More Broadband Rollout
Earlier this month it was announced that Melrose, Selkirk and Galashiels will get access to fibre broadband through the next phase of the £410 million Digital Scotland scheme.
The roll-out of superfast broadband to these towns is great news and will make a real difference to local businesses and families. For too long, Borderers have missed out on investment in superfast broadband services. I am glad that as a result of EU, UK, Scottish and local government funding and investment from BT, we will begin to see vastly improved broadband in the Borders over the next few years. However, there are still many areas that have not yet got access to high speed broadband and therefore, I will continue to work to deliver more broadband coverage for people across the region.
SBHA Post Office
Earlier this week I was delighted to open the new Post Office Local facility at the Scottish Borders Housing Association head office in Selkirk. The SBHA Post Office is one of the new local-style Post Office branches, designed as a new way of operating Post Offices in convenience-type stores. That approach has been adapted to fit the wishes of local residents in Selkirk. I am confident that this new office will be warmly welcomed by residents in the area.
As local MP, I have campaigned strongly for retaining and expanding Post Office facilities. They are vital services for our local communities and I will continue to work with the Postmasters, the council and stakeholders to ensure we have an effective Post Office network throughout the Borders.
Action on Hearing Loss
Last week, alongside Liberal Democrat Borders MSP Jim Hume and other local representatives, I met with Delia Henry and her colleagues from Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, as well as John Legge from the Royal National Institute of the Blind, to be updated about the great work the two charities do to help those affected in the Borders.
The meeting was part of the Borders Local Integrated Sensory Service (BLISS) showcase event. Hearing Loss and sight impairment are major public health issues. It is imperative that governments do everything they can to break down the barriers faced by people who have hearing loss or visual impairment in accessing services, employment and education opportunities.
I had the pleasure of spending Burns Night with my good friend and neighbouring Lib Dem MP Sir Alan Beith on Saturday. Alnwick appears to love our Bard as strongly as elsewhere! I hope that everyone across the Borders had a wonderful night celebrating the life and poetry of Robert Burns, as well as all things Scottish.