Borders justice for people – not places

christine grahame msp
christine grahame msp

Well, I’m taking a bit of stick for a vote which will see Peebles Sheriff Court sittings end in 2015.

The courthouse proper closed years ago. Of course what I had to vote for was the ending of sittings in 10 sheriff courts across Scotland, not just Peebles. It was 10 or none at all.

My mind was made up when I heard the evidence of Lord Gill, the Lord President, senior judge in Scotland. When he is telling you that this is the way forward for justice you have to pay heed.

It is my job as a committee member of justice to consider the evidence and vote accordingly. I am not there in my capacity as a constituency member and to use my vote for that purpose would have been an abuse of my position.

In England and Wales dozens of courts are being closed due to cuts. On top of that civil legal aid, which is for people on low incomes to help them in court in, is going in England.

But not in Scotland. And that justice centre is moving forward. So against the cuts – right, left and centre – from the Westminster Tory/Liberal coalition, and more to come, I think Borders justice, which should be about people first rather than places, is being secured.


Sitting in my Tesco surgeries, all kinds of issues cross my path, from housing problems to potholes.

Here I have sympathy for the council. Just like the Scottish Government, they have less money to move around.

Hard choices are being made about priorities all round and there are more to come.


Well, we’ve not had Gala’s Braw Lad and Lass yet, but I’ve been to a few, starting with Penicuik, which is the first.

These are great get-togethers for communities and I love the different colours of the bunting.

My assistants in my Edinburgh parliamentary office are now having to mug up on which colours for which part of the constituency as I have told them it would be heresy to turn up to Gala in Peebles colours. Quite rightly so.

A Parliament cat

A colleague saw three mice toddling about the parly a week or so back. I, too, had seen the mice in the garden lobby area.

Time for a cat, methinks, and so I asked the parliament’s corporate body (four members from four political parties) if we could have one, or even two.

Not surprisingly this imaginative suggestion was rejected, but I was inundated with mouse/cat puns. What a “mousetake” even a “catastrophe”.

However, since my failed campaign, there has not been a mouse seen.