Back in the fold after nasty cold

JP License'A couple from Hawick in the Scottish Borders have been unveiled as the winners of half of last Saturday's record �66m National Lottery jackpot.'David and Carol Martin, both aged 54, appeared at a news conference at the Dalmahoy Hotel, south of Edinburgh.'They were one of two ticket holders who matched the six winning numbers 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58.'The couple received a cheque for �33,035,323. The record jackpot followed 14 consecutive rollovers.'The Borders husband and wife said they were relaxing at home the following day with the lottery ticket on their mantelpiece and only checked it when a friend urged them to do so.' Neil Hanna Photography'www.neilhannaphotography.co.uk'07702 246823
JP License'A couple from Hawick in the Scottish Borders have been unveiled as the winners of half of last Saturday's record �66m National Lottery jackpot.'David and Carol Martin, both aged 54, appeared at a news conference at the Dalmahoy Hotel, south of Edinburgh.'They were one of two ticket holders who matched the six winning numbers 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58.'The couple received a cheque for �33,035,323. The record jackpot followed 14 consecutive rollovers.'The Borders husband and wife said they were relaxing at home the following day with the lottery ticket on their mantelpiece and only checked it when a friend urged them to do so.' Neil Hanna Photography'www.neilhannaphotography.co.uk'07702 246823

I’ll tell you what, spring can’t come soon enough. This is week four of a nasty cold which is taking its time to leave. I am now back at work full-time: that is before I feel myself keeling over, so again can you please bear with my offices as we are just getting back to a full staffing compliment.

If only the sun would come out for a few days on the trot and we would all be the better for it.

I’m not holding my breath.

End of term

The Parliament rises for the elections in May on March 23.

This means that a great deal of time here is spent ensuing that legislation is completed before that date.

As you may know I chair both the Justice Committee and the Policing Committee and for the Justice Committee it’ll be a necessary but hard push to get all the business through.

If it isn’t then the legislation falls, but that won’t happen.

As for cases up until that date, we can take on new cases, but after March 23, my office in Galashiels – because the office in Edinburgh ceases to exist – can only deal with matters already begun.

That’s just a bit of advance notice because I know it’s often difficult to follow.

Lottery

I was so delighted for lottery winners Carol and David Martin, from Hawick, particularly because they seem such lovely people and it’s good to see folk getting a break.

Me? I’ve never bought a ticket so I don’t need to fret each week as to whether I’ve won or not, but so long as it’s just a wee flutter and folk don’t rely on their ticket coming up and overspend, then nae harm and good luck to them.

Tough times ahead

Soon Scottish Borders Council and indeed the Scottish Government will be telling you and me what money they will have to provide services and which they will provide.

Now I feel a big collective sigh coming on from you when I mention the fact that the Scottish budget has been cut and cut big-time.

But it’s a fact.

George Osborne’s (failing) plan to put the UK economy in the black is by means of cuts, cuts, cuts.

Now, of course, we must live within our means, but his plan simply isn’t working.

You can invest to grow an economy and that means more folk paying taxes and NI into our collective pot.

I recall the infrastructure and building programmes in the 1950s which created work for our ex-troops and was done when the GB economy, after years of war, was rocky.

Houses, roads and schools were built ... houses roads and schools which were needed and many are still in use today.

In Scotland today, our employment record is faring better than elsewhere in the UK.

Why? Because we are building those houses, roads, schools , bridges and indeed railway lines. Until the UK chancellor goes into reverse gear I fear for delivery of all those essential services upon which we rely despite the efforts of all those who work within them.

Ach, more winter blues.