Changes are of no benefit to anyone

Well, it’s been a busy week, but after months of research and hard work, the first compact Southern hit the shops last Thursday. And the move has been a resounding success.

It was great to meet with many of you as we were out and about in the region, and I am delighted that the vast majority of people we spoke to loved the changes we’ve made.

Please keep your comments coming, as we welcome your feedback – good and bad!


These are about to kick in next month, and this week, on page 6, leading health official in the Borders, Dr Eric Baijal, says he believes nearly three-quarters of all people receiving incapacity benefit in the Borders will be required to find work under new criteria.

That is a staggering figure. And the fact that he thinks welfare benefit reforms will contribute to increases in inadequacy of housing; reductions in dietary quality; increase in fuel poverty; possible adverse changes to health-risk behaviour, including smoking, alcohol and drug use; increases in stress and anxiety, and suicidal behaviour, is not something we can or should remain quiet about.

The NHS is already under stress and if Dr Baijal is right, this is something that will have an impact on all of us.