Army ready to help take the strain
Whilst there are modest signs of an easing in Covid case numbers the strain on Scotland's NHS, particularly on the ambulance service and A and E units, remains high.
With winter approaching, further pressures, such as seasonal flu and the long non-pandemic waiting lists for treatment and procedures, are also a cause for serious concern.
Because of the pressures, the UK Government has offered the Scottish Government additional support from the Army.
Our servicemen and women made a valuable contribution in the early stages of the vaccination programme and are now again being deployed within Scotland when and where they are most needed, including the Scottish Ambulance Service and vaccination support.
Meanwhile, with some aspects of life getting back to normal in the region and vaccination underway in schools, it remains important that we do not become complacent and continue do our utmost to reduce the spread of the virus.
Borderlands bid good news
I was disappointed but not surprised when the SNP group on Dumfries and Galloway Council voiced opposition to a Borderlands bid to become UK City of Culture.
It seems entirely proper that a cross-border coast-to-coast partnership of local authorities, aimed at fuelling economic regeneration, should highlight our rich history and cultural attractions in this way.
Through seeking a place in the next selection phase, Borderlands could generate financial support to progress a bid and attract welcome publicity for our part of the British Isles.
At the heart of Government
I felt honoured last week to be invited to a meeting with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and to be re-appointed to the role of Scottish Secretary following the Cabinet reshuffle.
I look forward to continue working with the Scotland Office team in ensuring smooth delivery of UK Government services north of he border and that Scotland enjoys the full benefits of being part of the UK family.
My top priority remains, as always, representing the interests of the people of Dumfries and Galloway Constituency and to do my upmost to assist them with any issues and concerns they face.
Ticket ballot for Games
With so many things going on in the world just now it may have escaped some readers' attention that the Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham next summer.
I've been asked by the Games organisers to alert constituents to the fact that there will be a ballot for tickets for the world-class events which take place between Thursday July 28 and Monday August 8.
Sport is important to many across Dumfries and Galloway and I'm sure some will be eager to secure tickets. The ballot remains open until September 30 with full details and prices available at the birmingham2022.com website.