Backing the sheriff’s corroboration case

I like Sheriff Kevin Drummond – a bit of the old school, and all the better for it.

I chair the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee and when the sheriff has appeared to give evidence he has not held back his views, which is absolutely right and indeed why he was invited in the first place.

I also agree with him on the necessity to maintain the principle of mandatory corroboration in Scots Law, which flies in the face of Cabinet Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s determination to abolish it.

I wish Sheriff Drummond, who retired from the bench last month, well for all he has done, and for his commitment to the Borders and Midlothian communities.

Mud on Road

OK, I admit its gie muddy on the A7, particularly between Falahill and Heriot.

I also have to admit that it seems a thankless task for the roadsweepers going up and down because not only is it like the old “painting the Forth Bridge” adage, it also means tailbacks – and I grumble about mud, temporary lights and tailbacks like everyone else.

But I also look out at the line coming more alive with every passing day all the way to Edinburgh. Look at all those new crossings under way at Newtongrange and Gorebridge, and even at the Sheriffhall roundabout.

It is hard, especially for folks with homes so close to the line – not just the mud, but the noise of the machines. However, one day – and not far off – we’ll even see the odd steam train down the reconstructed line. What a sight that will be and I am sure it will boost out local economy.

As for the mud? I’m just leaving it on my car for the next heavy rainfall. Mind you, that’s pretty well what I usually do.

Development Trusts and Community Volunteering

During my 14 years here at Parly I have become more and more aware of the huge amount of work done – not by politicians at either national or local level – but by communities doing it for themselves.

Seeing something needing done and then setting about getting funding, often through forming themselves into a charitable trust or similar.

I am holding my own debate to recognise this work and exchange experiences on December 3 at 5pm at Parliament, and afterwards having a wee thank-you event (wine/ soft drinks and nibbles).

I am trying to contact every development trust/community project in the constituency – and there’s no harm getting in touch with my offices to let me know of any you think should be invited.