The Sidings, Dementia and Brexit

Monday October 28th 2019

Christine Grahame MSP

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View.

The Sidings Newtongrange

I had a good meeting with members of the Board of Track2Train to get to the bottom of why The Sidings has been closed since September.

Turns out there’s a dispute between Scottish Water and Network Rail as to which is at fault over faulty drainage. The upshot is that The Sidings has been flooded, more than once and loos have been closed.

Notice that Track2 Train, the social enterprise which runs The Sidings is not at fault. Now when two big organisations, both of which are publicly owned put this issue at the bottom of the in-tray it’s the social enterprise and the 17 workers who have been made redundant which bear the brunt. This is simply not good enough.

Add to that public money from various sources, some £934,000 together with blood sweat and tears of local people to get the project going and you can be assured I am really very cross-to put it mildly.

Time Network Rail and Scottish Water to get round the table and sort this out PDQ.

Dementia Friendly Penicuik Consultation

I popped into this on Saturday having already visited the Dementia Café.

Carers and some folk with dementia were sat at tables discussing how Penicuik could make life better for them. There are simple changes which would benefit us all: pavements in good nick, retailers and staff on the front line being educated as to what makes life less stressful for those with dementia.

There is also a card which someone with dementia can carry to present when out and about. On a bigger scale is the need for more support for carers and respite because it is a not a 9 to 5 job. It is a labour of love 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks in the year.


Ok had to mention it. An extension has been granted by the EU until the 31st January. I understand it’s called a flextention. What ever would be do without this lexicon of words born of that Referendum three years ago.

Anyhooo the SNP and the Lib-Dems are looking for a General Election on the 9th December. That only requires a simple majority at Westminster so it has a chance to succeed unlike the Boris proposal which needs 2/3rds of MPs to agree to.

But what about Labour? Yes indeedy. Bring it on says Jeremy but eh…. Not yet. Could it be that his disastrous leadership, the fact that Labour trails in the polls has a wee bitty to do with his non-committal commitments which I have to say he has raised to an art-form.

Of course we need a Christmas election like a hole in the head but there is simply no other way to clear out this current Westminster mob and start afresh. Scotland of course has hardly been allowed a cheep despite having voted 62% Remain while the DUP-all 10 of them- has ruled the roost. An election would I hope put an end to that.

At least if it was the 9th nativity plays in the school halls would still go ahead and Santa would have time to use his postal vote. He’d better get registered PDQ though.

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