John Lamont is Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Pensioners Advice Fair

This week I am very excited to be hosting the first ever Borders Pensioners’ Advice Fair.

We’ve got a really good range of organisations coming along to give information about health, housing, local clubs and other services. We’re even expecting a new Borders Bus coach to turn up for people to try out for comfort!

The event is taking place on Thursday (November 8) at the Kelso Tait Hall, from 1pm-4pm and I’d encourage people from any part of the Borders to come along if you can. It’s shaping up to be a great afternoon and my thanks go out to all the public, private and third sector organisations who are coming along. I am just sorry I could not fit everyone in.

It’s free to attend although there will be charity teas, coffees and cakes on sale. Thanks to local teams from Marie Curie and Macmillan for organising these.

Small Business Saturday

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our high streets and local communities in the Borders and we are hugely lucky to have so many excellent independent retailers here.

I paid a visit to motor cycle repair shop REBZ in Tweedbank and Stems, a florist from Jedburgh, to promote this year’s Small Business Saturday.

The event, which is run by a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, seeks to support small businesses and encourage people to shop locally. Last year, more than £740 million was spent in independent businesses on Small Business Saturday across the UK. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, December 1.

I’d encourage small businesses to get involved with the day like Stems and REBZ have. You receive a free marketing pack while allows you to get involved with this increasingly successful initiative.

Small businesses are vital to our economy, employing over 12.5 million people across the UK. We are incredibly lucky to have some fantastic independent retailers in the Borders, but the only way to keep them is to resist the urge to shop online and pay them a visit.

We can all do our bit on December 1 by doing some Christmas shopping locally.

Knowepark Primary Visit

I was delighted to pay a visit to Knowepark Primary School in Selkirk recently to speak to a couple of classes about what they were learning about democracy, about my job as an MP and about the Scottish and UK Parliaments.

No matter how many times I visit our local schools, I am always hugely impressed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of our young people. They asked their MP some great questions about my job (I’ve never been asked how old I am!) and I hope they learned a lot. I always try to accept any invitations to come to schools because it’s really important that as young people grow up and become new voters, they don’t see politics as something that is distant and not for them.

I mentioned to the pupils and teachers that there is financial support available for schools in the Borders to make a trip down to Westminster and I’d be delighted to host any which are interested. A few high schools in the Borders have already made the trip down, including Galashiels Academy and I think they found it a very worthwhile trip.