EARLIER this year after the election, all MSPs were asked to nominate a local hero for their constituency. We have so many people within the constituency that, with little recognition, go out of their way every day to better the lives of others and their community.

For Midlothian North and Musselburgh, I have nominated Alister Hadden, chairman of Wallyford Community Council.

Alister has the heart of the community at the forefront of all his goals and is thoroughly deserving of this nomination as our local hero. I look forward to attending the Scottish Parliament’s opening ceremony this week with him to recognise and celebrate his efforts.

I know locally there have been concerns about the rise in shop thefts and anti-social behaviour, especially in the Musselburgh area.

I have spoken with East Lothian Council and Police Scotland and asked for further action to be taken to help tackle these issues and protect vulnerable shop owners. If you have any concerns, email me at Colin.Beattie.MSP@parliament.scot

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind people to beware of scams people are falling victim to every day. Action Fraud state that £10,325,133 has been lost by victims to courier fraud since the start of this year.

This type of scam is when individuals receive a phone call from someone who is pretending to be a police officer or bank official.

If you receive a phone call that sounds suspicious, do not give over any details and hang up; if you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately. Trading Standards earlier this year launched a free call blocking device to protect vulnerable individuals who are at risk from scammers. You can visit their website to find out more.

On a final note, invitations for flu and booster Covid-19 vaccinations have started to go out. There have been issues where people have been allocated appointments in Edinburgh instead of more locally in East Lothian. You can re-arrange via the online system or call the Lothian helpline on 0300 790 6296.