I WROTE last week about how difficult many people are finding it returning to some kind of ‘normal’ life in the weeks after lockdown.

Many aspects of life have restarted, but with lots of restrictions as Covid-19 infection levels rise again, although deaths remain thankfully low for now.

This is a difficult time for government, both national and local, as well as for individuals. In parliament, the First Minister will bring forward the ‘Programme for Government’ for the parliamentary year ahead, the last one before the next election.

Some planned bills have already been dropped, but we cannot allow the virus to stop all the work of government. We have to hear how ministers plan to respond to the expected rise in unemployment, how they will support the reopening of NHS services, and how they will deliver at least some of the promises they have made on childcare, education and free bus travel for young people.

Locally, too, last week saw East Lothian Council meet for the first time since lockdown, albeit only virtually.

Much of the burden of responding to Covid has fallen on the council and council staff. They have risen to that challenge, but the key message of the meeting was that they have not had the support they needed from government. Promises of financial support for the additional costs of keeping services running and reopening schools have yet to materialise on the ground, leaving the council facing an overspend of £7.5m.

The Scottish Government must not let our local council down, or we will all pay a price in the decimation of local services.

So, when it comes to that programme for government, my colleagues and I will be pressing ministers as hard as we can on behalf of our local council and local services to make good the promises they made.