Midlothian MSPs react to level 2 reversal

Tuesday November 24th 2020

Coronavirus


Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

Midlothian two constituency MPs Colin Beattie and Christine Grahame, both SNP, have reacted to yesterday’s decision to reverse Midlothian’s move down to Level 2.

Local MSP Christine Grahame who raised the issue in Parliament last week said:

“I know this will be disappointing for people in Midlothian, however, it is better than moving down a level only to possibly have to move back up again in a week’s time.

“Moving Midlothian to Level 2 was always dependent on current positive trends in this area continuing. But unfortunately, over the last week there has been an increase in case numbers and test positivity rates in Midlothian.

“I understand the Scottish Government will continue to monitor the position in Midlothian and work together with the Council on its plans for ensuring that a move down is sustainable when the time is right.”

Colin Beattie, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, said:

‘I know that many of my constituents in Midlothian will be hugely disappointed to hear that we are not able to leave Level 3 of Covid-19 restriction today as planned. I completely understand the frustrations, especially as a Midlothian resident myself – no one wants these restrictions. From the data presented to me, there has been a drastic acceleration of cases in the last few days, which has shown a 61% increase in cases in Midlothian, despite the fact the cases across the rest of Scotland are going down. The only right step forward to take is one which protects public health and our community has to come first. We need to think about the most vulnerable locally, and protecting the NHS, as well as opening up the possibility to see loved ones at Christmas.

‘I hugely sympathise with my constituents, in particular business owners, and I made urgent representations to ask what support would be put in place. From a discussion with the Deputy First Minister, I have been made aware that Midlothian Council are going to be given a discretionary fund to support businesses who put measures in place ahead of reopening, for example when a business has stocked up on food in preparation for reopening in Level 2. I would urge those businesses who need support to get in contact with myself or directly with the council.

‘We need to continue to follow the guidance, continue to work together and do what we can to get these stubborn infection rates down. I completely understand that people are frustrated, angry and upset, however we need to do the right thing to protect those who need it most.’

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