I AM PLEASED that the Coal Authority have announced plans to begin a clean-up of mining materials which have entered into the River Esk.

They are taking prompt action to make this positive step towards cleaning the Esk from the mine water.

The Coal Authority are working along with SEPA to put in a permanent mine water treatment scheme, which will take place within two to three years, but they are also working on an interim design which will be in place within a few months to treat mine water until the permanent solution is in place.

This should help towards resolving the orange discolouration present in the river, which is as a result of iron from the mine workings, and these developments will promote a healthier river ecosystem.

I am glad to see that they are keeping the community informed at this early stage, and that real progress is being made on this issue.

It is important that you know what to expect if you’re called by an NHS Contact Tracer in relation to the coronavirus.

Contact tracers will firstly introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify who they are calling by name.

They will ask you to identify others who you’ve been in close contact with and places you’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time you’ve self-isolated.

It is especially important to note that contact tracers will not ask anyone for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything.

Try to familiarise yourself with this practice, so that you do not fall victim to scams, and share this information with others.

I know that many will be relieved to hear that those who have been shielding from coronavirus will no longer have to do so from August 1.

I know that this announcement will be long-awaited for many, and I hope those who are affected look forward to seeing loved ones.