April 2019

Making our coast safer

The wild and rugged coastline of Dumfries and Galloway is spectacular but with that beauty also comes danger.

That's why services such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), who have volunteer crews at Kippford, Kirkcudbright, Stranraer and Portpatrick, are so vital.

They complement independent inshore rescue crews such as those at Port William, Mossyard and Glencaple and support HM Coastguard units covering the entire Solway area.

With summer approaching and hopefully many visitors flocking to enjoy our area the number of call-outs is expected to rise.

The rescue teams, in particular, rely on public donations to keep their essential services available 24/7 to help save lives.

I would like to congratulate all the crews who make the coastline of my constituency safer and also those working quietly in the background such as the various fund-raising committees and individuals.

It was pleasing to see that the volunteer-run RNLI Shop at Kippford has just undergone a substantial refurbishment and will be open daily for the rest of the summer. My congratulations to all concerned.


Missionary an inspiration

It was moving and impressive that more than 10,000 people marched through Budapest this month in tribute to Jane Haining, the missionary born in Dunscore who did so much to protect Jewish school children and helped others reach safety in the UK during World War Two.

Tragically, she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and died within two months at the horrific Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and extermination centre.

It is important Jane's inspirational life story continues to be told to help ensure that such attrocities as the holocaust are not allowed to happen again.


Investment for future

I was delighted to have played a part in helping secure funding for improvements at Dumfries Railway Station ensuring it will become fully accessible for customers with limited mobility.

The well-kept Nith Valley Line 'gateway' to the region has been chosen to be part of the UK Government Access for All programme and is set to receive considerable investment to make the platforms and buildings step free and wheelchair friendly.


Brexit effort

With MPs now back at Westminster after the Easter recess I believe it is imperative that no time is wasted in trying to secure a majority vote for an orderly agreed Brexit.

Most of my constituents want the current uncertainty to end and I will continue to do my utmost to persuade colleagues, in the national interest, to support a deal as soon as possible.