NEXT month, elections for community councils take place across East Lothian, determining who is selected to join dedicated community councillors who meet each month to look into local issues and problems.

I have attended many community council meetings and have seen first-hand the excellent work they do in areas such as planning, roads and in leading the local response to Covid.

I would encourage you to look at your local community council’s website or attend a meeting. And if you are interested in helping drive change in your local area, why not think about standing for a position?

Community councils are not party political and it is important that many people from different backgrounds participate. So if you are interested in standing, visit your community council’s website or email community

Elections for East Lothian Council are also set to take place next May. I have been privileged to serve as a councillor for Haddington and Lammermuir ward but, owing to my election as an MSP for South Scotland, I will be standing down.

Being a councillor is rewarding, involving full meetings of the council, along with committee work, surgeries and community meetings. While many councillors do the role while working full-time, others are retired or combine being a councillor with family or voluntary responsibilities.

East Lothian Council is currently a minority administration, with Labour having nine members, the Conservatives seven and the SNP six.

If you might be interested in throwing your hat into the ring to become a Conservative councillor, I’d encourage you to get in touch. The local Conservative Association will make selections soon and I would be happy to discuss the role with you.