Penicuik Paper & Football, Brexit and Christmas

Monday November 26th 2018

Christine Grahame MSP

Penicuik Papermaking museum

When I am doing my various surgeries in Penicuik, Peebles, Gala, Newtongrange and Gorebridge, I take the opportunity to meet organisations in that area.

This past week it was Penicuik so I had a meet up with first of all the Penicuik Papermaking Museum after my surgery and we have put together a joint plan to try to raise additional funds to develop this excellent wee museum, right on your doorstep.

I recall many moons ago as a student turning up on our Rag Day at the Dalmore paper mill rattling our tins for charities. Great big drums had giant paper rolling off them and the place was buzzing with activity.

Gone are those days, but at the museum you even get the chance to make your own bit of paper as well as learning about the recent past of your own Penicuik.

Penicuik Athletic Youth Club

Next stop was the Penicuik Centre where I met up with Louise Shepherd, Penicuik Athletic Club Development Officer, to learn all about the need to replace the Astro turf on their field.

Fitted in 2006 it’s frankly sad and more than a bit of a trip hazard. Yet this club has 350 youth players playing 5-6 hours per week on that surface. This they do with the help of some 70 plus volunteers.

Midlothian Council have to date refused to replace the turf, and even charge the club for using the facilities, which it owns.

When you think of the health benefits, the social benefits of all those youngsters playing their hearts out, not sitting in front of a computer screen or roaming the streets, hanging about looking for something to do, I think Midlothian Council should look to supporting this club financially. Over to you MLC, the ball is in its court.

Brexited out

Well she has a deal. No big surprise the but it’s called the “buying for time” deal.

Without getting into dotting the “I”s and crossing the “t”s, all the real problems: Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, fishing have been parked for a couple of years. However the mood music from Spain is all about getting Gibraltar back, the DUP are sabre rattling and a few countries have their eyes on our fishing grounds.

When we first went into Europe the Tories sealed the deal deemed fishing expendable. Don’t think it won’t happen again. Still there will be an end to free movement of folk from Europe and you to Europe too. It may very well mean not enough nurses, home carers but even though Scotland voted 62% “Remain”, tough!

Christmas

Ok I confess my thoughts are turning to Christmas and for the first time I am ahead of the game.

The presents for the grandchildren are bought, and I might even have parcels off to London where one son and his family live, on time. Makes a change.

I suppose it’s the dark nights drawing in so soon that makes we want to get that tree up. But, and it’s a big but, while it’s Ok for me and my sons, it’s not Ok for lots of folk. Foodbanks are just part of it. Heating the house, or even switching on the cooker, is not always an option. So if you can, make sure you give something, be it to a food or toy collection to help a little.

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