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Dear John,

Covid-19 rates are steadily reducing in the Borders, and across the country, as lockdown measures start showing results. This is very welcome news.

You may have seen the news this week that lockdown has been extended until at least the end of February. However, P1-3 pupils will return to school from the 22nd February. The lockdown guidance can be found here.

It has been a really tough period for education. There were a lot of concerns when Scottish Borders Council started rolling out iPads to secondary school pupils a few years ago. However, I think they have been an invaluable part of learning over the last year and this investment has been vindicated.

As ever, do get in touch if you have any questions or if I can be of help.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

Scottish Borders Council gave approval to the new railway station at Reston this week. This is huge news for Berwickshire, which will now have a vital rail link to Edinburgh and to the south when it reopens. Work has already begun onsite. Rail Action Group East Scotland (RAGES) have been absolutely instrumental in campaigning for this station. You can read more about it in the Berwickshire News.

📸 Front page of the Berwickshire News this week, including a picture of Barrie Forrest of RAGES and I, from before lockdown.
Yesterday marked World Cancer Day. The last 12 months have been really hard for everyone, but especially those who have been having to face cancer without the usual support networks in place from friends and family. I can only imagine how challenging this must have been.

I took the opportunity to show my support by wearing the Cancer Research UK tartan tie in the House of Commons. This is a real Borders success story. The tartan was the brainchild of the Selkirk committee of Cancer Research UK. It is also manufactured in Selkirk, by Lochcarron of Scotland.
This week, we received the welcome news that the Armed Forces will be providing even more help in the fight against Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic, the Army have been helping to deliver testing centres, including in Galashiels. This week, it was also confirmed that they will be providing logistics assistance to NHS Borders to help run vaccination centres.
The Scottish Government vaccine rollout has been slower than elsewhere in the UK up to now. They need to provide more support to our dedicated vaccinators in the NHS. I hope the help provided by the Army will also help to speed things along.
Get in touch
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