Midlothian New Year Messages: Politicians have their say...

Midlothian politicians from all parties have been passing on their New Year messages for our readers.

Clockwise from top left: Provost Peter Smaill, Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley, Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame, Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) said: “The New Year is always a time for resolutions on the year ahead, but it is also one for reflecting on the year past, and what an incredible year this has been!

2018 was the centenary of the end of the First World War.

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“The whole of the UK joined the extra special events up and down the country to remember the men and women that fought hard for our freedom and to allow us to be in the position we are today.

“I have spoken in many debates over the last year regarding the local Bank Closures we have seen happen in Midlothian over the last year. I am pleased to see that the Bank of Scotland in Bonnyrigg is undergoing a refurbishment and I look forward to visiting in the new year to see the new layout and meet with the staff and constituents that use the service.

“I’d like to say what an absolute privilege it has been to serve you all this past year, and I look forward to continuing to do so in the upcoming year. I hope you have a safe and happy New Year and I wish you a prosperous 2019!”

Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) said: “In this job you meet all kinds of folk, folk campaigning for their communities quite rightly discontented with the lack of a bus service or the congestion on Midlothian Roads for starters but there are also too many folk having a tough time.

“It could be poor housing, indeed being on a waiting list for years, inadequate health care, troublesome neighbours, poor support for children with additional needs and so on.

“Some require immediate attention and some though on the surface appearing small beer actually impact dramatically on a constituent’s life.

“But for the next week or so, the offices in Edinburgh and Galashiels take a break and surgeries restart in January.

“I will still be accessing my e-mails and will deal with urgent matters, but my staff who assist with cases will be having a well-earned break.

“I will though take time to spend with my sons, their families and close relatives and friends.

“I hope you can do the same and look out for neighbours who may find this a tough time. My best wishes for 2019.”

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab) said: “I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and time to relax over the festive period.

“It has been an honour to represent Midlothian since the snap general election in June 2017: similarly, 2018 has also proven to have been quite an eventful year!

“With national politics dominated by the Brexit shambles – brought about by a divided Tory government – it’s important to not lose sight of what has been achieved in 2018.

“Thank you to every constituent who has contacted me throughout the year: whether it was regarding a personal case, or a topic you feel needs to be addressed in Parliament. I would also like to give thanks to my outstanding team, who have worked tirelessly on over 700 cases this year alone.

“I was elected to stand up for you in Midlothian and in Westminster - my team and I will always fight for you.

“It has been a pleasure to visit so many local organisations and businesses throughout Midlothian. If I haven’t yet met with you, please do contact my office on Dalkeith High Street to arrange a visit in 2019.

“Wishing you and yours a happy and peaceful New Year.”

And Midlothian Provost, Councillor Peter Smaill (Con), said: “We see out a tumultuous Old Year on the public stage, and yet with the lowest unemployment for decades, buoyant growth in Midlothian, exciting new schools and strengthening educational outcomes for the youngsters. As the new Provost I have enjoyed meeting folk across the county, and from toddlers to centenarians!

“I’m looking forward to more engagement with our splendid army Veterans, having piloted their involvement setting up Christmas lights; and to community buy-outs, where appropriate, of local assets where the volunteer spirit can lead to successful outcomes.

“Finances will be tight at the Council, but the best ideas from all the parties will be sought to find a way through. Happy New Year everyone!”