Swapping his job as MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh for one based more than 300 miles further away from his Coldstream home, in London rather than Edinburgh, won’t stop new MP John Lamont getting out and about in his Borders constituency this summer.
In fact, the Conservative politician’s annual summer surgery tour this year, taking place this month and next, will be his most extensive yet, in July and August, taking in more than 80 locations.
The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP will be joined by his successor as a constituency MSP, Rachael Hamilton, for about 70 of those visits.
Their joint tour will take in all of their largely-overlapping constituencies’ major towns, as well as smaller villages from Cappercleuch in the west to Burnmouth in the east.
The tour comes after Mr Lamont followed his 1,000th advice surgery last year with a pledge to continue to be Scotland’s most accessible politician.
The North Ayrshire-born 41-year-old said: “My annual summer surgery tour is one of the highlights of representing the Borders as it gives me the opportunity to visit every corner of the constituency.
“I have always promised to be as accessible to my constituents as possible, and my summer surgery tour is a very important part of that.
“At more than 80 surgeries, this is the largest tour I have ever done, and I’m delighted to be joined at most of them by my new colleague Rachael Hamilton.
“As always, no appointment is necessary, so if you feel there is an issue we can help with, please turn up to your local surgery.”
Mrs Hamilton added: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to arrange this summer surgery tour so soon after being elected as local MSP for the Borders.
“I’ll be visiting around 70 locations across Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire and am keen to hear from as many of my constituents as possible, so I’d encourage anyone to come along.
“It’s really important for local politicians to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with them, which is why I have made the effort to visit so many locations this year.
“I am extremely grateful to all of the village hall committees, churches and other organisations that have allowed us to use their premises.”
Any changes to the itinerary announced this week will be notified at www.johnlamont.org/events/summer-surgery-tour-2017 and www.rachaelhamilton.co.uk/events/summer-surgery-tour
The two Tories will kick off their tour on Monday, July 24, at Ancrum Village Hall, followed by Lilliesleaf Currie Memorial Hall, Midlem Village Hall, Bowden Village Hall, Newtown St Boswells Community Wing, St Boswells Village Hall, Maxton Village Hall, possibly Roxburgh Village Hall, Abbey Row Community Hall and Sprouston Village Hall.
On Tuesday, July 25, they’ll be at Kirkhope Parish Hall, Ettrick’s Boston Memorial Hall, Cappercleuch’s St Mary’s Hall, Yarrow Feus Hall, Yarrowford Hall, Longformacus Village Hall and possibly Abbey St Bathans Village Hall.
On Wednesday, July 26, they’ll be at Leitholm, Eccles, Ednam, Allanton, Preston and Birgham’s village halls, Duns Volunteer Hall, Swinton’s Wheatsheaf Hotel and Whitsome Ark.
On Thursday, July 27, they’re at Gordon Village Hall, Greenlaw’s Fairbairn Hall, Westruther Village Hall, Coldstream Community Centre, Stichill Village Hall, Smailholm Village Hall and Makerstoun Village Hall.
On Monday, July 31, they’re at Denholm Village Hall, Bonchester Bridge’s William Laidlaw Hall, Chesters’ Southdean Hall, Newcastleton Village Hall, Hermitage Village Hall, Teviothead Village Hall and their shared High Street constituency office and Wilton Dean Hall, both in Hawick.
On Tuesday, August 1, they’re at Jedburgh Town Hall, Oxnam Village Hall, Edgerston Village Hall, possibly Glendouglas Community Hall, Lanton Village Hall, Crailing Lothian Hall, Eckford Village Hall, Heiton Village Hall, Morebattle Institute and Yetholm’s Wauchope Hall.
On Wednesday, August 2, they’re at Hutton Village Hall, Chirnside Community Centre, Foulden Village Hall, Paxton Village Hall, Burnmouth Village Hall, Eyemouth Community Centre, Coldingham Village Hall, St Abbs’ Ebba Centre and Gavinton Village Hall.
On Thursday, August 3, they’re at Roberton’s Forman Memorial, Hawick’s Burnfoot Parish Church Hall, Ashkirk Village Hall and Selkirk’s Victoria Halls.
On Friday, August 4, they’ll visit Cockburnspath Village Hall, Grantshouse Village Hall, Ayton Community Hall, Reston Village Hall and Auchencrow’s Craw Inn.
Mr Lamont will then go solo for visits, on Monday, August 7, to Heriot’s Macfie Hall, Stow Town Hall, Caddonfoot Hall, Galashiels Volunteer Hall, possibly Tweedbank Community Centre and Fountainhall, Melrose Corn Exchange and Darnick, Gattonside and Newstead village halls and, the day after, to Earlston Parish Church Hall, possibly Blainslie Village Hall, Oxton War Memorial Hall and Lauder Community and Leisure Centre.