Colin Beattie pushing to resolve River Esk issues

Tuesday June 16th 2020

Colin Beattie

Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh

Midlothian View welcome Colin Beattie as he writes his first monthly column.

I am glad to be issuing my first column in the Midlothian View and look forward to keeping readers of this publication up to date with the work happening in the constituency.

I would like to take this opportunity also to notify you all that I am always happy to hear from my constituents, and while there is difficulty in meeting at the moment due to the pandemic, I am currently holding phone surgeries and I am happy to organise appointments for those who need one. You can contact me by emailing or by calling 0131 454 0204 for support on any devolved matter.

Devolved matters include:
– Agriculture, forestry and fishing
– Education and training
– Environment
– Health and social services
– Housing
– Land use planning
– Law and order
– Local government
– Sport and the arts
– Some forms of taxation
– Many aspects of transport
– Welfare


Currently one of the main issues that I am focused on in the constituency is the River Esk and the ongoing issues with sewage and pollution of the water.

I am going to continue working with the relevant bodies to seek progress on the issues connected with the water. I had a meeting with Scottish Water and SEPA this week which was very productive. We are looking at both urgent, short term fixes and long-term solutions to the issues at hand. Clean ups by Scottish Water are already underway to remove debris from burns flowing into the river.

I know that there is also concern about an orange colouring in parts of the River Esk, which is as a result of mine water carrying minerals into the river. I will continue ongoing discussions with SEPA and the Coal Authority to ascertain the best way to resolve this going forward.

The issue of the River Esk affects my constituents throughout Midlothian and right down to where the river meets the sea in Musselburgh, affecting a range of people from fishers and harbour users to those who simply walk along the riverside.

Frankly, this issue has gone on too long, and now the combination of sewage and the coal mine by-products means that the river is desperately in need of an urgent solution. I intend to be the one to push for this resolve. I am in the process of creating the Esk River improvement Group so that we have a collective of local voices contributing to driving the progress on this issue, alongside official bodies. I know this issue is very important to many of my constituents and I would like to assure everyone that this is high on my agenda.

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