WE are more than halfway through the Scottish Parliament summer recess, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to update you on what I have been doing while Parliament is not sitting.

The formal recess is a great time to focus in on the issues in our community – and I’ve been involved in a number of initiatives across East Lothian and the wider South of Scotland region.

In my last column, I talked about local tourism and what I believe are over-burdensome regulations on short-term lets. This is not, of course, to say that there isn’t a problem with having too many Airbnb-style units and empty properties in North Berwick for example.

Such problems clearly do exist: the question rests on whether the new system is proportionate and will actually tackle these issues.

I don’t believe it will and have written to housing minister and local MSP Paul McLennan seeking a meeting to discuss the unintended consequences of the short-term lets licensing scheme, which could do real damage to local tourism.

I have also spent a lot of time visiting different projects and organisations.

East Lothian Courier: Craig Hoy MSP met with representatives of ScotRailCraig Hoy MSP met with representatives of ScotRail

This weekend, I was at Fringe by the Sea and also popped in to talk to the team at Beach Wheelchairs in North Berwick. The fantastic volunteers do a marvellous job delivering special moments on the beach for wheelchair users who live in East Lothian or who come to visit this beautiful county.

Next week, I will continue my summer surgery tour, focusing on some of East Lothian’s more rural locations – full details on my website.

This week, I also met with Scotrail and Hitachi to discuss ongoing problems with local train services operating with a reduced number of carriages causing over-crowding.

While they are seeking to recruit additional staff and secure additional rolling stock, I will continue to press the operator and the Scottish Government to get our local train services back on track.