Christine Grahame’s Column

Monday June 29th 2015

Christine Grahame MSP

Christine Grahame MSP, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale


The Scottish Parliament is now in recess for July and August. This means my surgeries recommence in September. However I will be doing my Annual Summer Tour round the constituency, the details are on my Facebook pages.

It will as before be in the company of my brother Tony (driver) and we will be travelling in a campervan with saltires flying. This year I am not saying what colour the van will be as last year the blue van lasted one day but after a stop at KwikFit in Penicuik having been told not just the tyres but the wheels were dodgy we spent the rest of the week in a replacement white van. If I had a Pound for every time I was challenged about the colour of the van I’d be eating out for weeks on the proceeds.

Micro-chipping wir dugs

Last year I had a successful event with the Dogs Trust in Newtongrange where dogs were micro-chipped for free. Well over 100 turned up. This year in the autumn I will be doing the same again but this time in Penicuik. It’ll be in the Town Hall and I’ll let you know the date nearer the time, though it will be in the autumn.

While I’m on the topic of dogs, so many get in touch about dog fouling-not the dog’s fault of course-that I am working on various ideas to deal with this along with Councillor Derek Rosie. Suggestions welcomed and just e-mail me. This and litter just gets my goat. Why do some people just simply not care about their local environment?

Pentland Hills Bill

This is now going up before a Parliament’s committee. It’s my Bill and it’s to extend the Pentland Hills Regional Park the whole length of the range – currently just 45 % is covered. It is not a National Park, quite another beast, but it should, if it succeeds help to lever in money from other than the surrounding councils to pay for wardens, maintaining footpaths and so on.

That’s the plan anyway. I once heard someone talk about a landscape “signature”, you know, the line across the sky drawn by the contours of the hills. The view from Penicuik and from Flotterstone, Silverburn and Nine Mile Burn of that “signature” should never be taken for granted especially when every day another bit of green space disappears for good.

Penny High Prize giving

It was good to go to this and see the range of awards for the pupils. You know, some folks say that we should do away with prizes. Competition is a bad thing as there are winners and losers. Well I’ve been both, at school and in life. At school I couldn’t run for tuppence. I even came last in the egg and spoon race, so humiliating, although strangely I turned out to be quite a natural –many moons ago-at skiing! That was a turn up for the books even beating (yes that word) the school athletics champion. But that was an aberration. Otherwise, though perhaps not a natural academic I was quite good at school and a bit of a swot. This came from being in a working class area and feeling I had to prove myself better than the kids from the bungalows so I take the view that a modicum of competition is what life is all about. This is especially true of school prize givings where not just achievement but effort is recognised. As for effort, I should have got an award for even finishing that egg and spoon race.


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