John Lamont is Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

It has been another busy few weeks in the constituency. I have held a number of surgeries during September including in Earlston, Melrose, Galashiels and Selkirk. It was great to hear people’s views and discuss current events as well as try to help them with any issues they are having. Cancelled/delayed trains on the Borders Railway and poor broadband coverage remain some of the most frequently raised issues.

I have now held over 325 surgeries since my election in 2017. I always aim to be accessible as possible. I am surprised at how popular my surgeries still are despite all of the other forms of modern communications that exist these days. Surgeries provide me with an opportunity to get out of the political bubble and listen to what real people want, rather than what is said on social media or in the press.

I continue to hold my regular doorstep surgeries across the Borders and I have been in a number of towns and villages in recent weeks. What I hear from most people is they want the political debate to move on from Brexit and Scottish independence. It has now been five years since the independence referendum. Whilst I look back on the campaign with some fond memories, it was also a time of unprecedented division in our communities. Ultimately, I was delighted to see such strong support in the Borders for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. However, it was a very divisive campaign with divisions still evident today. We must be allowed to move on.

That is one of the reasons why I continue to oppose Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for another independence referendum. At the same time, I have been voting for a Brexit deal to ensure that we deliver Brexit in an orderly and efficient way. Although these are both admittedly huge issues, the vast majority of people who I speak to, just want to see politicians sort Brexit. They would much prefer to see our political debate dominated by issues such as how their child will get a better education, how their mother will be looked after in hospital, and how they will feel safer in their local community. I look forward to getting back to delivering on these issues very soon!

Cerebral Palsy Africa

In other news, I have been hearing about the great work of local charity, Cerebral Palsy Africa (CPA). Those living with Cerebral Palsy get great treatment here in the UK. However, many children in Malawi do not receive the necessary rehabilitative intervention in their early years that could ensure that they can reach their potential to sit, stand, and do things for themselves before they reach school age.

CPA were given a grant three years ago to train physios and community workers in Malawi, but due to changes in the exchange rate, they now have a funding shortage of around £5,000. I have written to the UK and Scottish Governments to see if they can help with this, and I would urge anyone who is able to, to donate to their great cause here