THE recent warm days and the easing of restrictions have enabled everyone to enjoy the countryside, beaches and attractions, extending the tourist season and supporting local businesses.

Many professionals put their personal wellbeing and livelihoods on the line during lockdowns, keeping communities going. There was great support from volunteers, some of whom – including my nominee, Raymond Liddell of Tranent – will be recognised at the opening of Parliament by HM The Queen.

We also need to remember that we are not yet virus free. Thousands got their jags promptly and, across the county, still queue before entering smaller shops, wear masks and respect social distancing. It was therefore extremely disappointment to see Dunbar’s bear sculpture daubed with anti-vaccine slogans.

Let’s be clear: brilliant scientists and hard-working technicians created billions of vaccine doses to save lives across the planet. It’s unacceptable that this prompts vandalism and violent political anti-vaccine slogans. The best response from everyone is to take the booster jag when it’s offered; for most of us, this will be from October onwards.

At Holyrood, I have recently addressed both the skills shortage and how we build a fairer and more equal society, acutely aware that with the imminent ending of furlough, many will face worrying uncertainties. My team at Holyrood will ensure that as the pandemic crisis plays out, I’ll give you any assistance I can.

I’m backing community resilience across the county, including in North Berwick’s campaign to protect vital services at the Edington Hospital. I’m hoping to attend Dirleton’s Autumn Harvest Market on the Green on Saturday, an initiative resulting from energy and commitment in a small community.

Are more recent residents developing ideas for activities centred on the new housing which is helping to spread prosperity right across East Lothian? I’d like to hear your plans and support you as your families make our expanding towns and villages your new home.