LAST week came the incredibly disappointing news that North Berwick’s Edington Cottage Hospital will remain closed for at least another 45 days. This decision was reached by health chiefs before the official date of the review on the hospital’s future with no consultation of local residents.

Health chiefs have sadly sidestepped the views of the community by failing to consult and consider the findings of my community survey of over 1,900 residents indicating that 97 per cent of respondents want to see the hospital reopened.

Come January, the Edington will have been closed for 125 days, with every possibility that its closure will be extended for another 45 days. This feels far from the ‘temporary closure’ promised by NHS Lothian.

But while the situation looks bleak, I will continue to work with others to push for the decision to be overturned as soon as possible.

I have secured a parliamentary debate on the future of the Edington on Thursday, where I look forward to joining a cross-party group of MSPs in raising issues.

On a lighter note, I recently launched a cross-party group on beer and pubs in the Scottish Parliament.

This group will seek to celebrate, recognise and enhance the contribution that the brewing and pub-related hospitality industry plays in Scotland.

The group will also provide a forum for politicians and hospitality organisations to discuss policies that will impact the beer and pub sector and affect beer drinkers and pub-goers across Scotland.

East Lothian is currently home to over 40 pubs and bars, three breweries, a distillery, craft gin producers and a malt ingredients company, employing over 550 people in the area.

If you own a hospitality business or work in the sector, please do feel free to get in touch with me.