IN MY COLUMN two weeks ago, I wrote about a rise in the use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it’s called.

This was picked up by national media outlets and I then took part in an awareness campaign on radio stations across Scotland.

This week in East Lothian, we found a male who had bought these metal canisters intent on supplying them to others to inhale them, which is an offence.

As a result, the male was charged with the supply of psychoactive substances to others.

This is the first time that I am aware of supply charges being libelled but I fear it won’t be the last.

In the last week, I have chaired a multi-agency meeting, taking a collaborative approach to resolving this issue.

We are working closely with trading standards to identify local premises who sell these items to ensure they are sold for the purpose they are intended.

I am really pleased that in such a short space of time so many people have come on board to work with us and ensure the safety of our children and young people.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in complaints of anti-social behaviour to Haddington town centre which is having a detrimental impact on the area and the businesses who are now opening up again following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

As a result, we have implemented a Problem Solving Partnership (PSP) which is a means of dealing with the issues in a collaborative manner.

The PSP membership includes, Police Scotland, East Lothian Council, Haddington Business Community Partnership (HBCP), Haddington and District Community Council, Haddington Central Tenants and Residents Association and all four local councillors.

An action plan has been created which will look at short and longer term solution to the issues raised and ensures a holistic approach is taken to make the area a safe and vibrant place to live, work and visit.

What I do ask is that you continue to report all acts of anti-social behaviour to us on the usual 101 number or 999 if it’s an emergency.

Don’t forget, you can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

With the coronavirus lockdown easing further and the hospitality sector re-opening, I ask that everyone continues to adhere to the guidelines and acts in a responsible manner to protect us all.

We have been working closely with the Scottish Government, East Lothian Council and businesses to ensure everyone is ready for the reopening and able to do so safely.

I look forward to seeing the businesses reopening and will be visiting some of them this week alongside Councillor John McMillan.

Finally, for many including myself, our summer holidays abroad have been cancelled or postponed so let’s hope that the weather picks up soon so we can make the most of our beautiful county.