THEY say a week is a long time in politics. The fortnight since my last column certainly proves that saying right.

Since then, Nicola Sturgeon announced her Government is planning another referendum on Scottish independence, and Theresa May announced she’d block any such vote, at least until after Brexit.

What’s followed since these announcements is a collective groan across Scotland. Those against independence were saddened and angered by the move to hold what they felt would be another divisive debate. Meanwhile, many of those in favour of independence were frustrated by the Prime Minister’s refusal to allow Scotland a chance to hold a democratic vote.

For me, however, the biggest frustration has been the almost unthinking entrenchment along Yes/No divides and the unwillingness of some to listen to one another. Because whatever happens, we still have to live and work together and we still have a duty to talk and listen to each other and to take action together on the problems facing our communities.

In East Lothian we face a huge number of issues which must be tackled whether Scotland is independent or not. From the deep poverty I talked about in my last column to housing, education, health and social care and connecting our communities through broadband and public transport, there are problems to address regardless of the constitutional debate.

The local elections in May are a chance to choose how we tackle the problems and to come together to elect the people who will speak for us in the council. These are decisions which will shape our communities for years to come, but we must remember that the vote in May is not about independence.

Entrenching ourselves in Yes/No positions and either shouting at or ignoring those with a different view won’t change East Lothian for the better and it certainly won’t change the minds of anyone who holds a different view on independence.