Recess doesn’t mean respite for this MSP

Parliament went into recess for July and August, and before anyone calls it “holidays”, let me make it plain that I’ve not packed my sun hat and barrier cream for sunnier climes – though it was 27C in Galashiels a few days ago.

Nope, I’m out and about in the constituency and still available for appointments, though the Tesco surgeries are off until the first week in September.

Abbotsford

It was the VIP opening and the house looked splendid – and the gardens even better.

I am pleased about the gardens, having met some chaps there a few years back who were helping it simply tick over. Now they are resplendent (the gardens, not the chaps), complete with orangery and herbaceous walk.

The sun shone, but I wonder what the man himself would have made of it. Probably delighted that his “folly” drew the crowds, the TV and indeed the Queen herself.

In the hallway with the crests of the clans, Grahame (with an “e”) is right next to Scott. Surely that must mean something?

On Patrol

Saturday night and I am out on patrol with Inspector Tony Hodges, doing the rounds through Galashiels, Earlston, Walkerburn, Innerleithen and Peebles. I have done this before and what a change – for the better.

In Peebles, a wandering teenager who had fallen out with mum was returned home and in Gala at 3am I watched the clubs empty and the streets fill up. But nae trouble!

Several years ago the Market Square thronged with teenagers and one guy peddling drugs was caught on the spot.

The police, as I saw it, have a gently gently approach, nipping things in the bud as it were before it escalates into trouble.

Shelter

I met supporters on Monday to sign up to their campaign to make sure private rentals are fair for all.

Because of the shortage of social rented housing (SBHA and other housing associations to you and me), many families are now in private rented accommodation which used to be mostly for single folk.

The standard of some accommodation is pretty dire, so Shelter is travelling around Scotland with a giant suitcase on its campaign.

And finally

Have you heard of Scottish Borders Council’s democratic services officer? Well, I have now.

A constituent who simply wanted to know details of his elderly father’s care package and complained about the lack of information has been passed from the care manager to the customer care officer and now to the democratic services officer.

Who next, you wonder? The UN?