Joint-approach to combating drug tragedies
In the first six months of this year there were a tragic 25 suspected drug related-deaths in Dumfries and Galloway.
Sadly, this was compounded by recent national data showing Scotland had 1,339 drug-related deaths in 2020, the worst record in Europe.
The Scottish Government are rightly trying to combat this plague in a number of ways, including through the Scottish Drug Deaths Task Force.
I'm keen to see an intensive UK initiative called Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery), already running successfully in England and Wales, expanded to Scotland.
This whole-system multi-agency response in drugs hotspots combines increased targeted enforcement with much more treatment availability.
I urge the Scottish Government to accept a UK Government offer to set up an ADDER Project north of the border. Working together we could save lives.
Georgetown PO needed
Sadly C. J. Lang felt unable for commercial reasons to continue hosting the Georgetown Post Office in their SPAR store in Gillbrae Road from this week.
Having easy access to a range of branch services in their community is important to many people, particularly those with mobility or transport problems.
A temporary service at Georgetown Library will run on Fridays between 10 am and 1 pm from August 27.
I've stressed to the Post Office the need for a community service with sufficient opening hours to meet local needs, which, in turn, has the best chance of achieving sustainable customer numbers.
Shed hub of activity
It is good to see Dumfries Men's Shed settling into their new home in the former Wendy House children's respite care centre in Cresswell Gardens.
The group took ownership from Dumfries and Galloway Council through an asset transfer and are swiftly making their mark on the spacious property.
A workshop, kitchen, meeting and activity rooms will see the building become a community hub and newcomers are welcome.
Skills of retired members built over long careers are proving an asset, for example, helping with painting, decorating, electrical knowledge and gardening.
Whilst most members are retirement age, the Shed team tell me younger members are equally welcome.