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Borders national park plans backed by local MSP

The national park conservation area would be extended to the Cheviots Credit: ITV News Border

Plans to create a national park in the Borders have been backed by local MSP John Lamont.

The proposal has been put forward by the Scottish Campaign for National Parks.

If it is passed a new conservation area will be created in the Cheviots as an extension of the Northumberland National Park to become the first cross-border park in the UK.

Borders MSP "delighted" with company buyout

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont has expressed his "delight" at the news that Borders Precision Engineering has been saved from administration.

“This is great news for Kelso and all of those who are employed by Borders Precision Engineering. There were serious concerns at the beginning of the year that the company would cease to operate, but this management buyout should guarantee the future of the business for years to come.

“I am delighted that the buyout will result in all of these jobs staying in Kelso, and it is a real show of faith in the skills of the workforce that we have here in the Borders.

“While it is disappointing that some staff have already been laid off over the last few months, I know that those still working for them will be relieved to still be in a job.

"This must have been a worrying time for them and their families and I hope that this will at last give them some financial security.”

“Over the years Borders Precision Engineering has become renowned for its high standards of excellence. I am delighted that they have the chance to continue this good work and I hope that they will continue to operate for many years to come.”

– John Lamont MSP, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire


Holyrood Thatcher debate postponed

A debate on the legacy of Baroness Thatcher, due to be held at Holyrood tomorrow, has now been postponed until Thursday (18th April).

The Green Party, along with independent MSPs, wanted to coincide the debate with Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

However, at this morning's meeting of the Parliamentary Bureau, other parties agreed with The Scottish Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats that it should be postponed until the following day.

The Scottish Conservatives said that holding the debate deliberately alongside the funeral would have been provocative and insensitive:

“I’m glad all parties involved have reached a sensible compromise, which will see the debate take place on Thursday instead.

“Staging this at the same time as the funeral would have been provocative, disrespectful and extremely upsetting for many people across Scotland and the UK.

“That would have reflected badly not only on those behind the debate, but the Scottish Parliament as a whole.

“This is a positive outcome for the Scottish Conservatives and the wider Parliament.

“We have absolutely no problem taking part in this debate.

“Our only issue was the timing, and that has now been resolved.”

– John Lamont MSP, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

John Lamont MSP wishes Mania a 'speedy recovery'

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont has congratulated Ryan Mania on winning the Grand National, and has wished him a speedy recovery after his Hexham fall.

The 23-year-old from Galashiels, who is a former student of Borders College, became the first Scottish jockey to win the National since 1896.

“I’m sure that not many people expected a jockey riding in his first Grand National to win, but that’s exactly what Ryan Mania managed to achieve.

“It is a hugely significant achievement that makes him not only one of the youngest winners of the national ever, but also as the first Scot to win it in living memory.

"That Ryan also has such strong links to the Borders, and I was cheering loudly as he crossed the finish line on Saturday."

"My thoughts and I am sure those of all Borders residents are with him at this moment and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

– John Lamont MSP, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

Safety concerns for A68

John Lamont, MSP, is calling on the Scottish Government to make the A68 safer.

Statistics revealed there have been nearly 500 accidents on the road in the past 10 years between the Scottish border and Edinburgh.

Mr Lamont is now calling on the Scottish Government to make the road safer after 15 people died on the stretch.

"The A68 is used by Borders residents thousands of times a year, as it is one of the key routes for getting between the Borders and Edinburgh to the north and Newcastle to the south.

"It is therefore important that it is made as safe as possible for motorists to use, but these statistics show that there are too many accidents happening on it.

"Many people will be shocked that nearly 500 accidents have occurred on it in the last ten years, with 100 of them being serious and 15 fatal."

– John Lamont, MSP

He added:

"It is a clear indication that more needs to be done to improve safety on the road, and the onus is on the Scottish Government to take action to cut down the number of collisions."

– John Lamont, MSP

Mobile phone coverage talks

Mobile coverage in the Borders has been affected Credit: ITV Border

Borders MP Michael Moore has held talks with Ofcom to discuss problems with mobile phone coverage.

The Secretary of State for Scotland raised concerns about problems Vodafone customers in Hawick have had in recent weeks, with the service having failed three times.

Mr Moore said: “The problem of poor mobile phone coverage in the Borders has been highlighted in the past couple of weeks as Vodafone customers in Hawick have been left with next to no service – a deeply frustrating situation for individuals and businesses."

“In this digital age, mobile phones are an essential part of life and it is extremely unfair that people in rural areas are not being provided with a decent service or sometimes any service at all."