NEW figures have been released by the Scottish Government estimating that businesses across East Lothian will save £0.3million thanks to an SNP policy to protect small businesses.

The Scottish Government’s decision to cap increases in poundage rates to below inflation will result in lower business rates for firms across Scotland. In the face of Westminster chaos, this SNP Government has delivered a package of new initiatives that deliver for Scotland’s economy while safeguarding the future for small businesses.

Also recently, I met with Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, following overwhelming public concern regarding poor levels of service offered by Riverside Medical Practice. I am told that a new service developed in partnership by the Riverside Medical Practice, NHS 24 and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) ensures that urgent care is dealt with on the same day and patients should have no anxieties about being seen by the right professional at the right time.

I will continue to closely monitor the future performance of the practice and ask patients to keep me advised on whether the improvements are working.

I am disappointed to learn The Quay appeal has gone in favour of the developer, despite the majority of the community being opposed to this happening. The facility will be changed to a nursing home. This is a massive loss to the community and, unfortunately, there is limited option to appeal this decision any further without going into significant legal costs.

On a more positive note, I was pleased to read in last week’s Courier that Pinkie Farm Convenience Store has been voted Chilled Retailer of the Year at this year’s Scottish Grocer Awards. I congratulate them on this fantastic achievement and I was pleased to submit a motion to the Scottish Parliament to recognise their success.