This week in Annandale 07/09/2015

Refugee Crisis
I can only praise the combined efforts of the people of our region in responding to the refugee crisis in Europe and beyond. It is a reflection of our values that we live in a community and country which has responded so constructively to help those in need. As a local council we have set up some logistical support for collection and distribution of clothing and other donations, but it is the community at large whose efforts have been the driver.

Our Government in Scotland is working to find effective ways of providing a welcome and support for refugees in Scotland, and backing groups such as ‘Scotland Supporting Refugees’. SNP MPs are also trying to influence as best they can the UK Government to review and act on what is frustratingly a reserved matter.

Whitesands flood protection project
Is this a regional scheme or a local scheme? This is a decision for all residents and users of Dumfries but whether it should be left as is and the money spent on other priorities, or some type of cost-effective scheme is applied for, it should be up to the people to decide with officials there to give objective professional advice. There is money available for flood protection schemes across Scotland but there’s no point just putting any old bid in as part of a crude cash-grab but with future maintenance implications. Whatever the way forward is needs to have public backing and fit the criteria and guidance from the Scottish Government and SEPA.

Lockerbie 3G
Have raised a potential drainage issue with the new Lockerbie 3G pitch. Staff are looking into it to see if there is any serious issue but Mid Annandale FC were concerned that they could be taking on a problem. Best to get these things tackled quickly.

Lochmaben Walkround
Met with members of the community council to walk round and get some helpful pictures of some public realm issues, and other matters of interest in the town. I could list them all here but that would ruin the surprise at the next community council meeting.

Looking forward to the school crossing build-out and some related footpath improvements to help improve safety and access for schoolchildren and other pedestrians.

Kirkpatrick Juxta Community Council
The community council meeting in Beattock normally follows the hall committee meeting and both have asked for a disabled parking bay to aid accessibility for users of the village hall attending the various classes, events and bingo. The walkround idea was well-received so will be touring the village next week to better understand some concerns.

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