RECENT figures for Covid-19 cases have significantly increased again. We do have more freedom now and the legal restrictions have been removed. However, I will reiterate that we still have a duty to protect ourselves and others around us.

Of the cases reported, two-thirds are in the under-40s category. Scotland has seen an impressive vaccination uptake but some in the under-40s category who have been invited for their vaccinations have not yet attended.

We want to see some normality back. Vaccination helps us to do just that. The second dose of the vaccine offers greater and longer-lasting protection, which is why it is important that we follow up and get both doses of the vaccine. Please don’t leave the job half done, drop in to your nearest vaccination clinic or attend a pop-up clinic.

Locally, I am pleased this year’s panto at The Brunton will go ahead. With the £100,000 boost from Creative Scotland, Hansel and Gretel will be performed in front of a live audience this winter. I wish The Brunton and the performers the best of luck – or should I say break a leg?

We have seen local powerlifter Micky Yule take bronze at the Tokyo Paralympics. This is a great achievement for both Wallyford and East Lothian. Congratulations to Micky and I do hope this helps inspire our youngsters in the years to come.

I will be holding the next Esk River Improvement Group (ERIG) meeting this month. If you are interested in the latest updates, email my office at to join the mailing list.

Finally, I welcome the agreement reached between the Scottish Green Party and the SNP to work together in the Scottish Government to build a greener, fairer, independent Scotland. It is important we work together to support a fair recovery from Covid and address with urgency the impacts of the climate emergency. I look forward to seeing what can be achieved through this historic agreement.