One of the most important things that is part of my job as an MP is to speak up on behalf of my constituents.
Sometimes this means lobbying the Scottish Government about increasing the speed of broadband rollout, or joining local communities as part of a campaign group.
One group, the A7 action group, which I’ve been a part of since 1999 when I was a South of Scotland MSP, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. I wanted to use this column to congratulate and recognise the efforts of members of the action group past and present, and urge them to continue on their good work to secure the significant improvements still needed to the A7.
The group was founded in 1990 by Marjorie McCreadie after she was involved in an accident on the A7. Over the past 25 years, she’s been the engine room of the group that started out as a petition of 100 local villagers and has now evolved to a campaign organisation including members of the public, members of both parliaments and local councillors.
Marjorie has been the secretary to the group since the beginning. She’s been the real driving force behind the campaign to improve road safety on the cross-border route from Carlisle to Edinburgh. I wanted to publicly thank her for all her hard work on behalf of everybody who uses the road.
There’s been a lot of work done by the group over the last quarter century, from holding consultation meetings in local village halls to lobbying the Scottish Government for much-needed improvements.
But there’s still some work to be done, and I’ll be working with Marjorie and the rest of the group to achieve greater road safety all along the A7. That’s why I welcome the publication of the new Route Action Plan which highlights what still needs to be done. Sadly, the A7 doesn’t seem to be a priority for the Scottish Government, and therefore it will take the group working with our councils and elected representatives to get action. I am fully committed to playing my part in that.
If you’ve got a local issue you feel I can help with, email me on email@example.com or call 01683 222746.