to play in the treatment of a range of mild-to-moderate mental health ailments, our young people deserve the best treatment possible.

I am sure that many Borderers would agree with me that the best way to do this is not to simply give them drugs and hope that the problem goes away.

It is clear that other health boards are dealing with this troubling condition without simply dishing out pills to young people, and I wanted to know why NHS Borders was taking such a vastly different approach.

Unfortunately, it didn’t even attempt to give an explanation as to why there are so many young people in the Borders on these drugs or why they hand out more of this drug than other parts of Scotland.