Welcome to my first newsletter of 2021. I hope that this finds you well. I know that the new year has not begun in the way we might have hoped and that many are finding things very difficult just now. The new strain of Covid-19 has led to an increase in restrictions and that is affecting all of us. The positive news is that the vaccine rollout programme is speeding up and many have had their first dose. And while that doesn’t mean the end of restrictions just yet, it is a vital step along the way.
As a reminder, the best place to get the most up to date advice remains the government and council websites:
Scottish Government: www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Support and funding for businesses: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice
UK Government: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Edinburgh Council: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus
You can also find a list of further helplines including those for parents, older people and those concerned about their mental health here.. And while my office remains closed to the public, you can still contact myself and the team on 0131 661 8023, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you’d expect with the current restrictions my constituency office remains closed and my team are all working (incredibly hard) from home. We continue to have a very high volume of people getting in touch needing help and assistance or sharing concerns and views. I’m making every effort to ensure that you get a timely response but please bear with us as the team do need to prioritise the most urgent issues.
The restrictions also means that visiting constituency organisations in person isn’t possible, but I’m doing what I can with the technology available! I am trying to make the most of my daily exercise though – and the dog is enjoying lots of long weekend walks around the lovely green spots across the city, including one of his favourites, Arthur’s Seat.
I was very grateful to CI Murray Tait, the new area commander for Edinburgh North East covering Portobello, Craigmillar, Craigentinny, Duddingston & Leith, for taking the time to have a productive chat about the work his officers are doing to keep us safe during lockdown. I am incredibly thankful to all our frontline workers who continue to put themselves on the line to protect and serve the public.
Climate change is an issue that hasn’t, and won’t, go away. This month I joined a cross party panel to take questions and discuss the issue with young people from across Lothian which you can watch here.
It would feel a bit odd to do a newsletter this month and not mention the fact that America finally has a new President in Joe Biden. I welcome him to office and know many felt emotional watching Vice President Kamala Harris being sworn in. One of the much-needed lighter moments of the month has been the memes of Bernie Sanders appearing in a wide variety of places – including a Lothian bus – keeping warm while the windows remain open to prevent the spread of Covid. We need to find our laughs where we can just now!