Colin Beattie’s monthly column

Monday July 19th 2021

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

Scotland has seen a further easing of restrictions and has been placed in Level 0. I am sure this is welcome news to my constituents and I am pleased we will be able to gather with loved ones once again. However, please do not be complacent. This virus still poses a great danger to our society especially the vulnerable. It is important to be cautious and I do believe here in Scotland, we are doing things right by gradually easing restrictions. This is not a ‘Freedom Day’ as labelled south of the border in England. Masks still remain compulsory, physical distancing is still required, and it is important now more than ever that we get vaccinated and continue to get tested. Please act responsibly and be mindful of others.

Locally, I enjoyed a visit down to Dalkeith Country Park and had a tour around the Palace. It was encouraging to hear of some ideas of how to use the Palace and how the Palace was being preserved. The Park itself was busy with families out enjoying the sun – we may as well make the most of the nice weather when we can!

I recently met with the CEO of Dobbies regarding the decision to close Butterfly and Insect World. Unfortunately, this will be closing permanently, and the insects have been safely rehomed. Dobbies cited falling visitor numbers as a key reason. I’m disappointed that there was no alternative and I’m sure we will all miss Butterfly World.

In the first 100 days of Government the SNP pledged to deliver free music tuition for children learning a musical instrument at school. This pledge has been met and more than £7 million in funding has been provided to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn an instrument. We have such high-quality music in our schools and beyond in Scotland and this funding will help maintain our tradition and further nurture that keen young talent of music in our communities.

I want to end on a more serious note. I was personally shocked at the level of racism exhibited at and in the aftermath of the Euros final. This behaviour has no place in football and no place in society. We all have a responsibility to eradicate this behaviour and call it out.

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