SCOTTISH National Party MSP Christine Grahame represents the residents of Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale in the Scottish Parliament. Here, she writes exclusively for the Border Telegraph...

ELECTION RESULT: Welcome to Calum Kerr MP who is a grand local lad. At the same time let me put on record my personal liking of Michael Moore who has always been courteous to me and was, as ever, gracious in his defeat. I wish him and his family well.

Calum and I will be working together as we deal with issues for the Borders. He will now be able to take on the “reserved matters”: benefits, tax credits and I will have more time to deal with those devolved: housing, policing, education and so on. Sometimes we will be required to share our efforts as I already do with councillors. It all helps towards effectively representing your priorities.

BRIGHT STARS: I visited the under fives playgroup to see the facilities they currently rent from the Baptist Church in Galashiels. They do well but long for better premises. It occurs to them, and me, that one of those vacant shops in Channel Street or Bridge Street could do the job but it seems the rates and rent just means they continue to stay vacant, and vacant eyesores rather than be occupied and cheery.

We have to find a way round this, surely? Even if you think of folks getting off the train and cutting through Bridge Street, do we really want them to be welcomed to Gala with row after row of large and ugly “For Rent” signs?

RAIL TICKET FIASCO: At the time of writing, I had contacted several people at ScotRail, not only about the daft prices quoted for the Borders Railway but also that for example Tweedbank is not recognised on their website as a station.

Strangely, after I have spoken to them and try to call back, I meet the answerphone. So far three people have switched to answerphone. Are they trying to tell me something with their silence?

I have been told the prices are “not in the system”. Unfortunately, the wrong and humongous prices are there instead. Why haven’t they simply issued a statement with the correct prices? Where has common sense gone? But, obviously it is not part of the “system”.

However, despite the obfuscation - I am being polite about ScotRail - to the best of my knowledge the Off-peak Return ticket price will be £10.40 and ScotRail will begin the process of loading fares into the industry fares system this week and that the fares to/from the new stations and Edinburgh will be available in retail systems by Friday, June 19. I found this out despite ScotRail’s systems!

BORDERS COLLEGE STUDENTS: Each year students from the college come to Parliament to question me about my job and indeed politics in general. There is no doubt last year’s Referendum has engaged more and more young people in the political process.

It therefore seems plain wrong to exclude 16 and 17-year-olds from the upcoming Referendum on “In/Out” of Europe. It is their future.

Add to that the fact that European Nationals here cannot vote, so if there was a “no” vote they would not be entitled to stay - even if Scotland voted “Yes” and many keep our hospitals running.

Yet Australians and New Zealanders for example can vote. Add again, Christian Allard MSP, French National, who cannot vote but convicted criminals sitting in the House of Lords can, and you begin to wonder at democracy through Westminster eyes.